Monday, September 15, 2008

family night

A few years ago, Tom and I saw a terrifying independent film called "Thirteen." Briefly, the film follows the deterioration of a fun, interesting, confident twelve year old into an insecure, popular, media driven thirteen year old. As soon as the film was over, Tom turned to me and said, "We are having family night* every night." We were motivated for a month or two and then Project Runaway happened. The next spur to action was when we were having a discussion over dinner about something gospel-related and every reply the girls gave us was either "read your scriptures" or "say your prayers." (Disclaimer: I'm not saying those are not good answers--in fact, they are often right--we just don't want the girls to become intellectually or spiritually lazy like their folks.) We were stirred to action once again until Mythbusters started. For about three months now, we have had consistent, interesting and fun family nights thanks to a little gem I stumbled upon, "Little Big Minds." Our discussion on responsibility last night involved the following poem:

The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass,
how to kneel down in the grass,how to be idle and blessed,
how to stroll through the fields,which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Most of the evening, Tess complained that we were only asking her 4-year old questions, which is insulting to her. According to Tess, she is ready for 8-year old level questions.

Here are a few of the girls favorite responsibilities:

- Get enough sleep so you aren't a pill; and

- Always look your best when cleaning the chalk boards.

*family night is a LDS tradition where one night a week you force yourself to do something besides watching reality television after dinner. Instead, you attempt to teach your offspring something wholesome and then eat something unwholesome, like a four-layer brownie and pint of Godiva ice cream. It's fun.


Grant said...

Looks like a lot of fun for FHE in Dallas.

colie-o said...

hahahaha. Those pictures of the girls are great, and boy family night sounds like fun. In fact I believe we followed that same wholesome unwholeseme tradition by having a lesson, and stuffing ourselves with chocolate chip cookies. I love family night.

Corrine said...

love the chalk boards...ok lost focus here, but love your definition of what FHE is.

Heiderhead said...

Another good one could be
1- Respect your Elders (Tess to Adelle, of course).
2- Learn how to use the phone in case you need to order a pizza while mom is out and dad asleep in the other room.

Tonia said...

Back to blogging! I haven't checked it in awhile. Sounds like you guys are having fun and your girls are getting soooo big!

Jane said...

Who doesn't need a train like that for cleaning? Where can I get that lovely blue number?

You crack me up. No worries on the FHE thing - not sure even a little gem like your book could work for the McAdams' folk.

Tian Tian said...

Lesson #3 on Responsibility:

eat only one brownie in public so that you appear a controlled eater; finish the rest of the brownies at midnight.

chattypatra said...

I can't even begin to properly express just how much your blog means to me, the way it reflects your wonderful spirit and total awesomeness. Some days, it has literally saved my life. Thank you.