Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Family Dinner Show N Share Nights

MooreMinutes is partnering with Rosanna Dishes for a series of posts.  I am {over the moon} with this news because as a lot of you know, Rosanna Dishes are some of my FAVORITE THINGS.   I've been a passionate fan and happy collector of her dishes for several years because each collection is uniquely beautiful and peacefully simple.

Rosanna's life philosophy mirrors my own: living with intention, creating beauty in everyday life, treasuring simple moments, and holding onto tradition while maintaining a fresh, modern lifestyle.  I want to share a sound quote from their company website, "Rosanna knows the recipe for the Good Life. Start with three intentions: sustain tradition, create ritual, and cultivate connection."  How true this is!   

Rosanna's Coming Home book

One recent tradition our family started about two years ago to help keep our family connected is Family Dinner Show and Share Nights!  The idea was inspired by childhood school day routines of "Show and Tell" in the classroom.  Those were my favorite days.  I double love showing and telling (as is quite obvious by my little blog).  I borrowed that concept and brought it to our family dinner table.  We don't have an EXACT routine or schedule for it.  We basically try to plan it for Fridays, but certainly not every Friday.  We are a typical modern-day, American family who works too much, plans too little, and who has family members all going in too many different directions.  But, our scattered lives is what made Family Dinner Show N Share Nights necessary!  

I've had many of those "bad mama" moments.  

My son would enthusiastically run up to me while I was in the kitchen and attempt to show me his extra big LEGO project, but I would quickly brush him away because...

I was too busy. 

Or, another boy would try to curl up next to me while I was knee deep in paperwork and he would explain how super cool the book was he just read and I would quickly brush him away because...

 I was too busy.

Sometimes a son would follow me around as I gathered my purse and was heading out the door for errands and he would try to show me his school papers, but I would quickly tell them not right now because...

I was too busy. 

Other times, they would all try to ask me how something worked, how to fix something, or how to do something and I would quickly push them away because...

I was too busy.  

It isn't always just the kids.  Sometimes my husband would attempt to share something about work or fitness or show me something cool but I would quickly move on because...

I was too busy. 

Looking back, it makes my heart feel so sad that the ones I love most get so quickly ignored.  But these "bad mama and wife" moments propelled me to make some changes!  I planned Family Dinner Show N Share Nights.  These nights are designated times when each family member has an opportunity to share what's on their mind and to show us what they're interested in at the moment.  We all participate, even the adults.  We each get a handful of minutes to share.  Our family highly anticipates these nights around the dinner table now!  This created a small solution to all the "too busy now" moments.  This also created an excellent way to TEACH the kids how to use different household tools that they always ask how to use but we are often too busy to stop and show them.  Our children are eager to learn and will soak up everything we try to teach them.   Now, whenever I can't give my full attention to my loved ones, I give them a quick squeeze and ask them to save it and share with us at Family Show N Share Night. 

click image to enlarge

Examples of things to Show N Share: 

- projects we currently completed 
- favorite things that are special to us
- A tool we use and how to use it
- academic papers: tests, book reports, Science projects
- stories that have helped define our life or that mean a lot to us

Benefits of a Show N Share night:

- creates a designated time for the family to gather and focus uninterrupted attention on the one sharing.
- practice in listening skills
- practice in speaking concisely and purposely 
- practice in showing interest in other people other than ourselves
- creates unity and family connection
-brings peace within the home
- creates a designated time to TEACH each other how to use a variety of household tools

Chris has showed his guitars to us, explaining the different components of them and a brief overview of how they work.  Other ideas men could share are: pocket knife proper use and tips, a summary of their career and what exactly they do, how to use handyman tools, business planning tips, hobbies that are of interest to them, sports memorabilia, and more! 


I have showed off this old little teacup I received from a family in Mexico when I did a community-helper trip there as a teenager.  It means a lot to me and I had a story to go with it.  Other things women could share are kitchen tools and how to use them, journal entries, favorite pieces of jewelery, hobbies that are of interest to them, and more!

The boys have shared toys (!!!), finished LEGO projects, little pocket treasures they found on outdoor adventures, school papers, sports and academic awards, and stories.   

Each family member gets center stage for a few minutes during the evening meal:




These nights are also a welcome opportunity for me to put my HOMEMAKER on!  It's an excellent night to try new recipes for the family.  We don't sit down around the dinner table for every meal.  My moneymaker husband works late often (thank you babe!) , and the kids have outside activities.  We sometimes have our dinner in intervals or in the car.  However, I am still mindful of the importance of gathering the family around the table and I try to make it a goal to do it more often.   I work towards making these meals {just a bit} more special than average.   

So I dress up the table...

And rinse off most-loved dishes...

And pull out new cookbooks...

 to create some home cooked comfort.

Inside Out Chocolate Chip cookies
change up your traditional cookies by adding 
1/4 cup cocoa powder 
and using white chocolate chips
 instead of semi-sweets.

A quick table-setting tip:
 If you don't want to take the time to set a full table,
 keep a basket of napkins handy 
and easily add a pile of flatware to the basket
and set the whole thing on the table before a meal. 

The sun is almost leaving 
and it is almost time to gather around our dinner table 
to Show N Share.  
Our meal is a celebration of family
 and a practice in unity. 


So if you wander by our house on a random Friday night, you may see boys dressed up like this: with full smiles and a dinner table mixed with pretty dishes and piles of toys, projects, and papers.  

That's just us making a moment to experience life on pause for a quick second.  And by the time we all wake up the next day, the quick hum of busy life will return.  But that's okay because we have another random Friday Family Dinner night ahead...and each one of us is looking forward to it with anticipation.

Don't forget to visit Rosanna's Tabletalk for more inspiration on creating community, tradition, extending childhood,  and art around the table.

Come join Love the Pie with TidyMom  
sponsored by Whirlpool and enter to win a new Whirlpool Range

This post is linked to:   Under the Table & Dreamin, Nifty Thrifty, Seasonal SundaysMet Monday, Making the World Cuter, Tuesday Tutorials and Tips, HOMEWORK: Be Inspired, Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy, Tip Junkie, Get Your Craft On, DIY Design, Works for Me Wednesday, Blue Cricket Design, Organize and Decorate Everything, Transformation Thursday, House of H, Tablescape Thursday, Show off Your Stuff, Strut Your Stuff, 36th Ave  Show and Share Day, Foodie Friday, Frugal Friday, I'm Lovin It, Tickled Pink, Friday Flair, Design Dazzle, Be Different Act Normal, Funky Junk Interiors, Weekend Wrap Up  DIY by Design    


Kristin said...

Just the most lovely idea!

Jane said...

Lisa, this is a wonderful tradition! What a great way to connect with each family member. I love how you and Chris share and teach at the same time. That's what we as parents are commissioned to do...

I am going to pass this idea on to our sons and their wives with the hope that they will implement this plan into their lives.
<3 Jane

the worstest mommy said...

Thank you so much for this post! I have been trying to be more "present" for my husband and kids and this is such a wonderful idea to add in our busy lives!!

Blondie's Journal said...

This is such a fabulous idea. Sometimes we even eat in silence, so it's a great way to get the conversation going, too.

Your chicken pot pies look delicious. A meal in a pie!


Inspired By Felicity said...

Hi - I'm your newest follower. I LOVE this so much! I would love you to come by my blog next week for my "Get Inspired Monday" blog hop and link this up. The top picks will be featured on my blog and facebook. The blog hop is about linking up things that will "inspire" others and this post is inspiring in more than one area!


Courtenay@Creek Line House said...

Oh. My. Goodness. I love that you're doing this so much. We've been trying to get a "family night" working for a few months now and we just haven't hit our stride yet. Maybe this is the perfect idea.

. said...

Cute post, I want to come on a Friday night!

The pot pies look perfect by the way!!

melanie said...

chicken pot pies: YUM

portatoredichrist said...

Congratulations, Lisa! Rosanna Dishes is lucky to have you.

I cherish family dinner show and share night. It makes me long for more time with all of us and grateful for the time we get now. I wish we could push "pause" and keep life just the way it is.

Michelle said...

What a neat and special tradition! Caught my eye on a linky party...

LDH said...

I am smiling all over reading your post! Awesome idea and sure to build a closer family as well as precious memories!

So happy to be visiting with you!
Kindly, Lorraine

Amanda said...

This is an awesome idea, I would love to try it, being a new adoptive mom of 4 children I can use all the help I can get. I noticed myself being to busy to see finished lego projects and good work from school.

chili pepper said...

Lisa, Love this post. Thanks for sharing! Kat

Susan said...

What a wonderful idea!! My family (just my husband, son and myself) eat dinner together in our kitchen four nights a week; we got out to our favorite taco place one night a week, and for the other two nights, my husband is at work at dinner time. Having dinner as a family is important to us. We don't have show and share, but I love the idea!

b. said...

Still can't wait to try these.. do you think I will like these more or the mushroom soup? I want to try both ASAP. As you know I'm so hungry right now, these posts are killing me. Haha.