Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday Menu Plan

Monday: Egg Salad Sandwiches and chips

Tuesday: Ham & Bean Soup with cornbread

Wednesday: Spaghetti & garlic bread

Thursday: Birthday Dinner *It will be mexican her favorite* Cake & Ice Cream

Friday: Teriyaki Burgers, salad, & chips

Saturday: Taco Salad

Your Manners Matter - Part 2
Last week, I shared that the foundation of all etiquette is kindness. Here are three simple ways I have used my preparation of a meal to teach proper etiquette as a host/hostees to my children. I started when my oldest daughter was young. It has never been rigid, but something that fits in with our lifestyle and family.

  1. Setting your table - The simplest part of your preparation is to provide your guests with the tools they need to comfortably dine with you. (Remember proper etiquette has to do with others) Whether you are having guests for supper or not, setting the table or placing the table utensils at appropriate locations provides an inviting atmosphere to all who are coming to your table. At a very early age your children can begin setting the table. This is a great time to talk about serving others and preparing a place for them to come and feel special. I have one of my children help me each evening not only with the setting of the table but also depending on their age, I talk about ways we can make others feel welcome including our family members. For example, if Daddy has a special glass encourage your child to look for it and place it at his place. Even If I am serving from the stove, utensils, cups and other items can be neatly placed on the table.
  2. Simply Prepare - Simply preparing things ahead of time and planning can free us to be more attentive to others. This is a skill that will make things much smoother when hosting others. Allowing your children to participate in some of the preparations provides the opportunity for them to see what is required in serving others. Talk to your children about how we can ask the Lord to teach us other ways that we can honor our family and guests. With my children, I will walk through all the things that are needed at the table or the serving area so that we can remain at the table during the meal and enjoy our time together.
  3. Prepare to lavishly love - The obligation for following the rules of etiquette belongs to those who serve as host and hostess. In the dominion of our own homes we have the awesome privilege and Biblical mandate to represent Jesus Christ to those who walk through our doors. If your children are very young and the thought of entertaining guests just does not seem realistic, (which for many years, I was in this place ) first begin with your own family. By having one of your children work with you in the kitchen, you are teaching him/her to be the host/hostess. Next, start by inviting grandparents or other friends or family members who understand the season you are in with young children. Often times there is not enough seating at the table in our homes for those we may chose to invite, but we can still teach our children about showing kindness to those who have come to our home even if it means they are sitting in the living room or other designated places. Start simple and small, maybe just invite someone for dessert. Our home provides the perfect environment for practicing hospitality. We just need to give our children the opportunity to practice it.

Practice hospitality to one another (those of the household of faith). [Be hospitable, be a lover of strangers, with brotherly affection for the unknown guests, the foreigners, the poor, and all others who come your way who are of Christ's body.] And [in each instance] do it ungrudgingly (cordially and graciously, without complaining but as representing Him).

1 Peter 4:9 (AB)

This by no means is an exhaustive list. But please remember, the most important thing in teaching our children manners or etiquette is to teach people are more important than protocol.

Next week I will share some of the specific areas concerning proper table conduct that we have found useful with our children and have provided for enjoyment while we are at the table.

For more great menu plans go to I'm an Organizing Junkie


Praise and Coffee said...

Thanks Chris for the sweet post.
It's not an easy time right now, but if you read my post you see that I'm pressing on. God is faithful.

Did you move away? We are still in the same town and that makes it seem even more difficult.

Unknown said...

Thanks Chris for your post on etiquette.
Yummy menu plan.

Annie said...

Your menu looks great!
♥ Annie
My Life as Annie!

Kim said...

Your menu looks good!

I love the manners section,too.


Katherine@Raising Five said...

Love this, Chris. I'll be using all of our eggs tomorrow!

My kids always surprise me at the parts of ettiquette they remember (just when I'm thinking I'm a failure!) when we have guests - serving and offering to get a refill, for example. Having meals together is such an ongoing teaching tool I can't imagine living without it!! Thanks so much for sharing this.

Linda said...

Those are such wonderful ideas - so beautifully expressed Chris. As I was reading I was reminded of the book by Karen Mains about hospitality. I read it many years ago and can't remember the title right now. She said many of the same things. These are simple ways to bless others and such wonderful ideas to pass on to our children.

Natalie Joy said...

I love setting the table and knowing that I have created a comfortable place for my family and friends to gather. Thanks for the ideas on using this as an opportunity to teach my kids as well.

Terri | Sugar Free Glow said...

Loved that post! I really appreciate your manners posts because it's such a huge pet peeve of mine. Your #2 (simply prepare) struck a chord with me. We entertain a lot and I often become too much of a Martha and the word "simple" just wouldn't be used to describe anything I do. lol

Your menu looks great! Thanks for your sweet comments yesterday!