Tag Archives: kids

Making ‘family time’ a priority

Do you have regrets?

I always wanted to be the person who said no to that question. No regrets.

But do I? Probably.

I wish I would’ve done this. Or I probably shouldn’t have done that.

I’m not sure I really even like that question, though, or the idea of it.

Life is a journey, full of ups and downs, good choices and not so good ones.

And that is true when it comes to parenting, especially as our children have gotten into their older teen years.

I guess my husband, Larry, was pondering some of these same things last fall when he decided we were going to implement what he called “Family Time.”

Let me back up a bit and say that family has always been extremely important to us. Since our children were very young, we’ve tried to set aside one night a week for Family Home Evening, a program recommended by our church. We’ve also tried to read scriptures and pray together every day. And we’ve also tried to spend as much time together as possible, supporting them in their activities, getting together with extended family and enjoying family vacations together.

Some of these things have been more successful than others.

In the last couple of years, though, it’s been extremely difficult as our kids started high school and became more involved with things.

Larry was reminded of guidance we once received from the leaders of our church: “We call upon parents to devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of their children. We counsel parents and children to give highest priority to family prayer, gospel study and instruction and wholesome family activities.”

Have we been giving our children our “best efforts?” Not always. We needed to do better.

So what is family time? Ideally, it’s 30 minutes to an hour set aside for praying, reading scriptures, listening to each other without devices distracting us and finding some fun to throw in there like a quick game of charades, or if we have more time, a board game. Or we’ll watch a video on YouTube. Or just let them talk about what’s important to them.

 

I can’t say Family Time happens every single day. Some days it’s just impossible for all of us to be in one place at the same time and awake. Larry leaves in the morning before everyone is up and goes to sleep sometimes before everyone gets home.

Sometimes it’s only five or ten minutes, long enough to see how everyone’s day was, pray and read a few scriptures.

Sometimes we combine it with dinner. Or we read and eat at the same time.

Sometimes we do it over the phone or use FaceTime.

Sometimes we laugh so much we cry. And sometimes it’s rough, especially when people are moody or tired, and someone leaves the room in anger.

But looking back at the last six months, I feel more connected with my kids than I ever have before.

And more hopeful.

Because when I look around at the world and all the darkness that seems to be growing with each day, I want to make sure I’m doing what I can to help spread more light. And help them do the same.

If we want to see change in the world, we must be the change. And I believe that starts at home.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf said: “We build deep and loving family relationships by doing simple things together, like family dinner and by just having fun. We talk with, rather than about, each other. We learn from each other, and we appreciate our differences as well as our commonalities.”

So I’m encouraging you to start your own Family Time, whatever that means to you. It doesn’t have to be like ours. If you’re not religious, that’s okay. Make it your own. Five or ten minutes when they wake up or before they go to bed. Or a phone call or FaceTime every afternoon on your break at work. Whatever works for you and your situation.

But make it a priority. Show them how much you love them by giving of your time, even when you don’t think you have any to spare.

You won’t regret it.


Get crafty with simple mason jar projects

The Summer of Pinterest, Part 1 …

PinterestLogo

By Jacki Wood for the Nodaway News Leader

Have you ever tried a project, idea or recipe you found on Pinterest … and it didn’t come out quite like you’d hoped?

You’re not alone.

Branded as the world’s catalog of ideas, Pinterest users can “pin” ideas to try, but many find themselves disappointed at the end result.

There’s even an entire Pinterest Fail website, “where good intentions come to die,” devoted to Pinterest lovers who have shared projects that failed. And there are plenty of posts all across social media of hilarious failures.

So we thought it would be fun to do a little experimenting of our own this summer. And I convinced (forced) my family to help me out.

I’ve been pinning ideas on Pinterest for about five years now and have tried well over 100 recipes as well as ideas for home improvement, family reunions, hairstyles and even road trips.

This series will focus on several different ideas perfect for the summertime for you and your family. And we’ll see if they actually turn out perfectly. Or if we need to add it to the Pinterest Fail website.

We’re starting with a pretty ordinary object that can be transformed into a ton of different ideas for every corner of your home and summertime activity – mason jars.

My 15-year-old daughter, Hannah, helped me pick out two mason jar projects from the NNL’s So Crafty Pinterest board. We thought the Mason Jar Fairy Lights and the Mason Jar Citronella Candles would be fun to have when she has friends over for a summer party.

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Mason Jar Fairy Lights

This idea came from the DIY Joy website. It was very simple and easy to follow with both a how-to video as well as step-by-step written instructions with photos.

The website says: “this cool glow in the dark craft is a neat project idea for kids and teens. These fairy glow jars are fun for after-dark outdoors ideas but they also make great DIY home decor for kids rooms or dorm decor.”

      Materials:

  • Mason Jar (any clean jar will do)
  • Glow in the Dark Paint (use several different colors)
  • Paintbrushes (preferably longer ones that reach to the bottom of the jar)
  • Scrap Paper
  • White School Glue (optional)
  • Glitter (optional)

Hannah had no trouble with this project at all. It was quick and easy and she was pleased with how they turned out. And it was relatively inexpensive, especially if you have old jars lying around.

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Mason Jar Citronella Candles

This idea came from MartysMusings.net. It was also very simple with step-by-step instructions and photos. And it provides a very cheap alternative to keep the mosquitoes away this summer.

      Materials:

  • Mason Jar (or any glass jar) with lid and ring
  • Citronella Torch Fuel
  • 1/8″ Lamp Wicks
  • Nail Punch, Screwdriver or a Nail and Hammer

This was also very quick and easy for Hannah. Our local Wal-Mart didn’t have the lamp wicks so we purchased thick twine as well as tiki torch wicks to try. The torch wicks were too big, especially for pint jars. And even the twine was perhaps a bit too big. On a windy day, the flame got a little big. But as long as it’s not left unattended, I think it would be fine.

Additional mason jar ideas can be found on the NNL’s “So Crafty” Pinterest page including bird feeders, soap dispensers, home decor, gifts in a jar and much more.

For these and other crafty ideas, visit pinterest.com/nodawaynews/so-crafty.