When I was hosting the 2 parties at our house a couple of weeks ago, I had the table all set with a fresh, clean tablecloth. And since we couldn't eat at the kitchen table, we had a pizza picnic in the living room.
The kids love it when we do things like this. It was easy clean-up and a memory that was made.
And Melanie and the twins had just picked fresh wild flowers outside to help set our "table".
And you know how sometimes you don't do something because it's much bigger in your head than what the reality actually is? I hate it when I do that. Like when my shoes are all caddywompous in my closet and I just won't organize them because it seems like it will take an hour, but it really only takes 6 minutes? Or that pile of recipes that you desperately want to organize in a 3 ring binder with tabs to separate main dishes, desserts, appetizers, breads, breakfast casseroles, etc.? I have to do that job soon.
Well that's me with making homemade bread.
Until yesterday, that is.
Perhaps the only down-side is the waiting.
and waiting a little more for the dough to rise.
And since I didn't have any raisins on hand, I used toasted pecans like some of the other people that made the recipe and left a review did.
Lots of people mentioned giving a loaf as a gift, and I think I might just do that for Christmas. Only I probably will make mini loaves.
So what do you think? Is it something you will try?
Do you make homemade bread? If you do, I'd love to try a recipe that you absolutely love.
We had to clear our Saturday schedule on Friday. Why you ask?
Because that's when we found out about my husband's 20th high school reunion that would be taking place the very next day. There was a bit of a mix-up with where to send our correspondence since we only moved back from England this past March.
Someone did not get that memo.
Didn't everyone know that we were coming back since it was one of the hugest deals in our lives?
I blogged, faceboo*ed about it, e-mailed the world, called people, skyped, and even snail-mailed to let people know that we were returning to our beloved land.
No worries, though. We asked our friend, Sarah, to cover for us in the ministry we are starting to work in at church called, Next Level. It's for middle schoolers and it's basically their Sunday school, only it's on Saturday nights during our 1st service.
Boy do I digress.
I'm trying to get to the big news...
But wait, there was one more thing we had to change/miss/reschedule.
We also had to have our girls miss a sleepover for a dear friend. She was turning 12 on 10/10/10. I felt really badly about that, but just the mere mention of Grandma and Grandpa makes all things better. The girls were screechin' and squealin' about how they get to see their wonderful grandparents AND see their cousins.
And so here's the news...
I got to see Pam from "You're Gonna Miss This" again and I love catching up with her. She is a precious woman of God. She has six kids: James, Zach, Leah, Lucas, Jadon, and Kiahna that keep her very busy, on her toes, and on her knees. :-) They are a blessing and she is a beautiful mom.
And I finally met Julie from, "Life with the Lehman's", for the first time. She and I have been hoping to meet much sooner, but God's timing is perfect, and Saturday night was the night. She is full of joy, kindness, and her smile lights up a room. She happens to be a blogger that I won a prize from last February. And because of my crazy schedule, I wasn't able to get my prize in person until this past weekend.
The reunion was the perfect place to collect my winnings. :-)
Miss Julie is a talented seamstress who made each of these beautiful things. One is a tissue holder, a checkbook holder, and the other is a small make-up case.
You should have seen me practically jumping up and down when I saw them. I'm not kidding.
I know it's embarrassing, but I really did do that and I quite possibly squealed with delight, too!
I guess I should mention that these ladies happen to be classmates of my hubs, and Pam is the one that inspired me to blog. Julie eventually found me through Pam after finding out that I married one of her classmates.
Ya following me?
We had the best time and I have to say that Shawn comes from a great class. Everyone welcomed me and I feel at home when I'm around them.
And even though that rock music was blaring, we danced in spite of it, and had a good old time.
A couple of weeks ago, we hosted two parties back to back for a new church campaign that we're doing.
We were expecting about 30 to 35 people a night for hors'deuvres and dessert. My crazy hospitality self went nuts in preparing both hot and cold appetizers and 4 different desserts.
We had a great team of people helping us to pull it off since cleaning and decorating my house was also to be done. It felt like we were preparing for a long time. I was making lists and purchasing ingredients for at least a couple of weeks before the parties.
I found this fall fruit platter in a magazine and thought I would give it a try. I have never done anything like it. I was happy with how it turned out.
In order to give it height, I used 4 varying sizes of foam circles and then used floral greening pins to keep everything in place.
We made a ginger/citrus dip. Grapes aren't typically used with a fruit dip, but it worked.
My newlywed friend, Melanie, and her husband, Chris, partnered with us to make it all happen. Without them, it would have been a bust.
My friend, Tracey, who is equally crazy in the hospitality department was with me every step of the way, too, but for some reason I have no photos of her.
I'm sorry, Trace.
This was the table after we had it set. I have no photos of our kitchen island either that boasted the fruit platter and lots of other goodies.
What can I say? In all of the busyness, I'm lucky I got the few pictures that I did get.
My brother, who is a chef in N.J., gave me a couple of recipes to try:
Crab cakes with a remoulade sauce
Chicken Satay with a peanut sauce.
Guess which appetizers were THE most popular?
His... :) Thanks, Jim.
Well, I'm glad the dinners are behind us, but we sure had fun in the process.
I’m so glad you stopped by. My name is Carol. I am a Jesus-adoring, husband-loving, blessed mama of 5, back-adjusting, scrapbooking, quilt-making, furniture painting, friend appreciating, blog writing, recipe making, dessert lovin’, Jersey born, Michigan-living kind of girl. I love going to church and serving alongside some of the best people I know. Traveling is one of my passions and I hope to do it more.
I started “Joy in the Journey” about 9 years ago when I lived in England. We moved back in 2010 and life has changed in a few ways; well, it got busier.
Join me as I share about life in our home, what it means to have 2 kids at Michigan State University and 3 in high school. We stay busy with the high schoolers in 3 different sports. Austin is a junior, Braaten is a freshman, Melanie is a junior in high school, and Grant and Cooper are freshman.