Month: January 2014

The Best Day of My Life: The Wedding Reception

Three weeks ago I shared pre-wedding ceremony pictures, and two weeks ago I shared pictures from our wedding ceremony. Today I will share pictures from our wedding reception! Then I promise I will be done with the wedding posts, besides our honeymoon, which I still need to recap! I know I should have written these posts so long ago since we got married and went on our honeymoon in June, but hey, better late than never right? 🙂

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Before we went to the reception, right after the ceremony, our preacher signed our marriage license to make it official!

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We had to give a thumbs up for him signing it!

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Our wedding party was waiting on us to go to the reception and be announced. After the ceremony we took family and group pictures, and told the wedding guests to go ahead and start eating. So after the pictures is when we signed the marriage license. Then we met our wedding party in the elevator and the photographer was able to snap a quick picture of us all stuffed in the elevator before we went up to the third floor for the reception.

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Our friend, Travis, announced our whole wedding party into the reception, and last he announced us! You can’t really see our faces in this picture, but we both have huge smiles!

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We walked into our first dance song and went immediately into our dance. We danced to “When I Say I Do” by Matthew West. If you have never heard this song, I highly recommend you follow the link and listen to it. It is so so beautiful, and it was the exact song Ryan and I wanted to dance to.

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I have to say, Ryan is an excellent dancer!

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After I danced with Ryan, I was lucky enough to enjoy my father/daughter dance with my wonderful Daddy.This was such a special moment, and something I will always treasure. We danced to “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle.

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Next, Ryan and his Mom danced to “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Wommack.

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After the dances, my brother and Ryan’s two brothers all gave amazing speeches!

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My maid of honor, Marlee, and my Dad also gave a speech. All of these speeches touched Ryan and I very much. Everyone’s words were so sweet!

After speeches Ryan and I walked around and talked to as many people as we could, but there was so many people we weren’t able to get to everyone. Before we knew it, it was time to cut the cake!

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Ryan accidentally missed my mouth a little bit. 🙂

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Ryan isn’t a huge fan of cake, so he decided he wanted brownies instead of cake, and it was a huge hit!

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After cutting the cake we talked to people a little bit more, and then we played the shoe game!

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In case you don’t know what the shoe game is, the bride and groom each take off their shoes and the bride holds one of her shoes and one of the groom’s. The groom does the same thing. We then had our announcer, our friend Travis, ask us questions, like who would clean the toilet? Then the bride and groom hold up the shoe of the person who they think will do that job or whatever the answer to that question might be. This ended up being a lot of fun!

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The last question was who do you love more than anyone in the world, and of course I held up Ryan’s shoe, and he held up mine. 🙂

Shortly after this I threw my bouquet.

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My best friend since fifth grade, Shelby, caught the bouquet. By the looks of the above picture, I am pretty sure she wanted it. 😉

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Next, Ryan through the football with the garter around it. I saw the football idea on Pinterest and loved it!

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Shelby’s boyfriend (at the time )wasn’t as lucky as her though. Ryan’s little cousin Grayson caught the football with the garter, haha! But don’t worry, at the end of last year Shelby and her boyfriend, Drake, got engaged and they are getting married this June. 🙂

And because I haven’t showed any pictures of our reception room, here you go. 🙂

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This was me and Ryan’s table.

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I loved all of our flowers!

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We had a taco bar for dinner! It was all delicious! (Ryan and I didn’t have time to eat at the reception, but our caterer was amazing, and she packed us some to go boxes to eat in the limo after the reception. She seriously thought of everything!)

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This was the area where the food and drinks were. There was a room to the right where the reception took place.

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Everything was absolutely beautiful!

The whole night went by so quickly, and before we knew it, our limo was there to pick us up and everyone was blowing bubbles at us as we left.

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Oh my gosh this day was amazing! Seriously, our wedding day was the best day of my life, and one I will always remember and treasure. Everything about it was a dream come true. The best part, though, was marrying the man of my dreams and my best friend. It still makes me so excited to actually call him my husband and know that I am lucky enough to be his wife. 🙂

I’m Really Bad at Coming Up With Names for Workouts…

How do you fellow bloggers always seem to come up with a cute name for the new workout you are sharing? I am the worst at this! If you look at my Workouts page you will see that I don’t have many creative names for the workouts I have made up. Maybe I will get better at this, or maybe my workouts will just have boring, corny names. Most likely it will be the latter. 🙂

I did some strength training as part of my marathon training yesterday and made up a new workout I wanted to share. Because it’s a strength workout and  you are working your muscles, I gave this workout the clever name, “Work All of Those Muscles.” I know, I know, I don’t know how I am so creative. 😉

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I did 15 reps of all of the exercises except for the lunge pulses into a bicep curl and the wall sit, and you can read in the picture what I did for those. (Note: for the lunge pulses into bicep curl, I did 20 total, 10 each leg). I went through this for a total of three times, and could feel the burn! Make sure you use weight that is challenging enough for you!

Here are a few links to some moves that you might not be so familiar with.

3 Lunge pulses into bicep curl

Push-ups on medicine ball

Hamstring curls on ball

And before I go get ready for bed I want to share a picture of my dinner because it was sooooo delicious! And yes, all of those o’s were necessary in “so” because it was that good.

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Now that I am posting this picture, I see that this actually isn’t a very good picture and it doesn’t look that appetizing. Please trust me though; this was delicious. Ryan put it under the “phenomenal” category! This was taco chili with nacho cheese sauce from Angela at Oh She Glows. This is also where I got the recipe for the amazing whole wheat pizza crust we made on Sunday. None of her recipes have disappointed us yet! If you have never checked out her blog or recipes, you should!

I ate my chili on a bed of spinach, which you can see from the picture above, so that I could get in some extra veggies, but this chili is perfectly fine by itself. Ryan ate it in a bowl with some shredded cheese on top and some tortilla chips. I also think it would be amazing on a bed of quinoa. So many options!

Lastly, I also made some homemade almond butter for the first time last night in our food processor.

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Oh my gosh, I’m so happy I decided to do this! It was so easy and absolutely scrumptious! All I did was put one cup of almonds in the food processor and put it on high for a few minutes. Anyone can do that! I will probably use more almonds next time so that it will make more almond butter! This is a much more affordable option since almond butter can be a little pricey.

Now, off to bed!

Questions:

1. What is a good strength workout I should try?

2. Tell me something good about your life right now. 🙂

3. Have you ever made any type of homemade nut butter? I really want to make more now! I am thinking cashew butter next!

Well That Was Absolutely Disgusting

I have been told before that I was a good cook, and some of you have commented on pictures of my food and said how delicious it looked. I’m here to tell you today that everyone, no matter how good of a cook he or she is (and I’m no professional) makes some bad meals and tries some not so tasty recipes. Last night was a huge reminder of this to me.

I tried a new recipe for black bean soup, and I wish I could tell you it was at least half way decent. But if I am being honest, it was absolutely disgusting. Like, so bad I couldn’t eat it, and I will eat almost anything. It was so bad, I couldn’t even take a picture to share on here because not only did it taste gross, it looked gross.

I absolutely HATE throwing away food because it is such a waste, but getting rid of that soup was the only right thing I did in the kitchen last night.

So what do you do when the dinner you had planned for the night falls through? You throw together whatever you have and make a dinner out of it.

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Last night I took two corn tortillas, spread some peanut butter and banana on them, and then microwaved them so that it was hot. I also enjoyed some broccoli, zucchini, squash, and roasted sweet potatoes. Then I had the rest of the banana that I didn’t put on the tortillas. I also ended up eating a few bell peppers that I didn’t take a picture of.  I made Ryan a cheese quesadilla that he had with roasted sweet potatoes and a piece of leftover pizza from Sunday night.

Last night’s dinner was a total bummer since my planned recipe didn’t turn out, but that is totally okay. Just remember to not get discouraged if a recipe doesn’t turn out how you thought it would. It happens to all of us at some point! If you have healthy staples at home then you will still be able to throw together a quick, easy dinner! (Reminder: Always have healthy stapes at home! This saved us from having to go out and buy a dinner!)

On a happier kitchen note, breakfast yesterday was delicious!

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I sauteed onions, bell pepper, tomato, broccoli, and spinach, and then cooked it with two scrambled eggs. I put half of the egg mixture on top of a baked sweet potato, which you can’t even see in the picture because all of the eggs and veggies are covering it. The pile of eggs on the right is on top of the small sweet potato, and the pile on the left is just the egg and veggie mixture. I topped it all off with salsa and avocado, which made it perfect! After I finished this plate, I enjoyed a banana. Perfect way to start my day!

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Oh and on a random note, this cold weather requires me to wear several layers to work! My school is an outdoor campus, so luckily on really cold days my principal lets the teachers wear jeans and our school sweatshirt. Yesterday I wore fleece lined leggings underneath my jeans, Ryan’s wool hiking socks, my long sleeve under armor running shirt, my school t-shirt, and then my school sweatshirt. Over that, I wore the purple jacket you see in this picture, a white scarf, and this super fun hat. And obviously I had gloves. I don’t play around with cold weather. I am so ready for it to be warm, but I was excited to get to wear my colorful hat. 🙂

Oh, and sorry for going everywhere with this post, but I made another food mistake yesterday.

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I bought this non dairy cheese from Natural Grocers after school since I heard good things about this brand. I read that it tasted a lot like real cheese, but let me spare you, those people lied. Okay, so I’m a little dramatic; I’m sure some of you like it, but I couldn’t eat it. Ryan and I both thought it was too strong or something. I tried it once, didn’t like it, and had one more bite to see if I thought different, and I hated it even more. Another food fail. 😦 Once again, I hate wasting food, so I didn’t throw it away. So if any of you like this “cheese”, come visit me and we can chat and you can eat this cheese. 🙂

And even though I didn’t share too many foods that I have been eating lately, I will still take part in Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesdays, since I did share part of what I ate yesterday! Plus, I just love WIAW! Thanks for hosting Jenn!

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Sorry for the randomness of this post, but that’s what was on my mind! If you missed my post yesterday you can check it out here. You can decide to join in on the Love Challenge anytime!

Questions:

1. Have you had any recipes that ended up totally disgusting? Were you super disappointed like me?

2. What are some of your favorite meals for breakfast? I should change up my normal routine of oatmeal or eggs.

3. Have you ever tried this nondairy cheese or any other nondairy cheese? Is there another brand that I should try? Right now I’m thinking real cheese is the best option. 🙂

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1. Have you had any recipes that ended up totally disgusting? Were you super disappointed like me?

2. What are some of your favorite meals for breakfast? I should change up my normal routine of oatmeal or eggs.

3. Have you ever tried this nondairy cheese or any other nondairy cheese? Is there another brand that I should try? Right now I’m thinking real cheese is the best option. 🙂

 

Love Challenge

If you have been reading my blog for the last month or so then you know I have a new teaching job. I am a pull-out teacher for first and fourth grade, and if you care about it, you can read more about what I do here. Well, some days I get pulled to sub for certain classes if they couldn’t get a sub. Last Friday and yesterday I subbed for the same second grade class. After being there for two days, I already feel like I know the students in that class so well! I was amazed at how quickly they became attached to me and trusted me. I think I got about six letters that said “I love you” and had hearts drawn on it yesterday.

Isn’t it amazing how easily a child loves someone? How quickly a child can love someone without thinking twice about it? Now think about this some more. What can children teach us? Should we as adults love as simply and easily as a child? Why does it seem as we get older we love less and loving seems so much harder? Is it what we go through in life? Do circumstances happen that then make us harden our hearts to love others?

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7
“And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3:14
Do you see what I’m getting at here? 🙂
I know not all of you reading may be Christians, and that’s okay. We all have our own beliefs, but Christian or not, I think we can all admit that love is very important and something our world desperately needs.
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Now I am not just talking about the love you feel for a spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend, I mean the love we should show to all of the people we come in contact with.
It’s easy to get caught up in our own lives and everything that is on our to-do list, but I feel that we have such a greater calling in life than to just mark things off our to do-list, go to bed, just to wake up and do more things for ourselves. What type of life is this? What is the purpose of this? Think about it, our world keeps getting more and more selfish, and as this happens, we love less and less people.
If you are a Christian, then you have a huge responsibility! God died for you and for me, not just to forgive us so we can go on living guilt free for ourselves, but he forgave us so that we would live for Him and use our lives to glorify Him! What a better way to glorify Him than to love the people in our lives? Even the people who aren’t always easy to love.
 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”               Luke 6:27-31
That’s hard. It’s just natural to not like the people who are mean or rude to us. But think about it. How much better would our world be if we all just worked on loving people more? If we worked on loving the people who aren’t nice to us or on loving the people we see every day at work or the store but never give a second thought about. Every person in our life is there for a reason. Maybe that reason is so that you can show him or her love. Maybe you will make their day or change their life.
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Showing love to someone could be as simple as holding a door open for them, lending them a dollar, or just even asking them about their life and listening to them. Maybe you have a few extra cookies or treats around your house, why not share them with someone? Send someone a text saying you are thinking about them. Give someone a hug. A hug might be exactly what someone needs.
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How do we love someone though who we hardly know or is mean to us? Well, we have a good example.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

Jesus, God, the Almighty Creator of the world, the only perfect one to ever walk this earth, died for us, a bunch of sinners. I mean he died to save the people who killed Him! How is that for loving those who it’s hard to love?? Now we can’t love people like this naturally, we have to ask God to give us the same love that He has for His people so that He can shine through us.

Here is another definition of love:

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” I Corinthians 13:4-7

Basically, I think we need to think of ourselves less, and think of others more. If we do this, I think we will naturally love more! Think about the people you normally don’t give a second thought about, and then think about how you can make them smile. 🙂 Think about how you can make a difference.

This is where the challenge comes in. I challenge you to love people more. Love those who are hard to love. Love those you barely know. Make someone’s day. Make our world a better place. I mean, if we all do this, think about how much better it could be! Plus, I honestly believe that if we start thinking about ourselves less and loving others more, we will be happier! Let’s try to love as easily as a child. 🙂 But you might not want to give an adult a letter that reads, “I love you” with a bunch of hearts. That might be a little creepy coming from someone who is older than ten years old. 😉

Will you take part in this Love Challenge? If so, think of something you can do differently today and this week! 

I would love to hear any of your comments!

80th Birthday Party and Homemade Pizza

Are you all ready for a great week?? Let’s be positive and say HECK YES! 🙂

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Our weekend was fun, but very busy!

I woke up naturally at exactly 6:12 a.m. on Saturday and layered up for my long run.

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I am so over this cold weather, and by cold weather, I mean like barely freezing. You know, I live in Texas, so I’m a huge baby when it comes to cold. So all of you Northerners are way tougher than me. I apologize for complaining about weather that I can still run in, when a lot of you can’t even run outside it’s so bad out there! But it was 27 degrees when I started my run, and only 32 when I finished, and to me those are some low temperatures!

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Despite the cold weather, the 15 miler felt great! This is a huge encouragement for the rest of my training!

When I finished my run, I came in and stretched while I talked to Ryan laying in bed. Then I showered and got ready for a wedding shower! One of my best friends from elementary school/junior high/high school is getting married in April, and her shower was Saturday. I am so happy for her, and I can’t wait for her big day!

Oh, and just a tip, if you run a long run and you want to wear your procompression socks or sleeves, just wear a dress with leggings and boots, and no one will ever know. 😉 This totally saved my legs Saturday!

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The shower was in the town where my parents live, so Ryan and I drove to their house so my Mom and I could go to the shower together. While we were gone, Ryan, my dad, and my brother, Ben, went and played disc golf.

The shower was beautiful, and Amber was gorgeous! It was also nice to see some people from my hometown that I hadn’t seen in a while. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures here, but just take my word that everything was wonderful. 🙂

After the shower I hung out at my parents’ house with my Mom, and with Ryan and my Dad when they returned from disc golf . Ben and Kaleigh came over about 5 that night and we all left to go to my aunt and uncle’s house to celebrate my grandfather’s 80th birthday!

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This is my wonderful Pappy. I guess some people call him Max, but that’s not his real name; it’s Pappy. He is one of the most amazing men I know, and is such an incredible role model and leader for our family!

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My Mom with her two parents!

We all enjoyed a delicious dinner of lasagna and salad, and then homemade chocolate cake with ice cream for dessert. It was so nice being together with everyone and just talking and having fun.

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Ryan, Ben, Kaleigh, and I played Monopoly for a little bit that night with our two little cousins, Cooper and Cade.

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When we left my aunt and uncle’s house we stopped by Mammy and Pappy’s house so the boys could help them fix on of their televisions. So us women had to get a picture together. 🙂

Ryan and I drove home right after this, where we immediately crashed and fell asleep in bed.

Saturday morning I had a great breakfast!

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I sauteed tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, and mushrooms with some leftover quinoa and then cooked two over easy eggs. When it was all done cooking I topped it with 1/4 of an avocado and some salsa. Then obviously I needed a banana with some peanut butter. 🙂

We went to church that morning, came home and had leftovers for lunch, and then I went to Aldi to go grocery shopping. I came home and Ryan and I got to work making this homemade pizza dough. I had never made pizza dough like this, but Ryan had, so he was such a huge help and taught me some things!

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Once we made part of the dough it needed to rise for a bit, so Ryan and I went to Wal Mart when it rose so I could finish getting a few groceries I couldn’t get at Aldi.

When we got back we finished making the dough, and I cooked and chopped some veggies for the week.

Here is the final crust.

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This recipe is amazing for numerous reasons, but one of the reasons is it was enough to make two pizzas! Ryan and I love leftovers, especially homemade pizza leftovers, so this was perfect for us!

I sauteed onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, and squash to put on top of the pizza.

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I am so happy that Ryan eats all of these beautiful, tasty vegetables now! I mean, look at all of those pretty colors, who wouldn’t want to eat that?

We topped our pizza with pizza sauce, the veggies (I also put broccoli on my half), mozzarella cheese, and some pineapple. Once we fixed the pizzas up, we baked them for 10 minutes, and they came out perfectly!

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This was seriously the most delicious crust Ryan and I have ever had. We absolutely loved it! You need to all try it. And don’t be intimidated by making your own pizza dough, it’s not as hard as it seems. It’s just intimidating, but you can do it, I promise. Plus, Angela gives great instructions and pictures to help you!

The rest of our Sunday was spent cleaning and getting ready for the week. Ryan and I have been talking, and we have decided that we think it would be best if I could do our grocery shopping on Thursdays after work. It’s just so exhausting to do all of the grocery shopping, food prep, and getting ready for the upcoming week on Sundays. Ryan and I love being able to relax on Sundays, but when we have to go grocery shopping, clean, and cook, we just can’t relax. We love being outside when the weather is pretty outside (which it was yesterday), and we want to be able to go outside and enjoy it, and not have to be stuck inside working all day. So hopefully I can start meal planning and grocery shopping at the end of the week from now on!

It was busy, but still a great weekend, so I will link up with Katie! Thanks for hosting girl! 🙂

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Questions:

1. Tell me some fun things from your weekend?

2. Have you ever made homemade pizza crust? What are some of your favorite toppings for pizza?

3. When do you do your grocery shopping?

4. Will you have a busy week this week?