Eating Dinner Together

 It's always been important to us as a family.  Breakfast is a staggered affair (as each family member wakes up on their own)and lunch is eating leftovers or sandwiches when your hungry.  But dinner has always been a meal to eat together.

When all the children were younger, Tim worked shift work and sometimes our main meal together was at lunchtime.  I treated it just like dinner time - it was our main meal for the day and I cooked, and we set a nice table.

More recently, since Rachel started working and Tim started his own business, both last year, having a meal together has gotten more challenging.  Rachel is mostly not here at dinner time, and sometimes Tim doesn't get home until late.  Sometimes we wait for him, like we did last night though that means we are eating at 7:30 pm.  

Still we do our best to have this time together.  When Kayleigh and Kamryn lived here, and both Lindsay and Emma were still at home, we often had twelve to fifteen people at our dinner table every night!  That was only three years ago!  Dynamics change in a family.  Lindsay and Joseph got married, Emma went to SC for school, Nate and Kayleigh moved to their own place nearby, they got married, our friend Denny got a job driving a truck and he is not usually here anymore, my parents don't always stay for dinner on Tuesdays.

Sometimes it is only four of us at the table like,  last night, but we still set the table, and had a meal together.  It's important that the younger children still have this time with us as a family.  We talk about everyone's day, the kids tell Tim what they learned about during our school time, he might share something he read in the Bible that morning.  There is often laughter at our table.

Changes can be hard but they are inevitable, so it's best to embrace them.  Once we got used to the smaller group for dinner, I realized that I had more freedom in what we had for meals.  Its inexpensive to order a pizza now, and the kids love it when we decide that we will all do 'dinner theater' and watch a movie together while we eat.

No matter what we end up doing for dinner, we try to use that time to connect with each other and build bonds as a family.  In fact the kids are so used to us eating together, that when Tim and I are going out for a business dinner or something, the kids get so excited to do what they want for dinner that night!

Tim and I are getting eased into the empty nest.  We are already getting practice as during the summer the kids are all gone to Ultimate Frisbee on Wednesdays.  We've made that our date night.

What about you? Has having a meal together been an important thing in your family life?  If you are empty nester's now, do you still sit down together for a meal?  Still have date nights?


  1. Well, no, but it is good and wonderful that you do! Your table is so pretty and homey and I can imagine all the conversations around it over delicious meals. I know some who are empty nesters who still plan a weekly or monthly meal together. My own mother was one who always did that and those times together are remembered fondly.

  2. Wow!Beautiful plate with good combination of color in the design...

  3. Family time is the most important time for me. Now that my 3 girls are married with children of their own, it's just hubby and me. We sometimes eat at the table together and other times we take our plate to the living room and watch TV. We eat out often. Thanksgiving is coming up and we all normally gather at our house.

  4. Family meals were always important to us too. It was difficult when we became empty-nesters but then we also got very busy at the same time because we took a church down in the country. I love your Friendly Village dishes. I have some pieces too. They are such a charming pattern of days gone by. Friday nights are our date nights. We don't always go out but we make sure we spend the evening together and we always have dinner out on Sundays after church. Lovely post, Deanna, and have a wonderful day.


  5. ALways. We always dine together...since we were tiny. Tradition, family, it's what happiness is. I love your photos today Deanna....heartwarming!

  6. Yes, family dinnertime has always been important in our home! It is around the table that bonds are formed and values are communicated and relationship is shared! Of course, we have four around our table every evening, but we also have eighteen around the table on most Sundays, extending the "family dinner" to include our adult children and their families. I am so grateful for the gathering of family!

  7. You are right, families and traditions evolve and change with needs over the years. And like you, I believe it's important to spend time together as a family, whether a meal, game night, or a regular gathering somewhere. Family is important, and it must be nurtured. Great post!

  8. So thankful to be back in the habit of eating more meals at home AND at the table. Since having my father move in with us a little over a week ago, meals around the table have been some of my favorite times. He eats a full breakfast. Gary & I only coffee (long story), but we share his company and have our family devotions with him before moving into our day. Lunch and dinner we eat together, and the evening meal is usually followed by some extended game time after I clear the table...

  9. I grew up with family dinners and so did our children.
    Now, it's just the two of us and yes, we still have a sit down dinner.

  10. When my children were still here, we did all eat dinner together. Even during the years my late husband was on dialysis and we didn't get home until later, we would still eat dinner together (it helped that my two daughters took turns cooking those nights). Now that I'm a widow and my eldest daughter still lives with me (still waiting for God to send her a husband!), we try to eat dinner together, even if it's just leftovers. There's something special about sharing a meal.

  11. Yes, yes … I grew up with family dinner every night, as did our children, and yes, we still always eat dinner together at the table. I think my most cherished memories of childhood are those times around the table together. There was always a delicious meal, good conversation, family devotions, and then my dad would listen to the 15 minute news program on the radio. "They say" that kids that grow up with a family dinner are smarter or do better or some statistic like that, and I believe it.

  12. Yes, family sit down dinners. When our son got married, we did the Sunday afternoon dinner after church together. Now, we've all moved to different States, so the daily/weekly dinner has changed, but my husband and I still have our own dinner daily together, with all of the dishes and food in pretty bowls (not just in pots and pans). That also helps me with my obsession for collecting bowls and dinnerware! We have "date night" on Fridays, sometimes going out to eat.


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