Thursday, March 26, 2009

Best Twenty Bucks I Ever Spent

I know, it may not be the best picture, but trust me, this was the best twenty bucks I ever spent.

At a consignment store, one day, I saw a K'nex roller coaster kit, and a huge plastic tub of random K'nex pieces. They must've just been brought in because they weren't priced.

"How much?"

"Twenty bucks."

"For the kit or the tub?"

"Uh... for both."

Yeah. I hit the jackpot.

It's a little rainy here, in the PNW. The boys will spend hours and hours with toys like this, or Legos, or Lincoln Logs.

Not only were all the pieces and the instructions there, both of the motors (the big orange units) work, zinging the little roller-coaster car in endless loops around the track.

Oh, blessed peace and quiet in the house!

Who says you can't buy happiness?!


Doug Hibbard said...

Oh wow. That is a great $20 spent!

A few years ago, Kroger had carried Legos in their 'Winter non-religious holiday items' section. One Kroger then discounted all items in that section on Dec. 26 by 75%. So I got 3 huge tubs of Legos for $7.99 each. Which has sustained us and provides enough Legos and Duplos for all 3 kids at one time.

God sometimes blesses through bargains, doesn't He?

Julie said...

Woo-hoo! He sure does!

The Squirrel said...

The boys all look like they're having a great time together. I had two older sisters growning up, & nobody to play with, guy-wise.

I remember hours spent with legos & erecter sets & tinker toys, just building and imagining!

(Actually, I still have two older sisters... and they still don't play with me... Funny, they have 3 boys & 4 boys, respectively. I've got the only girl. And some say God doesn't have a since of humor!)

The Squirrel

(Wondering when Legos got so expensive)

Julie said...

God sure DOES have a sense of humor! I can't tell you how thrilled I was that he sent me - without a girly-girl bone in my body - three boys to parent.

Then He laughed right out loud and sent me a girl for almost a year. A little two-year old princess. But that's a story for another day.

Y'know what's sad...

Not only are Legos expensive, (and my kids LOVE them), but the Lego company has really changed their marketing and packaging.

They've found that kids don't play like they used to. In general, kids' time is much more structured than it was when we were growing up, and they don't have nearly as much free undirected play time.

(Not enough, if you ask me, which nobody did.)

And when they get it, they don't know what to do with it.

Walk down the Lego aisle. Yes, you can buy all-purpose tubs of Legos, (and on sale - way to go Doug!), but they're usually at the end of a long line of kits. And the kits are often tied in with movies or TV shows. Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman, SpongeBob Square Pants, etc.

I have to confess that we do have several kits. The boys love 'em. But after they build them once or twice, they tend to mix and match it all together.

On the one hand, that drives my orderly mind a little bit batty, but on the other hand, I would rather they played that way. :o)

The Squirrel said...

Yeah, you buy the kits for the specialty parts you can't get in the tubs, then design your own space ships, castles, whatnot!

I know what you mean about unstructured time. I didn't have organized team sports until 8 or 9; and being the only boy, my imagination was my best friend! I miss those empty afternoons after school, and lazy summer days when I could take off on my bike with a, "Be home for dinner," from my mom.

The Squirrel

Julie said...

Oh yeah, you're so right about the special pieces! The boys 'hoard' them and trade them.

I try to guard their time from being too structured. Homeschooling helps with that because, though our school time is structured, it just doesn't take as much time. And no 'home work'. :0)

In fact, we're usually in the throes of Spring Soccer right now, but decided to sit this season out. Partly for financial reasons, but partly because I was just dreading trying to get them all to 6-7 practices a week and 3 games every Saturday.

At least when we do play it's a limited season. Eight weeks of mayhem and then it's done. And it's still exhausting.

I can't imagine doing it on top of 7 hours a day at school. Leaves no time to breathe... to just BE.

Deborah said...

I love deals like this!! I once got Bub a pile of Brio train track and trains at a garage sale for $2!! I payed and ran. I was afraid they would see my glee and change their minds.

I also love that homeschooling provides so much more time for free play. I love listening to the games the four kids will invent.

Totally off topic? Is that your boy's room? I think you've said before that they all share a room. My three girls all share a room too. I like it -- most days.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Yep, that's their bedroom and they all share.

I've been thinking about posting some pics from inside the house in the future, so you'll get another peek. :0)

leah said...

What a find! I can't believe you found a complete set of K'Nex for $20. You hit the jackpot!

My boys are big Duplo fans- I can't wait to move up to "big boy" legos.