This weekend brought our family the happiness of two gatherings, the first of which was Friday night.
We have been wanting to have our Church’s missions minister and his family, the J Family, over for quite some time and were excited to have settled on a date. I think I could actually refer to them as our *missions family* since the whole family serves in this area. We also invited another family, the K Family, that are members at our Church as well. We find that it’s always nice to include another family when entertaining a newer family from church and the K Family is very gifted at engaging anyone in conversation and making them feel like instant friends….AND we just love them!
When entertaining on Friday nights, we keep the menu fun, easy, and kid-friendly! Our family likes to make homemade pizzas, but for a crowd, rolling out dough for several families can be pretty time consuming. Plus, I’ve found Costco’s large take-home pizzas to be a great deal at $5.99 each. So I purchased three cheese pizzas and one pepperoni pizza. I left one cheese pizza and the pepperoni pizza as is. I took the other two cheese pizzas and “doctored them up”, as my mom would say (wink). One became a Mediterranean pizza with Kalamata olives, tomatoes, artichokes, grilled chicken, feta, basil, and parmesan. I piled the last one with sausage, chunks of Brie cheese, caramelized onion, sautéed mushrooms, and thyme. I don’t have a name for that one yet but try it! We love it.
I have a rule that guests visiting our home for the first time are not allowed to bring anything, but when the J Family offered, I broke my rule and requested they bring their usual smiles, which they freely and frequently offer to everyone. My friend Kelli has been to our home numerous times and we seem to always be putting meals together so she quickly offered to bring her veggie tray. Doesn’t it look fresh and colorful! And it was delicious too!
A stack of dinner plates and a lineup of pizzas is all we needed to please this grateful group.
Over dinner, we adults enjoyed wonderful conversation! We went around the table and each couple gave “their story”…growing up, how they met, their journeys, and ministries. Joel and I have been so anxious to get to know the J Family. Their family is so interesting and inspiring. Twelve years as missionaries in Africa and, oh my, the stories they had to tell! I feel like we only scratched the surface so we will definitely be inviting them back to share more!
The weather was chilly enough for a fire but not too chilly for the kiddos to run around and play.
I just love to see a child helping another. This little girl was such a sweetheart to push Wilton on the tire swing.
Okay, I’ve mentioned before that s’mores are my go-to dessert and this was one of those nights. All evening, the kids kept checking in with us and asking if it was time for s’mores. Cheers rang out when I finally gave the go-ahead. And those cheers weren’t just from the children.
Joel and I originally constructed the fire pit, pictured below, as an area for our teen groups, but we’ve been tickled over multitude of games the little ones have come up with for the tree stump stools. (Disclaimer: There was no fire in this pit that night so it was safe to let them play out there.)
As I wrap up this post, I feel such gratitude to the Lord for orchestrating an evening of fellowship with some new friends and some longer-known friends, all together.
Tomorrow I will share details about a church lunch we had Sunday. Thanks for stopping by!