Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rhythm in Our Home: Mealtime Blessings

Today, I thought I would focus on our mealtime blessings and rhythm. I think meals may be one of the best and easiest places to start incorporating rhythm in home life. Most of us already have a mealtime rhythm started without even realizing it.

Once I have our meal prepared, I begin to set the table. I try my hardest not to rush it and to do it slowly and deliberately.
I sing the song below while I am doing this to let the girls know it's time to come and eat:

Let's set the table, soon we shall eat
Let's set the table, all nice and neat
The place mats go in each place
With a napkin for each one
The fork goes here, the knife goes there
The spoon goes here, and is promise of good things to come
The glasses are filled, the plates are ready
So we serve our food and quietly sit
Then we light our candle and sing our thanks and love

I would like to change this up a little bit in the near future to maybe have them help me with setting the table. I am still figuring that out. Right now it's a bit sporadic. If they happen to be in the kitchen with me they will sometimes help out while singing the song with me, but more than often they are playing in another room at that point and come just in time to eat.

Once we are all at the table and our food and drinks are served, we light our mealtime candle then we sing something K started for us (which I love because it's nice to have our children wanting to participate and add on to our family traditions, shouldn't it always be that way?!):

Napkins in our laps

We place our napkins in our laps (well, the girls do while I try to but Baby L is usually in my lap and steals it to teeth on), fold our hands before us and then say our blessing.

We currently have two mealtime blessings, which may seem silly (it does to me) but I promise there is a good reason for it. We used to just have one blessing but that changed when K started kindergarten and C started her parent/child class. The girls loved their blessings they did in class so much they would want to do them at home, as well. We were fine with this until it started causing arguments at the table. The girls would literally try to sing different blessings over each other (now I understand Miss Elizabeth's rule of 'no singing at the table'!), getting louder and louder. Oh how it made my head spin. So we all compromised and decided on two blessings for our family. Although I should add that we do a different blessing at Advent time when light our Advent wreath at dinnertime. That is my girls (mine too!) absolute favorite one.

Our first blessing is a song we learned at school. We do this one at breakfast and lunch:

For trees so tall
And skies so blue
For friends and food
We thank you

It's pretty hard to describe how to sing a song or how to do hand movements in words alone so I thought I would have my girls show you. C was (obviously) distracted by me taping her (we don't normally tape them as we don't have a video camera, but Kevin's point and shoot can record 2 minute videos just not in the best quality), so this is not perfect but I decided to go with it anyways because it is a more accurate portrayal of our family life.

The second blessing is our original blessing. It is a simple verse we say at dinner time. We also use this one for when we are eating out. Kevin and I are a bit shy about singing and doing hand movements in public. *shrug*

Earth who gives to us this food
Sun who makes it ripe and good
Dear earth, dear sun by you we live
Our loving thanks to you we give
Blessings on our meal, our family,our friends and our world

After we have finished our meal, the girls ask to be excused from their seats and we start washing our dishes.

I hope I am not forgetting anything, I am typing this up later than usual while my body is saying Go to sleep! Oh and please remember - this is just our family rhythm and what works for us at the moment. This isn't meant to be hard and fast rules on how rhythm should go in everyone's homes.I just thought to share it because I receive quite a few e-mails asking about our home rhythm, and I also just wanted it documented for me to remember when they are older and on to another rhythm.

Thank you, everyone, for your responses to the post last week. I am so excited that you are willing to join in on this rhythm fun, and can not wait to see your posts! As promised, here is the linky list. If you have a (new or old) link you would like to share about your family rhythm, please enter it below so that we may all see. Then please link back here in your post. There is nothing like seeing what does or perhaps does not work rhythm-wise to motivate us all!
Thanks friends!

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