Last week all the kids went back to school.
Sad to see summer go! It's my fav. Really it is.
I have to admit I have liked some of the changes.
There are moments when I can hear my own thoughts.
And when I wipe down the counter it stays clean till 2:30.
Some changes are still not my favorite.
Hearing myself say . . . .
"Do you have homework done?"
"Hang up your back pack."
"Do not wear those expensive socks outside without shoes. Seriously!"
"Have you done your reading?"
"We have to get to bed."
"You have to get up."
"You have ten minutes till you gotta leave. Brush your teeth, finish eating, comb your hair, use deodorant and have a great day."
Gotta love the new lingo that comes with back to school.
7th, 4th, 4th, and 2nd !
It's gonna be a good year.
Here's to knowledge!!
|Ian went a day early so this is day 2 for him! (hence the different clothes from his first picture)|
|And my favorite back to school pic always --- the new shoes pic !!|
Or maybe they are inspecting the crack! ha.
Back to School always seems to be a time to set new goals.
The kids have new goals . . . read so many minutes, get homework done before xyz, etc. etc.
Well, this school year I have a new goal.
MORE FAMILY MEALS around the table.
For the first time in our families history, last year was a FAIL on this one.
I chalk it up to new schedules, new sports leagues, a new schedule for dad, a tired momma juggling several new things and just needing nights "off" when it was just us.
It's not that we didn't ever do it but it just wasn't as often as I'd like or as much as we had in the past.
Don't get me wrong, we gather around the table. We gather around food.
We gather with friends and neighbors all the time.
My kids see our table as a place to invite people too.
They've seen and experienced a FULL table.
We've used our extra chairs and extended our table more this year than in years past
and it's been beautiful.
I believe in the gathering places.
I strongly believe in inviting people to gather with you.
So since we have the "invite" part down; this year on nights when it's just our family of six, my goal is to make it a priority to have the table be a place again for our family of six.
Family Dinners is just one aspect of gathering.
And a little side fact is that current research is showing kids who had regular family meals together do better in college. (said a source I trust who read it in a book I haven't read yet - how do you like that for an accurate statistic - ha) I do however, believe it!
I've recognized the challenges with this new season of my kids ages and activities.
I don't think you realize the struggle it is to keep the family meal going until you hit a certain "season" in life. Last year we hit that season.
I've acknowledged the obstacles and I'm not at over achiever, my goal is not to
make this happen every night. Three or Four nights a week is my goal.
Some of you are like . . only three or four nights?? Shoot for more!
We have at least two nights a week we gather around a table in "community" and kids eat and play and run off. They are observing gathering and community in another form that is so important.
This leaves us with one or two other nights to just eat on the go and be laid back and eat once we all come in from a night of playing or again gather in other forms with friends.
I'm one to buck anything that takes on a legalistic form.
So there is flex in all things for me.
I've never been a lunch person.
So lunch isn't when we gather.
Yes, if we are all here at the same time I put stuff out and we all grab it and head to the table or counter to eat together but lunch is not my thing. If it was all up to me we'd all eat a good breakfast and as you need lunch in the day you'd get it yourself and then we'd all gather for dinner at the end of the day.
One it's to expensive and time consuming to create three full sit down meals a day.
Just. Can't. Do. It.
And breakfasts in this house is a "chaotic form of gathering".
We eat as we are all ready for school. We are all together but all doing what we need to do.
With six people in the house we all function at different speeds in the am.
I do however, love how, for the most part, we are all together in the am.
Some days many are eating together at the same time.
On most days, when a majority are present, I read a quick word of encouragement to the kids.
And usually one morning each weekend is a bigger breakfast time as a family with Dad cooking something yummy.
So dinner (the evening meal) is the goal this year!!
Here's three things I've decided.
1. If 4 or 5 of us are here, then 4 or 5 of us are here.
2. The time may change daily.
3. It doesn't have to be fancy.
So far last week we nailed it and this week we are on track!
I love the talks that come around the table.
We do the "Boom and Bust" thing. They've always liked this regardless of age.
Your BOOM is something that was awesome in your day.
Your BUST is something that didn't go so well or that you didn't like.
For years we did the chat packs for kids -- those are so great to ignite discussion.
May have to pull those back out - my kids loved them.
As my kids grow up and move away I want them to look back and remember our solid wood table as a place we came together, laughed, shared our booms and busts of life and invited others too. I want it to be a place they will keep coming back too and will be a place where they will invite others to join them at "their tables" to gather.
Here's to a year of gathering around the table with my family!
Tonight we'll be gathering and I have no idea what we will be eating - we ate two great meals the last two nights and so I"m already out of ideas (ha) but food or no food we will be gathering.