Jenny and I try to have Family Home Evening with Elena every Monday night. Usually we try to read a short story from the Friend, sing a song, and say a prayer, but it’s always felt like an uphill battle. I didn’t have high expectations; she was still very young, but it’s still hard to practice and build habits.
Today, however, things started to fit together. Elena still didn’t realize that this was time set aside with a special purpose, but we all had a great time tonight. We started with a game of Hide and Seek. I hid first, and Jenny had to prod Elena to look for me on the other side of the kitchen island. After the first round she got the idea and a good time finding Jenny in the bedroom closet and me under the bed. She even took a turn hiding in the closet.
After the game we read a story about an old-time girl whose father sacrificed his own shoes to make some for her. I don’t think Elena could have understood the whole story, but she was listening and reacted when she heard words she knew, like ‘shoes’ and ‘feet.’
After story time, we sang a song that Jenny and Elena learned at the Music Makers group that meets every week. We sang a song about a little spider and how she moves–hopping, stomping, spinning, crawling, and jumping. After a chorus of “Ring Around the Rosies,” our formal Family Home Evening time was done, but we kept playing. Elena showed us how well she could jump–she can sometimes get both feet off the ground.
After that, Elena asked very nicely if we could play with bubbles. We followed that with some swinging around and vigorous dancing. She and I danced together, then alone, then we each danced with a doll. It had the desired effect: by the time we were done, she was tired and ready for bed. It was a good evening.