Monday, April 23, 2012

The care and keeping of a large family - recreation

The last thing I want to touch on is what we do for fun, and how. People often express sympathy for me because I must never get any time to myself. That always makes me laugh, because I think of those 4 morning hours and how much I'm able to get done, and I know I never accomplished anywhere near that level of productivity when I was working full time. But I think what they mean is that I don't get, and for that matter, my husband doesn't get, much time to "veg."

Lucky for me, I'm not good at vegging out and never have been. I'm nearly incapable of napping, and I can't even sit down to watch a TV show unless I can be doing something constructive simultaneously. That's probably why I rarely turn on a television. I need to be busy, most of the time.

Still, I do like my down time as much as anyone, and my favorite activity is reading. I stay up reading quite late many nights. :o) As I said in another post, our evenings tend to be pretty relaxed because of the preparation and planning that go into making them so, so from about 7 pm on, things are pretty laid back. Usually I read and Curtis gets on the computer.

On the weekends, Curtis and I always go out on some sort of date, and I always look forward to this. We also very often go out for breakfast one day a week when he works a short day. Because our kids go to bed at a decent hour, we have the evenings free to talk with each other and just be together.

Because of my schedule, I have a little more free time than Curtis does, and am able to do things like go shopping or out for breakfast with my sister or mom. I can also fit in the odd lunch or movie with friends, but I don't do too many things like that.

As far as family time goes, we've unfortunately reached the stage in our lives where our older kids are very often gone. They work, they're on sports teams, they're in after-school activities, and have music lessons. In spite of this, we usually have the vast majority of our family present for dinner each night, and it's a good time for us to hang out and relax and talk about the day. On Sundays, however, we can count on everyone to be home all day, and I love that. We are a Sabbath-observing family, so no one works and our kids don't plan activities away from home. We very often have their friends over for lunch, but our evening time is for our family.

For recreation, we go on walks and bike rides, have movie nights, go to our kids' activities and sports events, and we also plan day trips to Billings from time to time. We'll do a little shopping, go out to eat, see a movie, go to the zoo, or some other fun activity. We also try to have a family vacation each year, although since we started Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace program a few years ago, our vacations have been less flashy than in years gone by. Still, we go somewhere to have fun together and get away from the day-to-day drudgery for a bit. This year we'll be going to Yellowstone with some friends of ours. :o)

Most of our recreation occurs spontaneously - wrestling matches with Dad before bed, Xbox dance-offs, and heated Pictionary contests, hair and nail parties. Honestly, those are some of the best moments, and the ones I'll miss when they're all grown.

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