Say “Yes!” to Lemonade

As a little girl, we lived pretty far out in the country. That really never deterred us from having a lemonade stand. That little lemonade stand at the end of our 1/4 mile driveway is a far cry from what we just accomplished a few weekends ago. My oldest marched into the kitchen (of course, that’s where I always am), and strongly requested that they be “allowed” to have a lemonade stand. I chuckled inside with pride of him asserting himself in such a respectable way, and then quickly responded with the rules. “Ok. No problem.” I said. “But, you guys have to use your own money as start-up costs, and you all 3 have to be equal partners.” He didn’t back down at all. In fact, he seemed to stand a little firmer in it. He smiles at me, and then pivots with authority and promptly starts making a list. “I’m on it” he says.

Determined to make this a quality experiment, I take the boys to the grocery store, and we price out everything from their list. I explain all the different options they had for making the lemonade, the fresh option, the concentrate, and the (gag) powered stuff. The response I got from my oldest made my heart giggle and made me stand a little taller. “I will not compromise quality, fresh is the only option.”

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Whoa! Who is this kid? It’s like he’s grown 10 years overnight. This child knows what he wants, and he will not move on it. I explained profit and loss, and how that works. At that moment, I got a quick taste of my first bite of “my parent is stupid” cake from my 10-year old boy, “Mom, I know that. Duh, I had finance 101 in my class last year (4th grade).”

Alrighty, Mr. Smarty Pants.

Now with my attitude on hold, and my boys shining like beacons of intellectual spotlights beaming through the store, we quickly grabbed all of the ingredients needed; lemons, sugar, pitcher, and the secret ingredient… pineapple juice. Yep, I said it. They wanted a secret ingredient, and they got it. They are so darn cute when they’re on a mission. $22 was the total. All 3 boys reached into their wallets, and a partnership was born. Part one of my lemonade experiment was a success. They all agreed on ingredients. Brilliant!

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Part two was engaging the boys in the creation of their lemonade. There was measuring, pouring, and some serious lemon squeezing going on. If you don’t have one of these juicers, they are worth their weight in gold. Nothing else needed. No power, no batteries. Whenever possible, I buy stainless steel for the kitchen. The why is quite simple, and it’s something my boys roll their eyes and can repeat in their sleep.

“Stainless is better… Stainless lasts forever”

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Now, with the lemonade ready to go. The boys worked hours on getting signs ready and dreaming about how much money they’ll make. Buwahahahaaa… [Oh, I can’t wait!]

The next morning, they pounce out of bed. I had readied all of our friends to let them know what time the lemonade stand would be open. They did exceptional. They worked it hard, almost assaulting cars as they drove by our house. They’re girlfriend from 2 doors was also in on the action. She’d gotten up early and made muffins for the event. They’re all so cute!

We sold out of lemonade in an hour and a half! We weren’t even able to stay open the whole window of time that we had set for ourselves. Whew. All said and done, they lost $3. Which, in my opinion, is a total win since they’d had to buy the pitcher, an entire pound of sugar, and the cups. Some of those wouldn’t have to be re-purchased next time. This was part three of my lesson plan. How to handle loss. We talked about how it was a success despite the lack of profit. We talked about how success isn’t measured in money, and that their attitudes and drive for success made it one. Yes, I said it. Success isn’t measured in money. Write it on a billboard, cuz it’s true.

Now, here’s the lemonade recipe:

Perfect Lemonade

3 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (no compromise)*
3 c. sugar
4 c. clean water
8 c. clean cold water
1 c. pineapple juice

In a saucepan, add the sugar and 4 c. clean water together. Cook until the sugar is completely melted. Congrats, you just made simple syrup.

You’ll need a big pitcher for this. Add the lemon juice, simple syrup, pineapple juice, and the rest of the cold water to the pitcher. That’s it! You just made the tastiest lemonade on the planet.

* Note on the lemon juice. We strain our lemon juice because I have a visceral reaction to floaty things in my drinks. I don’t do chunky drinks, people!

Now, ya’ll go on and make some lemonade and memories!

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