Wednesday, October 09, 2013

These Are The Days

I'm about to brag here. Not about my parenting, not about the kids, but about the experience we had today. I often blog about our crazy times and our not-so-good times; I'm very excited to blog about the good times also.

My main reason in posting this blog is to 'pay forward' family time ideas. When I am struggling with my parenting or in a rut with family stuff, I am often looking to other blogs for ideas or parenting gems. Not that I consider anything we did today a 'gem ', but hopefully it will give an idea to another family.

Today was the first day back to school after a week break. The kids woke up happy and gave Lehr minimal backtalk during their morning. It was National Walk To School Day. Lehr was a great sport and let them ride their bikes. (It should be said that I would not have let them do that, simply because I'm a stick in the mud.) Them riding their bikes meant that I would have to deal with the riding bikes home part on my own. I told the kids to ride the bus home and we would figure it out from there. They got off of the bus and Ruby and I were ready to go, stroller and all. I told them we would be walking to school and they would ride their bikes home. That would normally produce some groans: Neither one absolutely loves walking for the sake of walking. Not only did they not complain, but they both cheered.  

The walk and ride whore uneventful, except for Nagging Mom calling after them on their bikes to watch out and stop and stay to the side. Once home we started on homework. Some whining from Eli regarding one of his assignments, but all in all pretty uneventful. I even managed to feed Ruby, make dinner, put Ruby down for a nap, and still have food on the table when Lehr arrived. 

Dinner was one of my favorite dishes, but it's no one the kids consistently like. However, when I told them what we were having, more cheering. I had them both set the table and prayer cards.

Sidebar: I started prayer cards about a month ago. I made four cards out of foam paper, each with a letter on it spelling out ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication). We each have one at our plate at dinner to indicate what part of the prayer is our 'part'. The kids have done really well with this. I first brought the ACTS prayer to them several years ago, but it fizzled out quickly. This time it stuck. 

I asked Eli to pass out the cards, which resulted in some complaints from Maddux over not getting the card she wanted. That resolves quickly and we went on to have a great dinner. We had our prayer and then ate dinner with both kids complimenting my cooking and talking voluntarily about their day. Then I brought up a few things I wanted to start with them surrounding dinner and they both were involved in the conversation AND excited. The first thing I told them I wanted to do is have one of them help me make a dinner from start to finish once/week. We talked about possible dinner ideas and they both got really excited. The second thing I want to start is a once a week family Bible study at dinner. I told them that we would take turns each week. When it is Eli's week, he chooses the story, he chooses the Bible (we have several), he chooses the presentation.... Same goes when it is Maddux's turn, or Lehr's turn, or my turn. They can make it as big or little as they want. Of course, they were talking props and all, because they have such amazing lessons at church. 

At this point, Maddux asked if we could read the family rules. (I ordered a large family plaque a few months ago that hangs in our eating area.) Not only did Maddux want to read them, but Eli did as well. What? Reading rules about obedience AND cooperation in doing so? Crazy.... Then we cleaned up dinner and even had time for a quick bike ride.

It may sound like a very normal, boring night, but for us it was epic. Yes, epic. We sometimes have one or two of the above 'events' happen in a night, but never all of them. NEVER. No major arguments. No bickering. No timeouts. Happy family conversation. Faithful plans. Joy and Happiness. Epic.

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