Week 8 of the dinner challenge is here, which means two solid months of focusing more on getting together as a family or couple! Some weeks, our family has knocked it out. During other weeks, the push and pace of…
We’re perfect parents. We never make mistakes and our kids always clean their rooms and get straight A’s in school and have bright white teeth that will never need braces. Not really, but that’s often the assumption I make about every other parent in the world. They know some trick, they have some special formula, they’re perfect parents and I’m just Jon.
Week 6 of the dinner challenge is here! After a pitiful showing by me last week, I’m back with a better record. And a new story about something I learned in the kitchen. Something I never expected. Something that surprised me. I’m talking about knives.
What we learned: Smart lessons about sharp knives
I’d love to exaggerate and say that I’m one of those husbands who regularly cooks dinner. I’d like to pretend that sometimes I just surprise the whole family with a soufflé I baked. Or that for our anniversary I put together some sort of seven course meal by hand. Seasoned with love.
But the truth is, I am a rank amateur when it comes to cooking. I can barely scramble an egg. I am lost in the kitchen. In college I once ate jalapeno poppers for three months straight. Then, I met E-Mealz.
My wife does not measure calories. She has not been known to count the number of legumes in each recipe she makes. We have very few conversations about the amount of lycopene we eat. But she does have one rule when it comes to eating healthy:
Life is too short for stale cake.
That’s why dinner is never really just dinner. It’s you sitting down and putting time and attention and hopefully love into the bucket of everyone else at that table. It’s you saying, “You’re important to me. Life is busy and hectic sometimes, but you matter to me.” And when someone’s bucket is full, you know.
Every time we tried something new, the kids would pull back from the table as if we had plated scorpions and a salad of pit vipers. My wife and I discussed this problem and came up with a simple rule. Here it is:
“You can’t hate what you’ve never tried.”
Today marks the end of week two of the dinner challenge. (You can read about the first week “Dinner Unplugged” right here.) This week, we decided to mix it up a little and in addition to eating together, add a “family game” to the mix. My five-year-old will crush you at UNO given the chance so we tend to avoid that particular game. Here’s what we ended up doing instead.
I mentioned in yesterday’s post that Jon Acuff, author of Stuff Christians Like, was about to launch a “wicked” crazy idea he has been tossing around in his brain-on-fire. Well… here it is! This is an excerpt from today’ post on his blog.
“Sometimes, I think our culture views having dinner together as a family as something that’s “old fashioned.” That might have worked for Norman Rockwell and Little House on the Prairie, but those butter churning, corn cobb pipe whittlin’ days are long behind us. The modern family is too busy to connect at the table like that anymore.” Jon Acuff
Dave Ramsey keeps preaching his message to the endless streams of struggling Americans. His “Baby Steps” are such a huge practical help to so many people toward financial freedom, and the art on display around the building illustrates the glee with which people shred their credit cards and assemble the pieces into collages for his entertainment. We love that E-Mealz is a perfect fit into any level of Dave’s program, and helps so many of his listeners toward their financial and family goals along the way. And we love that Dave gets E-Mealz… even though he doesn’t cook!
I am often asked how much I spend on groceries per month. One thing is for sure, I know that if I don’t budget a fixed — and I mean fixed — amount, it will quickly become a black hole! According to most financial experts, families with the income range of $50,000 to $90,000 per year should spend approx 11 to 14 percent of their income on groceries after taxes and tithe. For example, a family of 4 to 6 with the income of $75,000 per year, should have a modest grocery budget of approximately $500.00 per month! That seems nearly impossible, but it can be done!