November 17, 2010

Light Awards- FHE idea

A long time ago, I heard of "family awards" from the Eyres.
I thought it sounded like fun, but not really something we'd try.
Recently, I have felt the need for some positive reinforcement in my family...
and so, we initiated the LIGHT AWARDS.
(we talked for a second about Light vs. Dark... how sometimes mom spends all her time correcting the kid who hasn't made his bed instead of praising the kid who DID make their bed... these awards were for the LIGHT in our lives.)

Because I had grand plans of crafting darling awards that never came to pass, I sat down at the computer 10 minutes before family night and printed out our awards.
on yellow paper...
with a fun font...
no, i don't win an award for cute- but i do win an award for "just do it."
jakob taught the lesson last night on establishing a personal relationship with God.
it was adorable.
then, i announced our award assembly.
i had 8 awards.
i told the kids that i would describe each award first and then we would nominate people from our family for each award.
you could not nominate yourself, and we wanted to try and give everyone an award... so i encouraged the kids to think of a different person for each thing.
they were so excited.
I couldn't find tape, except for duct tape... so i put a piece of duct tape on the back of their award and they stuck them on their bed.
i had bought special treats at the store that morning... but i ended up NOT giving treats with the awards.
the papers stood on their own...
the papers and the words of the family...
we didn't ever have to vote- most of the times all the kids agreed with the consensus.
i imagined a lot of squabbling and contention over who got what award, but there was NONE.
When one person nominated someone, we went around the circle and everyone told why that person should get the award.

This idea was PERFECT!!  It could not have gone any better...

Here are my awards...
 Scripture Power- This was given to the person who participated most fully in scripture time each morning.  Anna was nominated because she ALWAYS has her scriptures and wants to read.  At home, at church, daily...
Service of Your God- This was given to the person who served others happily.  Drew was nominated for being quick to do his chores without complaining and for offering to help whenever anyone needed him.
Holy Sabbath- For the person who did good things on the Sabbath day, holy things.  I got this award.
Kindness Begins With Me- For the person who was quick to love someone else who was cranky.  Ellie got this award for being sweet with Leah and Lily.  Anna said whenever she is cranky Ellie always helps her to be happy and forget about it.  cute.

Clothed in Charity- For the person who did the best with their CLOTHES.  Putting them in the hamper, putting their clean laundry away, etc.  Drew nominated Grandma for this award.  :)
Peacemaker- This was for the person who was most like Jesus.  Leah was nominated and everyone told cute stories about how she was always kind to them and Lily.  She was SOO excited to put her award on her bed!
Sleep in Heavenly Peace- This went to the best bed maker... and the person easiest to put to sleep.  Jakob got this award and he totally deserved it.
Armor of God- This was for the person who has been doing personal prayer and personal scripture study.  The kids nominated their dad.  So cute.  They said that they see him reading his scriptures every morning before scripture time.  He definitely deserves this award.  And, the cute thing is, Anna, Drew and Jakob have all started getting up 30 minutes early to read with him.
The BEST thing about this night was hearing the kids say good things about each other.
They were SOO sweet.  And, they really need to hear their brothers and sisters saying good things about them.

I did notice last night that they were all more aware of their clothes and their beds and they are making efforts to be kind.  Everyone was smiling and dressed at scripture time this morning.
And, i didn't give one lecture.
When I was getting ready for bed, I looked over and saw my sweet husband saying his evening prayers.
He is always SO diligent.  Praying, reading, kneeling, everyday, same time, same place...
I saw his little "Armor of God" award on his bed and I just smiled.

My mom moved in with us last week.
Having her here makes me very aware of how imperfect my family is.
It seems that we sit down to a beautiful dinner and my kids start bickering.
Right before Family Night last night, the kids were throwing stuffed animals back and forth in the family room, scaring each other in the hallway, complaining about getting their pjs on...  it is loud and contentious and embarrassing.
my life is hectic and crazy sometimes,
my kids are out of control sometimes,
the professor and i are battling for order sometimes... .
And then, somehow, everyone settles down.
we sing, we pray, we find seats that makes everyone semi-happy.
jakob teaches a lesson.
a lesson where all the kids are paying attention...
he asks questions, uses scriptures, shares what he believes with his brothers and sisters, encourages them all to read their scriptures and pray to have a personal relationship with God.
i'm amazed at how much he knows and how well he teaches others.
i hear things we have taught him being echoed.
and i capture THIS moment in my heart.

Later, when we're doing family awards, it is the same.
One kid nominates Ellie for the Kindness Begins with Me award.  I hear the story they tell and watch her face as she listens.  I know that praise from an older brother means MORE to her than praise from me or her father.
i am proud of my sweet family.
and, thankful for the traditions we have established.
really, our family is a MESS a lot of the times.
it's CRAZY.  my kids are BAD.
i am a cranky mom or a distracted mom or a cranky wife.
for real.
but, we have many, many, amazing MOMENTS.
Moments that remind me, my family is AMAZING.
These kids are good.
in spite of me, in spite of their weakness...
i believe they are amazing kids.
and, i'm a good mother.
i have a great husband,
and i believe in GRACE.
i receive His grace in moments.

every day... for a moment... i feel Heavenly Peace and i am grateful.
just sayin.
maybe this is God's plan.
maybe he wants us to experience the chaos so we can appreciate the peace.
maybe he lets us feel extreme frustration so we know, without a doubt that we DESIRE joy and harmony.
can you imagine what life will be like when we are free from our own weakness?
if i could be all that i desired to be my potential would be limitless...
but, for now, i am mortal and weak and imperfect.
i have a family that is young, and mortal and imperfect.
and so, i live in normal and i see glimpses of eternity.
my house has moments of clean, i have moments of great mothering, my husband and i are perfectly unified at times...
but, much to my chagrin, we have ups and downs.
good moments and crazy moments.
maybe we are just below average.
for sure we are still improving...
i'm sure there are families out their that can stay up longer than we can.

i don't know how other families are...
if you find the blog of the perfect family please let me know.
this blog is real.
and real, in my life, is perfect moments.
not overall perfection... but sweet, perfect moments amidst the chaos of everyday life.

have you had a moment lately?  i'd love to hear about it...


Jenni at talking hairdryer said...

I love the award idea.

duct tape seems to solve many problems:)

I've come to realize that cute and perfect are overrated. The best part about your moment is that you did it. You didn't let the cute stop you. And most likely, the kids wouldn't know cute if it was handed to them...mine wouldn't.

You could also punch a hole in your awards and string some yarn through and hang the award on the bed until the next award assembly. That might save the finish on your beds.

Cox Family said...

What a great idea! I may need to copy you on the awards. My family can use all the reinforcement we can get.

I've always thought you're family was great, I watch your kids at church and often I am impressed by how well behaved they are. You're doing a great job!

beckyjune said...

Jen, you are a woman of much wisdom. I have to come visit your blog most days for a good laugh, sometimes a much-needed cry and reminders about important life lessons.

I will miss having you guys around once you move but at least I can still keep up with you through your blog.

p.s. I am wearing peppermint. Thank you! I LOVE the award idea, too.

Anonymous said...

I had a mommy last night. My husband was out of town and I was tired and told Hannah our 2 year old just to lay in bed for prayers. She refused and kept saying kneel down mom, kneel down! Haha. What a great example she is to me!

And I LOVE the girls quilts on their beds! Do you use a pattern or do you just sew and it comes out amazing?? I have been looking for a cute pattern for their beds.

jenifer said...

I didn't use a pattern for the girls quilts... but they were easy.
Here is a blog i wrote about them-

good luck!!

Diana said...

I don't remember how I found your blog, but it is bookmarked in the folder of blogs I read to cheer me up and inspire me and don't make me feel intimidated. I have 5 children and my oldest has many special needs. I feel that I am alternately put upon a pedestal and judged for the things I don't do well enough. I struggle with self esteem and always have. You make me feel like what I'm doing is enough and maybe even the greatest thing. Thank you for writing! And congrats on your new baby girl and your move. I love putting things away in brand new places. :)

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