Wednesday, January 29, 2014

There are 9 in my family. Let me introduce you to everyone...myself, my sweet husband Shane who is a high school special ed teacher and football coach (Go Skins!!!), Kaili-our freshman, Aliya-our 7th grader, Stashu-our first son and a 4th grader, Tagen-our 3rd grader, Mataya-our kindergartner, Hattie-our 4 year old, and Greison-our little guy who is 6 months old today!
Time to gather around a meal is really a priority to our family. Where we gather is never as important as making the time to gather. My husband and I decided a long time ago that the busy-ness of life should not trump the importance of making time to come together as a family. This has meant that we have had to be flexible, creative and most of all committed to making that happen. Our phase of life right now often requires us to eat dinner in my husband's classroom. Three years ago my husband took the job he is currently in and we transferred our school age children to the district where he would be teaching with the idea that we would move into the district soon. Well, we are still in our home which is located about 20 minutes from where he works. This distance often dictates where and when we will eat dinner because our children are involved in multiple sports, clubs and activities in the school and community where they attend school. Our church is even across the street from where my husband works. Since today is a Wednesday I had to be sure to have a meal that I could transport over to my husband's classroom so we could feed everyone, pick up our big girls from basketball practices and get everyone to church on time.
It is definitely not easy to make dinner happen as a family for a family of 9 with two working parents, multiple kids in sports, a nursing baby, and a distance to travel to everything we are involved in....but we do it. Dinner time allows everyone to come together for sometimes a very short time, but together nonetheless to share our thoughts and experiences for the day. We have set the standard that there is not another option. Just like our attendance at church, you go....PERIOD. There is not another option. And because this is the standard, there is no questioning it either.
Some people, I'm quite certain, would consider us to be extreme. But it works for us, because we make it work. My husband and I want our children to never question the importance of family. We put a lot of emphasis on family time and doing things as a unit. Our belief is that even though there is a 14 year span between our oldest and youngest children, they will share the bond of family and will be as close as any siblings. Our greatest gift for our children next to our devotion to our faith, is each other. And we continually work on those relationships through our time spent as a family despite the craziness of our schedules. They will each know to value the family because it has been taught that our family is a priority. So this evening I chugged to my husband's school after teaching today myself with our meal of Chicken breasts, green beans, potatoes, and fresh veggies....and a preschooler and a baby in tow. We ate off of paper plates with plastic forks and water bottles to drink. It is definitely not five star dining, but it does come with five star company....giggles, sharing about the day, and words of encouragement. I wouldn't trade that time for anything else!


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