We were sitting at church on Sunday a while back and one of the speakers said something about a statistic that kids who have family dinner together are more likely to perform well on the ACT.

Grace and I caught each other’s big eyes at that statement, since she’s working hard preparing for the ACT right about now.  And at that point she was working so dang hard at two different jobs.  We scarcely got to see her at dinner.  And we are trying to figure out a balance because I’m feeling like my time with that girl is slipping way too quickly out of my fingers.

(Plus, she wants to do well on the ACT so family dinner better be a priority, right??)

We had such a good conversation, just Dave, Grace and I the other night, all sitting on the kitchen counter, talking through her new personal finance class and her jobs and her options and her life.  We talked about how different everyone’s opportunities are and she talked about how grateful she is for hers, with jobs and internships and HEFY, etc.  She was still working at Old Navy at that point (she just quit a couple weeks ago) and is also doing this door-to-door political surveying thing.  She’s learning a lot as she tries to juggle it all, but man, we’re hoping to see this girl of ours a little more around here!  Missing her!

So that week, she got permission to leave work early and we had dinner, all five of us.

I had to take a picture because although we still do set the table almost every night for dinner, sometimes it’s just me and Dave and Lucy (Claire is at volleyball a LOT of nights).  And I wanted to take a pic of that crusty bread I remembered to mix up the night before that is so yummy (recipe back HERE).

Here we are when I called everyone back after we were done because I forgot to document that we were ALL there.

And they were pleased about that as you can tell…

…and then they decided it wasn’t so horrible to stand there for one second after all…

There’s no doubt about it: senior year is pretty darn fun. 

And we’re so happy that it is!  But we are working to find that balance because it’s so easy in today’s day and age to let life take over and smoosh family dinner right out into oblivion.

We are fighting to keep that tradition strong in our shrinking family because I agree with that speaker in church.  Not only will it help on that ACT test coming up (we hope!) but there’s nothing like having TIME to sit down together, talk about “happies” and “sads,” reconnect in this busy world, cell phones tucked safely in their charging drawer, and BE a family.

In a way, having family dinner is like sending up pure appreciation to God that we have each other.  And I can’t thank Him enough for these people that I call my own.


  1. I couldn't agree more about the importance of family dinner. My oldest is a sophomore, and I can see how rapidly his days are filling up the further into high school he gets. And I know it will change again in January when he turns 16. xo

  2. Family dinner is SO important! We have found that sometimes our schedule doesn't allow for a family dinner. When that happens, it's usually one or two of us that has to eat early or late, so what we will do is still sit at the table with whomever is eating at that off time. Sure maybe it's 8:00 and our son is just getting home from practice and sitting down to eat. At least we sit together for a bit to catch up on our days. Rethinking what a traditional "family dinner" looks like to us has put connecting still at the forefront. Alternatively, I do sit with each of my kids every morning for breakfast. Everyone is leaving at different times, but I like to touch base with them in the AM before we all go off to school and work.

  3. I work very hard to eat together as a family and as my kids get older and with my husband's work schedule it isn't very easy. I would say we get about 5 days a week.
    I try very hard to be flexible with the time and eat when the majority can be there. Dinner is sometimes at 5:00 or sometimes they get a snack and dinner isn't until 7:30-8:00.
    I also try to sit down with whoever is eating at a separate time.

    1. Speaking as someone who did ALL the activities and the sister of athlete siblings, I would say that is more about mid-season exhaustion and less about someone's countenance. Not trying to speak for Shawni. Just saying, I have been there and it is usually just tiring.

  4. It’s the natural rhythm of life. They are home less and less so it’s easier to let them go off into the world and graduate. When you are lucky.

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