June 1, 2010

Happy Hour

We have a friend who works very hard and long hours.  One way that he and his wife have found to keep connected and maintain a happy marriage that has spanned more than 25 years is Happy hour.  Every evening, at a certain time, they drop everything and spend some time together over drinks and nibbles. 

Now we do not drink alcohol, but when you work in the home, either as a home maker, home schooler or an Electrical Engineer, it can sometimes be difficult to transition from the work day to the slower pace of evening family time. 

In the winter months, the children and I usually end our school day with tea time to change gears.  In the summer months that doesn't work as well.  Besides, Allen hates tea.  So I stole their idea.  I hope you don't mind Uncle Griffiths. 

A few years ago we instituted a new tradition.  From Memorial Day weekend through the day we depart for our vacation in the fall, our family meets between four and five o'clock at the pool for appetizers, beverages, some chit chat, games and usually a dip in the pool.

My grandmother was a caterer for many years and I love appetizers so I have a large repertoire of little treats that are quick and easy to fix, when it's too hot to be in the kitchen. The only thing missing was an icy drink with a little umbrella in it.

That's where this great book came in.  We read about it in the newspaper a number of years ago and Allen got it for me from Amazon.com

It is filled with easy to make fruity concoctions to delight everyone poolside.  Kaitlin whipped up these mimosa's this evening.       

Isn't that tray perfect?  Brianna gave it to me with some festive stem ware for Mother's Day, in anticipation of the beginning of Happy Hour Season.  Kaitlin through in a great bar towel to go with it.  

In years past, I have done most of the fixing and serving at happy hour.  But this year we decided to do things a little differently.  Everyone has so much fun choosing the menu items and finding fancy ways to serve them up that we divided into teams.  Each team serves for a week and then we rotate.  The roster will circle through four times before vacation. 

The team of the week plans the menu, makes the grocery list, prepares, serves and cleans up.  This week Kaitlin and Nathaniel are on duty.  They are going to be a tough act to follow.  Here is Nathaniel with his pepperoni and cream cheese wraps.   

They have also served blue corn tortilla chips with homemade salsa and sour cream, bruschetta, brie and fruit and home made chex mix.  I know home made pita and tzatziki are on the menu later this week and I am looking forward to that! 

Why am I sharing this with you?  I guess because the thing is in this world it is difficult to find time for the important things.  Even good things, like helping others or serving in the church can become a problem if you never take time for family.  If we don't make a point of setting aside those moments and making them sacred, all the moments will slip right by before we realize it. 

People always ask me what I do different that my family enjoys being together, that my children get along well and that my husband and I are more in love each year.  And there it is.  We do enjoy serving together in many different ways with family, friends, neighbors and in the church.  But we never forget to purpose to make moments for being together with no distractions from the outside world.  Just us, all together.  Tying heartstrings. Sharing triumphs, joys and trials.  Laughing and, yes, even crying at times.

Happy is hour is just a few of those moments.   

For more works for me Wednesday ideas go to We are that family.


  1. Your seemingly absent sister checking in and catching up. Can't believe how much Than has grown! What a handsome young man. What happened to that cute little boy who used to bat those big eyes every time I came to visit? I'm looking forward to cocktail hour and will bring a recipe or two to share!

  2. I haven't stopped by for awhile. i see I missed alot of great post..

    Love the happy hour idea!!

  3. LOVE THIS! wish I could hug you right back for this inspired idea.
    We are in the midst of rushing around in the evening for baseball, but will be instituting this at the creek once the season is over!
    Thank You!

  4. How about laughing til you cry...that's allowed, right?

  5. dear Found the secret,

    I love this!
    We are firm believers in the theory of eating together...around here at least 2 times a day. It is good to stay connected, and nothing brings the people in this house together so well as FOOD!

    Feeding eachother

  6. I love this idea! Need to work it into my family. Sounds fun and its always nice being around the ones you love.