Tuesday, January 25, 2011


A symbiotic relationship is a mutually beneficial relationship between two things. Often it's between two different organisms, people or groups. In my case, it's this:

I run because I bake.

Today is no exception: 4 miles in the morning, Beef stroganoff for dinner!

Beef Stroganoff
(minus the mushrooms. Because I dont eat them. Blech. Yucky funguses.)

But in the spirit of full disclosure, I must sheepishly admit that I've never actually eaten mushrooms. I never have given them a fighting chance. One could argue I've also never given Twilight a fighting chance, and I'm not planning on changing my mind anytime soon.

I digress.

What you'll need:
- about 1lb beef stew meat
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- a swirl of vegetable oil
- 2 cans beef broth (low sodium)
- 2 packages brown gravy mix
- 8oz sour cream
- Salt & Pepper to taste

In a cast iron skillet, heat up a swirl of vegetable oil while chopping your onion & garlic. Saute the veggies until softened then remove from pan. Season beef with salt & pepper and toss into the hot (HOT!) skillet. Sear it on both sides and cut the heat to medium. Add beef broth, onions and garlic to beef. Bring broth to a low simmer and cut the heat to low. Simmer for 90 minutes or until beef is tender. Remove about 2/3 of cooked beef from skillet and coarsely shred. To remaining broth, add 2 packets of gravy mix This works best if you take out a cup of the hot broth and whisk in the mix and add this cup into the skillet.... less lumps! If you dont have gravy mix, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch whisked into 1/4 cup of water will also thicken the broth into gravy. Add shredded beef back to gravy. Add in sour cream and stir until combined. Serve hot over egg noodles. A salad or green vegetable will finish the meal and balance out the heavy sauce.

Also, just to clarify, all the funny moments listed on my previous blog happened either at age 5 or younger. It's not cute or anecdotal for a 16 year-old to steal ice cream or pour perfume into dirty flood water. I'm just saying.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Welcome back

Hello Nerd-dom. I cant say that I've missed you.

According to my dentist, I grind my teeth so terribly bad that I no longer have enamel on my molars, thus, the explanation for the neverending dental problems. And so, I now am the proud owner of an occlusal guard. As in drool-all-over-my-pillow, look-like-a-total-dork mouthpiece.

It really takes me back to the 3rd grade and my full-on orthodontia: headgear and a mouthpiece. (this was post braces, which happened in 2nd grade.)

The only thing that was worse than having braces, headgear and a mouthpiece was the way my teeth looked prior to any orthodontia.

So in the spirit of nostalgia, I want to share with you some of my favorite silly childhood memories. These are from the days where I was old enough to have independent thoughts, but now I look back and say, "what was I thinking?!"

- I vividly remember the day I hit my sister with a broom (I was probably 5, she was 1 or 2) and then vehemently denied it. Unfortunately, I was standing between the broom and my sister and her red, broom-sized lump. Sorry for that one Casey.

-I remember the great flood of 1990 in Augusta. We apparently got about 15 inches of rain and the water had risen up to the step on our back porch. I poured my entire bottle of Tinkerbell perfume into the water. Dont really know why.

-I remember going to Child's World (daycare). It was the first place I saw a little boy's ding-a-ling in the bathroom. Yikes.

-I remember telling the lunch ladies at Augusta Christian that I'd paid for ice cream and I really hadnt. I felt so guilty for lying that I couldnt even eat the ice cream and threw it in the trash. They figured it out and I got in trouble. I lost my Blockbuster privileges for a month.

-I remember sitting across from a snooty girl in kindergarten who had really cute animal erasers but she didnt like me, so she NEVER let me play with them(or even touch them!). So when she was absent one day, I took it upon myself to play with them. Ms. Gentry figured it out and I got in trouble.

-Also in kindergarten, my mom would always send this trail mix type stuff with raisins and dried fruit and I didnt like it at all. Instead of eating it or throwing it away, I'd stash it in my pencil box. By the end of the year, my pencil box reeked.

I can still remember the trail mix smell.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Workin' Hard for the Money

We've got some big plans for the youth group this year...

-Ski Trip/Winter Camp
-Mpact Weekend
-Passion 2011
-Highland Lakes Camp
(and many more!)

So to help our students pay for some of these great trips, camps, retreats, and missions, we had a BBQ lunch and Bake Sale during Rockport's annual Gospel Fest. We were fortunate to make more money than last year's BBQ/Bake sale, which will be doled out to our students based on hours worked.

Erin & Megan are all smiles! These two girls are going on the Honduras mission trip and need all the financial support they can get their hands on! Needless to say, they were some of our best helpers. Definitely service with a smile!

Our bake sale was overwhelming! We were so so SO blessed to have many church members step up and make cakes, brownies, cookies, cupcakes, breads, pies, bars, treats, candy, popcorn, and many other delicious things to choose from! I kept a good distance from the Becky bread. Just so you know.

Fun story: We also had a cake auction where people could bid on whole cakes and pies made by church members. I made an Italian Creme Cake and put it up for auction... it made $45!!!! I shouldve taken a picture of it. Chris had tasted this yummy cake before and fought tooth and nail against two sweet little ladies and was eventually victorious. I guarantee it wont be the last time I make an Italian Creme cake.

Who could resist buying BBQ and Baked goods from this face???

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I've been thinking for weeks about what my first post-hiatus blog would be about. My plan from the very beginning was to take a break until the new year and then start up again.

When I sat down to write, I still wasnt sure what I wanted to say exactly, so to clear my head, I went for a run. 3 miles later, I'm still stuck. So here goes unloading, hopefully without rambling incessantly.

I want to be more deliberately God-honoring in all that I do. This means I want my wireless/cyber/internet footprint to leave just as much of an impact towards the kingdom of God as my literal footprints do. I took a break from social networking to reorient myself and remind myself that there really is very little good in facebook and blog stalking. I'll let you in on my reasoning and maybe the last statement will make more sense.

I am always cautioning the girls (and guys) in our youth to flee from gossip. It serves no purpose but to damage others. And yet, I was spending a considerable amount of time reading status updates from people I had little or nothing to do with. On days off, I'd spend a lot of time writing a blog and then a lot more time reading dozens of other blogs, and many were by people I'd never even met before. Sure, I may not have been spreading malicious information about people, but I was filling my spare time meddling in others' business and that isnt honorable either.

"But as for you, O man of God, flee these things (senseless and harmful desires- see 6:9). Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness." 1 Timothy 6:11

So here I am back in the blog world. I've also checked facebook a few times in the last couple of weeks. It's a far cry from 6 weeks ago: daily blog reads and checking facebook from my phone anytime I have a spare minute or two. Rest assured, I'll still share all about my cooking conquests and Mauve mischief (she's taken to eating out of the trash recently!), but my goal is to reflect the love of Christ in my writings.

"For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Matt 12:34b (or the blog, in this case)

Because I have a lot to share and a lot to be thankful for! In just the last 6 weeks, I've experienced love and reconciliation as only Christ could give. I've seen firsthand the sovereignty of God and how He preserves His church and His people. I can see and feel God moving and I'm certain things will continue to change.
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