The kids and I watched a fun new show on BYUTV last night. It is called “The New Creatives.” We watched the first episode and REALLY enjoyed the challenge they gave us at the end of the show. So, we each decided to take the challenge. We were challenged to create 100 of something.
Ginger Snap decided to color 100 coloring pages. Joy Boy decided to draw 100 drawings, as well as Curly Cook. I haven’t heard if El Gringo is going to participate too, but I have decided to create 100 blog posts.
This is actually something that I have wanted to do for a long time but I just haven’t had the motivation to do it. Jake Parker, the creator in the first episode, explained that creativity isn’t about making ONE perfect thing, it’s about creating as many somethings that never were and putting them out there. We never know what we can do, if we limit ourselves. So why focus on making one PERFECT thing, when it won’t be PERFECT any longer in a year from now. But many somethings have so much potential.
So I will create!
I have decided that writing something about each day is better than putting together a perfect spread of one or two or three perfect days. I just want to share a piece of our world, in 100 blog posts, so our kiddos and I can look back and REMEMBER the ups and downs of our lives right now. I hope you will enjoy it as well!
BLOG POST #1:
Today was another “Hostessing Day” for me. Hostessing Days include me cooking a meal for someone and me doing my best to help the guests feel welcome in our home. Today we welcomed the youth of our ward. Obispo Whitchurch planned a swimming/Family History party at our home for the Young Men and Young Women. They have a Stake Temple assignment on Saturday, so this activity was designed to support it.
The youth came at 5:00 and enjoyed a brisk swim in our pool . . .
while I made them something to eat.
Tonight I grilled up the leftover hotdogs we had in the freezer from the ward BBQ we had a few weeks ago. I served along side them a pasta dish of penne pasta, red sauce w/ onions & red pepper, and kielbasa sausage, sprinkled with mozzarella cheese. I also made an excellent pan of Texas Sheet Cake for dessert. To drink, I served a simple ice water with frozen pineapple chunks. It was VERY refreshing! I highly recommend it.
It is a true joy to welcome so many people into our home and on a constant basis. I wonder what affect this is having on my children? I personally love to see our guests FEEL loved. I love to see them FEEL welcome and I LOVE to see them leave HAPPY. It truly is the greatest mission I could have ever asked for. I am also amazed how this service mission of mine even came to be.
Looking back, I remember the first time I was asked to make a meal in Costa Rica for a crowd of people. Our dear friend Spencer is the Stake Clerk and he was looking for a member to feed the Stake Presidency after Stake Conference. We had only been in Costa Rica for 5 months but he felt that my cooking was exactly was he was looking for. He couldn’t even be here for the dinner but he said that everyone loved it. We were expecting to feed a max of 19 people but ended up feeding 25. Our poor family had barely anything to eat, after preparing and cooking for so many hours. I learned from this experience that I needed to make a bit more than I expect will be eaten.
The next crowd I was asked to feed was a group of missionaries – 180 to be exact. I had two days to feed 90 missionaries each day. It was a VERY stressful experience but one that showed me that my kids COULD cook and COULD cut and COULD clean up and COULD help me if I needed them to. I was RICHLY blessed by this experience because I also learned to delegate. I also feel that my kids needed friends and they found those friendships in the missionaries that we met those 2 days.
Of course, we did have the opportunity to feed our ward missionaries each and EVERY Sunday for 20 months but I never really felt like that was feeding a crowd. But looking back, it was PERFECT training for whipping up a meal for last minute, invited guests because as long as the food is hot, made with the person in mind and served with love, it doesn’t matter what you make.
I still remember being sick to my stomach one Saturday night, crying in the bathroom before bed because I had NO IDEA what to serve the sister missionaries the next day for lunch. I remember praying, asking the Lord for help with this and praying that it would be something simple and also something that would help me feel better. The thought came to me to make pancakes. Just simple pancakes. Nothing fancy. I wanted to laugh but it felt right. It was exactly the meal I needed with the amount of energy that I had left.
Well, the next day I got up and prepared the dry ingredients for the batter and then we left for church. When we brought the sisters home with us for lunch, I explained that I needed 20 minutes to whip up a batch of pancakes. One of the sisters started to tear up. She told me how last night she had prayed for a batch of homemade pancakes but didn’t know how to get them. I looked at her and told her how exhausted I was and how I had prayed to know what simple meal I could make them but that they would like. We hugged each other and rejoiced that both our prayers had been answered. Still to this day it was the MOST enjoyable and successful meal that I have ever made!
I will have to go back in time and write down a log of all the “strangers” we have fed in our home. Off the top of my head I can name a few of them:
Heredia Stake Presidency & families – (Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, homemade Gravy, one-hour rolls, crock-pot carrots & onions, green beans, and Texas Sheet Cake)
Costa Rica West Mission Conference – (Roast Beef, BBQ Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, homemade gravy, cooked carrots, green salad, cas juice to drink and Texas Sheet Cake)
Scott and Cristi – Paul’s clients
Scott and Missy – Paul’s client and his wife
James and Rebecca – Paul’s client and his wife (sloppy joes w/ homemade buns)
Jackie – Paul’s co-worker x 2 visits (French Cabbage Soup & enchilada soup)
Jason – Paul’s co-worker
Isabella – Paul’s client
The Chapman Family – LDS Tourists x 2 visits (Taco Soup smoothies – they had dental work done, quesadillas, homemade pizza, Costa Rican cabbage salad)
The Robbins Family – LDS Tourists (pizza, homemade American food they weren’t eating here)
The McCune Family – Fellow LDS Ex-Patriates (sloppy joes & maple bars)
The Haws – LDS Temple Missionaries
The Harlans – LDS Temple Missionaries
The Temple Missionary Sisters x 7 (waffle bar)
The Garner Family – PianoMarvel.com (sour cream enchiladas)
Escazu Ladies Book Club x 6 (waffle bar)
The Sierra Family – LDS Family from Honduras now living in Costa Rica, stayed at our house 3 nights (creamy chicken soup, salty baked potatoes)
Michael and Sharon Marin – Costa Rican LDS couple, now Bishop of La Ribera (Christmas dinner)
Antonio, Maria and Gabby – New Year’s Eve Celebration, best friend of Ginger Snap (pizza and KFC copycat coleslaw)
The Karlinsey Family + her parents – Fellow LDS Ex-Patriates (homemade hamburgers for the 24th of July, after baptisms at the temple)
Curly Cook’s 7th and 8th Birthday Parties (pizza
Joy Boy’s 8th and 9th Birthday Parties (pizza and french toast)
Belen Primary Presidency – Cafe Rio Dinner & “Meet the Mormon’s” Movie Premiere w/ my dear, sweet friend Linda Oporto – I miss you dear friend!
My In-Laws x 3 visits
My Mother x 2 visits (Lofthouse sweet & sour chicken)
Nelson, Grace & AnnaLucia – Paul’s 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric (red and white enchiladas)
Andy, Kathia, Katie and Annie – La Jolla Neighbors, friends of Curly Cook (beef and green bean stir-fry)
Rodrigo and Cristina Leon and 2 sons – Elder’s Quorum President and his family (beef and green bean stir-fry)
Roberto – Paul’s computer salesman (Honduran Chalupas)
Spencer and Christopher – Costa Rican family friends (Pork and Potatoes)
Elder Noah Kirk and his family – Return missionary who served in the Belen Ward
Sister Jennifer Holmes and her family – missionary who was leaving from our ward in Belen (pancakes – of course!)
Noah Kirk and John Zibin – Return Missionaries who were AP’s in our ward & came to visit Costa Rica, staying at our house (Texas Sheet Cake!!!)
And MANY dinners and treats donated to MANY people in our ward.
It has been a good experience to serve in this capacity. I am grateful for the gifts and talents I have been given to LOVE to feed people and that what I feed people tastes good to them.
It has been a good day. I’m ready for bed. Thankfully, the kids are too! They were able to go Laser Tagging with another ex-patriate family, The Reed’s. We enjoyed lunch at the food court and then ran in the POURING rain to the Lego Store, Coloring Store and then to our car. We had a smooth drive home, so I was able to get right to work, preparing the meal for tonight. I truly feel blessed to have had THIS much energy today. What a gift it is to serve!
Thanks for listening,