26 Oct 2011

Gathering pinecones

I think that one of the best decisions my husband and I made together is to live intentionally as a family. It is so easy to let work and other 'stuff' get in the way of that; to spend the weekends catching up on things that should have been done during the week; evenings working late at the office; Sundays doing things other than keeping the Sabbath.

Jemimah's Daddy is a very busy professional. it is easy for him to let his work - which he loves - consume all his waking hours. Reaching a compromise - one that worked for us as a couple - was something that we battled with even before we married. Our daughter makes this even more important.

Nowadays we seem to have settled into a very happy rhythm that mostly works. We eat dinner together (almost) every night. We eat breakfast together at weekends. We sit at a table without the telly and we talk about stuff that is important. We have family devotions together. Together we put our daughter to bed.

Weekends are family time, and we make conscious decisions about how we will spend this precious time together. Sometimes there are things that need to be done on a Saturday - things that we just have to do while we're in the city, but we don't let it take the whole weekend, and we try to make up for it in some way. A trip into the city might include lunch at The Pancake Parlour, for example, or a surprise trip to Bernards Magic Shop. We might book seats at the Opera, Ballet, or Theatre for the evening. In this way even a mundane day of chores has a special family highlight. Most Saturdays, though, we keep for us. We might go for a walk along the local creek, or go for a picnic in a National Park or meet extended family and friends for a barbie. We might stay home and watch an old movie, or have a game of Monopoly or Scrabble or cards. We might even spend a day gathering pinecones.

Some of the things we do as a family are expensive. Most aren't. We aim for these myriad different activities to have just one thing in common. We aim to make them memorable. We aim to make them part of a healthy and happy family life. One day when Jemimah is grown, I hope she looks back on her childhood as a very special member of a close and loving Christian family that love and care for each other very, very much.

That's what we're working towards.


  1. Fabulous, Jeanne... it's clear by reading your blog that you have a lovely family, and that you all enjoy family time very intentionally.

    Lovely pics and HAIR... she truly has tangled hair! ha ha ha. My girls, who have it long too, looked at your previous post pic in amazement.

  2. Beautiful pics, Jeanne. The trees look gorgeous. Very different to the look of trees here although we do have some with cones. Do you burn them ?

  3. Guarding your family time is always one of the most worthy undertakings. Don't you find that our children are just more content in general when the family is all together - even if running errands?

    We do wish you could have been here to collect pine cones. It's part of the yard work here so not nearly as romantic.

    I suppose that's a bit like us fighting over who gets to collect the egg(s).

  4. Gorgeous post and pictures! It's fighting to keep the family together, that's what we say to people! xxx

  5. lovely. living intentional. family time. pinecones.


  6. Like others, I'm enthralled with the braid. Talk about Rapunzel! She is just beautiful.

    My 9 year old has very white hair, which makes it fine and slow growing. My granddaughter, on the other hand, has light brown hair down to her waist already at 5 years old.

    I love long hair on women of all ages!

  7. More people should follow your advice and the world would be a happier place. Excellent advice for all families.

  8. Always can do thinks better second time round

  9. Your last two sentences are startlingly beautiful, Jeanne. They condense my personal philosophy perfectly. In our family, I'm the intentional one and Himself goes along willingly. It works well!


I'd love you to leave me a message. Tell me what you like - and what you don't. Just remember that this is what we do in our family - it doesn't have to be what you do in yours...