The Family Table

Educating Families About the Benefits of Family Meals

Archive for the tag “Memorial Day”

Tip of the Week: Picnic Family Fun!


Recipe of the Week

Wow, Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching! Finally, after the long winter months and a budding spring, the “official start of summer” is just around the corner.

This time of year always makes me think of my years growing up in southwestern Pennsylvania. Mom was always eager for summer weather and the start of summer break from school. Memorial Day weekends, as well as several other days over the summer, were lazy days full of family, friends and picnics. My mom loved a good picnic! At times she went all out with planning food for the picnic. From different salads and vegetable dishes to pulling out the charcoal grill, the food was good and plentiful.  At those times, the backyard was full of adults and children talking and having a good time.

My other memory is of other smaller picnics. Sometimes just Mom and we kids, or on weekends, Dad would join us. They would wake us up in the morning and say, “Girls, get out of bed. We are going on a picnic today!” Those were the best picnics! Usually the food on these days was a little simpler. Mom packed what we had in the refrigerator. Egg salad or peanut butter sandwiches, carrots and celery sticks and some kind of summer fruit like fresh peaches or a melon she had cut that morning. The food was always different, but always tasted great when enjoyed on a blanket outside! As kids, we had the job of packing our toys or things to do for the day. At times we would need our swim suits, but we usually always took a Frisbee, whiffle bat and ball, and even a deck of cards.

Now as an adult, I look back and remember these days as some of the best times with my family. Just being together, talking and laughing while enjoying our meal and getting to spend time with Mom and Dad, playing games and running around! Those simple, sometimes spontaneous times were the best!

I have kept up the picnic tradition with my own family. I take a simple picnic lunch to sporting events my children are in or, on a long vacation drive we pack a sack lunch to eat at a rest stop. My teenagers already laugh and share stories of some of their favorite family picnic memories! It doesn’t take much to make or plan the picnic but the fun memories are plentiful!

Twila Smith
Administrative Assistant, Mom of 2

Tip of the Week: Memorial Day

mem day

This Week’s Featured Recipe

Growing up, I viewed Memorial Day weekend as the beginning of summer – the pools opened and we were freed from school for what seemed like an endless amount of long, hot summer days.  As a working adult I viewed the Memorial Day weekend as a three day break for a family barbeque, fishing, and a trip to the lake or a local pool.

Last fall my oldest son deployed for Afghanistan and I now see Memorial Day in an entirely new light.  While I may panic when the doorbell rings at an unexpected time, all over America there are families who answered their door to find soldiers on their doorstep who informed them that their loved one would not return from war.  I realized that I have done my children a disservice by not teaching them about the true meaning of Memorial Day; that we live in a free country because, since the 1770s, thousands of men and women have given their lives to protect our country.  Our freedom is owed to those soldiers, and their families.

So this Memorial Day, there will be a barbeque, and a much-awaited visit from my oldest daughter and her husband.  There will also be a time while we eat the first grilled burgers of the season, when I teach my younger children about why we celebrate this weekend and the debt we owe to those who gave their lives for our country.  It’s really about character education and this video from the Travis Manion Foundation does an excellent job of teaching, “If not me, then who?” We will also be putting together a box to send my son, but if you don’t know an active duty service person, consider visiting Honor Our Troops and having your children brighten a soldier’s day by writing a letter or sending a box of goodies to a service member stationed in a combat area.


Holli Seabury, CEO, wife and mom of 7

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