When I was a teenager, I loved to swim and sunbathe even though I did not have a pool. My backyard neighbors had a pool and they also had twin girls whom I would babysit when needed. During summers, I found myself at their house swimming quite often. As time went by, I became the "pool girl" for this family. Without asking or being told, I just began to clean and vacuum their pool each morning and swim and supervise the girls in the afternoon. It was a great gig. I wasn't paid but I could come when I wanted.
Fast forward 15 years later, I'm married with my first child. It's hot, it's summer and our house does not have air conditioning. What to do with a hot child on a summer day? Well, my backyard neighbors had a pool and they saw our need. They invited us to swim. That was a true relief and they shared their swimming pool with us for many years after that day. Once again, I enjoyed the generosity of my backyard neighbors and their pool.
Finally, the day came for my family to fix up...
A rigorous game of volleyball is probably the last thing you want in your living room...unless the "ball" happens to be a balloon.
You can easily turn any room into a safe volleyball court. Clear away a space, then tie a string between the backs of two chairs. You now have a playing field and a net. Blow up a balloon. You're ready for action. For more formal play, decorate the net with streamers, lengths of yarn, etc. While you're at it, spiff up the balloon with markers. Every good volleyball can use a pair of eyes, a nose, and a mouth.
Encourage your kids to develop their own rules; after all, this is no high-pressure tournament. Be inventive. A group of kids might get a special charge out of trying to keep a flotilla of balloons aloft!
This game, which should always be supervised by an adult, is...
Outside is calling
Two weeks ago, we were advised to socially distance ourselves. Last week the governor told us to shelter in place. What is so amazing about this is that in the last two weeks, I have seen more people outside around my community than I have seen in a couple of decades. It makes me so happy to see people outside. I see children playing in their yards. I have never seen some of these kids before and they live in my neighborhood. Amazing!
Even though this bad thing of a harmful virus is making some people sick, restricting our work, and isolating us all, most of us are together with our families. That is a very good thing unless you hate your family. As good as this together time is, we can drive each other crazy. That is why it is so good to get outside. Outside is calling. Getting outside and being in nature is a really healthy activity. In fact, going outside every day is important for adults and children. Studies show that the health benefits of being...
On my very first business card that I made for myself over 26 years ago was engraved “Time and Attention" – Keys to Family Strength. For some reason, I thought those were true words important to highlight. Now twenty six years later, after working with countless families and raising my own two children, those words still ring loud and clear to me. So for now, I’m digging into this thought.
Time and Attention – Keys to Family Strength
What is Time and Attention? Well, we all get 24 hours of time each day. What we do with that time is up to us. Time is a gift from God. Like other gifts such as money or talents, we can have a lot of it or a little of it. We can spend it all, waste it or use it carefully and use it for the good of others.
When it comes to families, which I define as parents living together with their children, time is an important resource. Giving time to our children and our spouse is a big deal. Giving focused attention where we are fully...