“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25
by: Kerri Young
Because most of our lives have been in flux for the last three months since we moved overseas, we have tried to incorporate some consistent weekly events where we come together as a family that have provided the continuity and security our kids need to thrive.
One of these weekly events is Friday Night Movie. We have held this much anticipated event all 12 of the Friday nights we have been here except two. Here is what makes up a successful Friday Night Movie in our house:
1. The kids pick the movie (with agreement from Mom and Dad). Whoever gets the most stars during the week for having a positive attitude and cleaning up the playroom without having to be asked again gets to choose. (Side note: I am not a huge proponent of motivating my kids with external rewards for “good behavior” because I’m not sure you can get at the “heart” of the matter that way, but I don’t like to clean, myself. And I know that a little motivation can help get me moving sometimes. As such, promptly cleaning with a joyful heart is the only behavior that warrants an external reward in our house. =) ) Amazingly enough, so far it has worked out pretty evenly with both of my older kiddos taking turns each week.
2. The required snack to go along with the movie is “Popcorn Mix”. This can be done a lot of different ways, but it is something I learned to do back in my youth ministry days when we had to provide snacks for high school students each week. Popcorn Mix was a favorite then and now. Basically you mix popped popcorn (from a microwave bag, a bag bought at the store, or your own on the stovetop) in a big bowl with your favorite candy, nuts, pretzels, etc. Salty and sweet are a great combo, but really, it’s whatever floats your boat. Serve it up in individual bowls for each family member. See below for more details.
3.There is complete family participation. My husband and I put our gadgets down unless absolutely necessary and engage in the movie with our kids as much as we can. (Our kids aren’t old enough to have many gadgets, but this rule will stick even as they get older.) It’s a great time to snuggle, be together, and just be still as a family. Right now, our kids — and my husband and I– really need that in the midst of our crazy new “normal”.
Now for the yummy part: the Popcorn Mix!
When we were in the states, we would often combine the following:
Two bags of microwave popped popcorn (we always used light butter)
Now that we are abroad and cannot get any of those candies, we improvise with whatever we can find. I have also started popping our popcorn on our stovetop (which is actually amazingly delicious, simple—go here for how to—and probably a lot healthier than the microwave kind because you control how much butter and salt go into it) because microwave popcorn is expensive here.
Here is the combo we have been using recently:
½ cup popcorn kernels popped
Chocolate covered raisins
Sugar coated almonds
Gummie candy of some sort
What kind of special family traditions or events do you celebrate or do regularly? I’d love to hear about them because we’re always looking for new ideas. Please be sure to share, and happy movie watching/popcorn eating to you!!!