(For my non-Mormon readers (let's see... that's you Liz!), Family Home Evening is something we do once a week, normally on Monday nights. The family gets together; we have a little lesson, have an activity, sing a little, pray a little, eat a snack. No matter what your religion, I think it is a fantastic idea because it gives your kids (and you) a time each week that they can count on to have fun and spend time as a family.)
I loved the talk Elder Oaks gave in the October General Conference. It was about how we spend our time and how there are so many "good" things out there to do we could never do them all-so we need to prioritize what we do. He suggested deciding what activities are "good," which are "better," and which are "best," and then make sure we are giving the "best" activities their fair share of our attention.
So, I picked 10 activities for each one of our kids, things they do everyday like: watching TV, doing homework, doing crafts, playing computer games, family prayer, etc. etc. I printed them out and put them in an envelope.
We first talked about the story of Martha and Mary. This story always hits a nerve with me because I'm pretty sure I would have been Martha, bustling about the house ticked off that Mary wasn't helping me. Mary picked the "best" activity that she could be doing at that time, giving her full and undivided attention to Christ. What Martha was doing was "good", but it was not the "best" thing she could have been doing.
On a white board I wrote "Good", "Better", and "Best". The kids opened their envelopes and they had to decide under which category to place each activity.
I felt like it was good because we weren't saying TV and video games are "bad", just that we can spend too much time doing them when there are other things that may be more beneficial to us. (Luckily, they put computer games and watching TV and movies under the "good" section.)
And although I didn't prepare myself an envelope, it really got me thinking about how I spend my time. I am not going to have the exact same experience as Mary and Martha, but applying those scriptures to my own life, I can see areas where I might need to stop what I am doing (like organizing my email inbox) and give my complete attention to something more important at that moment (like my kids).
With that in mind, at this time, it is "best" for me to go to bed!