About Me

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Jaclyn M. Hawkes grew up in Utah with 6 sisters, 4 brothers and any number of pets. (It was never boring!) She got a bachelor’s degree, had a career and traveled extensively before settling down to her life’s work of being the mother of four magnificent and sometimes challenging children. She loves shellfish, the out of doors, the youth and hearing her children laugh. She and her fine husband, their family, and their sometimes very large pets, now live in a mountain valley in northern Utah, where it smells like heaven and kids still move sprinkler pipe.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I survived Family Home Evening

It began as a great idea. Really. I wouldn’t kid you on such a serious medium as a blog. For Family Home Evening Monday, my eighteen year old son was going to give an overview of the book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Now, tell me: What family can’t use more friends and influence? Unfortunately, things went south relatively quickly. The problem started when he began to give the overview using a Czechoslovakian accent. (You don’t even want to know how long it took me to find out how to spell that word correctly and it isn’t even called Czechoslovakia anymore!) Okay, maybe that isn’t really when the problem started because during our opening prayer, the 13-year old, that was, for some reason unbeknown to me, torqued off at the 18 year old, prayed thus, “And please help that SOME PEOPLE will learn to be more Christlike. And please help SOME PEOPLE not to kick other people under the table during the prayer.” Etc. Etc. I’m sure you know what I mean. Or does that only happen in my home? Anyway, the Czech accent was seriously, hysterically funny, if not overly conducive to learning, which may have had something to do with the fact that sometimes it was a trifle hard to understand him, in an Ahnold Schwarzenegger kind of way. (I didn’t even bother trying to figure out how to spell that one correctly.) As the lesson was being taught, the new (ugly) German Wirehair puppy was bounding about, alternately begging, which is against the good dog manner rules, and trying to shred the unfolded laundry, which is also against the good dog manner rules. Did I mention that this puppy is ugly? So, my dear, nearly-perfect husband, bless his heart, was trying to soothe the 13-year old, quietly contain the (ugly) misbehaving puppy, (in the hopes that someday his wife would come to not mind having her house completely destroyed by the new, wild, -ugly- puppy), and trying to figure out how in the heck to win Czechoslovakian friends. He’s incredibly competent, but still, this could stretch even the most talented spiritual leader. At the same moment, the chronically sunny 11-year old was busy writing a new song. She does that occasionally. She frankly couldn’t care less about having Czech friends, because everyone, except her brothers, already adores her anyway. The lyrics were something about her alabaster skin and hair of chocolate brown that makes the prissy world go round. I swear I’m not making this up! The problem with the song, other than the fact that we were supposed to be having a Family Home Evening lesson, was that it started on approximately high E and went up from there. But hey, if you can’t actually hit the note, just make up for it with volume. No one will notice. (This is especially effective if there are multiple people hollering at an ugly puppy in the background. Not to mention that irritable 13-year old brothers simply crave high pitched squeaky singing.) Not to be left out, our 19-year old, who is home from school right now, for some thoroughly twisted reason, thought the whole episode was hopelessly funny. She kept looking around the dining table and giving this dainty little belly guffaw that only egged the others, including the ugly puppy, on. (I know, I know. Dangling participle. It wasn’t the only thing dangling, let me tell you. Our entire eternal salvation was right there dangling with it!) Now, I try to be patient at times like this. I knew when someone like me married someone like my husband, that it was probably going to be a nutty journey, but really! I wasn’t sure whether to laugh, or swear (which I’ve truly tried to keep to a minimum now that they’ve called me to be a youth leader), or pray, or give up and send them all to bed and put myself in “time out” for the rest of the night. (I’ve actually done that a couple of times. It’s quite refreshing, but doesn’t cut it as far as counting as a real Family Home Evening. Few people ever learn the great eternal lessons of life when the mother is in “time out” because they just revert to things like video game systems and long, young-adult fantasy novels. It’s rarely a touching spiritual experience.) At this point, I looked around wondering if God has a sense of humor, or if the adversary was giving someone a high five in the underworld about what was going on in the Hawkes’ household. It was hard to tell. I just know that in the future, I may consider bringing in a camera crew to film it. Who knows? There could be a reality show about weird Family Home Evenings. We could be rich! It could happen. And I know that some of you know just exactly what I mean. I’m not the only mother who has occasionally experienced stuff like this. You know who you are. Someday, if I ever have the I Survived Family Home Evening t-shirts printed, I’ll let you have one. In the mean time, enjoy the insanity. After all, you could have just had a plain, old lesson. BORING! Jaclyn

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