We do MANY MANY things at this table:
1) Eat, of course. You may notice that there are eight chairs and our family consists of nine members. This, however, is not usually a problem, because we have spill-over space to the bar and to the couch. Keith works well past dinner time most weekdays anyway, so dinner is usually as informal as breakfast or lunch.
2) The first hour of the home school day. Here we pray, read from the Bible, memorize scripture, then go on to a group session of history and/or science and a bunch of flashcards. To the right of the picture, on the wall, is a dry erase board to help with lessons.
3) Various art projects. There are several spots along the table that have paint marks, nail polish, nail polish remover, scratches, and the invariable sticky spot from the latest meal.
4) Games. Many a card has flown around that that surface. Many Monopoly games. Many Risk games. And even some poker. (SHHHHH, we're Baptists, we're not supposed to play card games, let alone poker . . . )
5) Pictures. Because this is our home's hot spot, I take a lot of pictures right at this table. If you see the electric lime background, it's here!
Next we come to the bar. This picture shows it overlooking the family room. There are four chairs, and usually five people who want to use the four chairs. Kids often use the bar for a quick snack or for breakfast. When company comes, they like to sit at the bar.
Because we are not the most disciplined family in the world, we watch way too much TV. So the bar allows for eating and watching TV at the same time . . . I know, I know! AND, the sink is on the other side of the chairs, right at the corner of the L, so I can wash dishes and watch TV, too! I love that! It makes washing dishes less mind-numbing. (Not that watching TV is exactly brain food, but you know what I mean.)
The bar is probably my favorite feature of our house. Here, I can invite company to come and sit while I finish preparing a meal or wash a few dishes. It just feels homey.
Here we have the trash can at the end of the bar. We are having the worst time with the trash can as of late. Our dog likes to pull things out of it. We felt that we had outsmarted him by buying the cool trash can with a lid, but he eventually figured out how to nose his way past that barrier. Then, we tried lining the trash can with a huge garden-sized black bag and using the excess liner at the top to cover the lid. This also worked for a while, but Kody eventually figured out how to get past that, too. Now we have to use some kind of weight to cover the dang thing. And still I have tons of trash littering various favorite dog spots. Keva is of no help at all because she likes to take things out of the trash can to give to Kody. It's not just a little irritating. Kody is sinking down in his preferred-status. I don't care how cute he is.
Then there's the dining room. There used to be eight chairs, but two of them broke at their legs -- the furniture is not top of the line. Anyway, we've used the dining room a grand total of maybe eight times in the nearly two years we've been here. It's the one room in the house that stays relatively neat all the time. I never thought in a million years that I'd have a house with a breakfast room AND a dining room. When I want to see what the carpet used to look like in the rest of the house, I go to the dining room and take a nice long breath of relaxation! We haven't finished painting the rest of the house yet, but this room is slated for red paint. My girlfriend bought us a housewarming picture, a drawing of a tower, with scripture reading, "He is my strong tower." I love it.
Go check out Lori's link at Glass Half Full for more posts on the family table. Thank you, Lori, for a fun idea!