Saturday, May 19, 2012

Happy Birthday to Us---14 Years Old

A fun tradition for our family is to celebrate our "Family Birthday" each year, on our wedding anniversary.  Since we were in NYC this past, we planned an extra fun and special family campout the following week for our family birthday party.

A few weeks prior, John and I told our kids about going camping and asked them to start thinking of three things about our family:  1-one thing they DON'T like about our family, 2-one thing they LOVE that we do as a family, and 3-one thing they would like to start doing as a family.  (Comes from "Start, Stop, Continue" that John learned at Woodbadge Scout training).

We told them not to talk about it, but just think on it.  We reminded them almost daily to continue thinking about it. 

Then, around the campfire up in the pines, we gave each child time to tell his/her thoughts about those three things.  We took notes, we listened, we asked questions, and we had some great discussions.

The following day while on a hike, we found a nice spot to continue our family council and discussed all the starts, all the stops, and all the continues.  Then we chose one new thing to start doing as a family, and picked one thing to try to stop doing in our family.  We came up with a code word that would help remind us what that "stop" was. 

I loved the fact that our kids are getting old enough where we can have these kinds of meaningful discussions, where everyone can participate, where feelings are validated, and where John and I can give direction and parental feedback.  It was a good time, to say the least!

Kate couldn't get enough of her little princess camp chair.  Just the perfect size.
  This picture doesn't do justice when it comes to how dirty their little faces were.  Nothing like playing in the dirt, then eating food with your hands and never washing them.

John and all his girls.  They LLLOOOVVVEEE their daddy.
  All six in a row.
 And, as it was Mother's Day weekend, I got a few pictures with my precious darlings.  I LOVE being a mom to these kids.
We sang "Happy Birthday to Us", we ate lots of treats and junkfood (like a whole Costco bag of trail mix and about 40 mini-sized candy bars, in less than 24 hours), we collected wild flowers, we sang together, caught a family of caterpillers, hiked, we told funny stories, and we loved being together.

Cheers to the start of another happy year in the LeSueur Family.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like a great weekend. I love all the photos. I love the idea of stop, start, and continue. In our family we seem to always be teaching about kindness (because we could use a lot more of it) and we often forget about the good things we are doing.