Project Gratitude – Summer 2017

These boys are amazing.  I am so proud of them.

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This summer, I started something new with my boys.  Project Gratitude.  It’s been amazing to watch this unfold in our family each week.  What is Project Gratitude?   Well, let me explain.

Each week, I sit down with the boys at the table and we discuss our next recipient.   We choose people we are extremely grateful for in our lives.  Our lives go by so fast during the school year, so we are careful to take the time now to thank those we truly appreciate.  We sit down and write thank you notes to the person we select each week.   I usually write a thank you note explaining our project and then thanking that person as well for the impact they have had on our family.   The boys then write thank you notes as well listing the reasons they are thankful for the person.  (I scribe Kirby’s as he is only 4, but Punky writes his own each week…  Sneaky Teacher-Mom making her kid write during the summer!  The horror!  (Seriously, the boys LOVE this project.)

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We then put our cards in envelopes and head to the store.  We know the recipients love our notes and kind words, but we add in a kind gesture back to them as a token of our gratitude and bring them a bouquet of fresh flowers when we deliver our cards.

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We have spent more time sitting and chatting with the people who are dear to us this summer than we ever have!   The stories, hugs, and laughter are priceless.  Punky loves that we get to talk with people more than we ever have.  He likes telling people how important they are to us.  He soaks up the stories and our visits like a sponge.   Kirby, like his big brother, gets so excited to visit people.  He remembers everyone’s homes and always points out to them on our next encounter after our visit that we were at their home.

The sweet kind words in the kids’ own writing and in their own words is precious.   I’ve learned so much from reading their notes.  Watching my kids interact with our recipients is awesome.  The boys talk about how good it feels after every delivery.  They are learning all about saying thank you and the importance of telling people how much they mean to them.

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Today was priceless as the cashier at Hy-Vee Floral wrapped the flowers up we got to talking.  She works at Edinbrook Elementary.  I said, “Wow, the boys’ grandpa worked there years ago.”   She asked us what his name was and when we chimed, “Kenny Schad” her face lit up!   She knew him.  “Oh, I loved working with Ken!  He was such a nice man!”  Punky did a double-take and said, “Wait, you knew my grandpa?”  His smile was from ear to ear.  She then told him how much his grandpa was loved and was a huge part of their school family.   Punky was BEAMING!  I couldn’t have planned that encounter any better!   It was perfect… God’s little sign that we are doing the right thing each week.   (We then walked out of the store with our beautifully wrapped flowers and promptly saw a dragonfly…which we KNEW was a sign from Grandma Miriam!)

This project has been more than I ever wished for with my kids.  We will continue to spread kindness and express our gratitude each week.  The boys always have their next recipient in the back of their minds during the week.   We’ve had a few revelations in that car about next recipients or more ideas to improve the project.

Today’s recipients were our daycare provider (Kirby’s choice), Punky’s 2nd grade teacher (his choice) and then the boys also wanted to acknowledge our neighbors across the street, so we did them as well.   The best part was when Punky added tonight as we were writing our neighbors’ cards that he wanted to make them dinner and deliver it to their deck one night as they always sit out on their deck each evening of summer.  So, we added that caveat to their card!   He has already made plans with them!  It’s so refreshing to see how the kids are taking this further and wanting to do this more and more.

I see this becoming something we just do… and for that I am grateful.

 

 

 

 

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