Building a Strong Family

On Saturday we started a new family habit. We turned off all the electronic devices and spent the day together.

We played Legos together. I declared a challenge to everyone to build a self portrait. I totally got the giggles when my self portrait turned out with crazy eyes, wild green hair, and a crooked smile. We built forts and space craft, we built cars and weaponry. We built a great memory.

We colored. I put a pile of graph paper on the table next to the box of crayons and set the creativity loose. We had wild scribbles, maps of imaginary lands, and fair isle patterns (can you guess which one was mine?). We sang while we colored – we sang patriotic songs like “God Bless America” and “The Star Spangled Banner”, and then we sang old hymns and like “Amazing Grace” and “Go Tell it on the Mountain”, and we sang fun kids songs like “Ho Ho Ho Hosanna” and “Jesus Loves Me”. We created a memory.

We had some down time. The little ones went down for a nap and everyone did something quiet. There was reading and knitting and writing going on. The Man got a little nap in. There was a nice, quiet lull in our day.

Then we had to eat something so The Munchkin, The Princess, and The Dancing Queen helped me make an early dinner – chopping, mixing, pouring, grating… We all ate a delicious meal. Then the other half of the family (The Man, The Bookworm, and The Boy) cleaned up the kitchen.

For the rest of the evening we played games. Mouse Trap, Bananagrams, Mancala, and Don’t Spill the Beans. We laughed and hollered. We hooted and cheered. We had so much fun. We made some great memories.

Being a homeschool mom, I spend everyday with my kids. We do a lot of stuff together, too. We do our school and our chores, we eat every meal at the kitchen table, we go everywhere – always together. But I often forget to enjoy our time together. I get absorbed in getting this done, or getting through this day, or making this goal. I easily get distracted by Facebook or writing this blog or surfing Ravelry or checking my email. I don’t always have fun with my kids. I don’t always enjoy being together. So this was an excellent exercise in slowing down and making each moment of the day count.

We didn’t spend any money. We didn’t go anywhere. We didn’t do anything that we don’t already do all the time. We just did it together. A deliberate family day. An excellent new family tradition.

So, don’t look for me online on Saturday. I will be busy making memories with my family.

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