Posted by Carrie Wintle on Jan 09, 2019 under

24 weeks as Miss South Dakota. It doesn’t seem possible. Time just flies by. It seems like I blink and another month has come and gone. Nonetheless, this week was filled with Christmas spirit and a school visit.

I attended Christmas at the Castle, an event for Children’s Miracle Network. Every year the Sanford Castle of Care hosts an event where families can spend an evening drinking hot cocoa, enjoying each other’s company, and lighting the big Christmas tree just outside the Castle doors. I met some fun-loving miracle children. It was a little chilly outside, but as Frozen goes, “the cold never bothered me anyway.” One of the coolest parts about the evening was waving to the kids in the hospital rooms. Several kids stayed inside and could watch the lighting from their window.

After the tree lighting ceremony, I visited several children on the hospital floors.  This was my first time actually visiting the children on the floors, and it was magical. I was accompanied by Batman and Captain America, which made the adventure even more exciting. We started on the neonatal floor, hearing from families about their babies’ stories. Next, we visited the pediatrics floor. These kids were a little bit older. Many of them “ooed” and “awed” at Captain America and Batman. One little boy even brought out his Batman action figure. It was a special moment to watch as this little boy’s eyes brightened at the sight of Batman. We even ran into a few princesses along the way too, including Ana and Cinderella.

At the end of the week I visited Whittier Middle School to talk with the sixth grade class. Julia Olson, Miss South Dakota 2016, teaches at Whittier now and invited me to visit her students. I talked about Money $heep. Several students even volunteered to help act out the Money $heep story for me. Each student received their own copy of Mr. Money $heep. During the presentation, one little girl raised her hand and asked, “Didn’t we learn about budgeting last year?” I replied, “That is great. This is a good review for you then. Plus, how many of you actually have a budget and use it every day?” None of the kids raised their hands. I continued, “That is why it is important to relearn different financial topics. It is one thing to learn what a budget is. It is a whole other thing to actually implement these topics in your life. The more you are reminded of them, the more likely you will remember to use them day to day.”

After the presentation, I visited Julia’s classroom and read a book with her students. There is nothing like watching a dear friend achieve her goals and impact the lives of others. Julia is a light in my life and this world.

We are heading into December. Is that possible? The last month of 2018. See you soon, friends.