Every Monday we do our best to hold a "Family Home Evening" with our children where we pray, learn about the gospel, sing, play games, eat treats, etc. Family Home Evenings have been a really great tool to remind us to do what is really important as parents--do right by our kids!
Unfortunately, often our efforts do not even come close to our ideals. I just hope that they are so many rough and ragged brushstrokes making up what will one day be a masterpiece? (Thanks for the encouragement, Elder Bednar.)
This week was Mark's turn. Sometimes I think that teaching the in's and out's of home financing to adults all day long somewhat skews his perception of what the kids will absorb. To alleviate this tendency, sometimes I will give him suggestions about what we could use a little help with. This week I handed him a lesson manual, pointed at what we discussed last week (quite successfully, I might add) and also what topics were up next on the list that we still needed to cover. Then I went upstairs, knowing our evening was well in hand, especially since usually his lessons are quite engaging..
He is the dad, and sometimes I get a little bossy, but it was pretty funny to watch the implosion of our well-ordered night of enlightenment when he rewrote all of my well-laid plans.
He sat down in the teaching chair. "Alright kids. Tonight we are going to have a little discussion about what it means to be a missionary. Who knows what a missionary does?"
Some ideas were thrown out, amidst the wiggling and posturing on the couch. Finally we decided that "teaching the gospel" was a pretty good answer.
"And what is "the gospel""? There were some answers that had nothing to do with the question, the gospel, or our evening. Mark helped us out. "I'll give you a clue. The word 'gospel' means 'the good news'". Then he allowed me to answer.
"Well, the gospel is Heavenly Father's plan for us to follow Jesus and come back to live with Him and our families forever!"
Silence. Surreptitious wrestling on the couch. Whining. Kicking. Mark threatening the hooligans. Cooper sat still and looked a little confused. "And that's the good news???..."
At that sideways observation of our not-so-successful evening, Mark and I tried to keep our amusement under wraps. My control didn't last long...
Mark, somewhat frazzled, proceeded to completely ignore World War III on the couch, the baby screaming, etc., and skip ahead in our discussion by loudly (but expectantly!) reading from the manual and talking right over the heads of the anarchy.
"How does one teach with power and authority?!!"
My eruption of choking giggles and laughing-on-the-floor-until-I-cried calmed everyone else down in a big hurry.
We decided to ditch the lesson, sing a few songs, and skip right to dessert and were much better for it!