Mugs & Muffins 2015

Mugs & Muffins – it’s a ladies outreach event we put on annually where you bring your own mug and $5 at the door and we fill your cup with coffee and provide lots of muffins. If you’re looking for a simple women’s event this is the way to go.

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This year I was so blessed to work with the Mom’s In Prayer group that I pray with weekly. They joined our church in planning and working on this event since our theme was on prayer. Our speaker was Joy Moreau the Appalachian Area Coordinator for MIP. Our team has had the privilege of sitting under her encouragement before and we wanted to extend the reach and have her speak at Mugs & Muffins. She is a precious woman of God and she led us through several stages of prayer and showed us how simple praying with one other person can be. We also got to hear an awesome testimony from Anna Keck, a teacher at our school and Mom’s In Prayer chik. She shared a great story and encouraged women to accept the call to pray even if they feel like they stumble through their words and aren’t totally comfortable praying out loud which was her story a few years ago as a new believer in Christ.

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I personally loved the time we had at our tables this year to interact with the other women we sat with. We talked about the things we wanted to praise God for and thank him for. And then we spent time interceding on behalf of someone we know that needs to know the truth of who God is.

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This year the decorations and centerpieces flowed so well. It just came together as people added their touch to things. A very talented iron and woodworker in our church cut the wood discs for us to use and we turned the mason jars into cutey-patootey centerpieces with fresh flowers.

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This year was the first year my sweet girl came with me. Here’s how that happened: “Sophie, would you like to go to a gun show with Dad and Mitchell or pray for two hours?” I was sort of kidding about the pray for two hours but I wanted her to know it wasn’t just eating muffins for two hours straight so she wouldn’t be disappointed. She whole heartedly agreed that praying for two hours would be much better than attending a gun show. Ha! So she came with me and was such a sweet hard worker. I know I’m her Mama and all but the girl worked hard and it was a sweet moment for me to realize we were serving together.

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A few questions people have asked about Mugs & Muffins:

  • How do you plan if you don’t sell tickets?

Wellllll that’s the tricky part. We’ve never had an idea of how many people would come to this event. We’ve just planned on anywhere from 40-60. This year we had 75 ladies and over 22 churches represented. That was so exciting for us! The only problem is that we did run out of regular coffee towards the end. That’s not great when the main thing you’re serving is coffee and muffins but sometimes you just have to roll with it and move on. So that’s what we did. Next year we will be better prepared in the coffee department.

  • How do you get the word out?

We used fliers, email and Facebook. I happen to be married to a man who is very creative and really good at designing fliers. He made the flier below for us to post away. Not just on Facebook & Twitter but in town – restaurants, hair salons, etc. Also because our MIP team is made up of women from different churches they put the word out to their churches.

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  • How do you get all your muffins and coffee?

We made our own coffee the first year and then decided it would benefit us to cater that part out. So we used a local coffee shop in town this year and made some of our own as well. The Ladies Missionary Fellowship and other ladies in our church provide the muffins every year. They drop them off on Friday and we warm them on Saturday morning.
Linking with Kelly, Laura, Jen, and Mom2Mom

 

 

Signs of a bad week

You know it’s been a bad week when……

  • You call your child a butt and then realize he’s most likely going to go to school and tell all his teachers and friends that his Mom called him a butt. Then they won’t believe him and he’ll keep arguing until he gets a detention. I should write a book called, “If you call your child a butt he’ll ask for prayer at school.” And by the way he cracked up laughing when it came out of my mouth because honestly it shocked all of us. And I apologized and he wouldn’t accept because he thought it was hilarious and he knew it was true.
  • Your daughter overhears a phone conversation about having a routine mammogram and laughs hysterically making mammogram squashing machine noises with hand motions. As if that’ not enough she graciously says she’ll request prayer for me in her class.
  • You make your entire family late for school all because of greasy hair. I should’ve just let teenage britches go with greasy day 2 unwashed hair but like a refined Southern Mama I made him go up and take a shower in 5 minutes knowing that was impossible. It was just plain stupid. And the whole family came unglued. I’m wearing a sign on my forehead that says, “I’m a butt.”

Other than that we are just having a peachy kind of a week. In a few days I get to attend a prayer conference in which I talk about how I pray over my kids – after I call them a butt. The process of refinement and humility is not easy I say.

3 gifts that can change the course of your child’s school year.

A lot of schools start up today in our area and possibly in yours too. We all remember those first day jitters and excitement. New backpacks, new school clothes and the smell of freshly sharpened pencils accompany little feet walking into hallways.

Soon enough though the newness wears off and the pressures of school work, mean kids and peer pressure can take its toll on our little ones and even the big high schoolers. As parents we can feel helpless at times sending our kids out the door with only a hug and a kiss not knowing what they could be walking into that particular day.

Whether you have a little one or a big one at school consider giving these three gifts to your child this year.  I promise it WILL make a difference. A difference in their school day, their school year and a marked difference in their life. And better yet – they’re free!

1. Read the Bible together as a family every morning. 

Be aware that this will not come easy. Satan will throw up every possible hinderance and road block on school mornings that you attempt to do this. But I promise you it will be well worth the time. Equipping ourselves and our children with the powerful word of God is school day changing, school year changing and life changing. Why would we not fight for this? Need a good Bible reading plan? Check out this app (what we’ve been using as a family) or this. There are a lot of good bible reading plans. Or just start with a few verses in Proverbs each day. It only takes setting the clock for an extra 15-20 minutes to do this. You can’t do anything better than this to start out your day.

2. Pray for your child/ren every day. 

I am a firm believer in writing and documenting prayers.When I look back and see what I’ve been praying for my kids and how God answers those requests my faith is strengthened. I can point out to our kids how God answered prayer and is alive and working. Ask your kids how you can pray for them and also tell them how you are praying for them as God puts specific things on your heart throughout the year. Mom’s In Prayer is an excellent resource that brings Moms together in prayer once a week. This has been a part of my kids lives ever since they started school. On the way to school my kids will often ask, “Mom, who are you praying for today? Will you ask the Moms to pray about this_________.” And I love that they too are now counting on this weekly corporate time of prayer.

3. Send them off with a word of encouragement every single morning. 

This morning our daughter had rough morning including tears and frustration. She looked at me and said, “Mom, is it going to be a good day today?” I assured her it was but she wasn’t totally convinced and she asked, “How do you know?” Quickly the Lord impressed on my heart a visual of the morning glories that are in our neighbors yard. I said, “Soph, it’s because God’s mercies are new every single morning. And this morning you have new mercies that you didn’t have yesterday from God.” I wanted to show her the morning glories and explain how they work – they only bloom once and are good for that day. They usually fall off at the end of the day and then new blooms come in the morning. And so I was able to send her off with the encouragement of “Look for your new mercies today sweet girl. They are there for you.” Other days are simply, “Hey, you are going to have a great day today.” Or “Sophie, you’re a good friend and today you have another chance to be a good friend to someone who needs it.” Our son needs to hear the encouragement that he is going to make wise choices today and will be a better person because of it. Speak life over your kids as they leave the comforts of their home. And on those really rough mornings when you don’t feel like saying anything encouraging at all remind them how much you love them – always and no matter what.

So here’s to the start of great new school year! May God grow your family as you spend time in his word, pray and speak life into your children.

Linking with KellyLauraJen, Jennifer, Barbie, Sharita, HolleyKristin and Mom2Mom

“One Anothering” One Another

Randy has been talking about the “one another’s” in scripture lately and how as followers of Christ we are to love another, bear one another’s burdens and serve one another. So much scripture in the Bible  tells us how to interact with one another. And when we actually do it we’re forming community and not only a safe place to be but a desirable place to be. It doesn’t mean it will be a perfect place by any means. But when we’re living in harmony and comforting one another and more of the “one anothering” we are forming a community where Christ dwells. And people want some more of that. And I think it’s because we’re designed to crave relationship with God and with his people.  So consider these areas of One Anothering and ask yourself how you’re doing. What areas do you need to work on because there will be some this side of heaven. What areas do see God working through you? I really would love to hear. So consider leaving a comment.

  • Welcome one another (Rom. 15:7)
  • Show hospitality to one another (I Pet. 4:9)
  • Do good to one another (I Thess. 5:15)
  • Confess our sins to one another (James 5:16)
  • Pray for one another (James 5:16)
  • Are servants of one another (Gal. 5:13)
  • Live in harmony with one another (Rom. 12:16)
  • Comfort one another (1 Thess. 5:11)
  • Are subject to one another (Eph. 5:21)
  • Have fellowship with one another (I John 1:7)

*To answer my own questions I’d have to say the areas I need work in would be confessing my sins one to another. Yep, that’s a hard one. I was humbled by someone who did that to me this week. Confessed and asked for forgiveness. I need to do more of that kind of one anothering. There are more but I’ll stop there. I’d rather ask the questions than answer them. Ha! Okay and so I guess I’d say that I see God helping me in the area of praying for others. He has really helped me become a more passionate woman of prayer and I do pray for our church members and other people that God puts on my heart. Not saying I’ve arrived in that one another department but it’s an area I see growth in.

Okay, seriously, your turn.

 

How I found myself in the middle of a live Frat party this week.

 

My sweet Christian friend who is sharing her story of redemption and freedom from drug addiction started sharing her story through a variety of social media platforms. One of which is Periscope. I wasn’t familiar with this app so I was playing around with it trying to figure out how to follow and watch her daily 2pm coffee chats. Well somehow – I swear I don’t know how – I found myself in the middle of a live virtual Frat party in which I was asked to show specific body parts!!!!!

Say what?!! You are kidding, right? No people. I am not kidding.

I could see the party going on live – close up – but they can only see a comment thread from everyone else who was watching or following. Clearly I just clicked on a random “live” event and had no clue what I was doing. I figured I was about to view a live Christian ladies event…. yeah but no.

I was so appalled that I gave the granny talkin’ to to this group of wild thangs and then got out of there fast and ran and told on them to my Christian speaker friend. I suppose my user name didn’t help much (@bowlofwedgies) and is giving me great pause and reconsideration at this point in my social media career. But seriously there is some crazy stuff out there with apps. You have to be so careful.  Christian speakers use Periscope so people can hear them speak live and I was under the impression that it was for Christian speakers but nooooooooo. It’s really not. In fact when my friend was speaking via Periscope I was outraged at some of the comments she received from random followers – called “trolls”. Her husband would block users that were being totally inappropriate or mean. But I love the fact that she is still speaking through Periscope because this is a great platform to be sharing Jesus. The opposition is great and we’re told we’ll be persecuted when sharing Truth. It shouldn’t scare us – we should approach it with caution and with great boldness.

So friends, if you’ve never been to a frat party you’re not missing anything. I know this because I found myself in the middle of one for about one minute and one minute too long! It’s not worth it. And to my teenage and college friends who feel that virtual attendance to such parties is not the same thing – you’re wrong sweet people. It is the same thing. Guard yourself online. Set up boundaries. This world has no concern for your personal integrity or purity. It will be the Holy Spirit who helps you in this area so depend on him heavily.

 

 

 

My mouth got me in trouble at the car dealership

So my van, AKA “the gold bomb”, has about exploded for the final time sending us into an avid auto search for the last few months. When the lining of the roof starts hanging lower than the seats you know you need to upgrade. And we’re just not even going to talk about the hint of painted letters “Community Cares” that still linger on the windows even after multiple scrub downs.

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All that to say – it was time to look for new wheels. ASAP.

And so we did. We strolled into our first dealership on the list of places to look. The young car salesman greeted us at the door and shook our hand. He bent down and in a bit of a “awwww how cute” voice said to Sophie, “Oh hi there, you must be six years old.”  So not cool for a girl who’s almost nine going on twelve.

We talk for a bit about what we’re looking for and then he leaves to go talk to his “manager”. As soon as he left Sophie quips back, “That dude just called me six. I’m so assaulted!” We gave a quick vocab refresher course on the actual word she was looking for which was insulted and clearly not assaulted. Still she was insulted.

A bit later our guy shows us around the lot and a pulls a few cars out for us to look at. I forgot my car looking protocol and broke one major rule – never ever get excited about a car and by all means don’t say you like it right away. Well, I forgot that part and when I saw one car it just fell out of my mouth – “Oh! I LIKE that car!” Randy cut his eyes at me and I knew immediately I messed up. So I quickly try to recover and say, “Well, no not really. I don’t actually like that car. I thought I liked that car but nooooooo, I totally don’t like it. Well unless it was like free or something. Then I might like that car.” Okay, so it wasn’t that bad but kinda sorta close.

Sales boy leaves us again to go and see what he can do for us by talking to his manager and when he left Randy and I both discussed the error of my car buying skills. Literally he says to me, “I just need you to let me do the talking. You say too much. You are never supposed to say the top price we are willing to pay and you never ever ever talk about how much you love the car.” To which I reply, “I knowwwwww honey, I’m so sorry. I won’t say ANYthing else. Promise.”

We decide moving on to another car lot would be best – fresh start – one in which my lips are sealed plus a new selection of cars. This time I do great but we’ve got Sophie over there telling the car dude all about our other car and how the ceiling is coming down on us and how the windows won’t roll down, blah, blah, blah. Of course we didn’t drive our other car to the dealership in hopes to hide the true state of our other car. Pride will always mess you up people. That’s what I’m learning.

We end up hitting one last place at 8pm and while we were there a trade in drove on the lot. A vehicle we were very interested in but the guy still had all his stuff in it. So we waited and waited and waited for him to get his stuff out and then we looked at it and loved it. But because you don’t say that I just held my love inside and pointed out the bird doo-doo on the windshield and the black smudges on the tires. But the good news is my man doesn’t only preach great – he can wheel and deal especially when his wife keeps her mouth shut. So we test drove it, pulled up a car fax report and landed on a price we liked a lot. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t my cary buying strategy but we did end up getting an incredible deal on a 2005 Honda Odyssey Touring with only 64K miles on it! Whoo-hoo!!! I just hope I know how to work it right.

So that’s my car buying story and I’m sticking to it.

** Update on the van – so were driving it off the lot and about 10 miles into the trip home I hear Mitchell let out a scream and look back and the seat he’s sitting in has totally folded up on him. He tries to adjust it and it falls all the way back flat. And then all the way forward. It will not stay up straight. It’s so not funny but I have to say I was laughing so hard. We are hoping the dealership will fix it or we’ll have to return it. We have 3 days to have it inspected by our mechanic and point out any issues. We are hoping they will repair it so we can keep it. So I guess we won’t bury the gold bomb quite yet.

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Ministry Happenings

It’s the beginning of school and a million things are going on. I’m finding myself busier than ever but still making time to sit on the front porch, visit with neighbors and have my quiet time. Not something I was doing BBLC – “Before the Broken Leg Chronicles”. Somehow it’s all working out as I let go of my agenda. God knows my heart and is helping me be still in the midst of lots of movement.

School got off to a great start and both kids have reported great days since starting. We have a 3rd and 8th grader at a Christian school in our small town in North Carolina. Our school is growing in so many different ways and it’s really exciting to be a part of the change.

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Our church has had some awesome things going on lately. The youth and adult mission trip to NYC was incredible. The team took the service on Sunday and shared all that God did and it was really amazing. God is moving in our Youth group and it’s just awesome to see these kids growing in their faith. One of the adults that went is new in his own faith (almost 2 years) and he came back so on fire. I’m excited for my son to be a part of such an active and growing Youth program. Our youth pastor is very evangelistic and I see his influence on the kids in this way. Really awesome stuff.

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We’re dropping Awana this year at our church (we’re still saved I promise! we’re keeping Cubbies as proof) and starting up Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Junior for 1st-5th graders. I’m really excited about this program for our kids. Such a great tool.

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Mugs & Muffins is another event we have coming up. You bring your mug and $5 and we fill it with coffee and have tons of muffins. Our speaker is with Mom’s In Prayer International– something I’m very passionate about. She will be talking about the power of prayer. This falls on the heels of The War Room movie that comes out on August 28th. Our church will be selling tickets and taking a group to see it. So.excited.about.this!!!

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We’re also gearing up for Prayer Walks in our community next Saturday. All the public schools in our community will have a group of people walking the campus praying over the teachers and students. Our church adopted a school near us and will have the opportunity to go inside the school and pray over classrooms and students by name. Isn’t this so cool?! We’ve never done this before because a lot of our focus is on our own school which it should be. But we have the same burden for students and teachers in our community outside of our own walls. So one way we’re showing our support is by showing up and praying over another school besides our own.

Well that’s what’s going on in our neck of the woods.

Everyone is busy these days but lets keep our focus and eyes on Jesus. He is the best leader and personal trainer we could ever have. Listening to Him is key.

Meditation doesn’t have to be weird

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Yes, that is my daughter and she’s such a poser.  Occasionally she whips out a meditation pose complete with a mesmerizing “Ahhhmmmmmmm” for pure entertainment. I admit that it gets a laugh of out me just about every time. We can thank big brother’s influence for this trick. I was shopping at Harolds trying on clothes and came out to four year old Mitchell doing this exact pose on the silk covered circular stool in the middle of the store. He had escaped his assigned spot and felt the need to reflect. I was mortified but apparently all the customers and workers thought it was great because he had quite the crowd gathered talking about how even children meditate these days. On the way out I asked Mitchell where in the world he learned to do that. He said, “It’s on Ice age.”

So when I talk about meditating this is NOT what I’m talking about.

But what I am talking about is simply reading a verse or two of scripture and simply thinking about it. I suppose you could stand on your head and hum if you want but really it’s not necessary. And your family might worry about you. Instead just write out a verse and think about it. Read one word at a time and think about each word. Pray and ask God to open your eyes to what those words strung together mean for you. Ask questions about the verse.

Let’s take Job 2:10 from the tagline of my blog and practice:

 “Shall we accept good from God and not adversity?” Job 2:10

It’s important to read scripture in light of scripture. Meaning – in context. Reading stand alone verses can get us into trouble if we don’t read a little before and after to get the bigger picture.

A lot has happened between Job 1 and Job 2:10. Like his whole life changed in Chapter 1. And when Job 2:10 comes along he’s still grappling with things but his firm belief in who God is enables his wise response.

So I could write this verse out on a note card and read it a few times.

Then I might ask myself who is speaking these words. Is it Job. Is it God. Is it someone else? (Answer: Job)

I could further question and ask who Job is saying this to. (Answer: his wife. yeah, she kinda got a talking’ to)

Then to bring it home personally I might think about the good things I’ve accepted from God in my own life. Maybe even write them out.

The same thing with the word adversity. Think through the adversity that God has allowed in my life. That’s uncomfortable. But necessary.

And then finally I will ask what God wants me to understand about this verse and how to use it in my life. I have always found Him to be faithful in revealing these things to me. I don’t mean immediate understanding. Sometimes I really have to dig it out. Research. Ask my pastor. Sometimes it’s a matter of waiting on the Holy Spirit to show me in His time.

Meditation is a powerful tool that will help imprint the truths of scripture on our hearts and minds. I’m trying to be more purposeful in this area of my life and thankfully it’s without the headstands.

Linking withKristin, Holley and Jennifer.

Hope for Hospitality – Easy Recipes

I’m sharing three easy recipes that will never fail you in cooking for a group of 6-8 people. You might could set it on fire by covering it in gas and lighting a match but other than that you really can’t mess this up.

Missionary Chicken

6-8 pieces chicken, 1 1/2 c. long grain rice, *1 stick butter melted, *1 can crm mushroom soup, *1 can cram celery soup, *1 can crm chicken soup, *1 can of milk.

Combine *soup mixture together and pour about 1 cup on bottom of greased deep dish. Dip chicken in *soup mixture, lay on top of rice in deep dish. Pour remaining soup mixture over chicken. Add slivered almonds to top. Bake at 300 for 2 hours. Or 350 for 45 minutes to an hour.

I’ve only made this the 2 hour on 300 way so I can’t attest to how it comes out with the 45 min. cook time. But I assure you the 2 hour cook time makes this the most tender chicken and fabulous rice.  It’s okay to layer the chicken on top of each other a little bit so don’t worry about that. And yes, the rice is uncooked rice when it goes in your dish. It’s called Missionary Chicken because typically when missionaries come to speak at a church the service goes long and therefore whatever your cooking cooks longer and might burn. But this recipe can really keep cooking over the 2 hours and not get tough. Your friends will enjoy this dish.

Randy’s Rice 

In deep dish greased casserole combine the following:

2 cups long grain rice,  1 can consommé soup, 1 can french onion soup, 2 cans water, 1 stick butter (not melted)

Cook on 300 for 3 hours or 350 for 1 hour. I always cook on 300 for 3 hours.

Okay, listen carefully because I couldn’t believe this either. You just dump it all in the dish – no need to mix it, stir it, or anything. Even the stick of butter just floats on top. This comes out looking like brown rice and the top & sides have a crunchy layer. I don’t care for rice but I really like this stuff.

Pot Roast

Snag whatever roast is on sale – sirloin or chuck roast is what I get. Put in your crock pot with dry Lipton Onion soup mix on top and any veggies you want. Cook for 6-8 hours on low.

These are excellent Sunday meals because they cook while you’re at church and you pull it out when you get home. Only need to heat up the beans or whatever sides you serve with it. Easy meal! I usually put my roast on late at night Saturday and set my timer for 6 hours. I check it in the morning and add time to it if I need to. It stays warm in the crock pot until ready to eat.

Okay, so clearly these are not the healthiest meals in the world but they are easy, nice meals to serve your family and guests. If you don’t make it a habit to eat like this ALL the time you’ll be okay.

 

Road trip hilarity

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So this is what happens when you say we’re traveling to the Mountains old school style with no electronics. You see the excitement. I was hoping it might spur on some great sibling conversations in the backseat. The best we got was Sophie saying, “Hey, Mitch, is that hair I see on your upper lip?” Mitchell all manlike says, “Why yes it is.” With her eyes rolling and a sigh she says, “You got puberty!”

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We made it to the Mountains to meet up with our dear friends and pastor associate at our church. We didn’t talk church or theology. We just enjoyed time together. It was so refreshing.

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The cheese shop and the Honey Shop were awesome in West Jefferson. Quaint shops, good eating’ and breathtaking scenery.  Even better fellowship around the table outside each night for dinner.

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On our way back from our trip we stopped for lunch at Apple Bee’s and ended our time with yet another interesting family conversation. It started with the kids fighting and being mean to each other which led to the oldest yet greatest parental comeback ever, “Now you get to say 5 things you love about the other person.”  This stirred up about as much excitement as the no electronics thing on the way to the Mountains.

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Sophie thinks for a very long time. Mitchell is waiting with baited breath to hear his 5 great things. Meanwhile he’s thinking of his 5 things that he loves about Sophie. Sophie finally comes up with something.

“Mitchell, I love that hangy-downy tooth thing you got going on. And I like that you can whistle with it.” We all bust a gut laughing.

That’s not exactly the kind of thing we were after but fine that will count. You got 4 more to go. They both end up sharing their 5, hugging and making up. All is well again. We’re at peace and the food is about to come. Yay.

At this point Randy mentions something about school starting soon. Sophie asks when exactly it starts and we told her Monday. Her eyes got all bug eyed and her jaw dropped to the table and her lower lip starts quivering. Tears start coming down. We all start laughing again. She starts laughing at herself between the tears.

And there we were – going from fighting, to making up, to crying, to laughing. And then we rode the rest of the way home doing the same thing all over again.

And people, that’s how we roll. It’s not always lovey dovey peachy family time. It’s “I’m gonna kill you if you do that onemoretime” kind of a thing sometimes. But we love each other. We really do. Sometimes we just have to count the reasons why.

*More on hospitality on Monday – I have a few easy but great recipes to post for you.