“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks of his enemies in the gate.” ~ Psalm 127:3-5
We love and cherish each one of our children. And are so blessed that He entrusted them into our care. One of our hopes and prayers as parents, in addition to teaching our children Jesus, is to instill lasting memories and moments in their hearts – as a family. Neither of us really have lasting relationships with our families, not by our choice – but by theirs. Looking back now, we can see how this was an inevitable outcome due to how disconnected the family unit was.
Before we even got married, we talked about how we would be intentional in this area. Making lasting memories, traditions, and moments that our children would cherish was crucial to us. We hope and pray that when they are all grown, with their own families – that they will remember moments they spent with their family, and siblings –as some of the best of their childhood.
Here are some special ways we make those moments, those memories that we have grown to cherish and love so much as a family:
Yea, that sounds kind of simple, but it’s one of the best!! It usually starts with a walk around the neighborhood, we walk down to the stream and watch the water, pick some flowers, and play in the fields. Then, we make it to the park! And as easy at is as a parent to just sit and let your kids run around and play, it is so important to get in there with them!
Climb those slides, pretend to be a pirate, swing as high as you can until you feel your stomach start to tickle, be a kid with your kids. Without fail – when we get home there is a unanimous sigh of content satisfaction “that was so fun, we love park dates!”
“A joyful heart is good medicine…” ~ Proverbs 17:22
Dinner time prayer.
We pray, as lots of families do, when we sit down for dinner. Our four year old has taken a huge interest in praying at dinner time lately, even if a prayer was already said. And of course, we let her. She says the sweetest things – and gives thanks for the most random and precious moments like tickles from her big sister that day, or for mommy letting her try and feed her little brother his oatmeal that morning.
Supper time is a moment when the whole house stops, and together we eat our dinner, chit chat, and just enjoy the winding down time with one another. We have all enjoyed watching her and hearing her praying to Jesus, thanking Him for her meal, her family, and her day. It’s amazing to see what impacts a child in such a way that she needs to thank Jesus for it. It brings the heart home.
“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to Your name, O Most High” ~ Psalm 92:1
“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.” ~ Proverbs 22:6
“Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make know His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; tell of all His wondrous works!” Psalm 105:1-2
Movie dates (at home).
We used to love going to the movie theater, but as we’ve had more kids – it’s proven to not be as doable as it once was. So, we’ve brought the movie theater home! When a great movie comes out in the theaters, we are all so excited to wait for it to come out on TV rental or on DVD. We have an account with a company that adds movies to their library pretty quick, and it is our go-to movie date night resource.
We all curl up throughout the living room (usually the girls curled up with Daddy and the little guy curled up with mommy – funny how that happens , lay out the snacks and drinks on the coffee table, and enjoy the night. Our kids have grown to love these moments, and when they always say they can’t wait until the next movie date night.
Taking Time with Each Child
We both also intentionally take time out with each kiddo as often as we can, something simple like hot chocolate from Starbucks to sip on together while we watch the snow fall, or an icy to refresh us while we enjoy a walk or head out to feed the ducks.
For us, it’s these normal moments that have made the most impactful memory lasting moments upon us as a family. We don’t have to make extravagant trips, or buy our kids the latest and greatest gadget…it’s the simple things in life that just so happen to cling to all of our hearts the most.