Finer Things Friday: Mr. Turtle

Some parents can’t walk out of WalMart without buying their kids a trinket or the latest gizmo or gadget.  Me?  I’ll buy my children a few items… for birthdays, or Christmas, or Easter.  Guess I’m not 1) a pushover, and 2) easily suckered into frivolously spending our hard-earned money.  Plus, I’ll let you in on a little secret:  Kids don’t need stuff to be happy!

What am I a sucker for?  The occasional roadside turtle.

My 2yo and I spied this guy on the way home from our weekly drive to the farm for milk and eggs.  Talk about your frugal fun!  He was free.  He was interesting to look at and learn about.  He was entertaining.  And when he was done with us?  He climbed out of his box and walked away. No harm, no foul.  A simple, free surprise for a warm summer day.

The little things are the Finer Things!

What Finer Things are you celebrating this week? Link up and let us know!  Please use your permalink and leave a link back here.

1. Sugar & Spice Frugal Advice- Garage Sale Treasures
2. Why should you tell your life story? – Janna
3. HoosierHomemade{Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler}
4. {PARK VISIT} @ Tidy Nest
5. OLD FASHIONED BREAD ROLLS -a little bit of everything
6. Hannah @ Mulberry Spot (days at the park)
7. Master Bedroom Makeover
8. It Feels Like Chaos (just sayin’)
9. Simple effective paper frames, red ted
10. No Sew Bunting (Pennant), Red Ted
11. Trina@JoyAndContentment (Teaching Faith and Works)
12. Frugal Homemaking – My 5th Anniversary Surprise!
13. Tara @ Feels Like Home (princess castle cake)
14. Morristribe:Turtles,BirdEggs &Flowers
15. Books for Moms-to-Be –
16. Fun in the Pool @ Blessings Overflowing
17. Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet (New Family Member)
18. Praying for our Kids
19. Cranberry Morning – June Flowers
20. Studying the Word @ Like a Bubbling Brook
21. Allison @ Alli ‘n Son
22. Kitchen Stewardship – My 5yo Volunteers to Feed 85 Kids
23. Amy Lynne @ Mom*s Balance
24. Easy To Be Gluten Free – Chicken Nuggets
25. Em @ Average Radical (News!)
26. Greek Chicken & Feta Couscous
27. Shelley @ MAHM (2 Giveaways and Toilet Training Success)
28. CFM- Priorities
29. Lisa@BlessedwithGrace
30. Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies & Make Ahead Freezer to Oven Cookies!- Cynthia
31. Never-True Tales (Here’s looking at you, kid)
32. Angie’s Healthy Living (Vegetable Almond Stir Fry)
33. Homemade Fromage Blanc
34. Amy
35. Alicia’s Homemaking–Severe NESTING
36. Myra @ My Blessed Life (Buying Books Secondhand!)
37. staci @ teaching money to kids
38. Olivia@Of Such is the Kingdom (Homemade Gifts)
39. Multitasking Mama- some of my fave things
40. Chaya – Caribe Island Stir Fry
41. Comfy Cook – Apple Blueberry Nut Cake – Susie Fishbein
42. Celebrating Us
43. Rachel @ Frugal & Simple Living (What Matters)
44. Jamie (Eating Induced Narcolepsy)
45. DIY Father’s Day- BargainHoot

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  1. Hope you have a great weekend Amy! Thanks for the link-up opportunity!

  2. I had a few one day turtle pets. I agree, the best things in life are free.

    Fewer toys means they actually have to get creative with the toys they have and the imagination God gave them. It’s not even that I don’t want to spend the money sometimes it’s just that I really don’t think the toy will be any benefit to my daughter.

  3. What fun! I was just thinking today about summer coming and catching lightning bugs, it’s one of my favorite things to do!
    Thanks so much for hosting, as always!

  4. You definitely win the cool mom award for that one!

  5. My 2yrs old would have LOVED the turtle! How cool! Agree, free things are often best. He adores 6 medium sized stones we collected at the beach!!!

  6. How fun! I love how little kids stick “Mr” in front of it and call it good. 🙂 My son’s best buddy is “Mr. Penguin”.

    Amen on the not buying a bunch of little junk! And can I let you in on a little secret too? My kids never ask for anything in the store. Never. I think it’s because they’ve never come to expect it because I never buy it. Does that make me mean?? 😉

    • Not at all! Mine don’t ask, either. Well… the youngest asks for a snack, but that almost always comes straight from my purse.

  7. Fun! We had a box turtle walk through our yard about a week ago. Then, a few days later we stopped to help a different turtle cross the road. Your children will remember that turtle for a long time. Great memories can’t be bought.

  8. Oh, how cool! Definitely a neat surprise! I saw a skunk walking across the road the other day. Dd wouldn’t let me get out of the car and get it though. 😀

    Have a great day, Amy! Thank you for hosting this each week!

  9. I love turtles!! I had two little turtles when I was a kid. Each was about the size of a silver dollar (okay, you’re too young to remember what a silver dollar looked like. 🙂 Anyway, let’s say they were the size of an Oreo cookie. Yertle and Mertle. I kept them in a little turtlequarium on top of the piano. One day I came home from school to find an empty turtlequarium. After the great search, we found Yertle and Mertle R.I.P. behind the piano. :-((((

  10. So true! I was raised this way as well- and am trying to raise my son the same way. I remember growing up not understanding why I only had three pairs of jeans when my friends all had at least 10. It was the same story with so many things- dolls; snap-bracelets; bouncy balls and gumballs from the quarter machines; the list goes on. I remeber vowing that when I was a parent I wouldn’t freak out over a dollar here or there.

    But then I grew up.

    You’re so right- it is about the experiences- fireflys at dusk. Growing giant sunflowers. Going to the zoo. Going fishing; Going camping. Experiences build relationships and character- I don’t think snap bracelets can do that.

    • How about Silly Bandz? Can they do that? My boys insist they have to have these because “everyone else has them.” It has been a great lesson in “we don’t have to have everything everyone else has!” I hope this isn’t the one thing they remember when they’re grown though. “Hey, Mom, remember when you wouldn’t let us buy Silly Bandz!”

    • Snap bracelets end up in the trash way faster than precious memories made!

  11. LOVE IT! Living in Nova Scotia, we tend to come home with starfish, rock crabs and hermit crabs but they don’t walk away when we’re done with them. :o) So much better to learn about turtles in your own yard than in a book!

  12. Such a cute story!! My daughter would love a turtle!

    My children do not get toys either everytime we enter a store that sells them. I will buy toys for birthdays and Christmas and will occasionally reward them throughout the year for something they did that was exceptional. But that is usually it! Now the Grandmas…well, that is a whole other story! My weakness is books…I buy my kids tons of books! 🙂

  13. It is so wise not to give in to the “gimme, gimme’s” as I call them. A turtle is way better than a cheap toy anyways =)

    • Guess I try to look into the future. I’m thinking the “gimme’s” would get more expensive as the kids get older???? 😉

  14. I want to find a turtle! My son loves to play with worms and keep them as pets!

    • Maybe you could set up a worm bin to make compost for your garden? They’re really easy to make and maintain – and the worms are not expensive. You can order them on-line. Look for red-wrigglers (the worms you find in the yard won’t work – they tunnel down, you need worms that tunnel across if you’re going to keep them in a bin for long). You can find directions using a Rubbermaid container on-line.

  15. I am glad to have found you.

  16. hippie4ever says:

    We rescued many turtles crossing the road as youngsters, and even superglued and duck taped a ‘hit’ turtle back together…imprisoned him in the backyard for a month,then released him…he survived! We saw him around for many more years.

    But take care, turtles can carry Salmonella, dangerous for young children and well anyone.

  17. We found a baby Alligator Snapping Turtle when we were kids and had a lot of fun learning about him…and since they eat meat, we fed him bologna. 🙂

  18. That is so sweet!

  19. If I think back to what I remember from my childhood, there are very few toys on the list – a couple, yes, but not many. I remember popcorn and hot chocolate waiting for me after a long, cold walk home from school. I remember long days at the pool. I remember reading books with my Mom, lots and lots of books. I remember playing outside with friends from morning til sunset. And like one of your other readers, I remember catching lightening bugs – and letting them go the same night (they only live a couple of weeks once they’ve turned into the little flying bugs – and only the males fly).

    I had one friend I LOVED to go shopping with because she threw a temper tantrum for one thing or another EVERY trip – and I’d always get something, too. Of course, I knew better than to try that with MY parents! Funny thing, half the time, I’d end up getting the clothes she HAD to have as hand-me-downs with tags still on them. She didn’t really want those things, it was just the sort of relationship she had developed with her parents. It was how they communicated.

    • I was on a field trip with my daughter recently. Witnessed a little boy (from another school) talk his mom into buying a $5 plastic snake for him AND ONE FOR ALL HIS FRIENDS! Could not believe it.

  20. One more thing. I do not want to rain on anyone’s parade, but since so many readers have commented on the “fun” of finding and perhaps keeping a box turtle. I wanted to caution against finding box turtles and taking them home. I remembered hearing long ago that they would try to return to their original home and so I did a search on-line and found a couple of articles that reiterated this. Here’s what Wikipedia had to say:

    Most turtle and tortoise societies recommend against box turtles as pets for small children. Box turtles are easily stressed by overhandling and require more care than is generally thought. Box turtles can be easily injured by dogs and cats so special care must be taken to protect them from household pets and neighborhood animals. Box turtles require an outdoor enclosure, consistent exposure to the sun and a varied diet. Without these, a turtle’s growth can be stunted and its immune system weakened.

    Finding box turtles in the wild and taking them as pets, even for a very short period of time, can have detrimental effects. Box turtles want to stay within the same area where they were born. If one is moved more than a half-mile from its territory, it may never find its way back; but may spend years unsystematically searching. This exposes the animal to danger and also disrupts the breeding cycle.

    Again, not judging at all! I just wanted to make sure this information was passed on so that everyone can make their own informed decision if they should happen upon a turtle at some point this summer.

  21. This reminds me of my childhood!! I’m trying to remember how much fun it is for kids to discover new little critters, because I have a feeling I’m going to freak out a little the first time I see my daughter pick up a toad or let a caterpillar crawl on her finger…I’m not sure what happened to me, but all of a sudden I’m a little squeamish about all of these animals and bugs!! Help, I became a boring grown up…I need an intervention!! 🙂

    • It was ALL I could do to pick up that turtle, let me tell ya. What is with us getting all “icked out” as adults?!

  22. Amen! Thank you for the reminder. I’m often tempted to buy something for the little ones – after all, it’s ‘only’ a dollar or a quarter. But the cost isn’t the point. What am I teaching them? Thanks again!

    • You’re exactly right. The cost is irrelevant. Children shouldn’t be taught to “expect” something from the store all the time.

  23. Hi, Sorry it took so long to link up but you are linked up to my two blogs, now.

  24. That looks like a lot of fun for a day. This Spring we got the joy of caring for wild baby bunnies as they needed help after an accident. It was so fun for us!


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