Party of Five

When the kids were younger it was easier to get them to go placed with you. There really was no choice on their end, and for the most part they didn’t seem to mind going, unless of course it was to the doctor or dentist. The kids would trust that you would take care of them, and if you are fun parents usually the destination was worth going to. For the majority of us, we try to make sure there are fun places sprinkled into life, and so there is a level of anticipation if the plans aren’t laid out beforehand.

When our kids were little we learned early on not to tell them what the plans were because it usually meant there would be a thousand questions and not enough time to get ready. We loved to surprise our kids with fun events that ranged from going out to eat at a fast food place to flying to the grandparents house to spend Christmas with them. We would take pictures and record videos of their reactions so that we could relive them throughout the years. Our party of five had fun together, we would try new things and know that there would be a new adventure around the corner. One event that became a tradition was going out into the woods to pick a tree, cut it down and bring it home to decorate for Christmas. Usually one kid would have the dogs, one would fall behind and the other would carry the axe that dad would use to get the tree. Most often getting the tree was the quick part, we would hang out afterwards to play in the snow and eat lunch before heading home. The kids would then help get the tree decorated once we got it home while I would get the most upbeat Christmas music I could find going.

Now that they are closer to young adult/teenage years we still do this tradition but now we have to battle against jobs, online events and stubbornness. Now we have to negotiate and plan around what they have going on. What makes this tradition better now is that they want to go vs. us just hoping in the car and we go. As we planned this years outing, I know it will be different, but my hope is that they will see there is still magic in doing things as a family. I hope they will still want to get involved in picking the try and not just standing there waiting to go back to the car. I hope they will laugh and joke with each other while we are in the car and while we hike to the perfect spot. My party of five will soon be a party of 4 when my oldest finishes high school and moves out. My party of five already feels like a party of two as my hubby and I find ourselves together while the kids are out doing their own thing.

I know that just as seasons change from spring to summer to fall to winter, seasons change in life. I know the sparkle and joy of Christmas is still there but it is different with older kids in our home. No one believes in Santa anymore, but everyone still loves to hear the Christmas story on Christmas morning and bake goodies until our belts pop. We appreciate our time together more and try to have as much fun as we can. I am not ready for my kids to be their own people, but at the same time I love that they are. Until next time:

You don’t need to rearrange the stars or move mountains to be enough. You don’t need to have you entire life in order, or be perfect in any way. You just need to be able to offer love, and be willing to receive it in return. Because that’s all anyone ever needed anyways.

Dane Thomas
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Rae’s New Shine Children’s Book, great Christmas gift!

One day Rae woke up and felt different. When she looked at the people around her they seemed to “shine brighter” than she did. When she finally prayed about it and asked her mom for help, she realized she didn’t know her own worth. She didn’t believe in herself and felt dim compared to others. Once she started to see she was talented and worthy her shine came back.

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