The past two years have been very difficult for us. Financially, it has been a train wreck. In and effort to get out of debt and also having a very limited income, we have learned how to live simply, and a lot of times, go without. But, we have learned a wonderful lesson. We have become more creative and I believe it has drawn us closer as a family.
There have been no big birthday parties. We have started a family tradition....fondue of the birthday boy's choice on the living room floor and homemade birthday cake with six forks and no plates. (Really, this was a discovered treat only after I decided that my pitiful cake was not going to cut into slices without falling apart. Who knew that the crew would love digging into the cake like that?) We have had to be creative.
Just the other day, Valentine's Day, I knew we couldn't take the whole family to a restaurant for dinner. So, we made it special here at home. I made a big dinner, complete with candlelight, sparkling apple cider and most importantly, cheesecake. The boys happily dressed up even though it was only going to be a trip to our own dining table. We turned out the lights and enjoyed our meal together by candlelight. The boys thought it was the greatest thing ever!!!! I must say, I still have some work ahead in the manners department. I am not quite sure why boys think it is so funny to burp at the dinner table, and knowing them, it would have been no different at a fine restaurant. I also understand now, why candles are for grown people. My three-year-old, Hudson, giggled through the whole meal as he blew at the flames, tried to touch them and watched them flicker and then go out. Dennis and I still had to practice patience with our children, but this is a Valentine's that they will remember for awhile. If I were a betting kind of girl, I think this was more memorable for them (and me) than it would have been taking them out.
So, in all of the beating myself up for not being able to give my boys a lot, I believe that we have taught them that living simple can create the best memories.