Financial security and other mini-vacation lessons

We took a mini-vacation this past weekend because Matt has about two weeks off of school in between semesters.  I found a great hotel deal online, which simply required us to participate in a 90-minute time-share sales pitch,* and came with free food vouchers and everything.  So we packed up the kids, a few bags of clothes, and a variety of road trip entertainment items (read: DVD player, Leapster, junk food, and a pile of library books).  Before we left to come home this morning, I made the mistake of looking at some Webkins at a store.  This, to Grant and Clark, was a bona-fide contractual offer that a Webkinz purchase was in our near future.  Grant could not understand why the purchase was not made, and spent most of the trip home speculating about when we would go to a local store and pick up the Webkinz that I had cruelly and carelessly forgotten to purchase this morning.  I told him we’d take a look at the bank account when we got home and see about the possibility.

He immediately corralled me to the office upon arriving home.  I had transferred a vacation budget into my checking account right before we left town.  I didn’t do a great job of keeping track of spending, so I cringed a little when I looked it up.

“Uh oh, Grant, we have a problem.”


“Well, it says here that my bank account has -$18.73.”

“Is that enough for a Webkinz?”

“Um, no.  It means I have $18.00 below zero.
(Long pause.)
“Don’t worry, mom.  I know where we have thousands and thousands of dollars.”
He ran across the room and came back with this:
DSCF2027Wow.  If only I had known, we could have vacationed in New Zealand.  Just leave it to a six-year-old to solve all your problems.  Verdict: Chores for Webkinz.  Hopefully, he won’t get done until the next payday.

On Sunday, we met up with my good friend Molly and her family.  I’m stealing pictures of Grant, Clark, and Natalie from her blog because she’s one of those moms who actually thinks to bring along a camera when her family has a little outing.  It was great to see her.  She’s on my top-ten cool list.
p.s.  Indoor water parks are really fun, but they have way too many stairs for out-of-shape people, especially the adult variety that are forced to carry all their children’s inner-tubes over and over and over again.
p.p.s.  Even if you look over your things 7 million times, you will always leave something behind in your vacation locale, like a portable DVD player power cord that is still plugged into the wall behind the dresser, and the library book that is still in a booth at the local Pizza Pub.

*Those people who do time-share pitches are tricky, tricky, tricky.  If Matt had his way, we would now be the proud owners of 40-years-worth of tropical vacations and an Alaskan helicopter skiing package.  Since I am only slightly more disciplined, and withstood their amazing deals and plummeting prices, for four– yes, FOUR– hours, we are instead only the proud owners of a pre-purchased vacation to Disney World that we had already planned on making when Matt graduates in the spring.  Call me a sucker if you will.

p.p.p.s.  If you are a careless packer, you might have to use your husband’s deodorant, and it’s a weird, unpleasant kind of feeling when you find yourself smelling manly.
p.p.p.p.s.  That Excedrin Tension Headache really works.
The end.
(I have just a few more Women’s Conference classes to review over the next several days, so watch for those, and then we’re back to our regularly scheduled . . . um, stuff.)