What is FHE? LDS.org defines Family Home Evening (FHE) as "a special time set aside each week that brings family members together and strengthens their love for each other, helps them draw closer to Heavenly Father, and encourages them to live righteously" (link here).
Since Derek and I have been married, we have thought it a good idea to hold Family Home Evening (FHE) every week. We believe in the strength it gives a family and/or a marriage and wanted that strength in our own. Unfortunately, our desire never met with determination (real life and schedules always got in the way), and we've never been very good at it. Recently, however, we watched General Conference and felt inspired to give it another go. Get back on the horse. Try, try again. So we did.
Most people hold FHE on Monday nights. This has never worked for us as I work then, and trying to squeeze it in before work has never been successful. I figured this time around that the actual day didn't matter, but what mattered for us was that we did it- that we provided the opportunity and environment that allowed us to teach our children about Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, the Gospel, and other important life lessons. So our family has FHE on Sundays. And so far (every Sunday since and including April 3rd- go us!!), it's been a plan that has worked.
In order to keep FHE a positive experience, we try to keep things short and sweet. We generally open with a prayer and song, read a story and/or have a discussion about a topic, follow up with some sort of activity that reinforces the lesson, close with a prayer, and end with a yummy treat. We try hard to keep the lessons at our kids' "level" - as to actually teach them something as well as to hold their attention. Mostly Jolie wanders around the room as we teach James. She's still a little young. But we try to involve her as much as possible, as I believe kids are much smarter than you'd think and can process much more than people expect they can. At the very least (can you call that least??) they can feel the Spirit. And that's probably the best lesson they could learn, anyway. So we try. And so far we've all really enjoyed it.
Why the novel, you ask? Well, I'm explaining all this so that you aren't baffled when I start posting the FHE "lesson plan" each week. I'm putting these out there to 1) help me remember/journal, and 2) give others who may be intimidated by FHE-with-wee-ones some ideas. So be prepared. Comment or don't. And if you're looking for a way to unite your family, strengthen them and/or bring them closer to Christ, give FHE a try. You'll be glad you did!
*Image: Copyright by LDS Clipart and LDS Images in the LDSFiles.com Clipart Gallery (here).