"Service is an essential principle of family living. Help plan your family's menus, obtain the food, and prepare part of the meals for two weeks. During that time help your family gather to share mealtimes. Report to your class what you have learned."
(I wondered if it was scary or intimidating to be talking about planning meals in front of a room full of women who do that regularly?) She mentioned that our whole family went grocery shopping together, and that it was fun. I agree. It was fun. But it was more of an act of desperation rather than a planned event. Sometimes it's more fun to fly by the seat of your pants.
We have been a large group all week. Heck, we're ALWAYS a large group. (I used to be tempted to have a parade permit handy in case we were mistaken for a city exhibition.) But there has consistently been one person missing for a long time. Yonder was away at school, and joined us for the summer in Virginia last week over school break. That was amazing. The day after we got home, Dub left on a business trip, and spent the week in Florida. He came home for a few hours and then went off to a scout camp-out to sleep on the ground with a bunch of 12 and 13 year-old stinky boys (note: we don't currently have any of those in our household) while the rest of us juggled T-ball, SATs, soccer games and Saturday chores. He came back late Saturday night to a home full of people and void of fresh food.
We enjoyed a meal together--our first summer dinner on the back patio. It was delightful and filled with laughter. I was tired and feeling tense and that time together was the perfect spa for my soul. Then I announced that we needed to go grocery shopping before Sunday was upon us. Mr. Dub, being the gentleman that he is, offered to go with me, or do it. Mesquite had mentioned earlier that she needed to plan two weeks of meals, so she got a pen and a paper and surveyed the family about what meals they would like to eat. The evening progressed, and I realized we were running close to closing time at the local grocery store. I figured we were going to have to tackle this together to do an adequate job of acquiring what we needed for the week ahead. The shopping list was then divided on to three note cards and we went out for ice cream to get revved up for our family grocery shopping competition.
We split up into three teams, the leader of each being one that could wield payment at the registers. We had fun racing around the store in groups and passing each other in the aisles in pursuit of the items on our lists, trying to be the first group to the van with our purchases. May I suggest large group shopping for your next family activity? It was a blast, and what normally takes me a good hour took us about a quarter of the time. We were all standing at different cash registers 13 minutes after getting out of the race van. I won't elaborate on the standings; suffice it to say the one with the most shopping experience would have been the first cart to the van if some other team's member hadn't hi-jacked our carriage in the parking lot. Nothing like a good dose of friendly competition to work off an ice cream cone. It was lovely, and I didn't even have to put the groceries away. And now Dub's in Ohio for the week. He'll be back Saturday afternoon... just in time to replenish the cupboards!