Today is our first official summer weekday – school is over!
I’ve decided to keep track of all the special things we get to do – things that seem elusive in the pace of homeschooling life.
So this is really a bucket list in reverse. Cherishing those sweet, small, unexpected moments as they come.
Yesterday started my inspiration.
1. Worked on a puzzle with Hope. Everyone else was either napping or otherwise occupied – it was wonderful!
2. Played Candyland with Mckayla and Sophia. Two whole games! How long has it been since we’ve done that?
3. Watching Mckayla “read” Mayweigh for Ducklings to Zoe. (also known as Make Way for Ducklings to the non-three years olds of the world.) Zoe was more interested in the cereal Gracie was pouring, but it was incredibly sweet nonetheless.
Oh my goodness, how I love our Hopey. Her eyes twinkle when she talks about anything to do with this lemonade stand.
The first lemonade stand has come and went. It was fantastic.
I woke up Hope at 6:22am, which is approximately a very long time before she normally wakes up. By the time I was out of the shower and ready, she had woken up all her sisters (except Zoe, thank you!) and everyone was ready to go.
We open the door… and it’s raining. I think I may have stomped an internal foot or something. It can’t rain on the greatest lemonade stand ever. They had worked so hard! Hours and hours of making signs, baking, decorating cups with washi tape… we had to move forward.
We took everything out to the front porch and by the time we got it out the rain had lightened enough for us to move on out to the driveway. It was so exciting to be actually setting up!
Customers came right away; thankfully it was a steady stream not a rush. We quickly realized that the cookies were the most popular item – though honestly, who wants lemonade on a drizzly Saturday morning before eight o’clock? The lemonade became more popular as the morning went on.
The girls were so proud to tell people that one teenager liked the cookies so much he came back for seconds. = )
Sophia was invaluable for advertising. Every car that drove by was greeted with a rather loud and cheery, “Lemonade and cookies! Lemonade and cookies!” As soon as anyone would get out of the car at the neighbors yard sale she would yell again, “Lemonade and cookies! Lemonade and cookies!” Soon the other girls chimed in.
How long will they keep that up? I wondered. They’re going to be completely hoarse tomorrow!
They kept it up for several hours. It worked like a charm. = ) And no voices were lost in the process.
Gracie and Mckayla didn’t even need to pass out free samples. Business was great regardless. They stayed busy sampling for themselves. = )
At the end of the day, Hope made several dollars more than what she put into it. Also, the only supplies we will have to replace are the cookie mixes.
Bottom line – phase two should be almost all profit.
Speaking of phase two, I’ve emailed our local Chamber of Commerce for suggestions or guidelines on choosing locations for a lemonade stand. They haven’t responded and Hope is less than impressed.
I know this because as Paul and I were eating out on a date this week, he got a text from the family who was -so sweetly!- watching the girls. The text read, “Hope doesn’t think my son would want to be a part of the Chamber of Commerce.” We laughed to ourselves and figured the lemonade stand must have come up in conversation.
When we picked the girls up our friend explained that they were telling the girls about their sons and what they’re studying in college. When they mentioned that one was studying business Hope blurted out, “I’m sure he does NOT want to be in the Chamber of Commerce.” She hadn’t given an explanation so we told how them that she was a little peeved that these people (who are supposed to help businesses!) had not helped her out with her lemonade stand yet.
And that is where we stand. We are working on a location and date for the next lemonade stand.
Stay tuned! = )
(Oh, and there’s already a pre-order for cookies!)
Our daughter Hope has been planning and saving and dreaming of a lemonade stand for at least eight months. And it all begins this Saturday!
We had our first official business meeting today after months of brainstorming and waiting for warmer weather. We hope to do several throughout the summer so this will be a great test run for all of our ideas.
She’s so excited! She gave Mckayla the job of passing out free samples (we’re selling cookies, too) but gave her strict instructions that she could not eat all the samples!
I believe that Sophia and Gracie have also invested in the plan. Hope has been saving her money for so long and she has enough to buy all the supplies herself. As her mom, I know that failure or disappointment can be as valuable as success, but I really hope it goes well for her!!
So today we finalized decisions on the menu -lemonade and pink lemonade; oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip and sugar cookies- decided how we would garnish it, figured out what kind and size of cups we would serve it in, how we would make our display, and how we would get ready throughout the week.
Wednesday is shopping; Thursday is banner and menu sign day; and Friday is food prep.
After we shop we’ll make final decisions about prices and quantities to prepare.
Doesn’t this sound like fun??
It’s so sweet to see her eyes light up when we talk about it. As the oldest of a larger family she’s very sweet and patient to help and play with her sisters, but this is big girl stuff!
I’m going to do my best to take pictures and keep track of our progress here because I have a feeling this will be something to remember!!
Check back to see what happens with The Greatest Lemonade Stand Ever.
If you remember from last year, Farm Day was one of our favorite things. See here and here for last year’s pictures. The girls have been waiting all year and it was an officially marked day off of school.
Because of how many pictures there are, I will try to keep my comments to a minimum. All the girls did great with all the animals; no scaredy-cats this year. = ) And Mommy didn’t have to push Mckayla in the stroller – yay!
I hope you enjoy!
Yes, the bunnies sort of ran away from Mckayla. = )
Thanks for looking through all of these! I tried not to have too many of the backs of their heads. = ) I hope these are a blessing to all our dear family and friends who we don’t get to see often enough. We love you all!
Here they are! The lovely pictures of our sweet girls playing in the snow.
Sophia ran around like a crazy person doing everything you could imagine and more to play in the snow. Hope loved it and was quite a sport as well. They actually made lists that morning of all the things they wanted to do in the snow. = ) Gracie enjoyed it for about ten minutes; and Mckayla enjoyed it for about ten seconds. And those were the ten seconds it took for me to carry her down the stairs and set her down in the snow.
All in all, these are fantastic memories for us. When we came inside we gave the girls “coffee” which consisted of about one-tenth coffee, two-tenths sugar, and seven-tenths milk. They huddled around and drank it feeling very important. Paul’s great-grandmother used to make him coffee like that when he was little so it was a little sentimental for us as well.
A few days after that initial play, we went out again. Some very sweet neighbor boys gave the girls rides in their tub and snowboard down the hill. How fun! And we built the smallest snowman known to mankind.
I have a lot to do today. We have not been operating at full steam around here, but the chaos caused by daily life has kept clicking right along.
On the list would be to make more of a dent in the laundry, clean the bathrooms (gag), start thinking about a menu and grocery list for the week, and check the calendar to see when we’re scheduled to resume homeschooling.
We’re going to fellowship with some friends in the afternoon, so I almost began strategizing about how to accomplish my tasks by lunch.
But I want something about this New Year’s Day to be special for the girlies. My six and four-year-old are old enough to sort of understand the concept of “out with the old in with the new.”
So my idea is to ask them questions about last year, and see what their opinions/desires, even goals might be for the New Year.
You never know with kids; sometimes they’ll really surprise you.
Here are my ideas for questions:
*What was your favorite thing about last year?
*What was the worst thing that happened last year?
*What do you think you learned last year?
*What is one thing you really hope happens this year?
*What would you like to do more of this year?
*What part of obeying Daddy and Mommy do you think you should work on this year?
*How do you think you could be more loving to your family this year?
*How do you think we should try to help other people who don’t have as much as we do this year?
*What is something you would like to learn this year?
*Where is somewhere you would like to go this year?
*If you had a choice between Mommy reading to you more or teaching you music and piano more, which would you choose?
*What is one thing you want to work on this year?
*What would you like Mommy to do more of this year?
*What would you like Mommy to do less of this year?
*What do you want to pray for about this year?
This is a very rough, in-the-moment sketch; but I really want to try it!
Maybe this could be a sweet New Year’s Day tradition?
Here’s to resolving to spend time asking and listening in the morning!
I wake up early; have some quiet time to myself; exercise; and get completely ready. At this point (hopefully @7:30) I go in and wake up my children. Did I say their clothes were already out and waiting for them? They wake up, get dressed, make their beds, and come to me so I can fix their hair. We eat breakfast and clean it up. School commences at promptly anytime earlier than what it has been. Oh wait, I’m being idealisitc; school starts at 8:45. When school is done, we make sure everything is tidy from that and then go outside to exercise and play for an hour.
In case you don’t know this about me, what I just described is nothing like how our weekdays go.
But I have this idea.
Starting Monday, we have officially two full weeks of school until Christmas break. What if I just try to live my “ideal” for two weeks? Only two weeks! Can it really be that hard? And if it is…can’t I stick it out for just two weeks?
Now, in my defense, the last three weeks have been crazy and unusual. There is no way that we could have or should have tried or expected something like this to happen due to all that was happening.
Why do I even want to try this?
I know that change is better done gradually; I know have to be realistic about my life expectations with four little kids; I know the whole thing could be a colossal failure on day 2.
But it just occurred to me that I have this two-week window coming off of a very relaxing holiday break; and it might be a fun time to try.
I’m hoping for a couple of things:
1. To realize that some ideals are maybe more livable than we think if we just give it a chance. Sometimes it’s too easy to just trudge along and never actually try for anything better.
2. To get over my fear of waking my children up earlier, thinking that they won’t get enough sleep.
3. To force myself to get up earlier for the purpose of prayer and exercise, and to therefore go to bed earlier. (because if this girl doesn’t get enough sleep, she’s not gettin’ up; AND, we’ve been starting to do a lot better at this already!)
4. To bring some more structure to our homeschool routine.
5. To make more time for extra homeschool things with Hope and other activities/learning times for the little girls.
What do you think?
I just spent almost two hours cleaning up our homeschool space, organizing, and in general trying to prepare the house for a fresh start tomorrow.
And the whole point of hitting “publish” now is to make it a point of no return.
Don’t expect updates; hopefully, I’ll be in bed.
Completely unrelated: we got our Christmas tree tonight!!!!! Mmmmm…. the smell of Christmas tree could inspire me to do just about anything.
****A slight, but important amendment! I will post about how it’s going, but just on the facebook page to be faster. If you haven’t liked the facebook page, do it here so you can keep up!
Sometimes it just feels good to say “No,” and know that you’re choosing the right thing. I’d be dishonest if I acted like saying no to the blog recently was hard; it wasn’t.
My sweet and energetic four-year-old is just coming out of two and a half weeks of sickness. This has meant multiple wake-ups at night, juggling homeschooling and other energetic children, mental energy trying to figure out what was wrong, and feeling like a thermometer was strapped to my hand.
Our children have been so healthy that I had never dealt with anything like this before; it’s nothing compared to what others live daily, but for me it was quite a valley.
The choice to rejoice and give thanks or to complain and despair was magnified with every day. I could feel myself getting weaker and weaker, and yet I could sense the steady current of God’s strength growing more and more apparent. You never really know when a hard time is coming, but sometimes in the middle you realize an overwhelming comfort that is just normally not sensed.
I have to admit, yesterday after we finally found out was wrong (which was an easily treated infection, much better than things we had begun to worry about) my trust and faith bottomed out. Obviously, when there was now a really good reason to rejoice! I was tired of being tired, and too tired to care that I had chosen the poor-me route.
Unfortunately, I can’t even say that today has been a complete turnaround. Though I woke this morning from an incredible nights sleep to four healthy, happy children, things in my heart are still working themselves out.
So here is what I’m thankful for right now: (and I’m preparing to be very convicted)
~ my husband, who carries more responsibility than I can even comprehend; yet is so loving and patient and understanding with me
~ the mercy of God, that daily keeps me from being consumed
~ our American healthcare system; yes, even that. I’m embarrassed at how many times I was tempted to complain while being helped by such caring, personal professionals
~ friends who cared and asked about and prayed for Sophia
~ a church family I dearly miss when we have to stay home
~ music on my ipad that speaks of God’s sovereignty, greatness, and deep love
~ other little girls who were about the cutest nurses you could ask for
I’m thankful that for now it seems we are out of the woods with this hardship; thankful for the opportunity to be tested and shaped; and praying that my faith will continue to grow as God gives opportunity.
When I dressed Mckayla up and took her to the park for pictures, I imagined them coming out like Gracie’s. What was I thinking? I love these, though. They’re so her. = ) And it’s one of the things I want to do for birthdays!
Last week after a few days of Sophia begging me to take them the pool, I promised that we would go on Wednesday morning.
Tuesday night I had the inclination to check the weather. Sophia was so excited and I didn’t want her to be destroyed if something like rain ruined the plans. Well, the mean ol’ weather channel divulged the news that there were to be thunderstorms and rain ALL DAY! Boo-hoo!
I told Sophia that we probably couldn’t go to the pool in the morning and that we would try to go again the next day.
I did think about praying with her that God would help it not to rain, but 1, though I want my kids to know how deeply God loves them, I do not want them to think of him as existing for the sole purpose of meeting their demands; 2 , I didn’t want to have to explain God’s transcendent will if she prayed that it wouldn’t rain and it did; and 3, this was all extremely close to lights out at bedtime and I really just wanted them to go to bed. Great mom, I know.
Sure enough, we woke up early to rain.
I stayed in bed after Paul left and debated whether I wanted it to stop or not. Again, Captain Unselfishness.
The rain stopped just as the girls woke up. I had decided that if it stopped raining we would go.
Sophia bounded out of bed, checked out the window, and danced down the hall, “Mommy, I prayed last night that God would help it to not rain, and it’s not raining!”
Wow. I was very humbled.
First, that my little girl would think to pray on her own. Next, that God would hear and answer her prayer.
The girls joy and anticipation was catchy so we all ate breakfast and cleaned up in a hurry. We marched down the stairs and the big girls came up with a little cheer that the little girls even joined.
“We’re goin’ to the pool.” Clap, clap. “We’re goin’ to the pool.” Clap, clap.
Even though it was not raining, I still didn’t expect it to be that great of a day. It was very cloudy and the water would probably be cold as it had been cloudy and raining for days.
I was in for one more surprise.
When we got to the pool, the whole area was bathed with warm, wonderful sunshine. This blessing was more than I could take; now it was my turn to be excited, “Girls, God is so amazing! He didn’t just make it stop raining; He gave us sunshine!”
We had the most amazing time at the pool. Measured by such milestones as Gracie jumping in with me holding her hands; Mckayla asking for me to let go of her in the water so she could float just with her jacket, and Sophia swimming the length of the pool.
It was so humbling to sit there and talk about how we don’t deserve anything from God, yet how he blesses us in ways that are so personal.
Thank you, Lord, for answering Sophia’s prayer, for our pool, and for the sunshine that tells us every day of your glory.