Saturday, May 30, 2009

Family Dinner

While in Spain, Shawn and I, President Shallenberger's family and President Clark had the opportunity to eat with the Somoza Family. When we were here for our honeymoon we also were invited here, and I absolutely fell in love with the warmth and hospitality that this family gave. That is when I was heartbroken to hear the what had happened to their daughter when she visited the states a few years ago.

Their daughter had arranged to come to the states for a period of time to live with a family in Murray, UT. It wasn't a student exchange so she was not attending school, but I think it was more just to see our country.

When she arrived they took her to the grocery store and told her she could get anything she wanted. She assumed that she would be eating family dinners with them so all she did was get a box of Golden Grahams to eat for breakfast. It only took a short time for her to realize that this family did not have a tradition of eating together as a family. They just helped themselves to whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.

She did not understand this, and as a result didn't eat much while here. She ended up losing 30 lbs!! Even when she told them she wanted to go to the grocery store again they instead went for her, and just brought her back more Golden Grahams!

Needless to say she doesn't enjoy Golden Grahams anymore, and her desire to return to the states is not very big. I felt terrible that she had such a bad experience while here. I am sure that it was a big misunderstanding. If the people she was staying with knew her situation they would have done what they could to rectify it, but for whatever reason it did not happen.

It got me to thinking that day how IMPORTANT it is to sit together each night as a family. There is so much that happens at the dinner table. Right now it is easy for me. My kids are young and we don't have many different schedules to work with. I know as time goes on things will change. Life gets busy, yet hearing of this girls experience made me realize that I do not want to become a family that is too busy to sit down and eat together. Maybe not everyone will be there each night, but I want my kids to know if they are available...we will have a nice meal prepared. We will be able to share about our day, and learn from each other.

So my challenge for you today is this. If you don't already have Family Dinner's daily....make more of an effort to fit it in. Even if you have to buy take out and bring it home...sit down with your family and get to know them. You and your family will benefit from it, and if you ever have someone from another country visit...they won't starve. :)

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Shannon said...

That is a sad sad story. Family dinners is a goal of ours too. But I agree that when the kids get older they will be much harder to have. This post is a good rminder to keep it a goal.

But I may just try the Golden Grahm Diet, 30lbs huh.

**you have been a busy blogger. I tried to catch up with a few comments on the older posts.**

Patrice said...

Amen to that! I am a big advocate of eating together.

onehm said...

Thanks for sharing this great story! I love our family dinners together, and I am so grateful that we make the effort to do it. :) HOW SAD for that sweet girl to have such an awful experience...hopefully she'll be able to visit again and have a better fit in a host family.

onehm said...

PS...I am loving all your Spain posts!

tammy said...

How sad! You'd think they'd at least have dinner with a guest staying. Connor keeps me in check with having family dinner. If Luvpilot's out of town and life is busy, he makes sure to remind me that it's not dinner if we don't sit down together. And I always try to ask the boys what was good about their day at dinner time.

sherry said...

Sounds like a family of idiots to not notice the poor girl was not eating anything. They must not have paid any attention to her at all!Poor kid.

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