Little Things Count

Abby got a cooking assignment from her Daddy this week.

“Abby, will you make your special peanut butter cookies for the soccer team?” Paul asked. He was having a meeting for the upcoming team about the year ahead, at the school where he coaches the varsity soccer team.

Abby jumped right in and doubled the batch, making them extra-large (she has brothers – they like size!), and took the assignment seriously. Our kids have learned that every time we make cookies in our home, a plate goes to the neighbors. It’s just what we do!

A friend of mine asked me this week, “How do you practice hospitality and not get burned out by it?”

My answer was: Keep it simple and let hospitality flow in and from your home, on a daily basis. Get your kids involved. Say no to outside events unless you know your home can handle them, considering your husband, children and household chores.
We need to think differently. Hospitality does not mean we have to have our fingers in every pot, never saying no.

Early on in my marriage I thrived on being involved in everything. Being the extrovert that I am, I didn’t want to miss out. Over the years I’ve learned to hunker down, prioritize and not over-commit myself.

Little things count, and they can go a long way. Just like Abby’s cookies that she made for the soccer team. The team devoured them in no time! YUM!!

(Paul’s team was the Division Champion 2006, one goal away from the state finals. Ah, so close! He loved this team and acknowledged them in his new No More Jellyfish, Chickens or Wimps book.)


Jill@Who Could Ask for Anything More said...

Cookies are my favorite things to make/bake. These look delish. I have so many great memories of cooking and baking for my older brother. He was really into sports and often times would eat half a pan of brownies (and countless glass of milk) in one sitting. I loves watching him eat what I'd made. Also, I have to say you've inspiried me with the way you post about entertaining and food. My hubby's 45th birthday is next Friday and we have a big party (20 ppl) planned for Saturday outside on our (new!) deck. I'm going to write about the food, the people and our experience entertaining...

Barb said...

Oh yum--COOKIES!!!! And peanut butter too! That top picture is worth framing! :oD

Julie said...

Hi Sandy,
Just emerging from the hospital cave...LOL...

I used to bake frequently, and often took things to our neighbors. I don't bake nearly as often as I used to, and obviously it's a simple way to reach out. Besides, our daughter adores baking!

Elizabeth said...


I especially like this sentence: Say no to outside events unless you know your home can handle them, considering your husband, children and household chores.

RealEstateGirl said...

The cookies look positively divine! Making my mouth water! What a wonderful thing to teach your children...the gift of Hospitality! Wish I was your neighbor!

Tracey ;-)

Rachelle said...

Ooooh, tell Abby those cookies look mah-velous! Yum. I'm learning a lot from you about teaching my children hospitality as a gift we've been given and one we share. It sure makes life more meaningful.

Org Junkie said...

You would be so proud of me, I just made two loaves of Pineapple Zucchini Bread on Thursday and gave one away. It felt great and now I definitely want to do more of that. I love the idea of getting the kids involved.

Your cookies look delicious!

Mommy Dearest said...

I'm so glad I found your blog recently (I linked from My Quiet Corner). You have excellent ideas, and ones I need to embrace. I posted last week about accidentally doubling a recipe that was already doubled, and realizing I was making four pumpkin pies instead of two. I went across the street and got a pie plate from our neighbor, and returned it to her with a hot pumpkin pie.

She was happy and so was I. It's good to be reminded to do things like this without it being accidental. :-)

momrn2 said...

I love the concept of making hospitality a daily practice and also involving the children. I am learning that it is ok to say "no". I am finding it is more than ok, it is vital to make sure my husband and family get the first of my energies.

Thanks for the reminder!!

Tammy said...

I love how she enthusiastically made those cookies...and I love how your family makes it a daily habit in little things. Wonderful advice to prioritize... I think most of us need to do more of this with our lives.

Nadine said...

Those cookies look yummy. So you always give away a plate to the neighbor's, well then I'm going to have to move.

Jennifer said...

Those cookies look yummy - I wish I could be your neighbor who gets them. LOL.

What you said about keeping things simple is so true - not only will you not enjoy entertaining but your family and guests not enjoy it if you are stressed out. People try to do too many things nowadays - we need to simplify!

I've been MIA for awhile now but I'm back - I LOVE your banner- so classy, artsy, chic, and is all about entertaining.

Rhoda said...

Sandy, you always have the best ideas for sharing hospitality. Those cookies look so good! Wish I had one (or 2) right now. I admire how you are raising your children to give too. That's so lost this day & time.


PS I just noticed your new banner too....it's gorgeous!

see you there! said...

The cookies look delicious and what a darling daughter.

I'll be flying over your house (more or less, lol!) early tomorrow morning. I'll look down and see if you are waving *grin*.

Darla (going from SF to Eugene)

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...


I recently found your blog, and have realized I need to devote several hours to reading & drinking it all in! You're going into my "must reads"!

This post particularly speaks to me because I'm trying to streamline my life & make our home more inviting.

Happy Anniversary!

Katybug said...

I see you love Pampered Chef stones too!!! :-)

Great idea about doubling the recipe & sharing with neighbors! Seems so simple, and yet I've never thought of it! :-/ Thanks for the idea, Sandy!


millermoments said...

Thanks for stopping by today! I love seeing all the pics on your blog - reminds me of "home" - I grew up in Bend OR! I'll be back - you have great things to say! The other night I hosted a business-type meeting at my home, and a gal that I've been working with (over the phone) came to my home for the first time. She took her shoes off and plopped down on the couch and said "Look at me - just making myself at home in your homey home!" I loved that! I really strive to make our home a place of welcoming and rest - and your thoughts on hospitality are straight out of my heart, too! Looking forward to reading MORE!