Tonight was one of those nights that I visualize every week, but that usually eludes me. We have family home evening every Monday night, but it often feels like I'm wasting my time. Kids fight, babies disrupt the lesson, somebody hates the treat or activity, etc. But not tonight.
Simon was conducting, and he welcomed everyone to family home evening in a loud, happy voice.
Josh picked "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam" for the opening song, so all the little ones were excited. The big kids helped toss little ones in the air every time we sang "beam," as per tradition. There was only one minor injury, and everyone was happy with how high they "jumped."
Caleb shared a scripture that went with the theme of the evening.
Savannah gave a beautiful and well planned lesson on serving others, which everyone participated in. Eli wasn't loud enough to be too distracting, and I really felt the spirit.
One short round of hide and seek, and then the homemade ice cream was ready. We let everyone have as many servings as they wanted. Even Lucy ended up with plenty!
After treat everyone gradually joined the circle for some volleyball practice. Nobody got hurt or angry, we just had fun. When Simon started to pout that he didn't get enough turns, Rebecca lovingly brought him back and helped him hit the ball.
When it got too dark to see, we came in for scriptures and prayers. Jonah remembered to bless our extended family members who need extra help right now.
After tooth brushing and face washing, little ones were tucked into bed. The "story" that Jonah requested was a non-fiction book about lost cities. He's learning about ancient Greece right now in school, so he was really interested.
Today I was talking with a friend about how in life, the hard work and frustrations seem to outnumber the beautiful, happy times. But somehow, even thought they may be less numerous, those little moments of happiness far outweigh the rough times.
That one great hour tonight easily makes up for a day full of hard work, headaches, and chaos. And as I peeked in to tell each of my children good night, my heart felt swollen with gratitude. My life is full of goodness.
My inspiration for this record of my days:
“The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less” -Anna Quindlen