Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Place They Want to Come Home To

Billy Graham with His Four Children and Wife, Sitting Down for a Family Supper at Home

* Billy Graham with his wife and children at the supper table *

The kitchen is the center of the home. When guests come by, a Homemaker always offers a refreshment - food or drink. Sometimes a guest will decline. This is when the Homemaker begins to coax:

"I just baked an apple pie and we have vanilla ice cream to go with it. Wouldn't you like some?

There is a sparkle in the eyes of the guest. They enjoy the delightful treat and have a pleasant visit.

This is the same with our husband and children. They love to hear Mother say, "Can I make you something special to eat?"

This is what I was thinking about last night. It was 4:30 in the afternoon and I didn't know what I was going to make for supper. I wanted everyone to have a lovely evening. I wanted supper to be a family event. I wanted to make sure they always wanted to come home.

So I began working on the environment. I put on my apron and turned on soothing Classical music to inspire me. Here is what I did:

1. I cleared off and washed the kitchen table. (The children had been playing cards earlier.)
2. I placed a vanilla scented candle in the center and then lit it.

I still didn't know what was for supper.

3. I pulled some burger out of the freezer to begin to defrost.
4. I set the table. I used Styrofoam (paper) plates. I put out napkins and forks. I put a glass at every plate.
5. I went in the kitchen and prepared carrot sticks. Then I sliced up some Cracker Barrel Cheddar Cheese and placed these on a small serving plate. Both items were carefully and artfully placed on the table.
6. I found the salt and pepper shakers and put them on the table.

I still didn't know what was for supper.

7. I made a large batch of iced tea and put this in the fridge to chill.
8. I saw one of the children walk through, take some cheese, smile, and then run off.
9. I started to fry up the burger. I added a bit of water to the pan to slow down the cooking, giving it more time to defrost and to prevent burning.

I knew what was for supper.

10. I started to boil water to make egg noodles.
11. I pulled out bread crumbs, garlic powder, vegetable oil, cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Everything would be mixed up together to make a sort of homemade hamburger helper.
12. I warmed English muffins in the toaster oven and then buttered and sliced them in half. These were laid out artfully on a serving plate.

When the food was all finished, I placed it on the table with serving spoons. I called the children for supper. As they sat down, I said:

"Use your best table manners."

I listened as the children talked and laughed while helping themselves to food. When someone began to talk about something I didn't like, I would say, "Not of general interest!" (This lovely phrase is from the 1940's book, "Cheaper by the Dozen" by the Gilbreth family.) This helps keep the conversation appropriate and interesting for everyone.

After Amy (15) finished eating, she lingered at the table. She was smiling and enjoying our company. She did not run off. I was delighted and I noticed. It was a pleasant meal.

This is the kind of place they will want to come home to. It takes effort to create a pleasant environment for the family. But in the process, I am rewarded beyond measure.

Mrs. White

Inspired by the Old Days - The Richest Man in Walnut Grove

A Special Morning Treat - A Restaurant Style Breakfast at Home.

A Mother's Commitment - Family Life at Home.

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Heather said...

What an ispiring post. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

I have been using styrofoam lately as our DW is broken and we have strayed from really "sitting down" to dinner becuase of it. I think we will definitely try for the sit down dinner atmosphere tonight.

I love the," Not of general interest," quote. I need to reread that book. It has been years.

Blessings to you,


Laura {{* *}} said...

After 26 years of family life,
with three still at home,
this has always been my heart
(but requires diligence,
hasn't always been the scene at mealtime)

The layout that describes how your hands
went about the method
of your heart's leading
is priceless.

With Christ in me
I can do this.

{{* *}}

Donna @ The House on the Corner said...

So, so sweet!! I loved this post!

The Momma Chronicles said...

Love it!

One of the most important factors of encouraging our daughters to remain with us until marriage - and to come home so we can take care of them if, God forbid, the unthinkable happens (daughter-in-law too!) - will be to make sure our home is a place they WANT to come to. Home should be a place they long to visit, not long to escape.

Thank you for the reminder about how every part of our day as mothers should be about creating that environment.

I sure appreciate you and your blog!

Suzanne said...

It is so true that if we create a peaceful and comforting environment everyone will want to pull up a chair and linger:-) YOu did a great job!

MamaAnt said...

What a lovely word picture of your making dinner special.
Thank you.

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