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Celebrating Family Accomplishments

We had a busy, tiring but amazing Labor Day.

We had spent the morning working on our yard.  Trimming trees and hedges.  Raking, picking up “stuff” left by neighborhood pets, killings wasps and a cleaning the garage.
DCIM100GOPROWe then ate as fast as we could and met family for a hike.  The hike was up a local gorge in which we had to cross a huge log pile and then wade about 1/3 of a mile up to Oneonta Falls.  It wasn’t an easy scramble up rocks, over wet logs and down the other side.  It was a sort of bucket brigade in which kids carefully walked from adult to adult and waited carefully for their turn over the next obstacle.
We shuttled kids through the deepest pools and were rewarded by an amazing swimming hole at the base of a waterfall.  On our trip out things went even smoother and we were faster over the obstacles than groups of adults.  oneonta falls
We celebrated by going to Dairy Queen and then raced home for much needed sleep.

The four of us were smushed into our love seat for worship and were getting ready to pray.  We were sharing what we were thankful for and it was fun to hear the girls talk about ice cream and splashing.
I was thankful for what we accomplished by working together.
It really hit me in the moment that our day wouldn’t have been as productive, fun or satisfying if we hadn’t done all these things as a family.  Yard work, climbing over obstacles, swimming, eating ice cream and a whole bunch of other basic things were improved by doing it together.
Here are a couple things that I learned during the day that helped us accomplish stuff together that maybe will find helpful.
  1. Variety helps keep kids and adults engaged.  We knew lawn work was only a morning thing and so we kept pretty motivated.  Climbing over logs was a challenge but the girls knew there was fun on the other side.  Each activity was challenging but not overwhelming and the day was filled with anticipation.  This kept us all positive.
  2. Don’t let efficiency and time be in charge.  It takes time to teach kids things.  They have been learning to rake and do yard work but it still requires teaching and encouragement.  The good news is that with time, they will be much more independent and take more initiative but that will never happen if you don’t slow down at the start and focus on relationship and teaching rather than time and efficiency.
  3. Affirm your family.  There were so many chances to catch my girls doing things well.  They stuck with projects, did things that were hard, focused on listening, took initiative, and were brave.  It was meaningful for both me and the girls to take time to focus on what they were doing.
God created families to help children grow and to help us a parents grow.

How have you grown and witness maturing in your kids as you accomplish things together? Any ideas for family activities?