Last night we got to have our Sunday morning Bible class over for food and ideally, some board games and Rock Band. Thankfully, about 35 people came! That meant no room for one more loud thing in the mix (Rock Band) and I mourn not getting to hear Rod sing Fat Bottom Girls. He was just bluffing anyway cause he knew it wouldn’t happen 🙂 I really was humbled that so many came. We are relatively new to that class (a little over a year) and people with kids must know that (currently) childless couples might not have the most child-proof home. But I’m so glad that didn’t hinder a lot of the families. They brought their children and it was a windy beast outside so we all stayed indoors together. I heard so much laughter coming from Saundra telling about her April Fools joke on David (that they were having twins), I got to talk to Ashley Brown about her children and experiences as a mother, I learned that Mitch Morgan is a black belt in Tai Kwon Do and makes jam as much as I do, several people learned that Matt was into the Dark Tower series and so much nerdy talk ensued there and Cash got to follow around plenty of kids, acting like a Hoover for all the crumbs they dropped. Joy. I’m definitely a Mary in these situations. I am mildly concerned if people have what they need (I tell them once where to find the ice, drinks, etc and figure they can spread the word after that) and am even less concerned if things are spilled, broken, cleaned up, etc. After they all left and our home looked totally used, I just smiled. I loved it. True, a smaller group could have talked a bit more, played some games, stayed longer, but that big crowd just doesn’t get together very often and so it was really great to have them.
Everyone brought food and so Matt and I really only had to concern ourselves with a couple of recipes we just wanted to try and providing ice and drinks and (not enough) plastic utensils (sorry.) Matt made the most glorious patty melts and I tried out two recipes from my new favorite food/mom blogger, Annie’s Eats. I tried out her Banana Caramel Whoopie Pies, which tasted a bit like a cookie version of Banana’s Foster (which is the best dessert, in my opinion.) The cookies were perfectly soft and baked exactly as they said they would (I’ve had bad baking luck baking recently) and the caramel cream was worth the effort. You make your own caramel and beat it into a Swiss meringue butter cream. It takes a while but anything worth having takes hard work.
Everyone loved it and it really did taste like jalapeño poppers. I also added some fresh basil to a batch of Country Time lemonade and crushed it up so it would be really basil-y and everyone loved that, too. So all in all, we didn’t try as hard to impress with food as we normally do and I was frankly, glad for the reprieve. I think pot-lucks are where it’s at. Not only can you rely on everyone who comes to provide food, but when they leave, they take 95% of the mess back home with them!
The Panthers are an amazing group of people and we used to not have church attendance as a very high priority in our life till we joined this class. It’s such an eclectic mix. From retired age, to people right out of college, to people like us just starting families, to people who are on their second and third kid. We get to learn from people who have been down the roads we are on and we can share with those who are on the same journey. There are even a couple of people who have been in and out of jail and one in particular who was in jail last year and while she was finishing her sentence, a couple of families kept and raised her baby for about 6 months. That is just such a loud testimony to me the power of a church group – of a people bound together by more than pot lucks and free coffee. No one lays down their own rights as quickly as the Panthers. If you need something done, someone to sacrifice time or resources for you, you could call any member of our class and you’d get exactly what you need. I feel so lucky to be a part of that.