Friday, February 26, 2010

Entertaining, Dilemas and New Friends

This week we made the decision to entertain.  We have a new couple in our Sunday School class that had just moved to Texarkana, so we decided to be hospitable and invite them into our home for dinner.  I decided to have steak, twice baked potatoes, green beans, salad, rolls and upside down apple pie.  I had a new 52" table cloth that I decided to put on my rather large table.  I thought the way it turned out was rather nice, so I decided to show you gals how to use something small on a large table.
You can see I tucked it in on the long sides and made it look like a rather large table runner.  I used chargers under the dinner plates and stemware for the glasses and had a rather unique table setting.  I didn't take a picture of the completed table since I didn't want the new friends to think I was totally crazy with the internet!
Next, while cooking, I ran into a dilema.  I usually use the Rhodes frozen rolls (the kind you have to let rise before you bake them) when I entertain.  They are just like homemade rolls which I totally cannot make on my own.  I put them on the baking sheet and covered them with a paper towel as I always do.  Another thing I always do is turn my oven on 200 degrees, wait for it to get a little warm, then turn the oven off and put my rolls in there to rise free of drafts.  I always leave the oven light on for a little warmth.  Well, I had the oven busy cooking the potatoes for my twice baked potatoes, so my normal routine wasn't going to happen.  What to do!  I left them on the counter for over an hour and they looked dead.  So this is what I did......

Do you see what I did?

Yes, I sat them on the back of our couch, placed the floor lamp directly over them and they rose perfectly in just the right amount of time for our guests to smell fresh bread cooking when they arrived!  By the way, the package of 24 rolls had 26 rolls - that is the reason some are turned in different directions.  They were a hit for dinner.  We had the perfect combination for a great evening!

Two couples, both from Louisiana, ended up having lots in common.  A great evening!  As I have told you before, if you will invite people over, they will come.  There is no reason not to have friends other than you not making the effort.  The effort is truly worth it.  And, it is so much more fun to have them into your home rather than going out all the time.  They really get to know who you are when they come into your home.  It is something very special you can do for others.  Make a date and do it!
Have a Blessed day!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Spring Has Sprung....well not really

Here is a picture of my island for spring.  I know it is cold and spring is really NOT just around the corner, but I went ahead and put my things out - well at least my new things that I had bought.  I found all the pots with the veggies growing in them (fake) at market on one trip from a place that was moving their location.  I was able to buy these pots and bring them home with me.  The darling little metal bunnies I found at the cutest store in Sulphur Springs, Texas on the way to Dallas.  My suggestion to you is always have at least one place in your house (kitchen, dining table, bar, entry, entertainment center - somewhere) that you can change with the seasons or holidays.  Take down some of the old and put out the seasonal.  After the season is gone, bring out the old again and it will seem new to you once again.  Your husband may or may not notice (or at least may not say they notice), but subliminally, it will tell them you are proud of your home and always want it to look fresh.  Men work hard for what they provide for their families.  I know you may work too, but men have this ultimate feeling of being responsible for the family.  Keep the house looking fresh, clean and cheerful as well as keeping yourself that way.  They like to be able to say look at my wife or look at my belongings......I have done good.  I know it takes two these days to have nice things and it can't be done without you in most cases, but let them feel like they have accomplished this for themselves and give them something to be proud of.  My mother always taught me to get up first thing every morning and get my self presentable to the world.  Your husband will be happier and who knows, an opportunity may come up and you will be ready to go! 
Have a Blessed day!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Sparrow at Starbucks

As you know by now, I usually just write my own stuff and I don't think it is too cool to do post that are forwarded emails, but I have to break my policy and send the following along to you.  Most everyone that reads this blog knows our hearts are full of sadness and are looking to God for answers and healing for Cohen and his parents, Brent and Megan.  As Megan always reminds us, God is in control.  This piece reminds us that there are no coincidences in life - they are things that God does when He chooses to remain anonymous.  I hope this speaks to you as it has to me.  How do people handle what life deals them without the Lord? 

I once read that a coincidence is just when God chooses to remain anonymous.......


The song that silenced the cappuccino machine. It was chilly in Manhattan but warm inside the Starbucks shop on 51st Street and Broadway, just a skip up from Times Square . Early November weather in New York City holds only the slightest hint of the bitter chill of late December and January, but it's enough to send the masses crowding indoors to vie for available space and warmth. For a musician, it's the most lucrative Starbucks location in the world, I'm told, and consequently, the tips can be substantial if you play your tunes right. Apparently, we were striking all the right chords that night, because our basket was almost overflowing. It was a fun, low-pressure gig - I was playing keyboard and singing backup for my friend who also added rhythm with an arsenal of percussion instruments. We mostly did pop songs from the '40s to the '90s with a few original tunes thrown in. During our emotional rendition of the classic, "If You Don't Know Me by Now," I noticed a lady sitting in one of the lounge chairs across from me. She was swaying to the beat and singing along. After the tune was over, she approached me. "I apologize for singing along on that song. Did it bother you?" she asked. "No," I replied. "We love it when the audience joins in. Would you like to sing up front on the next selection?" To my delight, she accepted my invitation. "You choose," I said. "What are you in the mood to sing?" "Well. ... do you know any hymns?"

Hymns? This woman didn't know who she was dealing with. I cut my teeth on hymns. Before I was even born, I was going to church. I gave our guest singer a knowing look. "Name one." "Oh, I don't know. There are so many good ones. You pick one." "Okay," I replied. "How about 'His Eye is on the Sparrow'?" My new friend was silent, her eyes averted. Then she fixed her eyes on mine again and said, "Yeah. Let's do that one." She slowly nodded her head, put down her purse, straightened her jacket and faced the center of the shop. With my two-bar setup, she began to sing.

Why should I be discouraged?

Why should the shadows come?

The audience of coffee drinkers was transfixed. Even the gurgling noises of the cappuccino machine ceased as the employees stopped what they were doing to listen. The song rose to its conclusion.

I sing because I'm happy;

I sing because I'm free.

For His eye is on the sparrow

And I know He watches me.

When the last note was sung, the applause crescendoed to a deafening roar that would have rivaled a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall. Embarrassed, the woman tried to shout over the din, "Oh, y'all go back to your coffee! I didn't come in here to do a concert! I just came in here to get somethin' to drink, just like you!" But the ovation continued.. I embraced my new friend. "You, my dear, have made my whole year! That was beautiful!" "Well, it's funny that you picked that particular hymn," she said. "Why is that?" "Well . .." she hesitated again, "that was my daughter's favorite song." "Really!" I exclaimed. "Yes," she said, and then grabbed my hands. By this time, the applause had subsided and it was business as usual.. "She was 16. She died of a brain tumor last week." I said the first thing that found its way through my stunned silence. "Are you going to be okay?" She smiled through tear-filled eyes and squeezed my hands. "I'm gonna be okay. I've just got to keep trusting the Lord and singing his songs, and everything's gonna be just fine." She picked up her bag, gave me her card, and then she was gone.

Was it just a coincidence that we happened to be singing in that particular coffee shop on that particular November night? Coincidence that this wonderful lady just happened to walk into that particular shop? Coincidence that of all the hymns to choose from, I just happened to pick the very hymn that was the favorite of her daughter, who had died just the week before? I refuse to believe it. God has been arranging encounters in human history since the beginning of time, and it's no stretch for me to imagine that he could reach into a coffee shop in midtown Manhattan and turn an ordinary gig into a revival. It was a great reminder that if we keep trusting him and singing his songs, everything's gonna be okay.

The next time you feel like GOD can't use YOU, just remember...

Noah was a drunk

Abraham was too old

Isaac was a daydreamer

Jacob was a liar

Leah was ugly

Joseph was abused

Moses had a stuttering problem

Gideon was afraid

Sampson had long hair and was a womanizer

Rahab was a prostitute

Jeremiah and Timothy were too young

David had an affair and was a murderer

Elijah was suicidal

Isaiah preached naked

Jonah ran from God

Naomi was a widow

Job went bankrupt

John the Baptist ate bugs

Peter denied Christ

The Disciples fell asleep while praying

Martha worried about everything

The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once

Zaccheus was too small

Paul was too religious

Timothy had an ulcer...AND

Lazarus was dead!

No more excuses now!! God can use you to your full potential. Besides you aren't the message, you are just the messenger. God bless you and those you are loving and thinking of. God has placed them on your heart for a reason!

Author: John Thomas Oaks

Have a Blessed day!

Monday, February 15, 2010

For Sale

I have decided to paint my office which means that I will be needing some new things in there and will be getting rid of some of the old.  It has been 7 years since we moved in and I am needing to change something! ha  I will be selling this wing back chair and rug.  I was thinking of asking $40 for each or $75 for both.  The chair is covered in a chintz fabric and I think the picture shows the colors pretty accurately.  The chair has been home to my purse all these years.  It has very seldom been sat in.  The rug is about a 4'x6' that has been in the family for about 15 years or so.  Still looks new.  I don't think you can wear rugs out!  If you know of anyone that might be interested, have them contact me.  I have found the new chair last weekend that will be replacing it and I really need to get the old one out. 
Have a Blessed day!