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FHE at the Manor

So, I COULD compile cute little Family Home Evening lessons and post them for your use, but I'm not sure everyone wants to read about how to teach your children Nirvana lyrics effectively. (Kurt Cobain coloring pages might be a nice touch though... maybe next time.) However, I did want to share the goings on of our rather eventful FHE on Monday night.

First of all, one of my children has a tendency to perseverate. In layman's terms, that means he chooses an interest and obsesses about it until everyone nearby has been driven to suicide, or worse, developed a shared interest in said activity. This is why we now own the awesomely bad Spiderwick Chronicles movie - because of a House Brownie (pronounced Broo-nee) obsession, and also why I can name which character wields which light saber thanks to the Star Wars years. (Or months as it may have actually been, but it felt like years!)

If my life were a television show, this season it would be titled, "Lords of the Manor: Ireland," but enough with the parenthetical statements. The point is, we have been subjected to hours of Irish talk, Irish lore, Irish musings about Irish Soda bread and what it might taste like, leprechauns and how to trap them, gold, and an intense and sudden urge to learn to repair shoes. The Ireland craze began shortly after Valentine's Day. I thought it would wane around March 18th but alas, it has carried on.

Coincidentally, I started reading Angela's Ashes around this same time, so while I was reading about starvation and the slums of Limerick, I was being enchanted by my child's tales of a completely different version of what life is like for children in Ireland - children who are so lucky, they get to play the fabulous sport of Gaelic football, running all over beautiful green fields. When they aren't doing that, they spend their time being pulled around in little carts behind quaint miniature horses.

My son tried his hand at writing limericks. I tried my hand at keeping my sanity. He decided that every word from his mouth would be in an "Irish" accent. At one point, I decided to go along with it and tried my hand at a brogue for a few days, but it only seemed to egg him on. Eventually, I had the unfortunate task of breaking the news to a very disappointed boy that no, we do not have any Irish ancestry, so no, he is not really Irish deep down. Then I sent him to Nevada to visit his grandparents for three days, to give my ears a break. He came home renewed, tormenting me further with MORE Irishness.

This is about the time I realized that a member of our ward served her mission in Ireland. Aha! My kid could hear about Ireland from someone else, someone who has been there, someone who actually knows, someone who is not me. I decided to invite this woman's entire family over for dinner and FHE. She agreed to give the lesson, a cultural experience for us all to learn more about Ireland.

Oh, the best laid plans...

My friend came prepared with pictures, brochures, maps, and a flag. After dinner, She told us mission stories, told us about the landscape and size of the country, and shared dozens of facts. She even brought Waterford crystal for us to see and made a delicious Irish trifle to share. She concluded her lesson and then asked if we had any questions. Jordan said, "Do you have any Irish tales?" He was more interested in hearing about druids and leprechauns, which wasn't slated in the schedule. No matter, my husband and I learned a lot about Ireland and my son had paid attention somewhat. A success, right?

But where was my daughter?

I remembered telling her before dinner that no, she could not use the hose to fill up the wading pool. She'd disappeared during the FHE lesson. I could hear the girls going up and down the stairs. I investigated only to discover that she had taken the wading pool from the garage and set it up in the yard. She and her friend were doing a bucket brigade down the stairs to bring water to the pool without using the hose. How clever. Now there was water in the bathroom, all down the stairs and out the door, and at least one small child had slipped and bumped her head on the cement driveway.

At least she was being obedient and not using the hose, because that was the important thing --not to use the hose, right? Strangely, after our FHE lesson, I've heard less about Ireland over the last four days. Problem solved? Once that day was over, I was ready to head for the pub and get a pint--of Ben & Jerry's.

guest post by Jennifer of Lords of the Manor

*photo via flickr creative commons use

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