Monday, November 20, 2017

Being Thankful and Sharing

The month of November is always a big month about sharing, caring, giving and mostly being Thankful for what we have.  If we have a thankful attitude we are more successful and have a more positive attitude because we appreciate what we have instead of only wanting more, more, more.  

We have been collecting non-perishable food the past couple of weeks as the children brought some in and I found BOGOs at my favorite grocery stores.  So today we brought our collection of 31 lbs of can food and boxed items to the Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Tent to share with others.  We usually bring 50 lbs or more when we go but it has been difficult with also donating turkeys and filing Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes in the past two weeks also.  We don't want to make it hard on anyone, so I'm just so excited that most contributed in some way or another. However, they do have an increased need this year for meals for Thanksgiving so if anyone would like to contribute directly to Metropolitan Ministries which feeds the Tampa Bay area I received this in an email: 

Please drop off gravy, rice, and boxed dessert mixes at the Metropolitan Ministries Holiday Tent or purchase them at our online store.

We also talked about being thankful, and what things we could be thankful for.  We made thankful apple baskets to bring home as a reminder of things we can be thankful for.  Each child either dictated what they were thankful for, or they wrote the words themselves. 
Most of the children said Mom, Dad, Sisters or Brothers, maybe Pets or House, a few said Friends or All Their Friends, and a few said Toys.  That's what a preschooler's world is all about, things that they are familiar with.  Yes, those things are predictable, but isn't that where being thankful starts?

Try writing down all the things you are thankful for today and share them at dinner tonight.  Model for your children how many things we are blessed with and can/should be thankful for.  We can even be thankful in the tough situations because it builds character and makes us stronger.  What a great lesson in persevering through the tough things (not giving up) than to hear from a parent how they are thankful for that tough day they had.  How easy it is for us to complain about out day, when we could model being thankful instead.  If nothing else, thankful we made it through the day and are finally done. 😁

Another way we can model being thankful is thanking the servers that help us, the cashier who rings you up, the person that holds the door, etc.  I'm sure you can think of a few yourself.  Not just saying "thanks" as you walk on, but making eye contact, pause and say something like "thank you for the great job you do", or "thank you for being so attentive as you serve us", or "thanks for pausing to hold the door".  Doesn't it fill your bucket when someone takes the time to really thank you?

One way that the children here are showing they can fill a bucket is being a Super Friend.  When they are caught being a Super Friend - helping a friend, playing nicely with someone, sharing happily, letting someone else have a turn first, etc., we add a chain to our Super Friend or Helping Hands chain.  When our chain reaches the floor they can all have a cookie.  It is getting close and they are getting excited!  I saw many Super Friends today!!

Our books today were about being thankful, Thanksgiving, and a little "potty" book since we have some beginning potty trainers. The book "Baditude!" is about switching your mood from bad to being grateful or thankful.  A great look at how our attitude can affect having a good day, or a bad day.  We can choose what kind of attitude to have!  Choices are great!

The weather warmed up enough that we enjoyed about an hour outside before lunch.  We were a few minutes late getting to lunch, but they really were getting along well.  They played soccer with those bigger kids - K & R, and C, and they also enjoyed working in the sandbox measuring, scooping, and using the sand mills.  They also worked together to fly the airplane teeter totter, they climbed on climbers and slid down, and of course the perpetual favorite - the mud kitchen (which often has flowers in the mixing bowl 😊)  After we cleaned up the play yard and were about to go in, one of the children came up and very sweetly said "can we go on a nature hunt" with a stick in his hand.  He wanted to make some "nature art".  So of course we took the time to look for some colorful and not so colorful leaves to add to a small stick to make "nature art".  I'm so thankful that they are learning to love nature.  God has blessed us with many beautiful trees which mostly drop brown leaves, yet we have a tiny taste of northern fall with the Virginia Creeper vines that are here.  I'm very thankful for that little hint of color. 😍

After a healthy lunch, it was rest time.  Very peaceful around here during that time.  Everyone was worn out.  I wonder if they dreamed about being thankful.

Menu today:  BREAKFAST:  Multigrain Cheerios, Bananas, Milk
LUNCH:  Chicken (choice of light or dark meat), Lettuce/Spinach/Tomato Salad, Green Beans, Whole Wheat Bread, Milk
SNACK:  String Cheese, Cucumber Slices

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