On Sunday, Dec 17, 2016, Bloomington-Normal, Illinois was in the midst of a cold snap. People huddled in their homes by the fire as the snow fell and the temperature dropped. But Old Man Winter was no match for COUNTRY Financial employee, Louis Rigo, his wife Chandra, and his daughter Kyli. They spent the day making snowmen, having a snowball fight, and using the snow-covered trees to practice their karate moves. This is just par for the course for this family, who, in this busy, always-connected world, makes spending time together a priority. Louis also has the added benefit of working for a company that focuses on helping their employees achieve a healthy work/life balance. This allows the Rigo family to use their free time to make lasting memories.
What kinds of activities do you do as a family during the week?
On Monday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings, we take a martial arts class as a family. On Tuesday nights, we do something random together at home (usually outdoors). We have gymnastics on Wednesdays, and Friday night is family night where we do board games, crafts, or watch TV.
How do you find time to fit these activities in?
We just carve out the time. As a family, we all have individual hobbies but still find time to work together. Our activities are 100% family based. After Kyli goes to bed, my wife and I make time for each other too, whether it be just sitting down and talking or watching a show.
Do you work education into these activities?
We’ve done a lot of remodeling of our house, and Kyli is involved in every part of that process. I’ll ask her to get me a certain number of screws, or we’ll use the tape measure together. When we’re baking together, we teach her fractions. We’ll tell her that we need 2 cups of sugar, but we’ve already used the 1/3 measuring cup for something else. Can we use the 1/3 measuring cup to get 2 cups so we don’t have to get another one dirty? We incorporate technology when we can too. We can use our streaming device to view an instructional video on TV while we’re doing a project together.
How do you feel these activities benefit your family?
We just have fun together. Doing things like martial arts together as a family has benefits us all. We’re learning self-defense, balance, and Korean counting as a group. We’re goofy and playful and don’t take things too seriously. Kyli knows so much for her age. She’s very adventurous and not afraid to try new things.
It probably comes as no surprise that Louis and Chandra are room parents for Kyli’s class. The family also owns a dog, two cats, two rabbits, and 25 fish. They spend as much time outdoors as they can, and screen time is reserved for when they’re in the car or watching something as a family.
We believe that making time to connect with your family should be a priority. Take a tip from the Rigos and build it into your routine. The smile on little Kyli’s face is proof that they’re doing something right.