July 22, 2014

What Was Your Dinner Conversation Tonight?

Feb23

rsz_img_5516

It’s no secret that connecting around the table for regular family dinners is something I highly value.

But no worries, I am going to save my “soap box” speech for another time. :)

Instead, I’m going to point out my “Family Dinner Conversation” jar in which my sweet daughter has her hand.

It’s filled with a variety of conversation questions that keep our discussions lively, unexpected, silly and serious.

With five children, there is definitely no lack of chatting, but sometimes it wonderful to discuss things that don’t come up in typical dinner conversation.  Often it’s light and fun so that our six year old can participate, such as, if you could pick anyone to live next door to you, who would it be? Or if you were an animal, what would you be and why?

But just hours ago,  it was our eldest son that brought the discussion to a whole new level with some quotes he has been memorizing by the likes of Chesterton, Reagan, Oswald Chambers and others.

“The single greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, and then walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.”
Brennan Manning

This quote makes me pause, ponder…and pray that our family “walks the talk” without hypocrisy. Authentic living is the goal, and I pursue that with our children as well, – yes, the good, bad, and ugly of life.

Week by week we link up our Tasty Tuesday recipes, yet sometimes I miss out on the most important aspect.

What great Dinner Conversations have you had this week?

Edited to add: Many of you have emailed asking for my list of questions. I am in the process of tying up all FIVE HUNDRED of them and then will try and figure out how to upload them onto a PDF file to share. In the mean time, I have many posts sprinkled throughout that have questions. Here are some discussion starters I shared at Thanksgiving. Feel free to tweak them if you have younger children. Remember, sharing stories is priceless…that’s where memories become magic.


Comments

  1. Great point Jen! You are so right. I sometimes get so caught up in what we are eating that I forget the most important thing of all. We are eating together as a family and everyone is talking to each other. It doesn’t matter if we’re having bologna sandwiches or a gourmet meal.

    [Reply]

  2. Way to put things in perspective, Jen! Oh, for us to remember that we’re feeding their minds and hearts, not just their tummies.

    [Reply]

  3. I love this idea, Jen! :) I am filing it away for when my kids are older. Thanks for hosting! :)

    [Reply]

  4. We love to have candlelight dinners as a family too. We have a basket of conversation starters and I got another idea from a blogger, where we pick one Christmas card each night that we received last year and pray for the family that sent it.

    I am so moved by that quote. Thank you for sharing it!

    [Reply]

  5. I love eating with my family — it’s wonderful and part of the reason I love to cook so much (because I love the family time!!).

    Thanks for sharing this today.

    [Reply]

  6. I also cherish our family dinner and we eat together every. single. night. I think it’s so important in our busy world that we take time to relax, eat and enjoy each other. We also just bought “dinner games” which I think is very much like your dinner jar. We will probably break it out this week!
    Our church just did a series on how the walk has the match the talk. That quote is sooo true!

    [Reply]

  7. I love the conversation idea.

    Sitting down to dinner is so important to us. My husband and I have done it since we’ve been married and now we have two kids. It is strange if we don’t eat dinner together at the table.

    I’m going to make the jar today!

    [Reply]

  8. What a great quote! And I really like the dinner jar idea. We have a similar flip book that Dr. Gary Chapman wrote but I like the fact that you can come up with other questions and conversation starters on your own. So smart!

    [Reply]

  9. Thanks for hosting this Jen. I love the pictures of your family. We love to have dinner by candlelight. It’s such a great time to truly connect and hear about one another’s day.

    [Reply]

  10. Yes, we did this when they were little but it would be fun to resurrect this for my teenagers (almost adult) now! Thanks for the reminder. And thank you for your Tasty Tuesdays; it’s a great community!

    [Reply]

  11. Can you share some of your “questions” – would love to see them!

    [Reply]

  12. My children are 6, 3, and 2, so we aren’t having too many deep conversations. We try to talk about what their favorite things were that day, what they think the weather will do that night, what birds they see out the window. I think that giving them something specific to think about and respond to breaks up bickering, distracts them from playing with their food, and helps them focus. So it makes dinner much more peaceful.
    I actually just wrote about some other things I’m doing to make dinnertime a better experience: http://www.digitalomnium.com/blog/?p=152.
    Mealtimes as a family are so important, and as our children get older, I expect to have many more significant conversations.

    [Reply]

  13. Hi-This is my first time here…I found you thru Kim (and her coffee)….I linked in today and I look forward to visiting your site and also checking out the recipes posted today. Thanks for hosting!

    [Reply]

  14. I love that we eat together every night. Some nights, it is much more of a struggle to get my kids to sit still and eat and not spill anything, but I love them. We often ask our kids (ages 8 and 5) to tell us the best part of their day and then the worst part of their day. It’s a fun way to catch a glimpse of their day.

    [Reply]

  15. Jen,
    So important for the family to eat together! Thanks for a great post.
    NG

    [Reply]

  16. We also eat together every night. My husband and I both come from families where that was the norm, so we’ve done that since the very beginning of our relationship. There have only been a handful of times we’ve missed having dinner together, and it always throws the evening off kilter! We’re looking forward to continuing this tradition with our kids. Our 9 month old already sits in her high chair and eats with us every night.

    [Reply]

  17. I’m never sorry when we sit down around the table. It’s one of the places where life intersects and we stay intertwined with each other.

    [Reply]

  18. That quote lives at the beginning of a DC Talk song. What If I Stumble- I think.
    We eat dinner together 5 nights out of 7- but intentional conversation would be GREAT! Sadly, last night I was in Seattle with a child to get a tooth extracted, so our dinner conversation in WalMart went something like, “Could you just pick something so we can go home, please?”
    We get to do it again in a month for the same tooth on the other side. *sigh*

    [Reply]

  19. Awesome post, Jen. So important to walk the walk and talk the talk! Happy Tuesday!

    [Reply]

  20. My hubby is always trying to get us to sit at the table, while I opt for the TV. I love your table settings and attention to things. My how you have grown! Hope to post soon, and I may even include some pics too… ha!

    [Reply]

  21. Great idea! WE usually are around the table, and this would definitely make for some great conversations!

    [Reply]

  22. I’ve been wanting to have conversation starters for our dinner table, but never thought of a jar. What a simple and perfect idea! I’m going to make one right now, and use it tonight. Would you be willing to share your list of questions? Please?

    [Reply]

    Jens Reply:

    @Nancy, I have many posts with Conversations Starters sprinkled through the archives, but here’s one where I listed a bunch of questions for Thanksgiving. These are a probably for elementary age and up, but you can tweak them.

    http://beautyandbedlam.com/discussion-starters-for-your-family-mealtime/

    I am working on typing up ALL FIVE HUNDRED questions in a PDF file with ideas on how to give these as gifts….it will be coming…sometimes. It will have a variety of levels – questions for little ones to adults.

    [Reply]

    Nancy Reply:

    Thanks. I’ll look forward to that. Last night’s first use of our new jar was a big hit.

    [Reply]

  23. I love this…Family dinners are very important in my house as well. My kids are still young (9 and 6) and I know as they get older and more involved in activities are time will be more stretched. I hope to always make our dinner table a priority for our time together.
    And I love the quote…made me pause…now I am going to write it down and post it on my desk.

    [Reply]

  24. Great thoughts Jen! Love that quote – good one to remember. We do eat dinner together as a family, but need to focus on the conversation more!

    [Reply]

  25. I really appreciate this quote!! I shared it with a friend who really needed to hear that – as did I!

    [Reply]

  26. So true, just sitting and chatting creates wonderful family memories. Our dinner conversation last night was over the fact that I need to get back into meal planning. We’ve had too many fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants dinners around here lately. :)

    [Reply]

  27. I love that quote will be sharing that around the dinner table this evening.

    [Reply]

  28. I love the idea of the conversation jar!

    [Reply]

  29. What a great idea with the conversation jar. I have two young kids and it seems there is always something to talk about, but I will definitely keep this in mind to use as a trick later on. I am a big fan of family dinners and look forward to being at the table with all of us together at least once during the day. Thanks for sharing. First time commenting, but I’m reading!!!

    [Reply]

  30. hi ladies…so thrilled that you’ve been inspired by our Family Conversations Jar. I have many posts with Conversations Starters sprinkled through the archives, but here’s one where I listed a bunch of questions for Thanksgiving. These are a probably for elementary age and up, but you can tweak them for little ones. Besides…your kids LOVE to hear you tell your story. That’s what matters to them (even if they don’t say it.)

    http://beautyandbedlam.com/discussion-starters-for-your-family-mealtime/

    I am working on typing up ALL FIVE HUNDRED questions in a PDF file with ideas on how to give these as gifts….it will be coming…sometimes. It will have a variety of levels – questions for little ones to adults.

    [Reply]

  31. I love, love, love this! We bought a box of questions called “Table Talk,” I think. When we finished the box, it never occurred to me to write my OWN! See, this is why I need you! ;) Thank you!

    [Reply]

  32. that was just so inspiring, I’m glad you posted that. I was expecting a bunch of home decor, which I am totally addicted to….but I’m stealing your idea. I have a great cut glass bowl to boot for the conversation starters. God Bless You. and the quote……….whoa, something I’ve been thinking a lot about. I’ll be stopping back.

    [Reply]

  33. I just have to say that Brennan Manning is perhaps my all-time favorite author. I love that quote!

    Hope you’re doing well!

    [Reply]

Trackbacks

  1. [...] You can check out this week’s other Tasty Tuesdays at Beauty & Bedlam. [...]

Share Your Thoughts

*