Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Family Home Evening

I love F.H.E.

In our church, since family is stressed as being so incredibly important, we are encouraged to set aside one night per week for our family and nothing else.

And we love Family Night around here.

We don't answer the phone.

We make sure all friends go home relatively early.

And we soak each other in.

It makes us realize how lucky we are to have one another.

It is an avenue to create deeper relationships.

Is it always easy to do? Heck no. Sometimes we're going every which-way and things are so darn crazy. But I love that F.H.E. pushes us to slow down and remember what's most important. If Dave and I aren't planning anything our kids are hot on our heels to get something going.

Traditionally Family Home Evenings include a lesson, an activity and a treat or snack on Monday nights. But we've modified it over here since we have piano lessons on Monday that take up a bunch of our time. We have our Family Home Evening lessons on Sunday (when we're trying to find good Sunday-ish things for the kids to do anyway) and we do our activities on Monday.

Our Sunday F.H.E. is led by one of the kids (they take turns). They call the meeting to order, call on someone to pick the song and the prayer, etc. We have "family business" where we talk about what is coming up the next week and make sure things are on the calendar. Then we have a lesson usually based on something Dave or I have noticed needs to be discussed (how to be more respectful, how to put dirty socks in the hamper, how to look up scriptures, what the Plan of Salvation is, etc.) Sometimes the kids give the lessons too.

I thought I'd throw out some of our favorite Monday night activities since someone asked. They are super simple...in fact, the all-time favorite is playing "Sorry."

But our "drawing game" comes in at a close second. Here's how we play:

1) Fold enough papers for everyone playing into three equal pieces (like as if it were going to be stuffed in a legal-size envelope).

2) Each person starts with their own paper on which they draw a head to fill up the first of the three sections. It can be a monster head, or an animal or a person...whatever creative thing you want to come up with. We make sure to draw the neck long enough to spill over just a tad into the next section so the next person will know where to start drawing.

3) Everyone passes their paper to the person on the right. Without looking at the head, the next person draws a body down to the waist and folds the paper just so so that the next person can't see what their creation looks like yet.

4) Everyone passes their papers around again. The last person draws the legs and feet.

5) Unveil our creations.
It is funny because our kids adore this and it is so darn easy. We've had some wing-dingers in the past I wish I would have kept. The kids love to see what strange creatures we come up with.

These games are fun too:
...although Rummikub is much more for older kids and the I Spy one is more for younger kids. A couple weeks ago Max, Elle, Dave and I had so much fun playing Rummikub after the little kids were in bed.

The point is: togetherness. And I'm so thankful F.H.E. helps us do that.

For more F.H.E. ideas click here or here.

And I'd love to hear other good "go-to" activity ideas anyone else's family does for Family Night...

p.s. THANK YOU for all the good camera info. The only problem now is: I'm more confused than ever. I made up my mind which camera I wanted countless times yesterday...back and forth, back and forth. Have I mentioned making up my mind on things is NOT one of my strong-points?
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