I am going to go into a bit more detail on the New Year Challenge I have laid our for my family. The invitation to join us still stands, no matter what the date.
We have crazy lives...Ethan is working and playing (19 and knows everything), Emily is going to Trinity and studies very hard. She also has a very active social life. Clare studies hard at Trinity also, writes all the time, does face book and truly believes she will wither up if she is not with her friends 24 seven. My hubby is a teacher (very long hours) and I work full time. Kent is also the Scholars Bowl Coach and has two matches a week-some in town some out. Clare is also on the team, but I think she may be done.
We also have 12 chickens, 2 dogs and one very playful donkey to take care of. We are also getting ready to start our market farm. So when I say we are busy I really mean it.
We wanted to take better control of our money and giving up going out to eat is just the tip of the iceberg. I wanted to bring our entire family into this and show how that if we partner together we can save money. I wanted everyone involved including the men in our family. Here is the game plan:
A clean kitchen allows me to cook dinner. If I come home and the kitchen is a disaster for what ever reason, I most likely will not cook. I hate that I take an hour clean the kitchen, then cook and then listen to the kids gripe about cleaning it up and not doing a good job of it. But maybe if they saw a goal-less going out to eat more clothes in their closet?- they would help out. So we talked about it....how could we keep the kitchen clean and ready for me to cook? It will take some practice, and some oversight from me, but it can be down. The girls had some suggestions and we are doing them.
1. When we are down eating everyone take up their own plate; scrapes it, and stack it on the left of the sink. Sounds simple enough.
2. While I am cooking the girls set the table and dry the pots and pans as I wash them. I will even let them listen to their quieter music.
3. Ethan clears the table and takes the trash out. The following morning he unloads the dishwasher before heading to work.
4. Before bed there is a call for all dishes, get them in and run the dishwasher nightly.
All of these simple things allows the kitchen to stay clean. I do some of the nitty gritty stuff like keeping my black stove clean and wiped down. I am also developing a list of what I want done in the kitchen daily so that everyone can stay on the same page.
We are trying to think through this and see the benefits to our family. I believe we get caught up being busy and not taking the time to be a family. I have seen it spliter our own family and I am declaring war. My first battle is dinner, on the table, with everyone home during the week.