I think it was therapy for her to go out into the garden all my herself and putter in the soil.
And she could make pretty much anything grow!
Well….God made it grow of course.
But really, she could take just a snipping of something, plant it and it would not die!
Gardening is something I want to try my hands out more on in the future but for now I am enjoying a couple planters of flowers and indoor green onions!
Often a recipe would call for green onions and I would leave them out because I would only use a few of them and end up throwing out the majority. However, I realized I could just keep them growing and always have them on hand for that occasional recipe or to throw in some eggs or on a salad!
When you buy green onions at your local produce store, they come all intact with their root system!
When you are ready to use them in your cooking just leave about two inches above the roots uncut.
Place a paper towel in the bottom of a clear glass or jar.
Fill jar/glass with a quarter inch of water.
Place in your window.
Watch them grow!
It’s as simple as that!
Change out the paper towel and add fresh water from time to time or when you notice that your jar is drying out.
For most, if not all of us, summer often brings many gatherings with friends and family, whether they be in the backyard, at the park or playground, in the church basement, or around the dining room table! Whatever the setting, these gatherings usually provide opportunities to make something yummy to eat while we also seek to encourage and edify one another.
Here are some summer recipes that we have found easy to make for a crowd!
Ingredients: 1 pound hamburger, browned and seasoned with taco seasoning 2 large tomatoes, diced
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 8 ounce package shredded cheddar cheese
1 large head of lettuce, finely chopped
1 – 12 ounce package Doritos Nacho Cheese chips (or regular tortilla chips), lightly crushed
8 ounces Greek Goddess salad dressing
8 ounces Coleslaw salad dressing
In a large serving dish, mix all ingredients together and serve immediately.
Note: Do not mix together until immediately before serving. Leftover salad does not keep–the chips and lettuce get very soggy. When taking this dish to a social gathering, I have found it helpful to prepare the ingredients as follows:
Place beans, cheese, and cooled hamburger in a Ziploc bag.
Place diced tomatoes in a separate quart Ziploc bag.
Place lettuce in a Ziploc bag.
Keep chips and dressing separate.
When ready to serve, simply dump all the ingredients together and mix together.
Fruit Trifle One of my favorite desserts to make in the summer is a fruit trifle, because you don’t really need any specific flavors or measurements in order for it to taste good. You can literally just use whatever you have on hand and you’ll end up with a light and delicious dessert.
What you will need: 1/2 cake, baked
I box instant pudding, prepared
3 c. fresh fruit, chopped or whole
1 container whipped topping
Cube the cake and layer the bottom of a bowl with it.
Add a layer of pudding and fruit, followed by a layer of whipped topping.
Repeat process over and over until your bowl is completely full. (Trust me, you’ll want the bowl full because this is one dessert that disappears quickly!)
Sometimes I come up with a made-up DIY project (or even try a DIY project that someone else has done) and it is a total flop.
Other times, however, I come up with a project and it actually turns out! Yay!
These DIY short sleeves was one of those those projects that actually turned out. Even better, it was a simple, quick project that filled a need.
Back when I was pregnant with Talitha, I went shopping for maternity clothes and found a nice t-shirt for a couple bucks. I liked the color and style. However, it had long sleeves, and considering that I was going to need to wear it during the height of summer, that was a major problem!
However, deciding that it shouldn’t be too hard to make it into a short-sleeved shirt, I went ahead and bought the shirt.
In working to figure out how to turn my long-sleeved shirt into a short-sleeved shirt, I found another t-shirt that had sleeves that were simply cut off, folded up, and tacked into place with a few simple stitches. It looked simple enough!
So here’s what I did:
Step 1: I laid my short-sleeved shirt on top of the long-sleeved shirt to get an idea of where to cut the sleeves and the angle to cut them.
After measuring the rough length of the short sleeve and accounting for a couple extra inches to make the fold, I cut off the sleeves.
Step 2: I folded the edge over twice and ironed it to make a nice sharp crease.
Again, no precise measuring or pinning–the ironing holds it in place just fine.
Step 3: After ironing the fold, all that was left to do was make a few stitches in four different spots: one at the top of the sleeve, one at the bottom of the sleeve, and then one on each side, halfway in between the top and bottom. These stitches took a total of about five minutes to complete. If you look closely, you can see two of the little tack-stitches.
I repeated these steps for sleeve #2. When it was all said and done, the whole project took all of about fifteen minutes total (including the cutting and ironing)!
Anyway, this particular DIY project turned out great–I ended up wearing this shirt a lot that summer I was pregnant! I will definitely be keeping this idea in mind for the next time I need to make short sleeves out of a long-sleeved t-shirt. (And yes, in case you were wondering, this little project can be done with any t-shirt, not just maternity shirts!)
(This post was originally posted on Angie’s personal blog, In the Meantime.)
Continuing in our theme of Hospitality we have compiled some practical tips that we utilize as we welcome guests into our homes. We hope you can find these ideas helpful as you extend Christ’s love via hospitality and find great joy in doing so!
Making Prep Easy
When you prepare your own supper just double it. Freeze the second meal for company or use to drop off with someone who is having a hard week.
Get kids involved – let them sweep, set the table, etc.
Spend a rainy day baking with your kids. Stock up on brownies, cookies, bars, etc. and then pop them in your freezer for a night when you want to have someone over for coffee and dessert.
Have a consistently free evening every week? Use this evening as a natural, built-in block of time to have people over so you don’t even have to think it through each week. Or perhaps, your husband is always gone a certain evening of the week or month. Use this evening as an opportunity to reach out to single girls or women.
While it isn’t fancy, using paper plates, cups, and silverware is helpful, especially if there is a large group.
Let guests help with clean up if they offer.
Making Food Easy
Hospitality is more about the fellowship than the food, so find a meal (or a couple different meals) that is easy to prepare, as well as one that is well-liked by most people, and just always make that meal for company. Then, when you have company, you don’t have to stress about what to make–you already know!
Find a meal that allows you to always have the ingredients on hand in the pantry (such as chili or spaghetti) so that you can easily be prepared for any last-minute company.
Have a pancake dinner.
Taco Bar or Potato Bar are great crowd pleasers- most of the topping for these meals can be chopped or prepared ahead of time and pulled out of the fridge just before serving.
For a larger group on a Sunday afternoon do basic foods like ham, potatoes, green beans, rolls, etc. so that there isn’t much prep involved. Stick the items in the crockpot/oven and avoid the extra work of assembling something like a casserole. Use the saved time to clean up the house!
Accept peoples offer to bring something and let them help in the kitchen. (Have them bring something that isn’t it a big deal if it’s forgotten like chips or a cold veggie.)
Do evening get-togethers for just dessert and hot drinks or cheese/crackers/fruit, etc., and avoid the extra work of a full meal.
Have a family over and just eat watermelon in the backyard on a warm summer evening for a really simple treat!
If a mom is over in the morning for a playdate make smoothies for an easy/refreshing drink for everyone!
Making Conversation Easy-
Have some starter questions thought out ahead of time (I.e. What are your plans for this summer? What is something coming up that you are looking forward to? What do you enjoy most about your job? Etc.)
Have a game sitting out as an option for something to do.
Have some new library books picked out that your kids and their friends haven’t seen before or plan some activities that will help keep them busy and allow for meaningful conversations among the adults.
Host a cookout. Kids are often happiest when outside with room to run and parents aren’t as stressed about keeping their kids from getting too loud or messy.
See if your guests would enjoy going for a walk. This allows them to feel comfortable with silence in between conversations. Hospitality may feel very overwhelming but we hope that you will step out in faith and start right where you are, with whatever resources you have, and experience the blessing of serving others in your home!
The Bible tells us in Romans 12:13 that we are to “contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” It’s a two-fold command. We often think of hospitality only in terms of having someone over for a meal or hosting people overnight. However, hospitality may also be seen in a simple act of service. So, here are some of our collective ideas for practicing service and hospitality to those around us on a day to day basis.
Hospitality Outside the Home
Deliver a meal to someone.
Pick up some groceries for someone when you are already out shopping.
Write a note of encouragement to a shut-in from your church.
Invite a mom friend over for a play-date or walk to the park.
Drop off flowers to someone who has lost a loved one.
Buy a box of diapers for a family who has just had a baby.
Write a note or send a small gift to someone in prison.
Invite someone to share a picnic lunch at the park with your family after church.
Send a box of goodies to a missionary family.
Initiate going for a walk with someone while your kids are contained in strollers and where you’re likely to have less interrupted conversations.
Hospitality Within the Home
Invite your retired neighbors over to bake cookies with you.
Invite missionaries on furlough to stay with you.
When you have guests staying one or two nights with you write a welcoming message on a piece of paper and then include your internet password info, invite them to make use of the washer/dryer, tell them to help themselves to the refrigerator, etc.
Watch a busy mom’s kids for an hour so she can get a hot shower or a nap.
Plan a game-night for the singles in your church.
Invite a teenage girl over for the day and seek to have intentional conversation. Put kids down for nap, make up some hot tea and settle onto the couch for a heart-to-heart with her.
Consider establishing a “soup night” each week, making a big pot of soup and then inviting a family over for food and fellowship. (Some good friends have even turned this into an “all are welcome” kind of soup night.)
Prepare an extra amount of food for Sunday lunch and invite a family that visited church that morning.
Hospitality with Neighbors
Host a neighborhood cookie/hot drink night and read Luke 2 with them around Christmas time.
Host a neighborhood “open house” in your driveway, serving lemonade and goodies.
Take homemade treats to those on your street.
Invite your neighbors to come sit and chat with you while you watch your kids play in the backyard.
These ideas are just a few ways that we can seek to show hospitality to those around us. Whatever avenue you may choose to work out your hospitality in, (whether it’s one listed here or one of your own) just remember that this is important work we are doing. We are obeying God’s commands and reflecting Christ’s love and example as we serve one another!