Monday, October 17, 2011

Working together

When thinking about what makes a healthy family, we've found there are a lot of things to work on all at once - things that, if we'd had the kids since birth, would have been a gradual part of our lives together.  But suddenly, we're trying to incorporate consistency, love, grace, discipline, truth-telling, God's love, education, routines, family bonding.....the list goes on.

As I re-read that, all my questions as to why I'm always tired and feeling slightly scattered these days have suddenly vanished.

Anyway, this weekend, we decided to really work on a new aspect of family bonding: working together.

There have been so many other things to work on, that it really hadn't been a big part of our lives yet.  They've both helped out with various tasks, but this past Saturday was officially dubbed "family work day."  The whole family stayed together, and we all worked outside in the yard together to get things cleaned up and ready for fall.

Yarbo was mostly there for moral support.  And to be cute.

Working for more than 5 minutes at the same task was not popular in the beginning. However, as the boys kept raking, the possibilities of fun while working began to form in their minds.

And when the pile was finally big enough (with a little help from Dave and I!) they put their ideas to the test.

Andy said he'd never gotten to jump into piles of leaves before, which was a stark reminder of the simple things that the boys have missed out on.  Sometimes it's tempting to want them to have every material thing possible (because, you know, they've missed out on things), but smiles that came from simple pleasures like jumping into a freshly raked pile of leaves was a good reminder that quality time with family is so much better for them than expensive toys.

Playing in the leaves was a bit counter-productive to cleaning up the yard, but seemed to be very beneficial for family bonding.  Sometimes you just have to pick your priorities....

And in the above picture, you can see what we chose as our priorities.  Worth every extra stroke of the rake!

I love - absolutely love - my family, and even though we're still at the point where having them help includes more time spent teaching than time actually saved, family work days are so much more fun as a family of four.  And, aside from the fun parts of family work day, it was a good day for teaching life skills.  We worked hard together because the next day, we had big plans to play together (more on that later!).  It was a great Saturday!

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