family fun night. {and an easy recipe}

The day begins with us asking the kiddos "Do you know what day it is?!" And by now, they know. The chant begins "family fun night! family fun night!" And I may or may not do a little jig while singing it. So the anticipation goes all day. Family fun night is our homemade calzones, plus root beer floats, plus family movie snuggled on the couch. Simple. But full of love.

This tradition began sometime in January for us. It happened one Friday night and it stuck. Every Friday around 4:30pm we begin making the calzones. I use the easiest recipe in the world that I found on Pinterest.

Here it is:

For the dough:
2 1/2-3 cups of flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 package of yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
3 Tbsp of vegetable oil
1 cup of very warm water

Combine 1 cup of flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Add the warm water and oil-mix. Stir in remaining flour slowly until dough is soft but not sticky. Knead until smooth. Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before making the calzone.

(In this 30 minute period turn on "Sound of Music" station in Pandora. Really loud. And dance.)

Preheat oven to 375. While preheating, roll dough out. You can either make one gigantic one or three small ones. Or whatever size you prefer. We do three small ones. (One for me, one for Andrew, and the girls share one, and Linc eats off of ours) Roll dough so it makes a rectangle shape. Put pizza sauce down middle. Then cheese on top and whatever else you prefer. We have done sweet red onions, black olives, artichokes, mushrooms, turkey pepperoni, green peppers. Then make cuts along each side of the dough about 3/4 inch in. Then wrap it by criss-crossing each cut over the center. The girls really love doing this part. We place all three on a large cookie sheet and bake for about 20 minutes at 375.

It's a tradition that I'm sure will evolve with time as the kids grow and we want to change it up a bit. We already have plans to set up movie nights outside on a big sheet during the summer. But what I'm loving right now is that something so simple can bring us all together. Not to mention, I love not having to think about a Friday night dinner. Give it a few more weeks and the girls may be able to make calzones entirely themselves. I mean, that's really my motivation, right? To teach them so they will eventually make all the meals. [Insert evil laugh.] 

My hope is these little traditions we are instilling in our children will keep us together like holding hands. One day they may do the same tradition with their children or come back home to visit and ask to make calzones together like the old days. When they sip a root beer float memories with flood in of snuggling up on the couch watching classic movies. Some of our Friday night movies have included Mary Poppins, Sound of Music, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Peter Pan the Musical and Wizard of Oz.

Here I am trying to capture us in the moment, and instead I catch Naomi pinching her sister. Which is about the funniest thing ever and pretty much sums up her personality. Also, you can see Audrey could care less. Haha. 


being intentional. {a day of play and ice cream}

Today was about being very intentional. I usually snap away with pictures using my phone. But I decided my phone needed a rest, so that I could focus more. I brought my real camera along for a small road trip for play time and ice cream. 

Today was about watching Naomi in the rear-view mirror try to go to sleep on the way to our destination, while she would sneak an eye open to see if I was watching her and then quickly pretend she was asleep. It was about watching Audrey entertain herself with her imagination while the other two napped in the van. It was about passing my mama's favorite view, and sweet memories flooding in. 

Today was for blowing kisses as the kiddos scattered around at the play place, climbing, sliding, spinning. 

It was about picking our favorite ice cream. Chocolate, whipped cream, sprinkles, and don't forget the cherry on top. 

It was for watching Lincoln stuff his face with macaroni and cheese, and think just a few months ago I was his full food provider. 

Today was for more rear-view watching on the way home as the girls played with their princesses together. Calmly, happily. This isn't always the case, but today I enjoyed the beautiful bonding that took place. 

Today was about taking the time to look into each of my children's eyes and realize what a blessing they truly are in between the potty accidents, the spills, the grumpiness, the cuts, and the crying. {All of which also happened today. But I'm choosing to focus on the joy.}



I can't seem to shake something I saw on Pinterest a few weeks ago. The funny thing is, I didn't even repin it, so I can't quote it word for word. But I remember the core value of the statement--your children won't do what you say, but do what you do.


If I"m not walking the walking, I can't tell them to.

What do I truly desire for my children? To have Jesus on their hearts. The Holy Spirit living, breathing through them. To understand The Story is apart of their story. We don't have to fully understand The Story, but that is where faith steps in. To understand and accept grace. To live a life of joy that is connected with serving and giving.

These thoughts are constantly running through my head. And it goes directly back to what am I doing? Am I serving? Am I giving? Am I living a life filled with the joy of Jesus? This internal conversation in my head is pulling me in all sorts of direction. I'm getting frustrated with myself--like I'm not cut out for this job.  I see myself fail over and over.

But then, hello. GRACE.

I'm so glad I can be broken and loved. Not perfect and forgiven.

Then I'm reminded that my children will see Him through me. See His grace for me. For them.

Not sure if any of this makes sense. I just wrote and hit published.