Monday, February 04, 2013

...That it was good.

We were pressed to find time for FHE this evening. Ordinarily we don't have any sort of churchy commitments on Mondays because Family Home Evening is our commitment, but the primary president and I are supposed to deliver a CD of primary songs to some children who haven't been able to attend primary in a while and we've been having trouble getting our schedules to line up in the evenings.

We rationalized that it would be alright to do it on a Monday if we could each manage to fit in dinner and FHE before we left to fulfill the scary task of visiting with complete strangers.

As I was thinking today about how to get both dinner and FHE out of the way between 4:15 (when Rachel gets home from school) and 6:00 (when I committed to deliver CDs with Marian) I decided that the only way to do that would be to have FHE while having dinner.

Lately I've been taking our FHE topics straight from the sharing time manual since that's what I'm thinking about by Monday and it's still relatively fresh in the girls' minds. This week's lesson was on the creation and I came up with the perfect idea with my own little creative juices—without even googling or pinteresting or anything.

I decided we'd make personal pizzas for dinner and we'd discuss the seven periods of the creation in stages as we dressed up our pizzas. It took a little preparation—Andrew made the dough while Miriam and I got all the toppings ready. Then I made little signs for each day and labeled our ingredients and, on a whim, hid them around the backyard for the girls to hunt for (except for the dough). We started making our pizzas just about as soon as Rachel walked in the door.

Benjamin was most helpful, happily sitting in his little rocking chair. I took off the toy bar which made it so that he could sit up instead of leaning back. He likes his chair a lot better now and was enjoying the challenge of trying to balance while the chair was rocking. I think that sitting on the floor is enough of a challenge for him but apparently he's a bit of a dare devil.

So while he did that, the rest of us made our pizza crusts while reading/discussing Genesis 1:5–7.

After we had our crusts squared away, I sent the girls into the backyard to hunt around for Day 2. Benjamin was still as happy as a clam in his chair.

They found Day 2 and happily brought it in...and then I pulled out some leftover sauce from the fridge and used that instead.

I goofed a little on Day 3. Andrew is particular about the order of toppings on his pizza. He likes the cheese to go on first with the rest of the toppings on top. I grew up doing things a little opposite but now both ways seem normal enough to me that I can't ever remember which way he prefers things. After thinking about it for a while I decided that he must like pepperoni first, cheese second, but I was wrong. When the girls came in with Day 3 (pepperoni), Andrew sent them right back outside to find Day 4 (cheese) and then we read both sets of scriptures and put the cheese and pepperoni on our pizza in the "proper" order.

The girls had a lot of fun putting the cheese on their pizzas.

Rachel decided not to put any pepperoni on her pizza.

"I'm making my world all wrong!" she giggled.

Day 5 was olives.

Day 6 took a while to find but they eventually found it.

It was pineapple.

We finished decorating our pizzas and then hunted around for Day 7 (which was stuck to the oven door—so that our pizzas coud "rest" while we set the table for dinner).

We put all seven labels on the wall and talked about how every day God saw that his creations were good. We talked a bit about Elder Uchtdorf's talk "Happiness, Your Heritage," specifically this quote:
The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.
The reason we feel that desire is because we are children of God, "[our] very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God," and our spirits are masterpieces, "created with a beauty, function and capacity beyond imagination."

Elder Uchtdorf says that,
We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fulness of joy. Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things.
This talk was given in the October 2008 General Conference during the Relief Society broadcast, so it was directed at mothers. At the time I was a mother only to Rachel but I remember being struck by this line (and I still love it):
If you are a mother, you participate with God in His work of creation—not only by providing physical bodies for your children but also by teaching and nurturing them.
And I liked this part as well:
The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come. ...Trust and rely on the Spirit. As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.
I didn't share all those quotes with the girls, but I did go back and read the talk, myself. Sometimes I think that preparing for lessons is of greater benefit to the instructor than to the pupils. I go through much more material while preparing for a talk/lesson/discussion than I ever share. Still, we did discuss over dinner how we are God's children, that he created us with the desire to be like him and that means that we feel the desire to create. We talked about how we create every day of our lives and ended with the challenge that we be able to look back at each day and see that it was good.

It was a fairly successful FHE for us. The girls loved making their own pizzas and Rachel especially loved hunting around in the backyard for the ingredients ("It's like hide and seek—only with food!"). It was a good review of what we learned in primary on Sunday and I hope the girls gained a better understanding of their ability to create good things.


  1. Sometimes? No, always, whether it is a lesson for sunday or a university class...the teacher always learns more! At least, that is true of THIS teacher... did your visits go?

  2. Great post! I enjoyed your creative way of teaching this lesson. :)