One of the things that I admire most about Amish families is the way they spend time together. It seems as if they actually enjoy being with one another!
This past weekend we had the pleasure of a visit from our oldest daughter. Jordyn rarely has weekends off, so this was a special treat. My son and mom joined in to make the time even more festive. We played dominoes, barbecued, and took the dogs for a walk.
Sometimes it’s hard to know how to spend time together, especially as our children get older. We don’t always have the same tastes in movies and eating out can be so expensive! Taking pointers from my Amish friends, I thought I’d share some fun family-time activities. Of course this will work with adult children as well as the younger ones.
- Cook at home and turn it into a family affair. We had one person making the salad, another barbecuing, and a third setting the table while the fourth took care of the dogs. Simple? Yes, but it’s also fun to do these things together versus mom trying to do it all.
- Pull out the dominoes, cards, or board games. I’m always surprised at how our adult children perk up when we set aside the computers and cell phones and spend time together. It doesn’t have to be a 3-hour game of Monopoly, though I’ll admit I like that too.
- Go for a walk. This is almost a necessity when you have several dogs in the house. Isn’t this a fun photo of me and Phoebe? For goodness sakes, don’t worry about how your hair looks when you’re out walking with your family. Just enjoy your time! Being outside together creates memories, and it’s good exercise! Try a game of volleyball or (if you’re in Texas) horseshoes or washers. These activities don’t cost much and they are a lot of fun.
- Worship together. Instead of skipping church because you have company, attend your workshop service together. We generally go to the early service, so it’s not a problem if our loved one doesn’t bring “the right clothes.”
- Talk to each other. I know . . . that sound like a “duh” suggestion. It’s easy to forget to do this though. Give your loved one your complete attention. You might be surprised at how this brings you closer to one another.
I adore family time. The older I get, the more precious these times seem to me. It’s become much easier for me to say “work will wait” or “I can do that laundry later.” Our children are rather scattered around the state, so these moments are special and I want to cherish them. Like the Amish I write about, I think that it’s a good decision to make your family an important part of your life, it’s worth the effort, and it’s what Christ would have us do.