… experts are finding that making family meals a priority is more than worth the effort. Consider a recent survey from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. The NMSC profiled National Merit scholars from the past 20 years trying to find out what these stellar students had in common. They were surprised to find that, without exception, these kids came from families who ate together three or more nights a week.

Not only can family meals make your kids smarter, spending quality time together over dinner can also contribute to your children’s emotional and spiritual growth. After all, it’s when you’re all together sharing the details of your day that real bonding happens. And kids who feel close to their families are more likely to take the family’s value system to heart. (taken from an article by Mimi Knight found on the site MomSense)

Isn’t that encouraging?   Now that the boys are in public school it feels like we are living in two separate worlds.  I want to hear all about their world and I want to share the new experiences that are happening in mine.  The dinner table is a good place to get all of us on the same page for a while.  I am working hard to make it a pleasurable experience.  I want D and P to linger and tell me all about their day.  I want their bodies nourished with good food and I want our discussion to be authentic and unrushed.  It only takes a few minutes to dress the table and I think it says, “Hey.  This meal is important.  Why don’t you stick around for a while?”

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I keep changing up the look.  Yesterday I took the tablecloth, napkins and cutlery out of the picnic set I bought a couple summers ago at a garage sale and paired them with the red chargers I got in the after Christmas greatly reduced section of the grocery store.

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The real high light for the boys isn’t what the table looks like, it’s what I’m serving.  The bulk of the effort has to go there.  Yesterday, it was an old favourite on the menu – homemade meatloaf with potatoes and our favourite green veggie on the side.  The napkins looked a little bare on the plates so I topped them with dessert – blueberry delight applesauce.  No.  Dessert wasn’t homemade but it was a nice finish to a meal we all enjoy.

Did bonding happen?  Yeah, I think it did.  Did the guys get smarter for hanging out with me over dinner?  Maybe.  Did I pass on spiritual values?  I hope so.  After dinner is the new time for our family to do Bible reading and devotions together.  I can’t determine how my sons will turn out but if doing dinner together can really get the results mentioned above, I’m all for giving it a try.

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