new spaces / new year: dinner helper

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It seems like all we do is prepare food, eat food, and clean up from eating food with a family of six.  Do you ever feel that way sometimes?  We recently started a chart of "dinner helpers" who are responsible for, well, helping with dinner.  Caroline, 6, and Johanna, 4, are the only two on the schedule.  They usually help in the kitchen and set the table.  Depending on which child is the helper for the night, I place emphasis on different things.  Johanna loves standing on a chair and working alongside me and Caroline loves creating elaborate centerpieces and making name cards.  It has thankfully become a real help and quite enjoyable for the two of them.

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Usually during the hustle and bustle of dinner finishing up, me stepping on either twin that constantly are coming in and out of the kitchen and getting all of the dinnerware down from the cupboards for the girls, some chaos is still inevitable.  So last week when I started looking around my house to see spaces that weren't being used functionally I saw a better dinner solution.  The lowboy, of course.  It is usually stacked with our oversized art books and pretty vases.  Nice but not functional.

So we created a spot just for the dinner (and breakfast and lunch) helper in the dining room.  It always stays stocked with the children's plates and glasses.  I store all of our forks there as well.  All that is needed is a mommy and daddy plate for dinner and for breakfast and lunch, we use the smaller plate anyway.  All of the essentials for a meal in one place.

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The kids love it.  They have stayed excited about setting the table now because they don't have to ask me over and over again to get plates and glasses down for them.  It has built their confidence in helping for all of our meals.  And Ainsleigh and Annabelle now set the table in a pinch!  Well why not?  They're big, too!  They like bringing napkins, one at a time, to each person and banging plates down on the table.

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"Dinner helper" is kind of an envied role each night here.  I would have never thought in a million years we'd arrive at this.

So I've been saving up my living room to share with you!  It has been lived in and loved this whole past week and I'm excited to share it with ya'll next week.  Hope you have a fantastic weekend.  We'll be enjoying being with family for my niece's baptism and my brother's farewell before heading down to Ol' Miss!  We'll miss you so much, Travis!

the sleepy time gal