Family dinners at our house are an event and anyone who has visited us during dinner knows this first hand. As the meal is nearing completion all of the children descend upon the area in a stampeding fashion...all the while yelling "dinnertime!" After the hand-washing process/arguing is finished, each child has a specific job in order to hurry the dinner process along. Our smallest does napkins but longs to do the forks, while our middle one does forks but longs to do the plates and the oldest passes out the plates and drinks (and quite often spills something...maybe we should rethink the job status).
After the plates are on the table and everyone is seated does the fun really begin. We all hold hands and each one of us (children included) say their own little prayer one at a time. Now, this really does make a lot of people nervous who visit us for a dinner...you know...thinking they have to come up with some kind of material when it's their turn...so we just smile and chuckle a bit.
My favorite prayer is my smallest...actually it's a song. She came home from church one day and said that she had learned a prayer/song she wanted to teach us. It has hand motions and she was pretty sure it was the right hand motions (not 100% though...). So the song has stuck...and each night we do hand motions that may or may not be saying "Thank you Jesus...thank you Jesus". Who knows we could be motioning that we love pigs or something. But you know...I don't think the Lord minds one bit.
After prayer...the laughter abounds. The children all speak at once and the sound volume goes up tremendously. I love the stories that are told again and again (even if everyone there knows the ending). And it's rare that dinner ever gets done fast...cause who'd ever want to leave a table full of love and laughter...and a little bit of spilled milk.