Went out on a limb this week and tried something different. Oddly enough, it reminded us of tomato soup. Must be because of all the broth, onions and garlic in it! Pretty healthy for you, I guess. Good to pair with a sandwich.
You probably know by now that my husband and I enjoy road trippin' - here's some fun stuff from our Colorado trip:
Massive rain in Kansas
Cozy Inn...one of the top 100 burgers (67th actually) in America. Good dinner stop rec from Tripadvisor, my favorite travel website!
Lost (temporarily) on a dirt road
Awwww...interesting convenience store
Breakfast so big you don't need to eat the rest of the day! I'll admit most of the time we do fast food because we are just trying to "make time" but this trip we relaxed a little and tried an unknown diner.
The giant Van Gogh painting in Goodland is pretty cool! It's weird, I know, but I always go to
THIS WEBSITE to check if there's anything interesting to see on our route.
The book I read and gave my husband the play-by-play. I proved to him that I am not a hoarder. This is an amazing story of a girl who grew up with loving, hoarding parents. She is currently living in NYC and has a blog! Link HERE.
In between the hoarding chapters, we listened to this CD book. I picked it for the hubs, you know, you gotta get a shoot 'em up movie or book every now and then...it is about a real American hero. Rough language. But I have a new respect for our military, after listening to Chris' story growing up in Texas, extremely hard training, and his combat experiences.
We enjoyed a little jaunt up to Colorado the last few days! We were there to celebrate a wedding of a business friend of the hubs and it just happened to be close to our daughter's birthday. So we were thrilled to get to do both!
She wanted to go to BeauJo's - home of the Colorado Mountain Pie (pizza)! I don't know if it's famous for the toppings or the crust, but they bring you a bottle of honey to help finish off your crusts...YUM. One of our favorite guys came along too!
Every birthday girl gets a few gifts, and one thing we gave her was her baby ring. I don't know if you can tell, but it's on her pinky in this pic and has a little heart on it. She wanted to put it on a chain to wear it now...
In the morning we went south to walk around the Garden of the Gods before breakfast and saying goodbye to our girl!
Can you spot the climbers up there with the birds??? Crazy if you ask me...
We went to a really yummy breakfast spot in downtown Colo Springs afterwards called Over Easy. Brunch is really big in Colorado and is getting pretty popular around OKC as well. Just what I need...
The wedding was held at our friend's house in their backyard. It was beautiful and they did a lot of work (5 tons of flagstone!) to enhance it and make it great for their wedding. There were about 50-70 family members and friends coming to celebrate with them.
It was a memorable day and even more so when the minister forgot to tell the groom to kiss the bride! As they started leaving, someone said, "What about the kiss?" All of us started chanting, "Kiss the bride, kiss the bride!" So they came back under the arch and made it official. It was hilarious! They had a catered dinner on their upper deck and as you can see it was really nice.
It's always interesting to get to meet new people and do some different kinds of things. I had some good conversation with ladies I'll probably never see again, watched some pretty funny dance moves, and some very poignant moments between this newly blended family.
We enjoyed this! When you brown ground turkey with onion, garlic, and red pepper, you can't even tell it's turkey. I think I've found a great substitute for my traditional chili! Easy to prepare and the only unusual thing about the recipe is that there are three kinds of chili powder in it. I added another can of tomatoes because there just wasn't enough juice in it.
Just about the time you feel like hospitality is no big deal, the preacher gives a sermon on it! We've been having some lessons in church about being neighbors this fall. HOSPITALITY was the topic this week, with a big emphasis on Abraham and how he entertained angels, and God (Genesis 18)! I loved how we were reminded that it doesn't matter what kind of place we live in, we can entertain. Abraham entertained in a tent! Not to mention that he was 100 years old! He used what he had, and to me something as important, he took time to visit with these "strangers."
You know, hospitality comes in many shapes and forms and there's no one right way to do it. Maybe you speak kindly to a neighbor or take someone out for coffee, or maybe you have them in your home for a whole meal. Hospitality is important to me and my husband and may look easy for us, but it is not. I'm laying it out here, folks. We stress about it too-even after all these years. BUT I always wanted to be the mom who had lots of kids over and had lots of fun parties. I made a vow if this house deal worked for us thirteen years ago, that we would use it for God's glory and host the youth group and others since we are close to the church building. But it still occasionally causes conflict when we are getting ready. I have to remind the boys to pick up their stuff and clean their bathrooms. My husband and I fuss over whether or not to get out the ping-pong table (it's heavy), whether to eat on the patio or inside, etc...
We have found one thing that helps make hospitality easier. We have a GO-TO COMPANY MENU. Almost all of it can be made 3 hours ahead of serving time and is also good for those on a gluten-free diet or vegetarians. Here's our "company menu" but I'm sure if you put a little thought to it, you can create one that works for you every time!
SMOKED CHICKEN BREASTS
SPINACH SALAD WITH MANDARIN ORANGES
MOM'S BAKED BEANS
OVEN FRIED POTATOES
HOT ROLLS (RHODES)
BLONDE BROWNIES/ICE CREAM
What I love about this menu is that my husband takes care of the chicken. We smoke it on our grill, then put it in the fridge and reheat just before serving. The beans and potatoes can be readied ahead of time and put in the oven on timed bake. The hot rolls rise all afternoon and only require 15 minutes of baking time. The salad dressing and sugared almonds for the salad can be made ahead of time also - same with the brownies. Only the salad need to be put together at the last minute. So there you go. Low-stress dinner!
Here's a couple more hospitality helpers:
I keep this plastic box filled with paper goods - leftovers from previous parties and for stocking up when I find a good sale. So if I don't want to do dishes, no worries!
We aren't coffee drinkers, but we got this to accommodate our guests. I do use it every morning to heat my water for tea, though. It's an easy way to have choices of different hot drinks for guests.
Here's something interesting. I noticed Pioneer Woman's blog today was about having company too - and guess what? Her menu looked a lot like mine! That's right - me and Pioneer Woman...two of a kind! Without all those silly cows and awesome photography and stuff!
Last night was a first for RefresHER - we ordinarily ask different Bible classes to host, but this time the women of Celebrate Recovery hosted! They focused on the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5 and three ladies shared how they've been blessed through this ministry. It was a good night for them to be able to tell a little more about what CR does and the support it gives to hurting people. It was a good night for those of us who aren't in the program to gain more understanding. They did a beautiful job!
They made these table decorations from reclaimed wood which also served as door prizes!
These two did a little skit they called "The heaviest box in the world" and were quite entertaining!
I'm thankful today for Celebrate Recovery and women's fellowship opportunities! I met several new people this time and so enjoy learning and growing with my Christian sisters. If your spirit need refreshment, look for opportunities around you or create some!!