Sunday, February 14, 2010

Uncle Andy Is In Town





My youngest brother Andrew is visiting.  We only get to see him once a year because he lives in Ireland.

After we ate greasy pizza for dinner, we declared a family meeting, with Andy as the guest of honor.  I made him think of a real-life story that taught him something important, and then a question and answer session.  (The story was about a high school locker room confrontation between some football bullies and a friend, where Andy stuck up for the friend instead of walking away.) 

The questions varied from "What's your favorite food?" (Guido's Pizza) to "Do you think not watching much TV and hardly ever playing video games as a kid helped you be more artistic?" (My question of course...I was accused by my daughter of asking leading questions...and the answer was YES) and "What was backpacking across Europe like after college?" and "Did you ever have a really bad skateboarding accident?" (He fell skateboarding down a hill in San Fransisco and lost some major skin.) 

Afterwards, the kids did this:


....till I sent them to bed.

33 comments :

  1. as a lds blogger I can tell you there is no exact right way to do it. The most important thing is getting your family together and sharing time together just like you did! I think it's awesome when people take good ideas, no matter their origin, and realize their worth to their family. happy valentine's day!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love that idea of family meetings, what a great idea whoever came up with it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So glad you were able to spend some fun family time with your little brother! Family night sounds like a great idea - love the questions you asked. (and btw, yea Guido's!) Jenn S.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this idea. Thanks for sharing it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am LDS and served a mission in Ireland and I am so jelous of anyone who gets to live there. My kids beg for Family Home evening too. There is no right way. We play games, teach spiritual lessons,discuss family issues, watch a short film, go out to eat, a very big treat in our family. I have said it before, but I just LOVE your views on Motherhood and love that you are not afraid to say what you think!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. My kids love to have a tickle fest for Family Home Evening. After the serious stuff, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  7. my kids look forward to family home evening ALL week. it's definitely a favorite around our house. i'm so glad you're family has adopted it. and yes, there is no right way to do it. your night sounded just perfect.

    ReplyDelete
  8. LOVE, LOVE the family meeting idea. I hope you enjoy your visit with your brother!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think as long as you are gathering your family together and talking about what you value and would like to teach your children you are doing it "right"! My kids love Family Home Evening, and if we miss it they always remind us to tuck it in on some other night. Especially when they get to make the treats. One of my favorite parts is something we add at the end, we call it family "council" everyone takes a turn getting up and telling the family any activities in the next week, and get a chance to air any grievances. That can give us some chuckles. I love that you found this idea and made it work for your own family.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like a great evening! :)
    Man, you have quite a few Arizona followers!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Sounds like you do a better job with Family Meeting/Family Home Evening than I do! ;)

    Mine are mad because I told them yesterday we aren't having Family Home Evening tomorrow night since we are spending ALL DAY together since it Presidents Day. They always forget how sick of each other they'll be after all that togetherness.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Good for you Sarah!!! I'm thrilled that you noticed something positive that might work well for you and your family. What a great time to implement this idea with your brother in town. You dove right in and did it. Although, you never cease to amaze me. :D I love that you are so willing to do anything that might benefit your family. I'm LDS, and we try hard to have Family Home Evening with our children. Like the other posts mentioned, there is no right or wrong way. Whatever works best for you and your family. FHE was something that I remember growing up and how it truly brought our family closer. When another member of the family was going through something, we all got involved and tried to help them out in our own way. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your brother. :))

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a great idea. I'll have to remember that for when our kids are bigger...
    And - I love that red/beige quilt (throw?) in one picture. Looks so homey and cozy!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Sarah -
    I love that you have Family Home Evenings. I'm LDS and have a hard time gathering everyone together - always have. I wish we would have done this more. I believe the purpose is the help families become stronger - to answer questions, to have fun together, to teach children what we expect of them. Anyone can do this and it's offers children such a great outlet - they understand that family is important. There's no such thing as "doing it right". As long as you are spending time with your family and using that time, not just to have fun, but to teach - that's what it's all about. Have fun!

    -Kara (Incredible Women Blog)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I read your blog everday and I am always so impressed with your posts. You put the way I feel to words and I love it! Every time I read a new post I find myself saying 'That's how I feel!" (ie. Tiger Woods, etc.) Today is no different. I myself am LDS and can tell you that Family Meetings will change your family in such in a way you didn't think possible! BTW you are doing a great job as there is no wrong or right way to do it!
    Your blogging friend you didn't know you had :),
    Jessica Hayes

    ReplyDelete
  16. You're an inspired mom--I just love reading all of your ideas. As a Mormon, I was raised on a weekly dose of FHE (or "fetchee" if you say it really fast like my teenage brothers used to do). I'm one of six kids, and I have so many sweet memories of those weekly times of togetherness. Let me tell you, they weren't all perfect, but the tradition was so powerful. I think the only counsel from our church is that we're consistent--really that's it. Beyond that is up to a family's creativity and needs.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sarah, my thoughts echo so many of those above. I, too, am LDS and Family Home Evening is such a fabulous tool for bringing us closer together! I still remember many FHE moments from my childhood as well. Believe it or not, the LDS Church first introduced it in 1915. I think it's so awesome that you saw the value in it and use it to strengthen your family! Way to go!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yeah!!! I am so happy to hear someone with such a large readership... promoting something as wonderful as Family Home Evening. It really is a great way to preserve atleast one night a week for families....especially when there are so many other things demanding our attention. I don't think it matters so much what you do as just that you do it together. Our last Family Home Evening consisted of telling stories in the candlelight. It was wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love this idea. Will have to keep it in the memory bank for when the girls get older.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Our 4 kids are 12 years apart and we scheuled a Family Day once a month, a year at a time. We let the kids pick the activity, sometimes it was cheap, sometimes more spendy. We went on paddleboats, ice fished, camped overnight, went out for hot chocolate, but we all scheduled time together and because it was on the calendar a year ahead of time, we kept our dates. My teenagers would turn down invites from friends because it was family day. Now the 3 oldest are gone, but we still get together, had spaghetti and played scrabble last time with 2 DIL's and 3 grands. Love your notes. AND my 3 boys can all run the vacuum and swab a toilet. Like you, I want my DIL's to love me because I raised such nice husbands!

    ReplyDelete
  21. So cool Sarah! I'm LDS too and our girls are finally old enough to have successful Family Home Evenings. No right or wrong way to do it - just the goal of spending quality time together and hopefully teaching an important lesson along the way. Your evening sounded perfect! (sounds like your brother would be fun to talk to!)

    ReplyDelete
  22. LDS here too and I was just going to suggest that you NEVER forget the treats on Family Night. :)

    We have treats every night but for some odd reason they are just better on Family night!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sounds like a fun (and wise) family tradition. Hope you have loads of fun with your brother.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have a younger brother, and even though he is an adult (and has his own baby!) I still view him as my lil' bro. family is the best!(i *heart* fhe too *grin*)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Sounds like such a great family tradition, and how wonderful that you were able to bring your brother into the mix when he was hoem (hope you all had a great time together!). Btw, just love your window seat! Love window seats and yours looks very inviting!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Okay, I have to admit it...I have no idea what "LDS" is, can someone explain?

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm just answering the above comment by Anonymous.

    LDS is an acronym for the name of our church which is "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints," sometimes referred to as the Mormon church.

    It sounds like you had a fun Family Home Evening, Sarah! There's nothing better than visits from out of town family and good stories.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm not a commenter... but I just have to tell you how much I appreciate, and am even moved, by your blog. Not that it matters all that much- expect maybe to my 4 (almost 5) kids and husband. I think there are times I consider something differently having read your perspective on it (like when you get down to play with Patrick.) So thank you.

    Our Family Home Evenings (FHE's) consist of singing. I am certain by the time I am out of the baby and toddler years, it will be different, but now that's just a lot of what happens. In fact, we sing the same 3 song, as the opener, in the same order as my husbands family had when he was little. When you get his 5 siblings and all there children together, it is quite sweet to listen to all the grandchildren follow the same tradition.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Family Meetings... I like that idea! My kids are little, but I think we could make it work. Games, coloring, maybe read from the Children's Bible.

    Thanks for your comment about picking a gray color for the Master Bathroom. I went to the hardware store and pulled a swatches, brought them home and sat on the tile floor and chose a color. It's painted and looks fantastic. I will post photos, once everything else is in place! Thanks again!

    BTW... my brothers went to SJ. I saw your husbands sweatshirt in the post :) I went to SUA.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Family time is Family time - there is no right or wrong way to do it!! We have Family Home Evening once a week, amd sometimes we have a quick lesson about something Church related, sing a couple of songs and have prayer together. Other times we will play Uno and go out for Ice Cream. It doesn't really matter what you do as long as you are doing it together!
    No sugar - Congrats!! I just quit drinking soda and it has made a big difference for me, and I don't know why I waited so long??!!
    I love, love, love reading your blog and I have never read any of your posts that I didn't agree with! You are an amazing Mom and your blog really inspires me - thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'm so glad it went well, Sarah. As you know, I love FHE.

    ReplyDelete
  32. We love family night! It is such a great way to stay connected as a family in this crazy fast paced world that seems bent on pulling families apart. Have a great time with your brother..you have such a wonderful family.

    ReplyDelete
  33. One of the fun things we do in Family Home Evening is go around the room and let everyone tell about anything they have accomplished that week. Then we all clap. It is very fun to have applause and therefore it encourages everyone to think of things they can accomplish during the week. We also sing songs, we let the 4 year old lead us and she loves that. You won't be sorry for beginning this tradition! Have fun and enjoy each other!

    ReplyDelete