Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First FHE

Last night we had our first real Family Home Evening. The girls are getting old enough, we decided, and our lives are getting normal enough, that it's time to institute weekly FHE. We gave it a shot last night. Of course when you make efforts to do something right, forces combine to thwart those efforts. Ed got some sudden work late in the day and so didn't come home until about 8pm. The girls were wired from fatigue and Daddy's arrival, and didn't want to sit on the couch or do anything else except whine and flop around. Ginger moaned in protest through Hazel's prayer, and bit my leg before it was over, thus securing herself an immediate time-out-turned-early-bedtime. Hazel insisted on "fishing" with her toy dog-on-a-leash during the songs, and threw a fist-pounding-back-arching fit when it was taken away. Even I, usually a model of emotional control, ended up throwing a few things angrily and marching into another room to collect myself. What would we do without even-tempered Ed?

But the 15 minutes it lasted had its shining moments. Hazel has created a rote prayer she likes to say at every opportunity: "Dear Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for this food and this lunch and this prayer. And don't forget my best friend Kaleigh. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." As expected, this was also her opening prayer for Family Home Evening last night. We took this first FHE to talk about prayer, to explain that you say different things in your prayers depending on the setting and circumstances, and you should always think about what you want to say before praying. Just as we were losing their attention, Ed pulled out the September Friend (the LDS magazine for kids) and said, "Now we're going to read a story about a girl who was too scared to go to sleep."

Ginger immediately climbed up onto his lap and Hazel snuggled up to him with sudden and intense interest. It was about a little girl who was scared of the noise a branch made against her window. Her father came to comfort her and suggested she could pray to feel better. So they prayed together that she wouldn't be afraid anymore, and she was able to go to sleep. I wanted badly to take a picture of the three of them reading the story, but my camera was upstairs and I didn't want to leave. Hazel loved it, and it bought us one more quick chance to testify that you can pray to Heavenly Father for help with anything, and not just at meals and bedtime. Then we sang a couple of songs, read a bedtime story, and had a closing prayer. By this time Ginger was in time-out-bed, but Hazel got a muffin for dessert, and my angel husband put her to bed and did the dishes while I recovered from my own outburst.

Overall it was a success but I do hope it will get easier.

7 comments:

Just Katy said...

My family kind of struggled with the task of being contained together in one room without fights breaking out are someone wandering off. Consequently as my youngest sister learned to talk she called Family Home Evening Family No Leaving.

The Finck Five said...

Glad to hear we are not the only ones with difficulties, if it gets better let us know what you did

cherry said...

Thank you Kari for sharing this wonderful story and your testimony. I agree with what you said that the adversary will do anything to destruct us and make us feel disappointed, angry or frustrated during FHE because when they see the family gathered together talking about Christ---their world shatters. We have had many difficult FHE but we also have many succesful evenings...the secret..NEVER GIVE UP![that's what the adversary wants us to do] whatever happens..continue gathering the family...and i know that the Lord will bless us with His spirit.Remember "no family is perfect."

Just last week i cried[imagine a big mommy crying because my husband unintentionally offended me] but what we learned from that is how he said sorry "AT ONCE" and how we did not give up holding FHE.

And reading few comments reassured me that we're not the only ones struggling too....

Shells said...

Our experience with our kids the last couple of years is that all FHEs are a little bit like your first one. Enoch hardly ever pays attention no matter how hard we try. I have him for about 2-3 minutes. We worked our way through the FHE manual and the topics section in the back. So we just started a series on the life of Jesus. I introduced it last week and this week we talked about Christ's birth. Enoch was doing his puzzle (I thought that would at least keep him still) and Hilde looked like she was paying close attention. Then all of a sudden she cut me off and said, when is it time for treat? Oh well, better luck next time!

Camille Foote said...

I have been thinking a lot lately about the fact that we have been such FHE slackers. You have inspired me to at least make and effort and give up on my excuses.

C said...

Welcome to FHE!!! Our experiences have been much like yours, but I'm happy to say that after the first few weeks of time-out FHE, Brandon has gotten MUCH better. He knows the routine and his favorite song to sing is "the itsy-bitsy spider" or a song he makes up that no one else can sing with him because it's different every time! Keep it up-it will get better. When it gets bad, we always use bribery with the treat. Is there an instance when bribery doesn't work???

MiaKatia said...

We need to be better and FHE for sure. This post has inspired me to be more consistent with my kiddos thanks Kari.

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