November 26, 2014

Gratitude and Giving

At the beginning of the month we noticed that June was getting sucked in to the Christmas marketing machine.  She spent a lot of time talking about all the things she wanted for Christmas.  It left a sour taste in our mouths.  So we focused on building a culture of gratitude and giving in our family this month...and all the time.

We started off by creating a gratitude garland.  June helped glue the letters together.  Next she decorated the envelopes where we stored supplies and helped to cut out leaves.  Then we started a routine at the dinner table.  Each of us would each share something we were grateful for and write it on a leaf to hang on the garland.  

Some of the things June said she was grateful for:
- "friends coming over"
- "Mama Teriann!  Grateful for playing and singing"
- "thank you for making dinner and for mommy giving kiss, hug, and singing and dancing with me."
- "Scout.  She loves me."
- "Reading the story and taking me to bed."

June had the opportunity to gave thanks for her two Grandpas as we celebrated their birthdays this month.

Riding with Grandpa T and her cousins in the Burlington Veterans Day parade gave us the opportunity to have conversations about thanking people for their service.  And - look who was featured in the Skagit Valley Herald!

June had a lot of fun creating "thank you turkeys" which she took to her teachers, and mailed to family who she wouldn't see on Thanksgiving.  I showed her how to do it one time, and after that it was all her own doing.  

The school district food drive provided the chance to involve June in giving to others who don't have all the privileges she does. We talked about helping people as she picked out her donations and decorated the bag.

June helped make berry pie for our Thanksgiving day at Aunt Heidi's house.  We started this tradition last year in honor of Diane.  While we baked, Teriann and I talked about all our moms and Grandmas and how each year they gave so much to create an amazing meal for our families.  June is part of their legacy.

I felt like our efforts paid off when out of the blue this week June said, "Mama, know what I am grateful for?  I'm grateful for you!  And for Mommy Teriann, and Maggie, and Scout." 

Happy Thanksgiving!