Monday, September 13, 2010

Family Proclamation Craft Link-up and Fun Family Dinners

I am happy to welcome Amy ~the creative heart and soul behind The Idea Room~ to our Family Proclamation Celebration today!  She has chosen to share some splendid ideas with us about making the most of family dinners!  

Near the end of her post, you'll have a chance to LINK UP your Family Proclamation-Inspired Crafts for this week's Craft Link-up!  Also, remember to check out the new party favors up for grabs this week!

Now here's Amy...

Hi! My name is Amy and you can normally find me over at The Idea Room. I am excited to be a part of this ongoing series based on The Family: A Proclamation to the World. I feel so strongly about this inspired work and how it can give us guidance for raising a righteous family in an ever changing world.

One of the main responsiblities of a Mother is to provide for the physical needs of her children...and mealtimes constitute a large part of our responsibility.

There have been numerous studies that suggest sitting down together as a family at dinner time is very beneficial and helps to strengthen families. There are several resources like here and here that give specific benefits that result from eating together as a family.


(My family Thanksgiving 2009)

This is something that I absolutely believe to be true. I really try to make sure that my family sits down and enjoy our meals together. Some days this is harder than others. But it is important to make this a number one priority.

Your meals do not need to be 3 course or really fancy. Sometimes we just eat something really simple, or on really busy days, I throw something in the crock pot and let it cook all day so all I have to do is set the table at dinner time. Even ordering take-out and sitting together at the table can count as a family dinner. It doesn't matter what, but that you are eating together.

We try to have dinner on the table at the same time each day. This works pretty well most nights. Sometimes we have to make adjustments due to a sport or school activity. The improtant thing is consistency.

We also have some dinner table rules where no distractions are allowed. For example...No answering the phone, watching TV or texting, reading, etc. Then we eat AND talk! We used to have each child take turns sharing with us what happened to them during the day, but then we started getting some of the same answers every night (do you know what I mean? :)!


Then for Christmas, my friend gave us a set of prepared questions for dinnertime duscussions. We keep them in a jar by the dinner table. Now, each night we take turns pulling out a question and talking about it. It has been so much fun. We have really expanded the things we talk about and are learning new things about each other we otherwise would not have learned.

Some examples of the questions we have already answered are:

What would you spend $100 dollars on today if you could?
What was your last dream that you remember?
What animal would you be and why?
What superhero power do you wish you could have and why?
What was your favorite present ever?
What icecream flavor would you invent?


The possiblilities are endless. All you need to do is come up with a list of questions and then be amazed at all the fun things you will get to learn about each other. Sometimes we can sit and talk about something for quite a while before anyone asks to be excused from the table. It really doesn't matter what the questions are...the point is to get you talking and listening to one another. Sometimes we answer more than one question and sometimes one question will spark a big discussion that lasts the whole time we are eating. It has been fun and relaxing and has taken some of the pressure off of some of our past dinnertime struggles.

Go ahead and give it a try. I really think this will be something you LOVE doing as a family.

Thanks Cocoa and Jocelyn for inviting me to take part in this beautiful series!

Thank you, Amy!  What a useful idea for upping the dinnertime fun-factor!!

Our guest bloggers have shared some pretty wonderful stuff with us so far, don't you think?

Now it is your turn to share!

For this weekly themed link-up party, we are looking for
Crafts, Creations, or Activities
inspired by The Family Proclamation.

They can be something like the dinnertime discussion jar shown above, or anything that you have created that illustrates some portion of the Family Proclamation or that celebrates or enhances FAMILY.  Tutorials would be extra nice or instructions so that others can do it too!

Please link up to a specific blog post about your craft/creation below...
then scroll down to see the party favors that you could win
by linking up, blogging, and commenting this week:

This link-up will go from TODAY through FRIDAY!
And remember that you can link-up at Chocolate On My Cranium too for more chances to win "party favors" this week!

I will announce the winners of the following prizes on Sunday!

Custom Family Tree for Kids - 8x10 print

a custom family tree for children
displaying four generations of family names

Para Siempre print, LDS Temple font
an 11x14 print of "Para Siempre" using LDS Temple Font
Description:  "Para Siempre", means "Forever". The font is made exclusively of LDS temple parts. 
This print can be personalized with your family name and established/sealing date." 

by Pseuzyn's Shop

LDS QUAD scripture cover PURPLE, BLACK and GREY

a quad Scripture Cover

a customizable Family Proclamation Photo Album
It includes words from the entire Proclamation...You just insert your own family photos!

I BELONG handstamped baptism necklace

"I Belong" hand-stamped baptism necklace
Description:  "I BELONG 2010 stamped on one inch nickle silver disc. Attached to 24 inch silver plated ball chain. Chain may be cut down to shorter size. This item is designed with creativity and is custom hand stamped especially for you! That is what makes each piece unique."
By Just Be Jewelry

Birthday Countdown- balloons

Birthday Countdown Blocks
This item helps you countdown 31 days until a birthday.  Lettering is customizable.

Expandable LDS Temple Tote with outside pocket (Black and White Houndstooth)

Expandable Temple Tote Pattern in PDF 
(There will be 2 Winners of this pattern!!)


  1. great idea, so important to eat together as a family. love the idea of conversation ideas and no texting, telephoning, etc.

  2. My parents set the "no phones during dinnertime" rule when we were kids. Back then KIDS didn't have cell phones to text on. So this rule was really a rule for the parents...DON'T answer the phone. I can remember the phone ringing and my parents just sitting there...ignoring it...and focusing on us. This sent a strong message to me that our family and our time together was more important than anything else...even a ringing phone! (Other times, we just took the phone off the hook...can you imagine!? )

  3. agree with all you've written. NEVER has TV been an option during dinner. And my husband always started the conversation with, "Who's had the best day?" Sometimes we'd get a bad day accounting and that was equally important but ALWAYS we got the best out of all the kids

  4. i love the conversation jar for meals!

  5. We have always had dinner together, and on weekends lunch too! The questions in the jar is a great idea.

  6. We use something similar to that. I love it.

  7. This is a great idea. I think I should make one of those jars.

  8. I love the conversation jar. What a great idea for getting everyone out of their comfort zone in conversation. :)

  9. Great reminder Amy! Talking, really talking is a wonderful way for families to draw closer to one another.

    Sugardoodle has some very cute conversation starter cards designed by Summer Driggs. You can find them here already done! Just download and print. :D

    Conversation Cards

  10. Brilliant! You've given me some great ideas to improve dinnertime. Thank you!!

  11. I love this idea. We do "Rose, thorn, bud" where they tell their favorite part of the day (rose), the worst (thorn) and what they're looking forward to tomorrow (bud), but it can get repetitive. Maybe I'll add this in, too.

  12. We hold family dinners dear to our heart, but conversation can be hard to come by with kids ranging in age as we have - this is a perfect fix, can't wait to implement it!

  13. I love this idea. Sometimes mealtimes are so hectic, but I love when we are able to talk about things in their lives. I might just have to use this idea. Thanks.

  14. Wonderful idea! I am always trying to get more conversation at the dinner table...especially from my husband, who thinks it is a race to finish the food first. Can't wait try some of the ideas!

  15. I love that!!! And I think you should have posted more sample questions -- those are really hard for me to think up on my own! It makes me excited for when my kids are older and better conversationalists -- but it also makes me think about how my husband and I could get more out of dinner time now when we have so little time to reconnect after he gets home from work/before bed. Great idea!!!

  16. Another idea: Instead of regular conversations at the table on Sundays, we would each take turns talking about what we learned in church. The person who said the prayer on the food would go first, and then they would have to pick the next person to go, then that person picked the next person...until everyone got a chance to share! It was a great opportunity to talk about the gospel, ask questions, share testimonies, etc., as well as a reminder that we needed to pay attention in church so that we had something to share :)

  17. Love the dinner convo jar idea! Thanks for sharing our Family Tree kits in your link up. We'll be sharing our new Family Home Evening and Chore Charts tomorrow. Be sure to check them out!

  18. great ideas, great family and great dinner thoughts.

  19. I've been wanting to do a jar since seeing something on the Food Nanny during Gen. Conference last spring. Maybe this is the nudge I need.

  20. There's nothing better than meaningful dinner conversation. Thanks for the tip.

  21. I've always wanted one of those question jars for a family dinner...

  22. Thanks everyone for the comments! I was given the questions from a friend as a conversation game and decided to use them at the dinner table. So I don't have a typed list of the questions or I would have shared :)! I do believe if you google it you can find some lists already done for you though. I second SugarDoodle. I love that site!

  23. Love it! I saw a craft somewhere recently that was inline with this but it was coasters with questions on them. And they would switch you got the questions each day. So it was like what was something new you learned today? We just have a 3 month old now but sometimes my husband and I run out of things to talk about so I think I will do this. Thanks for the great idea!

  24. I took Amy's advice and googled it and found one here...