So a few days ago, Mountain Man hopped in the car on a solo work-related road trip to Texas.
He has set out to deliver a suh-weet walnut bookcase to the University of Houston Law Center, that is being auctioned off at a Gala next week!
Me being alone with the kids for an extended period of time is not a new thing. In fact, as both of our businesses grow, we are both becoming more accustomed to “flying solo” for a few days at a time. And finding joy in the moments, wherever we can.
Before he left, however, we were able to squeeze in a quick little photo sesh of the bookcase, for his portfolio.
Isn’t he lucky to have access to a professional photographer any time he wants? 😉 I kid, I kid…but seriously.
Isn’t my Mountain Man talented? I’m allowed to brag on him because he’s mine…but his work speaks for itself. He doesn’t need me shamelessly plugging his business: D.K. Whitson Furniture. But I did it anyway.
Actually, the old me would have just taken that picture of the bookcase, and the tiny details that make it amazing, and left it at that. But I’ve got a dear friend who has taught and inspired me to think outside of the box when it comes to home decor. I used to be the “oh, it’s a bookcase so it should just hold books”, kinda gal. After Stephanie over at Style by Epoch got ahold of me, that all changed. I’m telling you, that girl is talented. If you’re local, you should definitely consider checking her out, and even going to one of her Styling Classes. Worth. Every. Penny.
Anyway…wow, I could medal in going off topic. Sheesh.
Shortly after Mountain Man left on his Texas-bound adventure, the kids began acting…more out of sorts than usual. It’s in moments like these, that I am thankful I have moved their playroom off the main floor of the house, and to the upstairs loft. While Little Miss T napped, I sent the boys upstairs to play, and after a while it got quiet. Too quiet. Which, if you’re a parent, can be a bit of a double edged sword. On one hand you are so beyond thankful that no one is screaming, or throwing a temper tantrum…but on the other hand. It’s quiet. And that usually spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E.
So you can imagine my surprise when, as I went to check things out, I come to find the Nugget playing quietly with his cars, and J-Man making his bed. What?! Not that I’m complaining, but…what?!
I snuck back downstairs so as not the rock the boat.
About 10 minutes later, J-Man runs down the stairs, begging me to come see his room. I went upstairs and as I walked into his room, he yells, “ta-da!”
He was so proud. And so was I. He had made his bed (stuffed animals tucked in, and everything), and there were no toys in sight. Color me impressed. All this, without a fight? I’ll take it. Then something clicked. I wanted to show him that I appreciated what he did without even being asked, but at the same time, teach a valuable lesson.
Give, Save, & Spend banks.
I’ve seen them on Pinterest. All fancy, and what not. But seriously? That’s not me. I’m not fancy. Like, at all. So I told J-Man that we were going to do a little project. I grabbed some of my old supplement bottles, a sharpie, a stencil and some craft paper.
We measured, cut, stenciled and taped. And in about 5 minutes, we were done!
Then I grabbed 3 dimes. I told J-Man than I was so proud of the hard work he put into cleaning his room, and that although we expect him to do that all the time, this was the first time we didn’t have to ask. Therefore, I wanted to reward him with .30 cents. He thought he was rich!
I placed the banks in front of him, and began explaining what each bank meant.
We talked about how important it was to save some money for when things come up that are out of our control, that requires money. I explained that mama and daddy do not have a never ending amount of money (as his little 5 year old brain believes), and that in order to take care of our family and our home, we had to learn to save some of our money. By saving, it not only allows us to do fun things together as a family, but to pay any unexpected bills that may come up. I’m not sure he understood, but he will one day. He doesn’t get to touch this money…as it accumulates, we will place it in his college or car fund.
This was his favorite one to talk about *sigh*… but we are human, and we all like to spend money from time to time. I reminded him about all of the times we are in the store and he sees a toy he really wants. I tell him that we don’t buy those things because we just don’t have extra money to spend on toys all the time. He gets bummed, of course, but I explained that by putting money into his SPEND bank, he can keep track of what he has to spend, and when he has enough, he can choose WHAT he spends it on. Be it a toy, new shoes, ice cream…it’s his choice. But once it’s gone, it’s gone, and he will have to start saving again for the next thing.
The most important one of all. And one that I am still learning, after all these years. I explained that all of the good things we have come from God. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
I want, more than anything, to instill God’s Word as truth in the lives of my kids. For them to know that in any life circumstance that arises, they can go to it, and read what it says, and glean wisdom from it.
I explained that because every good and wonderful thing we ever have, is because of God, we want and need to give back to Him. Not only as a sacrifice, or to say thank you, but to help build up God’s Church, and those He has called to serve in His ministry. I know this went right over his head, but sitting down with him and trying to explain it, has really helped me. I believe this will help keep me accountable with my own tithing as well. To show our children that we are following God’s commandments, and trusting that He will take care of us…even when we think we can’t “afford” to let that 10% (or more) go each month. If it weren’t for God, we wouldn’t have a house to live in, or a bed to sleep in. Without Him, we wouldn’t have clothes on our backs, or food in our bellies. God alone provides, and I want my children to know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that truth.
So I asked J-Man, how much he wanted to give to God, because we needed to do that first.
He picked up one dime, and dropped it in the GIVE bank. He followed suit with the other two banks as well, and we set them high on a shelf in my office. J-Man knows these are big kid banks, and not to be played with. This is a new and big responsibility for him, and I am excited to see what he will learn, and how he will grow from it.
In the meantime, we are going to be working on what will actually earn him more money to put in his banks. Sorry kid, brushing your teeth and picking up your playroom doesn’t count. 😉