Review Some Feasting Basics

With Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about family get-togethers, gift-giving, and feasting. Here are a few basics you might want to review with the family prior to the holidays:

For children (Yes, trust me, they can do this! It just might take a little practice.):

  • Remain seated at the table until you have been excused. Ask to be excused if necessary.
  • Never complain about any of the food (this goes for adults, too, of course). Instead, be gracious and try everything.
  • Be considerate by remaining quiet, or carrying on pleasant (“inside voice”!) conversation when appropriate. No rowdy behavior at the table!
This is a favorite Norman Rockwell painting that I edited just a bit to show a little of what I'm talking about...

This is a favorite Norman Rockwell painting that I edited just a bit to show a little of what I’m talking about…

For everyone:

  • Your napkin goes in your lap.
  • The salt and pepper always travel as a pair. If one is asked for, both are passed.
  • Be aware of your elbows. Family gatherings often mean tight seating arrangements, so try not to invade your neighbor’s personal space even when cutting into that steak…
  • Always thank the host, the hostess, and compliment the cooks. This makes for positive, uplifting conversation.
  • Wait to start eating until everyone has been served.
  • Try to keep the conversation appropriate to mealtimes (e.g. Avoid disturbing/gross topics, etc.).
  • Being an adult does not win you the right to complain about the food, or be inconsiderate by appearing “picky”. Please don’t ever make a big deal about foods you won’t eat. Be gracious and try everything. It’s simply not that hard.
  • If you or a loved one has food allergies/sensitivities, now is not the time to make a fuss over it. In fact, the topic does not even have to come up at the table. If you’ve brought special food, allow it to be enjoyed, but not as a focal point. It’s just not all about you. It’s about a feast, family time, enjoying the blessings that God has given us.

At the Table…

A favorite Norman Rockwell painting

  • Say “Grace”.
  • Have clean hands and face.
  • No Phones/Other Devices
  • No Singing/Whistling, etc. (unless singing the blessing…)
  • Pass BOTH salt and pepper when either is requested.
  • Always thank the host and cook.

What are y’all’s house rules for mealtime?

Random Tip: How To Split Your Crowd Into Teams?

I found this image on Pinterest… This is a great game! We’ve had countless hours of hilarious enjoyment with this.

So, you have a houseful of guests (which, depending on who you’re talking to could mean anywhere from 5 people to 50+), and you’re ready to play a game. What is a good way to pick teams? What if no one really wants to pick a team? What if you don’t want to spend much time in choosing teams? Try these ideas:

1. Go around the room, and everyone is either a one or two (or, if needed, a three, a four, etc.): 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, and so on.

We’ve all been there. You’re standing there, minding your own business, when suddenly you’re told that, “You’re a two!”. Yep. You’ve officially been roped into a group game, and are now on team two.

2. Separate the room in halves, thirds, or quarters. Whichever section you’re sitting in is your team.

You’ll probably have to do just a bit of shuffling to make each section roughly even. Make sure you don’t have a team mostly made up of adults, and a team made up of kids. Unless that’s your plan… Which brings us to the next option:

3. Kids against adults!

Obviously, some games don’t lend themselves to this one. But, you might be surprised how well those kids can hold their own!

4. Birth order

Hear me out on this one… This is something that my siblings and I did a lot with our friends. We would play “First borns against second borns”. When Kyle, and Β other third borns wanted in, we added them as a third team. It’s astounding how much first borns think alike, and second borns think alike… It’s a great way to find your strengths and weaknesses! (Of course, this gets tricky with 4ths, 5ths, and others. I guess we usually just piled them all into a team of their own. πŸ™‚ )

5. Families against families

This one can be fun, too! It turns out, your family can communicate in ways you don’t fully appreciate until your competitive side is unleashed. My siblings and I have enough inside jokes (that we don’t even think about!) to aid us a LOT in games like Charades, Cranium, Taboo, and others.

Just A Note To Say “Thanks”

I would like to take a moment to publicly acknowledge my wonderful church family. These are the folks who are always there, always ready to help, always teaching me through their great examples.

This week, the three of us “kids” (Woot! I get to be a kid for a moment!) are home alone for several days. You might say… “Alone, yet not alone”… πŸ˜‰ As soon as our church family found out that this was the case, they went into action. If you need a helpful example of what practical, day-to-day hospitality/selfless giving looks like, take a look at our week’s schedule:

Monday: Kyle and I had a last-minute band rehearsal… So, Luke stayed with dear friends ALL DAY LONG. Love those people.

Tuesday: Supper, then dessert and a movie with other friends. Can’t wait!

Wednesday: Supper with some OTHER friends! I feel so loved. These people are amazing.

Thursday: Mama and Daddy rejoin us, and I proceed to talk Mama’s ear off about everything we did this week. Yeah. In that way, I haven’t changed much since I was three years old. πŸ˜‰

So, now the question is, “How can I be like this? Where are the needs that I can help with? What are those opportunities that I can create, in order to show my friends and loved ones how much I care?”

Fitting In (…Your Clothes)

This series will be relevant for young girls who can no longer really wear little girls clothing, but don’t like/can’t quite fit into junior’s clothing… are still too young for women’s clothing.

It will also, however, be relevant for women like me… What I affectionately call, “Toothpicks”.

One day, I finally decided to sit down and take one of those online questionnaires for finding out what dress size I am. I thought, “Why haven’t I thought of this before? This could be so helpful…”

My results came in. As I suspected, I am something like a size zero, or XS. Great! I love being small… I really do. Most people hear my size and think, “Lucky dog. What I wouldn’t give…”

But, there’s a catch. Unless you sew all of your own things, and/or are good at taking-in, clothes (in general) don’t fit.

I’ve done a post in the past, describing a few helpful tricks for making outfits more modest. Several of these tips will work well for making outfits fit better, too! Also, I mentioned in that post that I would try to remember to do a post about one of my performance outfits (a variation of which is shown in the picture above… That, my friends, is a strapless lace dress.). Just like me, I had completely forgotten about this! So, now that I’m back on this topic, I hope to post that ASAP.

More Kid-Friendly Work

With this gorgeous weather we’ve had lately, I’ve been motivated to slowly conquer the wilds of our yard. We live in a very rural area, with a small creek on three sides of the yard, and trees everywhere. The creek will be beautiful one day, Lord willing, but right now it’s so overgrown that you can’t really appreciate it.

Thanks to a weedeater, some good loppers, and a hammer, Luke and I have made a lot of progress. Luke is an all-boy, tough farm kid. He likes a challenge, and I found one.

The little footbridge has been in need of removal for some time, now, and Luke was in need of a job. As soon as I mentioned it, I could see his wheels turning. He grabbed a hammer, and set to work. After several hours, the bridge was an unrecognizable pile of boards, and our burn pile was well-populated. It’s amazing what 11 year-old energy can do with a hammer.

Once again, don’t hesitate to put those kids to work! You’ll appreciate the productivity, and they’ll learn and have fun in the process!

Many Hands Make Light Work

I finally snapped a few pictures of our landscaping work at the dairy! This time, we were focussing on planting the cinnamon basil, purple basil, and begonias.

Luke and Abby were such great help! After I’d helped with the first few plants, they were able to take over completely. That way, I was able to go finish putting in the geranium plant, and collect more “mulch” (a mix of dirt, manure, and hay conveniently located a few yards away from the dairy sidewalk πŸ™‚ ).

Once again… Unplanned fellowship with unmeasurable worth, and no candlelight was needed.