Wednesday, June 27, 2012

An Obstacle Course for Guests--Family Meals from a 14 Year Old's Perspective

I thought it would be interesting to get a "kid's" perspective on family meals, so I interviewed the 14 year old daughter of friends and fellow blogger, Grace Johnson.

Tell me about your family and any others who are regulars around your mealtime table.
I’m the oldest of 3 kids and have a younger brother and sister. It’s usually our family at the table except when we have guests.

How often do you have family meals?
We always “try” to have dinner together unless there are other activities going on or places we need to go in the evening.  Lunch and breakfast are sort of iffy depending on every one's schedules.

What do you do around your table besides eat?
Well, our table is sort of a multi-purpose table because that’s where we have school for most of the day. It’s also the game, dining, and baking table. Also since the weather in CA is so great, we oftentimes move dinner to the back porch and do some grilling.

When you sometimes watch the news as part of your “social studies” at dinner, do you talk about it or relate it to your lives in some way? 
Usually we’ll watch the news segment and then during the commercials, which we mute, we might discuss the topics or something similar to the report, if it’s worth discussing.  Or we might talk about something totally different. But any time can be a time of learning, especially with my Dad and Mom/teacher sitting at the table with you.  

What is the most unusual meal you have ever had? 
Probably the strangest thing I’ve ever eaten is pig blood while visiting the Philippines last year with my Dad. I didn’t realize what it was when it was served to me. It was a meat dish with a dark sauce on top. Believe it or not, it wasn’t that bad, but I probably wouldn’t have tried it if my friends would have told me what it was first. 

In most homes not every mealtime is happy and ideal, how does your family avoid grumpiness at meals?
We don't have this problem often, but depending on the situation, but if someone is grumpy/sad we might sing the poochy lip song.
The poochy lip will get you if you start to pout,
The poochy lip will get you if you start to pout.
So take this little tip
and control that lower lip
and chase away that poochy lip disease. 

I've been a guest at your dinner table and enjoyed it. How do you, your brother and sister feel about having guests?
I usually look forward to it.  It’s fun having people over.
Playing Basketball with Guests

When I was there we played Apples to Apples after dinner and I enjoyed getting to know your family through it. What other things has your family done to get to know guests?
We like playing games with people when they come over if they’re up for it. Our favorite games to play with guests (depending on their age and the weather) are basketball, football, Family, Taboo, Spoons, Settlers of Catan, etc. During times like this you can definitely get to know people better and their different personalities.  We had a really fun afternoon with guests when my little sister and her friend turned the backyard into an obstacle course.  That was rather spur-of-the-moment and really funny seeing the adults do crazy things!
The Obstacle Course
What chores do you and your siblings have that have to do with mealtime?  
My brother sets the table, I get the drinks, and all three of us are “on-call” for whatever other help my Mom may need like putting the food on the table, etc.  AND our number one chore around the house is washing dishes. Whenever someone asks my parents whether we have a dishwasher, they usually reply, “Oh, we have three!” Usually I don't mind doing the chores, although I'm hoping that sooner or later my little sister will take over my breakfast dishes!

You have a baking blog. How did you get interested in baking?
I like to eat desserts. As they say, “life is short, eat dessert first!” I suppose over the years of helping my Mom bake and then starting to bake things on my own and seeing my Dad and others enjoy it, I enjoy it too. I love sharing baked goods with other people and seeing them enjoy them too!  Baking is fairly easy once you get the hang of  it. The blog has encouraged me to bake even more and try out new recipes.

Have you ever baked something that some of the people in your family didn’t like? 
One time I made cinnamon eggs and offered that to my family, but after much speculation and discernment they decided it was just too odd to try it. 

What's the best thing about your family meals?
I like the fact that everyone in our family is at the table eating, singing, laughing, or just joking a bit. Oh and I really like the food part too, its pretty hard to have a mealtime without that. =)

What kind of family mealtimes do you hope to have when you have children?
I would probably like a very interactive mealtime with of course lots of food and dessert. One of my long time wishes when I was a kid is to have a drawable tablecloth, and I hope it can come true one day. =)

Grace is currently in eighth grade and 14 years old. She was born and grew up in the Philippines and moved back to California in 2006. She loves to bake, blog, play the piano, sing, and socialize. She'd love to become an overseas teacher one day and teach math or music. Visit Grace's blog at

We are still traveling, visiting ECS offices in Eastern Europe. It's been an amazing trip and we've met so many of God's wonderful people. To follow our travel blog go to here

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