WARNING: This is not an entertaining post. Feel free to skip it!
In case any of you are wondering how our Rallying Cry (refer to the Frantic Family posts last Fall) went over the winter, I'm happy to report we finished all our objectives by the final deadline. Some of those didn't happen until the very day we had set to be done, and I'm still not perfect with filing and managing mail, but we're done and the progress feels good.
I forgot to mention that we use our white board each Monday for a family council after home evening. (Usually it's just a discussion for me and Kent, but sometimes children are still hanging around, hoping that we won't notice they didn't stay in bed.) At this council, we have three dry erase markers: green, blue, and red. Next to each item, we color a dot. For example, if we both feel good about our individual and family discipleship, we draw a green dot. If we missed a date night but we spent time talking most evenings, the marriage relationship gets a blue dot. If our next objective towards completing the rallying cry is off track, that gets a red dot. Then we focus on those red dots, and maybe the blue dots, and come up with specific actions to address the shortfalls. The system keeps our councils to about five minutes, and it works well overall to keep us focused on those things that are most important for our family.
You may be wondering--but probably not--what our new Rallying Cry is. (Drum roll...) Organize Our Living Space!
We added a new member to the household this month. Kent's former mission companion from Mexico, Edwin, is living with us for a few months while he gains fluency in English. (And yes, he is here legally with real documents and everything.) The only option for his bedroom was the playroom, so our rallying cry began with that. We then set a deadline for de-junking and organizing each of the seven rooms that have experienced some degree of neglect. Guess what? We're on schedule so far.
Those of you who ever saw our disastrous playroom will appreciate the transformation pictured below. (Sorry I didn't think to take a "before" picture.) The rest of you will just have to imagine the biggest mess of a room you've ever seen children make, because it looked like that with five years of dust and cobwebs on the walls.
Looks good huh? Here is a shot of the bed. It's practically brand new, but technically a hand-me-down from some African refugees. (Seriously, I love that the Africans are helping the Americans to help a Mexican. Let's all sing Kum-Ba-Yah.) My parents called on the Saturday that we were moving furniture--the deadline day, the day Kent and Edwin were traveling home--for the new room and asked if we could use a twin bed. Impeccable timing!
I was happy that our children got in on the Rallying Cry. They were excited to de-junk old toys and to then scrub walls and move furniture over spring break. We had a nice time working together. Now on to the next Defining Objective:
The master bedroom!
(Well where did you think all the stuff from the playroom ended up?)
P.S. Nate, feel free to use this last picture in another presentation for your office. I haven't had vanity over owning a clean house in at least six years.