8/12/08

If We Provide - They Will Come (and Book GIVEAWAY!)


What do you do when 50 high schoolers show up in your backyard?

Always serve them food!


What does this post have to do with high-schoolers and youth group?
I'm also giving away a copy of my husband's book, No More Jellyfish, Chickens or Wimps. Leave me a comment and a signed copy could be yours! It's a book about raising courageous kids, so it ties in perfectly with this post!

Last week 50 kids were here for our church’s high school youth group.
What awesome kids and incredible leaders – many of whom my son went to Mexico with. They swam, ate, played badminton, and then spent quite a bit of time in a study and in smaller group discussions.


It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when entertaining a large number of people, but realistically, if you keep it uncomplicated, it’s a piece of cake! Even with teenage energy.

How did I keep it simple?
I served sodas, Costco pizza (pre-baked), and another Mom helped me out by bringing brownies (thank you, Anne). I used my easy to clean tablecloth, paper plates and paper napkins!


How complicated is that?
It was easy. I think we’ll be doing this more often, because I didn’t have to do much!

If we provide the food – they will come. It happens every time!
Thank you, Mark, for allowing our family to host this great group of Jacksonville Presbyterian kids. Thank you kids, for being such great guests. I realized when I went to bed that night that the entire group of kids stayed in our back yard, and no one wandered into our house!

Back to the Jellyfish book – if you want your kids to be, or know some kids who should be:

confident and assertive
neither a victim nor a bully
able to respond to injustice and defend others


Then don’t miss my husband Paul’s 2-day radio interview on Focus on the Family this Wed. and Thurs. (Aug 13 & 14) where he'll be discussing this book. Google Focus to find the time it will air in your area.

Leave me a comment or any question, and your name will go into a drawing for a signed copy of Jellyfish. WINNER will be posted on Friday, August 15th!

(If you want to put this GIVEAWAY on your blog, just let me know and your name will go into the drawing twice.)

76 comments:

OKGardners said...

Oh, what fun! I remember having get-togethers while raising my kids. It was the best time of my life! Kids are so easy to entertain - food, drink and "togetherness" - that is all they desire. :)

You do such a good job with your kids and their friends. I commend you!

I'm sure your hubby's book is a great book. So many kids face bullying these days. So sad, but true.

Betty in Oklahoma

Anonymous said...

I would love to read the book. It sounds great!
tcmcgarvey at hotmail dot com

secondofwett said...

The last four of our children that we adopted have different special needs. Two of them are more aware and coignitive then the other two, who are seriously delayed. Thge first two have great difficulty in highschool being bullied and not knowing how to stand up for themselves,...i think this book might be a great help to them

Wendy said...

That looks like a fun party!

I would love to read that book! Thanks for doing this.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog a few months ago and have become a happy entertainer. I used to think it had to be perfect, now I just open up our home and it has been amazing. My husband has loved the fellowship around our table. When he is out of the country, I have friends over during the day. Thanks for the encouragement!
Amanda
Southern transplant in yankee territory :)

linda said...

We had many years of Jr. High and High Schoolers from our church youth groups at our home for various functions.

For one, every summer the kids would start out at church on their bikes and travel to about 4 homes. At each house they would swim, play a quick game, get ice cream or some treat and then they'd be off to the next house. At the last house they would spend a little more time and have a small lesson. Talk about easy...just serving ice cream and loaning out your pool for an hour. It was always a pleasure and so much fun. I remember those 50 bikes in my driveway like it was yesterday! Thank you for bringing back such good memories.

Even though my daughter is 19, I'd still love to read your husband's book! Thank you for the giveaway.

waldenbunch said...

I have a 15-year-old son that is homeschooled and we want him to be the defender of his family yet compassionate and tender when appropriate. I would love to have this book!

G. said...

Fun! I'm sure they all had a blast. BTW, the book sounds great, I love the title! :)

Jill said...

We are just entering the preteen years around here. I would love this book.
I love how entertaining doesnt' have to be fancy food and or lots of work.
I've gotten some great ideas from you and am trying to be more focused on hospitality than on having it perfect.

Tiffany said...

What a great book! I love your blog - I was always one who thought that everything must be perfect while entertaining & have found that when I don't fret about the perfection, I enjoy myself more :)

I'd love to put your drawing on my blog - do I just link to yours??
amtlwert2000@yahoo.com

gracemercyandpeace said...

I'd love a 2nd copy Sandy, great book and I love to share great books!

deb meyers

vanessa said...

I am new to your blog and I am really enjoying looking into your life of entertaining. I would love to read you mans book. thank you

Mrs. B. said...

I would love to be entered in the book contest. :) sounds like a good one. I'll be listening for Paul on F on the F.

mmsmith said...

I'd love to read your husband's book!

GiBee said...

Can I just say ... the kids were probably in PIZZA HEAVEN, too!!!

deputyswife said...

I asked our local library to get your husband's book when you posted about it a couple of weeks ago. They still haven't got it in, but I would certainly love a signed copy too!

our2angels said...

What a great giveaway, I would love to read that book!
Thanks for your blog as it has proven to be quite inspiring, bringing the "gift" of hospitality we are all called to! What a blessing!

Thanks for the chance to win.

Blessings
Sue
marklovessue@numail.org

Mod Girl said...

Sounds like a fun and easy evening for everyone including you!

Enter me for the book, please! And thank you for doing the giveaway.

Lady Dorothy said...

I would love to have a signed copy of this book. Sounds like a book my husband and my sons (all fathers)would LOVE to read!

Apron Thrift Girl said...

I continue to just be in such awe of you Sandy. I barely got dinner on the table last night and here you serve 50 people. Amazing. Still coveting your tablecloth.

Jen said...

Add me to the drawing please....

We love kid get togethers too. We did one for Madison before school and it seems there are always kids coming in and out all the time....good times....

Rhonda said...

Sounds like a great Youth party! And of course, perfect food choices for teenagers! Cudos to you!!

Please enter my name in the draw for your husband's book.

3CHEERS4MOM said...

Hi Sandy, the party looks like a blast! Will you please sign me up for the book give away. -Cheer, Amy

Lisa @ Take90West said...

As a mom of 4, I'm sure I could learn a lot from that book...thanks for the chance!

Michelle said...

What fabulous memories you are creating for your children. I would love to read your hubby's book. Thank you for all your great entertaining ideas.

Michelle

Classic MaMa said...

I would LOVE to win this book. In fact, it's on my list of book sto buy this year. SO, if I don't win it, I'll read it sometime this year. :) (I'm a toddler mom so, I let myself say "this year" a lot.)

Carla said...

I would love a copy of your book. I just recently discovered your blog and have enjoyed every moment of it. I've even got my hubby interested.

Funnily enough, I read your blog for about a week before I even put two and two together(who you were exactly). My hub heard your husband on the XXX church podcast a year ago, bought his book; loved it and has been wanting his others. Then, when I discovered this was your blog, I told him, he was super excited and has been reading as well.

Sue Cramer said...

Looks like fun!! This book looks great too, thanks for the giveaway.

jennifer said...

I pray that my two kids will grow and be able to reflect those qualities. Thanks for the giveaway. Isn't it interesting what a magnetic quality pizza has!! I'm glad the kids enjoyed themselves.

seryclan@gmail.com

Amy said...

Sounds like a great book!

Amy in CO

kathy said...

Sounds like a great party and a great giveaway. We recently took our teens to the "Do Hard Things" conference given by Alex and Brett Harris and their Dad. It was AWESOME!

Kirstin said...

How fun! As youth pastors we are used to hosting lots of kids quite often, though not much since we've been living with someone else. But...we love it. Our kids are amazing and I wouldn't trade them for teh world!

Heidi said...

my husband is a youth pastor so we often entertain large numbers...of high schools and junior highers, that is! to make things a bit less expensive (and slightly more healthy) i never provides sodas or individual cans of anything. I have a cute large container (maybe holds 5 gallons) with a little nozzle that i fill with lemonade. super easy, cheaper and no bottles to clean up. I always start off the evening with an empty dishwasher so as kids finish their stuff (and they are usually so helpful) they load their plates and dishes right in. I prefer this - it's a little greener than paper plates and cups...i hate lots of waste. And if they load - it's a snap!

AmyS said...

Thank you so much for such a generous giveaway. The book sounds amazing. Raising two young boys in this world where many kids do what they want, when they want, without any supervision makes me all the more determined to try and teach them right while they are young. And, this includes being courageous and standing up for what you believe in even if it goes against their friends' beliefs. It's tough nowadays that's for sure.

I've been a faithful follower of your blog. I love it. It's been very inspiring to me and getting me out of my shell to entertain others.

Thanks!

Amie said...

The content of your posts is so positive...I constantly get ideas from it and it I find myself making the step to connecting with others who I want to get to know better. I've been having fun with it this past year and I've become more gracious in the process.

I was on Amazon looking at this book last night and realized it is your husband's! Count me in on the drawing!

Denise said...

Would love to be entered in the draw for your hubby's book. Love reading your blog.

arlene said...

This sounds like a great book! Congratulations to your husband! I would love to win a copy.

arlene
artdeme@gmail.com

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Fabulous! I love that you can just relax with kids. There's not of the pressure you have when etertaining adults.

Elizabeth G. said...

You must be very proud of your husband for publishing that book. It sounds wonderful.

Speaking of wonderful, your get-together sounds great. I'm glad that it went so well.

Elizabeth in Utah

Megan said...

Thanks for such an inspiring blog!

Jamie said...

I organize lots of kid get-togethers thru my church. I'd love to read the book too.

Kylee said...

I am a new reader to your blog, but love it so far! Really makes me not hesitate to invite people over. I would love to have a copy of your husband's book!

Marcie said...

Would love to be entered in your giveaway....thanks. Marcie

Rach said...

Looks like the kids had a blast and so simple! That's awesome. I have been reading your blog for awhile and love all of your tips. Thanks so much!! I could definitely use the book for my kids....very exciting!

deezie said...

Oh I would love to win that book!!! If I had a blog I would put yours on but I do not have a blog
Love the idea of pizza,soda and brownies, what more do the kids need:) sounds like that just had a great time
deezie
happy day:)

Sue said...

Would love to read the book! I will listen to the podcast of Dobson for sure! I teach parenting so am sure I will be sharing this book with parents!
Sue

bizzy mommy said...

you are quite the "entertainers" and seem to do such a great job. you have obviously been given the gift of hospitality :0) the book sounds wonderful! i will definitely check out the radio broadcast we love focus on the family!

Megret said...

What a neat tie-in to your post.

I've been wanting to read this book ever since I saw it on FOF's website. Of course, my children are still very young, but it's never too early to start preparing myself for what's ahead.

Thanks!
Megret
musesofmegret (at) gmail (dot) com

Nadine said...

Wow 50 kids. The amazing thing about teenagers is they don't need fancy food - just food. I love the pizza and brownies idea.

Anonymous said...

Your blog enspires me every time I read it! I can't wait to hear your husband on Focus On The Family.
Laura

Stacey in Oklahoma said...

Pizza and drinks works every time with my kids too.

Thanks for all of your inspiration.

Just took my oldest son to college yesterday for the first time. Boy, I'm praying he's no jellyfish!!

Stacey in Oklahoma

Haley said...

I would love to win this for my hubby! He is a youth minister and he loves books.... and I will be putting this on my blog too! Thanks for the great give-a-way!

Heidijayhawk said...

well done as always my dear!

Kris said...

It sounds like a wonderful book. The topic is something we want to instill in our children.

I just wanted to say that your blog has been an inspiration to me,as well. Last month was my youngest's 5th birthday. He wanted a party, but we do not have the space or the yard at this time to accommodate his request, so my mother-in-law graciously let us use her home. We supplied everything, but the homemade ice cream. A great time was had by all. I posted about it on my blog if you would like to check it out.

Thanks again for the inspiration.

Kris
3gordons@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I love your blog! I stumbled upon it and have tried some of your entertaining ideas and they are so do-able! I love your ministry. I look forward to getting to host backyard gatherings for teens one day. Jennifer M.

Sara L said...

Your house looks like so much fun! Great memories!

I'd love to read the book!

Charles and sara at hotmail dot com

Ginger said...

It looks like a great time by all!

So, my question...I don't have a yard...we live in town and I have a small 10' area of grass, so how do you entertain teens when they have to be in the house??

Sara at Miller Moments: said...

I love Costco pizza! What a great hostess you are!

:o) Rachel said...

Oooh, I want to be in the drawing! And I will try to listen to your hubby online. (How cool is that???!)

:o) Rachel

momo3 said...

looks like the kids had a great time! i know as a parent, i so appreciate other parents offering a fun and safe environment for our kids to be together and have fun . . i'm sure many of the parents are so grateful to you and your husband for offering your home as a gathering place! thanks for offering your husband's book . . . it sounds great! kristen

ryankristenwilson(at)msn(dot)com

Aubrey said...

I look forward to the days of hosting youth group gatherings. In the meantime, I get a kick out of hosting Mommy & Me gatherings for all of our preschoolers.

As for the book, I have heard about it from several corners of my life, and I was mildly surprised a few weeks ago when I put together the fact that your husband is the author. Because I am slow on the uptake like that, ya know?

Julie said...

Sounds like an awesome time.

I'd love to be entered in for the drawing.

Thanks,
Julie

Melissa said...

I'm so glad you posted the dates of Paul's interview on Focus and that I read your post today so that I don't miss the programs! I've been very interested in this book every since I first heard of it. (Maybe when you two were on Focus together last year?)

La Tea Dah said...

I'd love to be entered in the drawing -- and I look forward to listening to Focus on the Family the next two nights!!!!!

LaTeaDah

duchess said...

What great memories for your kids.

I would love to have a copy of that book. The more info I can get the better.

Thanks for doing it.

Org Junkie said...

Hey Sandy, I would love the opportunity to read your hubby's book.

Laura

Susie said...

Definitely could use this book of wisdom! Count me in! I'll go listen online to your husband later today as things settle down in my crazy back to school world. Can't wait!

Amy said...

My daughter is just entering her teen years and I only hope that her friends will always feel welcome in our home and you're right, if you feed them... I love having them over. Now if I can just talk my husband into getting a pool!!

Lisa said...

I would love to read the book. Thanks for the inspiration and the recipes!

texasgirl said...

Paul is a wonderful speaker and I look forward to reading his book!!!

Laura said...

Hello from Mozambique! I've been reading your blog for about a month or so now, I don't remember how I found it but I certainly enjoy it!
I'm living in and working with a dorm of 27 5-12 year old boys!! The part in your brief description about not being bullied nor bullying really stood out to me as we're dealing with that a lot right now with our big age range.
Thanks for hosting a giveaway! I'm looking forward to many more wonderful posts on your beautiful blog. By the way, whoever does your photography is very talented! Thanks, Laura

Anonymous said...

The book looks really interesting. My husband and I are expecting our first baby this fall and I would love to read the advice your husband has in his new book. Thanks!
Kathy in Ontario
p.s. love the blog!

Anonymous said...

I just learned of your blog a little over a month ago and I absolutely love it! It's my "happy place" on the internet!

Thanks for sharing so much wonderful information with your readers!

Dawn S.
striblin@yahoo.com

Rachel said...

The book sounds great!

Mrs4444 said...

DArn! Sure am sorry I missed this! I'd like to take a look at this book; off to Amazon...

Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

I must get this book. So sorry I missed the giveaway. Congrats to your husband.