The Pontow Family Blog

The Pontow Family Blog

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Feed My Starving Children

Something that is important to us is teaching our kids about giving back and paying it forward. Last year Meg (and Jack and Ally got to help too) had the chance with Brownies to work at St. Joseph's Food Pantry and it really sparked something in them. They asked when could we go back to help. When I contacted the Food Pantry about volunteering there they said it is very difficult to get on the list of volunteers because they have their "regulars". It was very disheartening to hear. Here were my 3 kids wanting to do this and they basically were being told "No we don't need you." So, I searched for something else that we could do. I had heard about Feed the Starving Children. But there are not a lot of options for that up in WI. So, I looked for it down in IL. 
I did not tell the kids too much about it other than we would be making meals for kids in other countries. I wanted them to experience it all when we got there. My parents went with us and we all had our jobs. The kids wanted to experience each of the different jobs, so they kind of bounced around for the 2 hours we spent volunteering.

They could not believe that there were kids in other countries that did not have meals or food to eat every day. It was a great expereince for them to do and see that not everyone is lucky like us to have a roof over our heads and blankets covering us every night.
 It really makes you remember what is important in life. It is not about the things you have, but about the people you surround yourself with and the way you live your life. And making sure you to pay it forward and give back to your community.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

4th Grade, 3rd Grade, 1st Grade OH MY!

1st Day of school don't you remember it from when you were kids? Yeah I kind of do. I remember always being nervous about who I was going to be sitting next to. Is my teacher going to be nice? All the what if's that went through my head.

I can see a lot of Meg in me when she was getting ready for bed last night and then ready to go to the 1st day of school today. When Meg came home she did not want to talk about the 1st day. But she kept saying Mrs. Hendricks is soo AWESOME! Ahh the relief I felt. No worries came from her face. For a little girl who has worried a lot the past couple years it was so sweet to see her just happy go lucky!

Even Ally had a bit of nervous energy moving about her. Last night when the girls went to bed she wanted her pillow where she could see Meg because they were talking about school as I listened in from outside the door. I love hearing that side of them and Meg telling her it will be alright and she has nothing to worry about. We have determined the one thing that can exhaust Ally is all day school! Hard to believe, but when she came home she said she was exhausted. She laid on our bed with me and told me about her entire day. She said there were so many rules they were told about and that they got to have a picnic for lunch. It was a great day for her. And she promised that she did not talk too much. Hmmmm....

All Jack kept thinking was I am now the "Top Dog" as his 3rd grade teacher who tutored him all summer told him at their last session a week ago. I am a 4th grader. The highest grade at my school. The younger kids will look up to me and I will get to be a part of helping serve lunch, say the pledge of allegiance and be a role model. But of course I could tell he was definitely feeling the "Top Dog" attitude as he was not interested in taking my annual picture in front of the garage. The garage is like a ruler for me. I can look back on how tall they were from the previous year. But hey he's a boy who just wants to be the "Top Dog" and not be the son of a mom who loves to photograph every moment. I can't really blame him. I am sure my parents have similar pictures of me growing up.

And so it goes yet another 1st day of school comes to a close. And we get back into the grind of Homework, Soccer, Irish Dance and Karate. Enjoy the time with your kids because they are only young once. Capture every moment you can. Hug them and tell them you love them each and every day!