“The most important thing in the world is family and love.” John Wooden

JMJ114  *Am I the only one who has been “hiding” the wedding china in the china hutch?  Accordingto my husband, he has no recollection of ever using his parent’s wedding china when he was living at home.  So that china has been collecting dust for at least 56 years!  I am not really any better. 

Ring the School Bell 114/180 Days

Our main meal together every day, while my dad is visiting from Indiana, is followed by an hour or so of good conversation paired with a cup of coffee and baked goodies from the 99 Cents Only Store.  He likes the shortbread cookies filled with raspberry jam, and also those little chocolate swiss rolls. We usually eat in the dining room, where it is a bit more inviting to relaxation and lingering conversation.

After all, “grandpa days” will be coming to an end soon, and he will be flying back home to the Hoosier state.


Enjoying our dining room and our good dishes, brings me to a new tradition which we started this year in our family, which I would like to share with you.

Brunch on Sundays!

I would encourage all of you to try your own variation of this weekly event.

In contrast to a hectic weeknight dinner, Sunday Brunch is a fun and bonding experience for everyone.  After all, before you know it, your kids will be all grown up and out of the house.  Savor these years with your family.  We also like to include a guest or two, or maybe a family, to share the fun.

There is something about eating in the dining room, or setting a special table elsewhere.  Don’t let the dining room become a storage room as I have every now and then.  Clean it out and use it.




Am I the only one who has been “hiding” the wedding china in the china hutch?  According to my husband, he has no recollection of ever using his parent’s wedding china when he was living at home.  So that china has been collecting dust for at least 56 years!  I am not really any better.  I sometimes take it out for Christmas Day.  The beautiful china has just been sitting there in the china hutch. I know it looks so pretty just sitting there in the china hutch, but it will look even prettier on your lovely table.

Before, I had the excuse that my kids were little and it was just too much trouble.  But now, they are built-in helpers.

Back to the brunch, what we do is prepare most of the brunch on Saturday, including setting a special table, so that on Sunday when we get back from church service, it is basically waiting for us.  It almost feels like someone else prepared the meal!

Everyone over age 5 can pitch in.  Maybe the little ones can gather flowers from outdoors or fold napkins.  As far as cleaning the china after the meal, each individual can wash his own dish and utensils.  Okay, maybe letting the 5-year-old handle the fine china is not the most brilliant idea, but certainly the older kids can do their own, as well as the dishes of the visiting guests.


Delegate tasks.  For instance, someone can flip the pancakes, another can serve the orange juice and coffee, and you can relax and truly enjoy your family.

Invite someone different every week or maybe a friendly acquaintance at church that you would like to get to know better.  At the most recent brunch we hosted, the guests ended up not being able to make it, but we celebrated just the same.  I had forgotten how much fun the anticipation of a special meal is, except around the holidays, of course.

We keep our brunches very simple.  Each time we choose a different “star”, whether French toast, pancakes, or a Greek salad.  The “star” should be extra special, and everything else nice and simple.  For our last brunch, we prepared the Greek salad.  I marinated the veggie portion of the salad overnight in a special dressing, just like my mom used to do.  It turned out delicious.


Here is the Greek salad recipe.  I hope I have motivated you to have many brunch adventures of your own!  Blessings to you and your family,  Annette

For a printed version of the Greek Salad recipe, see here:

Recipe- Greek Salad

The Greek Salad

What makes this particular recipe special, is the marinating of the vegetables overnight, in a homemade red wine flavored salad dressing.


2 Hearts of Romaine, cut up or torn into bite-sized pieces

4 small tomatoes, sliced in thin wedges

2 persian cucumbers, thinly sliced

½ green pepper, chopped

½ red pepper, chopped

½ large red onion, chopped

20 or so Greek olives

1 cup feta cheese (I serve this on the side because of dairy allergies)

(If a little more protein is desired, serve with chopped chicken as an optional topping)


4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (a food processor will mince these easily)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon oregano

2/3 cup olive oil

Dressing directions:

Whisk together all of the ingredients except for the olive oil.  Slowly pour in the olive oil while whisking constantly.

Salad directions:

Combine all of the vegetables except for the lettuce, in a large salad bowl.  Stir in ½ of the dressing, cover, and marinate overnight, stirring a few times.  Right before serving, toss in the lettuce and stir in the rest of the dressing.  Serve with feta cheese and chicken on the side, if desired.

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** Note to the Reader- Today’s narrative is part of our family’s school journey from a few years ago, during my eldest daughter’s senior year in high school, a rather emotional year, with its many ups and downs.  Every day’s blog entry coincides with a day from that special year.  It can be read from the beginning by selecting the “Ring the School Bell 180” category on the side bar.  Commence with the narrative, “The School Bell- What comes to mind when ‘you’ hear that bell?”

Start here to get the story from the very beginning:


Follow along with us day-by-day through the school year.  Hope you will join us!

May God shower blessings on your family as he has on mine.    Annette






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