Monday, September 13, 2010
Shedd’s Sunday Shenanigans
Laughter, talking, dinner around the dinner table and playing together are the things that make Shedd’s Sunday Shenanigans a success.
One day as we were all sitting around after enjoying a delicious lunch, my son TJ said, “What kind of Shenanigans are we doing today?” I knew that from that day forward our Sunday family days were going to be known as “Shedd’s Sunday Shenanigans”
The purpose of Shedd’s Shenanigans is to create memories together as a family. Let’s resist the routine of doing the same thing mindlessly. Routines without intentionality are boring and ritualistic.
Purpose: To have great family.
How would you define a great family? Great families are easy to recognize. They are made up of people who spend time together on a regular basis and truly enjoy each others’ company. They respect each others’ thoughts and emotions. When one needs help the others are there for them. When one needs space the others instinctively give them room. When one is hurting the whole family hurts. Great families accept each other unconditionally. Great families look for ways to build each other up. They encourage each other to be the best they can be, but they also love each other in spite of their limitations. Great families have clearly defined boundaries. Great families know how to have fun.
How did we manage to have such a loving and close family?
I believe that perhaps part of the answer is that we have always known how to play together. The key to having fun together as a family is intentionality and compromise. The power of compromise inspired by love is vital to family fun. You will never reach this goal if you teach your children that they are the most important people on the planet. That is humanistic parenting, and fun times will not happen if a child is self-centered. Love can’t be built on good intentions. It needs stability, responsibility, and sacrifice. The most important thing in a family is that we all love each other.
Fun times don’t just happen, they require thought, planning and flexibility. I believe that fun times are where the family bonding happens best. When you are planning fun activities for seven very different people, it’s vital that everyone understands that the world does not revolve around them. There is no way that everyone will be doing their favorite activity every week. Understanding the joy the other person derives from the activity is vital to the success of families playing together. The guys enthusiastically embrace painting pottery at “Earth, Paint and Fire” with the girls, because they know that the following week they will be sitting at the Motocross races. Another great example of this happened just yesterday in our home. I am in the process of planning our Shenanigans for November and I ask Ariel, who is as “girly girl” as any one you have ever met, “Would you go paint balling?” I loved her response. She said, “If everyone was doing it then I would do it.” Now it doesn’t take a genius to know that paint balling is not her first choice of activity, but she was willing to lay down her wants and desires because she understood the joy that Robert, Tyler, and TJ would derive from the activity of paintball. In marriage compromise makes all the difference, which is another reason why I feel Ariel will make a great wife.
I also have to consider the fact that we are in Tim’s element when he is home. So I have to be careful not to plan too many things that take Tim out of his home. I believe that a healthy, happy family is the most effective evangelism witnesses. When a hopeless world sees the friendship and love our family shares, it is like rays of sunshine peeking through the dark clouds of this world. When they see our home is filled with love and laughter, they are able to begin to hope and dream again. Pastor John once said to me, “I would rather see a family that knows how to play together than a family that prays together, because if a family can play together then I know that they will be able to pray together.”
Compromise in relationships is not only a good deal, but necessary for the relationships to grow and fully develop. When we compromise we are saying we value each other and appreciate how God made each one. When we take the time to look at others’ needs, desires and preferences, relationships become win-win situations. It is my hope that my children know that their mom loves them, because I told them so, and because I demonstrated my love for them every time we had fun together. The experiences we share together play a significant role in the kind of family we now have. We have grown closer than I ever thought possible. Someday I would like to feel passionate about writing books that will inspire others to be intentional about their parenting goals. I hope that not only would parents make their discipline goals, but also play goals. I find being with my family both exciting and relaxing. Those of you who know me, know that I love adventure. As I grow older, I am learning that the real adventure is my family – my husband, my kids, my church. As much as I love to have adventure, spending time with my family is a far richer way to live. When you realize that that’s where the real living happens, the adventure itself is a fraction of the beauty and wonder of joy. Being with family is where the real fun is. There is a new term out now – “emergent adults”. It’s a term used for those who are putting off the responsibility of adulthood to “find themselves”. This concept is not new, it became popular in the 60’s. It describes those who are putting off marriage, job, and adult responsibility until their late 20’s or early 30’s. You don’t “find” yourself, self is “made” in relationships.
Will you play with me?
Our times together almost always include playing games. Some of our favorites are board games including but not limited to: Risk, Monopoly, Pictionary, Connect 4, Sorry, Killer Uno and Nertz, Pit, and Blockus.
Non Board Games: Couch Game, Foosball.
We always celebrate holidays together: Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas.
Fall means campfires, S’mores, hot chocolate.
Everyone always hugs everyone when we say good-bye.
My favorite Shenanigans is when we eat a nice dinner, go out and do something physically active, then come back, get cleaned up and settle in for a funny movie, pizza, hot chocolate chip cookies and milk. Shenanigans in our house can last from 1:30 – 10:30 p.m.
List of things we have done for our Shenanigans:
1. Sand Volleyball
2. Big Pie in the Sky Pizza
3. Flag Football
4. Nick’s Shooting Range
5. Burt’s Pumpkin Patch Farms / Bucks/ Amicalola Falls
6. Hike Red Top Mountain at night
8. Nertz, ping pong bonfire,
9. Stone Mountain.
10. Bowling / Put up Christmas Tree
9. Dialogue in the Dark
10. Ice Skating
11. Super Cross Motocross at the Georgia Dome
15. White Water Rafting
16. Passion City Church
17. Rock Climbing
18. Salsa Dancing
19. Braves Game
20. Hot Air Balloon Ride
21. Sky Gym
22. Roller Skating & Laser Tag
Movies we have watched together as a family
(Note: We always watch movies on a ClearPlay DVD player which edits out sex scenes, cussing, and excessive violence. This way we can truly relax while being entertained, and not compromise the principles in God’s Word, which tells us to guard our hearts.)
1. Over the Hedge
2. Meet the Robinson’s
5. The Proposal
6. Monsters vs. Aliens.
9. Book of Eli
12. Dumb and Dumber
1. Girls go shopping in Acworth while guys watch football.
2. Go see Tyler in Birmingham
3. Horse Back
4. Zip Line Banner Mills
6. Georgia Aquarium
8. Atlanta Zoo
9. Hang Gliding at Look Out Mountain
10. Bluegrass Underground
11. Zorb at Pigeon Forge
12. Medieval Times
13. Rodeo at Georgia Fairgrounds.
19. Go to a football game.
20. Hockey game
21. Dave and Busters
23. State Fair Sept. 23 – Oct. 3
24. Hike to Cabin at Amicalola Park.
25. Andretti Alpharetta
26. Horseback Riding Moonlight tour
27. White Water theme park.
28. Smoke On The Mountain
Cheering you on,