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Family Time


The last 7 days we’ve been on vacation at the Oregon Coast (which, by the way, is why I haven’t posted much).  Today we’re flying home, and all the parents are going through withdrawal as we pack our bags and prepare to leave.

Meanwhile we’ve got some Christian Rock music playing over the speakers in the living room, and all the kids (there are around 25 of them since we came as an extended family) are all holding hands and dancing in a circle, laughing and singing along.

It’s a clear blue sky, a cool 75 degrees, and we’ve had a full week’s worth of incredible together-time, hiking in ancient forests with 400 year-old trees, splashing on the beach, boogie boarding, building sand-castles, singing songs, canoe riding, sitting in the hot-tub, and all manner of frivolities!

It has been absolutely invaluable.  As I pack and reflect, I’m reminded of the importance of quality family time.  We don’t do extravagant vacations very often because of the expense and difficulty with such a large family (6 kids), but a vacation doesn’t have to be extravagant to achieve the value of quality family time.

Events like these make memories that last a life-time, shape relationships, let parents reconnect with kids, let kids see their parents act like kids, etc.  We all come home a little closer, a little more refreshed, and a lot more ready to face the oncoming school year.

I reflect on the wisdom of the Mormon practice of Monday-night family night.  Dedicating the entire night to nothing but family.  Teaching a small lesson, having a little treat, playing a little game, and just being together.

Children growing up having had regular family time seem stronger, more kind, and more prepared for life.  As latter-day Mormon prophet David O. McKay said “No amount of success can compensate for failure in the home.

Regardless whether it’s big and extravagant, or simply small and regular, family time is heaven, and we’d all do well to do it just a little more often.


8 replies
  1. ditchu
    ditchu says:

    Looks like Florance or New Port, I live about 1.5 hours from the coast line in Oregon. I love it on the beach in almost all weather. Hope you and your Family had fun.

    God bless,

  2. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    Rusty, you are building wonderful memories for the whole family. Some of my favorite times are when my grown children get together and talk about their memories as kids. Makes me think I did a few things right during those years. Sometimes some secrets come out that would have certainly led to discipline if I had known at the time ;o).

    Shortly before my Dad passed away in 1983, my sister and I gathered with our parents in his hospital room. We had a wonderful time talking about our childhood memories. There was a wonderful spirit in the room, and if my Dad had any doubts about his value as a parent, they were surely dispelled that day. Looking back, I’m sure it gave him peace during his last days on Earth.

    As grandparents now, we have the opportunity to do cousins’ sleepovers in our home. Once or twice a month we gather as a family for Sunday dinner. These small things, we hope, build friendships, love and memories for our family and bring us closer.

  3. Rusty Lindquist
    Rusty Lindquist says:

    We stayed in Manzanita, but also went to Seaside, Cannon, and a couple beaches a bit further south. Ditchu, you live in an absolutely beautiful state!

    Margaret, your parents had to be wonderful. I do love watching as my wife’s family all reminisced about old times. So much fun.

  4. ditchu
    ditchu says:

    It is beautiful, but it tends to rain far too much from October through May.

    Margaret and Rusty (and anyone else who drops a line here)

    I find it very encourageing to hear about others who value family as much as I do, and It is great to hear from you guys the awsome things we share with family.

    Peace in Christ,

  5. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    Yes, families is what life is about! My parents did the best they could with the resources they had. I had a wonderful grandmother, too, that I try to emulate.

    And what is great, Rusty, even if your childhood left much to be desired, you can create a wonderful childhood for your own children. Sooner than you think, you’ll hear your own children talk about their great childhood memories, and maybe you’ll learn some things you weren’t aware of like I have.

    Ditchu, I don’t know much about you, but I’m sure you are a terrific Dad. I learn from both of you.

  6. mormonsoprano
    mormonsoprano says:

    What a fun vacation! (I love the Oregon coast, by the way) A very nice post about a crucial topic.
    It is nice to see that you took a break from blogging to do what is most important.

    (it’s hard to walk away from the computer though, isn’t it!…very addicting)

  7. ditchu
    ditchu says:

    I desire to be the best Dad I can be and that drives me to focus on my family. I am yet far from the Greatest Dad, or #1 Dad, just ask my wife… On secound thought you may want to set aside a few hours to ask my wife because she may list all the stuff I am not doing right as a Dad.

    I have a long way to go but this journey only started last year for me. I have a cute (all parents are bias toward their own kids) smart giant of a 9.5 month old Boy. They do grow up fast… I thought it took something like 18 years…

    He is already giving me mini-frights as he daredevils his way acrost the floor, ect… (Fearless)

    Rusty I love your story about the morning ruteen at your House… “Daaaaadeeee”
    It is all about the small moments.

  8. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    Somehow I knew you were a Dad. A relatively new one. Unfortunately, kids don’t come with instructions, and what works with one doesn’t necessarily work with another. You learn as you go, just like you learn to be a good spouse. The first one is an experiment and you get a little more relaxed (but not too relaxed) with subsequent ones. Just love them. Whatever you do, do it with love and make sure they know you love them.

    Being a grandparent is easier and more fun. You are more of a support to the parents. My grandmother had a lot of influence on me-especially as a teen. She expected a lot of me-and who wants to disappoint their Grandma?

    I think if I had it to do over, I’d have more fun with my kids. We did a lot of fun things, but I’d do more!


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