Life Lessons: The Lemonade Stand

Growing up in the country, there were certain aspects of life that were simply not possible to experience in my neighborhood. I had an orchard to myself, rows and rows of blossoms in the spring, castles, tree houses, massive play structures to let the imagine run wild. We’re not able to give these to our children on a daily basis (except when we visit the grandparents) but there is something I was always aware of, yet could never do myself except in pretend: the lemonade stand.

It’s iconic, isn’t it? So iconic it could be parodied decades ago by Lucy from Peanuts in her psychiatry stand. With joy my husband and I discussed years ago the idea of it for our children. This weekend our city held a city-wide yard sale and it seemed the perfect opportunity.

A friend delivered bags of grapefruit weeks ago. My husband juiced it and froze it. After the hit rosemary-grapefruit-ade we made for our littlest’s birthday party, we decide to re-create it. My mother donated some of her of delicious snicker doodle cookies and in the first day my daughter made $20.

We were open for a short period on Saturday since my husband works on Saturdays. Sunday, we were open all morning after mass. She totaled out at $32, my little entrepreneur.

I feel the experience, to be repeated in the future, is ripe with possible lessons. Setting up the stand takes some creativity. We use our picnic table, an umbrella from my parent’s house, homemade signs, and the crocheted pendant banner I made (found a use for it!). Over time, my daughter can decorate it and make the signs herself.

Creativity with products and recipes. Next year I plan to put out lavender bunches and make lavender lemonade. As she grows in her ability to plan, my daughter can put her signature touch on our products.

IMG_6924Creativity with what God has given us. The grapefruit was from a friend’s tree. The rosemary grew in our yard. The lemonade (made for the second day) was juiced and frozen from leftover lemons my mother did not use for a dessert donation. Being able to look around and see the potential in the things around us is an important life skill.

Money-wise lessons. Saving money through resourcefulness will yield greater profit. She’ll also have the opportunity, as she did this weekend, to learn about currency, addition, change, etc. We can prepare her better through homeschooling lessons before the next lemonade stand.

Marketing. Cute girls sell lemonade. I asked her to wave and smile when people went by and quite often, they stopped because of it. Lemonade was priced at 25 cents a cup. Who can resist? If she gets the bug and wants to make more money, we’ll have a marketing talk.

Saving. We’ve discussed what she can do with her profits. 10% goes to the church in the collection basket. Then a certain amount, approximately 40%, goes to the bank. I am thinking we’ll actually have her walk in with my husband to deposit the $10 at the bank to get the most out of that lesson. Then she can choose how to spend the rest. She has already decided to save $5 for ice cream, the little cutie. She bought a dress at a yard sale for $2.50.

She is young and worked hard. After the first day, it was much harder for her to sit in one place and stay on the job. She did an amazing job considering her age. All these lessons will take time to be learned, but I’m excited that we are blessed in such a way as to be able to provide her the opportunity.

We held a yard sale at the same time, and didn’t do too shabby either, I’m pleased to say. Before we started on the second day I spotted this antique chair at a neighbor’s yard sale.







IMG_6936For $7, I’ve got another exciting project on the list. I’d like to reupholster it in this (P/Kaufmann Adelaide Tigerlily Fabric) from Sailrite or something like it. I plan to leave the wood as it is. The chair fits the decor of our master bedroom so I have just the place for it.

The Little Things Update

Since the office overhaul there have not been any massive changes. We added sheet metal to one side of the office supply cabinet so my daughter could play with magnets there and hang her school work.


IMG_6910We finally got to changing the legs on the dining table. The legs before were very nice, but a significant pain to clean under and with three-times-a-day sweeping (who are we kidding?) the difficulty was enhanced. We purchased four legs from Ikea that I thought would fit with the piece well enough and my husband attached them. I don’t like how they look, so they’ll likely be temporary, and the table wobbles a bit, but they are an improvement nonetheless.

IMG_6898It does look cleaner, but I rather think they should be attached to some wood so we see more of the leg. I have an idea of taking one of our massive bathroom mirrors, having the corners cut, antiquing it and using it as a table top. Wild, no? It’s on the brainstorming list, the list which may never fully materialize, and that’s just fine.

IMG_6895In a more exciting mood I share with you the developments of our front yard.

When we first moved in, it looked like this:

IMG_4955Yes, the bushes actually did look like that!

IMG_4961And here is the flower bed now.

IMG_6899Every thing except tulip bulbs and some tiny purple lily-like flowers were gradually removed. Three lavender plants are in, rosemary, pin cushion flowers, salvia, and a stone pine tree are in. We have lemon balm growing safely in a pot and will add mint to the matching pot next to it.

IMG_6900When we planted we used the existing plants to create symmetry only to realize after that they were not centered! St. Francis is helping balance things out out.

IMG_6901I’m so pleased with the developments. We’re using an old red wagon for the plants in progress now that I’ve fully expressed my displeasure to my husband at the sight of lots of little junky pots in between the plants.

IMG_6902This winter we’ll finally plant the tree in those pots on the left.

IMG_6903In this neighborhood we combat ants so we’ve moved a picnic table to our newly fenced in front yard for dinner times. It’s the same redwood material and age as our former backyard furniture, but a coat of paint saved it from its impending demise.

IMG_6904The blue rocking chair made it to the front and found a buddy once the rain stopped. Our living room is less cramped now.

IMG_6907I moved the antique trunk back against the wall so the walkway is open. With my husband’s new sander I saw what was underneath the rust.

IMG_6906It’s neat to see the original black from through. I’ll wait on deciding if I will paint it after all.

My husband is working bit by bit to get the vegetable garden planted in the front. Zucchini, yellow squash and artichokes are planted along the border in our backyard, Little Italy.

That’s all for now. I feel swamped under the weight of rivaling children so I do not feel very ambitious with our projects. We’ll be having a yard sale next weekend as part of Hughson’s city wide yard sale. Along with some furniture we’ll be selling rosemary grapefruit-aide, snicker doodle and peanut butter cookies. If you’re in the area, come on by!