Entertaining During the Busyness of Life

Life is busy....for everyone...I know that. I also know that everyone has their "limit" as to what they can handle, and honestly, unless someone was just downright lazy, I would never presume to judge the amount that one can do and handle. Our lives are always full, not chaotic, but just full. Right now we are in soccer full swing. Practices this fall are Mon-Thurs. Each girl has it twice a week (on different days). Fridays are our churches "Power Culture" (teaching and worship). Saturdays are soccer games for one or both girls. Sundays are church but can also be soccer games for Kat and possibly evening meetings. Wednesdays are youth group. There is really not a night or day that is truly "free". BUT...I don't want that to get in the way of entertaining. I'm determined to find ways to do it in the midst of busyness. We have a wonderful friend visiting from Estonia and we wanted to have her over for dinner. We decided on a Thursday at 5:30. Nan has practice but is done at 5:00. On that day I realized I had to go to her practice for a little bit and take a picture of one of the girls. It could have been chaos, but I thought through all that needed to be done and made choices that would be simple and less stressful. On the menu: Grilled Salmon, Wild Rice, Asparagus, green beans, and Mixed Berry tartlets for dessert. OH! Don't forget the sourdough bread! I ran to the store (grumbling the entire time because of how much it was costing me at Safeway) in the morning to get some last minute items. Mid afternoon I prepped the asparagus and beans and had them in the pans ready to go. I also had the wild rice ready to be turned on, and the salmon marinating. When I returned home from soccer (at 4:00) I began the tartlets. While the crusts sat at room temp, I prepared the filling and remaining items (I will post this recipe tomorrow sometime...it is amazing). The items for the dinner (minus the wild rice) all only take about 15-20 minutes to cook and I did the prep work ahead of time. The rice took about 45 minutes. Even the tartlets were fast. Dinner was ready at 5:45 and there was no stress (well, except I couldn't find my spatula for the salmon on the grill....then remembered it had fallen out of the truck when we were transporting my grill for hubby's birthday). We enjoyed wonderful company for the remainder of the evening. I even let the dishes sit in the kitchen so we could just enjoy our guest. I don't like rushing to get dishes cleaned when company is over. I'd rather do it later and just have fun. I will put things away that could go bad, but that's it. Another night we had my in-laws over and another friend over to play games. It was only for a few hours but it was enough. We played the game "Would You Rather"....I recommend this game if you really want to laugh!! So get out there and entertain. Keep it simple. Ask guests to bring things (especially in a tight economy people won't mind pitching in). HAVE FUN!! With Joy UNquenchable,


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