Family Nights

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We had Family Nights at our house when the boys were growing up. These were one night a week (or every few weeks).  I think our boys enjoyed these events and they were something to look forward to throughout the week. I tried to look for activities that wouldn’t require a lot of money as that was always a consideration with a single income.

Some of the things we did were:

Short devotions We used a book that was called, Devotions for Families that Can’t Sit Still and it was fantastic! I just checked Amazon and saw you can get the book for a penny! (plus s&h) There is not only a devotion, but a scripture reading and then a fun activity to follow, such as Bible charades, darts, playdoh, and games.

Game Night Board Games, cards, checkers, and Twister were some things we enjoyed. The kids especially liked to see us get all twisted around like a pretzel. We nearly always lost to them since they were more limber than us!

Wii Sports  Some of our favorites were bowling, ping-pong, and sword fighting. (touché)

Movies We took turns on who got to pick the movie and Dad made the best popcorn ever. This is a tradition we still carry on when the family comes to visit.

Dessert Night We would either go out for ice cream or have a create your own sundae bar at the house. You can make your own ice cream, or you can buy your favorite flavor and add a variety of toppings. If you make your own ice cream, it would be a great science experiment to discuss and observe the changes that occur when a liquid becomes a solid. I found a recipe for you to use from How things Work . I added some additional comments and details that I discovered worked well when we have made it.

Home Made Ice Cream

Items Needed:

1 tablespoon sugar

½ cup heavy whipping cream or half and half

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (or other flavoring)

6 tablespoons salt (kosher or rock salt if possible)

Enough crushed ice to fill the gallon-sized bag halfway

1 glass mixing cup or a bowl

Duct tape (optional)

1 gallon-sized Ziploc bag

1 pint-sized Ziploc bag

 Fill the gallon-sized bag halfway with crushed ice. Add the salt.

Ordinary table salt will work, but salt that has larger crystals, such as kosher salt or rock salt, will work with better results. Mix the salt in with the ice and set aside.

Meanwhile, pour the milk, sugar, and vanilla extract into a glass mixing cup or bowl and stir.
Carefully pour the mixture into the pint sized bag.

Close the bag, making sure it is completely sealed. Seal with duct tape for reinforcement.

Put the pint bag into the gallon bag. 

Make sure the pint sized bag gets buried in the ice. Seal the gallon bag. (Get out as much of the air as possible before closing the bag.)  Seal this bag with duct tape as well. Shake the bags vigorously or roll them on the counter for five minutes. Be sure that the liquid is being surrounded with the salt/ice mixture since this is needed in order for the fat in the cream to solidify. You will want to use a towel and/or gloves to hold them, since they will be very cold and slippery from condensation. If you have several family members who will be joining in this activity, take turns as it is more fun and “many hands make light the work.”

Remove the pint sized bag, open it up, grab a spoon, divide the yummy treat between two bowls and enjoy!  

You can add your favorite toppings to your ice cream. Eat it quickly as it isn’t as hard as the ice cream purchased in stores.




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