Investing in our Children

For years Russ and I have talked about wanting to spend more individual time with our children, but we have never managed to make it happen on a regular basis. In the last 18 months the intensity and noise level in our house has ramped up considerably. Dinner is a challenge every single night with Little Man, who must win the award for being the loudest baby ever. With four young children who need help being served, cutting meat, and at least one spilled glass nearly every night, there isn’t room for stimulating conversation with the older kids.

People used to warn me that it was going to be tough when I had four or more teens at once, but honestly, they were wrong. It is incredible having wonderful and interesting older children. The difficulty is giving them the attention they need.

Today we kicked off a new family tradition, “Friday lunch with Mom and Dad”. We plan to come up with a clever name but haven’t hit upon it yet. Russ and I are taking our children to lunch one at a time on Friday afternoons – to listen to them and have real conversation. We want to hear about their classes, plans, friends, and anything else they want to talk about. The obvious schedule is to begin with Sweet Pea and go down in age, but since this is her mid-term week and she isn’t available, we jumped ahead to Mimi and will go back to Sweet Pea next week.

Our time with Mimi was wonderful! We read some of her newest poetry from her poetry class, heard about her hopes to travel to Thailand and Cambodia over Christmas break, her ballroom dance team, friends, and more. Best of all, the only interruptions were those of Mimi greeting her friends – that girl has more friends than anybody I know!

The other kids are already looking forward to their special lunch and so are we.


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Bradshaws
    October 3, 2008

    What a wonderful idea!!!!

  2. Andrea
    October 4, 2008

    The kids will be so excited for that. I totally agree with you re: teenagers. They are so much fun. They don’t have to be difficult at all. I have loved every moment of my girls being teenagers. I didn’t know Mimi does ballroom dancing. So cool for a girl her age. I ballroom danced as a teenager for nearly 10 years. I just love your family Lisa.

  3. bethr
    October 4, 2008

    That is great! My husband does night out with Dad once a month. Our kids have trouble remembering to take out the daily trash or who should unload the dishes but always know whose turn is next to go out with Dad. Beth

  4. Andrea
    October 4, 2008

    What an awesome idea! We have a hard time finding time to spend alone time as well, and we only have 4 kids. ;o) And I too agree that teens are great! LOVE mine as well. So fun to see them becoming adults.
    Have fun!!!

  5. Laurel
    October 18, 2008

    GREAT idea! A few years ago, we had 8 teens living at home (plus 4 little ones). 6 of the teens (and the little ones) were our bio. kids, while the other 2 teens were "extras" for an year. :)I have always had the policy that "Mom will stay up as late as needed, if anyone wants to talk (really TALK)." I have often had to do the "take a number" route. If I am listening until 2:00 a.m., then I just pray that the Lord will give extra blessing to my limited sleep-time.Blessings to you and the family!LaurelPS: I gave you an award on my blog today. 🙂


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