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Making Lemons Profitable

Church this morning included a mortgage-burning ceremony. That had me choked up even though we haven't gone to this church long enough to have helped extensively with that particular goal.

Being debt-free, totally debt-free down to the mortgage, is a worthy goal for anybody. Debt is dumb; cash is king. Anyone familiar with Dave Ramsey has heard that line many times. It's simple to practice when debt is viewed as the poisonous snake it is.

Kris grilled both lunch and dinner today. We had Lambo's sauce both times with the meat. I have never tasted a barbecue sauce quite like this, and it's definitely on our list of keepers. Spicy, sweet, tangy. Perfect. Found it on the counter at Bill's Meat Market here in Peru, Indiana.

Between Kal and Kara, I had lots of expectations from them to meet today. While I turned those tables fairly quickly by placing my own expectations for chores on them, I did see what I could do about helping them achieve some of their goals.

Fancy, staged picture from

Kal's idea was to run a lemonade stand today. An 11-year-old can't drive, at least not legally, so I had to make the trip for all the supplies plus a bag of ice.

He helped make the lemonade, then set up his stand at the end of our driveway. He had two customers, and one of those was Kris's buddy that was over helping him set up his weight-lifting routine.

In fairly short order, I suggested that he pack up the wagon with his lemonade, ice, and cups, then go door-to-door selling it. Our neighborhood is safe for this. I definitely wouldn't have let him do it at our old house.

He thought that was pretty weird, but once he got used to the idea, he started going around selling his lemonade to the neighborhood and made quite a bit of money.

I had told him that one way to make more money is to make it easy for people to buy, not as a way of being sneaky, but of service. By simply bringing the lemonade to people, many of whom are elderly around us, he was able to make much more than he would have sitting at a table in our driveway.

The gut-wrenching part for him was knowing he had to pay me back for the supplies. But as a parent, I really couldn't let that slide. He needed to see how business really works in order to figure out smart and better ways to do it.

I had him figure out a primitive profit and loss statement. How much did he pull in for gross revenue? Subtract all the expenses from that (to pay back to Mommy) to find net profit.

It was a simple process to show him how a real business works, and I loved seeing him grow up a little more today into a real man.

Now he has an envelope ready to take to the bank, and he has a savings goal for his money.

Parenting, while it is so hard at times, is very rewarding when I see that something of what we're teaching is getting through.

One last note: the lemonade was fabulous because we made actual lemonade, not a junky, yucky mix. Here is the fabulous recipe:

  • Mix 1 cup lemon juice and 1 cup sugar in a 1/2 gallon pitcher

  • Fill the rest of the pitcher with ice cold water

  • If desired, decorate with various citrus slices. Orange is good.


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