Heidi at Mt. Hope Chronicles has started a new blog series entitled Living Lovely with Family, and each week she plans to share her ideas-- her affordable ideas!-- with the rest of us. I'm really excited about this series because there's a wealth of creative minds out there, and as we all share, we're bound to walk away encouraged and optimistic and idea-laden, as well :) So-- Heidi is looking for ways in which we connect with our children to create meaningful moments and lasting memories. And surely, we all have something to contribute! I'm certain we're all striving to do our best in this fallen world, and with God's abundant grace, we'll raise the next generation. A little extra help along the way is a wonderful thing, me thinks :)
1 Thessalonians 5:11, "Encourage one another and build each other up..."
So, this week's theme is the Daily Edition-- things we do with our children on a regular basis. Since we're a homeschooling family, I'm with my kiddos all day long... 24/7, to be more precise. Now typically, that's a wonderful thing! Although I must confess there are those occasional Starbucks moments when escaping for a quick jaunt (sans les enfants!) is not only a treat but a necessity! All in all, though, we have tons of fun together, and for most of the day, our favorite times include:
...food. The kids and I eat all our meals together, and in the evening we eat dinner with dad. Now sometimes dinnertime is later than I 'd like (we work around athletic schedules all year long), but the important part is that we do it. Together. Every day. And the conversation possibilities are endless! There's just no telling what your 8 or 10-year old son might share over his favorite dish! Or around the grill. Or over a batch of his favorite cookies-- we have some of our best conversations around a bowl full of batter!
...books. Fortunately, my children love to read. And they love it when I read to them. So we read lots of books together. Bible stories, historical fiction, science books, the classics, fables... the list goes on and on. And I don't always hit the ball out of the park with my selections, but most times, the stories are great and they lead us on all sorts of rabbit trails for further discovery and discussion. Just recently, in fact, we started a new read-aloud routine. Previously, we normally read-aloud around... food! Well, for the most part... after breakfast or lunch or during a mid-morning snack. Now we're also reading together in bed, right before the lights go down, and it's been tremendously fun! The boys and I jump into one of their beds and snuggle in the covers while we huddle together, enjoying one more chapter or two of our current selection. Then, of course, it's the regular nightly routine... hugs, prayers, and a song (always "Angels") for Big Man.
...the outdoors. Time in the fresh air together-- taking walks, playing ball, heading to the park, working in the yard-- is the best (especially when it's warm outside!)! This year we're adding a new project to our list: gardening. I love to work in the gardens but I've never had much help (other than Grandmom, that is!). Well just last week, while at the nursery buying pansies for the front porch, all 3 boys expressed an interest in having their own plot of earth to garden. So this spring, as the bulbs grow and the plants blossom, we'll till some new earth together and launch this new adventure in the dirt! And oh, my littlest one will love it :)
...our faith. We worship together. We pray together. We sing and read God's Word together. We strive to do everything for the glory of God... together. Our Heavenly Father is surely the glue that holds this family together!
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--
think about such things."