We started doing FHE (Family Home Evening) when Lily was around 2 years old and Michael ~6 months. We wanted to keep our expectations low and keep things simple, in the hopes that we’d continue and not give up out of frustration. Somehow, we’ve kept going and barely missed any over the years. It helps that Lily and Michael LOVE family night. Not even exaggerating at all. Usually around Wednesday or Thursday one of them will start talking about how excited they are for Monday, and asking how many more days until family night. We still keep things super simple: opening prayer, each person gets to pick a song, 3-5 minute lesson, quick activity like playing tag, or hide and seek, and then the much anticipated family night treat – often nothing more than a few marshmallows, a piece of candy left over from the most recent holiday, or a handful of chocolate chips. (Yup, we go all out. ) Oftentimes our activity has nothing to do with the lesson. We just try to keep things engaging for the kids while still getting some gospel lessons into the night.
Lily has recently begun wanting to do the lesson herself. Her most recent lesson included a visual of different sized blankets laid on top of each other, from largest to smallest. She directs our attention to it and says, “Pretend this is like a really tall mountain. Can you see over it? (All of us respond no) Can you see through it? (No) But do you know who can? That’s right, Heavenly Father and Jesus can see to the other side. So when you can’t do something or see over something, you can pray and Heavenly Father and Jesus can help you. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
It was the sweetest thing, and just something she came up with all on her own. I loved it. She tried to recreate it a few weeks later when my parents and Anna were over, but she kept getting distracted by wanting to ask each person a new question and being in charge and in the spotlight. Funny girl.
For a different family home evening, we had a lesson about not littering and how we can give service by picking trash up, and for activity, we walked around our neighborhood picking up all the trash we could find along the sidewalks. The kids thought this was awesome, and have asked to do this for family night a few times since then. They also notice trash along the roads, or parking lots, etc, and always comment that “that’s sad, people shouldn’t litter.” It’s cute, and it’s nice to see when something you’ve tried to teach your kids has stuck.
Can’t have a blog post without at least a few pictures, so I’ll leave you with pictures of our donut-eating activity from a few months ago. One of the very few times our treat was more than old Halloween candy. The kids were really excited about this one.
Apparently I didn’t get any pictures of Michael or Adam enjoying their donuts, so you get these instead.
My happy boys. They make me grin. The end.