One of our favorite things to do is throw a dinner party for our friends. Jesse and I have an open house every Sunday afternoon. Note to my friends: If this is the first you’ve heard about it, you are very welcome to show up! I just haven’t remembered to personally invite everyone yet.
My (not-so) hidden agenda: My hope is to bring my church friends together with those who are looking for a church home, to allow them to build relationships before entering a church building. I know how scary it is to feel “all alone” while hunting for a church. Of course, all of our friends are welcome, even if they already attend a different church!
House Prep: I generally clean the house pretty good on Friday or Saturday, and straighten up on Sunday mornings before church. I save the bathrooms for Sunday mornings as well, because they don’t stay clean very long. Once I’m done with that, I go through the house and look for little nagging things. If they aren’t big projects, I try to take care of them right away. Otherwise, they get put on my list of things to do for the next week. It’s been really nice since I started doing this, because my house usually gets completely clean at least once a week. That keeps me from getting sneaky little overlooked spots that build up and become difficult!
Food Prep: Nearly everyone brings a side, but I try to fix the main course. Since we are on a tight budget, it’s usually spaghetti or a big pot of beans. Once in a while, I will have salad fixins and some freshly pressed tortillas. (They’re so inexpensive to make!) For a few weeks there, I was making fresh salsa and chips every Sunday. The chips are so easy – I will post a how-to later on. I make anything up ahead of time that I possibly can – pasta is quick and simple to cook after getting home, but slow cooker recipes free you up for visiting with your guests. (I also like to have a backup plan for extra food, in case the turnout is greater that we expected.)
Heart Prep: It’s good to remind yourself not to hurt your guests spiritually. Try not to be a worldly influence in their lives. Keep the TV turned off, stick with Christian or instrumental music in the background, and engage in activities that will encourage clean conversation. Jesse and I usually like to play board games on Sundays, but if there is enough conversation, you don’t really need any other form of entertainment. Say a prayer, and ask for help keeping your thoughts pure and your conversation godly.
By the way, if you don’t have a subscription to Homeschool Enrichment Magazine, here is a direct link to their free digital subscription page: http://homeschoolenrichment.com/magazine/digital/
My latest article is on the Sep./Oct. cover: Asking Questions, Analyzing Answers. Hope you like it! (I also write the “Once Upon a
Homeschool” piece in every issue.)