Sunday, May 15, 2011

Family Dinner Revival

A while back I would have been completely embarrassed to share our family dinner routine--mainly because we had no routine; or structure. With such picky eaters (much of it due to my own lack of discipline), my husband and I found ourselves making separate dinners for each of our children. He and I wouldn't eat together until the kids were in bed where we could eat in peace without the "eww" and "I don't like that".

I have a magnet on my refrigerator that says, "Everyday I give my family two choices for dinner...take it or leave it." I've intended to live up to this, but it's rarely happened. I have always envied families who have sit down dinners, where everyone eats and passes the side dishes around the table. I admit, I hate cooking with a passion! In order to balance the need for family dinners together and the kids actually eating we eat out quite a bit at "sit down" restaurants.

I'm excited to say I've found a solution! It's only been 1 week but I'm blown away at the results. Curious yet? Okay, here it is; we have a family of 5. Two days a week, Fridays and Saturdays, we've committed to eating out still for tradition's sake, and because those days we're often away from the home at dinner time. For Sunday through Thursday each of us have drawn days out of a jar. Those are our permanent days we are each responsible for preparing dinner for the family--yes, even our 2 year old daughter with help from Mommy and Daddy!

When it's our day to cook, we get to choose what everyone eats. We lead prayer, and we set the table. We each bus our own dishes afterward. This is what has happened as a result:

  • The children get excited to create what they want knowing (within reason) everyone will eat it or at least try it, no rude comments allowed.
  • They learn cooking skills.
  • They also learn to be sympathetic toward those making meals they may not like and try them anyway knowing a lot of work and preparation went into it. After all, they wouldn't like it if someone complained about the meal they carefully planned and made with love.
  • The children have gained such pride and self confidence as they watch their family eat what they've prepared.
  • My husband and I kind of get a break from cooking. We still help guide them with their preparations.
  • We are bonding and creating lasting memories. Today as I was helping my 9 year old make French toast, he offered me a high five with our spatulas as one of his toasts turned out beautiful.
I'm sure there are other benefits of our new dinner routine. Finally, we get to live up to the magnet quote about two choices; taking it or leaving it. My hope is my kids, oral sensory issues and food aversions or not, will learn to appreciate new things and cherish family dinnertime.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Big "C"

The big "C" I'm talking about is "cancer". Recently another close family member of mine was affected by this disease; my mother-in-law. It seems all too common now days and no doubt cancer can have an impact on the whole family as well as the patient.

My husband and I traveled out of state to be there for his mom while the doctors removed her tumor. As we returned home after a successful surgery, I thought about how wicked cancerous tumors are. I prayed for my mother-in-law's continued recovery and complete healing. I thought about how God can take something so awful like cancer and make something beautiful out of it. I envisioned what His love love could grow in the place of my mother-in-law's cancer: love, perspective, endurance, patience, faith, strength, perseverance, courage, hope and compassion, to name a few. This vision is what inspired the piece to your left.

This exact drawing will go to my mother-in-law but I will be offering prints of it in my shop soon. 50% of the profits will be donated to cancer research centers in hopes of one day finding a cure.

If you know someone who is about to go through chemo therapy and risks losing their hair, I'd like to recommend a shop on Etsy called English Traditions. This seller makes and sells well crafted chemo scarves. She will ship directly to your loved one if need be and thoughtfully wrap the items and include a personal message if you wish to send one. My mother-in-law's package also included a nice poem.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What's New and What's Happening

I can't believe how long it's been since I've written! I promise I've just been busy rather than lazy.

This last week I passed my Colored Stones class with the Gemological Institute of America bringing me a step closer to my gemologist diploma. Since completing this class I've found time to paint and to wire wrap a bit. I look forward to bringing new pieces to each of my shops soon.

I held my anniversary drawing in my jewelry shop but never got around to blogging showing what was being given away. It'll be a surprise to my winner whose raffle ticket was drawn today. Missed this drawing? No worries because there'll be one in my art shop in August.

I plan to add more gems to my gem shop, however, since I'm taking Gem Identification next, I am going to hang onto whatever I can until I'm done with this class.

Hope everyone is doing well!