"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Becoming a Family

When Bill and I married we decided that first year to buy one game a month.  It was something that seemed so silly as we were 'grownups' and married, but boy did that make all the difference.  We established a tradition as a couple that actually allowed us to become more family oriented than everything else.  We saw 'us' as the family even though it was only the two of us.

It truly is an amazing thing to look back and realize how critical that action would be two and a half decades later.  Playing games became a family activity that brought the six of us together.  We sat around the table with snacks and played and the home filled with laughter and joy.

Our game shelf has Scrabble, Risk, Upwords, Life, Stratego, Clue, Chess, Cranium, Sorry, Battleship,  Apples to Apples, Dominos, Monopoly, Puzzles, Yatzee,  Imaginiff, Uno, and Phase Ten. In addition we have about 20 remnant packs of cards which we use for baloney (BS), Spoons, Concentration, Rummy, and a variety of homespun games.  

Risk is a pretty intense game for our family.  With cell phones alliances were formed but without them simple or overt gestures allow for alliances.   Let's be clear~we are all fairly generous players but we all are winners.  Sigh...and that means aggressive play!!

Cards are not just for playing games.   When the kids were small we built card houses, roads, and played 52 card pickup.  The pickup game was a race between the four and was filled with laughter, running, and sheer energy. 

Playing games is hands on training for Life.  Children can ponder about marriage, children, homes, and even have a taste of insurance, and reflect upon careers with or without college.  Learning basic counting as well as adding and subtracting large volumes of money are not making greedy children but instead reinforce basic math skills.

Over the years,  as we were first a military family, we moved a good deal.   When our lives changed and we went from having money to not, games were still part of our life.  Popcorn was still popped on the stove, and we continued to gather around the table.

We no longer spent money on holidays after our lives changed...but that was not a bad thing.   We already established the tradition of game play and so I applied this to our new lives.  I now fashion pretty much everything at home~so why not a game?  The above photo is our family's version of Monopoly.  Every member of the farm family was born in a different place.  Four of us were born in four different US states and two were born in different cities in Germany.  This made for fantastic groupings in Monopoly.   Be sure to note that this game is not perfect.  We on the farm make due with what we have and take pleasure in family and simplicity.   Making this game was a measure of love in times of duress.  Instead of losing direction when things changed for us financially, we regathered and circled the wagons so to speak.  We are a family in spite of any situation.  I am ever so thankful that our first year, young Bill and young Jennifer took the time to lay the groundwork for a tradition that has been longstanding.

I thought I would add the below photo as I found it and it has some of my very favorite people  in it...
Third,  First, Second


kymber said...

teehee. i love that you and Bill played games even when it was just the 2 of you. me and jam play cards, boggle and scrabble and always have such a good time! i agree that playing the games with your children was teaching them critical thinking, strategy, math, money, bills, etc. and the family game-playing added to how you and Bill raised your children, are some of the reasons that they are all so intelligent, talented, patriotic and level-headed! good job Jen and Bill!

your friend,

tana50 said...

What an interesting and wonderful blog you have. I am here from Shala's "don't eat the paste". I have been in the archives and read about the accident. What a terrifying thing to have happen. I will be keeping up with you from now on. I also have 4 kids, the three boys the oldest with the girl the youngest. My oldest had just turned five when the youngest was born. Sounds alot like you. My baby is just turned 34.

Humble wife said...

Thank you my friend Kymberxoxox!

Tana-thank you for swinging over and I welcome your visit. It does sound like we are alike...and I am off to visit your blog~