Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Just Keep Swimming...

Tonight I had planned to really start a standing routine around here for our evenings.  First, let me tell you how it usually goes:

Around 8:00 I start asking kids to get ready for bed (and all that it entails).
8:15 I start ordering.
8:30 I start threatening.
At around 8:45 I don't really care who's ready for bed, but I gather all of the children in the boys room, where we have a somewhat irreverent and wild scripture time and family prayer. 
At about 9:00 (bedtime) I send them off to bed.
Sometimes I'm pretty cranky by this time, because things have been so whacky, and other days I'm more...tolerant.

Tonight I decided "no more".  I planned it all out.  I prepared a lanyard for each of the children with a list of everything they have to get done before bedtime.  I explained that, as soon as their lists were finished, we were going to meet in the family room for scripture and prayer.  I'll admit, there was some attempt to get their lists done, but it was just still really crazy loud around here.
Then I gathered my little ones in the family room, each with their own BOM, and we began to read.  There was a lot of movement, a lot of noise, and a lot of "Conner, sit down", but we made it.  I explained to the children that I want to start a new little tradition.  After scripture, we are to all get in a circle, put our right hands together in the middle, and say "seRve, Obey, Work, lEarn!"  (Our family motto)  Then a group hug, and then each child is to hug and kiss me (and dad, when he's here) before heading off to bed.  Sounds great, but HOLY COW!  You would think I'd given them all three lbs. of sugar and a gallon of caffeine! Something about saying the motto just released some sort of insanity into the group.  I tried to stay calm, but I'll admit....I didn't.  I wanted to badly to start something that would be special and lasting, but it was really kind of a nightmare.

Am I going back to the old ways?  Heck no!  We'll do this all again tomorrow, because I do think they'll settle into it.  They were just so excited about it that they kind of lost control of their happiness!  It all came spilling out of them!  And I believe that it WILL become something that is special and lasting.

Sometimes things don't go quite the way you have planned.
Just keep swimming...


Eden said...

One suggestion that came to mind is to do the family motto after morning family prayer - so they go out the door with that in their heads. Doesn't have to replace doing it in the evening.

Jenni said...

Love it! We walk to school (where I work and where little man goes to child care) and we pray on the way to school. I have just added prayer to our bedtime routine. My son is 13 months. He has the "prayer hands" down and although I am sure he doesn't completely understand, I think it is important for it to be a part of the routine. I love to hear about how other families do it.

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