husband started a new family tradition a few months ago.

if you are familiar with the lds-faith, there is a tradition on monday evenings called, ‘family home evening.’

basically, the idea is that one evening every week {give or take on the actual day and time but mondays/7pm are very traditional} you don’t plan anything else but being with your family. typically, there is a gospel-inspired lesson + maybe an activity + a snack, and maybe more or less. family members take turns planning the evening or, a special outing. whatever you do, the time is designated for family. and, at this time in age, with so many distractions it really takes scheduling one evening every week to avoid other events to create pure family time.

well. seeing as husband and i are not per say active in our religion, we are still very very fond of many of the values & traditions that the faith observes. so, husband altered family home evening a few months ago & created our own little thing.

“be” night.

in place of gospel-lessons like, “noah and the ark,” “jonah and the whale,” etc., our family night lessons are based on values. for example, “be honest.” “be humble.” – husband did start the initial “be” nights with “be-lieve in God.” wanting to focus on the importance of believing in something bigger than all of us. whatever that may be, for each person. of course, we focused our conversations towards what our family believes.

we have discovered that the kids are very responsive to the entire idea + look forward to the evening + it brings us all together one evening a week when many of us are often scattered all over the home working on individual projects or busy with other things. we turn off the tv, all music – and just enjoy our time together.

we have chosen sunday evenings for our “be” nights because that is typically an evening that we can all expect to be home + not have anything else planned. recently, kiana planned our lesson and she chose, “be judicious.” she spent her entire sunday afternoon preparing. she did great with the lesson + a story + she made a board game focused on ‘choosing the right’ similiar to chutes & ladders!

the game was hilarious – if you landed on a ‘WC’ which mean ‘wrong choice’ you had to slide down a slide – meaning go back a few places. this might have been the only time i can think of that we were all CHEERING when someone made a wrong choice! ::lol!::  we cheered even louder when they made two wrong choices – which, coincidentally led into a discussin that when one wrong choice is made, it is easily followed by more.

in the end, what matters to us is that we are together,
focusing on our love for one another & how to be good. and how to be better.
that is my religion.

dear readers, do you do anything like this?
designate family time in your week?

i’m curious – please let me know!

28 responses to “be.

  1. We are banned from the office on Friday nights! Definitely not as fun as board games.. but a big deal in my household 🙂

  2. We are banned from the office on Friday nights! Definitely not as fun as board games.. but a big deal in our house 🙂

  3. I like this idea-a lot! I may have to map out a skeletal plan for a few summer nights-that way the important talks are fun and aren’t all crammed in one lesson/talk per say! Thanks!

  4. No, but definitely something my family and I need to do. We are living with my parents as we build a house currently and it is hard to find time. Suggestions? 🙂

  5. We have 2: Sunday is “pancake day” were I (usually) make a huge breakfast before hubby heads to basketball. Friday is “movie night”. I try to find a movie appropriate & entertaining to everyone (hard when the youngest is 2), make my “ooey, gooey, super special popcorn, & snuggle up tight on the couches.

  6. {jane}-

    my kids are grown now. they were right on the cusp of a stick and rock to play with; with the internet just on the horizon. we adored family night! some weekends we’d clear off the kitchen table and play monopoly all three nights.
    there were many nights of tag and manhunt. the list is endless.

    as they grew into their mid-teenage years, whining about ‘hanging out with the parents’ surfaced; but we never faltered and continued with our family time.

    if you could hear them now, telling their stories about our family adventures. it makes me smile like the sun! i love hearing their renditions of our trips hiking the arches national park, camping, seeing a movie, or when i drove them to school with curlers in my hair. it’s priceless.

    the idea.


  7. That is awesome, I really like Chandra’s special times as well although it is difficult when the kiddos are so young, 11 months and 2…our special times mainly consist of going to the park and finding new parks. Luckily my husband loves doing this and is always finding a new place for us to go. Can’t beat the excitment my baby shows when she swings and that my 2 year old shows when you tell her where we are going.

    Thanks for making us stop and think!

  8. Great job!! These nights are so important, no matter what night of the week they are on! We have Friday as a family movie/pizza night and Sunday night is usually our FHE night. Sometimes the “theme” of our family time is based on some of our struggles we’ve had during the prior week and it really helps to have a sit down time to talk about them together when we are not upset and in the heat of the moment!

  9. We spend wonderful time together but noothing set in stone on a planned night. We need to. Our kids would love that. No tv, no cell phones, a no tech night would be a good start! A weekly game night would be a good start!

  10. I love that your daughter made this game up. So cute! Family time is so important. My little girl is 4 and i just had twins. Alot of our “family night” Is about us talking to her about the choices she makes in life. Its so fun to see her response on all the things we talk about. One of our favorite things to do is “the worse thing of the day and the best thing of the day” so we can share what happend in our day. Thanks for your blog i came across it a few weeks ago(i dont know how :)) and i swear i am going to come back as you in the next life! haha there might be a lot of “janes out there” You are amazing and have helped me realize to treasure whats most important to you. I dont know if i should admit this but i love seeing the pictures of your daughter dancing. I danced at TDC(gasp I know sorry :)) my whole life growing up and miss it terribly! but there is just something about dance that can make people speachless. She is amazing and has some amazing natural talent!! Thanks for all your wonderful post!

  11. What a great idea! I have a job that requires me to work some evenings and I feel like I miss out on some of those precious moments with my kids. A few years ago I started a tradition called “Tuesday Treat Day”. My kids look forward to it each week. When I pick them up from school, we go get a treat. Sometimes it is an ice cream or doughnut, sometimes we go out to eat. We use this time to talk about what is going on at school and in their lives. We all love it and are closer because of it.

  12. Wonderful idea! This is a great way to involve you children in the process of learning how to be good people. Love it! Thanks again Jane!

  13. What a great Idea!. We are not active in our religion either but I love the values and have been trying to come up with ways to keep those within our family. Be night is Awesome. I’m definitely going to start this.I would love to know of any other ways you try to keep God in your family life. I have had a hard time finding that balance. Thanks!

  14. I always have something planned for “family night” but I find that I rarely follow through with it. My son is only 16 months-old so it’s a fly by the seat of your pants type schedule in my day. I really need to work on implementing it rather than just thinking about it! It’s motivating to hear how much your kids enjoy it.

  15. This is a great idea! I love that you have a theme and meaning behind the game you play. My family had the tradition of always having dinner together at the dining room table, TV’s off! We would go around the table and say one thing that we learned that day. It is a tradition I really want to carry on with my family. Games were fun to play, but man o’ man could we get competitive!

  16. We have the rule that no matter where you are at 9:30pm you come home for family prayer and a special treat. It was way easier when the kids were younger… And works much easier in the summer months…. as the kids are becoming teens we have found that our two teens bring friends home then as well. We say our family prayers and then have dessert, visit with family/ friends and then call it a good night. It has helped us with keeping an eye on the teens and letting them know we are here for them… Then we end up playing night games.

  17. way to go KIANA!! we are fans of “FHE” and sometimes they are “FHE on DVD’s” have you seen those? they are fabulous. {especially for my little kids} boston is now getting into helping out with the lessons/games/treats etc.

    i do however let my kids pick one night each for dinner! it’s their pick, plus they have to help out. which is great with boston but not the littles. so they usually pick tacos and set the table. but i do have to admit, i love that one on one time in the kitchen! good conversations!

  18. Love this!! My husband and I were also raised in the LDS religion {but don’t practice now} – he didn’t really have FHE – but at my house we did. We don’t have kids yet, and we already try to spend as much time together as possible… But we have designated our Sunday’s as family days- and have both agreed that it will continue to be family day when we do have kids! I think it’s so important to have those designated times to be with your family – so you don’t get lost in the crazies of life!

  19. Very Creative! We don’t do anything quite like this in our household but we do have what we call “Tech Free Tuesdays”. We decided to choose one day of the week where we could use no technology. It really gets us up and active and we can focus on spending time with family.

  20. Sad you are going private, look at all the lives you have influenced through your blogging… keep Casey and me in the loop, can’t wait to see you in Boston!!!
    X’s and O’s

  21. Such a good idea! My comment is actually for “Erica” who asked about ideas for younger kids–we do this too with our 4 year old and she really loves it and gets it. I think the key is to make it short (max of 5 minutes) but she LOVES getting a little teaching moment from mom and dad without any distractions. Two weeks ago, we talked about how we can be a “light” in the world by doing good things such as sharing with friends. We got the flash light and made a spot light for her to share what good things she had down the previous few days. This week we talked about stranger danger. We have been doing this consitantly for about a year now so suprisingly, little kids can totally do this too and I think it makes the whole tradition so much easier once they get older!

  22. I think the most important lesson here is that we shouldn’t 100% rely on church, school, etc to teach our children the values that we hold to our hearts. Such a great idea! I have 3 littles and we are together pretty much all the time so I’ll keep this in mind for future use!

  23. This is a fabulous idea! I remember growing up with family nights & the bonding, learning & fun that took place. I too am not active in an organized religion but was raised in a LDS household. I have worried about how to teach my little guys the values I learned, treasure & live by. I am going to start something like your “be” night up right away.

    Koodos to you, Ms. Jane! “)

  24. Love it!! So fun when the family has some real time together!! Our five year old is the “Whistle Blower” if we miss FHE, she’s the biggest fan of all, haha!! She keeps us on our toes, but I think our kids need that special time when we are all focused on one another and they love that!!
    And I just saw your last post, if I don’t get an invite I totally understand, but it is nice to check in and catch up on friends from SUU, wish you all the best in your move!!

  25. I love how much you embrace and encourage your kid’s creativity. Great job Kiana too! I never really had FHE as a kid but it’s something I know will be very important in my future family.

  26. Love the game! So creative. I love having family night. The kids look forward to it every week. Aria is always asking, “Is it family night tonight?”

  27. Love this idea. My kids are all under 5 so we tend to spend every night together no matter what! But I would love to start making one of those evenings focused on a single activity with a purpose. Perhaps we can get a crazy game of Candy Land going!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *