Grilled Corn on the Cob {& Filling the House With Life and Laughter}

Grilled Corn on the Cob | Club 31 Women | club31women.com #grilling

It wasn’t about showing off our new house.

The idea of “showing off” my house to family members who have yet to see our new home kind of rubs me the wrong way. Showing off implies a “me me” perspective when really all I want to do is focus on them – to make them feel welcome, invited, cared for, and loved.

Grilled Corn on the Cob | Club 31 Women | club31women.com #grilling

Josh’s grandfather drove for two days, all the way from southern California, to spend time with all of us, his family, and maybe even to be encouraged.

You see, I think I mentioned before in the Layered Taco Dip post that Josh’s beautiful grandmother, Nani, passed away last August. I still can’t believe it has been almost a year.

And for Papa, Josh’s grandfather, it’s been almost a year of figuring out what life without his beloved wife by his side looks and feels like. To go from sharing conversations, sharing a bed, sharing hobbies, and sharing a life of marriage sixty years in the making into the life of a widower, a life that no longer shares her living presence – that has to be traumatic, regardless of the amount of time you had to prepare for that day. (1 Timothy 5:3)

During one of the days he was here, we had a barbecue “joint” birthday party for my daughter Grace (who turned 11 on the 11th) and her youngest uncle, Joey (who turned 16 on the 9th). We gathered everyone over at our new home for ribs, barbecue chicken, hot dogs, baked beans, and grilled corn on the cob.

Grilled Corn on the Cob | Club 31 Women | club31women.com #grilling

It wasn’t about getting everyone down to see our new home (even though everyone wanted to see it, which was nice).

It was about filling the house with life and laughter, reconnecting with each other, sharing our hearts and some encouraging fellowship. Papa was our guest of honor, and we wanted him to feel honored and loved the moment he walked through our door.

While Grace and Joey took turns opening up birthday presents, I happened to look over at Papa and saw him smiling – to his left was a picture of himself, his beloved bride, and my three children from our trip to see them last April.

He later pulled me aside and told me that he had such a wonderful time, but that our beautiful Nani would have enjoyed being in our home, too.

Grilled Corn on the Cob | Club 31 Women | club31women.com #grilling

In honor of the birthday barbecue we had at our home over the weekend, and because Memorial Day is so close, I’m sharing this super easy grilled corn on the cob recipe. Josh is not a big corn on the cob person – unless it has been grilled, and then he really enjoys it!

There are a lot of ways to make grilled corn – you can make a spice mixture and rub it over the kernels or coat it in Mexican cheeses for a more “street” style. I’m just sharing the simple basic method you can prepare it because that is how I prefer my corn on the cob.

Also, corn on the cob, this time of year, is cheap and the perfect way to feed a crowd (seriously, if you are looking to stretch your budget for a crowd, grilled corn on the cob will save your life!). Which is what we did!

Josh grilled all the corn and afterwards some of his sisters and I husked them and broke them in half. I was skeptical that there wouldn’t be enough for everyone, but believe it or not, there was and I had leftovers…which is perfect for freezing so you can add it to soups and chowders or topping a salad with!

Losing a spouse must be unimaginably painful, but I believe being surrounded by people who genuinely love and care is some of the best medicine for grief out there.

~ Chels {Catz in the Kitchen}

*Have you ever experienced grief? What helped you and what can you do to help others with their grief?

Grilled Corn on the Cob
Serves: 4
 
Grilling corn on the cob in its husk makes it smoky and sweet. Add this corn on the cob to almost any outdoor meal!
Ingredients
  • 4 heads of corn
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Butter
Instructions
  1. If you have a charcoal grill, start your coals now. Pull the husk of each head of corn back to the base, but do not allow the husk to disconnect. Remove as much of the silk as possible, and then wrap the husk back up around the cob as tightly as possible.
  2. Fill a large bowl with cold water, and soak the cobs for at least ten minutes. If you're using a gas grill, preheat the grill now.
  3. Place the corn on the grilling surface, trying to keep the husk between the grilling surface and the kernels whenever possible. Close the lid and grill for five minutes.
  4. Open the lid and turn the corn, again using the husk as a barrier for the kernels when possible. Close the lid and grill for an additional five minutes.
  5. Open the lid and turn a final time. Grill with the lid close for an additional five minutes, or until the kernels are easily popped with a grilling fork. Serve immediately and carefully, as both the husk and the corn itself will be very hot. Serve with butter, salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

 

Now That She’s Turned 18 {& What I Love About The Strong-Willed Child}

Now That She's Turned 18 {& What I Love About the Strong-Willed Child}

So you’ve turned 18 and you’ve got big plans.

But no big surprise.

Because you were always like that. Right from the beginning.

You were the baby who was born without any help—didn’t wait for the doctor to arrive and even Daddy’s strong, capable hands missed you. Oop! There you were.

Born, breathing, and ready to start living.

You were also the toddler who put me through my paces. You responded to my clear, specific instruction to STAY ON THE BLANKET . . . by sticking one toe over the edge.

One big, determined toe.

Testing. Testing. Testing.

Looking up at me with your large green eyes and curly brown hair, waiting to see what I was going to do about it.

Oh, don’t worry. I did something about it.

But not before leaving the room, choked up with laughter. Hopefully returning with some composure.

Yes, you were the child who screamed (SCREAMED!) for 10 nights in a row because you somehow, for some reason, decided that you didn’t want to sleep in your crib anymore. I thought something was wrong with you. Like, seriously wrong.

You were the one who came into the house nonchalantly smacking your lips and announcing, “Hey, Mom, I just ate a butterfly.”

Why, oh child of mine, why??

It seemed I never knew what got into you or why.

All I knew is that you weren’t budging. Not when you set your mind on something.

Yet you’re also the one I have to thank for launching this blog in the first place. I hardly knew what a “blog” was back then. But you insisted on it. Made me do it. You even went so far as to set me up and design my first site.

There, Mom! It’s waiting for you. Now all you have to do is start writing . . . .

And so I did.  Grateful for your big vision that I was a bit slower to see. Blessed by your unwavering spirit.

Thankful for that strong determination.

Now That She's Turned 18 {& What I Love About the Strong-Willed Child}

Now soon you’ll be heading across the country for college and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

Well, that is until you mentioned that you probably wouldn’t make it back for Thanksgiving. Because home is just too far away.

At which point, I did a little weeping. Poor, silly mom.

The reality of your adventure hitting me harder than I would like to admit.

How much I will miss your companionship and having you here as my own right-hand and my go-to-girl.

Will miss your sweet smile and goodnight hugs.

Will miss those crossed arms.

And every one of your determined toes.

Now That You've Turned 18 {& What I Love About the Strong-Willed Child}

Now That You’ve Turned 18

What I love about the strong-willed child . . .

Determined spirit.

What nearly drove me out of my mind when you were a child has turned out to be one of your best qualities. You will not give up and you will not give in. This world could use a few more young people who stand determined for their beliefs and convictions. I love to see all that fight in you being used to fight for the good of others.

Caring heart.

I don’t know that I fully recognized this at first. I couldn’t see all the tenderness that was hidden behind those resolutely folded arms and that defiant stance when you were so small. But I do now.

I watch how you care for Grandma – in these difficult days of Alzheimer’s – and how you’re one of the few who can tuck her into bed. Slowly, strongly, insisting that she settle down for the night. Gently wrapping her up in blankets as if she was the child and you the older one.

Passionate nature.

So you feel strongly about things. Very strongly. You can’t help yourself and never could. And that’s fairly challenging when all that passion is trapped inside a young child’s body, but now that you’re older and belong to Christ? It’s a beautiful thing and I love that about you.

Big vision.

You sometimes see things before others do. I’m sure you saw stuff beyond the confines of your crib that drove you crazy. Stuff that made you want to scream. For 10 nights in a row. Admittedly, made me want to scream too. Yet now you have words to express that grand vision of yours and it’s a blessing.

And, yes, that very strong will.

You don’t go with the flow and you’ve got your own ideas and you don’t always do what you’re told. Not easy for a mom to deal with when you’re only five . . .  but, oh child of mine, how much I love this about you now that you’ve turned 18. 

Now That You've Turned 18 & What I Love About the Strong-Willed Child

So maybe you’re raising a strong-willed child too.

The kind of child who sticks his or her one big toe over the edge of the blanket. Who screams for 10 nights running and who randomly munches on butterflies.

Always testing.

Very determined.

With big ideas.

Do not grow weary, my friend, and do not give up. God gave you this child because He knew you were exactly the parent needed to raise such a strong-minded child.

You have been given a special gift.

Because I’m telling you now that this dear child can grow up to become the most wonderful, interesting, caring adult—-in fact, a world-changer.

And might well turn out to be one of your closest friends.

I’m sure gonna miss you, baby girl! 

In His grace,

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Photo credit: The very talented Allison Harp

Triumph Assistance

About Vienna

In addition to being my daughter and friend, Vienna has worked as my personal assistant for the the last 3 years (and for others as well) and has recently launched her own V.A. business, Triumph Assistance. Further information is below:

Triumph Assistance is a virtual assistant business, run by me (Vienna Jacobson) specializing in Social Media Management & Marketing, Pinterest Pin Creation, PowerPoint Slides, and General Administrative Support.  Over the past 5 years I have taught myself everything I know and looked for every and any opportunity that would hone my skill set and make me a better personal assistant. I am 18 years old and live in beautiful Central Oregon. I am the third of 8 and love my big family. My favorite things include: eating sushi, talking with friends, reading books, coffee shop hopping, and hanging out with my siblings. Triumph Assistance can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.

What to Do With Tricky, Beautiful Relationships

What to Do With Tricky, Beautiful Relationships

Relationships can be a tricky thing. They can be difficult and messy.

They can cause us heartache and pain.

If we’ve been hurt in ministry, we can tend to pull back from the church as a whole.

When friendships have caused us heartache, we often choose to retreat.

Family lets us down and we learn to keep those closest to us at arm’s length.

We retreat to our safe corners, we set our fists in a defensive stance, and we harden our hearts because the pain…?

Well, the truth is that it hurts.

Putting Up Walls

Self-preservation and the avoidance of pain are natural responses. Healthy relationships and proper boundaries are a good thing. But we must also take great care to tread cautiously when it comes to putting up walls that are intended to keep the hard things at a distance.

You see, growth happens as a result of difficulties.

We will hurt others and others will hurt us. But it is in the working out of our misunderstandings that we learn from one another.

It is in the humility of an apology that we learn to consider the perspective of another, whether we agree with them or not.

It is in offering true forgiveness, deserved or not, that we live out the forgiveness of Christ on the cross.

Extending mercy, even when it is really, really hard, reminds us of how much mercy God has poured out on us through His Son Jesus Christ.

Jesus is all about relationships.

He put himself out there no matter the cost. He was ridiculed and scorned. He was misunderstood and rejected. He hung on a cross and died, not because it was comfortable, but because it was necessary.

For love.

For you.

For me.

What to Do With Tricky, Beautiful Relationships

A Beautiful Thing

Friends, there is nothing wrong with using wisdom and discernment in relationships to protect ourselves from those that would cause us unnecessary harm. But, let us also remember that relationships are beautiful – even the really hard ones.

Let us protect our hearts but not harden them.

Let us build healthy boundaries but not walls that keep others out.

Let us resolve not to keep others at an arm’s length because when we let them in, our hearts can be changed.

For our good.

For their benefit.

For His glory.

We will hurt others and they will hurt us. We will fail. We will fall.

The key is picking ourselves up out of the dirt, dusting off the hurt, and trying again.

Because it is in the trying that lives are touched. It is in the challenge that we are changed It is in the loving that we find true love.

And we can’t love if we don’t let others into the depth of our hearts.

Relationships can be a tricky, beautiful thing.

“You will know that you are my disciples when you love one another.” -John 13:35

Blessings,

Heather, MyOverflowingCup

Heather from MyOverflowingCupHeather is a follower of Jesus Christ, devoted wife of 22 years to her high school sweetheart, and homeschooling mother of their two teenage boys.

She can be found blogging about faith, food, and frugality at MyOverflowingCup. She’s also on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

 

A Dozen Things You Can Do to Keep Your Marriage Fresh & Fun

A Dozen Things to Keep Your Marriage Fresh & Fun

It’s not always a party around here.

Not that we don’t have a good time or that we don’t love each other.

Because, of course, we do.

But there are some seasons that are tougher than others.

We both have so much on our plates that we begin to feel weighed down by the pressures and bills and time-constraints. Health concerns and relational-challenges. It all just keeps coming at us and life doesn’t feel as fun as it used to be.

And so a general heaviness sets in.

But we can’t let that go on like this for too long because it’s not only “not fun”  – it’s not really right either. It’s not good for our health, not good for our family, and certainly not good for our relationship.

So something needs to change!

The funny thing is that the solution doesn’t have to be all that dramatic or expensive. It’s often those simple or relatively easy things that help revive our friendship and restore that spark.

A small investment with a big return.

Now in case you and yours ever find yourself in such a season? Here are some things that Matthew and I like to do when we’re stuck in a rut or are feeling the strain . . . .

A Dozen Things to Do to Keep Your Marriage Fresh & Fun

A Dozen Things to Keep Your Marriage Fresh and Fun

1.     Go for a walk in the fresh air.

When we’re crazy-busy and don’t have the time, or if we can’t get too far from the house, we will simply go for a walk. We might only walk up and down our long driveway, or possible wander out on the trails that go out into the desert behind our house. As long as we’re holding hands – sometimes talking and sometimes silent – we’re happy together.

2.     Try a new place to eat.

Now this might just be us, but we love finding some neat little place to eat! Some place that we’ve never tried before. He and I especially enjoy all kinds of ethnic food – Thai, Mediterranean, Indian, Vietnamese – you name it! Yum.

3.     Watch a funny or fascinating movie.

While watching movies isn’t usually my favorite thing to do, I’ll confess that it can be rather nice to “check out” and get a good laugh from a comedy, or temporarily disappear into another place or time in a well-done film. Just don’t tell our kids that I admitted, that okay? 😉

4.     Cook up something new that you’ve never tried before.

I don’t know why this is, but trying out a new recipe or cooking up something special can turn an ordinary evening into a celebration. Caramel popcorn, onion rings, guacamole al fresco—we’ve tried them all! Five stars.

5.     Invite old friends over that you haven’t seen for a while.

Do you know those longtime friends whom you just love . . . but never seem to get around to getting together? Call them up! Ask them over and order pizza. Then laugh over old times and get caught on on new happenings. We recently went out for Thai food with friends we’ve known since before we married. Talked about everything. Sweet for the soul!

6.     Make new friends by asking interesting people over.

This is more my husband’s strong point than mine, but I’m wanting to grow in this. When you’re going through a hard time, it can be difficult to reach out when you feel like you’re merely hanging on.  Yet we’ve found that it can be “just the thing” to lighten things up to focus on new people and new friendships.

For the Woman Who Is Simply Weary of Serving - The Super-Homemaker

7.     Throw a party.

Small party or big party – it doesn’t matter! Open up your doors and let the festivities begin. Yes, it can require a bit more work (when you’re already feeling over-worked), but the benefits of fun and fellowship make it all worthwhile.

8.     Tell him something you’ve never told him before.

Share a wonderful memory you have from your childhood. Tell him about that camping adventure or that silly experiment you tried. Maybe talk about your favorite book or biggest accomplishment. Then ask him about his too!

9.    Step outside the usual routine.

I don’t know about you, but I tend to be a “creature of habit.” I like my routine. A lot. But there are times that shaking things up and doing it totally different is just what’s needed! I might surprise him and suggest we watch a late-night movie (we’re usually in bed by 10pm) or challenge him to a boardgame together. Woohoo!

10.   Sneak away with only the two of you.

You have all kinds of reasons why you can’t. So many responsibilities, not enough time, and can’t afford it. I get it. I really do. But do it anyway. There is no better investment than in your marriage. Make it a priority, even if it’s not “screaming” at you in the way these other things are in your life.

11.    Lighten up with a good laugh.

I’m not sure I should tell you this, but the truth is that he and I are both big teases. He is worse than I am, but I find great satisfaction in catching him off-guard with a joke of my own now and then. We flirt, laugh, and play practical jokes on each other often. It’s one of our “secret” ingredients. :)

12.    Pray for one another.

When my eyes for him are clouded with the stress and strain of our situation, I ask God to give me “fresh eyes” for my husband. I pray that He will restore our love for each other and infuse new life in our relationship. He has always been faithful to answer that prayer.

So be sure and invest in your marriage. Don’t let the urgent and the heavy keep you from enjoying one another as God intended. Keep it fun and fresh.

Try one of these ways . . . or maybe all twelve!

In His grace,
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*What are some of the ways that you like to bring light and life into your marriage?
100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

A Gift of Love for You, Mom {Free Printable}

A Gift for You This Mother's Day {Free Printable}

So what does a mother of 8 kids do for Mother’s Day?

I bet you guys really do it up big over there!  

That’s what I often hear.

But we don’t do it up big.

On the contrary, I’d say we do it up small.

Small in the very best sense.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the young boys whipped up some breakfast for me, with the help of their dad. Likely it will be fried eggs (our 12 year old makes the best fried eggs!) and toast (if I remember to pick up bread before then) and maybe some fresh fruit too.

Knowing the girls, they’ll make an effort to decorate the table with something special—fresh flowers from our yard if they’re to be had.

And coffee, of course. Always French-press coffee. 😉

So, no, we don’t really go all-out for Mother’s Day around here.

No extravagant presents. No big speeches. And no fancy brunches.

Why?

Because it’s the little things that mean the most to me.

Kind words.

Thoughtful acts.

Warm hugs and sweet kisses.

Because I’m a mom. Just like you.

And what do we want more than anything?

Mostly we want to know that we’re loved and appreciated. 

Matthew and Lisa Jacobson with Family

So one of our daughters, Vienna, made this beautiful note for me and I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with you too.

My gift to you.

Something to share with your own mom.

Or maybe share with another older woman in your life that has been like a mom to you.

Or maybe just for you. To hang in your kitchen or some other favorite spot to remind you of all that you are.

Because you are loved.

A Gift for You This Mother's Day {Free Printable}

Click below to download:

Free Printable – A Gift of Love for Mom

Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praises her. ~ Proverbs 31:28

A gift of love for you.

In His grace,
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Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).

What It Really Means When Someone Calls You Mom

What It Really Means When Someone Calls You Mom

I didn’t always call her mom.

In the beginning she was simply his mother. So I referred to her as “Mrs. Jacobson” when we were first married and later, “Patricia” or “Pat.”  Such an awkward dilemma, to know the proper way to address her.

After all, what do you call your mother-in-law?

Some years passed, however, and she and Dad moved in with us when I was expecting our fourth child. Dad’s heart wasn’t too strong, and we thought it might be the best for both of them. Good for us too.

Maybe not always easy, but good.

Then I gave birth to our fifth child – a heart-wrenching and traumatic event – and one that turned everything upside down for all of us.

Mom quit her job the day our special girl was born, and she never looked back.

She came home and poured her heart and her energies into helping out with the other four young ones – while I spent much of my time up at the Children’s Hospital.

Watching, waiting, and praying over our baby. Asking God to spare her tiny, oh-so-fragile life.

And God heard our prayers.

After two long years of back-and-forth, we were finally able to bring our baby home for keeps and look after her here.

So Mom changed up her role.

Now she committed herself completely to our sweet girl’s care: tube-feeding, dressing, changing, physical therapy, speech therapy, and more.

Five days a week.

For ten years.

Yes, really.

That’s just what she did. Never questioning, never complaining. She devoted herself to our little daughter’s many special needs.

What It Really Means to Call Her Mom

If you’re thinking this woman deserves a medal? A banquet in her honor? A Mother-in-law of the Year designation?

You would be right. She does.

But I know she doesn’t look at it that way. She simply saw it as the needed and loving thing to do. So that’s what she has done. For over a decade.

And now?  It’s not quite how it used to be.

You see, Mom doesn’t know what day it is or where she is anymore. Or necessarily recognize our children. Or her own children, for that matter. On her bad days, she doesn’t quite know who I am. Alzheimer’s does that to you.

But that’s okay. Because I know who she is.

She’s “Mom.”

What It Really Means to Have Someone Call You Mom

If Someone Calls You Mom

So maybe you’re a mom too.

Doing what needs to be done.

Day in and day out.

And you’re doing it because it’s the loving thing to do.

Maybe you feel it goes unnoticed, and you feel a little forgotten. Maybe you even wonder if it really matters.

Let me encourage you – your faithfulness will be remembered.

Your love matters more than they can ever say.

Your sacrifice will always be the sweetest blessing to those who call you, “Mom.”

Happy Mother’s Day, MOM!

In His grace,
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*How about sharing something you appreciate about your own mom? Or maybe something that you love about being a mom yourself! 
100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

 (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Raising Heavenly Minded, Down to Earth Kids (small)*If you would like these posts delivered directly to your inbox, simply subscribe below (and get 2 FREE eBooks, The 7 Habits of a Highly Fulfilling Marriage and Raising Heavenly-Minded, Down-to-Earth Kids).