...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Starting the New Year off right...

You may remember this baby from last January (or maybe not as it is our new years box and not yours)
Every year in January we have a family home evening activity where we pull out this box and remove the treasures inside.  Within her cardboard vault we find a set of papers covered with the kids hand (and sometimes foot) tracings from the year before, a list of their favorite things in a bunch of categories and a note with our family goals from the last year.
This is what those papers looked like when we yanked them from their hiding place the other day.
The hand prints let us measure how much everyone has grown since the last year.  The "favorites" are always fun to read through and generally result in shouts of "no way, I'm too old to like that!" in one form or another.  It's pretty entertaining.

As we looked over last years goals we find we did pretty well.  Our goals included learning a new hymn every month.  We had to adjust our original idea and only learn two versus instead of the usual four per song because four was just too tough for some of the younger kids.  We also missed one month and only learned 11 hymns over the course of the year (August got pretty wild so we did double duty on our July song). 
We did do really well on our goal of trying at least 6 new dinner ideas over the year without complaining about trying new foods.  We actually tried lots more than 6, although we did do some whining about some of them (but, seriously, if I didn't expect a bit of that I was out of my mind).
Then it was time to choose stuff for 2013.  Our new goals are:
1. Have one family home evening per month based on a value from the "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet.
2. Spend more one on one time with Mom and Dad (each kid will be allowed two months of the year as theirs and will get to do something fun with a parent during that month).
3. Do some sort of family service project each month for someone we know.
Should be fun.
Each year we also choose a family cheer which we shout together after family prayer morning and night.  We always let the kids help to choose the cheer although adults get the final say because some of the kids ideas are...uh...interesting to put it mildly.
Last year our cheer was (clap clap) "Courage" (clap clap) "Love" (clap clap) "Family."
This year we decided on something different.  The person leading the cheer (at our house our kids each have an assigned "day" where they run the errands, they get to do special things, they say family prayer, etc) says the first parts and then everyone shouts the one word supplement part with a clap (we almost always include clapping or stomping or fist pumping in our cheers).
Anyway, our cheer goes "We have **Freedom** We choose **Faith** We love **Family.**"
Should be a fabulous year (at least that's the plan).  I hope your New Year is shaping up beautifully too.  Do you have wonderful traditions with your family to start things off together.  I'd love to hear about it.

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