Family is really important to me. My wife Vickie and I have six children – four sons, two daughters, two son-in-laws, three daughter-in- laws and 6 amazing grandchildren!

Many years ago, we decided to try to use every opportunity to make memories as a family. It could be as simple as sitting at the dinner table and each taking a turn singing “Amazing Grace” or some worship song.

It may have been a basketball game in our driveway where every ounce of the Flockhart competitive spirit reared its ugly head in full force. All of my kids are competitive, I am competitive and my wife is competitive. I’ll just say that things have gotten ugly a few times through the years!

It may have been a trip where the eight of us crammed in the car for a six hour journey. This was before the days of DVD players in the car so we played the ABC game, sang songs or made up other games. Stevie would pay his younger sisters 50 cents each to give him the entire seat and they ended up sitting on the floor in a little ball. They were just happy to have 50 cents!

My wife had the idea one year that we needed to take a family trip out West. So eight Flockharts loaded up and headed for Arizona. We broke up our trip the first night by stopping in Oklahoma and visiting the Memorial there. Our family walked around reading about the victims who lost their lives in that very spot. We visited New Mexico, Las Vegas, Phoenix and the Grand Canyon on that trip. We have some great memories and pretty funny stories.

Many of our memories are based around sporting events since we all love sports. We will all gather around the television to watch and we have also had the privilege to attend many professional games and meet famous athletes. There are many rivalries in our home, everyone seems to like a different team and have a different opinion.

Over the last four years we have taken a family vacation together where we all go to the beach. We swim in the pool, jump waves in the ocean, play corn hole, play board games, color with grandbabies, have dance parties, talk and just enjoy hanging out. We have a system where a different team is responsible for preparing dinner each night. We go crab hunting at night and set off fireworks. We just enjoy each other and it is amazing.

We just returned from our vacation and I am sad that three members of our family could not join us this year due to work responsibilities. The rest of us had a great time though and we had a 5 week old grandson joining us for the first time. Yes, he got dipped in the pool and the ocean! He loved it!

I could go on and on but this would get too lengthy. I have a million memories of each of our kids, of our family and the precious times we have experienced together. Your kids really will not remember all of those gifts that you obsess over buying them for birthdays or Christmas but they will remember the time that you spent with them. The laughter, the games, the talks, praying together…those are the memories they will cherish.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make memories. It can be as simple as throwing a ball in the yard with your kid, coloring together, chasing each other around the house, etc…Just go make some memories!

Memories 2017

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