I joined Pinterest. I am afraid.
I get lots of questions about how we manage our household. So, I thought I would share a few systems we have come up with to make sure we are living out our values.
~We really value sitting down together as a family to eat. That is getting harder and harder as kids get older. Currently, we have Abby taking piano lessons, Sam playing basketball, Cody having youth group activities and starting wrestling next week. Sam will move to baseball and Lauren will start soccer in the spring. On any given day, we have kids going every different direction. So, we plan to eat 3 meals together a week. One of those is Sat. morning big breakfast. If sports interfere, we do it on Sun. morning since we go to the second service at church. Right now, we sit down together during the week on Mondays and Thursdays. I know that I need to plan to cook a nicer meal on those days. We like to use those times to talk and catch up on our week. We do a thing we call "favorite and not-so-favorite." We share our favorite thing from the day and the not-so-favorite thing that happened.
We usually have leftovers the other days or I will fix something easy like mac n' cheese, sandwiches, pizza, etc. I also keep some regular items for them to choose from on nights when we have "miscellaneous." Here is a sampling of those choices: pbj, grilled cheese, chicken nuggets, meatballs, quesadillas, corn dogs, apples and peanut butter, Ramen noodles, taquitos, etc. On "miscellaneous nights," I often let Lauren and Abby cook for all the kids. They really like being able to prepare food. Sometimes they will play restaurant, but most times, they just make the food for themselves, Sam, Isaiah, and Laila, and Cody will fix his own food.
~We try to have a family prayer time each night. It doesn't happen every night. Since the kids have different bedtimes based on their ages, we all meet at 7:00(right before Isaiah's and Laila's bedtimes on Rick's and my bed. We have all the Christmas cards we received in a basket. The kids take turns picking a card. We pray for that family and any other requests we can think of. We have already seen God use this to really put the families on our hearts that specifically need prayer. God is using it to show our kids the power of prayer. In the past, we have chosen a country each night that is highlighted in "Voice of the Martyrs" to pray for. We read about the country and the persecution that exists there and pray for them. I have a book called "Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation" that we are going to start using at our prayer time this year.
Something else we have done is listen to the "Bible Experience" on our ipod together and talk about it. I would like to pick that back up. We do not do family devotions like some families do. I find that many of our traditions offer good devotional times for us. I did recently purchase "Family Night Activities" to institute some more intentional times of teaching with the kids. I hope to implement it soon during one of our nights where we have a family meal together.
~I know I have mentioned our new chore system. We are 4 weeks into it which means at the end of this week, everyone will have done every job. We have also made these weeks a grace period of learning. Let me just say, next week, grace is leaving this place, and I don't think it is going to be pretty. I will share the whole plan once we have a couple of weeks going full force with rewards and consequences fully in place. I don't want to recommend any system that I don't have full confidence in. This is a plan Rick and I came up with on our own using lots of different things we have seen and learned over the years.
~Right now, kids' bedtimes are as follows: Isaiah and Laila - 7:30, Sam and Abby - 8:00, Lauren - 8:30, and Cody - 9:00. These times are based on their ages. Cody pretty much regulates himself. I feel like he is ready to determine his own bedtime. We relax on all of these over the weekends and when school is out.
Rick and I both tuck each kid in at night. Some nights I don't want to go back upstairs AGAIN, but I have to remind myself that some day they won't want it. Do it while I can!!
So, there you have it. These are a few examples of "how we roll."