Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hospitality is...Lemonade

Have you ever walked into somebodys home...even to quickly drop off something...and been offered a drink of water or a cup of tea? It is the most welcome and kind guesture anybody could offer a guest. Even if you are on the run, it is the thought that counts! It is one way of saying: "Stay. I care about you. How are you?"

When you have guests in your home...YES, even family!!!! It is your chance to comfort and to offer hospitality. It is your opportunity to love and to listen. I know. We all have days where we are running a million directions, trying to balance family, friends, sports, laundry, grocery shopping, work, dental appointments and everything else, but it is vital that we stay in the WORD so that at any given time, we are able to offer comfort to those who enter our homes...even if we feel like we have nothing to offer!
Remember, sometimes we just need to listen!

Here is a little assignment for us. I am not telling you what to do...but I want you to see how great it feels to do something very simple in offering the next person who graces your home with a drink, okay? What do you think? Are you up for it? I'm doing the same thing!

Let's make it fun! Since picnic season is will serve two purposes.


Now remember, we are anticipating. That means we are planning for and looking forward to someone dropping in. SO, since my dishwasher always seems to be full...and not everybody likes drinking water or lemonade out of champagne flutes...I love to fill glass jars. {My friends always give me grief for my glass jars, but hey...!} Mason jars are great or you may recycle other glass jars, too. Go ahead and fill them with ice water or whatever else you would like.

A half gallon of Newman's Own Lemonade is less than $2 and it fills about 7 pint jars. I fill the jars with ice, top it off with lemonade, add a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint {thank you, Jess!} I screw the lids on and put them all in a glass 9X13 pan, so they are ready to go. This eliminates sticky bottoms all over the fridge.

Have your children help you with this. It is a great way of letting them know that you will be exercising "hospitality" to your guests by offering them a drink. This is the perfect time to explain hospitality to them. They will become hospitality minded very quickly!

Having these drinks ready will also be great to grab before sports activities picnics or for your children to offer their friends. Another thing I do...which saves on glasses is to have punched tags {I make them out of scrap paper!} available...that way, when your children are done with their drinks, they can mark them with their initial or name and keep it cold in the fridge for later use!

SO, if it is water, lemonade or iced tea you will be serving...the most important thing is that you will be SERVING, comforting and caring!

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

2 Corinthians 1:3-4

IF YOU LIVE IN THE AREA: I will be offering a HOMEMAKING 101 CLASS on Thursday, MAY 26th from 7-9. The class is $20 and I have four spots left. The topic for the evening is PICNIC PACKIN'. I am really excited about this. It will be a fun evening of ideas, snacks, recipes and a couple of drawings! Please e-mail me for the details! Hope you can join us!

HOSPITALITY IS...a meal to go

Showing hospitality by taking meals to people when they are sick, have had surgery or just need a little extra tlc when life gets overwhelming can be such a JOY! Sometimes it is easy to become so focused on our own families that it becomes difficult to think of others around us who are in need of our encouragement and help.

There have been PLENTY of times in my life when I have been taken under the wings of others and have been shown mercy. It is still a blessing thinking back to so many times others have cared for me and for my family. I can't help but to think of how it feels to be taken care of. It is one of the best feelings in the world!

When I think of hospitality, I think of the root word "hospital". So, I looked it up...just for fun. I know we are all familiar with what a hospital is, but my old 1963 edition of Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines it as follows: "a charitable institution for the needy, aged, infirm, or young, an institution where the sick or injured are given medical or surgical care."

While we are most likely not giving medical or surgical care, taking a meal to someone is comforting beyond words and it is always appreciated and welcome. For those of you who may struggle having people in your homes, this is the perfect alternative for you!

If your palms are starting to sweat, hold on. Showing hospitality to others does not mean fancy schmancy. It does not have to be homemade and it certainly does not have to be a complete meal...unless you signed up for it. If you did commit and are feeling like it is more than you bargained for, ask a friend to help. Maybe you can split the meal.

What is the first thing you do after you commit to taking a dinner to someone? Do you start to stress and wish you would have never offered? Do you ask a friend to trade dates in hope that the recipient will no longer be in need when it rolls around to your turn? Anyway you look at it, it can be a daunting task, to not only need to fix your family dinner but somebody elses family as well!

I think my favorite binder is the "MEALS TO GO" binder. It has made taking meals to people so easy...and might I add...FUN! I am not even kidding! Taking the guess work out of what to prepare and take allows me to make quick decisions and spend a little extra time embellishing it. It is a great way to pamper people and I no longer feel like I am just doing crafts "to do" crafts, but it allows me to be a little creative while being able to share with those who are in need!

Here is what works for me, but I would love to hear what works for you. Others ideas are always welcome and appreciated!!! I think we all enjoy hearing how other people do things!


Label your binder

The first page has the list of meals I choose from...if your recepient loves something in particular that you are aware of it makes it even easier to decide!
Keep this list simple and doable. If it is a chicken from Costco, a loaf of bread, bag-o-salad and lemonade, write it down. If it is a box of cereal, milk and bread write it down. This has to be what works for YOU! If it is having a pizza delivered write the phone number down so that you can call and have it DELIVERED! Are we all on the same page? Onward we go!

Each Meal has a complete list of what I will be taking to make it a "meal".

I would encourage you to come up with one menu for each season...start with one meal that will be a JOY to make!

The next page has the recipes, so I am not spending all my time flippin' through different binders trying to track down what I need to make dinner.

Have you ever thought about taking breakfast the evening before? This is AWESOME. You can deliver it in the evening after your evening has "settled" down and it might be a very welcome change for one VERY happy recipient. You may want to try it!

While we have been talking about "meals to go", I wanted to make sure that I mentioned this: there are certainly seasons in our lives where helping others is easier than others. Showing hospitality is nurturing. It is showing you care. Simple as that.

A few of my favorite things I have received as a "bedridden Momma" are: {1}a little bag with a card, a peppermint plant and a box of tea, {2}a bottle of sparkling water and a fresh lemon, {3}a bag of epsom salts etc. Even a sleeve of Saltine crackers and 7 UP is something you could keep on hand to deliver when the need arises!

Simple meals to go:

taco salad

bbq beef or chicken

roasted chicken from the deli, a salad and bread

potato sald and chicken strips


pasta salad and crusty bread

tortilla soup and cornbread

So, as we have all been given the gift of TODAY, I hope that you, too, will find JOY in showing hospitality in a very real way wheather it be a meal, a note or a cup of lemonade!

Happy May!

Shared with: Domestically Divine,titus2 at the well, titus 2sday

Friday, April 29, 2011

Cinco de Mayo Omelettes {in a bag}

Cinco de Mayo is next Thursday, so I thought it might be fun to do omelettes in a bag!

This may be a bit confusing, and I am sure I will be getting some e-mails to clear it up, but I am going to try.

You are going to need heavy duty ZIPLOC gallon bags. The thin, flimsy ones will not hold up in boiling water unless they are making them stronger than they used to.

Figure on about four eggs per person and whisk them away in a bowl with a bit of milk and salt and pepper. Set aside.

Set out fillings for your Mexican-style omelettes. Here are a few suggestions: chopped onions, chopped cilantro, diced jalapenos, green chiles, shredded cheddar and jack cheese, diced tomatoes etc...

Bring a large pot of boiling water to boil.

Have everybody fill a ZIPLOC bag with about 1 cup of egg mix and then have them add in the condiments. SEAL it and squish it {kids love this}. Place it into boiling water for at least 5 minutes or until omelette is "set".

DO NOT HAVE YOUR CHILDREN DO THIS!!! My personal "safety monitor" will be reading this. BE CAREFUL to only have the water boiling gently.

Pull out of water and slide out onto plate. Serve with salsa and sour cream on the side!

*for smaller portions, figure on about 1/2 cup egg mix and place into quart size bags...again, ZIPLOC!

*Want a yummy Cinco de Mayo drink? Mix half orange juice and lemonade...

Happy Happy Friday!

Recipe shared with: Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, titus 2sday

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Cinnamon Focaccia Squares

Okay girls. Here you go. Here is something you can literally "whip up" that is really really really good! This is a great recipe that is sure to please most and it takes minutes to prepare. Perfect for a Saturday morning breakfast or for a late-night snack for HUNGRY teenagers. Yummy enough to take to a friend and beautiful enough for a shower or birthday brunch! ENJOY!

Cinnamon Focaccia Squares
Lisa Pearson


2 cups very warm water

1 Tbsp. active dry yeast

3 cups bread flour

1 cup all purpose flour {I use half white/wheat}

1 Tbsp. sea salt

1/4 cup butter, melted

Cinnamon sugar

Brown sugar...about 1/2 cup


In a large mixing bowl, mix flour and salt. Add yeast and water. Stir with a spoon
until dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and is smooth.

Cover dough and let rise for 1 hour.

Pour onto greased cookie sheet or onto parchment paper lined pan or SILPAT.

With greased hands, spread dough on SILPAT. Using your knuckles...spread dough out forming holes in the will want to form a rectangular shape.

Using a silicone pastry brush, brush melted butter onto bread.

Sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar and brown sugar.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until bread is golden brown.

Cool just a tad and cut into squares using a pair of scissors {THANKS MOM!}

Drizzle with a powdered sugar glaze OR dip in melted butter and spread with cream cheese frosting. We are not paying attention to calories here! Aside from that, we are all about comfort food since we are back to winter weather, HOT baths and warm flannel jammies!

Shared with: titus2sday,comfy in the kitchen

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

HOSPITALITY IS...ribbons, twine and string

Happy Wednesday! I hope you all are doing well and maybe some of you are enjoying a bit of spring-like weather. The sun has been shining a bit more here and it is glorious!

The word "hospitality" can be a bit intimidating, but last week we were challenged to anticipate company and offering a drink for friends who drop by. I have had so much fun getting e-mails from some of you and I am happy you have had fun with it. We have had a great time with it, too! We have had lots of lemonade and tea-sippin' going on around here.

Anyhoo, back to "hospitality". When I think of hospitality, I think of the root word "hospital". So, I looked it up...just for fun. I know we are all familiar with what a hospital is, but my old 1963 edition of Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines it as follows: "a charitable institution for the needy, aged, infirm, or young, an institution where the sick or injured are given medical or surgical care."

While we are most likely not giving medical or surgical care, our homes should be a haven for our families who in turn are able to offer care for those in need. Hospitality starts at birth, I think. It is the family who nurtures the babe, who cuddles, and takes care of their needs... that we are exercising what it means to be hospitable and if we aren't demonstrating it to our children...they will not know how to demonstrate it to their families and to those who need it.

I know there is a fine balance between doing everything for your family and doing everything for everybody else...but it is healthy for families to teach their children the joy in serving others.

SOOO, here is this week's HOSPITALITY challenge. Ready? Maybe you have some twine, string or ribbon. If not, maybe you can splurge and buy a springy color of ribbon. You can purchase a roll of thin ribbon at Michaels for less than 50 cents or use your coupon for a more spendy ribbon you may like better.

I love ribbon and twine and I don't think that guests ever tire of a little something sweet.

It is not complicated or time consuming. If anything, it will give your children something to do. Again, a very do-able project to help your children anticipate and enjoy serving others.

If you have overnight guests:

*Have your children gather a bit of greenery {weeds are fine!} from outside and then have them wrap a bow around a washcloth and tuck in a piece of greenery.

*A few cookies placed in a bag and tied with a ribbon.

*A carafe of water with a ribbon tied at the neck and a sprig of greenery.

*Have the children turn down the sheets before they go to bed. That will give the children something to do before they scamper off to bed.

*What about a letter telling them how much their visit means to you? Twine or ribbon can be tied around the envelope for that extra touch. Sweet Dreams will be sure to follow.

If you do not have overnight guests:

*Take a few minutes and ask your children who they would like to encourage. Let the children gather "bouquets" of flowers and tie it with a bow. Deliver them together.

*It is a good idea to make an extra batch of baked goods and place a few in a bag or into a leftover produce box, tie it up and let your children help deliver.

For family members:

*When a college student comes home, it is refreshing for them to come home to a CLEAN room.

*Make sure their sheets are fresh and that they have a clean fluffy towel! We all know college students do NOT send their sheets and towels through the wash once a week!

*Have the children pick out a little "treat" for family members. Once a week you can pick another family member to care for. This allows them to really think about others and to be sensitive to the needs around them. Have them put it in a little bag, tie it with a ribbon and place it under the recipients pillow. THEY WILL LOVE THIS!

*Ideas shared with: raising homemakers

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

HOME on walls

Hope you are comfy and have a little time on your hands because this is going to be a bit longer than usual.

No matter what art or trinkets one may collect, I think it is the photos that hang on the walls in our homes that make any house a home.

With as many times as I have moved in my life, it never really feels quite like "HOME" until after the nails are hammered into the studs {or NOT!} and the pictures are hung.

Our homes are a very real place. It is the place where trust is learned and where we have our first glimpse of how life is. It is in our homes where our families are nurtured and grown.

I am pretty sure every new mom has been offered their share of advice. There are times you love advice and there are times you just want to go home, tuck the baby into bed, tip-toe to your bedroom, gently!!!!cloooose the door, gather all the bed pillows AND the rocking chair pad, stack 'em all on top of each other, bury your face and SCREAM!

Well, not in this case. This was advice that was soothing to my ears and most welcome. "PUT THINGS IN FRONT OF YOUR CHILDREN'S EYES TO REMIND THEIR HEARTS THE MEANING OF WHATEVER IT IS YOU WANT TO TEACH THEM." Isn't that great advice?

Back to pictures. I am not talking about a Pottery Barn Catalog Ad with shelves and shelves of B.U.TIFUL pictures...with perfectly groomed children who have supposedly been playing at the beach ALL day long, model parents who look like they have spent the day at the spa, pictures of afternoon walks where the wild hair has been cropped and where yellowing teeth have been whitened...I am talking about Real Pictures of Real Events and Real memories. Old pictures that link us to our past and pictures of our babies when they were still babies. Pictures of our grandparents with their children. Pictures of family friends. Framed pictures of fun family vacations etc.

One of my favorite pictures in our home is framed in a black frame {my only one from Pottery Barn!} Inside each of the beveled windows is a black and white wedding picture. My in-laws on one end, Scott and I in the center and my parent's wedding picture on the other end.

We pass by the picture every day. So do our children.

It is a great example of putting things in front of our children's eyes {and ours for that sake!} to remind their hearts {and ours} of what commitment means. Commitment in this day and age is rare. When things get tough, it is so easy and tempting at times to quit and walk away.

{I am NOT suggesting that we are perfect and have everything figured out-and for those of you who know us-you KNOW!}

As a result of our parents commitment to one another and to keep their vows, we have been challenged to love each other despite our differences, despite broken dreams, despite lost hope, and despite fear of the unknown.

The wedding vows we took on different years, in different churches and in different cities were not only a commitment to our spouses, but most importantly to God.

We have always had a wedding picture hung where our children could see it, because not only is it comforting, but it is also good for them to see how we have changed in many ways. Our hair is different {THANK GOODNESS!}, styles have changed, we now have lines on our faces, and with time there is no arguing that we have AGED...but our JOY has not withered away {Joel 1:12}

When our children look at our wedding pictures along with those of their grandparents when they have their own families, I want their hearts to be reminded of what commitment means and how with God's grace and mercy...their joy will also abound.

*This post is re-posted
*This post is shared with: Women Living Well

Monday, April 25, 2011

"I'll Carry You"

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I think most families have at least one child that challenges its family one way or another. Ours is no exception.

When our son was in preschool, I remember having to sit down behind him and having to wrap my legs around him in order to get him to sit still long enough to listen to a story.

My friends would talk about their blissful Saturday mornings when their kids would "pop" in a video and sit for hours while they would lounge. Not in our home. Caleb would be up by 7:00 at the latest...ready to do or work on a project or have his boots on to go outside and explore. I really was TOTALLY jealous and tried to be happy for them, but it just did not seem fair.

Fast forward 14 years and he still has energy to spare. In January, Caleb and I took a winter's walk along the path in the wetlands. It is something we enjoy because the air is always extra crisp and fresh along the creek.

As we were walking, Caleb spotted the tree that had fallen due to the beavers. He knew, because he had already checked it out on an earlier excursion. He wanted me to see the beaver's teeth marks at the base of the large tree. I was completely happy with him telling me ALLLL about it, but it it was so important for him to not only tell me about it but to SHOW me.

I was so focused with staying on task to get our walk "in" and to get back home to make dinner that I had to be convinced.

All I could see was the muddy, soggy ground, lots of shrubbs and branches that had to be moved to get down to the creek. After a couple of minutes, Caleb walked back toward me and said,"Mom, I'll help you up on my back and I'll carry you!".

Not only did he carry me, but he cleared the branches as we forged through the wetlands. He set me up on the slippery trunk and took my hand as we balanced ourselves down to where the trunk had been gnawed away by the beavers. How thrilling! It was yet another reminder of why God blessed us with our son.

Time and time again I have learned so much about my Savior through the children he has entrusted us with. Sometimes I wonder if they have been put in our care to give us just that much more of an understanding of how He cares and takes care of us.

How many times am I happy with the comfortable? Are there times He wants me to EXPERIENCE life beyond the dry familiar path? Is He asking me to go through the mud? If He is, I can be assured that it is worth the extra time, worth the sight and best of all He promises to carry me, clear the branches, set me up on a safe spot, take my hand and show me THE THRILLING and AMAZING!

Do you view challenges as an opportunity to grow or just as another frustration in your life?

Psalm 27:5
" For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock."


Shared with: ">Multitude Mondays, inspiration friday, saturday eveving blog post

Friday, April 22, 2011


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Two Step Spinach and Chive Linguine Alfredo

Okay. If that doesn't sound fancy schmancy, I am not sure what will float your boat...but it sounds pretty gourmet to me!

If you have no time to cook, but want something that is about as easy as Easy Mac-n-Cheese {I remember thinking to can it be easier than it already is!} but want something worthy of serving for a special occasion...let's see...maybe a child passed a test, a hubby got a promotion, a child got a passing "D", the baby slept through the night, the lawn was dry enough to mow etc. this may just fit the bill! Actually, it may be three steps. OOPS!

Spinach and Chive Linguine Alfredo


1 pkg. Spinach and Chive Linguine {Trader Joe's OR plain ole' linguine noodles for the littles

1 jar. Alfredo sauce {YEP! STORE bought!} Trader Joe's, Newman's Own etc.

Maybe a few sundried tomatoes or sauteed mushrooms if you want to really go gourmet.


*Prepare noodles according to directions on package.

*Heat Alfredo sauce according to directions on jar.

*Pour warm sauce over warm noodles and toss together. Serve and enjoy your gourmet dinner!

If you are planning on serving this for company...have them bring the bread or a salad and serve Italian Cream Sodas and you have got a quick dinner that will take minutes to prepare.

This is a great dinner to take to a new Momma as they are able to make it when they need it. Not much prep on your end and no need for lots of freezer space or in the fridge! You may want to go ahead and slice a loaf of french bread and butter it because it can easily be frozen and used as needed.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Liquid Nails and Hidden Messages: A Remodel

You would think this would have been posted about a LONG time ago. Can't believe I forgot to show you the pictures of our fresh, clean, no-more-nasty-mold, fan-havin', soakin' tub master bath!

Maybe it was all the trauma, that I simply forgot! Just kidding! It took awhile to finish, but we are so enjoying it! I still can't believe that we have a TUB in the master bathroom after 20 plus years of marriage!

Thank you Poppi for telling us what to do. How nice to have our self-appointed general contractor right next door! Thank you for helping guide us along and for being a phone call away. What would we do without your selfless attitude and willingness to feel sorry for us? AND A HUGE thank you for figuring out the cans of spray texture, lots of talks and a lot of laughs!

Thank you honey, for working so hard on your days off to build our "SOFITEL" bathroom. Just another project to cross off our list and a whole lot of memories deposited into the memory bank. Just think of the fun we had with the liquid nails and faucet shopping at close. Thank you for teaching me how to lay tile...oh and for centering the toilet on the wall and for centering the tile around the toilet. I love the way you love me...ocd and all!!! Most of all, thank you for teaching your children the value of hard work and how to use the talents they have. thank you for teaching them how to be wise and how to wait and how to save for something. Thank you for insisting that they help despite the extra time involved and the imperfections that you choose to overlook. Oh how I love you and thank God for giving you to me. We are a blessed family! xoxoxoxoxoxo

Thank you Caleb...what can I say? Happy to have another strong workin' man in our family who loves hard work and helping his momma! You will make a fine hubby to one very blessed wife. HMMM...a man who can cook, clean, and be okay with home improvements.

...even our little dappled dachshund doggie is happy this project is over!

SOOO, after ripping out the shower and doors, {no pic, because my hubby surprised me and started while I was out!} we decided to take part of two walls out to open up the maze of walls! The tub was installed and we put subway tile around because my hubby is super tall...that way there is no room for water to spash the walls.

The toilet was moved, plumbing was changed, dimmers installed, and since the lighting could not be centered over the sink {a stud issue} my brilliant hubby installed canned lighting that was able to be centered over each sink. I love less thing to dust. The holes left from the old plumbing were hidden with beadboard. Love that stuff. At this point we did not want to do anymore sheetrock and I never in my lifetime have any desire to see a can of texture again. We were going to beadboard the bathroom ceiling to match our bedroom ceiling, but the can lights did not allow for, it was back to scraping off the last of the popcorn ceiling by hand! NASTINESS! We built the cabinets,cut the countertop to size, installed the sinks, and cut and laid tile, painted and beadboarded around the toilet.

I didn't really want carpet by the sinks, but I also didn't want the bathroom to look cold, so we decided to carpet in front of the closets and have tile by the toilet and the sinks. It is the perfect compromise.

Am I missing anything? Nope...don't think so!

ALMOST forgot!!! I didn't know if I should laugh or cry! After hours of scraping {days if you count the rest of the house!}...guess what Home Depot sells? I actually had to grab a can and ask the cashier if anybody buys the stuff? I think she could see what a mess I was...because she was so sweet. She said, "no, not really...most people get rid of it." WHHHEW!

Now, acoording to Kim, I just need art work from here.

Be FILLED with His joy today!

"Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning"
Psalm 30:5

How appropriate for Easter!

If you live in the Portland area you are invited to:

There are two spots left. Please email me for the details. Topic for May: Picnic Packin'. I would love to have you!