"For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling; I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living." Psalm 116:8&9

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I love to set the table. I like pretty table linens. I like colorful dishes. I hate paper plates and plastic ware. I think plastic cups are gross. If we get take out or fast food, I unwrap everything and put it on real plates to eat it - even if it's a burger and fires. I'm weird. I'm okay with that.

I have found that there are some benefits to my weird hang-ups. When William started eating solid foods in a highchair, I decided that the highchair tray was boring and needed some visual "help." So I created placemats for William's highchair. The placemats taught him colors, animals and how to spell his name. I created a placemat with pictures of him and his daddy for when my husband was out of town. What I discovered was that the placemats were actually very helpful in teaching William basic concepts and in giving us things to talk about during dinner.  

After Barry died, I realized William needed to talk about Barry, but often didn't know what to say or how to verbalize his feelings. I noticed that if he saw pictures of Barry, he would instantly smile and go into long stories about what was happening in the pictures. So, I created "daddy" placemats for the kids. Each placemat is covered with pictures of Barry and William or Layla. And each placemat has Scripture on it for us to read at each meal to remind us of God's goodness and comfort us when we miss daddy. It's a very simple thing that has been helpful in our grieving process.

If you would like to make your own placemats, here are some tips:
*Construction paper works well for most placemats, but if you are making special placemats that you would like to keep for years, use poster board.  Poster board also works better if you will be gluing photos onto it.
*I take all of my placemats to Mardels for laminating.  It costs 25 cents per foot.  For our "daddy" placemats, I went to Staples to have them laminated instead.  At Staples, they use the thick lamination film so it is much sturdier (aka, more costly at $2 a foot!).
*Always make your placemats 2 sided!  
*I always write a verse from the Bible on each side of my placemats.  It gives me something to read to them at each meal to help us think on Jesus.  
*You can make placemats for highchairs!  Just trace the tray onto a piece of poster board and cut out.  Make sure to make it a few centimeters smaller than the actual tray so that it will fit inside the tray nicely.  


Ana said...

great idea...you are so creative.
hahaha you are funny...there is nothing wrong with paper plates...OK they dont make dinner time look so nice,but sure they are convenient sometimes ;)
You and the kids are in my prayers...please let us know if you need anything.

Lots of love


Anonymous said...

Great idea! I will have to make some too. Thanks for sharing this, your heart, and journey.


Courtney Hofmann said...

you are a wonderful mom, charity.... this is such a great idea and something they can keep forever! i love it :)

The Causey's said...

YOu know how much I love your placemats, they are all amazing! I love that you are such a great teacher to your children, maybe it will be something you can do to make a little money one day?

Christine said...

My Jim liked real plates too:) I love this idea. We have to be careful about pictures of the children with Dad in our house. Our third son never got to met his daddy; he was born two months after Daddy went to Heaven. Therefore I have no pictures fo them together. But we could use this idea with just pictures of Daddy. Thank you for this great idea! I plan to pass it on.