Monday, February 2, 2009

Pajama Party

Friday nights in the Howerton house are special. With all the chaos, activities and church stuff that fill our week nights and weekends, we have officially reserved Friday nights for family togetherness. We intentionally try to protect this night, carefully shielding it from any other meetings or demands that threaten to bump it from the calendar.

Dubbed "Family Fun Fridays," these nights remind us to slow down and enjoy each other. Nothing else competes with our time. We don't answer our cell phones and we try to not check our e-mail, blogs, twitter, or facebook accounts. Well, we at least wait until after the kids are in bed. We play games, go to the movies or rent one, wrestle until the walls shake, and generally eat lots and lots of junk food.

FFF begins when we pick the kids up from school on Friday afternoons and we all decide together what to do. Last Friday, Alex decided to go to the movies and Caleb decided on a family pajama party. They argued back and forth, declaring the various merits and drawbacks of each idea. Then, I, in my Solomon like wisdom, not thinking they would take me seriously, said

"How about if we do both? We can wear our jammies to the movies..."

Silence at first. Then, in unison, with uncontainable excitement, they responded,

"Yeah! Great idea, mom!"

Oops. What had I just committed to? Suffice it to say that all four of us went home, put on our pajamas, robes, and slippers and headed to our local movie theater at 7pm. People stared, teenagers guffawed, and lots of other parents smiled. We were even greeted with a few, "Hi, Pastor Mike's!" from people in our congregation that recognized us and had also decided to go to the movies that night.

These family nights are about creating memories, about strengthening the foundation of love and trust in our family. They are like beacons of safety, like lighthouses in a raging storm. We plant these beacons and erect these lighthouses so that when the rough seas come (and they inevitably do), we have something tangible to hold on to, something to show us the way home and what matters.



  1. Jodie I love this idea, what a fantastic idea. We try to do these and then allow other things to bump it off the schedule, you have inspired me to stick to it!! I would have loved to see you in your pink robe :)

  2. So awesome. Love the idea. Can't wait to share those types of nights with R and her future sibling.

  3. Oh what we do for our kids! I love the pink robe...

  4. We fiercly guard our Family Fun Nights too (although good offers seem to arise continually).

    Thanks for the idea - I will tuck that one away :)

  5. I love this idea!!!
    We are a FFN family too.....I'll have to slip this idea in and see if the kiddos go for it :-)

  6. That is awesome!! Love it! Will you be wearing jammies to the ever-popular Cottage Lake Follies this Friday?? :)

  7. Everyone else at the movies were jealous that they were not in their pjs!! We have Wednesday Music Night -we eat dinner in the fancy dining room and play "old music" whether it be Elvis, Elton John, Van Halen, Bach, any music that we know our children are not aware of. We get some interesting facts from the internet about the Wednesday night music group of the week and share it with them. After we listen to the entire CD during dinner, then we tell them who the group and/or person actually is. They love it! Its really rewarding when we hear the singers/band on the radio, or TV, etc and the kids say "Oh, we learned about them during music night!" Their friends go, "huh" and our kids just beam that its just "something that we do" I just love it ! Its good to make fun and special memories for and with our children. They grow up way too fast!

  8. How fun! I'm sure they will remember that for a long time :)

    We have FFF's too. The party REALLY gets started when Josh gets home from 10pm.


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