In 1915 President Joseph F. Smith and his counselors in the First Presidency began a Churchwide effort to strengthen the family. They called on parents in the Church to gather their children once each week for a "Home Evening." Families were to take time to pray and sing together, read the scriptures, teach the gospel to one another, and participate in other activities that would build family unity.My husband and I have been been pretty good about having FHE from the very start of our marriage. It is a time that we look forward to each week. Yet a few months ago I started to get a little frustrated with how our FHE's were going. My kids were OFF THE WALL crazy and my husband and I felt like we were spending all our time herding children around the room. I was feeling especially frustrated because our "lesson time" sometimes didn't happen at all or was given to a child being held in an arm lock by his Dad so that he didn't run away to play with his trains. It was after one of those nights that I found myself wishing I could just see what other people's Family Home Evenings looked like. Were they as crazy as ours? What things worked for their families? How did they prepare their lessons? What sort of traditions did they have? What tricks had they learned for getting kids to pay attention?
In 1970 President Joseph Fielding Smith joined with his counselors in the First Presidency to designate Monday night as the time for family home evening. Since that announcement, the Church has kept Monday evenings free from Church activities so families can have this time together.
Latter-day prophets continue to urge Church members to give highest priority to family home evening. They have promised that our dedication to this program will help protect our families against the evils of our time and will bring us abundant joy now and throughout the eternities.
So I decided to ask.
All this week I am going to share with you some posts written by women I admire about what Family Home Evening looks like at their house. I've asked women in all stages of life: with little kids, with teenagers, with big families, with small families, with no children, and with husbands in the military to talk about their "average" FHE, to share lessons that have worked for their families, and share how FHE has strengthened their family. I'm hoping that at least one of these women will "speak" to you and give you ideas or insights into how you can improve your Family Home Evenings. I know that I have already been inspired by what they've written and have gotten some good ideas for future FHE lessons! .
Here the schedule just to get you excited
Tuesday: The Challenges of FHE When it is Just the Two of You by Kelsey
Wednesday: Having Family Home Evening When Dad is in the Military by Ailihn
Thursday: 20 Minutes Every Monday to a Better Life by Jocelyn
Friday: Family Home Evening at the Bartholomew Home by Christina
next Monday (April 18th) I will share what Family Home Evening Looks Like at MY house and will I'll be hosting a Blog Hop so that YOU can share what Family Home Evening Looks Like at Your House.
Everyone who leaves a comment on any of the posts this week and/or participates in the Blog Hop by writing a post on their blog and linking to it on Monday, April 18th will be eligible to win one of these amazing prizes:
1) A 16X20 print of Mandy Williams "Tree of Life"
Mandy is one of my readers and is such an incredibly talented photographer. In addition to her incredible Tree of Life she also has done some amazing pictures of LDS Temples-- really, they are incredible. Here is what she told me about her artwork.
My name is Mandy Williams and I am a wife, mother to two beautiful children and a photography artist. Since beginning the temple photos a little over a year ago, I have learned so much and I'm constantly trying to better my artwork. The "Tree of Life" is my newest idea because I have always loved studying Lehi's vision and picturing how it looks in my mind. I feel blessed to have a way to express myself and share my feelings through my pictures. Visit my Etsy Shop and my blog to see more!2) The other prize you might be able to win if you participate in the blog hop is your choice of a felt board story kit from Rising Moon Adventures.
I know that at my house felt boards are just about one of the only ways to keep my kids attention spans for longer than 2 minutes. I really love her felt sets (like the one above about the birth of John the Baptist) and she has some wonderful Bible, Book of Mormon stories and fairytale ones. You can see of her very well priced sets at her etsy shop or at her blog.
Are you excited yet!?
I would love for a lot of you to participate in the Blog Hop next Monday. You have over a week to get ready so I hope you will put something together, even if you aren't always "perfect" at FHE. If you aren't LDS but you still hold Family Night at your house every so often I would LOVE for you to participate as well. I think that we can all learn SO much from each other, and I know that it is comforting for me to realize that I'm not the only mom who struggles sometimes!
Also, I realize that I haven't asked any single women to write something so I would espeically LOVE it if you single ladies might be able to share your experiences with FHE and how you make it work in your situation.
One more thing. I just wanted to let you know that the LDS church website has some wonderful resources for Family Home Evening. They have a list of lesson topics and plans, tips for doing FHE with little kids, with teenagers, and as a couple. They also have some quick tips on how to create a family culture of FHE. The resources are really simple and wonderful and are great if you are just getting started doing FHE or if-- like me-- you just need a little bit of a boost.
I am excited for this next week. I always learn so much from my incredible readers!