While I ran out the door this morning for a check-up, JJ got the kids dressed and out the door so we could meet for a family hike at Charleston Falls. We ate our trail mix amid the towering trees overlooking the falls.

I took Lady C for a little downtown shopping trip and a treat from the candy shop. Grand total of our date: $0.20.

JJ took H boy on his first golf outing and neither regretted it. They played for free, thanks to a rain check.

I tilled the garden while JJ mowed the yard. Mr. M successfully navigated the deck stairs without falling and crashing his head into the patio. He proceeded to root around by the swing set until his socks were black with dirt. Setting the pace for the next 18 years, I’m sure.

Dinner consisted of restaurant-quality barbecue ribs, homemade french fries and cole slaw from our own back yard. H Boy and Lady C both offered to carry my plate to the sink for me.

I took Miss M on her date to the candy shop attached to a bookstore – chocolate and books are our favorite things. She asked me if she could get a book instead of chocolate. When she  knocked something off a rack, she immediately picked it up and rehung it, without even being asked. The grand total of our date: $2.

The combined number of times any of my children told me “I love you” hit a minimum of 17.

In isolation, these type of events are nice. But the weave together to create an image of one of my most favorite days to date. Let me be reminded once again that I don’t need to give my kids everything they want to be happy. I need to give them what they need: quality time with their family, gratitude for the space we inhabit and consideration for others (all with eyes to Jesus, of course). It comes together quite gloriously.

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