Sep 25

Back Patio Breakfasts

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BackPatioBrreakfast-RRHLast weekend, as our long hot Texas summer finally broke, our family celebrated.  Layered in fleece and sweatshirts, we enjoyed a ritual breakfast served from our Coleman camping stove on the back patio.

Feasting on breakfast sausage and eggs, we drank in the cool air and a change of seasons.  For our family of six, these back patio breakfasts have become a creative way to “eat out” while on a tight budget.  It’s just one way we’ve learned to enjoy moments created from what we have on hand. 

But learning the true value of these moments didn’t come easy.  A couple years ago, I despaired and feared I was hurting my family by not providing what so many other kids have at ease. Would my kids someday resent that I couldn’t provide the pricey toys, endless activities and experiences catered to children.

The answer to that question was somewhat remarkable and completely counter to my initial intuition.

I learned that money doesn’t buy my kid’s deepest and truest happiness. That comes from the love their Mom and I provide, and it comes from us being anchored in Jesus. When I come home from work, the kids aren’t looking for what I’ve brought them, they just want me.  All the hugs, wrestling and well timed tummy tickles with a wealth of wide smiles and laughter.  

And I learned that having less may actually be helping them.  As we celebrate family moments, we create meaning with simple things on hand, keeping the focus on what’s shared together.  Our kids are learning to do the same.  Markers and Legos help keep a running rotation of master pieces. Blankets are made into tents where new adventures begin in worlds of their own making.

This brings me deep satisfaction, and lots of hope.  Some of the deepest I feel as a father.  Someday, I do hope to earn additional income we need, but in the mean time, I see something else forming in my kids as run away materialism surrounds them.  

It’s called contentment, and I’m grateful that I’ve grown some too. 

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  • I love this Jeff!

    We live on very little also and it’s so important to just enjoy each other and do things that don’t cost money. There is so much free entertainment and fun, you just have to get creative!

    I love the back porch breakfast idea! Definitely going to have to do that one 🙂

    • Thanks, Corie! Frugal families unite. Knowing you’re doing it to encourages me.

  • Great words about great actions. Keep it up Jeff.

  • David Mike

    We sit at the table and eat together as much as possible. But it is not as much as we would like. I think your kids will carry this tradition on when they have kids of their own. I know we eat a family dinner at the in-laws almost every Sunday, which started because we were so broke when we first got married and were tired of eating Ramen noodles! Families have grown, but yet we still meet and everyone is always invited!

    • Your Sunday dinners at the in-laws sound nice!