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News from the Nest: Sunday School challenges inspire family togetherness

Now that school and fall have officially arrived my children have started a new year of Sunday School. This is the first year my daughter has been able to attend. The last three years I have taught my son's class and so I decided this year he could move on without me and I went back to preschool to teach her.

Since he has a different teacher it has been fun listening each week to what he has learned. Every Sunday they assign him a challenge that he needs to complete. The first week it was to clean his bedroom. He hadn't told me about his task yet so I was shocked that Sunday afternoon when I caught him cleaning. What a pleasant surprise!

On the following Monday morning he even made his bed before getting ready for school. This was two-sided, as he was concentrating so much on making it perfectly that it took him FOREVER! So I found myself asking him to please hustle and not worry about getting it perfect. What a strange position for a mother to be in as I thought "please son, just throw the cover over and be done with it." The bed making lasted one whole day and he hasn't remembered to do it on his own since. But it was a good effort.

The next week the challenge was to help with dinner, from start to finish. So I let him pull a chair up to the stove so he could help me with pancakes. This was a bit frightening with hot pans and burners, but he did well. Of course his little sister had to be right next to him too so I was certain someone was going to get scorched. Luckily we made it through without a trip to the burn unit.

Once the meal was made my son, with little sister's help, did as he was told and set the table with plates and forks. We enjoyed our meal together but for me the best was yet to come. My kids are both fairly good at remembering to bring their plates up to the sink when they are finished. Sure my daughter typically drops her heavy ceramic plate into the deep sink and I wince each time wondering what she just dropped it on. But again, it's the thought that counts.

After they cleared their plates my son was ready to wash the dishes. This was only the second time he has washed the dishes so it's a very exciting thing for him! He scrubbed, got water everywhere, and then handed the dish to me for rinsing and drying. It was a lot of fun. I figured he would get bored fast but he didn't and even insisted on washing the pots and pans that were dirty. The whole time my daughter stood on a chair to observe and my husband watched from the island, keeping his distance from the flying water. It was such a simple yet fun family moment and leaves me anxious to hear what next week's Sunday School challenge will be!