Monday, January 5, 2009

How We Plan For the Year

The day after New Years, we had our annual New Years Family Meeting at Starbucks*.

The night before DH and I worked up a tentative plan for 2009, and then, over coffee and cocoa and with kids, we talked about the future.

This was our second year discussing our plans for the year in a "formal" manner with the children.

I remember in the book "Cheaper By the Dozen" the family would regularly hold family meetings to make decisions that would involve them all. Though I don't believe young children (or even older children) need to be involved in every decision - it seems that once they get to be a certain age they ought to be able to participate to some degree in the plans and discussion of a future that involves them too.

Our meeting took about 2 hours. We first went over our list from 2008 and talked about the things we did and did not do. Amazingly, there were only a few items that didn't get done (camping in a yurt, visit the Science Center, buy an LCD TV). I think going over the list from last year with the children, enabled them to see that we are serious about these plans and that things that are planned are more likely to happen. Some of the categories on our planning list that we discussed were: house improvements, homeschooling, travel, fitness, charitable giving, God & church, hospitality and specific plans for the children. The kids were encouraged to give feedback on all the topics discussed.

Even though we took time to make up our list and discuss details of each item - it is all done with the understanding that our plans may change...One thing we wanted the children to know is that "The mind of a man plans his way, but the Lord directs his path" (Prov 16:9) - meaning that these are just our plans and that God might have a different plan for us.

Once the meeting was finished - we headed on over to Bandanas for lunch (a precedent that was set last yr). And then we decided to tackle one of the items from our list - under the category of "entertainment" - we headed on over to the World Bird Sanctuary.

It's funny how we've lived around here for 13 yrs but only recently heard about the bird sanctuary. Primarily the birds are in cages outside - so it's good to plan this for a mild day. Most of the birds are large birds of prey - something children don't usually get to see up close - so that was really interesting. I especially liked the owls.

Note: Am I the only person that does NOT like Starbucks coffee?? Even though I added much cream and a ton of sugar - I still thought it tasted nasty. Sorry but I'll stick with my cheap, albeit tasty, Folgers Instant De-Caf :)


Heidi Pocketbook said...

I love your idea about the family meeting and the reference to "Cheaper By the Dozen"-which is one of my favorite movies.

Perhaps we could modify it a bit for our family and have one at home; our dd has multiple, severe food allergies so we don't go out to eat.

Anne Marie said...

I too loathe Starbucks coffee, I like my coffee with cream and sugar and I just can't put enough in to get past the taste :(
Now their expresso in a latte, that is yummy!

CanadianGrandma said...

I,too, detest Starbuck's coffee...much too strong! Tim Horton's coffee is the best in my book! Canadians LOVE Tim Horton's! At least where I live!

Our Crew said...

Your ds must have really talked this meeting up to my ds the other day when we babysat. Your ds actually told me about it too. Yesterday at the dinner table, and again this morning, my ds told us we needed to "plan our year". I do really like your idea and plan to start the tradition with ours when they get older. Of course, you know we love Starbucks, but not all their blends are equal. They brew different blends on different days, and some, I would agree with you are nasty. I like my coffee strong, and full flavored, but I don't want it to have any strange taste to it.