Every night before bed we have a pretty defined bedtime tradition. We sing "Let us gather in a circle," alerting everyone that it is time for family prayer. We kneel down together, say our prayer and then share a scripture. After scripture, each family member says, "I love you, Elli." Then together we all say, "We love you, Elli." Elli (most nights) then responds, "I love you, family!"
The choice of who would say prayer each night (and all the other prayers during the day) used to be just random. I would pick someone, trying to spread the opportunities around. I would get many vociferous requests from various family members each time we were going to pray. As our family grew and grew, it became judicious to have some sort of organized system to decide whose turn it was. Way back in 2009, when we only had seven family members, each person had one day of the week. On that day, that person got to say every prayer. Meals, family prayers, any others that came up. It worked well. Then we jumped to eight and then 10 people. Now, I get the 1, 11, and 21 of every month. Christi gets the 2, 12, and 22, Taylor gets the 3,13, and 23.... You get the idea:)
On your day, you not only get to say family prayer at night, you also get to choose the scripture for the day. Sometimes these will be memorized verses. Sometimes we may open the scriptures and read directly from them. Often (for kids 8 and under) we will act out a scripture story. By far the favorite one over the years has been Noah. As we talk about the animals getting on the ark, each family member gets to choose an animal. Then we all act and make noises like that animal. Pretty fun stuff! It takes a lot longer now than it did when Taylor and Parker were little!?! Maybe not the most dignified way to share the scriptures, but at least the kids enjoy it:) After the scripture story, whoever's day it is shares their testimony about what we can learn from that scripture. With Noah, a child might talk about how we need to listen to the Lord and His prophets and follow their counsel.
Tonight was Xander's night. He chose another popular story: David and Goliath. Whoever plays Goliath gets to be on Dad's shoulders. After David gets us with the slingshot, I act out a rather dramatic demise. The child playing Goliath gets to crash slowly to the ground as we wobble and sway until Goliath goes down. Xander, of course, chose to be Goliath. (Sophi was David tonight, and having her slay us with a slingshot creates its own logistical problems:) After the story was acted out, I asked Xander to stand up and share what we could learn.
Xander: "We shouldn't throw rocks at people."
At first I thought he was trying to be funny, but then I noticed how serious he was. Stifling my laughter, I replied, "Well, that's true. Anything else we can learn from David and Goliath?"
Xander: "We should be nice to our brothers and sisters?"
Me: "Very good Xander. What about we should pray to and have faith in Heavenly Father and he will help us overcome even the biggest challenges?"
Clearly, something is getting lost along the way here!:)