October 03, 2008

Picnic at the Pond... and Elementary Economics


This field trip was not from a long time ago like most of my Field Trip Foto Fridays are. This one was just yesterday. [Note to self: Don't walk 2 miles to field trip in Texas until December - 90 degrees does not qualify for autumn weather!] It wasn't so bad on the way to the pond... mostly downhill with a spring in our step. The kids were ambitious thinking we didn't need to take the car. I had my doubts. Each of us took a backpack or bag. Of course, I took the camera bag and some of the food. The kids brought lots of things they didn't need. I let them learn the hard way to pack light. In their defense, Kaden did get out the binoculars and use them once during the picnic.

"It sure is harder going back home uphill with these heavy backpacks," said Kaden on the way back to the house. I tried to not say "I told you so", but it came out anyway. I lack self control when I'm hot, cranky, and pregnant.

The pond made the trip worthy of sweating, nearly loosing a shoe in the mud, and ant bites. Morgan may disagree on the ant bite part. We got to see two ducks, two White Herons (or Great White Egrets), one Great Blue Heron, and teeming masses of frogs and tiny minnows. My camera doesn't have a long-range or macro lens, but I did what I could with what I had.

We learned a few lessons about doing without. I had the economy on my brain anyway, so this was a good object lesson for the children (who have been listening to Daddy and Mommy talk about the evils of bail-out plans and socialism). When we got to the pond with our food sacks I realized that the jelly was missing. I had the spoon for it - and the peanutbutter - and the bread... but no jelly.

"Ick!" said the kids as they imagined a dry peanutbutter sandwich.

"Well, you could put pickles on your sandwich," I offered. I had brought the knife and cheese, so I held out a pickle and began to cut slices for them to use on their peanutbutter sandwiches.

"GROSSSS," said the naysayers.

"Your aunt Amber loves pickle and peanutbutter sandwiches," I said. "It is better than plain peanutbutter, anyway. Maybe you'll like it. You won't know until you try."

The kids thought about it and reluctantly agreed. I sliced the pickles and they took a hesitant bite. Lo and behold, they both loved it. In fact, they said it was their favorite sandwich ever. But they never would have even tried it if we hadn't been in a bind. First we had to learn from going without what we were used to.

That's just like the economy, folks. We'll never learn our lesson if we keep living on credit and bailing out the banks so they can offer more money to people "for free". Things aren't free. We don't need more credit. We need to get back to living purposeful lives built on more than materialism and greed... and live within our means. Sometimes you have to learn lessons painfully. If someone is always there to bail you out - you'll never change. And that's too bad. Because most of the time God is wanting to change us for the BETTER. That's why he allows the hardships in the first place.

And so we had our first economics class for 5th and 6th grade - right there at the pond over our peanutbutter-and-pickle sandwiches. God works in mysterious places. But I bet the kids won't forget the moral behind the story.

"If a path to the better there be, it begins with a full look at the very worst" - Thomas Hardy

Proverbs 22:26-27 ~ "Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts. If you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you."

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Anonymous said...

I LOVE that Bible verse! WOW...

Vicki said...

i love your blog

Pufferfish Mommy said...

Now that is one that I would have never thought of... pickles and peanut butter. Sounds, um... interesting!

Anonymous said...

Still not sure I'm ready to try a peanut butter and pickle sandwich, but you have a good point.

Greed is not just on Wall Street. It's in our hearts as well.

And it's hard to live within our means when the dollar is bloated and worth less and less. However, it can be done in most circumstances.

We've just grown accustomed to having more. We expect it and clamor for it. What else can Washington do? They are only giving us what we want. (we, as a nation, not I)

We are the ones who took out loans we couldn't afford. We are the ones who want bigger and better houses, cars, and clothes. We are the ones putting milk on the credit card. We are the ones who think if we can pay the credit card balance every month, we're doing fine.

I realize there are circumstances people go through that do not match all this ranting, but I do think our country needs to acknowledge the reason we are in this place to begin with. It is a heart issue that no amount of money will fix.

I think you are blessed with my first official rant in a comment section of a blog. Aren't you lucky? ;) Sorry. Maybe I need to go write a blog post...

Sisterlisa said...

We often are without jelly and the kids enjoy honey ad peanut butter, or I'll smash up some strawberries or bananas and use that instead of jelly. They love it. Most recipes we conjure up when we're without a specific ingredient end up being our best ones.

And I do think our country and it's people have become quite selfish.

Kelli said...

I like coming up with new recipes based on "oops we forget to get _____ from the store to cook what we had planned". Cool how you were able to use forgetting jelly to teach a lesson on using what we have rather than borrowing with we don't have.

Kelly @ Growing.Learning.Playing. said...

Hm. Pickles and peanut butter. I'll have to try that one.

Did the pregnant mama eat one, too?

Okay, so you forgave me for not doing the food meme. I continue to forget. Still forgive me? lol Please say you are doing the meme next week, because I will for sure do it then.



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