Things That Matter to Mollie
I have been reading a book on Hospitality lately and it is awesome. The book obviously talks about opening up our home to others and having a hospitable spirit, but it also focuses on being hospitable to our own family. I didn’t see that one coming, in my mind hospitality was always extended to others and the family did it together, and that is still true. The book is also suggesting that we, as parents/moms, should be extending hospitality to our own immediate family members. Suggestions include being kind and courteous, brushing your hair and looking decent for your husband when he comes home, preparing special meals. The one suggestion that got me thinking was implementing special family traditions. According to the author a TRADITION PROVIDES A SENSE OF STABILITY OR PERMANENCE IN OUR HOME.
The author points out that TRADITIONS ARE THE FAMILIES GOD ORDAINED VEHICLE TO PASS ON A POSITIVE HERITAGE. IT DOESN’T COST A LOT OF MONEY TO PASS ON VALUABLE TRADITIONS. BUT IT WILL COST TIME, THINKING, & COURAGE TO MOVE FROM IDEAS TO ACTION.
It made me start thinking about the traditions we have in our little family of 6.
Apparently there are three CATEGORIES that traditions can fall under… And you know how I like lists.
** Breakfast Cinnamon rolls in the number of your age.
** Jewish Feasts. Last year we starting hosting the Jewish Feasts in our home. They happen throughout the year and have become a time for us to pause and remember all the spectacular ways God loves us and sacrificed for our mistakes.
** Valentines Day. I make a special “love” breakfast for the whole family.
** Our Wedding Anniversary. With the exception of this year (since I had a baby 10 days before)… Ronnie and I have a special meal and a couples massage. #yesplease
** Friday Family Night @ the beach
** Sunday Night Dinner with Ronnie’s parents and brother & wife
** Saturday morning pancakes
** Puzzle lunch. I wish I had a picture to share. I try every week to have one puzzle lunch with the kids. We completely clear off the table. I put together a muffin tin lunch (think blueberries, lunch meat, pretzels, cut up sandwiches, etc) in the middle of the table and we spread out puzzles. Wooden puzzles for Freddie, larger 24-36 for Pennie, and 100 piece for Zoie. We all work together and I try to ask them silly questions that they normally wouldn’t take the time to answer, but since their hands are busy they normally just chit chat. Questions like “What do you like most about your sister?” “What is one thing you would change about our house?” etc. It is always fun!
** Sabbath. We don’t do any TV or extra activities on Sunday. We spend the morning at church then the rest of the afternoon reading, playing, listening to sermons, napping #amen before we go to family night dinner at my in-laws house. It’s one of the best things we have done as a family. It is truly a day of rest, even for mom!!
There have been a few ideas that I have been tossing around in my head but I haven’t come up with a great plan.
* pizza & game night
*Reading together (i want to get in a good habit of reading chapter books with my kiddos, its pretty hit or miss right now)
We would love to hear your traditions and any good ideas for us to add to our family!
Blessings from my family to yours.
I have written about this before, this is mostly a reminder to me.
Spending time with Jesus is the most important thing I can accomplish each day. Sure, I can make a list of things that can seem more pressing…. spending time with my children, loving my husband, laundry (ugh), dishes (double ugh), feeding everyone. Quiet time is still more important than all of those because it allows me to do those things well, with a joyful spirit.
It is a discipline, and one that I didn’t quite develop until about 3 1/2 years ago. My best friend and I were both complaining about how we wanted to grow in the Lord but couldn’t quite fit a quiet time in our schedules. We both had little ones and their demands were keeping us busy and distracted during the day. We committed to texting each other at 5:30 every morning with a “Good Morning!” as a nice way to say “Get your booty out of bed and go read your Bible!” Then later (7:30-8ish) we were supposed to report back with a text about what we learned. It was the most fruitful season in my life to date. For the first time ever I had a normal routine that allowed me to get my quiet time in every day.
At first, it was a chore. Getting up early was painful, I wasn’t sure what I was going to read, I was already making lists of everything I had to accomplish that day and kept glancing at the clock till my “hour” was up. Then it grew into my most favorite time of the day because my relationship with Jesus grew! Instead of doing my due diligence I was engaging with my Savior! The long hour before now FLEW by and I reluctantly had to put down my journal and Bible.
In the past 3 1/2 years there have most definitely been seasons, its not always so romantic. I have had 2 babies and moved, she had 1 more baby and completed a masters degree. During the last month of pregnancy and the first month afterwards I don’t get up early to do my time. We don’t text every morning anymore, but the habit of quiet time is still there. It is still the exception when I DON’T get up early.
If I can be of any encouragement to you, just start. Wake up a little bit early and crack open your Bible. Pour yourself a HUGE cup of coffee and enjoy the quiet, where your heart can connect with the Lord.
Blessings from my family to yours.
The older I get in life, the more I realize that I am quirky. I have things that really matter to me, weird things that I find important.
One of those things is Zone Checks. About a year ago I was having one of those meltdown mama moments. You know the ones where you feel like there will always be endless cars, dolls, shoes, and toys everywhere. Where your couch will NEVER have all its pillows on top….
I was in the middle of reading the book desperate with my mentor and one of the authors told a story of how she and her kiddos cleaned up the house together. Light bulb moment!!
We divided up the house into two zones. One for each of our big girls (Freddie has a small responsibility for putting death traps… er cars & trains away). At the end if every day we spend 20 minutes or so doing Zone Checks. I turn on loud music and we all work on our zone. My zone is tabletops and the kitchen (joy…).
Some days we all work together well and it’s all good. Other days its like beating my head with a brick to get it done without repeating myself 30x.
Sometimes we skip it all together.
A couple months ago I was contemplating giving up zone checks. I was tired of coaching them along through it and thought it would be so much easier for me just to do it myself. That weekend my big kids had sent with my parents and my mom complimented me on how well my kids did on picking up after themselves and how conscious they were of trying to keep her house tidy! That was the boost I needed to keep going! .
At the end of the day its not whether my house is tidy, its about teaching them responsibility. Teaching them that we are a family team and we need each others help. So we are back at it and going strong. Zone checks all around!