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Gwen has been poring over her American Girl magazine trying to figure out how to spend her money. She has been through many different scenarios. It has been good for her to see how far her dollar goes in the American Girl world.

Any time she asked our opinion on what she should buy, I told her she would change her mind as soon as she walked in the store. I had a feeling that the store would have items not shown in the magazine and vice versa. I was right.

As much as the kids were looking forward to spending their money on Friday, Heath and I were looking forward to Café Rio for lunch. We heart Café Rio. It may be the only thing I bring to the relationship but he forgives me because he loves it too!

Rather than separate into teams, boys vs. girls, we decided to shop together. I have to give mad props to Gwen. She was excited to enter the American Girl store again but she held her cool. She was a little woman on a mission. She wandered seemingly aimlessly at first trying to get her bearings. We asked her what she really wanted before she could get completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of choices. She said she wanted a dog leash.

We found the case of pets and headed over there. She looked at her choices for leashes and chose a rainbow colored one. I was ready to tell her she could buy a dog if she wanted. The smell of endless possibilities must have gotten to me already! Luckily I kept my mouth shut. She wanted a dress in her size. We found the right one and I pointed out that only the doll dresses were on sale. Gwen wasn’t ready to part with that much of her money on a dress so she put it back.

When she got stuck and awestruck again we suggested she look at the Lea accessories. Lea is the Girl of the Year doll for 2016. She will no longer be sold. Gwen loves Lea because she identifies with Lea’s story. She’s adventurous, outdoorsy, brave, and loves animals. You should have seen Gwen’s face when we told her that she could assign any backstory or any characteristics to McKenzie. Shock quickly followed by twinkly imagination. Gwen liked the idea of buying Lea’s accessories for McKenzie and ended up getting some great stuff.


Here is Gwen and McKenzie with the new stuff Gwen bought. A Lea movie, a book to complete Gwen’s set (she has the others on her Kindle already), the dog leash that fits Waffles perfectly (she got her last year at school when the Humane Society visited her classroom), a sloth, and a Lea accessory pack including passport, photos, National Geographic magazine (all doll sized), a braided headband, bracelet with turtle charm, and a camera.

Parker’s turn was next. He didn’t get any cash for Christmas but he had been saving his allowance money. I was impressed with his reasoning skills as well. The Lego store didn’t have the Lego Dimensions expansion pack he wanted so we tried Game Stop. No luck there either. He couldn’t find any Funko Pop characters he wanted so we went back to the Lego store.


He chose the Batmobile. Because he spent enough money he was able to get a mini batwing for free. Both Gwen and Parker spent all their money. Gwen didn’t have the cash to cover the amount owed over the gift card. I helped her out with my cash. Heath said he forgot to get cash to pay the kids their allowance. He had enough for the boys but not Gwen. He assured me that she spent all her January allowance but no more. She is not in debt to us. Parker miscalculated tax and was short 87 cents. Heath helped him out.


Gavin used the money Grandma Sharon and Grandpa Steve gave him for workout clothes. There was one day that I used all the right words for him to understand me. Somehow he finally understood that it would be a good thing to have some pants and a jacket to wear over his uniform ONLY WHEN HE WAS BETWEEN RACES. I told him to run in his shorts and tank top but while he waited he should keep his muscles warm by dressing for the weather. He agreed. He also chose a new pair of shorts to practice in.


This is what Gwen got with the money Grandma Sharon and Grandpa Steve gave her. Gwen wanted a play dress really bad. She has grown out of all her dresses and most of her skirts and has been wearing jeans to school nearly every day. That’s like telling a person they can only breathe through a straw. Gwen lives for dresses and skirts. My mom asked what size Gwen was so she could buy a dress. I was concerned because we usually buy dresses much larger than she needs so we can get the length. I asked for the cash instead and that way I could just make something. I have fabric for one more dress but this was as far as my patience went before Christmas. I need to get pictures of Gavin in his new pajama shorts. It’s a little comical.


In the meantime, Heath has been working on our latest cabinet/shelf project.


It’s looking good! Heath got it to the point that Gavin could play the Xbox again. Everyone is playing Gavin’s new video game that finally arrived yesterday. It’s soccer with cars and it’s really fun. We also got the game my sister and her husband sent for Christmas. We will be trying that out tonight as we ring in the New Year with New York. Church starts at 9:00 am tomorrow so we really don’t need to see midnight this time.