June 8th - The Dining Room

Thursday, June 8, 2017

"When we are authentic
when we keep our spaces simple,
simply beautiful living takes place."

Start Quote
We all long to feel that our presence is welcome in the world.

Usually we think of this only when we're invited 
into the homes of others.

But I've come to believe that what we want and need most of all 
is to experience a sense of welcome in our own homes...

[The dining room table] is the hub of our family life.

From its sturdy center, 
soulful spokes of food, drink, 
conversation, conviviality, 
tradition, and memory sprout, 
finding outward expression in our daily round.

Much more than eating takes place here.

Newspapers are read, 
mail is sorted, 
conversations are started, 
homework is completed, 
bills are paid, 
cakes are iced, 
income tax is computed, 
flowers are arranged, 
games are played, 
confidences are shared, 
family and friends are gathered. 

Here...rites of passage are commemorated, 
holidays are celebrated, 
daily grace is offered, 
minds, bodies, and spirits are nourished...

It's very fashionable at the moment to recommend 
that families don't really need the separate dining rooms 
so revered by our parents and grandparents 
because we lead such different lives today. 

[But] progress comes at a price...

Trendsetters tell us to let the real demands of our lives 
take precedence over an ideal that's only an illusion...

Our dining room is an all-purpose room;
it anchors us in the morning, in the evening, and in between.

The passionate reality of this room
-the simple beautiful living that takes place here every day-
invokes reverence 
and begs for preservation.
End Quote

"The Real is the sole foundation of the Ideal."


All that from a dining room?

Well, yeah.

In our new home, the living room leads into the kitchen, 
and then the kitchen into a small family room. 

I don't know where they wanted us to put a dining room table, 
because there was no way we were going to be able 
to fit any kind of table in the kitchen. 

And going through the kitchen to get to a small family room,
what in the world is that? That just interrupts the flow of things. 

So we decided to make the small family room into a dining room. 
We put up a china cabinet, 
put the leafs in the beautiful table 
handed down from Robbie's grandparents 
so we could put all six chairs at the table, 
and put shelves into the empty holes in the walls 
for a makeshift pantry. 

We also found an island to put in the middle of the kitchen, 
where I can only assume they wanted us to put the dining table. 

The plans: 

Make the makeshift pantry into an actual full blown pantry.
Take out everything that isn't essential so we can 
start from the bones, and really make something awesome.


Into something like this
But like two of these.

The command center. 
I want to rip out the fire place, and make a command center. 
A place for everything to go for the next 15 years or so of school.

What it looks like now

Something along the lines of what I want it to be

With magnetic chalkboard and cork board and hooks for backpacks
 and a rail with s hooks and buckets and folders! 

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

And of course my dining room now

I am thinking of continuing the blue accents 
I have in the living room into the kitchen. 
Have a blue tile backsplash above the granite counters, 
maybe a blue color paint on the walls, 
blue or white pleather on the seats and 
paint the top of the table or the table legs white? 
Paint the chairs white and have blue covers?
 Or vice versa? 
That way there isn't so much wood in the room.

And a chandelier over the table 
and some photos on each side of the china cabinet. 

I have been dreaming about something like this

But I don't know....the kitchen is a long ways away...

My very favorite dining room that I've ever dined in?

My aunt and uncle's beach house dining room.

That might be partly because of the location, 
but also the sea shells, the plants, the driftwood, the ocean, 
the windows and ledges completely surrounding the room...

My second favorite is my mom's. 
You sit at her table and watch the sunrise over the mountains through all those windows as you eat breakfast. It's pretty amazing.

Check out these websites
Whatever happened to the family meal? 
7 Reasons to eat family dinner together 
The Family Dinner Project 
9 scientifically proven reasons to eat dinner as a family  
Spiritually Strong Homes 

Gratitude Journal

1) Not as bad a day as the day before. The kids woke up and just played nicely. No hitting, kicking, screaming, yelling...just happy playing. 

2) Splash pads and McDonalds. After a long day, and Robbie working late, I didn't want to cook...the kids ate all their food, and played from 5-7. 

3) Gardening. I received some good advice about how to take better care of my roses, water every other day and give them 2 gallons instead of one gallon every day. My flowers were blooming, but were being fried. No color, no scent. The kids looked for bugs while I cleared off every dead leaf and flower. We found a leaf bug that was eating one of the bushes, and we caught it in a bucket and watched it for awhile. The kids helped me put all the dead stuff in paper bags so we could put it in the compost. 

4) These days Sarah writes about the home. I am loving them. Totally opening my eyes, helping me see how important my home is. 

5) Tomorrow is friday!