As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


When The Nester (home blogger and the annual 31-days hostess) wrote her own series in October, she invented a crazy wonderful new word.  Uncomplified. 

I cannot tell you how many times we have used that word since then. 

We chose to make our Thanksgiving uncomplified. We uncomplified our planning for the week that Ryan and family were visiting. We uncomplified Christmas decorating. Basically meaning that if there was a simpler way of doing something, that is the way we chose to do it. Also meaning that some things were omitted entirely. Also meaning that we made things easier on ourselves. Also meaning that we are (I am?) learning the value of "less is more." Simplify when possible.

And the thing is...the casual observer wouldn't know it. I loved our Thanksgiving tables and the meal was delicious and the day was lovely. (Did anyone know that my turnip greens were from a can? Or did they care? Was anyone bothered by the fact that we didn't make our own place cards this year? I think no.) Does it matter that we decided not to put a Christmas tree in the kitchen this year? Or that we put all our decorations in the same places that we put them last year, uncomplifying the process of creating new vignettes? My student is learning with our uncomplified school schedule put in place for this season.

Yesterday, we had a most delightful visit from our friends, the Rabes. Tim is off this week, Ron was able to take a day off, and a Christmas visit was planned. We decided to make it uncomplified. 

I planned a simple menu with mostly "make ahead" elements...and then simplified it even further when I didn't have time to make cookies.  For lunch we had Christmas chicken salad (my usual chicken salad but with diced apples and dried cranberries) and ham and cheese sandwiches, potato chips and dill dip, and instead of pretty Christmas cookies, Schoolhouse Brownies for dessert. (Ron says he likes having company for lunch. ~smile~)

After lunch, we made coffee and tea, set out some snack-y things on the island, and then we just hung out together. Ron and Tim talked and talked. The "girls" all talked...weddings ( excited for Lindsay!), homeschool, children, friends, house-y stuff. Kyle played Legos. Sarah and Bekah found all sorts of things to do together this time. They drew, played cards, made origami butterflies, played piano duets...and arm wrestled! 

How did we not get a photo of the adorable Kyle?!

The time flew! 

Before we knew it, it was time to share the evening meal. Another uncomplified menu. Wedding beef that had been slow cooking in the crock pot, roasted sweet and white potatoes (peeled and seasoned that morning), green bean Steamers, and a cranberry molded gelatin salad. Dessert was my go-to pound cake. It is easy to make, it serves a crowd (we had 10 for dinner and we have lots of cake still), it is buttery-decadent, and you can eat it plain or dress it up with toppings. (We served it with fresh whipped cream and warm raspberry sauce.) 

Having a simple dinner plan enabled us to make the most of our limited time together. 

A Christmas visit with friends was a gift of the very best kind. Made even better because it was uncomplified.

Click ~here~ to read Deanna's words about our day together. (She is so kind!)


  1. Love that word! With my shoulder in an uproar it's what I need to do. I'm taking it slow ans what gets done gets done.

    I'm adopting that word too.

    Merry Christmas my friend!


  2. Oh Yes! It was a gift to have the day together and to know that it wasn't stressful to you to have us!

    Uncomplified, is perfect! And it is enough.

    Love you all!

  3. Well I have checked out all of your linked recipes and came away with some GOOD ideas. Especially want to try that sauce. Love the new word too, lol. But let me tell you, my idea of uncomplified means order pizza or cold ham sandwiches with store bought potato salad and chips, lol. Yours sounds WAY better. OH, and when I am in the mood for a carefully set table complete with name cards and from scratch desserts and complicated recipes I go for it and enjoy, because I know it might be a while before I am in the mood again, haha Enjoy your day!

  4. This is a great example of the right kind of hospitality. I do like your new word! It says a lot!

  5. Uncomplified is a great way to celebrate and show hospitality. Such a fun time together.

  6. What a great word! Definitely my hospitality style :)

  7. Oh how wonderful a day is that?! I may have to write down your menu word for word. Menus are the hardest part for me.

  8. Uncomplified...I like that word. That is my style, too. I need to have our friends over and have been thinking what to serve. Your menu sounds like a winner!

  9. What a wonderful day and such a special Christmas visit. Thank you for sharing it with us. You can see on everyone's faces what a blessing your time together was.
    I also have enjoyed using that new and crazy word The Nester coined. 'Uncomplified' just seems to sum up so many things. love it!

  10. Such a sweet visit and good time! Love the new word too and have been trying to do the same here, although it isn't always easy. Or rather there are so many areas need to be uncomplified :)

    So nice stopping by to visit!

  11. That is a great word!! I love it when it comes to relationships! Decorating - not so much! I appreciate your kind comment on my blog! YES! Grandmother to GRAND quadruplets!!! Life IS an adventure and I am loving it! The quad mom is a home school graduate and earned a 4 year degree at the age of 20 from Texas State University! I am now off to see how I can 'Follow' you!!!

  12. We have been embracing that concept a lot this year, and it is very freeing!


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