Friday, August 10, 2012

Dinner Conversation

My kids love the Dinner Question Game. It's not really a game, but a box of questions that I bought before I ever had kids. We've hardly ever used it until this year, but it has become a family favorite.

Gavin is a conversation starter, in case you didn't know. When the places are finally set, food is on plates, when the trio of noise has pulled up to the table, and a hungry prayer of thanks is said, dad is always eager for the conversations to begin. It started tonight with Eli miserably complaining about the homemade mac and cheese and green beans that were in front of him, because apparently the boxed variety is much tastier. He chose not to eat it. Fine by me - as long as his ravenous belly doesn't wake him up at 6:00 a.m. ready to be filled. Gavin, ever the encourager and optimist, instead of engaging Eli in a discussion about his distaste for this lovely meal, used it as a conversation starter.

"It's ok if you don't like it right now. Can you think of something that you used to dislike eating that you really enjoy now that you're older?" It worked. He immediately got out of his "I don't want to eat this" grumpiness and enthusiastically started listing foods while munching on his green beans (something that used to literally make him gag).

As we usually do with these conversations, we go around the table and take turns getting each person's opinion so that no little person or little voice is left out or talked over. However, when we got to Ella, she was bored with this topic of food likes/dislikes and instead went and picked up the question box. No matter how simple or boring the question is from the box, Ella gets excited about it. I think there is a bit of mystery to it for her that makes her enjoy it so much. Or it may just be the fact that it comes from a cute little box instead of her dad who asks her questions all the time.

Question #1: If your house was on fire and you could only take one thing with you, what would it be?

Well, this question totally threw them off. "What? My house is on fire? One thing?" Their answers reveal so much about their little minds, personalities and development at each age.
Emmie: "Flowers. And my Tangled flip flops." Makes perfect sense.

Ella: "I would just take a hose so that I could spray it on the fire." Clever. But if you can't take the hose, you have to take something that is important to you, that belongs to you. "OH! Then I would take my lovable Simba!" What if you couldn't get Simba because he's already out? What favorite item would you take? (I have no idea why we kept asking her for different answers when she clearly has already given us two very good answers).

Before Ella could try to answer, Emmie broke into tears since she had concluded from our interrogation of Ella that Simba was going to be left in the fire. I thought she didn't even like him! Apparently her attitude toward him has all been a sham, and she cares very deeply for him. I am touched. And we assured her that we would never leave Simba in a house fire.

Eli's analytical mind was tortured by this question. "Only ONE thing? I DON'T KNOW!" So Eli passes. Next question.

Question #2: If you could spend a day with a famous person, who would it be and what would you do?

Emmie: "Nana! We would sit and pet Bluebell all the time." Done! Check that one off your list! What an accomplishment in your little life.

Ella: "Pop! We would go to the fair or the circus all day!" Again - Check! Move on to the next big dream in life. (Am I being too sarcastic with their sweet little minds?)

Eli: Said with such certainty and enthusiasm. "Roger Federer. We would play tennis all day."

A little peek into my sweet kids' minds. I love the way they work.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


Either race car driving or pod racer driving. Either way, they were racing.

Today I am thankful for the creative genius in the heads of my kids. We spend a whole lot of time outside of the house running errands, playing tennis, seeing various family members, going to church, friends' houses, etc., etc., etc. But, as a homeschool family, we also spend a good amount of time at home doing chores, reading, writing and being "bored" with down-time.

I love the "I'm bored" state that the kids get to. It's in this state of boredom where their true creativity and thoughtfulness comes shining through. It only takes about five minutes of realizing they have "nothing to do" before they realize this actually isn't true. The melancholy voices and glum faces are quickly faced with a mom demanding a list of things they are thankful for. There is an amazing transformation that occurs with this practice. Their selfish boredom gives way to thankful creativity, which in turn makes this mom very thankful!