Today's post is an interview with a friend and fellow missionary, Nikki Rogers. I love doing these interviews and learning about and from other people. I think you'll enjoy reading about Nikki's family because they are a real family (i.e. not perfect) but they are succeeding in having meaningful family mealtimes. Plus Nikki has some simple, fun, and creative ideas you might want to try!
Tell me about your family and who is regularly at your table?
We are a family of four people – Dan, Nikki, Andy, and Carolyn. We like to have Grandpa and Grandma Rogers over as many times as they can come.
How often do you have family meals?
We have dinner (or “the evening meal”) together about 5 times a week. Dan and Andy leave early on Mondays to go to Bible Study Fellowship, so sometimes they eat before the girls do. On Thursdays our church has its “soup and prayer meeting” so Dan goes to help serve and eat the soup. Sometimes the kids like to go for the soup, but we are all normally there for the prayer time. (I can’t eat noodles, so I eat at home one way or the other!)
What would you say is something unique about your family meals?
We like to use fabric napkins. Last year when we studied astronomy I found fabric with planets for one side of the napkin and fabric with constellations for the other side. Before that we studied swimming creatures so we also have napkins with manatees, whales, sharks, rays, and little yellow fish.
Another thing is Friday is always pizza night. I use a super easy and fast pizza crust recipe and let Dan, Andy, and Carolyn top their pizzas with whatever they like. Carolyn likes to put corn on her pizza.
What do you do at the table at mealtimes besides eat?
Review Bible verses, talk about things we’ve learned in school, and discuss what’s going on the next day. Andy is one of those people who cannot fall asleep until he’s asked me, “So, what plans do we have for tomorrow?” I know exactly from whom he gets that.
What is one rule you have found yourself telling your kids over and over?
If there’s food in your mouth, it should be closed and you shouldn’t be talking.
|Here are some pictures from a birthday dinner we had for our friend Katie. The kids helped make the penguin place cards and the Lego centerpiece. (Note to self – next time, iron the tablecloth!) --Nikki|
What was the most unusual family meal you have ever had?
We once had 5 other families over and they brought dinner – roasted guinea pig! Andy was a toddler at the time and twice asked me for “more of that good chicken”!
Have you been successful in getting your children to help cheerfully with mealtime chores?
Someone else should comment on this one since we’re constantly working on good attitudes! The loss of “electronics time” for bad attitudes is a good motivator as is seeing Dad help out too.
How has including others around your table enriched your meals?
We’ve had lots of lovely people around our table over the past 14 years. I usually remember to pull out the guestbook and one of our favorite year-end activities is looking through that book and remembering the guests we’ve had. Bert and Colleen Elliot were two of our most gentle guests; a reporter for World Magazine was an interesting guest; one time we had 18 guests at once! We love hearing about the lives of others and find that we can learn a lot.
Do you have family devotions at a mealtime?
We try to do family devotions at breakfast time, before everyone gets into their daily chores and activities. See my post for one specific story!
If you could put anything at all in a spray bottle and spray it over your family table, what would it be?
It would have to be the “Stop Bickering and Just Love Everybody” spray.
How old are your children and what are you loving about your mealtimes with them at this stage?
They are 12 and 8. At this stage, I love that they can help with all aspects of the meal. Each can make scrambled eggs on their own for our breakfast. Andy likes to make no-bake cookies (he calls them “monkey meat”) and Carolyn is good at offering to help.
Nikki Rogers lives in South America with her husband, Dan, and their two children. She keeps busy cooking most things from scratch and enjoys being a homeschooling mom.
* * * * * * * *
Reminder: In September I will be giving away two square table runners that I bought in Turkey. You and a friend could be the winners! Watch for details next Wednesday!