Monday, November 9, 2015

sibling dinner

Saturday, we all spent the entire day preparing for the Sibling Dinner.  It's been a long, long time!  Too long.  A few months ago, Alan and Jill said that they miss them and we should do them again.  That's all I needed to realize that I was shunning my "responsibility".  I do feel a certain "responsibility" to gather the family often.  It's work.  It's sometimes expensive.  It's not always easy to co-ordinate our schedules.  But, it's worth it!  So worth it! 

So, in between running Grace back and forth to her work and her Bella Voce performance, we got the house ready, the tables set, food prepared and ready for the evening.  The only thing I wanted from Doug for my birthday was a round banquet table and I was excited to use it for the first time.  It fits perfectly in the den.  HAPPINESS! 

I made food assignments to the siblings.   Dinner was fabulomoso!  I prepared White Chicken Chili and a very spicy Tortilla soup.  Aleece and Dee brought artichoke spread on little baguettes what were sooooo tasty and some little fried chick peas.  Oh my!  Don and Barbie brought a beautiful platter with grapes and all sorts of delicious fancy cheeses. Alan and Jill brought a spinach salad with a raspberry vinegrette but the salad... it had all sorts of fruits and nuts and feta.  Oh my again!  Anne and Bob brought drinks of all kinds and Danny and Alene brought a most delicious apple cobbler.  Mom and Norm brought the ice cream for it!  It was such a perfect meal!

This was the first family gathering in our new home.  Dividing us into two tables was the only thing that I wasn't sure I'd like.  With fourteen of us, however, we needed it.  I loved the conversations, though, with less at each table.  We laughed so hard!  Doug was in tears, listening to Dee tell a story about conducting a meeting and his "goofs".  It was just a fun!

After dinner, we gathered in the living room for our "Table talk".  Doug's family are not lovers of having their photos posted on my blog, so here's a picture of the living room.  The rest is up to the imagination.  Fourteen of us, gathered together, for a really special hour.

Our dinner happened to fall on the day of Doug's Mom and Dad's 63rd anniversary.  It wasn't planned that way, but it happened, so I decided to make the questions about their marriage.  We did it a bit differently than I normally do.   Each person drew a question from a bowl.  They were to, first, ask Mom the question and she would answer it about her marriage to Dale.  (Norm, her new husband was great to be a part of this with no hesitation.  He said that some say never mention the first spouse to the new spouse.  They'd both lost their spouses and love talking about them to each other.  He's such a good man!  We just love him!)  After Mom answered the question about her marriage to Dale, then each person would answer the question about their own life.  We had some pretty touching moments and fun stories, all of learning new things about each other.  Here were our table talk questions for the evening:

What was the reaction of each of the in-laws to you and your spouse
when you first introduced them to each other?

What attributes did he/she have that drew you to them?
When did you know that you wanted to marry your spouse?  How?
  What’s the most poignant memory of your wedding day?
 How did you choose the names of your children?
  Was there one “happiest moment together” that you could pinpoint specifically?
How do/did the two of you relax together or spend your downtime together?
 Who were/are your “couple” best friends?  What were your commonalities?  What did/do you do together?
    Name one tradition that each of you brought into your marriage. 
What’s something your spouse taught you how to do? 
What’s something your spouse taught you about life?
Looking back from today, what was the biggest surprise to you about your marriage?
Share the story of the biggest “get-away” that the two of you took alone.
In your marriage, what 3 things brought you the most pleasure and satisfaction?

aDoug and I were talking about it afterward. He commented on how special it is to feel the love and support for each other in his family.  There were some pretty deep feelings and thoughts shared.  Doug's Dad has been gone for 44 years.  He would turn 92 this next month.  I never had the privilege of meeting him, but I love this man more than words can say.  As I listened to the answers to the questions about Doug's parents, and about his siblings in their relationships, I can see the influence of his dad over and over again in all of them.  

The highest compliment ever paid to me was by a farmer in Malad Idaho who said, "Oh, gal!  Dale would have loved you!  He just would love you!"  And for that reason, I feel compelled to bring this family together often!    It may be work to get it together, but it always feels great when all is said and done!  

Life is good!


  1. What a great party and menu. You are a blessing to the family. love.
    Oh, your house looks lovely.🌻

  2. Your house looks so cosy and what a pretty table scape!

  3. Your house looks so cosy and comfy and what a pretty table scape!

  4. I <3 your house! I need you to come to Michigan and decorate my house! :-)

    I was wondering if you plan on showing off your kitchen? Or did you and I missed it? If not, please do share! Would love to see it!