Yesterday, Poppy and I spent the bulk of the day watching Oz play baseball while Johan had the other two at Espen’s games (where there are lots of other siblings to play with!). Our day included a couple hours of driving which gave Poppy a chance to nap and me a chance to catch up with Ozzie which is rare these days now that he is driving. A big win, win! On the way home we stopped at a favorite outdoor spot in Gig Harbor, JW @ the boatyard, for dinner. It was such a great day but our dinner out got me thinking about two things I wanted to share and also chat with you guys about:

1. What are we going to eat this week? (simple meal plan below) and 2. How can I encourage (instead of nag) good table manners during the next few months when meals are eaten picnic style, with friends, or out and about?

With the 4th happening tomorrow and our home looking like a complete disaster at the moment, I’m keeping things super simple this week. Here’s what we’ll be eating:

MONDAY | medeteranian orzo pasta salad (add chicken and it’s a complete meal!!!)

TUESDAY | 4th of July grub!

WEDNESDAY | leftovers or takeout

THURSDAY | Cold sesame chicken and noodle salad

FRIDAY | caprese grilled cheese sandwiches and a salad

SATURDAY | salmon tacos

SUNDAY | salmon corn chowder with leftovers 

Poppy insisted on squeezing out her own ketchup packets, ha! By the time she was done, Oz was almost finished with his tacos :)

Good job Pop!

Aren’t they cute together? Best buds. Even with the huge age gap. But snuggling at the dinner table at home isn’t really allowed… hence my dilemma!

A few of the things we are usually consistent about even when eating away from our own kitchen table is saying a prayer, sharing our highs and a low from the day, and clearing our spots (if that’s an option).

If you guys haven’t heard of highs and lows (or happy and crappy for mature audiences), Oh Joy wrote about it here. We’ve been doing it for years and it’s easily a highlight of my day!


How do you guys encourage good table manners, especially during the summer months when routines look a little different? Do you have any mealtime games or traditions? PLEASE share in the comments.

Have a very happy and safe 4th of July holiday you guys!!!

xo, Rae






  1. Jana July 4, 2017 at #

    I like the idea of highs and low from each child’s day! When my kids were younger, I had a special plate that we used and if it was at your spot, everyone else had to say what we thought was special (or some good comment) about that child. It was fun for everyone and each child had their own night. Precious pictures of Poppy & Oz! Poppy looks so cute & determined to get her ketchup out just right :) and handsome Oz reminds me of my son with his curly hair and hat on. You can tell they love each other!

    • rae July 6, 2017 at #

      omgosh, i love the plate idea too! so good!

      and aren’t curls the best?

      thanks jana :) xo

  2. Shelley July 5, 2017 at #

    With school out the boys are not always all home for dinner at night, at the same time. I’m struggling to even make a plan, because I never know how many will be there. We’re doing quite a bit of simple relaxed meals lately. And yes, manners are always a struggle with little (and bigger) ones. We too always say prayer and try to talk about our day, and practice listening to each other. :) Sweet pics and hope your 4th was great!

    • rae July 6, 2017 at #

      glad we are all in it together shelley! and that my older ones aren’t the only one that let their manners slip… you would think they would be tired of the reminders, lol.


  3. Joy July 6, 2017 at #

    Our little guy loves when we tell stories about “when I was younger.” I remember that being a favorite thing for us cousins to listen to all the adults as everyone sat around the table at Christmas and just laughed. And he loves to hear stories about when he was a baby. My parents are much better story tellers than I, but I love reminiscing about my childhood. I see our kiddo looking at me the way I remember looking at my mom when she told me stories of when she was a little girl. A super sweet time. Manners, I got nothing.

    • rae July 6, 2017 at #

      haha, I love it! and love the story telling idea too. thanks so much for sharing joy! xo

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