Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sit-Down Dinners? What Are Those?

Our family does not do a lot of sit-down dinners. It’s impossible, for these reasons: 

~My husband travels a lot for work. 

~The kids have after-school activities. 

~I hate to cook. 

So maybe, MAYBE on a good week we’ll get two sit-down dinners a week. And I’m not talking extravagant sit-downs. Last week I made canned spaghetti sauce and frozen meatballs, bagged lettuce and a fresh loaf of bread from the grocery store. And before that, another night, I did two pizza crusts and topped one with cheese and sauce and the other one with fresh tomatoes and the good buffalo mozzarella. 

Those are just the kinds of dinners I make. I’m not snazzy.

Ooh, but I like that word. S N A Z Z Y. 

Here’s the thing though. Even though we don’t have a lot of family sit-down dinners, when we do have them, we’ve got our traditions. I ALWAYS have to sit in the same seat, and you moms out there probably do this too. It’s the seat closest to where the kitchen is located, right. So when everyone says, “MOM, can you get me the so-and-so…” you don’t have to dodge four other chairs to get up and get the so-and-so, right?

Another tradition we have at our rare occasion dinners is that my youngest, Luke ALWAYS says our family prayer. He’s been saying it since he could talk, and he’s ten now. It’s so freakin’ cute that he’s gonna be saying it til he’s 18 I’m sure, and I don’t even know if he knows he’s got it wrong, but it’s the God is Great prayer. However, he says it wrong.

He says it the opposite way so it does not rhyme. Like this:

“God is good, God is great, let us thank him for our food.”

Does not rhyme! But we all hold hands around the table and close our eyes. Well, some of us do. I think I keep mine open to watch how cute everyone is. And he says this prayer. And then everyone starts to eat, but then we do our OTHER dinner tradition, which is BEST PART/WORST PART.

We go around the table sharing our best part and worst part of the day. And NO ONE is allowed to say that the moment we are sharing right then and there is the BEST PART because that is the automatic given. Because we are all together as a family, and we all already know that’s the absolute best part of our day. It gives us all a chance to discuss our day and sometimes what’s neat about it is that the best/worst part of our day is the same thing. For instance, last week, my best/worst was I was happy that I was going to be able to go to Starbucks to write (BEST), but then when I got there, I wasn’t having very much luck thinking of what I wanted to write about (WORST). 

So, even though our dinners together are rare, we make sure to make the most of them when we do have a chance for all of us to be together. We make them as memorable as we can. What do you and your family do together to make your dinners special? Sometimes we do AM for PM and they LOVE getting pancakes and bacon for dinner. That’s ALWAYS a fun night. 

This family sometimes does dessert first. I know my kids would freak for that. Ice cream for dinner! (Actually, the other night the whole family was gone and I went to the store and got myself one of those big sugar smiley face cookies and ate that for my dinner! Shhh! They don’t know I did that!) 

If you would like to share your family traditions at the Fresh Takes site, you could be entered to win a $50 gift card through Subway and have the chance to be picked to be a “family of the month” on their website! Feel free to share your stories over there! 

Don’t forget to make your family a priority! They’re the most important people in your life.

I’ll be back later this week with another blast of books for you as well! Thanks for reading. You guys rock!


Nanette said...

No...YOU ROCK, Manic! Considering how busy you are it's amazing that you keep your blog and the book giveaways going. It's a "best" part of my day when I can read a new post. I really enjoy anything and everything you have to say! You make me smile and laugh...THANK YOU for that!! Have a great week! Nan :)

Books & Reviews said...

It is just my husband and I but --- one of our traditions includes a Kiss before anyone of us leaves anywhere.... Even if it means waking the other one up at 530am to kiss them before they leave for work. We ever kiss the dog (haha)!We also buy or make a new christmas tree ornament each year that represents something big that happened in our lives for that year. For example, the year we went to chicago to see the cubs play we bought a chicago skyline ornament.

ncsuloges said...

You are the best part of my mornings as well. Thank you so much for doing your blog. I swear if I didn't like you so much I would hate you. What a sweet little family you have!! Didn't know anyone's real life was like that.
I think the only tradition my boyfriend and I have is being silly first thing in the morning. We sing to each other and just have a blast. Or I feed the dog people food and my boyfriend pretends to be mad.

CAnative said...

When my kids were young we had a very structured day and always sat down to dinner together. Even when the hubby was away on business I sat down with the kids to dinner. Even if it was take out. Now that they are older and I work most nights my husband and the kids usually do a sit down dinner. The difference is they are now old enough to actually cook themselves. The three of them often take turns on who cooks for the night and I have a plate made up when I get home. It is a great time to connect no matter what is "made" for the meal. Pancakes and sausage is a fav around here!


MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Thanks you guys for commenting! Hey Logan, before we had kids, Mr. MaNiC and I used to do silly stuff ALL THE TIME. Like when one of us was in the shower, the other would take a cold cup of water and pour it over the other and scare the heck out of the other. Or we'd have crazy shaving cream fights around the apartment. Crazy fun stuff! So it's great that you're starting you're own traditions now and that you're having fun doing it!

Nan, thank YOU for thanking me. It makes me so happy to know that you're out there and enjoying the stuff I put out there!

Books & Review -- LOVE the kiss before you leave. We USED to do that, but I always bury my head so deep under the covers, he can never find me when he leaves for a trip! LOL!

CAnative (Nicole) ... love that the kids take turns cooking and then there's a plate for YOU when you get home. Sometimes I feel guilty that I don't really cook so I'm not teaching my kids to do it. : (

Travis Erwin said...

We eat together a lot but it is getting harder all the time as they get older and are involved in more activities.

Coleen said...

Well when I was growing up I had a specific chair to sit in and to this day when I go back to my parent's house I still sit in that seat. .feels weird to not sit in that seat. We also had specific things we did while getting ready for dinner.

Now it is just my husband and I. . .but one of our traditions is that I always call him while I am at work at the same time every night that I work. That is because the nights that I work I don't get to see him so I need to hear his voice and make sure that he had a good day. I have been doing this even before we got married.

Another tradition that we have is that every christmas we buy each other an ornament. .. we have been doing this since the year we got engaged.

Jenna McCarthy said...

Aw, this was the sweetest post EVER. We eat dinner together every night (and my husband cooks, so you can go ahead and hate me, although I do all of the grocery shopping which is sort of my personal hell, but I digress). We play 20 Questions at the dinner table all the time. It is a great way to get them to use their little brains in a sneaky way, although you have to lay some ground rules (my 6YO is famous for picking stuff like unicorns and "a walking, talking leaf", and trust me those are damn near impossible to get in a mere 20 questions). Try it! Fun, fabulous, free!

Working Mommy said...

the kids are still young, so it is hard for us to do sit-down dinners also...but hopefully that will change once they get older!