saving bats with a hot chocolate stand!

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our kids have been fascinated by bats for a long time! when we were in australia earlier this year, we were able to watch this huge cloud of bats for several nights on hamilton island as they’d wake up and leave the trees, and then watch them fly around catching insects with the moon as their backdrop. it was super cool to see in person and something our family has talked about a lot since. i think shortly after that, we bought an episode of wild kratts about bats, which became a favorite and prompted a lot of pretending to be bats and bat pet store games when they would ask us to buy them as pet bats.

fast forward to a couple weeks ago when josh took the kids to the american museum of natural history where they had a live bat encounter. they got there early and were able to sit in the front row and see three different bats up close and meet a bat expert name rob mies. after learning all about the bats, eleanor came home with her little button that said “save the bats!” and proceeded to tell anyone who would listen over the course of the next few weeks about how they were in danger and how she wanted to help them, because “i love bats!” she would say all day long, “and they’re disappearing because white nose is growing on them when they are hibernating!” samson mostly latched onto the fact that bats eat mosquitos and since we really dislike those things over here, he was just as passionate as eleanor to help them out. ;) and they also related this to saving the bees, because some bats are really important pollinators too for food like bananas, one of their favorite fruits. i mean, how would they eat their smoothies?! ;)

on the way home from the museum, the little wheels in her brain were already turning. she asked all on her own if she could make a lemonade stand for the bats! it was the sweetest thing ever. since it’s november and kind of cold, we wanted to support her and suggested a hot chocolate stand instead.  she was so excited. so we helped the kids put together a little hot chocolate stand on election day morning since they didn’t have school. i thought they’d maybe last 20 minutes and we’d call it good, but we were there for almost two hours and even then the kids didn’t want to leave and kept asking to stay! i am so glad it was a happy positive experience for them.

**several people have asked for me to share my thoughts on the election for president here in the united states. i do not discuss politics on this site because it pretty much always ends up with fighting and bullying, and i work hard for this space to be as uplifting as possible for everyone who visits. that said, i do think with everything going on in the world and in our country at the moment, one of the best things each of us can do is teach and encourage each other – and our kids – to be good and kind and honest and loving people, and also to be good and kind and honest and loving citizens. i firmly believe so much of what we stand for and who we become starts in our homes, so i hope that is something i am able to help nurture and encourage in my own little ones. and all of us can find opportunities to do the same. helping our own kids do this hot chocolate stand to #savethebats is just one way josh and i have tried to teach them about what it means to be a good citizen in our neighborhood, our country, and our world. it was the perfect activity for election day this year!

watch the video above! and more photos, below….

josh snapped this photo a couple weeks ago right after their morning at the museum for the live bat encounter on the day before halloween!

you see it in the little video, but eleanor and samson made all of the posters and signs for their hot chocolate stand!

it was also a good lesson in simple math! ;)

also, my sister hannah took this photo with her new iPhone 7 plus and did you know that thing has a built-in portrait lens?! i had no idea but all the photos she was snapping on her iPhone were blowing my mind.

best baby brother ever showing his support by downing one too many cups of hot chocolate! he knows good stuff when he sees it!

i am so proud of eleanor and samson (and conrad who pretty much just consumed several cups of hot cocoa to show his support) for wanting to help the bats and for finding a small way to make a big difference.  i think kids by nature have such an innocence and do-good spirit about them, and it teaches me a lot, quite often.

i am so thankful to all their little friends and their parents who came out to show support and also to all the kind new yorkers, many of whom didn’t even want hot chocolate but still showed support by stopping and donating and talking to eleanor and samson about their cause as they walked by, because it meant so much to them and really went a long way.

eleanor and samson raised $104 dollars and donated all of it to the organization for bat conservation online later that day. thanks again to everyone who helped them accomplish this!

  1. Liz Romero

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Despite all the controversy going on currently in the world this really puts a huge smile on my face knowing you and Josh are raising amazing little human beings!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. Despite all the controversy going on currently in the world this really puts a huge smile on my face knowing you and Josh are raising amazing little human beings!

  3. Tracy

    This is so wonderful. Thank you for creating an uplifting, happy space online!

  4. This made my day. Your sweet family always makes me smile.

  5. Fantastic activity for the kids – and a good course:-)

  6. Naomi, I had tears in my eyes reading this. You and your family have secured my lifelong devotion (no pressure there, for keeping up your blog!) with this post.

    Not only are you raising kids who think big picture and beyond themselves, but your darling kiddos chose a maligned species that needs all the help it can get. Bats are indeed awesome, in so many ways, which I am sure you are well aware of now for your childrens’ interest in them.

  7. A very good iniciative even I don’t love the bats😉😑 sorry

    And I agree with you about the politics …

    Kisses from France

    Hace a nice week

  8. Amanda

    $104.00 ?!! That’s incredible! Way to go, all!!

    You all are such wonderful human beings and I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog each day on my lunch break. Thank you so much for all the hope and smiles you bring to my day :)


  9. Lauren

    What kind hearted children you have! Keep up the good work x

  10. This melts my heart – both you and Josh do an amazing job at supporting your kids with anything they wish to achieve and I really love the fact you encourage and facilitate their learning. Being socially aware of the world round about us is so important and something we all should take an interest in! I’m 21 and they definitely do a better job of being more aware than I do! Eleanor, you are gonna change the world little missy!

    Great post!

  11. Alison

    What an adorable idea and a very worthy cause! Their signs are amazing!!!
    Congrats kiddos!

    Alison –

  12. Trisha

    This is so cool! I love bats! Your kids are the sweetest to do this! Really inspiring.

  13. Mollie

    This was a bright start to my day! So very sweet, and I love that you captured it on camera. Your children seem very kind hearted which is what this world needs more of :)

    xoxo Mollie

  14. Leigh

    Naomi, I have been reading your blog forever and look forward each day to you sharing your life with us. While I have never commented before and while bats make me a wee bit apprehensive, I would gladly have donated to this cause had I been in NYC. What adorable little ambassadors you have there! How could anyone resist? And what great parents you and Josh are! Teaching children to be good volunteers from such a young age will make the world a better place now and in the future. Good job! And I’m glad you don’t get political on here. This is the “Happy Place” of a lot of your readers, and though you have every right to speak your mind, there is enough stress in life without adding to it by politicizing and polarizing the people who come here to escape. Thank you. Now I’m going to enjoy my day by remembering Samson’s chocolate mustache, Eleanor’s artwork with the bats hanging upside down (just as bats truly do), and the fact that Conrad supported his siblings by overindulging in that cold weather goodness! Hey, it’s contagious. I’m out the door to Starbuck’s! ;-)

  15. brittany

    okay this is heart melting! and wow you raised some serious dough!

    xo, brittany
    got a gift guide for the kiddos on my blog today!

  16. Yaindy Lara

    Omg this is so cute. Thanks Samson and Elenor for helping save the Bats !!

  17. M

    This is the cutest thing EVER. Your kids would love the book Stellaluna if you haven’t stumbled on it already.

    (ps- major props for avoiding the mess that is politics these days. I fully agree with and respect your perspective.)

  18. M. M. McWhorter

    Hi Naomi! What an amazing day this must have been! I’d love a link to where I can donate to help save the bats! I give a small percentage of my income to charity each month and have struggled to find one this month I was really excited about – but Eleanor and Samson have convinced me that this is a definitely a worthy cause! This post is so awesome and so is your sweet family :)

  19. Krista

    This is so amazing! What awesome little ones you have, and awesome parents you and Josh are! xx

  20. McCall L.

    How stinkin’ cute! :) My kids favorite book right now is Bats at the Library by Brian Lies. You should check it out for them. So fun!

  21. Brenda

    All the way from Mexico. This was so sweet, your kids make my day better when i look at my snapchat or instagram stories.
    This kind of examples are not just for the little ones, I believe that as grown-ups we can learn so much from these kind acts.

    We need an escape from this crazy world to remind us that there is kindness and smart people. I love America, and your family are living proof that the country you live in is still great and full of awesome, kind and fun people. Thank you!

    Craving some hot chocolate!

  22. Heather

    Thank you so very much for sharing this!! It has to be the best and most sweetest thing I have ever seen! Such inspiring little people! Great job!

  23. Sarah

    I came across an article today about classic baby names that still feel modern and Eleanor was one of them! It said, “Meaning: “Bright, shining one.” Also, most likely to grow up and be a trailblazer.” I thought that was so fitting after reading your post today! She most certainly will grow up to be a trailblazer :)

  24. Jennifer

    You should bring them to Austin sometime. We have a lot of bats!

  25. So cute!
    Your kids would love Stellaluna – it’s a classic Australian picture book about a lost fruit bat. Gorgeous and full of brilliant messages about seeing the good in diverse lives.

  26. Kellie

    This is so absolutely adorable!!! Your kids are just the cutest!

  27. I like checking in on your guy’s lives, knowing I want run into any political discussions or election debates. The site is kind of a haven from all that. Never change.

  28. Frances

    This is the cutest video I’ve ever seen. Go Eleanor and Samson!!

  29. Elishia

    Their unbridled enthusiasm is so beautiful to see, but what makes it so special is that you and Josh encourage them to fight for their beliefs and to be exactly who they are!

  30. Victoria

    Awe I love this! Good for them and good for you! What great kids you have and what a great mom you are! Very inspiring. :)

  31. Beca

    Such a lovely way to raise funds and awareness – go Eleanor and Samson! Please could you let me know the name of the bat conservation charity? I’d love to find out more about this issue.

  32. Karlee

    What a sweet and uplifting video. This really made my morning and made me smile! You are raising fantastic kids!!

  33. Angelica

    This was too cute. Those little chocolate mustaches made my morning.

  34. Alida

    Hallo from South Africa…I think you set a wonderful example to focus on things people agree about, like kindness, instead of focusing on things that polarises people. Keep spreading the sunshine.

  35. Danae

    I teared up watching this video last night. It’s children like yours that are going to have such a positive impact on the world as they grow up <3

  36. Adorable! So much fun! Melted my heart and start looking where to donate for bats!

  37. Sara

    Too cute!!!! Well done Samson & Eleanor!

  38. Their posters are so adorable and so are their hot chocolate moustaches! How sweet of Conrad to support his older siblings like that! It totally sounds like something I’d do ;P What can I do? I’m just a supportive kinda friend! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  39. Magali

    ooooh this is so sweet! And Samson’s cocoa moustache is the sweetest!
    Greetings from switzerland (bern)

  40. Dani

    Super lindos

  41. Lauren

    Oh my gosh that is so so so adorable!! So so cute I’m dying.

  42. Michelle

    This is the cutest and the best thing I’ve read all day! <3 you're so inspiring :)