Monday, May 30, 2011

31 Days Closer to Your Kids: Making Memories, Part 2

Shelly Final

Well, this series is almost finished. Thank you for hanging in there with me, dear readers, and thank you for your feedback. I have enjoyed every minute of this journey with you. Please come back tomorrow for the wrap-up.

Today I want to tell you about some friends of ours who have done a fantastic job of making memories with their kids. Maybe their story will inspire you to do something similar with your kids. I know it has inspired me.

Last fall, our friends, C and M, realized that their family didn't know much about the big city that sits just 25 miles to the east of us. They knew that Chicago had so much to offer families, but they had never taken much time to really explore the city. They also knew that they wanted to help foster missional hearts in their sons, and the city of Chicago was a close and convenient mission field in which to start.

So they came up with an idea: spend 18 Saturdays simply exploring different areas of Chicago. Seeing new things. Exploring new places. Meeting new people.

But to pull it off, they would need a plan. They would need some money. And they would need time. With three active boys, this would be difficult, but by being intentional, C and M succeeded.

The plan. Eighteen consecutive Saturdays spent in the city of Chicago. This required some pre-planning such as deciding what they would see and where they would go. Sometimes it required making reservations ahead of time or contacting a ministry beforehand.

The money. The family decided to use their vacation budget for that year. Instead of taking a big vacation away somewhere, they did the now-popular "staycation," except over several weeks.

The time. I'm sure they discussed it as a family, and together they all agreed that the boys would not play fall sports that year. Everyone became committed to the idea of spending Saturdays in the city.

How did it work out? I think they would tell you that their Saturdays in the city were a huge success. And I'm pretty sure that it brought their family closer together.

Here are just a few of the wonderful things C and M did with their kids:

- mini-golf in Millennium Park (I didn't even know there was a mini-golf course there!).

- Chinatown.

- lunch at the renowned Pegasus restaurant in Greektown.

- sailing on the tall ship, Windy.

- visited Lawndale, an awesome community ministry in Chicago.

- rode the El (the elevated train, for those of you not from here).

- took a bike tour of the city.

- went to see "Peter and the Wolf" at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

- Untouchables Gangster Tour.

And that's probably not the half of it! I am so impressed by what our friends did last fall because it was an intentional way of bringing their family together, it taught their boys so much about the city, and it was a great way to explore the MOST BEAUTIFUL city in America (if I do say so myself).

It doesn't take much to get me excited about going to the city, but C and M's story has inspired me to spend more time there. There are so many unique and wonderful museums to explore. And the restaurants! Oh my. I love our city, and my friends have made me love it even more.

So tell me, how can you explore the area where you live? What's unique about your part of the country?

* * * * * * * * * *

31 Days Closer to Health, Wellness, and Bathing Suit Season
31 Days Closer to a Cuter You
31 Days Closer to Hearing God's Voice
31 Days Closer to the Life You Always Wanted
31 Days Closer to a New Home



  1. I voted for you . . . happily.


  2. That's a great idea! For years we have gotten stuck in a rut of treating Saturdays like any other day of the week. Of course, Sundays are pre-scheduled for church. But we have so many times just piddled Saturdays away!
    I admire the time and effort your friends made.

  3. We live in Arkansas and there are endless beautiful places to visit! We've been intentional about getting out on a Saturday or Sunday and if planned ahead financially, even for the weekend to a few of these places. With our children being still fairly young, I won't lie, it is sometimes alot of work to pull it off, even for the day...but without fail, every single time we go, we say "we should do this more often." And the kids remember that they actually like each other's company and we leave the electronics at home and a memory is made. Need to blog our last outing, now:)