The season is finally bringing warmer and dryer days which will give us the opportunity to be outdoors again. Not only can we take time to notice changes in the landscape, the observed changes and growth in our family are marvelous as well. 

Outdoor entertaining has always been a rewarding pleasure for me and my family. Start by setting up a partially shaded spot in the yard with long tables and a variety of chairs or benches. Get creative with the table coverings. Mix it up with a tablecloth and runners, or an old quilt and place mats. Re-purpose a sheet or bedspread if you have one on hand.

Fire up the BBQ grill and throw on the burgers and hot dogs. Set up a condiment table and provide beverages and a tub of ice on another nearby station.

Make it easy on yourself and use disposable plates, cups and cutlery. There are many pretty choices available. Place containers of spring flowers down the center allowing space for cloth napkin lined baskets filled with ready to serve burgers and hot dogs prepared in rolls. Fill in with bowls of potato salad, chips, fruit salad, and vegetables.

Be sure to have toys outside for the little ones. Galvanized tubs filled with grass seed or kernels of corn along with large scoops, spoons, cups and bowls appeal to the children’s digging, filling, and pouring instincts. Place an old quilt on the grass and shade it with a card table encased in a sheet. The children are drawn to the tent have a great time pretending under there with toys. Bubbles are always a wonder and it is surprising how they entertain. Provide cartons of colorful empty eggs to hide. It doesn’t have to be limited to an Easter activity. They go for it every time!

Whiffle ball and kickball have become popular lawn games for our family. Bases are placed, teams chosen and the fun begins. Each year brings noticeable changes in skill and confidence. Non players sit in rockers on the large covered front porch which proves to be a comfortable setting for spectators. 

The main attraction that seems to sustain the children is the hammock that hangs between the trees a good distance beyond the house. They feel a bit secluded down there.  The teens share their perspectives, and the younger ones get into crazy fun and tipping action. It is a treasure to hear the laughter and singing from that hammock.  

Make time for your family and give of yourself while you are able. Memories and experiences are the lasting gifts. The rewards from giving are so sweet and full of grace.