We have several pine trees in our backyard that produce thousands of small pine cones every year. The other day, the boys discovered them and you'd have thought they'd struck gold! They were so fascinated by how many there were lying on the ground that I took the opportunity to cash in on their enthusiasm! Knowing how much they love getting change for their piggy banks, I offered to pay them 1 penny for every pine cone they picked up off the ground. Imagine even more excitement from the boys!
They worked diligently for about 10 minutes showing me all the progress they were making. I was just thankful that they were busy and all in sight (aka Isaac likes to wander...) and that there would be fewer pine cones to rake up before mowing season begins. Then, someone discovered an "entryway" into the pine trees that was forever declared "our secret fort!" Much to their great thrill, thousands upon thousands of pine cones were hidden at the base of the trees as well. It was decided to collect the pine cones from the fort rather than the ones mama really wanted picked up. So much for cleaning up the yard...
After being in the fort for a few minutes, I heard Eli begin to sing this little ditty..."Aw'll be riii-iich! Aw'll be riii-iich! I'm gonna take all daddy and mama's money! Aw'll be riii-iich!" Luke soon joined in with the singing! Eventually, all I heard was lots of giggling and plans for this new fort and assumed that all pine cone collection had ceased. "Oh, well," I thought, "It was a good idea. I wonder how many pennies I'll need to dig out of my change jar...?"
With the setting of the sun, we headed in the house planning to count the pine cones today. After dinner this evening we headed back out to the yard where we dumped all the pine cones into a pile and began counting...I knew I was in trouble when we'd all ready reached 100 and hadn't made a dent in the pile. It turns out that despite the goofing around and planning, the collection of pine cones had flourished. We counted and counted...and then counted by 2's...then by 5's...then back to 1's again. 800 pine cones later...give or take a few...we had the final count! Talk about a math lesson for all of us!
So, here I sit...800 cents poorer...the boys sleeping...800 cents richer...
The only consolation is that every time Elijah gets any money at all, he puts it in his piggy bank "for college." We've avoided the "spend every cent in my pocket" battle with him so far...we love it that way! There are greater things to save for than the latest, greatest, plastic junk toy! Luke seems to follow suit, but then adds with a mischievous smile..."I'll save only a little bit for college, then all the rest to buy stuff for me!" It appears we'll need to keep a closer eye on him and his piggy bank!
We told the boys with firm conviction...we will not be paying you to pick up anymore pine cones...they seemed unconcerned...and ran off singing..."We're riii-iich...800 ce-ents!"
I Just Thought It...Number 6:
Spoken by Elijah: "Aw'll be riii-iich!"