Thursday, June 26, 2014

Family Meeting

sample Cozi calendar
As part of Dream Weaver family tradition, we have a "Family Meeting" every Sunday evening.  Typically, after dinner and before all the kids get ready for bed.  The purpose of the meeting is to maker sure we, as a family, are all on the same page.  Spiritually, academically, socially, financially, and logistically.  My GOLD (True Colors) personality relishes in this meeting.  Looks forward to it.  Plans for it.  LONGS for it.  And is Oh-So, Ever-So grateful for the Cozi calendar app and the special role it plays in each meeting!  The rest of the family likes it, too. Me?  I am empowered by it!  But, alas, it is summer.  And I miss it!  Desperately...

The format of the meeting goes something like this.  Some one hollers at someone else to get the other some ones into the same room.  "NOW!". "Let's go!". "Let's get this started!" "Let's get this over!" (I'll let you pick and choose who says what...) Once the shenanigans of who is touching whom die down and we have Finn occupied with a Kindle, iPhone, or iPod and endless Easter Egg opening You Tube videos, we can get started.  Typically we open with a short praying thanking God for the blessings of the past week.  Then, we ask for each person to tell their favorite part of the past week.  Some weeks, it is remarkably difficult for the kids to come up with ONE thing to share.  Other weeks, we have to cut them off to ensure everyone gets to bed on time!  From there, Dad pulls up Parent Portal to check grades for the oldest 2.  This is an online grading system our schools use.  We can see the current grade for each class, plus what has been graded or what is missing, future assignments, absences, etc.  It is a GREAT tool, and it has helped us help Emma and Lara stay on track.  Jake is jealous and wants to be old enough that his grades are on there.  We still have some years...

After grades, we move to the calendar.  It takes orchestration - and outside help at times - to keep this crew moving forward!  2 working parents, 4 kids. (And get the grandparents in there too since they help out so much!  I feel lost if they leave town and I don 't have on-demand helpers!)  School commitments, work meetings and events, volleyball, track, dance, clubs, baseball, basketball, football, mother's day out!  Not to mention, doctors, dentists, specialists, therapists!  WOAH!  So, it has to be discussed - sometimes just to talk it out and make sure we have all the bases covered!  Mom opens the Cozi calendar and we go day by day for the week talking out each person's commitments, who is taking and or picking up whom, and if the meal planning has been done, what we are having for dinner!  (Sometimes this happens later with just mom and dad!). This is a very helpful thing for our family.  The older ones are mature enough now to be aware of their own commitments, and they can help make sure things are getting done; that they are in the right place at the right time waiting for the right ride.  In just a few short years, they will be added to the pick up and drop off routines as well!  (YAY! And NO!  All at the same time...)

So, it's summer.  There are no grades to monitor.  Days are not as busy (although this month's camp schedule was a BEAST).  Most travel logistics during the day fall to Nana the Wonder Sitter.  Everyone is staying up later, sleeping in longer.  The Meeting has just kind of fallen to the way side for now.  Last Tuesday evening I said to the girls, "Don't forget you have dentist appointments in the morning.  I'll come by to pick you up about 10." Both of their heads spun around.  They had no idea.  *sigh* Dang you "No Family Meeting" time.  (And they even have the Cozi calendar app on their iPods so they could look for themselves...). Britt and I still talk over the week, but the thought of stopping the summer crazies to get them in one place to talk logistics... Well, it's summer.  They are just not interested...

It will come back.  In a few weeks.  For now, I'll just say, "See ya later, Family Meeting.  Until summer ends, when we meet again." In the meantime, I will continue to spoon feed the kids the tidbits of family logistics they need to know at dinner time.  And pray with them at bed time.  And long for more normal days and weeks where Family Meetings can be a part of our lives again.

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