Thursday, September 25, 2008

Does Your Kitchen Have One of These?

Continuing along the Fall theme for this in the winter months always evokes warm dishes with seasonal root veggies, comfort foods that fill up the belly after a long cold day.

To make the most of my day, and my dollar, I often use a CROCK-POT.

Does your kitchen have a crock-pot...and more importantly, do you use it? If not, you should!

Here's a few benefits of a crock-pot:
1. Busy days with non-stop schedules still allow for home cooked, healthy meals
2. Stretch your grocery budget by buying cuts of meat that are cheaper (cheaper usually means it is not as tender) but in the crock-pot it cooks over a low heat for a long time - which tenderizes the meat
3. All in one clean up - you can cook your meat, potatoes and veggies all in one pot - one pot to wash after dinner is done makes clean up a breeze
4. You can cook almost anything in a crock-pot, last Christmas I did my stuffing in the C.P and it was the best stuffing I've ever had! You can also do cakes, chili, dips, soups, etc.
5. Crock pots are great for cooking in larger quantities - cooking in bulk is often cheaper and is always more efficient - double your recipe and freeze a meal for another night.

~ Happy Cooking ~

Let's Brunch!

As I look outside today at the rain pelting down and flowing down our hill at a rapid rate I'm inspired to stay inside. Are you? With the arrival of Fall and the coziness of the season I love to have delicious food in the house.....I especially love breakfast food and I love to have brunch on Sunday after church.

Big or small, fancy or simply, brunch seems to be a meal the pleases most and it usually offers a warm comforting hug at the same time, with nothing expected in return.

Today I challenge you: DO BRUNCH WITH SOMEONE!

Think of someone (this may be a couple a single or a family) that you haven't connected with in sometime and invite them over. Forget about your house, your carpet that needs a cleaning, your kids and even'll be surprised how much you enjoy the time around the table when you share it with others.

Let me know if you brunch, and, if you have a favorite brunch recipe you want to share, I'd love that too!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday Emma

Today is my sweet Emma's official "second" birthday....two years ago today at 6:39am Emma Faith Baker joined our family & we have loved every minute of her since.
The best word I can use to describe Emma is sweet. Right from the start Emma has had the sweetest little spirit....she's a bit softer, a little more sensitive and a real ham all at the same time. She truly has her own little personality and is not content to stand in the shadow of her big sister. She loves to color and refers to any sort of coloring utensil as "la colour", she answers the phone with a French little "hallo!", she loves Dora - but especially the map (once he's made his appearance she will call for him for the remainder of the show) she has a "cheese" face for taking pictures that will make anyone burst into stitches and she is obsesses with shoes.

Happy 2nd Birthday to our Emma-Bemma!

I can't wait to see what kind of little lady you become in the next year.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Women's Wednesday

Earlier this year a few of us had the privledge of attending a wonderful women's conference. We left with a stirring in our spirit. We had been encouraged, challenged and inspired to do something in our own church - really - with the size and all it's only natural it would be a hub for the community and the body of Christ. Little did we know that God had something exciting in store......

Before we knew it "Women's Wednesday" was born. A once a month evening gathering for women of all ages. A time and place to come and be encouraged and strengthened in our walk with our amazing God. Some nights are more fun and some more serious, but all in all a delicate balance to meet the needs of our women.

Shawna and I have been going a hundred miles an hour since. We wrote up a business plan and budget in one night, presented it the next and as they say...the rest is history.

Our heart is for women, for the struggles they face, for the hats they wear, for the power they have but don't realize it or they don't want to realize the impact they could have in this world. We long to see friendships dive to new depths as we become real with one another through the good, bad and ugly.

The above pictures are a few shots of the beginning of our vision. We hosted a by invitation only event at the end of July to share our hearts and our vision for Women at CLA. It was a wonderful night full of laughter, tears and the uniting of hearts. We were amazed at the support we received and the team we have begun to form.

I write all this not to toot my own horn, but to submit this to you for prayer. This Wednesday is our first OFFICIAL event of the season. We joke when we see an announcement in the bulletin or on the screen at church, "there's no turning back now!" But really, for us this happened in a single moment. One moment we were talking about it and the next we had walked into God's plan and purpose for our lives right now.

So, will you pray? Will you believe that God will use the dreams and visions of two stay at home moms to touch women inside and outside the church in a new and powerful way? Will you pray that we grow leap and bounds, that each night God's presence is so strong and so powerful that lives are healed and transformed into all God wants them to be? Will you pray we have fun, that we don't burn out & that we still love each other at the end of all this (okay, joking.....kind'a!)?

Believing for great things....

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

This summer Madelyne celebrated her fourth birthday. This year the theme was western - cowgirl, to be exact. She's been on quite a cowgirl kick for a while now, so much so that we've collected boots, a hat, a denim dress and a skirt with a matching jacket. She loves to yell out a good "yeeee haaaawwww" and has even done so in the middle of the sanctuary as her Sunday morning greeting to Pastor Brent (thank goodness he's gracious!).
We had a wonderful time celebrating with a group of friends as well as Grampy (my dad) and Uncle Josh (my brother) thrown in for good measure. Here's a few pics of the down home western fun we had...
This is a picture of part of the the Happy Birthday banner I had up in the kitchen.

Two tiers of chocolate goodness with a cowgirl hat on top. Thanks to Auntie Shawna for all your help into the wee hours of the morning to perfect this beauty!

We couldn't have enough cowgirl hats - we had them hanging everywhere!

The goodie bags - "M" for Madelyne

The Birthday Girl:
We had a saddle set up on a hay bail on the deck, as each child arrived they got a turn and we took their picture on it - I used these pics for the thank-you cards.

Madelyne & Luke (aka:Lukie) good buddies!

We had hail bails set up in the back yard for seating and after crafts, food and cake Sheriff Matt arranged them in rows and supervised hail bail races. It was a big hit!

Three little blond cowgirls all in a row:

Daddy & his four year old girl.