Thursday, May 16, 2013

Family Field Trip

One mom picking up after eight children under eight years old, eight years ago. . . tolerable.

One mom picking up after nine children ages 2 - 16, today. . . absolutely, positively worthless!!

And today I had HAD it!

It's not like my husband and I haven't sat down and discussed the matter with our children both individually and collectively.  In fact, if I had to count, I am mathematically positive we have spent the equivalent amount of hours addressing this issue as there are days in a century!!

Just yesterday I caught a listen as my husband sat down quietly with the five oldest and encouraged and invited and pleaded for them to do their chores and not complain about work. I even heard him say, "I don't like seeing your mother work so hard all the time when you are old enough to help out!"  I am sure Providence was smiling down at that husband of mine because those directives came straight from his mouth, right from his heart, without me having put them there.

And yet  . . . just one day later, our house looked like, well . . .  I'm not even going to go there.

So I'm honest when I say that today I had HAD it.

But on the other hand, I had also had it with the current Lecture Series 505 we have on WORK!  So how in tarnation was I supposed to address this issue AGAIN and make it meaningful?

Pretty sure the heavens were on my side this evening because moments after that contemplating thought, inspiration came. And when it came, I didn't hesitate one bit to act upon it!

So I gleefully and spontaneously exclaimed that we were going on a field trip!

Oh boy! Excitement! All of our children came a running!!  Our younger ones filled with sheer delight (because it was already WAY past their bedtime) and the older ones filled with complete disbelief (because who in their right mind goes on a field trip at 8:30 at night with a house looking like ours??)

We started our field trip showing THESE pictures.  I asked each of my children to take a few moments to observe what they saw and how they felt. Then we shared.

And then we started out on our exciting field trip.  It was a SILENT field trip.  No one was allowed to speak.  We walked into EVERY. SINGLE. ROOM. of our house.  And we stopped and waited for several minutes in every single room of our house. And to be quite honest, I was about to cry in every single room of our house.  And it wasn't because I felt like I was a loser of a mother who couldn't keep a clean house, because I'm SO not OCD about that.  No, I wanted to cry for I saw on my children's faces the realization of the importance of doing their chores and fulfilling their responsibilities.  Because I think they got it.  Or at least they got something!

After traveling to every room on the house, we ended of our field trip reading THIS:
"A temple is literally a house of the Lord, a holy sanctuary in which sacred ceremonies and ordinances of the gospel are performed by and for the living and also in behalf of the dead. A place where the Lord may come, it is the most holy of any place of worship on the earth. Only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness."
You know, I'm pretty sure we'll still have talks and discussions.  I'm sure we may even add another 42 dozen hours to our Housecleaning/Work Lecture Series.  But tonight, each of us felt something strong enough to remember that we want our home to feel more like the temple.


  1. I love how you approached this! I will be using the same strategy. Strangely enough we seem to be having the same problem at our house...

  2. Fabulous lesson! Seeing is believing and understanding. Keep up the good work. And ALWAYS remember, they are on an eighteen year training program and you probably won't see the results you desire in your own home, but someday when those children are in their own home you'll see the results and you'll likely hear many expressions of gratitude for having taught them. Blessings to you.

  3. Thank you Darla! Very timely for me and my family :) Looking forward to taking my family on that field trip.

  4. Chocolate and Charlotte: I would love to know how your field trips go!

  5. We just finished a wonderful weekend of Stake/Regional conference. The overall theme was the importance of making our homes like a Temple, so the spirit can dwell there. I LOVEEEE your idea!! I too will be taking a field trip in our home soon.

  6. That is a fantastic idea!! Such great inspiration you had to do that.

  7. Tried it, LOVED it! Thanks for sharing!