Thursday, April 30, 2015

Keeping Memories--16 Photos You Must Take

Years ago our nephew asked his mom if he could watch the "Happy Birthday" video. It took her a moment to realize that was the video of his cousins who lived in South America. 



Apparently most of the times we remembered to take videos was birthday parties. When we got a long enough segment we sent it up to the grandparents who shared it with other family members. A large part of the video was made up of people singing happy birthday to one or the other member of the family!

What the grandparents would really love to have seen would have been everyday life. And that's what we'd like to be able to look back at in photos, too.

Here's a list of 15 photos you should take every year of every child:

1. Your child sleeping -- aren't they angels?

2. Eating breakfast -- whatever you normally do.

3. Leaving for school -- not "First Day of..." but a regular day in t-shirt and jeans dragging that old book bag or riding the skateboard.



4. In the classroom -- get permission from the teacher to take a photo of the class while she's teaching; yes, you will be that Mom (or Dad), but everyone will be happy for that picture later.

5. With their best friends -- go ahead and pose them together, but try to catch them in a candid gathering too. My best friend and I used to often come home and sit on snack stools at the kitchen counter and giggle our way through cookies and milk. That would have been a great picture memory to keep!

6. Playing their favorite game -- whether that's on a screen or around a board.

7. Practice at their sport -- don't just photograph the event and (hopefully) the trophy, get some pictures of the everyday practices.

8. Everyone in the car -- do a selfie from the front seat of everyone in their seats as you go to the multitude of errands, lessons, practices, and orthodontist appointments.



9. Doing their homework -- do they sprawl on the floor, sit up in bed, work at the kitchen table? However they do it, take a picture to remember that.

10. In their favorite outfit -- having trouble getting them to wear something besides that t-shirt from camp and their favorite, now too small, jeans with the holes? Keep photographic evidence. (Actually I'm rather glad my mom didn't keep a picture of the purple and white striped jeans shorts I wore all summer one year with purple knee socks!)

11. Practicing their music -- are they learning the violin? piano? recorder? It's worth remembering.

12. Doing their chores -- I wish I had pictures of my kids washing the dishes, setting the table, emptying the trash. They each have their own style and it would be fun to remember.

13. Playing -- Hopefully your kids play creatively. Sneak up on them and take a picture. Include friends if possible.

14. Family dinner -- on a regular day when it's just fish sticks and frozen mixed veggies.



15. Family fun -- what do you do together as a family? Go to the park? Ride bikes? Take a walk? Eat outside? Play board games? Whatever it is, record it with a picture!

16. Bedtime routine -- do you read stories, sing songs, holler goodnight? My grandkids have a fun routine of singing with Mommy and Daddy, I hope my photographer son gets pictures of that time.

You'll never be sorry for these visible reminders of family life. If you print out the photos or make a photo book, you can get them out and talk about them when they are grown up and you are all reminiscing. I promise, some day you will do that! We do.


Tell me what other pictures you would include!


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Do you have a meal to tell us about? 
Write me and let me know. 
I'd love to share it with my readers.

aroundthetableblog(at)gmail(dot)com


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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Why You SHOULD Have Internet at Dinner

Be honest now. How many of you have played the game "Can We Guess Your Level of Education?" 

I'll be truthful, I did.

And I got PhD level! 

Even though I only have a bachelor's degree.

Okay, I think the quiz was designed to make you feel good about yourself, but there were a lot of questions on there that were topics around our table over the years, either when I was a child or when I was raising children.


When I was growing up and when our children were young, whenever a topic we had a question about came up, we walked to the bookshelf and chose the appropriate World Book encyclopedia to look it up.

But then came Google.

At some point during our children's upbringing we stopped lugging books to the table and ran to the desktop computer to "Google" whatever information we were interested in, reading loudly from the other room so everyone could hear.

We no longer have to shout.

If it's not a phone it's a tablet that can answer our questions. And I don't think it's all bad. 

Don't get me wrong; I still think there should be strict rules about phones, computers, and tablets at the table. Unless it is very important (and that is defined by the parents) no one should be holding an electronic conversation with someone while at the table. But using the Internet to learn, that can be useful. 

Everything in moderation.

We have also used the Internet to "eat" with people across the country or around the world. Our daughter lives in Germany so we have brought her to the table with us via the wonders of the Internet. It's fun!

Whether you are finding out where in the world a place you heard about is or are discussing current events the Internet can be a help.

Just don't let it be an interruption to your family time around the table.







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Thursday, April 9, 2015

If It's Monday, It Must Be Breakfast for Dinner!

When I sit down to make a menu for a week, a lot of it depends on what I feel like eating at the moment I'm writing the menu. Sometimes it depends on who is coming, what's in season, what events are included, but mostly just what I can think of that sounds good.



Is there a better way?

One of my daughters-in-law has three small children three and under, so there's not a lot of time to think about planning meals and especially not time to run to the grocery store for forgotten items, so she has come up with a weekly meal plan.

It works like this:
Monday--Breakfast for dinner
Tuesday--a familiar recipe 
Wednesday--something new 
Thursday--a favorite 
Friday-- appetizers 
Saturday--Random  
Sunday--Wing it 

Abby has a rationale for each day being what it is as well. On Monday she needs to get to her Bible study, so she wants a meal that's quick to put together. 


Tuesdays her husband gets home late from work so she wants something that she knows how to put together even with three little kids at her feet. 

Like all of us, she has a whole Pinterest board of recipes to try. My son is there to entertain the kids on Wednesdays, so she tries something new that night. 

After the children have tried something new, they get an old favorite on Thursday, well they all do. We all have meals we enjoy repeating often.


Friday night is "date night". When you are a couple with a young family "dates" usually mean staying home, it's easier and  cheaper! So they feed the kids early and then have fun appetizers together while they play a game or watch a movie.

Sometimes on Saturday there's a plan she follows and sometimes it's what's-left-from-the-week-that-I-can-put-together?

Sunday night is AWANA night for their "Cubby" so often she gets a PB&J "lunch" to eat on the way home. Even that's a special treat for someone who usually gets to eat at a table with the family!


Abby even has all her recipes on Pinterest set up in these categories so she only needs to go through each category and pick out a meal. She also very carefully goes through the recipe to make sure she has everything she needs or puts it on her grocery list.

This plan makes a lot of sense to me. I literally a-g-o-n-i-z-e over my menus at times. This system just seems to take the difficulty out of choosing.

How about you? 
How do you plan what menu you will have for the week
 or what to buy?




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Do you have a meal to tell us about? 
Write me and let me know. 
I'd love to share it with my readers.

aroundthetableblog(at)gmail(dot)com


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