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Kitchen Tables: FIGT17NL vs My Grandma’s Table

What did you learn at your grandma's kitchen table?

What did you learn at your grandma’s kitchen table?

These past few months (or longer) and this week’s election have highlighted the uncomfortable truth that much divides the USA.  One place where we’ve always been able to find common ground is around the kitchen table. The ritual of sharing a meal is a vital way to share and connect.

Attending a Families in Global Transition conference can allow you to grow and make those vital connections. Our Kitchen Tables find common ground and share and connects as our global population connect around the world.

What did you learn at your Grandma’s Kitchen Table?  What lessons? What feelings come up when you remember what it was like sitting at your grandma’s kitchen table?

My Childhood Kitchen Table

At my Grandma Wright’s kitchen table outside of Russell Springs, Kansas, I learned about family and love. Grandma spread the love by teaching us all to make pies! It almost seemed like a ritual. Family rituals are to make connections and show love. That is what she did. We’d head out to Grandma’s house, then pick some fruit or rhubarb out of her garden. Maybe go to the root cellar to get a jar of preserves for the pie. These types of rituals can be critical for all families but vital for global nomads.

I am an expert at making pies, mostly because I made a ton of pies in 4-H when I was young.  I am a firm believer in the mastery of something when you are young, and you still think it is fun.

In 4-H, I did a lot of different activities. I raised sheep, JC and Casey were my pets until I sold them. This money went towards college, and I was only ten years old when I raised them for almost a year. I did public speaking. I did knitting (I still can’t cast off).  I made clothes; I cooked more food than you can imagine and I even did leather work. Adults in the community spent time teaching us how to do things. We had pride in our finished products. We won ribbons, and if our project was excellent, we could take it to state and compete with lots of other children.  My exposure to 4-H helped me get one of my scholarships to college.

I was the Betty Crocker award winner, meaning I had to take a written test about cooking and prove that I understood the concepts behind ‘cooking.’ When you are trying to put yourself through college, all scholarships are huge, and you are so appreciative to get them. I am glad I learned how to cook when I was young, I am pleased I was able to apply that knowledge to math, science and other aspects of higher education. But I am most proud of is being able to teach my children how to make a pie! It all started around a kitchen table.

My Adult Kitchen Table = FIGT’s Kitchen Tables

When FIGT was first starting out, they would meet around a kitchen table. Ruth Van Reken shared that when they were planning the third FIGT conference, John Aoun, Betty Mullin and Joyce Blake would come to her home every Monday night to work and plan that conference. They were all volunteers, and they found the value of the “kitchen table.”  We are lucky that FIGT kept that concept as it grew.

At  FIGT17NL, you will be able to interact with experts who will share their topics around a kitchen table!  If you attend FIGT17NL, you might be able to hear some of these excellent items.

  • Practical Support for Highly Mobile Military Children
  • Military Third Cultural Kids            
  • Tribes: How and Where to Find Them When You Live Abroad?
  • Become A Global Entrepreneur 
  • Do U.S.-based Study Abroad Programs Give Authentic Cultural Experiences?
  • Understanding TCKs’ Representations of Eldercare
  • Helping TCKs Develop a True-Self
  • How to Build Powerful Strategic Alliance Partnerships on the Move
  • Positively Curious
  • Children and Mobility
  • To Find Your Tribe you Must Find Yourself First
  • The Mindful TCK
  • Lasting Love on the Move
  • Expanding Our Tribe
  • Risk and Resilience in Expatriate, Third Culture Kids
  • Our Histories Matter: Expanding Our Understanding of Who TCKs are Through the Lens of History, Heritage, and Nationality
  • Using Competencies of Emotional Intelligence to Teach, Model and Encourage Empathy, Resilience and collaboration
  • The Power of Books for TCKs and Resources for Creating and Spreading Them to Where They Don’t Yet Reach

The good news is at FIGT17NL  you can learn and share around the kitchen tables!  Please note, no pie will be served at these kitchen table talks. The FIGT rituals of Kitchen Table discussions are to make connections, grow and show compassion.

So many options - So little time!

So many options – So little time!


If you are a fan of rhubarb pie – you might like John’s song!

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