Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Appreciate Plate

Sometimes you hear an idea from someone and you just feel it.
You know right away you are going to totally embrace the idea. Make it your own, even.....
but give credit where credit is due, of course (thank you, Jenn from Mom Time)
This is one of those times.
James fam + Appreciate Plate = golden idea

The Appreciate Plate is a special plate that rotates to a different family member each time you partake in dinner together. Everyone else has the standard dinnerware... but the designated Appreciate Plate recipient has the AP.
At dinnertime, everyone goes around the table and says something they appreciate about the AP person. Want to see a face glow with excitement? Want a unique way to encourage and uplift? Want to turn a frown upside down?
Appreciate Plate!
Our oldest son, Jon, was pretty eager to be the AP member of the family at last night's dinner. Considering I was taking pictures of the event last night, it would've been nice if it wasn't "Leftover Night" and I could've impressed you all with chicken cordon bleu on his plate or something (you know, like I usually make for dinner). Instead you can be impressed with the total randomness that is his dinner. YUM.
ANYways, we've just begun to rotate the AP and haven't even made it all the way around the table yet. But the excitement is brewing in the James household. There have been talks about what is going to be said about Charity when it is her turn for the plate. There have been discussions about whether Caleb or Matthias will be the next AP beneficiary (do we go by age or place at the table?) Do Mom and Dad get a turn?! (um...YEAH!)
Words are just so potent. With them we build others up or tear them down. I find if I'm not intentional about creating an atmosphere of positive language in our home, than what we're left with is merely a lack of discouraging words.
That's good, but it's not great.
If it really takes 10 warm fuzzies to replace 1 hurtful remark than I'm excited about having the Appreciate Plate circle our table many times over!


  1. What a great idea! I'd love an appreciation plate for our house.

  2. Love it. If we ever manage to actually have a child, I'm totally going to adopt this idea as well.

  3. This is a fantastic idea!! Love it!

    It would also work well with something I've had brewing in my mind for over a year now (I know.. get on it, right?). So my almost 4 year old is very sweet and thoughtful but when it comes to praying at bedtime his prayers have gotten very routine and is usually almost praying for himself or someone seriously sick (which is good but ends up being the same prayers). So what I've done is laminated family photos (names are too hard for my little guy to recall) of folks in our church, family, friends, etc (Facebook is a beautiful thing to collect these from). I've intended on keeping these photos in a basket and featuring one family per day but haven't found an appropriate place to display them.

    I'd put the plate on the wall with a little velcro piece to hold a family's photo in. We will pick the family in the morning, pray for them during the day and then pray for them at night. This way, we rotate all of our friends and family, not just those who are sick (but of course we will still pray for them too).

    I think I'll make that my project for this weekend. Finish that up and implement the idea (which I'm sure I read about or saw someplace else)! Thanks for the motivation!

  4. I think the Appreciation Plate (AP) would be a good fit for my family. Two points- first of all, I know my family appreciates me so much, they'd practically beg me to use it every day. I couldn't get anyone else to use it- it'd be like my own special plate- "appreciate me day" everyday! And secondly, I'm sure it would be a great fit for holding 3+ lbs of my awesome goodness that is Hamburger Helper. Boom goes the dynamite. Shout out to my top cat keeping it real in the cheeze state. I'm out.

  5. This is such a great idea, i love it!! Let's see, we haven't done anything super creative in our house to intentionally spark appreciation but a lot of appreciation comes out when we pray together in the morning...we take that time to really thank God for each other and pray for one another. That is a special time for us.♥lbp

  6. Just give it to Dan! We all appreciate him, we just don't eat Hamburger Helper with him!!

    Seriously though, We haven't done anything intentional like this. (Guess it would help if Mya could talk!) We do try to say positive things to the girls, like great job, You're a good helper, you are so kind, so smart, so beautiful, etc...but nothing really outside of that. The AP plate is a great idea!!

  7. I tell the girls great job, your doing so good at... We always say what your thankful for Thanksgiving but not everyday. This is a great idea that I would love to start! Our kids are a great age for it & would love the compliments as would carl & I. I think hearing compliments would make everyone in a better mood to face whatever is going on in our busy lives.

  8. some people have a celebration plate for birthdays, promotions, & accomplishments. The person celebrating gets to use celebration plate

  9. Hi Laurie!! I love reading your blogs! It sounds like you have such a fun household! As I read your blog today, I had an idea. We've had a lot of loss in our family this past year, and wouldn't it be special to use an Appreciation Plate to remember those that aren't with us today? Just a small reminder that when a family gathers, those people are still with us in our hearts. Just a thought...I love your ideas and I'm definitely going to try out that cookie recipe you posted yesterday! They sound yummy!!

  10. Oh, and this is Jennifer (Wakeman) Brooks by the way!!

  11. this is such a great idea! we do something similar, in that we say something nice about the person to our left (or right).

    with the kids so small, the comments usually end up being things like "i like him when he doesn't take my toys." etc.
    gotta love it :)