“Family Home Evening Helps: Family Night Surprise,” Ensign, Feb. 2007, 73
We have a blended family with biological, adopted, and foster children. Having family home evenings that hold everyone’s varied interests was a real chore for us—until I discovered the element of surprise. In a moment of desperation when no one would pay attention, I suddenly announced that we would all enjoy a “surprise activity” if they would listen to the lesson first. That got their immediate attention, and they were eager to cooperate. Though the first surprise activity was admittedly impromptu, I have enjoyed planning several other successful activities, the majority of which focus on serving others.
We have made bread, assisted a neighbor in cleaning the yard, helped a family move, and made a quilt for a foster family. One time we played a spelling game together, an activity which benefited everyone but was planned to help a particular child with homework.
Though I do most of the planning, you could easily let your children take turns helping (if they promise not to tell). It’s not so much the activity that matters as how you “serve it up.” Our children simply enjoy doing new things together while they help others.
Samantha Licurse, Arizona