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Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy Autumn (a little early)!

It’s time…today I’m getting out all my autumn and Halloween decorations.  I inherited a bunch of Halloween decorations from a great friend this past spring and they’ve been carefully tucked away in the garage.  This is the first year I actually have time to devote to decorating my house for a particular season.  I’ve always tried to stay festive—we’ve always had jack-o-lanterns and a few small decorations here and there but with working full time and taking care of a family, decorating was very far down the list (the exception being Christmas, which I always MADE time to get decoration up—even in freezing rain!).

This is one of those occasions when being a homemaker is literal.  I get to make up my home and bring the season indoors.  I’m excited to surprise the boys when they get home from school today and the house is filled with wonderfully colored fall leaves, pumpkins and corn stalks.  It won’t be long until we’re visiting pumpkin patches and the aromas of fall baking are filling the house, as well.
This is going to be holiday season like no other, since it is one of my favorite times of year and I’ll have time to devote more energy into making it special.  Plus, I’m excited that Joe and I are taking on some great new challenges at the same time.  Tonight we are starting a six week marriage workshop, in which we will be small group leaders.  Joe is also going to be a small group leader for a men’s bible study that’s starting this week.  One of the projects I’m most excited about is beginning a dinner ministry at church on Wednesday nights.

I vividly remember the frantic dance of Wednesday nights when I was working.  Joe often did sound for the service and both our boys were in AWANAS.  I would get off work at six, rush home and hope the boys had eaten, grab all their AWANAS gear and herd them into the car; with any luck I’d have just enough time to drive through somewhere on the way to church and scarf my own dinner while I tried to review verses with the boys between mouthfuls.  We almost always arrived at church just in the nick of time.

Last spring, after spending some time with Laura’s visiting Aunt Norma, she mentioned that her church had started a ministry in which dinner was provided for families who attended Wednesday night services.  What a BLESSING! That would have made my life so much easier if I could have just picked up my boys, headed straight to church and enjoyed a meal with them while we went over their AWANA verses.

After some consideration and prayer, I mentioned this idea to our pastors and this fall, it is taking off.  I get to prepare meals every Wednesday night before services.  For anyone who knows me, you know how thrilled I am by this prospect.  I LOVE to cook, especially for groups.  It blesses me greatly to provide yummy food to friends and family (and our church is one big family, really). 

Currently I am preparing menus and ingredient lists, which is a challenge for several reasons: one, we don’t know exactly how many people to expect to take advantage of these meals but I’m supposed to plan for 50-75; two, I’ve never prepared full meals for that many people, though I got a little experience this summer doing all the snacks for VBS; three, even when I’ve done big get-togethers, most of the organizing and recipes are kept in the lockbox that is my constantly busy brain, so putting things down in a linear fashion that my helpers at the church can comprehend will be new, too.

I know I’m up to the challenge and my enthusiasm for the task will go a long way.  But instead of typing away on this blog entry, I should be typing away on menus and shopping lists.  I’d sure appreciate any meal ideas or suggestions as I’ll be doing this every Wednesday night through May and I’d like to avoid a lot of repetition. 

Happy Autumn Everyone (I know, technically, there’s two more days of summer, but it’s nice to be proactive for once!)!


  1. Heather, congrats on starting the new Wednesday meal thing! Not only will it be great for the families who already go, it might allow other working parents to have the time (and motivation) to bring their kids, too, when they didn't before :) Let us know how it goes!

  2. I will definitely let you know. Thanks!