School is back in session for most of us and I’m realizing, like most of you, that time is an elusive thing. Days pass….and are gone, never to happen again. One of my dearest friends in the world sent a child to college this year. COLLEGE, for heaven’s sake! I’m not too far off with a 10th grader. I’ve seen a lot of photos in the past few days with comments like:

“Where has the time gone?”

“Wasn’t I just changing this little one’s diapers and snuggling him in for naps?”

“Weren’t they just in kindergarten?”

“The summer went too quickly!”

“I can’t believe they’re gone!”

It’s made me re-evalutae this website a little. While I love posting recipes – and will continue to do so – I also want to put more of a focus on where my heart also lies: in making mealtimes matter. I started thinking of the word TIME and came up with the acronym: The Intentional Mealtime Experience. I want to provide and share suggestions on how you can make the most of your time at the kitchen table. I know we are all busy. But if we take a minute while eating (and we all have to eat!) and focus on something specific, our mealtimes will be places of connection, laughter, and meaning.

The “I” in the acronym is super important. The whole thing takes some intentionality: planning and making a meal and the focus on connection. Admittedly, we don’t always have time or the energy to make mealtime an “experience.” Ha! Sometimes the kids are lucky to have something that resembles food on the plate and a mom who has not gone completely mad after carpooling, doing homework, working, reading school emails, and…..reading more school emails.

I have come up with a few ideas on some fun activities to do at the table. Some are short and require no prep. Others may need an object or a little more time spent to make the experience meaningful.

Wouldn’t it be cool to hear these words from our kids’ mouths:

“Remember how crazy Mom was when she tried to do that silly thing with the sour patch kids?” (That was our TIME last night)

“I don’t remember exactly what we ate that night, but I do remember talking about the events in Ferguson.” (That’s a TIME idea I have about discussing current events)

“I remember when I was going through a hard time at school and Mom made us write out a Bible verse that really helped me.” (That’s a TIME where you have everyone write a verse on a sticky note and place it on their mirror)

These intentional moments over time will make the most of your family dinners! I can’t wait to start sharing my ideas with you. And if you have something you do as a family, please email me (jen@dinnerandafamily.com) or get a message to me so I can share your TIMES with my readers.

It’s been a quiet day and I’ve had fun writing this post in the stillness of my home. The dishes need to be done and I have t a few errands to run before I get kids from school. Ironically, we won’t be eating dinner together tonight as a family. But tomorrow is a new day and I have a little something up my sleeve to make the most of the dinner we’ll share tomorrow night!

 

 

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