It's the other mastermind-of-this-experiment's turn to say a few things.
Three questions to answer and then whatever else:
1) The most common question SHE gets, "So...have you guys found a house yet?"
No. but there's a good reason for that: we aren't looking for a house yet. Of course I have my fun searching on Zillow for that ideal home in that ideal location, but the truth of the matter is, we're taking our time, as planned. We need to. Life over the past 15 months requires it. And there's no place else we'd rather take deep, cleansing, breaths than in a town-home with another family of five :)
particularly nice is the simple fact that I'm not sure they'll ever let us leave.
2) The most common question I get, "So...how's it going with the other family that moved in?"
[Melissa]LOL! Is that who we are to you!??
But seriously, we are not here because we are destitute, nor are we here to mooch until we've bled our dear friends dry of their resources. Far from it. I'd like to think I can say with conviction (Kim, correct me if I'm wrong. Or let me live in blissful ignorance) that we're contributing members of a well running household, and that our presence makes the family machine run more smoothly, not more hectically. We are truly living in community with one another. I will admit, I had my doubts about our ability to blend & pool nearly EVERYTHING (stuff, resources, children, responsibilities, laundry, groceries...) but it has been remarkable. Of course I'm hesitant to express too much confidence too early, but I digress.
Everyone has planned responsibilities, but we haven't yet taken to writing them down. Let's see if I can remember the primary ones:
Aside from putting our things away like good boys and girls, the four of us share dish duty, general de-cluttering, and childcare.
- Kim: Works her tail off teaching highschoolers five days per week, cleans all floors, cleans bathroom surfaces, and cleans ALL family laundry. She even separates her whites, darks, and delicates! I know, right?! Who does that anymore? Don't look at me like that. it was HER request to take charge of laundry, because it's important to her.
- Melissa: I take care of everything food - meal planning, grocery shopping, Costco, bulk cooking and baking, and I keep track of the budget. Ah, the budget. We are fairly determined to eat a whole food diet as a framily, meaning very little processed, pre-prepped food. It keeps our costs down, and I have the time to focus on it right now. So, we make all our own yogurt (we demolish 8 quarts weekly), sandwich and dinner breads, soups & bone broths, sauces, and of course school & work lunches on the daily. We have two mini-fridges to house extras, and two small deep-freezers. It's complicated at times, but always worthwhile when we consider the money we're saving and the healthy benefits of eating whole foods. I also watch my youngest, Ezra, during the day, Genevieve on Thursdays and Fridays, and all the kids when they get home from school. Oh. And toilets. I clean the toilets.
- Jeremy: Works all day, frequently overtime, to provide for his family. Also, Jeremy makes family dinners on Saturday and Sunday. Where I tend to put equal emphasis on prep time and flavor, Jeremy enjoys taking time to create truly delicious and unique meals. We all look forward to the weekend! He jumps in and helps clean up the kitchen when needed, and takes the garbages out each night. Jeremy also does evening duty with his girls, bathing them and getting them all to bed.
- Jonathan: Works all day about 45 minutes away to provide for our family. Jonathan does breakfasts for our kids and himself in the morning so I can finish my coffee and become a friendly, functioning human again. As if that wasn't enough, he also takes care of toothbrushing & bible stories at night after he's tagged in for some dish duty. He has made it a habit as well of cleaning all door knobs, railings, sink knobs, and handles every day when he gets home, to which I'm sure we attribute at least a portion of our overall health as a framily.
All the kids are responsible for dealing with their own backpacks, lunch boxes, coats, shoes, clean laundry, and activities they get out. We're living in tight quarters, and these kids have seriously learned how to put their things away - if only to avoid a wayward sibling getting into them.
- Samantha: Sam empties the dishwasher every morning before school, and gets silverware for everyone at every mealtime.
- Levi: He empties the dishwasher every afternoon when he gets home from school, and gets drinks for everyone at each mealtime.
- Cora: She empties the main floor bathroom trash, and the basement trashes, and gets napkins on the table at mealtimes
- Charlotte: She empties the second floor trash cans
- Ezra: He's still working on being a small human. Lol. We don't have anything nailed down for him yet that we feel like we can really hold him accountable for. Perhaps if we could just get him to keep the sheets ON his bed, and the pants ON his bottom, we'd be off to a good start.
- Genevieve: Her job is to be baby Jack-Jack. Come see her in action, tickets for sale soon.
Anything else to add?
Yeah. This one nagging thing somebody said to me. I told them we were going to be moving in with some friends and the response was: "you mean, you're going to move in with people who were your friends before you moved in with them?" Now, I do understand that for one reason or another, what appears to be a delightful experience could end up not working out as well as we hope, but the outright assumption that living in a small space all together would fail so miserably proposes a hypothesis I hope to prove so very, very, false. I think one of our foremost goals as a framily is to think of each other first - to love each other well. And as such, we communicate OFTEN and respectfully about what is working and what isn't, what we appreciate and what bothers us. We are frank, and not interested in couching our words and carefully constructing our sentences. Above all we seek to honor God through this adventure, and if we accomplish that, I consider it a raging success.
|Proverb Melissa added to our Kitchen|
**Melissa would like it noted that this post is being posted without it being perfect**