Tuesday, November 20, 2012

table manners

In the book "Parenting By God's Promises" Joel Beeke emphasizes repeatedly how important it is for a family to take time and have supper together. This should be a time of asking each child how their day was and a time of conversing kindly and showing interest in one another.

Adam is very good at this and sets a good tone during supper time. I am the problem. By supper time I am tired and I have a hard time being nice when I have the twirling, chewing whirlwinds sitting all around me. To the right of me I have a boy that chews his food like a cow. The food on his plate is stuffed into his mouth in three humongous bites. There is no way that his lips could seal closed with his cheeks already bulging. I also have a climber right beside me stuck in a highchair. When he feels full he just throws his plate with the left over food on to the table. I was never good at catching things, so a plate of food is impossible to catch and lands all over the floor. To my left I have a boy that can twist and turn his body into all sorts of positions. I spend so much of the supper time reminding him that he is not a monkey and that he must sit on his behind. The boy that sits across from me is lucky because he is out of my reach. He has table manner issues too. He thinks that a fork is a foreign object and that somehow each particle of food should be felt with his hands first before his hands put the food into his mouth. On top of that he has a habit of moving his chair further and further away from the table. I think that he does this on purpose since he is our most picky eater. A good portion of his food just happens to fall onto the floor.
(Adam sits right across from me and just so you know he has good table manners!)
I look around me and wonder is this just a boy thing? Do girls automatically come with good table manners or do they need to be taught too? I imagine my sons' future girlfriends going out on a date with one of them and saying "Where is this guy's manners? They are despicable! Didn't their mother teach them anything?"
So should I leave the table manners teaching alone and be like Adam and concentrate on creating a good family atmosphere? Is this just a stage and all of a sudden the child develops table manners on his own?
 My conclusion is that just like the rest of life, balance is the best thing. The challenge is finding it. It also doesn't hurt to ask other families how their supper hours go and maybe they have some helpful suggestions. Maybe some of you have some suggestions too!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

from the homefront - month of october

We have a new addition for our family - a dog! This has been a long time in waiting for our boys but we are thrilled with our new chocolate lab. She is a friendly, easy-going mannered 3 year old. The boys are in love with her and we think that she loves her new home too!


On Thanksgiving we had family over and Adam's aunt brought the most beautiful kites over for the kids. The weather was windy and the kites were a hit.

-Getting organized -
During the past few months I have made some trips to Ikea. I like to think that I am organized but there are areas, such as paper work that I am terrible at. If it wasn't for Adam we would be in big trouble. Not one bill would be paid:)
First I cleaned through the house and pretended that we were moving. This massive de-cluttering helped give a head start to getting organized.

These magazine rack things from Ikea have been the biggest help. We hung it in our closet door right underneath a jumble calendar. Each child has a folder and everything goes in it. There are no more frantic mornings looking for what they need to bring to school. I love this thing!

In our back entrance, which is also our main entrance I bought this bookshelf and tipped it on its side. Now each child has his own basket with his hats, scarves, and mittens. It was about $70.00 which is not a bad price but the baskets are almost as much as the bookshelf! Either way this has already made a huge difference for morning rushes and cleaning up.

Here is an old crate from a garage sale on top of a little table from another garage sale! All of the incoming - and outgoing books belong there. We have a school library as well as a church library, books that we are borrowing from people - everything goes in that crate.

We have a little spot by our front entrance that is the toy area. I bought this bench from Ikea in the as-is section because it was already assembled - great for me! All of the little cars, animals, and lego fit nicely in the bench and that keeps the clutter hidden.

 -WAR  OF 1812-
We spent a cold, rainy Saturday watching the re-enactment of the civil war. It happened exactly 200 years ago on the same date in the same field. The boys were just thrilled to watch the battle take place. With the guns and Indians and the smoke - they were in their element. I just wish that I knew what was going on. My history needs some brushing up on because the only help I could offer was to cheer for the red coats!