Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Manners at our table...not there!

We went from a really nice 8 seat, wood table to a little, tiny table/bed/couch. It is great compared to the little dinettes that usually come in campers, but still not like a real table. The seats go back pretty far, so our 5 yr old and 2 yr old lay down at the table during dinner all the time. I try so hard to get them to sit up, it just doesn't work. Some people would say, "Just make them obey." It is not that easy.

Not long after we moved into the camper, Gabriel, my 5 yr old, decided to ride the table like a bucking bull. He is a bull rider after all! Well, the table didn't like that and broke. My husband replaced the metal pieces underneath and the table was back in business. About a month later, after numerous meals of little feet pushing on the posts underneath, the table broke again. I asked my husband to please not fix it. It is just going to get broken again! Well, he wanted it fixed, and he was going to get those kids to behave. Well, the table broke again and I think we all realize it is a losing battle. Now, we cope by turning our plates so anything with juice is on the side that leans down, then the juice doesn't go into the other food. Like veggies for example. Sometimes they still have a little water left in them. The juice stays at the bottom of the plate rather than getting all over the bread or meat.
After we got our new washer/dryer rv combo unit, we started it for the first time. When it gets to the spin cycle our whole camper shakes! We laughed so hard as we watched our cups slowly shake to the edge of the table and then fall off. Well, nothing spilled because I require the little ones to use cups with lids.
Our washer/dryer makes a great place to store items on top and a magnet board on the side!

Our cushions on our couch/table are disgusting. I wash them, but food gets spilled on them every meal! I really want to just pull out the whole thing and put a real table and chairs. Maybe even a couple of nice chairs that we can sit in and watch TV in! Shae says it will be too much work, and I am terrible at construction. For those of you who know me, I will give it my best to change the table. I won't do it if Shae really doesn't want me to, but I am hoping we can.

Actually, I would like to build our own camper! We could buy a shell from a manufacturer. Then we could put in all natural insulation, that actually works, not like the camper we have. I think they put newspaper in the walls! It gets pretty chilly. I would put all natural cabinets in and no wallpaper or anything with fumes. I would put in all natural mattresses and a lot of storage drawers. I like to be organized. Well, like the old saying...If wishes were pennies, we'd all be rich! Back to reality.

The other day I told the family that they need to have manners.

 "You need to remember, that just because we live in a camper doesn't mean you can act like you are constantly camping. This is my home and I am a woman. You need to take your shoes off when you come in this home. I want you to have respect and some kind of manners at this table. We are starting a new thing. Two times a month we will have a nice sit down dinner. We will learn to eat with the right silverware and plates, learn to pass the bowl, and learn proper talk."

 Just about then my 5 yr old, who had been working very hard at trying to figure out how to turn his spoon into a catapult, shot a piece of food right up into the air and hit the cabinet above us. I couldn't believe his timing. Everyone started laughing hystarically, and I realized that I had my work cut out for me. Between the farting, burping, the use of the words butt and fart, I don't know how we will ever eat Thanksgiving at my aunt and uncle's.

We went to a 508 paratrooper reunion last November. They were having a high class banquet for the current 508 officers and the WWII veterans that were there. My grandfather was in WWII, so we came to be with them. We were told there was a banquet and we couldn't bring our little kids. Well, either we all go or no one goes. So, the man in charge said ok. Well, we practiced for weeks. We played banquet in our camper and pretended to eat at the table. I felt we were as ready as we would ever be.

The night came and we all got dressed up in our nicest camper clothing. Mind you, everyone there was dressed to the hilt, and here we come in with our least wrinkled dresses and pants. We didn't look too bad. Every table was to have a soldier sitting at it that had been to Afghanistan or Iraq. When we found our table with our name tags, I about passed out. They had put us in the back, no big surprise, but had put a Colonel with us! That is a high ranking officer! Well, we had practiced, but were not Colonel material! I was in a slight panic. At the time Gabriel was four and Josephine one. My older ones would do fine, I was just very nervous about the little ones. Well, as people got seated, we noticed no one came to our table to sit with us. We figured the Colonel either didn't make it to the banquet or saw all of us sitting there and decided to leave (just kidding)! I was so thankful. I really wasn't up to such a high ranking officer at our table.

They served the meal. It was wonderful, steak, chicken, veggies. They even had made special plates for my 3 younger kids, chicken strips and veggies. I was so blessed! We noticed there were quite a few empty spots at the tables, about eight of them. We thought, we should get the enlisted soldiers that have been driving us around all week to come get these seats and eat this wonderful meal. My husband asked the Sargeant Major if it would be ok. He said yes. When we told the enlisted men, they were shocked! They said there is a pretend glass wall that seperated them from this room with all of the officers. They would only go in if my husband escorted them each to their seats. Here, these were men that had risked their lives for years for us. The least we could do was get them in here for a good meal!

It was nice to eat with them. We felt comfortable and priveleged. Gabriel did good. I looked over once, he was eating his salad like a dog, no silverware. I looked over later and he was drinking his tea like a cat, with is tongue. But, over all he did great, no screaming, whining or pouting. Josephine slept most of the time.

It was a wonderful evening.

We are a little out of practice now. We need to get ready to eat turkey dinner and Christmas dinner with family that is not used to kids. We will start practicing. I told my kids I want them to be able to eat with kings, well, that might not happen, but it will not be because I did not teach them to!


  1. I too did not like the booth in the 5er. I didnt like the sleeper sofa either. Cheap. So one day while hubby was at work I took them out. The bottom metal thing unscrewed and left no trace. I kept the table aparatus and threw out the bench. We took the sofa into our stix and bricks and it only lasted a couple of months. We bought those white plastic folding chairs from Sams and a folding table. We also bought some patio chairs. It worked for a while. This time I found a place to order a sectional couch that you put together yourself, has washable cushions, can easily be replaced etc. As soon as we get moved in I will order it and let you know how we like it. Have to wait on the money. Here is the web site for the furniture.http://www.homereserve.com/index.cfm
    I also found some stabilizers I may want to try. The 5er rock like a boat when anyone walks around. http://www.waynesrvstabilizer.com/index.htm
    What do you use for stabilizers?

  2. Hello. I ran across your blog when I googled MAPS RV Volunteers. I have enjoyed reading a few of your postings. This Ft. Bragg posting caught my eye because my daughter now lives at Ft. Bragg and she also has a large family (5 kiddos). Being retired military, I can relate to those type of dinners.

    Getting back to MAPS RV. We are also Christians and have been discussing joining MAPS RV for sometime. We are now retired and just submitted our application. It seems that this is what the Lord has for us at this time in our lives. We were in Florida and camped with some volunteers which we feel that that was just the little "push" to get us started in MAPS RV. My dad was an Assembly of God minister, so I was a little familiar with the ministry.

    Anyway, Thanks for your service and I enjoy your blog.

    1. Sounds like it will be a good match for you. We know so many retired couples that love the fellowship and being so useful and needed. I am always so amazed at what these men and women accomplish. If there isn't a Maps project in an area we are going to be traveling in and we feel the Lord wants us to do some work for him at a camp, we just google bible camp and find other denominations to serve. I hope you have a great year on the road! Keep in touch. Sheri


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