There is a little-known day on our church congregation's (called a Ward) local calendar. It is Family Memory Saturday. For us it can be an especial boon because as the Bishop or lay minister in charge of our Ward, my husband gets to have a day off from those responsibilities. On these Saturdays, usually one per month, there are to be no church activities scheduled so that families can have a day without the pressure of calendared events pulling them away from home. Our church is a busy, social, happy church and it is wonderful, but sometimes the array of available activities to participate in can be overwhelming. So, yesterday was a Family Memory Saturday that turned out quite nicely. We shared the day with another family and spent a quiet and contemplative afternoon together watching the televised funeral services of our beloved Prophet/President, Gordon B. Hinckley, then our friends stayed for dinner. It totally cheered me up after a tough week. It may seem strange that another funeral would help cheer me up, but this one was quite different because of the nature of the death. It was full of testimony, counsel and inspiration. It made it seem possible to be the kind of person Gordon B. Hinckley was.
In the evening, we made memories with more dear friends as Eric and I and 2 1/2 other couples went to see U23D, an IMAX concert film of the U2 Vertigo tour. Friends, laughter, cheesecake, and BONO-can there be a more perfect evening?
In the afternoon, we made a list with the kids of Family Memory activities for us to schedule for the coming year. It is so cool that we can look to these days and know that there is nothing else to get in the way of a fun day together. Here is the list we put together:
Air Show at Andrews AFB
Water Taxi around Baltimore
Lunch and shopping in Harborplace
Dodgeball or basketball game outside
Go help Grandma and Grandpa with chores (my KIDS came up with this one, not me! Please join me in a moment of extreme parental pride!)
Make a movie together
Book store crawl
Nerf Basketball Tournament
Nerf dart gun battle
Mall scavenger hunt
Family bike ride to Lake Elkhorn or the B&A trail
Kayaking or canoeing (I see a trip to REI in our future)
Walk in the woods
Other local museums
Amish Country tour
Blackwater Wildlife Refuge
Spend a day in Annapolis
Spend a day in St. Michaels
I am going to try and use this just like a checklist and schedule these things on the calendar, budget for them, and have a year full of family memories!