Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Family Matters

Tips and Tricks:
Getting the Family Together.

In today's lifestyle, it's sometimes difficult to get the whole family together at the same time. Kids' sports, music lessons, church meetings and many other things keep families on the go. What have you found to be successful tools for bringing your family together during those times when it seems that everyone is going different directions? If you are Empty-Nesters, what did you do when your children were still at home? What works today for getting together with your children and grandchildren?

The farming/ranching lifestyle lends itself well to having family time almost all the time. Throw homeschooling in the mix and, voila, we are together almost 24/7. Family, both immediate and extended, is extremely important to my husband and me. We wouldn't have it any other way.

One of our main goals is to create a refuge from the world. We want our children and all who enter our home to feel loved, cared for, respected. We hope the family bonds we create now will keep our children grounded to sound moral values and keep them focused on what truly matters. We hope that when they leave to start families of their own they will remember with fondness the times we shared and will continue to share.

I've listed below just a few of the activities we enjoy doing together as a family.

"What matters most is what lasts longest, and our families are for eternity."
~M. Russell Ballard~

Daily scripture study and family prayer. Nothing beats the feeling of love that permeates our home when we study the word of God and talk to Him, thankful for our abundant blessings and, yes, even our trials.

Mealtimes. We eat every meal together as a family. We take the time to set the table properly, that includes a tablecloth. Lunch is our biggest meal of the day. It's also the hottest time of day so we can count on Dad being home to eat at a certain time to get out of the heat. We have many traditions centered around food. The most frequent is eating pancakes every Sunday on our finest china.

Family Home Evening. In our church we are encouraged to dedicate one evening a week where we can spend time together - have family councils, discussions, games, etc. Typically it is on a Monday but during the hectic farming days of summer we hold our family home evenings (FHE) on Sunday. Everyone participates rotating between who is in charge of treats, games, lessons, songs, etc. You can see some of the things I've made to use for our family home evenings: paddle board stories (and pattern), flannel board stories, a game, and our FHE box (scroll down that link to see the picture).

Family History Stories. Our children love to hear stories about their ancestors. It gives them a sense of belonging when they know who's come before them. We have a whole wall in our living room full of ancestor pictures. Point to any one and chances are my kids could tell you who they are, how they're related, and some story about them.

One-on-One Time. With seven children we feel it's important that no one gets "lost in the crowd." We try to spend some time with each one individually. We snuggle on the couch and read books, take walks, or work on a project. The kids love to go work with Joseph. And he is able to take them.

There are many other things we like to do: go for rides in the mountains, target shooting, read books out loud, visit with relatives, etc. Whatever we do, we hope that our children realize that our family matters.


Lei said...

Pancakes on china! That sounds wodnerful!

And how fortunate you are to not only have fun together as a family, but to work together as well.

Craig said...

We usually have our family home evenings on Fridays! We have done that for a very long time. It has worked best for us, because I don't have to work the next day and the kids don't have school, they do not have homework to worry about and if we stay up a little late doing activies it is no big deal! I know for a lot of people Fridays are busy, but for us they usually are not.

An Ordinary Mom said...

Care, love and respect. That is the perfect recipe! And I love your family history story time. I need to start incorporating that into our together time. Fabulous post!

Morning Glory said...

Oh, this was rich! What a unique experience you have with a large family all working together in the farm/ranch setting.

I do love the idea of eating meals at a pretty table. I've always tried to create that atmosphere over the years, although not always on the china. A nicely set table just carries such a different feeling with it when you sit down to eat.

Thanks for sharing all this.

K 3 said...

Great post. You are really lucky to be able to spend so much time with your family and loved ones ... God Bless.

Thanks for stopping by :) Its great to be acknowledged.

K 3 said...

PS - I really liked your blog name as well "Beehive Academy" :)

Our Peculiar Life said...

I loved reading all you do to make your family time special. Your family sounds wonderful.

wild murdocks said...

Brian is reading the Joseph Stacy Murdock book to the older boys at night. He's having to skim over some parts and try to explain the others. The boys love it though.

Kassie said...

Love that you have a wall with ancestor's pictures and your kids actually know who they are and things about them. We are in the middle of adding on to our home and I'm planning to have an "ancestor wall" in the new dining room. It will have pictures as well as memorabilia and the words "It's all about FAMILY!" Can't wait. Windows go in tomorrow, so maybe sometime this year I can get that put together.