Parenting by the Spirit and Dating

Until the storm hit Monday morning that made us feel like the Wicked Witch of the West was blowing in, I was loving this spring weather. I love seeing all the blossoms and flowers! We’ve got popcorn popping on the apricot tree! I love it! I’ve also got lots of springtime surprises popping everywhere.

The first was that my husband at the last minute, like the night before, found out he could staff the Royalty and Romance Marriage seminar put on by Kirk and Kim Duncan of http://3keyelements.com. He brought home these cute little booklets “for him and her” to strengthen marriage by asking questions so you can treat your husband like a king and your wife like a queen. I am now scheming of when to actually use them by asking the questions contained therein. I love the theme of royalty for marriage and family, because of course it’s patterned after our Heavenly Parents. Blog post coming soon…

Friday afternoon my son Valor, who is away at college, called and surprised me by asking/announcing if it was OK if he drove to Burley, Idaho the next day for a mission farewell of his Williamsburg Academy friend that he met at Elevation last spring. He also wanted to know if it was OK if he picked up his 16 year old sister, Virtue, on the way with a borrowed van of one of the girl’s parents. He was driving with friends, all youth/teenagers. They would stop at our home on the way to Idaho to get another friend and Virtue. All the boys would stay at the missionary’s home and the girls would sleep next door in basement of the empty neighbors’ home.

I had to think about this one. He is 18, and technically an adult. I don’t chaperone him any more. He is away at college after all. But this was one loooong group date, and included a sleepover. We have a family rule of no sleepovers, except with cousins. And what would they have for dinner and breakfast? Did I trust these teens to be together for that long, and not get into any trouble?

I am still figuring out my dating rules for my kids. I really like the Duggars’ system, basically that you don’t date until you are ready to get married. Even then, you have chaperones. There’s more to it but that’s all I will go into for now. My husband and I are still figuring out what will work for our family. So far our youth just have the basic rule from the LDS guide, For the Strength of Youth, of not dating until after 16, with only group dates, no steady single dating, until after the guy is home from a mission, because then he is supposedly ready to get married. Sometime I will have to blog more about dating and my thoughts about it as I’ve been talking to other moms. What exactly is pairing off? When kids are on a group date, my son tells me, there has to be pairs, or it’s not considered a date. But isn’t that pairing off? Or is just pairing up? This is a continuing friendly debate in our home. He doesn’t count this trip to Idaho as a date because they weren’t paired up with each boy asking a girl out. But I think it was a date because it was young men and young women together, without adults chaperoning, at least for the car ride.

This is our forsythia bush in the front yard.

I had a long talk with my husband about this proposal and finally decided it was OK. I felt the Spirit telling me it was so. I knew all the parents of the kids involved, some of the the moms are members of this site. At least I thought I knew them all, later I found out there were more kids on the leg of the trip between Provo and Cedar.

He ended up coming through my town right when I was listening to the prophet at the YW’s General Meeting. (which I loved btw. I want to know what wrinkle cream Sister Dalton uses. She claimed it doesn’t work but I disagree, she looks like she’s 20!) So I left the meeting (I had gone to the stake center with Virtue even though I know we can watch it on the Internet, just so we would have no interruptions!)

So I got to see Valor briefly and his friends and give them my blessing for the trip. Virtue decided to go at the last minute and hopped in the car.

So that left me with entertaining some homeschooling moms and daughters I had invited to come over after the broadcast. I wasn’t sure if anyone was coming, because I had put out calls and text invitations and gotten no confirmations.

By 8 PM nobody had come so I started finishing some housekeeping that I was supposed to have done before I left for the meeting while dh put the little kids to bed, or so I thought. (He later claimed that he didn’t know he was supposed to put them to bed…they were playing games at 10 PM! Time to brush up my Fascinating Womanhood skills of being very clear of asking for what I want.)

I was nicely surprised when my friends Leah and Karianne and their daughters showed up. We had a nice little visit. Leah is my friend who is Helen Andelin’s niece (Helen of Fascinating Womanhood fame). She had just been to the funeral of her great-aunt, Helen’s last surviving sibling, Maydene. I will have to do another blog post about all the fun things Leah told me about Maydene and Helen and her extended family. She ended my day with more delightful springtime surprises. I am so grateful for friends! I didn’t catch a picture of her but here is one I caught last year, she’s on the left, when she did the catering for my youth conference. My good friend Shelly is on the right with her baby.

The next day Virtue and Honor came home. Another big surprise…the home that hosted the dinner for friends and family after the sacrament meeting non-farewell was the home of the Headgates lady, Keri Tibbetts. Keri is a TJEd mom who caused quite a stir when she published and distributed her interpretation of TJEd here http://www.headgates.org/resources/, the first one listed as “Headgates” is the article I am talking about. She was the missionary’s aunt. I so wish my daughter had swiped her brother’s smartphone and taken photos of what their 15 toys are. Virtue said the home was beautiful and immaculate and the children were all well-behaved.

My little girl picked these blossoms and arranged them for me for another surprise.

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