Entertaining Archives

How to Host Your Own Bruschetta Bar Party

Well this new year started off with a bang and I’m needing a breather already! Unfortunately, I’ve been down the last few days with a fever/cold. It was a powerful bug going around but I guess I need to focus on building up my immune system because not everyone caught it. Lots of fun times were shared with this lovely group of young people this last week and we enjoyed hosting them.   So I wanted to tell you all about the Bruschetta Bar that we put together for our Christmas Eve meal. It was a lot of fun to do and I think a lot of the impressiveness of the meal was due to how it was set up – entirely due to my…

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Preparing for My Guests

While much work has been going on outside, I’ve had my share of things I’ve been doing in the house in preparation for family members arriving this week.   14 loaves of whole wheat bread were baked and placed in the freezer 40 pounds of granola was made And I’ve been writing all these little tags to attach to our favors. The tags were purchased for $1.00/bag at Hobby Lobby at 50% off. The Sharpie is a gold metallic Extra Fine point pen. I really like the look the gold gives on the white tags.   So much to do still…. 🙂

The Pergola Gets Put To Use

The pergola got its first big use this past Monday with about 240 people “dropping by” our place. We are affiliated with a church that hosts a youth camp each year in our area, and so each year, for many years now, we have had a tradition where all the youth campers come to our house when their camp ends. I prepare a lunch for everyone and the campers entertain themselves in various ways – or just relax and visit. The morning of… everything lay waiting in preparation for the deluge of guests that would show up about 11:30 a.m. We always shoot the cannon when new guests come to visit. My husband loves his “toy” and built it himself after ordering the barrel and…

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Forgot Something? Making it Easy for Your Guests

Family is coming for Thanksgiving and I’m so excited to be hosting all of them here at my house for a few days. Someday I hope to be like my sister who always has a gift bag for every single person that comes to stay at her house. In the gift bag she puts all kinds of snack items and most usually a water bottle. If you find me missing when I’m at her house and wonder where I am, you would be safe to assume I’m sneaking a few bites of the goodies that she has so generously given. 🙂 Whenever she or someone from their family comes to visit they always bring a gift(s). It makes me feel terrible because these things never…

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A Dinner Honoring Our Pastor and his Wife

True ministers of the Gospel of Christ don’t always have it easy and many times they are under appreciated. My son Zachary and his wife decided our church should have a Pastor Appreciation day for our pastor who has been our shepherd for so many years.   Zachary and Hannah – the planners Hannah did a beautiful job on the decorations. She bought some things, had some decor of her own and then used items of mine. With all of it, she was able to come up with 9 different centerpieces and they looked beautiful. We couldn’t have the event outdoors because it was too windy and the temperatures had dropped. So we had to move all of my living room furniture outside and set…

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Family Fun for the Holiday’s

What do you do with 29 people for 5 days? (We had that many during the Christmas holiday’s if you recall from my last post.) Every morning at 8:30 all the singles had morning drills and exercises in the walleyball court. The rest of us maybe should have been exercising with them but we took that time to get ourselves together and get breakfast started. Those on the exercise schedule would come to the kitchen to find glasses of water with fresh lime juice. Then it was out to the walleyball court for morning warm-up stretches and exercises, along with walleyball drills and walleyball. As you can see, I did manage to get out there one morning to take a few pictures but then duty…

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Warm Up Here – A Hot Drink Station

While most would not consider Arizona to have really cold weather, it does say it’s almost winter on the calendar and that means warm weather drinks. Like hot chocolate, chai, or my favorite, mocha cappuccino. So I put together a little hot drink station. Because, although I could serve up hot drinks other ways, this gives it a little more pizazz and it’s just more fun. (I know I’ve shared a hot drink station before with tea, chai & chocolate, but can’t seem to find that post.) I got myself a bottle drying rack some time back to hold my coffee cups and I’ve really enjoyed having it. The chalkboard labels came from the dollar store.   Mini-marshmallows in jars purchased at Wal-Mart. All ready…

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A Fall Themed Gathering

How do you feel about potlucks? I can’t say I’m really fond of them. The concept is nice – everyone bring a dish and we’ll share it together. But to me the reality of it is not so ideal many times. Enchiladas on the same plate as your broccoli salad with mashed potatoes and gravy beside that but the gravy somehow manages to spread to cover everything on your plate as well. I may be exaggerating a little but it’s pretty much the case. One of my favorite ways to organize a meal is where one person brings the main dish and everyone else brings sides that complement it. But if it’s for a very large group and you don’t want the burden of making…

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A Brunch Baby Shower Themed “Showers of Love”

This past weekend we celebrated the birth of my 1st grandchild with a baby shower in her honor. xoxoxo The Sweetheart… When the guests arrived they were given a clothespin and directed to the magnetic chalkboard that had pictures of Zachary, Hannah and Shalom.  The side that say’s “Don’t Say” is for the clothespin game.  “Showers of Love” was the theme for this special event and Shalom Adriel was certainly showered. The clouds were cut out of white material and stuffed with stiff paper. The raindrops were cut using the Silhouette Cameo on card stock. Clouds that were raining love. A close-up of the rain drops… And the food…  It was a brunch so breakfast it was… Homemade Pop-Tarts Drinks and seating were outdoors. It…

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A Simple Wedding Reception in Our Backyard

I so love planning events here at the house. This last Saturday we were able to host a wedding reception/shower for a couple that married in the Congo. Fun! Oliver is originally from the Congo but is now a citizen of the United States. He met his bride Lydia on a visit to the Congo (a very interesting story) and in December they married and in March she was able to come over to join Oliver. We wanted to celebrate with them their marriage and give her a warm welcome to Arizona, so we gave them a wedding reception/wedding shower here at the ranch. I put out a call to my Castle Keeper girls and asked if any wanted to come help with things like…

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A Sweet 16 Birthday Party Celebration

If you’ve ever felt bad for not having your act together, maybe this will make you feel better. I just had a belated {cough, cough}, make that a very belated birthday party for Serenity who turned 16 in….      November Yes, it was late and the party was on my own birthday but that was okay with me and she still had a great time. It was supposed to be a surprise…but she found out several weeks ago, which I did not know until recently. But I still tried to bluff my way through in the hopes that some part of it would be a surprise. But it wasn’t. So the lesson I learned from this was: be super careful with emails and with texts….

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My 2013 Graduate

Wesley is now officially graduated from our homeschool high school.  To commemorate the event we had a grad party this past Saturday, September 21.  It was a splendid occasion, so much fun and everything beautiful.  There was only one little thing, such a teeny tiny thing that almost nobody everybody probably noticed. We. ran. out. of. food.  Yep.  You read that right.  We ran out of food.  Never in the history of either side of the families has this ever happened but there’s always a first!  So why?  WHY?  More people than I expected and other factors were involved.  But the guests were very gracious and even stayed the whole evening even though their tummies were probably grumbling terribly. I’m only slightly exaggerating. 🙁 But…

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Only 8 days till the wedding! Everything seems to be going quite well.  Whew! Serenity made all the bread for the rehearsal dinner the other day.  Rosemary bread to go along with the lasagna we’ll be having.  I’m having so much fun getting together things for the rehearsal.  I’ve used my Silhouette machine quite a bit.  Still loving it. I was so proud of Serenity.  She had a long day making all the loaves! Justus’s birthday decorations were still up.  But I finally took the time to remove them after this picture.  Aren’t you proud of me? It was only a week after his birthday. 🙂 Brushing on the egg glaze Beautiful finished loaves Sliced, buttered and in the freezer. 🙂 Thank you, Serenity!! A…

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It Was a Beautiful Day for an Outdoor Bridal Shower

Two weeks ago, my future daughter-in-law had her bridal shower.  It was beautiful and certainly was a very special day for her.  Hosted by my sisters-in-laws and mother-in-law, it turned out lovely.  Thank you each one for all your hard work!! Enjoy the pictures. There’s plenty of them. 🙂 There were fun games… The cake table was gorgeous… The gift assistants were adorable… and the gifts lots of fun to open. 🙂 My niece gave her this, along with some seeds to help beautify the porch of her new home.  She was very excited about this.  She loves flowers. It was a amazing moment for me when we took this picture.  To think that I am the mom of the groom that’s getting married! Alena,…

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Are you all aware of the trend these days to have a variety of desserts (preferably bite sized) offered at weddings?  I’ve been to a few weddings where there is no wedding cake or if there is it’s just enough for the bride and groom to cut and feed each other.  Personally, I like the new trend.  A variety of scrumptious (hopefully) desserts to choose from… ahhh, love it. It’s not good for the waistline… Oh, why did you have to go and remind me?!   I was salivating over some delicious confection drizzled with chocolate.  Loaded with calories, of course. My niece, Emily is getting married this Saturday and she has asked me to make a dessert for her wedding.  Since I like to bake, I couldn’t stop at one, so…

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The Secret Tool to Planning a Variety of Occasions

Preparations are in full swing around here for the coming weekend with Zachary’s high school graduation dinner on Saturday. The house will be full again. My whole family, except for 4 of them, will be here – even Seth is coming and staying for a week! Last graduation dinner (Seth’s) ,my sister came and masterminded the event.  She’ll be coming again which I’m very grateful for.  She stays working in the background while I get to enjoy the party.  How sweet is that?!   It may sound kind of sad for her but really our family enjoys planning and managing these kinds of events.  So she’s pretty excited, too.  Right, Sis?  Just thrilled?  Oh, that’s splendid! Although my sister is doing a lot of the planning on…

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 I have always enjoyed cooking and planning parties, so being asked to cater a friends wedding was a treat.  Cooking for 70-100 is something I have done so frequently that I’m very comfortable with it but the latest count for this wedding reception is 260.  Oh, dear. 🙂 Heather wanted to have Italian, and when I first heard that I thought “Oh, that will be easy, no problem.”  What I had not counted on was the fact that the reception hall has only 1 oven.    Just how was I going to juggle cooking that many lasagnas in one oven?  Fortunately, that has all been worked out – we have a friend that owns a warming cabinet that will also cook.  That will hold 12, they will be able…

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A Special Evening – 60 Years of Marriage

Our guests are all gone now and we’re just getting the house back in order, laundry under control and some sleep, too!  But this past weekend we got to be part of a special evening – my sister’s mother and father-in-law were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.  I was elected to make the Tomato Caprese Salad.  Never having made one, it took me several tries and many questions to finally figure out how it’s done. In this picture I am not doing it correctly, but I’m blissfully unaware of it at the moment. 🙂 There was flower arranging being done by the expert family floral designer… antipasto platters being prepared… jars being filled with local honey as gifts for the guests… even a haircut was given to the guest…

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How I Keep Large Groups of Guests & Other Tips

It may be quiet here on Treasuring the Moments but that’s because I’ve been busy this past week entertaining.  I slipped in here to write this post while everyone is catching up on lost sleep over the past several days.  One of the curses blessings of being a early riser is you cannot sleep-in even when your body wants to!  We had special church services this weekend, Friday, Saturday & Sunday.  Friday night there were 27 people (including my family) staying here at the ranch.  Our house is about 2700 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms.  Many of them were kids and one of the great things about children and young people is you can place them anywhere.  So all the boys were piled all over the…

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