Friday, 16 March 2012

Lovely Relaxing Family Day...

This is probably my longest post yet.  Sorry about that.

For the first time in YEARS I went to church last Sunday.  (I'm aiming to check a few out till I decide which one suits us the most.)  It's something I've thought about for quite some time but I always used the excuse of Mr Creator doing shift work and not wanting to go by myself.  Then with the PND I came to the realisation that Bible Study would be beneficial for me.  Or perhaps it was actually Him that put the idea in my head.  OK, so I know it was, but I still don't really understand how exactly.  Anyway, regardless of how the idea came to me, it did, and I went to Bible Study.  I REALLY enjoy it. 

The big boys always talk about Scripture & enjoy their Scripture homework.  They fight with me about doing their other homework so I've had to get them to finish their everyday Maths etc so they have the Scripture stuff to look forward to.  Miss Pants is really enjoying Pip Squeaks, which is kind of like playgroup in a Christian environment. 

I found myself thinking about how I could do more to tell them about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in an age appropriate way when I don't know enough of His word to quote any of it myself, let alone refer to specific sections of the bible!  A lot of people do.  They can tell you the Book, Chapter and Verse verbatim of almost anything in the bible.  Not me!  Perhaps one day I will, but I just don't know.  Anyway,while thinking about how I could best do this, it occurred to me that I should take them to Sunday School.  After all, that's what Sunday School is for, to introduce them to God, and strengthen my own relationship with the Lord.

So, last Sunday morning we ventured off to Church at 10am.  Mr Creator stayed home.  There was a Baby/Parent room that I spent most of my time in with Little H so as to not disrupt the rest of the congregation, but I could still see & hear everything that was going on.  The other 3 spent the first 10 minutes of the service with us all and then went down the front for a short while with the rest of the kids in the congregation before heading off to Sunday School in age appropriate groups.

I quite enjoyed it and as seems to be the case if you go in open-minded and with God in your heart, the service seemed to be directed entirely at me.  You know, when I was going to Church regularly all those years ago we had two service types.  The Sunday morning typical sermon.  Mostly with the older hymn's, not the contemporary Christian music like today, and it was very much a "God fearing" environment.  During my time with that Church they implemented a Sunday evening service which wasn't held in the Church as such, but in the Church hall.  The youth band played, people stood up & really got into their worship.  I got a lot more out of the sermons there too.  Eventually they kind of blended the two styles together.  Well that's what I found last Sunday.  I enjoyed it but I knew that if the kids had stayed with me they'd have been B.O.R.E.D.

They LOVED Sunday School, they LOVED playing with all the kids afterwards, they loved that there was morning tea to share with everyone.  We stayed for about an hour afterwards with everyone, chatting and enjoying the company without feeling judged what-so-ever (unlike my previous experiences).  Before we even got to the footpath on our way to the car the kids were telling me excitedly how much fun they'd had and that they wanted to go again next week!!  Now THAT is certainly not something I'd have said after my very few experiences of church at their age.


After we came home we decided that since it was such a lovely day and we'd had soooo much rain the previous couple of weeks that we'd take ourselves off to a local park that the kids had been wanting to visit.  We grabbed hats, put sunscreen on, popped the picnic basket and blankets into the back of the car and visited the local Charcoal Chicken shop on the way (because there was nothing in the house anyway).  I'd even packed the coffee, sugar, insulated mugs and remembered the milk, but I left the thermos sitting on the kitchen bench.  Luckily, the family meal I picked came with a drink and was better value for money than any of the other takeaway options in town and was probably healthier too.

The kids played for hours!  We joined in too.  (Probably got a little incidental exercise at the same time).  Little H was very well behaved and slept most of the time.  He was completely tuckered out after being dotted on all morning at church.  A family of local kids turned up while we were there and set up a small table quite a distance back from the playground.  They were trying to sell homemade lemonade.  The cups only seemed to be half full and they were charging $2 per cup.  Mr C wasn't terribly impressed and kept expressing his dissatisfaction to me.  Eventually I had to tell him to turn around so he couldn't see them.  They didn't stay as long as we did though.  Clearly they got bored.  Once they left Mr C relaxed, thankfully.

When we got home I started dinner and then realised how long it was going to take so I set the wheels in motion on a little family "project" I'd been putting off for soooooo long.  I've read several posts on the blog 71 Toes about Family Home Evenings.  Now as far as I could tell, they have split this into two nights and they have a bit of a family Bible study or devotional of some kind one night and the following night (because it suits them) they have a fun night of family games.  Sometimes board games, sometimes other games.  I'd asked the kids if they'd be interested in some kind of family games night and they expressed to me that they certainly would beSeveral times.  Well, I'd been thinking about this and remembered reading this post from Fig Nut Mum late last year, so I took myself off to the shop a few weeks ago and purchased the game.  I'd been waiting for a day when I could bring it out after dinner and surprise everyone with it but dinner always seemed to be too late to play afterwards.

Well, when I realised how long it was going to take our dinner to cook I decided to do it THAT night.  I told the kids to have their showers and get their jarmies on & I'd have a surprise before dinner if they were quick enough.  I managed to get Mr Creator in from the shed to play too.

Find out about Blokus Classic and other versions of the game here!
They were stoked!  We had a quick game just in time for dinner to be ready.  They were so happy about it though that we played again AFTER dinner.  And Mr Creator (aka Mr Doubty-mufasa) enjoyed it too.

After thinking about it a little more afterwards I decided to have our Family Game Night (FGN) on Fridays.  We generally have a takeaway meal on Friday & since they don't have to be up early the next morning, staying up for a bit spending time doing fun stuff as a family seemed like a good idea.  I suspect sometimes we might fore go the games and watch a movie together instead but I remember when I first started this blog I wanted to spend more time with my family doing "stuff" rather than just occupying the same space as them.  Slowly, very slowly, we are moving in the right direction and I feel so much better for it. :)

So, today is Friday.  Takeaway night.  We tried a new game tonight.  Good Fun! Lol.  (Might need to work on the Good Sportsmanship ideals a bit though.)

Angry Birds - card game, from Mattel

What do you do as a family??  Do you make sure you include EVERYONE in that? And not just the Stay at Home Parent & the kids??  Let me know...  (Let me know if you made it all the way to the end of this post too)

Bye for now, K

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