Date Nights

Last night was the second date in my 52 week challenge. Check it out the date here at Romance on a Shoestring. While getting stuff ready for the date, I decided that I would make a little date for them too. They loved the idea. So each date that Danny and I have, they have a little date too. It will work out well since they help me set up the table, I can make a little extra for them. To keep costs down for our dates, I decided that I will cook the same dinner for us and the kids, we will just eat at different times. Yesterday’s date night worked out perfectly!

Our date was office themed, so I carried that over to the kids. They got paper airplanes, and a post it note with an encouraging note on it! They thought it was so much fun eating out of containers and off paper plates. You’d think they died and gone to heaven when they each got to eat a fancy cake.

A couple years ago, I read the book Practicing Hospitality by Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock. One of the chapters talks about showing hospitality to your family. It’s easy to get wrapped up in showing hospitality to others to the neglect of your own family.

If the Lord has given us a family, extending hospitality to our family is our first priority. Once we have established the ministry of hospitality within our family, we can include extended family members, friends, strangers, the needy, and the poor. Hospitality towards others then becomes a natural outworking or extension of what we are already practicing within our homes. p.74

Neglecting to extend hospitality to our family can discredit our witness. The testimony of a wife and mom who loves and serves her family is a powerful witness to a watching world; it is also something that separates a believing woman from the world. The manner in which we serve and love our family should reflect the transforming power of the gospel in our own life (2 Cor. 4:17-21). In other words, our love, dedication, and other biblical character attributes manifested toward our family are a testimony to the world of God’s powerful work in our lives. p75

Treat your family “as good as guests.” Often we treat our guests better than our family. Establishing the habit of treating our family as we would a guest will assist us in communicating our love to our family. Extending hospitality to our family allows them to reap the same blessings our guests receive in our home. Also, modeling for our children how to honor guests– they learn by example. Treating our family as guests also reinforces the concept of family first. p80

I asked Bentley, “Why do Mommy and Daddy have dates?”

Bentley said, “Because you love each other. And we (Bentley and Marseille) have dates because we love each other!

I’m not adding this on to my plate out of being fair or guilt. Because Mommy and Daddy are having dates, the kids need a date too. I’m doing it to show them hospitality and hopefully giving them an example of creativity and love. The kids enjoy helping me set up, what Bentley calls, “date nights on the table” for Danny. They think it’s so special eating at the counter by themselves for dinner. The point of date nights is relationship and memories, so I’m more than happy to spend a little extra time setting up a date for them.

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her; “Many woman have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. – Proverbs 31:28-31

Hospitality looks different for every family! Don’t compare! Just love on your family with your talents! They will reap the fruit of your hands and your love!

xo, nikki :)

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A New Challenge

In light of Valentine’s Day, my friends at The Romantic Vineyard are having a challenge!

Check out the challenge here:

I was definitely up for it because this is an area that I really lacked in last year. As my ideas for the date nights expanded past the challenge, I decided to make another blog devoted to the date nights.

So, let me introduce you to: Romance on a Shoestring.

On this blog, I will be explaining my ideas, sharing photos, recipes and my sources. I want to inspire creative in home dates that don’t seem cheesy because of trying to save money.

Feel free to check it out!

xo, nikki :)

PS- Don’t worry, I won’t let this new blog take me away from posting regularly on this blog!

What a week…


Well, this has been an week of surprises!

Sunday after church I actually went grocery shopping. That is not a normal occurance and it won’t ever be. But, we had plans for Monday and we needed food for Tuesday so…I went shopping. Between, Bloom, Publix and CVS I spent $104 for two weeks of groceries, but the best part is that I saved $158! I saved more than I spent! Woo Whoo! Some of the things that I bought were: 5 lbs of chicken breast BOGO, 4 lbs of ground beef BOGO, 6 boxes of Barilla pasta BOGO plus $2 off 6 boxes, 2 Glade Scented Oils plus 4 packages of refills all for $2.75! I made $.45 on Smart Balance Butter! Couponing and buying sales is worth it.

We had a fun Monday because Danny was off. Bentley and I enjoyed hanged out with him and the Johnsons. Dave and Danny played with Danny’s keyboard while Becky and I hung out with the kids and talked sewing! It was a lot of fun.

Wednesday came around and I had childcare and snacks for Care Group. I made a few things, but the surpising thing was that it was all eaten! Yay! Another good thing about Wednesday was… I actually ran around my neighborhood with out stopping, it took me about 18 minutes!

Thursday I made some bibs for friends and family. I’m still working on some of the designs. That evening Bentley came down with a fever.

Friday morning his temp was 103F so I took him to the doctor. Poor baby has strep throat. He is so sad when he’s sick. Today he is doing much better, he’s on antibiotics, but his fever is gone. He’s crawling and playing again yesterday he just laid there sucking his thumb.

And we will see what tomorrow brings… that has been a quick update of our week.

We’ll see how next week falls into place, since I have no grocery shopping to do and we start a little co-op!