I told my kids at dinner that I needed something to blog. Taft said, "Since it's the 15th, write a list of 15 things." Ah! Great idea. I like it. I'm going to try it and then maybe it could become a recurring thing.
15 Things on the 15th
What we do on Sundays
1. We go to church. Right now our ward/congregation meets at 11:00am. We attend a three-hour block of meetings, beginning with Sacrament meeting, followed by Sunday School and then 3rd hour, Young Women's for me (I'm currently teaching 14-15 year old girls), Priesthood for my boys and Primary for Addie. Note: There are two weekends a year, when we don't go to church. The first weekend in April and the first weekend in October are scheduled as a worldwide General Conference for all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We get to stay home and watch multiple sessions of conference online!
2. Geoff and I get up early. 5:30am (yikes) He has a 6:30am meeting and I fix him old-fashioned oatmeal, and we eat breakfast together. After he leaves I enjoy a couple of hours of QUIET time! This happens three out of four weeks. The first Sunday of every month is what we call Fast Sunday and Geoff doesn't have his super early meetings those days.
3. We fast. In the LDS faith, we are invited and encouraged to develop the ability to fast, or go without food and drink for up to 24 hours. This generally happens on the first Sunday of each month. I am actually able to say—after 40+ years of practicing—that I LOVE fasting, because of the discipline it has given me over my physical appetite for food and because I am generally able to feel the Spirit to a greater degree and pray with more intention and purpose.
4. We listen to music. I generally connect my iPhone to my Bose speaker and blast some church tunes on Sunday mornings whilst we all get ready. Love me some MoTab—short for Mormon Tabernacle Choir!
5. We snack for lunch. When you go to church for three hours, you come home HUNGRY. And everyone knows that right after church you're on your own. This means lunch looks a like one continual round of snacking. If you walked into our home on a Sunday at 2:30pm you'd likely find 4 or 5 people preparing and eating a combination of the following ... toast, cold cereal, PB&J, corn dogs, Cafe Rio leftovers, microwave popcorn, protein shakes, herbal tea, cookies, ice cream, hard-boiled eggs, chips and salsa, nachos, nuts, cold chicken, grapes, bananas or apples and almond butter, etc...
6. We read. I LOVE Sundays because I totally give myself permission to sit down in the middle of the day and read a book. And, I find that after I get settled on my bed or in the living room, I'm like a magnet—one or more kids settle in too. I don't resist!
7. We nap. This likely doesn't require any explanation. Sundays are for naps, even if it's just 10 minutes (ok, maybe 45 minutes) of dozing off while reading.
8. We walk outside. This doesn't happen too often in the dead of winter (right now) but otherwise, we generally take a family stroll in our neighborhood. We start on the trail behind the homes across the street and follow it down and around and end up at the park below our house. Sometimes we take a football to toss or a tennis ball to bounce or scooters/skateboard to ride. Regardless of what it looks like, it's one of my favorite Sunday rituals.
9. We eat a super casual meal, like soup or salad or hay stacks or breakfast for dinner. Sundays used to mean a big dinner with homemade rolls and dessert, but not any more. A few years back, I started to relax things and it's just kinda stuck. I didn't love spending so much time in the kitchen and I my family doesn't seem to mind a whole lot—they just want togetherness and food and a happy mama.
10. Football. At some point in the day, almost year round, a football game is on the TV. Sometimes it's golf in the summer. This is NOT my favorite thing, but I've learned in a house full of boys, now men, that I need to tolerate this—and even more, recognize it as something they love and need, after hours of church and/or meetings. We don't sit and watch as a family, and the volume is not turned up very high, but it's on in the background, so that Geoff and Trey can keep their eye on the game/tournament.
11. We play games. If Taft had his way, this would happen every Sunday. Sometimes it's a card game—we like "Nines" and sometimes it's something like UNO, or Pie Face, our newest game. We also love HeadBandz, Apples to Apples and Husker-Du.
12. We make treats. This doesn't always happen either, but it's a pretty frequent occurrence when I make Dark Chocolate Coconut Cake (Geoff's favorite), or chocolate chip cookies (I posted the recipe yesterday), or Rice Skippy Treats (made these for years when my kids were little). Sundays and treats just seem to go hand in hand.
13. We watch 60 Minutes. I do not watch TV (as in hardly ever) but I LOVE 60 Minutes. Always have and for some reason it's a show that everyone will gather in the living room to watch together. Not all the stories keep the attention of my kids, but most do and it just feels good to sit down together and watch—plus often times, interesting conversations grow out of the stories we watch.
14. We Skype Clark and/or Chase. Now that we've got adult children, Sundays are the day we talk and actually, we use FaceTime, but for some reason we all say, "Skype." Generally everyone gets to check-in, but it's primarily Geoff and I that do the talking. I need to remember to take a screen shot more often, to document these weekly touch-base moments. It's a highlight for me.
15. We do family history. Sunday is the day that you will most likely find Geoff or I doing family history. Geoff shares an ancestry.com with his dad and also uses myheritage.com to research and locate ancestors while I am into reading and writing stories or uploading photos or working on projects or thinking up new projects to work on.