Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Family Council

One of the common practices of my church is FHE (Family Home Evening). Even as single adults, we gather together every week for this tradition, calling ourselves a family. In fact, last night we gathered for games, a spiritual thought and treats – three staples of a traditional FHE.

My family never held FHE for very long when I was growing up. Although I remember one specifically: we held it in Dad’s study. He played the guitar. Maybe I remember this because it was probably one of two or three times I’ve seen my dad play the guitar.

One thing we did hold regularly from March 1986 to December 1987 was Durham Family Council. It was usually on a Sunday, after church while dinner was in the oven. We sat in the family room, reviewed the past week and discussed the upcoming week. Mom and Dad would talk about our behavior, how we were doing with our assignments and household chores. It was a staff meeting of sorts. Everyone had a turn to speak. Sometimes (a lot of times) it turned into an airing of grievances. The best thing about Durham Family Council was my dad took minutes from each meeting leaving us a detailed record of what was discussed.

Several years ago I found the handwritten minutes and after crying from uncontrollable laughter decided to type them up for everyone. I shared some of these when I taught Sunday school once – I was talking about the order of families. This is how my family attempted to keep order. I think it worked on some level. If one of us started to complain Mom and Dad would say, “Save it for Family Council!” and we would.

Here are the minutes from a few of the meetings. Keep in mind, Lisa is about 5, I’m 8 and Carter is 10. Maybe this will sound a little bit like your family.


2nd Meeting
3-24-86
3:25 PM

*DADDY:
Suggested keeping minutes and reading some at next meeting.
Lisa in the morning –Carter and Laura should help her with breakfast.
Kids NOT to knock on our bedroom door in morning for inane reasons.

MOMMY:
Laura and Lisa’s stuff all over family room. Not so much Carter’s stuff.
Sunday mornings: Today was one of those hectic Sunday mornings. Need more help with Sunday clothes, hair and rooms.
Each child to report weekly on something learned, or some new discovery, etc.
Carter needs to practice piano more. Use downstairs piano.

LISA:
Confusion over morning actions and behavior.
Promised more control over mess spilling into rest of house.

CARTER:
Daddy moves me off couch and chairs when I was there first. Kids have rights too.
Laura’s rude to me. No specifics cited.

LAURA:
I want Carter to like me, but I often get a rude response out of him.

Meeting Adjourned: 3:42 PM



4th Meeting
4-13-86
4:34 PM

Minutes from previous meeting were read and passed.

CARTER:
Laura doesn’t know what she’s talking about with paper airplanes.
Learned about Bible, B of M, scriptures, Article of Faith

LAURA:
Liked swimming yesterday
Going to learn multiplication tables in May
Carter’s been gross – so gross I can’t even mention

LISA:
Carter’s gross with brownies
Wants to go swimming –likes water wings

(Daddy reminds Carter to stop laughing uncontrollably)

MOMMY:
Allowances reduced because of misbehavior
Carter hassled Mommy over leaving to go out. This needs to be stopped.
Telephone manners need work
Too many liberties with food.

DADDY:
Toilets need flushing even in middle of night
Reviewed week’s schedule
Will continue to think about Cabin trip.
Silverware, bowls, utensils belong in drawers and cupboards –not outside

Meeting adjourned at 5:02 PM


10th Meeting
6-15-86
3:50 PM


Minutes read and passed. (At 3:53 kitty knocked down knick-knack on piano)
Daddy noted that since Lisa was out of town last week, we didn’t hold Family Council.

DADDY:
Thanks for Father’s Day presents
3 more weeks of staying off the lawn

MOMMY:
Admonished kids to make better use of time
Carter doing well on piano – Laura too.
Saturday jobs OK – more thorough straightening
Tomorrow and every Monday, trip to library and cards discussed. Reading chart. Read after lunch. Laura reads to Lisa on Tuesdays, Carter reads to her on Wednesdays.
Laura to start dancing Tuesday and Thursday
Review reading weekly at Family Council

LAURA:
Glad we have grass
Looking forward to Cedar City

CARTER:
Ditto on Grass
Happy Father’s Day

LISA:
Asleep

Meeting Adjourned at 4:06 PM

14 comments:

We'll Call her "Lisa" said...

Where was I "out of town" during the 10th meeting, was I on a business trip...

Kate said...

Sooo nice! Lol, seriously priceless stuff. Leave it to Laura to have documented this :) I love the blast from the Durham past posts!

Cameron's Corner said...

I'm totally going to start doing this... and keeping minutes.

You had TWO pianos?!?

charlotta-love said...

Oh this made me laugh. We tried something like this but it only lasted a few weeks. I think it's wonderful that your dad took minutes...that made for some great blog material.

abel said...

Funny. Thanks for sharing.

Ilene said...

Grass is good.

I am always impressed by the vocabulary exhibited in these meeting minutes. "Inane" and "liberties" are a favorite.

We'll Call her "Lisa" said...

I can actually SEE and HEAR Carter laughing uncontrollably at the fact that we felt it appropriate to bring up the matter of him being gross.

Obviously we were in agreement.

Laura Lee said...

Lis -- I think you were probably at Mom's in Payson (Mom in Payson = our great grandma for non-related readers).

Another favorite complaint about Carter was his hiding the "good" cereal from us.

Cameron -- our mom was a piano teacher so the nice piano was upstairs, the student piano was downstairs.

Ilene -- let's not overlook "admonished"

Rhett said...

Please tell Dr. Durham that he is my new role model. That was hilarious! It sounds like it was written as sketch comedy. I am so taking minutes at family meetings...

BALDY said...

I'm with Rhett, I am for sure implementing Durham style minutes to every family council I have with my family. This was hilarious!

SRA said...

I love that your sister was asleep for the last one. And all the girlish comments about the older brother. My favorite? "Toilets need flushing even in middle of night." I'd love to know what event made that a point to bring up in council. Ick.

We'll Call her "Lisa" said...

I don't like flushing the toilets in the middle of the night cause I don't want to wake anyone up.

GEEZ.

You know, if you shaved me head in that picture, I'd kinda look like Jack..

Janey said...

Laura- the best line is "just 3 more weeks of staying of the grass". I've heard my dad say that before!

TUG said...

Toilets need flushing even in middle of night

Best line ever!