Family Time

Family love is like the wind; instinctive, raw, fragile, beautiful. At times angry, but always unstoppable. It is our collective breath. It is the world’s greatest force.
James McBride

The house was full of excitement and laughter, as the neighborhood kids were over for a few hours hanging out, playing and swimming. But then it was time to send them all home.

We told our kids at 6pm we were having a “family evening.”

Hosting kids is a blast. They are always welcome in our home. But it’s very important that we preserve time for just our family to hang, have discussions, watch different movies, often our favorite television show, and sometimes watch and discuss a NOOMA series DVD!

Last night the kids and I put together our favorite Enchilada Pie. Basically, you take any leftovers in the fridge (in this case leftover barbequed squash and Vidalia onions from the night before), blend it up in the blender or Cuisinart, and add it to your meat and enchilada sauce.

Season accordingly and then layer tortillas, cheese and the sauce in a spring form pan (lined with parchment paper). Bake at 350 until bubbly and hot.

Slice like a cake and serve! Yummy with sour cream or your favorite toppings on top.

We grabbed our plates of food and headed upstairs to watch the classic, Grapes of Wrath. Our kids have learned the value of watching old classic movies, even though they aren’t always the most exciting or action-packed, and are often in black and white.

In the end, our discussions are meaningful. In this case, sullenness engulfed us as we ended up talking about the kids’ Grandpa Tom, and the hardship he endured as a boy pretty close to the same time period as the movie portrayed.

Family time is rich. Our kids went to bed with more gratitude in their hearts last night for their abundant lives and happy family. They understand more and more the value of “family time.”

And speaking of family, we enjoyed a relaxing evening at my sister’s this past weekend. It was a carefree evening, for sure! (photo of my sis, Linda, and me!)


ValleyGirl said...

Another great post! I think it's wonderful that you set aside time for family in the midst of busy schedules, entertaining friends -- and raising kids. Because I'm a SAHM with two pre-schoolers (although one's starting kindergarten tomorrow!), I find it's tough to want MORE quality time with them! Every moment counts, though, at any age, so that's definitely an area where I'm trying to improve.

momrn2 said...

*Family*... What a wonderful word!!!

I was just listening to a program this morning that was sharing statistics gathered from teenagers.

I can't remember the exact numbers, but when these teens were asked what brings them the most happiness in life, over 70% answered spending time with family!!! More than friends, material possessions, etc. FAMILY TIME won!!!

It's a good thing because we try to do a lot of it at our house too! :-) They'd better like it! lol... tee hee hee....:-)

No truly, we cherish our family nights... all of us!

Andrea said...

That's definitely something I want to make a priority too, is FAMILY TIME. In fact, tonight we're planning a bike ride to a close by playground, followed by going out for slurpees.

Great post, once again!

Barb said...

The early years are actually the best time to start establishing "habits" like this. Once kids become teens, their schedules can be a lot harder to deal with. But if things like family nights are already established in kids' lives, they can become an oasis in the midst of all the changes and activities. Good for the Happy Coughlins, keeping some nights for the fam!

Jenster said...

We have family nights, too, and I love them. The older the kids get and the closer to "moving out" the more I cherish our time together. (the oldest is only a sophomore in high school, but I see college looming).

Dee Light said...

We live in such a busy world that it can sometimes be difficult to set time aside for family!! I love that you have shared the importance on family time. Friends are important, and kids should feel that their freinds are welcome in our homes, but having friends in the home is not the same as time spent with family.

Diane @ A Watered Garden said...

Sandy, a visit to your blog is always a breath of fresh air and encouragment for me. Family nights are a great way to stay focused and build close relationships and happy memories. Good Job!! Also, love the pic of you and your sis! Blessings, Diane

Kerry said...

I grew up having family time a regular thing at our house. Dinner time was always spent at the table. Sunday nights became our traditional pizza and game night. I cherish those memories and I'm so thankful my husband shares the same desire to have that for our family. We always have dinner together at the table, tv off. I look forward when our boys are older to doing fun things together just us family.

Jen said...

I agree that family time is so important. We have homemade pizza and movie night every Saturday. Convincing the children that this is our special family time can be difficult occasionally when they are enjoying the company of friends. A visit to you is most refreshing, especially when I need a little inspiration!

Nadine said...

We would do the same with our kids when they were younger. Now that they are grown and out of the house I look back with a smile on my face at those moments and so they. It's great to do this with the kids...it's what they remember most.

Melissa Garrett said...

What a great idea! With little kids, every night seems like family night. However, I can see how it becomes important once the kids get older.

Thanks for the yummy recipe idea!

La Tea Dah said...

Sweet sisters --- lovely post!