Monday, February 28, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Have I ever gone this long without posting since I started this blog? Well, I guess it gives me a lot to say for

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. Birthday
I had the most fabulous birthday! Luke and I left Raegan with my parents (for our first overnight away from her) and went to Kansas City Saturday afternoon. I got to do some shopping at Legends, and eat fettucine (i.e. manna from heaven) at Olive Garden. Our main reason for the trip was to go to Nebraska Furniture Mart pick out furniture for our bedroom. We still have the mismatched bedroom furniture and headboard-less bed that Luke has had since he graduated from high school almost 12 years ago. We found a very nice set (at a closeout price!) that is set to be delivered next Wednesday. (They would have delivered it this Wednesday, but since that's the day Luke and Zane leave for their ski trip, we'll just have to wait another week.) We ended up staying at a Country Inn and Suites, which I highly recommend. Our room was very spacious and clean and the bed was super comfy. Other than the breakfasts we got at the hotel we stayed at in Cancun, this was the best continental breakfast I've ever had at a hotel. There was bacon, eggs, biscuits and gravy, waffles, cereal, muffins, 3 kinds of juice, yogurt, fruit, and I'm sure other things I'm forgetting. I always remember the food, people. Always. :)

2. Running
Well, I finally did it, and ran my first 5K Saturday morning. I ran the whole thing without stopping, and did it in a little under 35 minutes. My goal had been to only stop twice, and to do it in under 40, so I was pretty pleased with myself. And considering that it had snowed on Thursday, and there was still a lot of snow and ice on the path, I considered that to be a pretty decent time. The distance was well over double what I have ran in practice, so I was e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y sore that evening and yesterday. I will say that I probably will never cry at a race as much as I did Saturday. It was to raise money for Reed's medical bills, which is part of why I wanted it to be my first run. The ladies who organized it had put up signs all along the route where people had written words of encouragement and comfort to Reed and his family. It was beautiful, but man did I cry.

3. Reed
Please keep Reed and his family in your prayers more than ever right now. They have run out of options at this point, because he is too weak to go to St. Jude's. My daycare provider went to visit today, and she said he was too weak to even grab hold of her hand. His parents said that he is no longer eating or having bowel movements. It's such a horrible thing to even contemplate. I'm so thankful that his parents know God, and will be able to find some measure of peace eventually.

If you are interested, you can read about the family's journey at Reed's CaringBridge website.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The shoe obsession continues

I know I've mentioned on here several times that Raegan is obsessed with shoes. She also really likes to walk around in everyone's shoes, and she's getting pretty successful at it. Silly girl.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I Won!

Picture of my winnings from SAHM and Marine Wife's blog

You guys! I am so totally excited! I won my first internet giveaway prize!!!! I entered a drawing for some Udderly Smooth products through SAHM and Marine Wife's blog, and got the email today that I had won. I can't wait to get my products in the mail, especially since my skin has been so ridiculously dry lately. Huzzah! I'm off to enter some more giveaways....

Monday, February 14, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. Happy Valentine's Day
Luke and I decided not to really do anything for Valentine's Day this year. We went out to lunch, just the two of us, on Friday, but decided to leave it at that. So I was pleasantly surprised to come home this afternoon to find a beautiful vase of roses on our kitchen table. Awwwww...... :)

2. Happy Tax Day!
Even more exciting to me than Valentine's Day is the fact that today marks the day we can officially file our tax return. Stupid Congress taking so long to pass everything at the end of last year - we would have our return in our hands by now if not for having to wait because we itemize.

3. Frosting
Dillon's really makes the best frosting ever (except for the woman who made my weddin cake, but how accesible is her frosting?). I pushed myself a little harder at the gym tonight to make up for my discovery of Dillon's frosting. lol

4. Head Start
The House is talking about a 22.4% cut to Head Start for the remaining six months of the 2011 fiscal year. This is huge. According to everything I've read today, this would result in over 200,000 children losing services and ovr 50,000 employees losing their jobs (in the U.S.) I'm pretty passionate about Head Start, not just because they cut my check every month, but because I believe that it's a good thing. Study after study shows the benefits of early education, and Head Start provides this to the poorest of the poor who may not otherwise be able to afford a quality early education for their child(ren). If you feel so moved, please consider contacting your members of Congress by email and ask them to reconsider this proposed cut of funding. If you go to this link, you'll find the information you need to do so. There's a form letter you can use, or you can make changes to it to add your own thoughts.

I feel like I should add one more miscellany so that I don't end on such a downer, but I just don't have anything else. Good night all!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Another thing that we've recently introduced to Raegan is playdough. I had some little containers left over from gifts I gave to my students for Christmas, so I brought one home for Raegan to play with. I didn't want to go to all the trouble of making a batch if it turned out she wasn't interested or just kept trying to eat it.

Sometimes Raegan's laugh kind of sounds like a fake laugh. :)

Every now and then when we get the playdough out it will somehow mysteriously drift towards her mouth....

Week 2 of shopping with coupons

So last week I was excited to lower my grocery bill by shopping sales and using coupons, and was looking forward to doing the same again this week. I ended up making a food purchase on Tuesday that bumped my total from $76 to $84, but that's still quite a bit less than the $100-$125 I usually spend, so I'm still pretty please with that.

This week I ended up spending $92. $8 more than last week, but still less than my average, so I'm still okay with it. I had a couple expenses this week that brought my total up: a refill for the Diaper Genie ($7.35 after tax!), and Pepsi and Dr. Pepper products were on sale at Dillon's again, so I stocked up on those. (Luke goes through a LOT of pop, and I mean a L-O-T, so if pop is really on sale I will always buy it!) Walgreen's had Ajax dish soap on sale for 79 cents for a 16 ounce bottle, so I bought four of those, which means we won't need dish soap for awhile. I also spent $5 on a South High sweatshirt that was on clearance at Walgreen's, because hello super cheap hoodie sweatshirt. Can't pass that up! So really, if you take out the two extra expenses of the Genie refill and the sweatshirt, I actually spent LESS on groceries and household supplies than last week ($81 vs. $86). So yay me!
I found some really good coupons in the newspaper insert for today, and hopefully my coupon booklet from P&G gets gere pretty soon. My goal is to be regularly spending only $75 a week on groceries and household supplies by March. It's kind of like a game for me (can I beat my high score from last week?!) so I bet I'll bet able to meet my goal.

I also discovered that I can save money on those dang Genie refills by ordering them through Amazon with my Subscribe & Save discount. If I order them in three packs, I'll only be paying $5.98 per refill. I'm also going to be keeping an eye on Walgreens because I have a coupon that I picked up at Walgreens today that's good for $1 off 2 Playtex products (which is what a refill is). I might be able to get a good deal if they have a sale or Register Rewards at some point.

The other cool thing that I realized just the other day when browsing Amazon (because someday I would really like to have a Kindle) is that I can use my 15% off and 2 day shipping with anything** I order off of Amazon. I only get the 30% on select diapers and wipes, but that 15% and free shipping is good for anything and everything on Amazon. Awesome!

**Well, anything that can needs to be replenished once every month or two. Obviously I'm not going to be ordering a Kindle with Subscribe and Save. Yes, please send me a new Kindle every two months. lol 

Friday, February 11, 2011

The joy of shoes!

I mentioned on here about a month ago that Raegan learned how to put on her shoes by herself. Since then, she has been obsessed with putting on shoes - her shoes, Zane's shoes, any and every kind of shoe can come across in the house. Every day our living room has at least a few random shoes of hers scattered across it. Unfortunately, I think Raegan has inherited my fashion sense. Or maybe I should lack thereof? If nothing else, she's definitely inherited my love of shoes. :D

Luke calls these her "Grimace" jammies because they make her look like a big purple blob :)

One boot and one dress shoe - that's high fashion there, my friends! 

Debt Payoff Calculator

I found this super handy Accelerated Debt Payoff Calculator last night, and I HIGHLY recommend that you check it out. It's very encouraging if you are trying to pay off debt quicker by adding more to your minimum monthly payment. If you plug in the principal balance, interest rate, and monthly payment amount into the calculator, it will show you how much longer you have until the debt is paid off and how much interest you will be paying over the life of the debt. Then at the bottom, you can plug in an amount that you would hypothetically add to your debt payoff plan - what you might choose to pay above what you have to pay. Hit calculate results, and it will show you how soon your debt would be paid off by paying that dollar amount more per month. It will also tell you how much interest you will save by paying off sooner, and how many months you have saved in paying on that loan.

I plugged in my undergrad student loans. Just the undergrad loans. I have grad school loans through a different loan provider, and the total amount is just depressing, folks. If I follow Dave Ramsey's debt snowball, then I want to start applying extra money to our smallest debt first. I guess I should consider it a blessing that as soon as I pay off the small balance on Luke's credit card by the end of this month, our next smallest debt is my undergrad student loans. Really, we don't have debt in a lot of different places. We have my undergrad student loans, the payment on the Mountaineer, my grad school student loans, and our mortgage. It's just a LOT of debt in those four payments.

So back to the calculator. I plugged in the information from my student loans, and found that if I keep paying at the rate I am now, it won't be paid off until 11 years and 7 months from now, and we'll pay $1855.11 in interest during the payoff. (Lucky me, I have a really low interest rate on this loan!) BUT, if we start paying an extra $100 a month on top of what we already pay, the loan will be paid off in 4 years and 6 months, and we will pay $702.71 in interest. For a savings of $1,152.39, along with 7 years and 1 month of being in debt to this loan.

Just seeing it all spelled out like that makes me feel like, "Yeah, I can manage to find an extra $100 a month to get that bad boy paid off THAT much sooner. That's huge. Like, Raegan would be in kindergarten instead of middle school when we got that loan paid off. Like, Zane would be in high school instead of getting ready to graduate from college. And if I could manage to scrounge up some extra money on some months, we could get it paid off all that much sooner.

So check out that calculator I linked to, plug in your numbers and see what you get. I hope it's encouraging for you like it was for me!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A little different this week....

I've decided to do things a little differently for the writer's workshop that I've been participating in for about a month now. Normally, I write the blog, then link to it on Mama Kat's website. I'm not going to this time, to keep it a little more private, since it's kind of work related.

5.) Read the following quote and respond: “Sometimes you have to break the rules around you to keep the rules within you.” -Martha Beck (O Magazine)

This is the prompt that stuck out to me immediately. I wasn't going to blog about it, but I decided to just go ahead. I absolutely agree with this quote, even though I'm a rule follower. I think that there are rules in place for a reason, and I'm not someone to flout them because I think I'm above rules or anything of the sort. But there are certain moments when you have to go with what you know in your heart is right, even if it contradicts a rule that is in place in a setting you are in. Immediately when I read this quote I thought of a particular instance in my own life that I felt like it really applied to.

I've had an employer with a lot of rules about fraternizing with parents. There was a long line of rules about what I should and shouldn't do when it came to mingling with the parents I worked with. One in particular was always a source of contention for me. Teachers were not supposed to receive gifts from families. Big huge no no. I guess if a parent were to present us with a gift at Christmas, or during teacher appreciation week, we were supposed to suggest they donate it to the Goodwill or take it back because I just couldn't accept it.

I broke that rule to smithereens. And not for a half a second have I ever felt bad about it. Because how can I, while professing to care about this student of mine, look that child in the eye and tell them that I can't take their gift? Explain to me how that fosters my relationship with the parent or the child, please. I've never gotten an expensive gift. I've never felt bad about taking a gift, like I was taking away from the family's ability to provide Christmas for their own family. I've taken every gift with gratitude. And not an ounce of guilt for breaking a rule. Because it was more important to me to feel good about how I was treating a family or child than it was for me to be a rule follower.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Snow Day,

My diapers came this afternoon. I think I would be a little more excited about this if the freakin' UPS delivery guy hadn't rang the doorbell when he put the package on the porch. It didn't need a signature, so I'm not really sure why he did that. Naptime, interrupted. Thanks. I need to put a "DO NOT RING THE DOORBELL EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, EVER!" sign up by our doorbell. Grrrr.

Our school district called off school again for today. Honestly, I wasn't very excited about this at all. I mean, yeah, sure, I enjoy being paid to spend a day at home with the kids. But I had parent teacher conferences to do this evening, and it's just that time of year when I have a lot to get done at work. We've had five days off since January 10th, which means that we'll have to make some of them up at the end of the year now. No thanks. At least this time it was a really good snow - good for snowballs and really deep. According to the news, Salina finished out at 11 inches. Yowza! The orignial forcast was for 3-5, which usually means next to nothing, so this was a big surprise! And it wasn't as brutally cold this time, so the kids and I went outside for awhile this afternoon.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Miscellany Monday

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

1. Saving money
I am slightly obsessed with websites that gives tips on how to save money or pay off debt, if you couldn't tell from my last post. Like, all of my web surfing tonight has pretty much been on The Saved Quarter, Penny Pinchin' Mom, Money Saving Mom. I guess it's getting me away from Facebook for awhile, which I was sorely in need of a break from.

2. Parent teacher conference week
I am doing 24 parent teacher conferences between tomorrow and Thursday. I don't think I really need to say anything more about this miscellany, now do I?

3. Snow
Just for the record, I do not want a snow day tomorrow, or any day this week. See #2 for my main reason why. Honestly, I'm just tired of snow. I want it to be spring. I want to wear my favorite capris and play outside with Raegan. I hope that Phil was right about spring coming earlier this year!

4. Annual review
I had my annual review at work today, and it was pretty good. I don't take compliments well, so it's weird for me to sit there and read and hear good things about myself. But it is nice to know that my hard work is noticed. :)

5. Shoes
Product Image Women's Xhilaration® Teagan Twist Toe Wedge Shoes - Black

I bought these beauties at Target last week. Aren't they fabulous?!?! They pinch my toes just a smidge, but are a lot better than high heels, but cuter than my other black shoes with no heel. This miscellany doesn't quite tie in with my desire to save money I suppose. :) Eh, I don't have to penny pinch all the time, right?

Great Deals!

Luvs Ultra Leakguard Stretch Diapers

So in my quest to start eliminating debt, I've started clipping coupons and checking out various blogs for ideas on how to save money. I thought I would just share a couple of the gems I've come across in the last few days.

First of all, if you go to P&G's Facebook page and "like" their page, then click on the Special Offer tab at the top, you can sign up to receive a coupon booklet for over $110 in coupons for P&G products. P&G products include Bounce, Charmin, Pringles, Crest, Pampers and Luvs, to name a few, so I'm pretty excited for my booklet to come in the mail. Surely there will be a few coupons that I'm going to use in there, right? Apparently the website is running a little slow because of all of the interest in the offer, but if you persevere, you should be able to sign up eventually. I actually got through with no problem, and after I signed up as a member for P&G and filled in my address, they said my booklet would come in 5-10 days. I'll let you all know what I end up with.

My second find in the last week (and I am SUPER!!!! excited about this one) is Amazon Mom. If you click the link, it will direct you to the page that explains the whole process, but let me sum it up a little for you here. Basically, you sign up for this completely free program. (And I went over the whole thing with a fine tooth comb - it is 100% free.) You get three free months of Amazon Prime (which means that you get free two day shipping). For every $25 you spend at one time in the Baby Store, your free membership in Amazon Prime is extended for another month. THEN, you sign up for Subscribe and Save (which means that you are just setting up what you've ordered to be delivered to you on an ongoing schedule) and you will save 30% on whatever you've ordered. If you decide you don't want to do the Subscribe and Save bit anymore, you can unsubsribe at any time at no penalty. At that point you will only save 15% on what you order because of your Amazon Mom membership. So as long as you spend more than $25 a month (and that's $25 before your discount), your free two day shipping will continue for a whole year.

So here's what I'm ordering: diapers. Gonna need 'em, right? With this fabulous deal, I'm able to get a box of 204 Luvs diapers for only $24.18. After tax, $26.16, which comes out to about 13 cents a diaper. Before I found this deal, I was buying a box of 96 diapers for $15.97 which is almost 17 cents a diaper. Biiiiig difference. I'm pretty sure that 204 diapers isn't going to cover a whole month, but it should come pretty close, and if I buy a box of 96 at Wal-mart, it should last me several months with only having to take some out to supplement the big box from Amazon. Granted, the amount of diapers I get will go down when Raegan goes up to a size four, but it would go down in the box I would get from Wal-mart too, so I anticipate this continuing to be a money saver. I priced Diaper Genie refills, another necessity in our house, and we would save money by ordering a three pack through Amazon with the 30% discount, so I'm going to start that subscription for awhile also. If you don't use disposable diapers, I saw that Amazon also sells all forms of cloth diapers. I don't know enough about cloth diapering to know if you are saving any money by going this route, but it wouldn't hurt to check it out, right?

I feel kind of silly to say this, but you cannot imagine how freakin' excited I am for my huge box of diapers to show up on Wednesday. :)

In other savings news, I took some advice from Penny Pinchin' Mom before I went grocery shopping. I looked at the sale ad for Dillons (and compared them to what I knew some of those items cost at Walmart - Walmart is usually cheaper, but not always with a good sale!), organized my coupons, and figured out what I already had in my cupboards and freezer. With a little planning around what was on sale this week, I managed to get away with only spending $76 on groceries (plus paper towels, shampoo and a couple other non-food items). Normally I spend about $100-$125 a week, so this was pretty big. I know we won't be able to save that much on groceries every week, but it was a nice start to keep me motivated.

So to anyone reading this blog: What websites do you read with advice for saving money? Or what strategies do you use that have worked? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl Sunday

We are Steelers fans, so we camped out in front of the big screen tonight to watch the game. Raegan actually paid some attention to what was going on, but mostly she just had fun being downstairs with her family.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Procrastination, ahoy!

I won't lie - having time off of work is nice. The timing of 2011's Snowpocalypse? Not so nice, from a work-related standpoint. Our tri-yearly child assessment tool is due this Friday. This means that I have to assess 31 children on 64 different developmental objectives. Do the math, that's a lot of work! I also have parent teacher conferences starting next Tuesday, which requires quite a bit of prep work to have all 31 children's portfolios ready. Luckily, this year I was seized by a very abnormal urge to get things done ahead of time, so I'm pretty much ready for conferences. What I have left involves printing off reports related to those developmental objectives I mentioned above. Which requires me to get them done.

I was a good little employee and made the decision to work from home this morning. So off Raegan went to daycare for the morning, and I cracked down and didn't let myself get too distracted by the internet. At this point, 17 out of 31 children are completely finished, and I feel like I have some breathing room on Friday now. I also came to the realization that because we will only have one day with children this week (I'm assuming that we will be back at school tomorrow, and I don't ever have children on Fridays) I can simply recycle this week's lesson plans into next week, and just come up with new small groups for next Thursday. My Friday is looking a whole lot better now.

All of that being said, I decided to spend Raegan's nap writing in my blog instead of working. My good employee skills only reach so far. :) And since I've already bombarded this blog with photos and videos, I decided to do some actual writing instead.

As I am slowly getting the house more organized by going through closets and purging, I'm faced with my own clothes closet. I think one of the things I would really like in our next house would be a walk-in closet, but in the meantime, I have to make do with what I have. It's not pretty. I have a lot of clothes. And shoes. And purses. And yet, I wear the same rotating 7 or 8 outfits and never change out my purse. So, obviously, it's time to tackle my closet.

What is it about clothing that makes it so hard for us to get rid of it? I absolutely know that I am not the only woman who has this problem. I've mentioned my need to purge my closet before to co-workers and friends and have gotten the same responses about how they need to do the same. Why do I hang on to t-shirts from high school? I don't really need a rotation of 15 different t-shirts for working out - we *do* have a washer and dryer. Obviously, there are things you hold onto because you love them. They fit well, you feel good in them, they're super comfy. My K-State sweatshirt falls into this category. I wish I could clone it so that I would have it to wear every day of the week and it would never wear out. Some things you keep for the memories. I still have my wedding dress in it's garment bag, and the souvenier shirts that I got on our honeymoon to Cancun. Some things you keep for practicality. I have all of my maternity clothes packed away in an under-bed box, for if we decide to have another baby. But then there are items of clothing that I have no idea why on God's green earth I've held on to for so long. Like the above mentioned high school t-shirts. Or the khakis from 8 years ago that I seriously doubt I will ever fit into again.

I think a lot of women hold on to clothing in the hopes that it will motivate them to get back down to a smaller size that they used to be. I know that's why I still have those khakis, and some other various items taking up room in my not-walk-in-closet. But as I think about it, I don't know that it's actually motivating to hang on to those clothes. Instead, doesn't it kind of beat you up? When month after month you still don't fit back into those clothes. Or on the other hand, maybe hanging onto those items holds you back? Keeps you from being happy with your body the way it is now, instead of wishing for what used to be.

Having a baby can be hard on your self-image. I've pretty much gotten my pre-baby figure back, but there are still some signs of pregnancy. I was all stomach when I was pregnant, and I have the stretch marks and lumps all over my stomach to prove that I'm not just saying that. The rest of me has bounced back fairly well. (Although let's not talk about how hard nursing can be on your boobs....) I fit into all of my pre-pregnancy jeans and dress slacks for work. It's the shirts that are a different story, because I no longer have the smooth stomach that I did before. Most days I'm okay with that. I've bought some new shirts that cover things up, and I just shrug and figure that I got something pretty spectacular in return. But somedays I look at some of the clothes that are still in my closet and get kind of negative about my body. So maybe it's time to get rid of all of those old clothes, and be happy with the here and now. (Or at least box them up with my maternity clothes so that I won't have to look at them every day.)

I read a post at the blog Kendie Everyday (which I found through my old college roommate Kim) with rules for purging your closet. I don't think I'm quite ready to do the 30 for 30 remix like Kim is, but I think a good start would be to get rid of some things in my closet. It might free up a lot more than just some closet space.

More snow day fun!

Luke and Zane showed Raegan how to do somersaults last week, and she LOVES it. L-O-V-E-S it. I was thinking about doing a Mommy and Me gymnastics course with Parks and Rec later this spring, and now I'm definitely going to do it. :)

Here are those pictures of the kids entertaining themselves that I wasn't able to upload last night. But first, a few pictures to show you what we've been dealing with the last couple days:

Yep, that says 6 degrees. That doesn't even take the windchill into consideration.

I don't think our total snowfall was actually all that much, but the wind made it drift quite a bit on our back deck.

Anyone want to sit on that rocker? :)

Raegan is super obsessed with putting on her hat and gloves right now.

Lots of chasing and running around games the last few days....

Raegan spent forever trying to wrap this dish towel around her. When she finally got it, she walked around the house forever with it on like a cape.

I started working on my February goals by going through my cookbook drawer. Raegan decided to help me.

"Let's make this recipe Mama!"

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stuck at home, but still having fun!

Looks like tomorrow is going to be Day Three of no school. I'm surprised to tell you the truth - Salina often has school when the surrounding area schools and even non-country schools in nearby counties close. I think that it's a good call though, because it's bitterly cold and the wind is causing snow to drift all over the roads and making it hard to drive. I have never been more thankful for my all wheel drive V8 SUV than I was today. My mother-in-law came over for a little while to watch the kids so that I could run over to my school to feed my classroom rabbit. I will say that it was nice to get out of the house and be by myself for a couple minutes.... ;)

Zane actually said this afternoon that he would be okay with going back to school tomorrow, since we really can't do much of anything anyways. There isn't any good snow to play in, and even if there was, the wind chill is in the negatives so going outside is pretty much out. Raegan and Zane have managed to keep their spirits up for the most part. Although this Mommy's spirits weren't exactly up when a certain little girl got up for the day at 6:30 this morning. Little stinker!

My original plan for this post was to post pictures of how the kids have been entertaining themselves over the last two days, but as usual Blogger is taking forever to upload photos, so instead you get a couple videos.

I was trying to get a video of Zane playing a song on his trumpet, to show you all how good he's getting. Didn't quite work out with Raegan there. She often sings along to Zane's playing, and it's pretty funny!

Zane's cousin Keenan came over later in the afternoon. Raegan seems to really wish that she was old enough to just join in with them. She starts making noises when she hears them making noises in this video. Originally she was trying to put her jacket on (which means she drapes it over her head or around her shoulders.)

Kids Say the Funniest Things

I'm going to go ahead and do the Writer's Workshop for this week today, since I'm at home thanks to ANOTHER SNOW DAY! :) Gotta love a four day weekend! So the prompt I chose for this week is:

3.) Describe the last thing that made you laugh really hard.
Last week we went to Kohl's. I had Kohl's cash plus a 30% off coupon, and Zane was desperately in need of new shoes. (We ended up getting him a nice pair of Nikes that were originally $65 but we paid $33 for - score!) As we were standing in line to check out, Zane was looking at his advertisement, something about how you could register to win a trip to L.A. He said, "I don't know if I would really want to go to Los Angeles, would you Shannon?" I said, "Well, yeah, a free trip is always good." He said, "Yeah, but I'm just not really into gambling." (Totally serious and thoughtful when he said this, btw.) It took me a second to figure out what in the world he was talking about, then it dawned on me. "Zane, gambling is in Las Vegas, not Los Angeles." Hahahahahaha, I'm giggling just typing out the story.

And since Zane was the last thing to make me laugh really hard, let me add another story about him. One morning, not that long ago, when Zane and I headed to his school to drop him off, there was a Nickleback song on the radio. As I pulled up to the curb at his school to let him out, he said, "Shannon, that song is full of metaphors and similes. I was just picking them out as he was singing." (Obviously this must be what they are studying in English right now.) Sometimes I feel a little bad laughing at him because he's being so darn serious, but he just says the funniest things sometimes.