Tuesday, October 23, 2012

"We're Thankful for Imperfect FHEs..."

Family Home Evening was funny last night.  Not funny ha ha, at first, not funny wild...just funny at the very, very end of the night when Steve said in our bedtime prayer, "We're thankful for an imperfect FHE...and that we just keep trying."

At that point it became hysterically funny, to me anyway!
I'm like, "Honey, what wasn't perfect about FHE tonight?"

Here's how the evening went.  You be the judge.

As we finished up our dinner, I bribed the kids with pumpkin pie to get them to actually eat the main course.  

Guy mentioned that he wasn't very hungry, so I said, good idea, let's save the pie for after YOU give our lesson....to which Guy broke out in hysterics.

We all sat on the couch watching our lesson-giver for about five minutes weeping and wailing and gnashing his teeth about wanting to eat the pie right now!

MOMMY offered Guy a mix of unsavory but very real promises if Guy didn't stop crying immediately and give the lesson.

When that didn't work, I conceded that pie had a tendency to bring me to tears also, and that I understood his plight.  

I hugged him back into his happy place just before the other kids started to lose their interest.

Guy gave the lesson, reading to the girls about what we should do "When Scary Things Happen in the World."

Then Daddy, who had actually come home a bit early from work because he was feeling pretty sick decided that for our activity, we would all play "Princess Yahtzee, Jr." a game that Autumn got for her birthday this weekend.

As a stall tactic to getting down on the hard floor to play a game that sounds rather ridiculous, I instead grab my camera to snap a picture of this happy little family all down on the floor together playing a board game.

After a few minutes, Daddy tells Mommy to put the camera down and just play with us.  "Alright!" I say slightly agitated.  "I'm coming!"

It is then that I realize that no one can figure out how to play this ridiculously simple game.

Sick and groggy Daddy can't decipher the instructions, so he passes them to beach-ball-belly Mommy, who really has no desire to figure the rules out, who passes the instructions to six-year-old Guy who deems the game unplayable.

"Let's play Uno," Guy suggests.

"Let's break for pie," rules the Mom.

The girls burst out in cheers.  However, I notice they each have a handful of playing pieces from the game, and Autumn, in particular, looks ready to toss them in the air.

I say, "Don't you dare throw those pieces!  You'll lose them, and then we won't be able to play."

Apparently, that was the green-light that she was looking for.

Giggles and Princess Yahtzee, Jr. pieces went flying through the air and landed kamikaze in the dining and living room areas.

We make them pick up the pieces, before we can have pie.  The pie is delicious, but everyone complains because Mommy, who ate her two pieces for lunch earlier today, also consumed the last of the whipped cream!

"Sorry," I say...not feeling very sorry at all.

Meanwhile, Daddy is on a mission.  He is looking up the rules to Princess Yahtzee, Jr. on the internet, determined not to let that infernal children's game win.

Back to the rug.  We are going to play this game, although most of us would rather move on, and Mommy is voicing this rather insistently.

Daddy notices that pieces of the game are now missing...surprise, surprise.

I say, let's just play something else.

Daddy says, "Autumn, if you don't find the missing pieces, you'll lose the whole game, I'll have to throw it away, because we won't be able to play it anymore."

In a sweet voice, three-year-old Autumn responds, "That's ok, Daddy!"

Which only irritates Daddy even more. (Mind you, Daddy, is doing a really good job of keeping cool, even though he is sick, and Mommy is not being very sympathetic, only trying to move us along from this infernal game.)

I tell Guy it's ok to start playing Uno with his sisters, instead.

Guy doesn't want Autumn to play...not as her own team anyway.  Yelling and irritated voices ensue.

I take my "typical hands-on approach"...I place my hands on the piano and start to quietly strum through some hymns.

I see Daddy slip out the back-door for a little quiet time of his own.  What did he do out there?  Pray?  Breathe?  Count to ten?

I don't really know.  But in the meantime, the music seems to melt the moods of everyone in our home.  

Steve came back in, offered to play some kind of rendition of Princess Yahtzee with Autumn while the other two happily resumed their Uno match-up.

Peace was restored.  And we stayed that way--Guy and Scarlett playing Uno on the couch, Daddy and Autumn playing at the table, Me & Baby Bump playing softly at the piano--for a good 20 minutes or so.  And everything was as it should be...again.

Now, you tell me...what wasn't perfect about that FHE?

A beautiful sermon was taught without a word.  

And the kids were able to see how Mommy and Daddy deal with their own off-days...and that prayer and hymns really can bring the spirit back to quickly turn a situation around.

I'm ok with that kind of lesson.

By the way, the kids are now waking up...and I think at least two of three of them are getting sick!

PS - Check out That Good Part for a slightly less hairy FHE report, I'm sure!


  1. Yours sounds a lot like ours. We put our 72 hour kits into backpacks, when through what the menu was for each day, had dad show us all his cool scoutmaster gadgets he keeps in his official backpack and completely lost control at some point. Try telling a 3 year old he can't eat the food sitting in front of him. Especially when it contains fruit snacks and jerky. He's still asking about it this morning, wanting it for breakfast :) We ended the night laughing and wiping out a bag of marshmallows playing "pudgy/chubby" bunny.

    1. Ha ha...yes, I LOVE playing chubby bunny! I need to keep that one in mind for another FHE gone wild! :)

  2. Sounds like you now have an excellent reason to get rid of an irritating game, and you taught your sweet children some pretty invaluable lessons. A perfect FHE! :)

    1. Yeah, I'd feel bad getting rid of it though...her friend gave it to her for her birthday just this weekend. Honestly, I don't even know that it's an irritating game...the instructions were just really wack! ;0

  3. a sense of humor goes a looong way in dealing with real humans! lol....

  4. Ha! Sounds like most of our FHE experiences. ( : Glad you made it through without losing your cool And pumpkin pie is exactly the way I'd want to end things!

  5. love your idea of playing hymns to calm everyone down! I have 3 kids ages 2, 4 & 7, and more than often our FHE's turn out that way. But, the important thing is we just keep plugging along and don't give up :) We are creating a safe haven for our children, and they will know that whatever is happening in the world, our homes will be a refuge. Thanks for your blog, it uplifts me!

  6. Hi Jessica - Yeah, my kids are almost 4, 5, and almost 7...so yes, as a last resort...play a hymn (or 20 of them!) :) IN the end...everyone was happy! FHE is such a funny thing!

  7. sounds worse than imperfect. sounds horrible. sounds like normal. what matters? kids,Pie, a stupid game? or just being together picking up pieces. Wonder why it didn't play like Yahtzee?

    1. ha ha, I know! That was what was so funny about it...Steve insisting that we play that nutty game and everything that ensued. The best part was just being together and in the end that's just what transpired! He's home from work now...he only made it through two hours and then was too sick to stay!

  8. Thank you for being so normal. I have gotten back into blogging kinda after the big move and 4th baby. Phew. We'll see if I keep up with it. That being said, I wrote a little diddy of my view on my blog if you want to check it out. Real Blogs Rule!!!http://bellesbazaar-heather.blogspot.com/2012/10/pumpkin-spice-pancakes.html

    1. I am excited to try that pumpkin pancake recipe! :)

  9. My favorite part was when you ate your 2 pieces of pie for lunch and ate all the whipped cream! Totally something I would do! You should see what I make my poor family eat when I am on a diet! (1/2 Cup dark chocolate pudding, with NO cream!).

    1. If I have to suffer...they have to suffer! Plus if I cook something rich for them...I might be tempted to taste-test! I totally get what you are saying!

  10. When ever things get a little hectic, on goes the primary songs. It deffinitely calms everything down!