Generation Cedar

Dinner time is said to be a dying event. It has also been said to be a powerful place where people come together and forgive, share life, laugh and grow together. A place where important memories are made.

In a busy family, sometimes if feels like all I can do to get food on the table. Admittedly though, the more I think of dinner as a priority (I’m not naturally inclined this way, for the record), the better prepared I am and the more peaceful it usually is. 

And memories are so easy to make if we just look for them! Memories our children will carry with them, details and efforts we take lightly that mean mountains to them. Sometimes, you just need to drag a table somewhere different and change the ambiance.

So we did that last night. Paper plates and all. On our front porch, we enjoyed the magic of the setting sun and a few simple candles. There were still messes and the food was pretty simple, but we etched a memory in time. The little girls enjoyed preparing the table more than actually eating. Food, talking and cool air made me take a snap shot of our family–one quickly growing and changing–because I want to remember. We were all there. We won’t be for that long and the growing pains will bring both grief and joy.

Stop now and breathe it in. And set a table that will help you remember, that will help them remember, what family is about.

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16 Responses

  1. How do you keep mosquitoes at bay when dining outside? I’d love to do that but don’t think I could really enjoy dinner with the whole family bathed in deet.

  2. LOVE! LOVE! LOVE THIS!!! T he table is looks amaze by the way. Such a special time dinner is. My husband works shift work and about 1/4 of the month is not with us for Dinner. We eat at a certain time to keep a schedule with young kids. We have 4 children 8yrs and younger.

    There was a time about 2 years ago (and 2 kids ago) that if Daddy was at work we just would just kind of eat whatever… whenever. I am talking me, a 1 year old and 3 year old. When we moved into a house at that time from an apt I decided ” Daddy or no Daddy” we were having “Dinner”.

    Now that we have 4 kids it has been a HUGE Blessing to know that here in our house, anyone who knows us well, will know when the clock strikes 4:00( or 4:05:) We will be eating dinner at a table(maybe with utensils) There may be 6 of us or 5 of us. But there is always Prayer, Love, family, and Fellowship. Most of all memories being made.

    Now Dinner may be cereal on those days or even PB and J with fruit on the deck. Heck it may be those things occasionally when Daddy is home for dinner. The thing is the consistency of it all. The kids will ask later in the day “what time is it?
    I know that as we are farther in the day they are making plans around Dinner….this makes my heart smile having not come from such a family:)

  3. I think the joy of the dinner table is part memory and part touchstone. It’s a solid, foundational thing that keeps everyone grounded. The steadiness of it makes it special.

  4. What a beautiful idea…your table looks gorgeous and your family looks happy. I am with Ruby though…how do you combat the mosquitoes? They have been so bad this year (northeastern ohio) that we’ve barely used our deck. I might just have to try an soup-and-bread meal on a cooler evening when they finally go away.

    lovely table….BUT…is that ragweed in your vases?? I am sneezing all the way from here 🙂

    1. Mosquitoes are hit or miss, and most of us seem not to be very bothered by them. At least I didn’t notice them the other night. Probably ragweed, lol. My littles don’t see weeds, just flowers 😉

  5. I was raised in a home where evening dinner was a regular occurence. I rarely remember a time when we didn’t all gather at the table for a meal–even if it was leftovers. We eat at the table for dinner most nights, though occasionally, when hubby’s working 2nd shift, I allow a movie on or something… but it is still a common occurence around here. Also, I will say that I think children who are raised around the table learn better eating habits than children who are allowed to wander at mealtimes. Fortunately, my hubby isn’t picky and regardless of how much he prefers the meal, he always thanks me and tells me it was delicious! And the boys all follow suit 🙂 .

    1. Laura–I agree about the habit thing. Also, it’s worth mentioning that it’s a good habit for kids to know they need to eat what’s on the table (or not eat). I’ve had people come to my house for dinner and bring their kids separate food. Wowzer.

      1. OMgosh…my dear dear SIL and her kids are awful with this. We have pizza for birthday parties.One with with cheese..simple enough???? nope! One kid wants no cheese..the other no sauce..SIL picked off about 3 veggies… So she is perpetuating the picky eater.
        At our home our kids eat what I serve. There is no alternative. My MIL will mention often (though not directed at me) that if her kids didn’t like what they were being served than they could make themselves a PB and J. Needless to say my MIL is extremely picky her daughter…and other son…and now 3 grandboys…luckily I married the one who eats anything and even became vegetarian because I was one.

        My hubby sees it a sign of disrespect if they can “opt out” of what I cooked. He says the time I put into meal planning, shopping, chopping (lots veggies and fruit) and cooking is NO WAY going to be discounted by a PB and J sandwich. They have to try everything on their plate. Like last night we had veggie dogs and french fries I made myself and green beans. Some didn’t want fries..some green beans. The all left the table having a bite of everything.

        All 4 of my kids were adopted. I only say this as I know some people think its awful to push a kid to eat something they don’t like. That they were born with those tastes. There is some truth in that. Super tasters and all.BUT I think alot of things for kids are “acquired tastes”. My daughter swore she hated beans and rice. Not alot fun if you are a vegetarian right? Now she eats beans and rice like it was the best thing ever(kind of is:)

        This got a bit off topic but I want my kids to be able to eat a meal out anywhere and not have to “pack food” or have them pick our hosts food apart. The only exception is what we have say a buffet at Thanksgiving. They are then allowed to choose with reason what they want to eat. I am happy we chose to raise them this way as they now eat Indian food(curry), tons of veggies and are up to trying new foods without a fight.

        1. I also grew up around the family dinner table, I am not picky, I eat what I am served. My husband on the other hand did not. He is very picky! I think it makes a big difference.

        2. Liz,

          Yes, disrespectful is what I think too. For a hostess to go through the effort of preparing multiple food items with everyone in mind and have her labor “ignored” by bringing your own food…few things are as disrespectful, in my opinion.

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