Balcony Girls Give Thanks!

Balcony Girls and applesauce

God’s goodness may not look like our goodness, I told my Balcony Girls this week as we met for a couple of hours after school.

And I was able to share with them the blessing that I had in my early 20s, to go on a Mexico mission trip, where my eyes were opened to poverty in a way I had never seen. It not only made me more thankful for what I had, it made me more aware.

I was able to see the joy and the hope that these people had, even with little.

Cultivating the habit of thanks
At Michael’s Arts & Craft store, I bought the girls their own journals from the $1 bin. I shared with the girls that no matter the circumstances, we should try to give thanks, and at night before going to bed is a good place to start.

    Keep the journal by your bed
    Every night write one note of thanksgiving
    It will turn your frustrations into thanksgiving
    You’ll go to bed with peace
    You’ll wake up to a fresh new day

Making butter
For a fun activity, we measured out baby food jars of heavy whipping cream.

Measured cream for butter

The girls shook their jars for about 10 minutes as we talked about gratitude.

Shaking cream for butter

The cream thickened into soft butter!

Making butter from cream

We added salt, and sent the girls home with their own jar of butter.

Reluctant Entertainer Banana Bread

Banana bread and applesauce
Warm banana bread had come out of the oven earlier, so we sliced it and ate it, along with fresh applesauce that the girls pressed through the Kitchen Aid attachment. (What the girls didn’t know was that I forgot to add the butter to the bread – a minor imperfection that didn’t seem to really matter. The bread got devoured anyway!)

We added a hint of cinnamon to the applesauce and a fresh dab of whipped cream on top. Yum.

Balcony Girls making applesauce

I am thankful for …
We played a fun game – a memory game! The objective was not only to have fun, but to remember a long list of things to be thankful for! Each girl, in sequence, had to repeat the previous responses. Over and over. We decided not to eliminate, but to extend grace when we messed up. So around the circle we went for about 3 rounds. 6×3=18 answers we repeated. We laughed a lot.

I started the game off by saying what I was grateful for. Sunshine, as the sun was incredibly bright outside. Beautiful! I encouraged the girls to not just be thankful for material things, but also for blessings like family, health, friendships and God’s love – His faithfulness and goodness.

I challenged the girls by saying that being grateful helps us to treat others better.

So if you’re going to be having a house full of kids on Thanksgiving Day, maybe some of these Balcony Girl’s ideas will resonate and help you to incorporate a state of thanksgiving and togetherness!

What activities do you have planned for kids on Thanksgiving Day?

(The winner to the Cupcake Charm Necklace Giveaway is Shaz, from Test with Skewer! Congrats! And if you have a minute, read my friend Emily’s post for older girls over at Chatting at the Sky.)

15 comments on “Balcony Girls Give Thanks!”

  1. Pingback: (In)couraging Gratitude …

  2. Pingback: A Flickering Flame in Balcony Girls!

  3. Sounds like a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. I’m very thankful for the love and kindness shown by all the bloggers I’ve met along the way, and of course, extremely happy that I won!! Thank you! :)

  4. This is a good time for gratitude, but we should be thankful every day. I appreciate thank you notes, or verbal thanks, but I wouldn’t stop giving or helping because I wasn’t thanked. A gift is just that-a gift, & I don’t expect anything in return. I go to sleep every night counting my blessings. Thank you for this post, & for teaching girls about gratitude.

    • Hello Vicki – you’re exactly right about giving thanks every day, not just during TG. If you’ll re-read this post, that is exactly how the lesson started. Giving thanks every night is a great way to start the discipline of gratitude!

      One thing about teaching kids is that they need tangible ideas and that is what BG is all about!

  5. I love this idea. I have 4 young daughters. My hearts desire is that they walk with the Lord and exhibit godly character qualities (ones that bring Him honor). My mom has been praying about a way to teach these lessons and virtues to her (9) grandaughters. Thank you for sharing this post…we just might have a Balcony Girls club in AR before long:)

  6. Oooh I remember doing this! It was so much fun!

  7. Our family loved this post. Desiree said “And you don’t want us to be a part of Balcony Girls?” accompanied by “the look.” Maybe I need to reconsider! : )

  8. What a great gathering. Love all the activities that went along with it…
    Blessings on you and these girls!!

  9. What a fun & meaningful time!

    Making butter has been on my list for a long time – need to get to that this weekend with my boys!

  10. What a great idea. You always have such creative ideas and the girls always learn something useful and spiritual.

  11. What a beautiful lesson. I love the Balcony Girls ideas. I wish I had this growing up!

  12. What wonderful lessons! And I’m sure it was pure joy to host your girls in your new kitchen this time! :)

  13. I love how you’re guiding the Balcony Girls; teaching them wonderful lessons. Love that notebook idea!

    We’ve enjoyed making butter. I was just thinking about making some!

  14. I know what you’re doing up so early….posting! I need to get one of those attachments for my kitchen-aid!
    What a great lesson to be shared!

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