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Monday Is The New Sunday

I don’t know what your schedule is like but I bet it is a lot like mine. And that means that days and nights and whole weeks go by without getting a chance to spend some quality time with the people you love. Dale and I had such a fabulous time on vacation this summer with Hannah, our stepdaughter Jessica and her son, Patrick, that we decided we need to set aside a specific time each week to spend with them and not just wait until vacation time. You know – like Sunday dinner. Except no one is available on Sundays.

It seems like there’s something going on every night of the week but we finally agreed to set aside Mondays as family dinner night that includes the extended family, not just Dale, Hannah and I. Because, don’t misunderstand me, Dale, Hannah and I eat dinner together as a family most weeknights. But we wanted to start something special and include Jess and Patrick once a week. So, Dale is now picking up Patrick from his after school program on Monday afternoons. He’s bringing him back to our house so that Patrick can hang out with us until his mom arrives. And then we are all going to have dinner together. It probably doesn’t sound like much but I think it’s going to be a really good thing for all of us.

While the kids do homework



I cook dinner – which we actually ate in the dining room.


Dale said it felt like Thanksgiving. I agreed – except, of course, that we didn’t have turkey, gravy, stuffing or mashed potatoes. But there was food in the dining room and two vegetables. And it did sort of feel like a holiday since we were all together.

Of course, next Monday, I’ll be away and Dale will be in charge of dinner. I bet there won’t be any vegetables that night. Kraft Dinner, anyone?

This Post Has 45 Comments

  1. I think that’s a wonderful idea! One of the aspects of my husband’s religion (Judaism) that I have embraced most enthusiastically is family Shabbat dinners on Friday nights. Of course, right now it’s just the two of us, but I can see it being a tradition worth preserving when our family grows. Your experience certainly bears that out!

  2. Growing up, we ate dinner together almost every night. My parents insisted on it so that we could catch up and be a family. Sometimes it was tough (especially as teenagers), but even now, we try to have dinner together (parents + 3 kids of their own + 3 extra) at least every other week. Each night, Dan and I sit down for a meal at our dining room table. We eat slower, talk longer, laugh harder. It’s something we’ve always said we’d do with our kids. 🙂 I am happy to see you are doing it too!

  3. Manwich!

    My mother was sort of a hippie about food. She made her own yogurt and baked all the time. Dinners were always some form of reasonably plain meat and two or three vegetables. Sometime, there was a starch or a roll, but mostly not. Bean has a noticeable preference for very plain food and likes lots and lots of vegetables and hates white potatoes. I’m turning into my mom. It’s pretty funny.

    I’ve become pretty adept at quick meals, though, because that whole “cooking dinner every night” thing conflicts majorly with my inherent laziness!

  4. I grew up eating dinner as a family nearly every night. But as we got older, it got more difficult, which is the situation you’re in now. I’m glad you all found a night which works and can eat dinner together. Families who eat together are happy together!

  5. That’s really nice! I’m glad your family found a night when you can eat together. When I was younger I really didn’t appreciate family dinners. But now I sure would love to go back to those days!!

  6. It’s so hard these days to plan family dinner night! Everyone seems to go in different directions. With Julia’s class schedule at the Community College we may be lucky to get one night a week!

  7. It sounds like something the children will remember. Hey, they may be posting about the homework and dinners 10 years from now! VBG!

  8. I so envy you guys who are going to Utah! BUT, Utah is coming to us this year: my son, my granddaughter, and, oh yeah, the daughter-in-law, are coming out for the weekend. To go to a concert at Madison Square Garden. And they think we are weird going to S&W festivals! (At least we get our grrl for two days!)

  9. that is a fabulous idea Carole — with kids in college and off driving themselves around, our mealtimes have gotten way off kilter and I miss it!

  10. How great – especially eating in the dining room. Even with just the 3 of us, it’s hard to get us all together for dinner. Perhaps moving the ones we do have to the dining room would make it that much more fun. I’ll give it a go…

  11. I LOVE that idea! Now…where’s my family when I want to do this? Well, you know – 800 miles away!
    But I love your photos of the quality time you guys had – and oh! btw…? You and I have the same taste in cookware! lololol! (what is IN that casserole)

  12. It felt like Thanksgiving? That’s so cool. Great idea, having the whole fam eat together one night a week. When you say it, it doesn’t sound like it should be that big a deal, does it? Once a week, how hard can that be? How much can it mean? It can be SO tough to get everyone together once a week (and commit to it), and it means the world. Good for you guys—I’m envious!!

    Aren’t any of your wheels portable? Hmmmm????

  13. Reminds me of growing up, when we sat down to dinner as a family every night. Then again, my mom did not work outside the home, so that helped. I’m thinking once a weeks is definitely do-able.

  14. That sounds wonderful!! Since my niece has gotten big enough to sit on a booster seat, we’ve been doing some family dinners (usually everyone eats in front of the tv there) and it’s been great.

  15. I agree it’s a great idea to spend time with family. Once a week is great to see the extended family more often and really helps to keep a (no pun inlcuded) close-knit family.

  16. Now that DD is in high school, she leaves before DH gets up in the morning and he gets home after she’s asleep, so they only cross paths for a few hours on the weekends. They’re so happy to see each other I can’t get a word in edgewise. I miss having mealtimes be a normal gathering time. I think it’s wonderful the way you have built your life around what matters most.

  17. Dinner has always been a gathering time in our house, especially when all 5 of the kids were living at home. We always sit at the dining room table and try to catch up on each others day. I’m glad you are able to include your stepdaughter and her son, they will always remember that 🙂

  18. That is such a great family tradition to start. It seems that in the last 10+ years families are too busy to have an evening together, whereas when I was a kid, we had dinner together every evening and family time every Monday night. How very interesting it is to see family time get “lost” each generation.

    YEAH for your upcoming trip. Can I just say I’m green with envy?

  19. What kind of homework was Dale doing? ;^)

    I think it’s wonderful that you’re getting a new family tradition going. I love the idea of family meals.

    I can’t wait to hear about next Monday’s dinner.

  20. Tomato soup has a vegetable in it, Dale. Serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches (got your dairy and grain in there, even add some bacon or ham for protein) and add celery with peanut butter and raisins. There’s your second veggie and a fruit!!

    Carole- ignore the fact it’s not all that healthy. It hits the food pyramid, pretty good.

    Hmm, maybe that’s dinner here tonight…

  21. Now that it has cooled off a bit and it isn’t quite so stiffling to cook in our kitchen we are re-instating Friday night dinner. While we have little extended family here we do enjoy making sure at least once a week we make a nice meal and share it with a few of a our friends. I hope it is better than Kraft dinner with you gone next week though! 🙂

  22. That’s so nice for you. We (my husband, 2 kids and I) always eat dinner together, usually at the dining room table. (Except for this week when it’s piled with all the camping stuff I didn’t put away. We also have my parents and/or my sister over once a week for dinner. When I plan my menu for the following week, I send it out and they let me know what night they can come over. The kids love it, too. They’re always very disappointed on the nights that no one is coming over. Apparently it’s boring just eating with Mom and Dad.

  23. Aw, c’mon, give the man a little credit. I bet he’ll step up at least to fettucine carbonara. As you undoubtedly know, this is basically mac n cheese with a little Canadian bacon in it, but it sounds much more elegant.

    Aside from that, what a great idea. We manage it most nights, but tonight is Grant’s choral rehearsal night — which means I get to slither out to knitting group. Catch you later.

  24. i think that there is nothing more special than spending time with people that we love – what a fabulous idea this is 🙂 My girls and I used to have a movie and popcorn night that was almost sacred (as in no one ever booked anything else for that night – grin) all three of us looked forward to it so much.

  25. We try to do this on Wednesday evenings when we invite our daughter, son-in-law, 2 grandsons, and my mother-in-law. My elderly aunt lives with us, so that make 8 for supper on Wednesdays. It sometimes seems like a lot of work, but we will keep doing it because it brings 4 generations together and reminds us we are there for each other.

  26. that’s a really great way for blended families to have time together during “everyday” life, and not just on “visitation” weekends!

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