“How many can I have?”

I was at a store while a preschooler stood looking at all the candy. It was a large amount to choose from for little eyes. She innocently asked, “How many can I have?” The mother was impatient and said, “Just pick one!” The little girl picked a box of gummy bears and said, “I will eat just one, but the other bears in the box sure are going to be lonely!”


Could YOU just pick one?


Sometimes it is hard to be obedient. We want so much, but we have to be content with what we are offered. If we accept what is given to us, we open doors for more to follow. The preschooler with one gummy bear will be happily surprised as her mother allows her to eat more than one. However, we never really know what our limits will be until they are upon us. If we can remain happy with little, just imagine how much easier it will be to be happy when we are given much.

  • When have you had a time when one gift felt so good to receive?
  • Be honest, have you had a time when you were disappointed hoping you were going to receive more? Did you handle it the way you should have?
  • Think about a time when you or someone you know has received a gift bigger than what was expected.
  • Will you try to surprise someone this week with something they are not expecting?

“Can you take the paper off of the cupcake?”

We had a birthday treat at preschool today, and a four year old asked me, “Can you take the paper off of the cupcake for me?” I told him I think he could do it himself. He said, “That is something that I will do when I am six and maybe when I am five but never when I am four!”

Cupcake anyone?

Cupcake anyone?

Another boy was challenged by the request and joyfully attempted to peel the paper off of the cupcake. He said, “Look, look I did it! And I didn’t even turn six yet!”

The first boy looked at him amazed and said, “You must have a four year head and a six year old hand.”

Children and adults are met with challenges each day. Each day we have to decide whether the challenges ahead of us are worth attempting or if we will just frustrate ourselves. What some can do easily, some cannot. What some do without thinking, others truly struggle. Sometimes we do not know what our full capabilities are until we just try.  Sometimes we just don’t take the risks or think of new alternatives to being successful.

A girl in the class looked at both of the boys and said, “If you would just get a cup and put some cake in it, you could eat a “Cup Cake” all by yourself when you were two years old!”

  • What is something you just know is too hard for you to do today?
  • Why can other people do the task?
  • What would have to happen before you could think about being successful with that task?

“A balanced diet is having a cupcake in both hands.” Anonymous

“Do you like soup?”

I sat with a two year old picking and poking at her soup and never really eating any of it. I asked, “Do you like soup?” She didn’t answer. She would try the soup and then play with some toys and then try again, but playing always seemed to win. Then ice cream was mentioned in the kitchen. She ran into the kitchen and hopped into her chair to devour a bowl of ice cream. She then had another little bowl and stirred and stirred it. To her surprise it started to quickly melt. She looked bright-eyed into the bowl and said, “YES! I DO like soup!”

What soup would you choose to eat?

What soup would you choose to eat?

Sometimes to really embrace something we need to make a little change in it. Variety is said to be the spice of life, and sometimes we need to try more spices. We are quick to say we don’t like to travel only to really mean we are a little scared of the flight there, or we tell others we don’t like Mexican food when all we have tried is a spicy burrito. We lump too much into one category and don’t let the flavors mix and morph into new tastes.

If we keep trying new things, we are bound to find the good in them. We need to not give up too quickly. The sweet taste of ice cream soup may just be waiting for us all.

  • Think of a something you do not like to do.
  • Now think of any small part of that activity that you could possibly enjoy.
  • Was thinking of a positive aspect of a disliked activity easy or hard for you, and what might that say about your ability to find sweet ice cream soup?

“A first-rate soup is more creative than a second-rate painting.” Abraham Maslow

Do you like broccoli?

I asked a preschooler, “Do you like Broccoli?”  He said, “I like it very much….I just don’t like to eat it.”


Do you like Broccoli?

Do you like Broccoli?


Some people have a hard time accepting things they do not like. We have politicians we seem to love or hate. We have neighbors who have barking dogs and neighbors who rake leaves that tend to go into our yards. We drive in traffic when drivers cut us off and make rude gestures at us as we try to merge. There are religious groups that do not make sense to us and, in all honesty, seem ridiculous. There is a lot in our lives that we just do not like to accept.

It is easy to write people or things off and say, “I just don’t like them. I shouldn’t have to like everything or everyone.” However, what if we lived in this preschooler’s world where we could say, “Yes, I do like you very much, I just don’t want to fully embrace everything about you.” What if we would welcome people just like they are with their thoughts and doubts and not be so quick to judge them?

It is true we should not embrace every aspect of people’s lives. We don’t have to endorse what they believe in. However, if we would try to like them very much, we may just be able to accept them more. We really can like something without eating it all up.

  • What food is “broccoli” in your life? What do you not like to eat?
  • Can you think of a person or type of person that you struggle liking?
  • What could be different in your life or the world if you could try to accept people while not endorsing them?

“I do not like broccoli. And I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. And I’m President of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”

George H. W. Bush


“What are you going to be for Halloween?”

I asked a preschooler, “What are you going to be for Halloween?” He replied, “I am going to be hungry for candy!”

Enough candy?

Enough candy?


There is a lot about the Halloween time that can be attractive to a young child. There are fun costumes to look at. You get to be a princess or a super hero or even a friendly dog. You can be whatever your imagination allows, and there is freedom in that.

Children love freedom. They love running outside without an adult asking to hold their hand. They love making sounds when they want and not being told to use “inside voices.”

There are so many decorations and fantasy items to explore. Young children love seeing things that engage their imagination and curiosity. As Americans we spend more money on decorations for our homes during this season than some countries spend on their entire Gross National Product. This is a big industry that attracts people of all ages.

Children also undeniably love candy. They seem to crave the sugar laden items packed in wrappers and often candy not in wrappers on the ground! There are many small hands quicker than the hands of adults as items are found on floors. However, there is so much talk of juvenile diabetes. There is talk about GMO’s in candy. There is talk about too many chemicals in candy along with food colorings. In America, we are expected to eat 600 million pounds of candy in the next couple of weeks.

A 13 year old boy in Forbes Magazine starting his own candy company after being disappointed when his father took half of his candy away for his best interest. This boy did not give up on the idea of eating candy. He just made the candy something that would be more healthy and work within the rules of his household. He created “unjunked” candy that would fit the needs of so many.

There is a lot to be learned from that young guy. We all have things in our lives that we really enjoy that are probably not that good for us. As adults we can now make wiser decisions about how to either do something in moderation or how to change all the rules and create something new that will satisfy us yet also be more healthy and work within the rules we establish for ourselves.

As adults we also get the privilege of being whatever we want for Halloween. We can get into a costume. We can lock our doors on Halloween and never celebrate it. We can point to religion as a way to avoid the day. We can point to religion as a way to celebrate the day. We can buy any candy in the store and eat as much of it as we can stand. With any choice comes responsibilities. If the world would all look for ways to be more healthy while still working within the rules of the household, it would make Halloween and any day a better thing.

(More details on “Unjunked candy” when you click here.)

  • What is something in your life that is probably not healthy for you, yet you really enjoy? 
  • What are some modifications you can think of that would help make that item or items more healthy and still work within the rules of your life?
  • When there are items that we truly just indulge in, what are some ways we can deal with that without becoming overburdened?

Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold.  ~Judith Olney




“What did you have for a snack today?”

I asked a preschooler, “What did you have for a snack today?”  He looked up and replied, “We had Graham Crappers.”

How close do you pay attention to details?

How close do you pay attention to details?

What a difference one little sound makes in a word! Change a “c” sound into a “p” sound, and you have a whole different story or snack. Details can make a big difference. Sometimes we get in a hurry, and we think little details will not really matter. Ignoring details is easy. Spell check helps us not to rely on memories or finger locations. We have cars that can tell us when it is time to get an oil change and when we need to get to the gas station. We have calendar reminders that audibly tell us when our wedding anniversary is. We often get complacent knowing someone else will follow us along and complete what we missed. However, to do your best in anything you really do need to attend to the smallest of matters.

My mother would say it is important to cross your “t’s” and dot your “i’s”. Apparently letters really do make a big difference in attending to details.

  • Are you a person that pays close attention to details?
  • What is a detail you recently missed?
  • What could help you pay closer attention to the details that really matter in your life?
  • How can you best handle those you encounter that do fall short when attending to details? (Giving them “Crappers” instead of “Crackers”, may not be your best answer 🙂 .)
  • If you would like to see some children “enjoying” their snacks for the first time, check out Hilarius first reactions to food caught on camera. You will see the difference between “crappers” and “crackers”.

“Excellence is in the details. Give attention to the details and excellence will come.” Perry Paxton