The first things that come to mind when I think of the things that actually work in our family are (sometimes it doesn’t seem like anything is working):
Daily Family Scripture Study/Prayer – We have morning prayer and evening prayer. We do scriptures in the evening when the most people are home. We know it’s working when we find out that the kids do it even when we are gone for the evening. This really pulls us together twice a day and helps us feel like we are all on the same page.
Weekly “Preach My Gospel” study with the teenagers – This helps us have deeper, individual time with the older kids. We make a yummy dessert (usually) and laugh a lot too.
Temple attendance – Kevin and I go often and we take the kids that are 12 and up as often as we can. The spirit is strong there and we all feel a great reset. We have to weed out other things each week to make it happen, but it’s so worth it. As I’ve watched the older kids leave our home, I love seeing them follow in our footsteps. I know they’ll do great, if they keep the temple in their sights.
Family Dinners – I love food! I especially love food that I have cooked the way I like it or how someone else in the family prefers it. We eat on the early end, at 5:00 pm as much as possible, so that everyone has food in their tummies when heading out for the evening. This also enables evening time together for those who are still at the house.
Reading! I love sharing great books with my kids. We read a lot of classics and discuss them. I’m not sure I can list this as doing it well, because I don’t feel like I do it enough with them. But our home is set up around great books. My weakness is buying used books…..
Low screen time – We don’t have cable or satellite, etc. At first it was because of money, but then we realized it worked better for us. At this house, we can’t even get t.v., so we are considering other options so we can watch the debates live this year. So far, it has worked well for our kids to just watch movies when we go out or want to snuggle/take a break. They tend to talk, play and create more when the screen isn’t an option. We barely have enough time for everything now, I can’t imagine if we were watching a lot of shows. Although the drawback for me is not having the Hallmark Channel.
Being Active – We love to go hiking, walking, biking, to parks, be in water, serve and anything outside. I love that my kids love the rain and love to do fun things or go help someone else. Some of our best memories are being together outdoors.
Tucking In Bed – I’d have to say, I have been wanting to let this go lately. I finally get to relax at night and I drag myself upstairs to tuck kids in at different rounds each night. But I know this is sooooo important. I should take longer and read more, but I love to sing to them and tuck them all in. As the kids started leaving, this is what I missed most and I know Bryson missed it on his mission. They are only little for so long. I’ve been able to have some really special conversations with them because of this checkin point.
Blog – Writing our family blog has really helped our family feel like we are making great memories. It helps pull extended family into our crazy world and it’s a great record keeper. https://kkjonesfam.wordpress.com/
Date Night Once a Week and Daddy/Child Dates – Kevin takes me out each weekend and I live for it. It feels so good to eat other food and talk without being interrupted. He also rotates a date with each of the kids. These are the best. Addisen even made sure she was back in the rotation when she was home this summer. 🙂
Sometimes I can get discouraged at all the things I’m not doing, but as long as I’m doing a few of the important things, then it’ll all work out. I want to look back and know that I tried and loved my family and my Heavenly Father.