Archive for May, 2008

Poolside Refreshments – Plastic Is The Key

This time of year, many are celebrating relationships, graduations, the summer, and family.  Our family alone has four separate events planned for this summer: my parents’ anniversary, two monumental birthdays (40 and 60!), and a family reunion.  Amazingly, all of these gatherings will be centered around water activities.  One will be at a local waterpark, and the rest will all take place at a private pool.  When mixing water with entertainment, it is important to implement some adjustments for the safety of everyone.

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Save Time, Promote Creativity At Your Next Get-Together!

At a loss as to how to decorate those tables for the family reunion this summer?  Running out of new ideas for the church luncheon?  No time to put together decorations for that big birthday bash?  Then leave it up to your guests to create! Read the rest of this entry »

Ice Cream Social

Summer is here, or nearly here, for many in the United States.  With summer, comes heat.  And with heat, comes ICE CREAM!  Make any gathering a bit more flavorful with these great cold-treat ideas:

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An Alternative Idea For Plastic Tablecovers

Here’s a quick idea for using plastic tablecovers for something other than, well, tables!  We take a brightly colored one with us to the water park each time we go.  We use it to “claim” our space at the park (it has quite a few picnic tables), and we keep it on the table the entire time we are there.  At the end of the day, we simply pile all our wet things (toys, towels, shirts, etc) into the middle of the plastic tablecover, draw up the corners and carry all our wet stuff out of the park without getting any of the rest of our belongings wet!  Once we get to the car, the entire package is deposited in the trunk of our car, leaving the rest of the car dry.

This idea works great at the pool, the park, and even the beach!  Keep a few plastic tablecovers around…they are not just for covering tables!

Sweet 16

Every birthday is a special milestone, a way to mark the end of one year and the promise of another.  Turning sixteen for a girl, though, seems to be a rite of passage.

Sixteenth birthdays are celebrated in a variety of ways, from simple get-togethers of close family and friends to elaborate gala events, complete with valet parking and live music.  If fronted with the task of preparing for a special sixteenth celebration, keep several points in mind:

1.  MAKE A BUDGET!  The amount of money available to spend will determine most of the climate of the event.  Renting a location and providing a full meal along with music and dancing probably is not going to happen on a $200 budget.  The honoree is old enough to be involved in this part of the process, so sit down with her and discuss options based on the budget.  Allocate a portion for food, decorating, and perhaps location, music and attire if necessary.

2.  COMMUNICATION  Make sure the honoree is an active part of all decisions made.  She will know if one weekend is better over another, or if a day party on a Sunday would be better than a Friday night celebration.  Closely work on a guest list (keeping in mind that budget) and a menu.

3.  PICK AN APPROPRIATE THEME.  A pink pony theme might not be the best choice for a special sixteenth birthday party, but nor is a poker night party.  Choose a theme based on the honoree’s likes and preferences. Go with a favorite color, a favorite flower, or something in line with the honoree’s hobbies.

4.  FOOD TO FEED THE MASSES.  However much food you think you’ll need, make plans for at least 25% more.  Kids LOVE to eat, and at a party, there will be plenty of it!  Make sure it is easy to prepare and easy to handle.  While hand-piped petit-fours would be lovely, a gaggle of teenagers would probably be just as happy with some chocolate chip cookies and some chips and dip.

5.  MAKE THE MOMENT LAST FOREVER.  As part of the party, give each guest a disposable camera.  The host is then free of any photography duties, and the kids will have a blast shooting pictures of their friends having fun.  And, the honoree will have plenty of reminders of the fantastic party.


In my region of the country, it is a BIG DEAL when a girl turns fifteen.  Banquet halls are booked, festive ball gowns are purchased, and the girl is presented to society at her quinceanera. Read the rest of this entry »

Fourth Of July Fun

Before you know it, hot dogs will be grilling, fireworks will be exploding, and the US will celebrate another birthday.  Independence Day is a celebration of freedom, of forward thinking, and of home.

Independence Day is celebrated in a variety of ways.  Taking advantage of some time off from work to do fun activities with a group is usually the goal most people have in mind. Planning ahead can make the day more relaxing and more organized for everyone!

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Our church has a group of couples that provide meals for families in crisis.  These dedicated kitchen-dwellers prepare and deliver dinners for families with loved ones in the hospital, those at home who are ill and even in the event of a death.  It is a wonderful outreach and stewardship ministry area.  But, it isn’t just about the meal.

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May Celebrations

The month of May tends to be synonymous with the celebration of Mother’s Day.  However, there are other days in May worth celebrating as well.  Here is a compilation of celebrations this month:

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