This summer has been full of dates and it has been wonderful. The first weekend in June Glenn and I went to the homeschool convention while my friend Bethany watched our kids. It was so nice to just hang out together and learn how to be more effective as parents. On the Friday night of the conference we even got to go out for dinner at Dinosaur BBQ because a friend had given us some date money for helping her out. That Sunday we went to Northridge Church and the message from the parenting series that week was on the priority of marriage in parenting. It was neat that God had already used our time over the weekend to prepare us for that message. We have never made dating a priority for various reasons but we have decided that we need to make it a priority.
The next weekend our kids spent the weekend at my brother and sister-in-law's house while we went to Harrisburg, PA for ABWE's Medical Missions Interface. It was our first weekend away since we've had kids and it was great to hear how God is working through their various ministries and to be challenged to live for Him.
Both of those conferences are worth a several blogs each from all that we learned from them but this is a date blog so I will go on.
We also were able to "get rid of" our kids for a night a couple of weekends ago on a Friday night when they all spent the night at a friend from church's house. It was so great to go out and then come home and watch a movie together without the kids peeking in on us wondering what we were watching. :)
Another kind of date happens around our place. We have each of our kids names on half of a 3x5 card that are put on a ring that is magneted to our fridge. Whenever Glenn or I have to run an errand and the other is staying with the kids we grab whoever is on top and take them with us to be able to spend one on one time with them. I noticed as we were packing that it hadn't flipped in a long time. Throughout the school year pretty much the kids went everywhere with me. Occasionally I would grocery shop after they went to bed but usually all 4 came with me everywhere. It has been fun to take the kids on "dates" more often this summer. Today Caleb went on a date with me to Ollie's, Wegmans and Home Depot. It was fun to chat with him in the car and as we shopped. Then later this afternoon Hannah got to go on a date with Glenn when he went to pick up a bike off Craigslist. Rarely are our "dates" more than a quick trip to P&C to get milk (what Lydia's and Abigail's dates the last week or so have been) but it is so great to just spend one on one time with them. I think that is one thing that I picked up at one of the sessions at the homeschool convention, it isn't about getting them things or spending money but more about spending time one on one with your kids that really matters.
It has been a great summer having dates, both with Glenn and with the kids. They are precious times that we need to schedule into our lives more regularly even when life is busier than it is this summer. How we are going to do that this year we haven't quite figured out yet but we know that it is important so we are going to make it happen.