Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Life is Still Full-Blast

Here we are to Tuesday already, and I'm still running full blast from the weekend. I wanted to run over the things that went well and the things I'll do differently next time, while they're still fresh in my mind. This weekend with guests went amazingly well; my dh keeps saying, "You did an excellent job, Honey!" Wooohooooo!!! I love it when he says that! :) :) :) I felt that the food was far too expensive, but after tallying the receipts, dh figured that I spent $4.52 per person, per meal - cheaper than restaurant food, for sure!

Things that went well and I'll do again:

Plan complete menus - breakfast, lunch, supper, desserts
Shop for everything at once - very expensive, but worth it
Morning routine - what a lifesaver when you have to get up and going ahead of a house full of people
Dishes kept clean - after each meal I ran the dishwasher (bought extra detergent, just in case!)
Clean sink - it smiles at you when you walk into the kitchen!
One load of our personal laundry per day
Set of towel, hand towel, wash cloth for each guest - ready and waiting for them
Designated helpers - each of the kids had a definite job for the weekend; took pressure off of me
Plan activities - just a general framework for the weekend
Lists - things that need to be done in the morning, then in the afternoon - just to keep me on track so I didn't forget anything

Things that I didn't do, but will in the future:

Plan sooner - next time I'll have my plan in place about a week before, then tweak as the time gets nearer
More little things ahead of time, especially concerning meals - things like grating cheese, making cracker crumbs for dessert, chopping vegetables
Plan half again the amount of servings of food - this is more when it's a group of adults only - they eat more than you think!
Double check food supplies - I ended up having to make a quick grocery run on Saturday for a few smaller things I forgot and a little more food
Have those sets of towels ready before the guests arrive - our dryer doesn't dry well, so I wasn't completely ready when they got here; next time the towels will be first

Planning for a weekend of guests is similar to planning for a big holiday meal. It takes babysteps in planning, such as meals, shopping list, laundry, linens, but if you start well in advance, you can get all your planning done then sit back and enjoy your guests. I was still a little nervous since this was our first group of guests since we moved here (and they weren't family), but I eventually relaxed and followed my plan. My high school Advanced Composition teacher always said, "Plan your work and work your plan!" and amazingly, she was right! Planning pays off!

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