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the best gift of all...

My son's birthday was this month, on the 11th. He turned the big 4! My goodness how time flies. He'll be 14 before I know it.
We had a party at a huge indoor inflatable playzone that had every bouncing gym you could imagine. It even had a huge inflatable 16 foot tall slide. We had 16 kids and 45 people total, with all the parents and our family members.

I knew that with the amount of kids that were being invited I had to change up the birthday rules a little. I asked lieu of giving my son 'birthday gifts' that they bring dog and cat food as donations to humane society. A) I don't need a million more toys and games cluttering up my home that my son will soon loose interest in and B) I wanted to give my son the gift of giving back.

Today we took an entire trunk load of dog and cat food to the animal shelter. I had a 20lb bag, 2 big 15lb dog treat boxes, and mulitiple types of smaller dog and cat foods. It was quite a loot and it took 4 trips to my car to unload it all.

My little guy was so excited to see the benefits of his donations and was quite impressed with all the animals they sheltered at their facility. He had to run around with our digital camera taking pictures of dogs. It was so rewarding watching him enjoy giving something back...even if it was a small gesture-it was a huge lesson for him.

We spent a few minutes there watching all the puppies mill around and play, and then turned to leave. My big four year old started getting really upset. He told me he was waiting to 'feed all the dogs' with our food. I giggled and told him that we weren't going to physically feed them today, but that we provided their food for the next few weeks. I guess this whole time he thought he would get to rip open the bags and cans of food and watch the animals enjoy his gift to them. It was the sweetest thing I'd ever heard of. So, we grabbed some dog treats and gave a 'tummy yummy' to a little dog before we left. That seemed to satisfy him enough.

It's been a great day!
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