Rewarded for hardwork

I love days when I notice my boys working hard and willingly helping out.

Often I savor those moments and try to find a way to reward them.  After all, if I want that sort of behavior to continue I need them to know that I see it, appreciate it, and I think we all deserve a treat when we're working hard.

We had one of those days yesterday.

Yesterday I had all the boys ready and out the door by 8 am!  I was so excited.

Unfortunately, we were headed for our bi- monthly trip to the grocery store. 

We needed food for us and all our holiday celebrations so the list was very long.
Once at the store Ian pushed one carriage while I pushed the other and Alec took over my list.  He would cross off the items as we bought them.  Ian took a number at the deli and ordered our food for us, using please and thank you. 

Frequently, other shoppers mentioned how much help I had and how well behaved they were.  Evan pointed out letters and numbers to me while Alec and Evan helped me price compare foods.  We got to the registers and the two older boy helped me unload both carriages.

Ian had a dollar with him and wanted to buy some candy.  I explained that I didn't think that was a good idea with the holidays coming and all the extra sweets we'd be eating.  He shrugged his shoulders and asked the cashier if he could please have 4 quarters for his dollar instead and he'd use it at the gumball machines.  She gave him 4 quarters (and once he counted them to be sure there were 4) he gave her his dollar.

 As they all walked away together the cashier repeatedly commented on how helpful the boys were, how well they listened when I said no or wait a minute, and how polite they were. 

I realized she was right!  They had been very helpful and they don't often put up an argument when I say no (unless we're at home and I'm turning off TV or video games!).  Alec and Evan, even took it upon themselves to go up to the courtesy desk when Evan's quarter was swallowed by the machine and got another quarter when they explained what had happened. 
We got all three carriages of food out to the car, with the help of a few extra check out employees, and as I loaded up the trunk with our food the boys helped Evan get strapped in and started planning their day.

 I announced to them that I was so proud of how helpful and well- behaved they had been in the store.  I told them how much that means to me and I told them of all the compliments the cashier gave me.

They were all smiling and proud and then I said "so as a special treat and reward I'm giving you the day off from school!"

They were shocked and thrilled. 

Ian wanted to play out in his mine/ quarry he has dug in our yard and Alec wanted to make Christmas cards in my craft room using my rubber stamps.

Evan wasn't quite sure yet, but I knew he'd find something to do. 
They helped me cart all the groceries into the house and put most of the food in the basement chest freezer for me too.

 I was overwhelmed with their help and their manners.

It filled me with such a good feeling and I think it showed because they looked so proud of themselves.

My mother in law came to babysit so I could head to my grandmother's house and wrap all of her Christmas gifts for her.  The boys made Christmas cards, played with animals in the sink filled with water, played a game of Life and then ended up watching movies with my mother in law.  By the time I came home it was very late in the afternoon and I made the boys an early dinner.
 I come home from my grandmother's tired and stressed out and most often with a headache.  Yesterday was no different.  Ian came over gave me a small smile and lots of hugs.  He asked me if I had a headache from having to repeat myself so much since gram forgets a lot.  I thought that was so sweet and told him so.  After that his brothers all gave me hugs too.

 I thought it was neat to see how empathetic they're becoming.  It was just one of those day where they really showed me how much the "other" stuff we learn while homeschooling was rubbing off.

They're becoming concerned, helpful, productive little boys.  I'm sure this glimpse won't last real long but I realized today how much they've matured, developed and grown since we started homeschooling and I was feeling extra proud of the wonderful boys I'm managing to raise!    

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