Monday, March 18, 2013

Zebra Cakes After the Tour

I check the time on my cell phone.  "Okay, Tyjah.  ONE more pass through the store. It's time to make a decision."

He picks out some Little Debbie Zebra Cakes from a corner of the store we have never visited.  As I bury them among our other groceries, the 95 % of me that proudly favors homemade-with-real-ingredients slinks down beneath a layer of "Whatever!  My son is SO excited AND he stayed within his budget."  His enormous grin cements my resolve to hand over the box at the check stand.

On the way home, Tyjah makes me promise not to tell the other kids what he has picked out for the family home evening treat.  He wants it to be a surprise.  Love this kid!

A few hours later, we are all gathered in the family room.  Everyone looks up at "the board" to remember who has which assignment.

Yes, I know.  It's been almost 6 years and I STILL
have not added our two youngest children!
Beau starts us off with a prayer, and then we all look at Lyla, who gets to choose the song.  She only knows a few, so we all sing "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes."  Then, Halle shares a verse of scripture.

On to the lesson- it's my turn.  I tell everyone that we will be taking a physical tour of our home with our spiritual eyes.  Their faces show a mix of "Huh?" and "Cool-we don't have to sit down for this lesson!"

As we walk through our home, I ask some questions:

"Do you feel welcome when you come home?  Is it someplace you are excited to come back to because you feel safe and loved?" 
"Is this kitchen a gathering place where we have good conversations over family meals?"
"Is it a place of cooperation where we work together to clean up from dinner?"
"Is there arguing in our home that makes any one feel uncomfortable and that destroys the peace?"
"Is this a place of order where we invite the spirit of the Lord and feel peace?"
"Is the media we watch in this room appropriate?  Does it support our family and religious values?"
"What do you appreciate about our home?  How can we improve?"

I'm impressed with everyone's participation.  The older kids express gratitude for some of the things they see and feel in our home.  Some note areas we where we could do better.  Everyone commits to do their part to improve the climate in our home.  Nice.  I end with some examples of families from around the world who find ways to make their home a little peace of heaven on earth.  

It's too bad we got started a little too late.  Wes tells everyone that we need to postpone our activity plans until tomorrow. Long faces and complaints.  March Madness kicks off in two days and the kids were excited to fill out their brackets.

But the kids have school tomorrow and it's just too late, so we close with a prayer.

There are still a few long faces about the post-poned activity. Tyjah softens first because he knows it means we get the treat sooner.  I'm sure he is more excited to surprise his siblings than he is to actually eat the Zebra Cakes.

Weekly family home evening with five children.  Easy?  No way.  Worth it?  You bet.

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