On Instilling Love and Appreciation .

It's Sunday afternoon and the sunlight is filtering through the tall redwood and onto our sunroom floor. A determined and unrelenting bumble bee smacks the sliding glass door over and over again. And I sit here lost in my thoughts of where this summer has gone.

I'm going to miss these summer days. And while I'm certainly looking forward to cooler temperatures and the change of the seasons, I will miss our morning routine from the last couple of months. Nearly every day it's been the same –– after a leisurely breakfast with the boys and sufficient play time for Wren, the boys throw on their digging clothes and head straight for the dirt in the front yard. Every inch of them is caked in dirt by twelve o'clock noon. And while the boys work on caking on the dirt and Wrennie Meg snoozes in her crib, I sit in a chair with a cup of chai and read. A little slice of heaven, truly.

The evenings have been full of entertaining, adventures with friends, and house projects. With the recent purchase of our home, we've found ourselves in a very full season. Every spare hour has value, whether for work or for rest. When our babies are safely tucked into bed for the night, my husband and I work together on what we've somewhat endearingly termed the Prime Time List–– projects that can be done more safely without the little ones running around, including lots of yard work. (Although, speaking of yard work, last week I noticed the front yard gaining momentum in the weed department. I must have slacked off in delegating the weeding job to the boys. A few months back, when the boys seemed to be on a very naughty kick, I informed them that their punishment was picking weeds –– fifteen weeds per offense. Dare I say, our front yard looked quite weedless and very pretty for quite a stretch of time.)

Something that has been on my mind lately is this –– how can I instill in my children a love of and appreciation for our home, our possessions, our friendships, our family? On and on the list could go. There are small steps that we are taking and yet I still feel this empty chasm in my boys' understanding of loving and appreciating people, our home, and the material things God has given to us. I feel that it is such an important development in character, such a neglected one in our society and even in my own heart.

p.s. This week we've been teaching our boys about the responsibilities and joys of being the proud owners of three apple trees. It's a step, anyway. Also of note, Wren Margaret is a fast favorite of those wind fall apples and with her new trick of a full-on crawl she is quite quick to reach them!


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