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.

Rusty

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