On Friday, my husband and I took the day off from work to volunteer for Junior Achievement Day at our son's school. (Junior Achievement is a national non-profit organization that teaches business, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy to children in grades K - 12.) When I learned that our school's PTO was looking for volunteers to come into the classroom, I immediately signed us up! Fortunate for us, we were the only parents to sign up for my son's class, and so we had the pleasure to teach little Lewie and his classmates!
The first-grade Junior Achievement theme was "JA Our Families," and so we taught lessons about family, community, needs vs. wants, goods vs. services, and entrepreneurship. During the final exercise, the children had to work in teams to design their own birthday cake store. They had to answer questions such as, What will you name the store, and how much money will you charge for your birthday cakes? It was interesting to hear their responses; Lewie's team called themselves "The Big Cake Shop" and they decided to charge $5 per cake. Another team called themselves, "The Best Cake Shop Ever" and would charge $40 per cake.
After spending the morning in the classroom, all the JA volunteers were then treated to lunch and dismissed for the day. My husband went off to work, but I promised Lewie I would sign him out early, so we could spend the rest of the day together. It was a beautiful November afternoon, so we went for a hike. For the first time ever, my son completed the hour-long hike without a single complaint of being tired, and we had an amazing time talking to each other about school, the upcoming holidays, and, of course, Minecraft! (Here are a few pictures I snapped with my phone.)
On this particular day, I felt nothing but gratitude. How could I not? First, I had a chance to spend time in Little Lewie's classroom where I had the pleasure of getting to know his teacher and his little friends better. (Two of his little friends gave me their own blue crayons after the presentation because they remembered blue was my favorite color. One little boy, Brody, even gave my husband and me a very big hug before leaving for lunch. It was heartwarming to see how sweet all of Little Lewie's classmates were; they are so precious and loving at this age.) Second, I had a chance to take this amazing walk with my seven year-old and share my love of nature with him. Our family is healthy, happy, and safe. What more can I ask for?
I love this time of year because it reminds us to be thankful. It reminds us to focus our attention on the incredible gifts we have instead of concentrating on what we don't have. My cup is more than half full; it's overflowing.