Table Manners Game

My mother was raised in Europe with a very strict code of etiquette. When trying to teach her children what was appropriate at the dinner table she came up with a very clever game to help us learn. We simply call it “The pig game”, and the rules are very simple and appropriate for anyone ages seven and up.

Place a small plastic pig in the center of your home kitchen table. When anyone at the table does not follow an agreed upon dinner table rule the pig gets placed before them, and the rule that is not being followed is announced. The person with the pig in front of them needs to be on the lookout for another rule breaker and try to get rid of the pig before the end of dinner. Whoever is stuck with the pig at meals end has to clear the table and wash the dinner dishes.

A few example of dinner table rules to follow:

1. No talking with food in your mouth.
2. Never rest your elbows on the table, and both hands should be present during the meal, unless reaching for your napkin.
3. No inappropriate dinner conversation ( not the time to discuss anything that would make your food unappetizing at the table, or make a guest uncomfortable).
4. Always contribute to the dinner conversation, but do not monopolize it.
5. No reaching over anyone for food, instead request for something to be passed to you.
6. Ask permission from the host(usually mom or dad) to leave the table at any time.
7. If getting up to refill drinks or get seconds, ask if anyone else needs anything.
8. You must try at last a bite of all food prepared by the host, unless there are allergies or religious convictions involved.

These are a few easy rules, that can be added to for more formal occasions, but are great starters for any family. These were really helpful a few years ago when my younger daughter left for camp. She has to follow very specific rules at her girl’s camp or risk getting her tribe demerits. We have also played this game at casual dining restaraunts and used a pink sugar packet as our pig.

Book Review:Queen of the Road and Giveaway

I adore reading and you will find books spilling over in every room in my home. Sometimes I think I live in a library…..but to be honest, not all books are what I term “shelfworthy”. There are the books who get shelf space because they are yet to be read, and those that get space because they are so good that I (or John Mark) will read them again. The other unfortunate books find there way to my garage sale/paperback exchange box. The book Queen of The Road by Doreen Orion is shelfworthy which is the highest praise I can give.

This novel follows the hilarious and sometimes poignant adventures of Doreen and her husband as they embark on a one year sabbatical tour of the United States in a refurbished bus. First let me say that I admire Doreen for overcoming her fears of such an odious undertaking, and turning it into an experience of self discovery. Every chapter starts off with a cocktail recipe reminiscent of the story to come. I must admit I can’t wait to make Elusive Moose and Love me Bender.

I really enjoyed the history involved in some of the locations, and probably my favorite part was their stay at the Nudist RV resort. I half to admit a little disappointment that they were not as enchanted with Texas as I am….but hey I understand we Texans are not everyone’s cup of tea. Finally, Doreen has left me with a burning desire to visit Savannah, and experience that city in all it’s glory.

I also envy her for having a handy husband (alas, mine is not so much). Doreen’s Tim is the perfect foil for her larger than life character. She affectionately refers to him as Project Nerd, and he seem to remain the calm voice of reason, and the fix- it man for everything. Tim is the kind of guy we would all want around us for support.

The New York Post says, “(The book is) a Charles Kuralt-Albert Brooks-style romp where they meet up with nudists, robbers and more. Required reading.” New York Times Bestselling Novelist Jonathan Kellerman notes, “A charming, insightful and – most important – hilarious book that evokes the best of Bill Bryson and David Sedaris, but spotlights the unique voice of a gifted memoirist.”

If you are looking for a great read, or the perfect Christmas gift for a reader you know, than look no further. Doreen Orion is a hoot and a half, and well worth the time. This one you will want for your own shelfworthy book. To purchase a copy for yourself just click through here.

This Blog is one stop on the Queen of the Road book tour joining many others in the next few days thanks to Family Review Network.The tour will be held November 28-December 10.

The Giveaway!
As a thank you to those who are learning about Queen of the Road through the book blog tour a great prize package is being offered. There will be one prize across all the book blog tour stops. Everyone who leaves a comment here on my tour post will be entered to win!

One lucky winner gets all this:

Mom Logic Tote bag, eye brightener and mouse pad from momlogic.com
Wrist water bottle from swiggies.com $13 value
Gift certificate for free flashcards from goosiecards.com $29 value
Rose Pin ($10 value)
Natural, dye-free dog tug from Purrfect Play purrfectplay.com $18 value
Book, “Uncovered” by Mark Goldwich $13 value
“Attitude of Gratitude” Tank Top Med from empoweringthings.com $19.39 value
“Be Natural” tee shirt from jb-justbe.com $15 value
Cats on Cards Pet Rescue Stickers from purrfectplay.com $7.95 value
2009 Park-It Guide for NYC from parkitguides.com $13 value
Total Value of Prize: $130.00+
To enter just leave a comment below and tell me if you would ever consider taking such a trip around the country yourself! Don’t forget that your email needs to be in your profile or in your comment to be able to win. Make your comments before 12/17 to be entered.

Look for more Bloggers on the tour to increase your chances of winning!

100th Post, Yeah Me!

I had a whole speech planned and even practiced it in front of the mirror, but have forgotten at least half of it trying to run around this evening with my girls…so I am toasting myself with a pretty frozen pink drink (just a hint of vodka). And in my best London Tipton impression( I watch waaaaaaay to much Disney Channel) Yeah Me!
Posted by Christine at 9:13 PM
Labels: 100th post, London Tipton, Yeah Me

Don’t even Think about calling me Chrissy

Isn’t it funny how names define us. We basically become wrapped up in a name that our mothers gave us on a whim. My mother chose to name me Christine Elisabeth. If I had been born a boy I would have been Christopher (not sure about middle name) and there was not going to be any shortening of that name or affectionate nickname to coincide with it. Of course like all young girls I went through a phase where I hated my name. I really wanted to have been named Cherie (with the french pronunciation) it sounded exotic and mysterious to my young ears.

In reality though Christine is a name that really suits me well. It is a strong intelligent name that means “follower of Christ”, and I have learned to love it and embrace it with all of it’s “Christine-ness”. I could never (shudder) tolerate a nickname.

For Example, I could never be a Chrissy or Christie although nicknames have been attempted…and probably because I tend to have a bubbly personality they could have potentially stuck. I was having none of that. The only time in life I allowed myself a nickname was high school and that was really just because all nine letters in my name did not fit on my cheer uniform or megaphone…..so for a bit there I was Cris (it puts in my head a cubicle junkie finding a health insurance lead). It was a strong derivative still with an intelligent air and I tolerated it although very few people actually called me by that nickname. In fact the only time I remember it even coming up is when I dated a guy in high school briefly named Chris, and then of course linking the two names was sort of a joke.

As far as shortening my name there is one that just drives me insane. The name Chrissy bugs me in particular for two reasons and I do want to say I am sorry to any Chrissy’s out there who might get offended reading this post..

It reminds me of Suzanne Somers of “Three’s Company” which I watched growing up. The idea of being that dumb went against everything I was raised to be. I did not want to be cast in that light. Although the name suited her character perfectly
My Grandpa who had a bad habit of putting down everyone (but in a jovial manner so that he can call it a joke when you call him on it). He thought the nickname was perfect to match my boy crazy social life. To me he might as well be calling me a tramp every time he tried to get the nickname to stick. I finally put my foot down and refused to talk to him unless he called me by Christine

It is amazing to me how we grow and shape a name to become an integral part of who we are. I now can’t imagine myself being anything but a Christine. Am I the only one with identifies so strongly when it comes to names? Do you feel that your name suits you?

Da Bib is Da Cutest!

When the Family Review Network first asked for reviewers for a company called Da Bib my first impulse was just to let this one past because both of my girls are way past that bib wearing stage, but then I remembered we have several special needs family friends who have older children still in bibs for several of their feeding issues. With this in mind, I wanted to see if it would suit the needs of special needs family, and I am proud to say it would do the job admirably.

The first thing I wanted to check out when I received it was the quality of the fabric and the stretch of the neckline. Regan and Rebecca were both able to put it around their necks and Velcro it easily. The neckline has a firm feel (they refer to it as a scrunch collar designed to keep the neckline safe from spills and staining. One side is a great terrycloth, and the other side a wipeable side. It even has a food pouch to catch all those stray crumbs.

I am proud to recommend it to any newborn family as an excellent bib, and also to any special needs family, as one that is suited to your needs also. Don’t you love things that are versatile?

Now you can have your very own Da Bib for your munchkin. This Giveaway is open to US residents only, and will run through April 4, 2009 until 12:00 midnight CST. If you leave an anonymous comment please also leave your email address so that I will be able to reach you.

First Entry (Mandatory) please visit Da Bib and tell me which style you would choose to win. Leave a comment telling me the style
Second Entry: become a follower of my blog and leave me a second comment telling me that you are
Third Entry: Twitter this post and leave me a URL to find it in a separate comment
Fourth Entry: Post my button on your sidebar, and let me know in a separate comment
Fifth Entry: Blog about this giveaway on your own site and leave me a URL address in a separate comment.

New Years Plans

Well what is a sublimely classy, well-educated, small town posh princess to do on New Years Eve? Should I got to the local tavern and down beers with the little people? Should I venture to the local dance hall where a lively polka will be playing for all the German/Czech folk and sip cheap champagne from plastic cups? Should I sit at home with my sweetheart and children while we watch you “big city folk” party all over the world and countdown the dropping of the ball….while doing some diet pills research for the new year and swimsuit season?

No to all of the above.

I have decided to do the classiest thing of all and help a friend run her fireworks stand. Viva la Sparklers people!