Yesterday was my son's 4th birthday. so I'm taking all the photo space I want today. :) Ok, so this is really just so I don't have to email all these pictures to my mom. It takes so much longer to do that. Or maybe it's just more boring. Well, whatever it is, I'm doing it this way!
I wasn't feeling very well yesterday so I wasn't able to take Keaton anywhere fun. I was pretty bummed because I really wanted to take him to the Children's Museum, but considering my youngest is finally starting to get over whatever she had last week, I thought that would have been a bad idea all around. Of course, Keaton didn't know any different! He enjoyed the day with his sisters, as he always does, and had a fun time out in the snow with Daddy when he got home. They built their second snowman yesterday and did a little bit of sledding on the hill in our backyard. There sure is something nice about having your own hill. I remember dragging our sleds/tubes into the car, to the hill, and then back in the car (wet with snow!) when I was a kid. Our kids just don't know how good they have it. Access to a hill every day? I mean, seriously! But back to the topic at hand....
After sledding and snowman-making, we ordered some pizza, he opened his present, and we ate cake. It was a nice, simple evening with the family. When we got upstairs, we surprised him with his very own bedroom. (All three kids have been sharing for...forever.) His bed is not quite completed yet (ok, so it's barely started), but he was excited to have the new "futon bed" which someone from church gave us. It will eventually be the extra bed/couch in his room, but for now, it's his BED bed. :)
The day was nice and Keaton was very grateful for his pizza, his cake, and his new shoes, but my favorite part of the day was when Keaton opened his card from his great-grandparents. They are so sweet and never fail to send each child a $20 bill for each of their birthdays. Until this year, we've always just set the money aside and used for something he needed, but this year, since Keaton is learning more about money now, I thought it would be fun to just let him open it and then later we would take him to the store to buy whatever he'd like. I've been thinking about starting an commission-based allowance with him anyway and teaching him how to save, give, and spend his money, but I haven't gotten around to doing that yet. The main reason is because when we get to church each Sunday, he and Sienna beg for money to put into the little jar in the Sunday School area and I just don't think it teaches them anything for us to hand them nickles and dimes each week.
He opened the envelope and we read the front of the card. When we opened it and he spotted the money, he immediately exclaimed, "MONEY!" as any small child would. But my eyes nearly welled with tears upon his next exclamation. "Hey, maybe I could put this in the thing at church next time!" he said with a huge grin on his face.
I can't even begin to tell you how thankful I am that my son has such a giving heart. He never thought for a moment about what he might buy with the money. He just wanted to bring it to church and put it in the little Sunday School jar to share with others.
Gratefulness is something that is seriously lacking in our culture, and giving is something that is lacking even more. I realize our economy is not at its peak right now, but that doesn't mean that we should cut out either or these things from our lives.
As I was writing this post, I just thought that I may do a series on teaching your children how to manage money. I already have a pretty good idea of what I plan to write, but I always appreciate the wisdom of those who have been parents longer than me. :) So, since I'm thinking of it, please leave any comments or suggestions you may have on that topic in the comments section below.
And finally, you're wondering where the pictures are, aren't you? Well, here you go. A simple birthday for a very grateful boy!