Happy Laughter and
kind family voices in the home
will keep more kids
off the streets at night
than the strictest curfew. ~unknown

On my last post I invited anyone to share one nurturing thing they could do to show their family how treasured they are. Here are those wonderful thoughts and ideas:

  • Sparkling and Sweet Katie from Harrington House said “Something I have been working on lately is creating more meals at home, so that we are actually at home instead of out and about. Every afternoon, I email my husband the dinner menu for that day. Kinda silly, but we have fun with it! On another note…I got a new blanket for the bed…one that my husband has wanted for a long time (it’s one of those velour-type blankets – he loves ’em), so I am going to surprise him with that today! hehe :o)”
  • Cute as a button Kim, said “Just wanted to share one of the small things I am doing to bless my family. My college sons are coming home today for a short visit. While I know they are enjoying living on their own, I also know that they miss home cooked meals. Sooo, I am setting a nice table , burning a fragrant candle, fixing their favorite dinner and to top it off I am making your “Dreamy Creamy Brown Sugar Crunch Apple Pie”. Can’t wait to taste it as it looks delicious!”
  • Way too adorable Sandy, from 4 Reluctant Entertainers said “Last night we had a fun dinner party with great friends – even in the coldness of winter, it was warm and cozy in our home. Today there is no school so when my teen boys wake up, along with their 3 friends, I will make them my Mom’s traditional French toast :)Couldn’t agree with you more – about the family and importance of our home.
  • Gorgeous Southern Belle Rhoda from Southern Hospitality shared “I totally agree too on creating homes of haven and keeping out the world from our nests. We have to work to do that these days & it’s not always easy. I admire other homemakers like myself who want to do that for God’s glory. I think cooking a meal every night is one way I keep the home fires burning. That’s important to my hubby and me.

Thank you girls for sharing! It’s interesting that one of the most significant ways we can bless our family is at the dinner table. In Time magazine it states “Studies show that the more often families eat together, the less likely kids are to smoke, drink, do drugs, get depressed, develop eating disorders and consider suicide, and more likely they are to do well in school, eat their vegetables, learn big words and know which fork to use.” Robin Fox, an anthropologist who teaches at Rutgers University in New Jersey, about the importance of the family meal ” If it were just about food, we would squirt it into their mouths with a tube. A meal is about civilizing children. It’s about teaching them to be a member of their culture.”

I believe the family meal is needed for relationships to bond, a connection to be made, a sense of belonging to be established. It is critical to remember though, in order to reap the benefits of dinner time, it needs to be pleasant and enjoyable, not only for good digestion but for a feeling of emotional safety and availability. It’s not the time to discipline the kids about their messy room. Use that time to praise your kids and talk about their day.

I do understand how hard it is in our busy life to get everyone together for a family meal, especially with kids in school activities ( football, soccer, dance, etc, trust me, I know from experience with 2 boys and 2 girls!) but it really needs to be a priority at least a few times a week if you want to preserve your family, even if that means cutting an activity out.

Up until three years ago, all of my kids were living at home, and we had dinner at the table at least four times a week. I remember my son J.J. told me, his friend asked him “Does your family have dinner together often?” and when J.J. told him yes, he said “wow, that must be nice.” His friend lived with his mom, but usually ate dinner by himself in front of the T.V.

It does not matter what meal you prepare…. hey, it could be a hot bowl of Campbell’s Soup and a BLT sandwich, just as long as you have a few nights a week to gather around the table and get to know your kids.

It’s Question and Answer Time!
Also, in my last post, I invited any question on any subject. Here are the answers!

  1. What are the color of your walls? Burnt Almond-Home Depot-Behr Paint
  2. Where do you find the little pies and written signs that you display on or near your little toy stove? The little pies are actually candles under the top of the pie and I got them at Hallmark a few years ago. I also found a cherry pie timer (not shown in this picture) on Ebay. The signs in my home are from craft shows. The apple pie sign on the stove I think is from Primatives By Kathy.
  3. Is there any chance you will be sharing some Italian recipes? Yes, in a future post!
  4. Will you be sharing pie recipes? Of course! Pie is what I do. Keep checking back!
  5. What made you choose Missouri as your relocation destination?

It’s a bit of a long story so I will try to cut to the chase! Back in the early 1990’s we came to Branson Missouri on vacation and fell in love with it. I remember being at Silver Dollar City, an 1800’s theme park….it was a glorious autumn day, I was eating crisp apple slices with warm Carmel dip (food is always an important memory maker!)…under ancient trees blazing with fall color…bluegrass gospel music danced in the air…friendly folks cookin‘ up fried potatoes and onions in enormous black cast iron pans on an open campfire…it was a step back in time…and I looked at my husband and said “wouldn’t this be a wonderful place to raise our kids?” Little did I know that within a year we would be making plans to move there.

My husband and his dad built homes in California, but during that time period the housing market had gone flat. We were looking at the possibility of building in Southwest Missouri. But business plans changed one weekend when my husband and his father flew out to Branson to scope out some opportunities when I got the call from Gary…it went something like this…

“Hi hon, well, guess what we bought?”

Ummm…matching Missouri sweatshirts?”

“Close! A Music Theater and a Motel.”

“You bought what???”

So began our adventures in show business!

For three years we lived in Branson and ran the Great American Wild Wild West Show, complete with singing and dancing cowboys and cowgirls …..and a horse named Buckshot. Then in the winter of 1998 I found out I was expecting baby #4 at 41 years of age, and the housing market was booming again in California. Gary’s dad encouraged us to move back to take advantage of the upswing in the market. It was a bittersweet decision, we loved Branson, but we also missed our extended families. We sold the Theater and moved back to Cali.

It turned out to be a God-Thing because Gary’s dad / best friend died of cancer three years later. He had three years working side by side with his father that he would have missed if we had stayed in Branson.

But the story does not end there…almost every year since we moved back, we would vacation during the 4th of July in Branson, and each time the beauty would take our breath away….trees were greener here….fireflies twinkled in the bushes….katydids and cicadas buzzed their summer song…. and the 1950’s small town feeling of this magical place, was so charming we would always say “and…..why aren’t we living here?”.

But the timing was not right until last summer. We had to wait until my three oldest kids graduated High School, got through College and get married. (J.J. is still in College, not married yet)

We built our home and one of my favorite things to do is sit on my rocking chair on the front porch during a warm summer evening watching the sunset, eating a slice of ice-cold lemon pie with a dollop of fresh whipped cream.

Can’t wait until summer!

Well, I hope I answered all of your questions! If I missed one, feel free to ask again!

Thanks for stopping by for pie!



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