I believe, as parents, we all desire certain things for our children. We desire happiness for them and good health. We pray that they will have discernment and that they will be wise, and then we pray for their safety for those times when they aren’t so wise.
We hope they will feel loved by us, and others, and most importantly by their Father in Heaven.
We want them to find friends, good friends, that will strengthen them and make them better.
We raise them to have roots, deep roots that will ground them and secure them when the winds of adversity blow, but also raise them to have wings that will allow them to take flight and soar high above the pull of the world.
We work diligently to teach them, and guide them, and help them grow in stature and spirit. We work hard, hoping we aren’t messing them up too badly, as we work to grow good kids, happy kids, healthy kids, strong kids, righteous kids, respectful kids, kind kids.
We struggle to find the balance as we affirm them in hopes of growing secure, confident children without indulging them to the point of handicapping them with the chains of entitlement.
We want our children to be bold in their faith, beliefs, and convictions, but kind and loving to all.
We pray that our sons and daughters know their value as a child of God, but humbly recognize all that they are and all that they have comes from God…not from them.
We want to raise children who are aware of all that exists outside themselves and whose hearts burn with a desire to touch the world… and change the world… and make it a better place.
We hope our sons will develop into gentlemen and our daughter into ladies, with all the lovely attributes those titles inspire.
We want our children to think of others, not because they have to, or because their parents said to, but because they have discovered for themselves the joy that comes from being a blessing to others, from living outside one’s own self focus, and from the practice of observing the needs that exist around them and working to meet those needs.
We want our children to understand that so many of the attributes the world holds up as a measure of worth and a standard of a well lived life (wealth, power, appearance, wit, status, etc.) are fleeting, but doing good, and being kind, and loving others…well, those attributes never lose their shine. Those attributes are the real deal. They are the real measure of a well lived life…of a happy life.
We are blessed to be part of a co-op that shares a similar philosophy.
In addition to the many other benefits we gain from being part of this cooperative learning group (friends, support, traditional school experiences, holiday celebrations and enriching field trips) the kids also have the opportunity to serve.
Each month our co-op takes on a service project, giving the students the opportunity to discover the joy of serving others. One of the favorite service projects for the year is our annual bake sale in which the money raised is donated to the Make-A-Wish foundation. This is a charity close to our co-op’s heart due to two of our co-op families having received a wish granted by this amazing charity.
The co-op kids take ownership of this service project by making treats to sale, as well as by breaking into their own piggy banks to have the funds needed to support this charity by buying treats…and eating them, of course! The kids love this annual event!
Each of my kids knew they wanted to make something to donate to the bake sale, but I knew that Tuesday was going to be busy with five different appointments that day, so we decided that for Monday’s family night we would have a family bake-off in the kitchen so that everyone could get all their treats ready for Wednesday.
The kids all knew what they wanted to make:
Grace- Nutella cupcakes
Molly- Oreo balls
Rusty- No bake bars
Ozzie- Chocolate chip cookies
Tyler- Baymax cupcakes
Everyone got to work, claiming a portion of the counter space as their own. Toby helped coordinate the oven usage by running the timers and adjusting the temperatures when the next baked good went it.
We turned on Disney music and the kids had fun baking, visiting, and singing along as they worked. I answered baking questions and acted as site supervisor for the project. 🙂 It was a really fun way to spend the evening as a family, while also accomplishing a big task on the to-do list.
Co-op was a blast on Wednesday. They kids loved showing off their cooking creations, as well as checking out (and taste testing) their friends’ baked goods. The little boys loved “shopping” for treats with their own money, and everyone was excited to raise money for the Make-A- Wish foundation!
Good job Kids!!