Because it was semestral break, we took the kids out of town.  With us were the Sy’s (Dennis, Thammie and kids), Marge, Teri and Bruce.

As a family, we often take the opportunity to take off when we can because schedules have been crazy these days.  Even our kids are now ‘busy’ – from baseball to musical theater, TFT to piano lessons.

During one of our conversations over breakfast, Thammie asked me a question, “What are your core values as a family?”

I really didn’t have a nice, carved out answer.  I guess all these years Jenn and I have operated on instincts and never really wrote down our ‘core values’.  I know many have written books these type of stuff like Patrick Lencioni who wrote a book entitled “Three Big Questions For A Frantic Family”.  I know that James Dobson have written a few books on these too.

While driving home, I thought about that question again and I began listing down guiding principles we worked with through the years as a family.

1. Love God.

If we can teach our kids to do this, then I feel we’re on the right direction.  We desire to help them develop a relationship with God.  We feel that that is the most important task we have as parents – to connect them with God.  We won’t be there for them all the time, but if they have a relationship with their Heavenly Father, then we know that they’ll be just fine.

2. Love family.

Respect. Compassion. Love for family.  I guess that’s why we invest (not spend) on family vacations though we have an old, ugly, clunky Crosswind.  Memories have been a priority for us.  We may not have a lot to leave them in terms of inheritance, but memories through times together is definitely on the top of our list.

Seeing my kids love each other and look out for each other is definitely another important one for us.

3. Love others.

Service. Empathy. We want to teach our family not to just think about themselves, which we already are are very good at.  Life is really not about us.  It’s about God and the people He loves.

4. Love learning.

With the influx of information today, the accumulation of it is no longer the key to success.  Everything is now ‘googlable’.

However, processing and filtering of information is now the name of the game.  Critical thinking has never been as critical.  If we are successful in inputing love for learning, then I feel they will accomplish what God has designed them to be and do.

I’m no professional video editor, but I love putting videos together for my family whenever we go out for an overnighter or vacation.

I envision Jenn and I watching all these videos on our rocking chairs decades from now and remembering all the fun memories we were able to build with our kids.

Memories are powerful.  You can either have good ones or not so good ones growing up.  The worst?  Not having any to remember.

“Memory is a child walking along a seashore.  You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things.”  ~Pierce Harris, Atlanta Journal