Friday, December 3, 2010

Calling and Christmas gifts

It pays to call.

We have a couple of different places where we keep money. We keep most of it in ING but use a checking account through a credit union. The dude woke up this morning and checked our account. There was a $159 check that had tried to go through, and we didn't have that much in the account, so it bounced and we were charged $25. The dude called the credit union to find out what the charge was. It was from a carpet cleaning we had done in July! He told the banker that he was transferring money over but it would take until Tuesday to make it. She pulled the check back and will hold on to it until then. She also took off the $25 charge.

Also, the boys have spent the evening playing with a new toy I found at Salvation Army. It is like this: but with 500 pieces. Same brand, same set up. We paid $4.50 for it! It is awesome.

I have also located the 47 cent back room at my local thrift shop. I found pants for the boys, pants for me, a cute shirt that still had its $35 store tag on it. All for 47 cents each! We also found cross country skis for $6 per pair. Still need boots and poles.

One great thing about living in a small town is that there isn't a lot to spend money on!

But the thing right now is the looming holiday of gift giving. I am trying to come up with inexpensive fun gift ideas for the boys. I would love to make them kits. We are buying them things as well, but I want to fill in with low cost things! Not coming up with much. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! So many of the homemade gift ideas seem geared toward adults, it is hard to find info on middle age kids.

The oldest is almost 14 and into: sci-fi, reading, writing screenplays, sketching, comic books and graphic novels, steam punk, and wants to get into building models (specifically airships)

The middle one is 12: Manga, comic book superheroes, building things, robots, computers(playing and programming), music, cooking, movies, legos

The youngest is 9: Building things, drawing (his passion), legos, baking, sewing, Barbies, animals, nature, math, chemistry, physics.

Any ideas?


  1. Sounds like they all need some drawing materials! Maybe you can find "how to draw manga" or other articles online, and print them out and bind them at home (book binding tips found online-it's not that hard) along with some sketch papter and a nice peice of fabric for a cover? There are all sorts of online guides to making journals.

    Maybe you could find some old gears and parts at a rummage sale, that they could make into a robot or something steampunk?

    I don't really know, I am totally bad at kid gifts. If I think of anything else I'll let you know!

  2. My 12yo is totally into building things, and would be (not kidding, but maybe this is just my weird kid) totally thrilled with a bunch of cardboard boxes, duct tape, regular tape, string, and maybe some odds and ends like markers or clothespins. Last year my boss asked if my kids would like the old client folders (made from a heavy weight paper, like a pee-chee) and kid made a model of the castle from one of his dad's video games!

  3. Thanks for the ideas. Keep them coming. I wanted to let people know that I won't be commenting on any of these, because I have some young family members who subscribe to this blog and I don't want to give anything away. :)