Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Andy's mom and stepdad flew out to sunny Tempe to join us for this Thanksgiving weekend.  They got in yesterday afternoon--just in time for us all to experience my oven smoke show and exploding glass fireworks together!  (My foil roasting pan had a hole in the bottom, which I didn't realize until I checked on the bird halfway through roasting and wondered where all the juices were... and I inadvertently left an empty glass 9x13 Pyrex dish on the hot electric stovetop, only for it to explode into thousands of shards and pieces all over the kitchen and living room...)

I'm thankful that I have a good sense of humor and know when to laugh at myself!  

I'm also thankful that for whatever reason, I moved away from the stove for a moment to collect my thoughts seconds before the glass exploded...  My only injuries were 3 pieces of glass that landed on my toe, foot, and knee.

(Can you imagine if I had been standing at the stove?  Can you say jugular vein?!  Eyeballs?!)

Despite my mishaps, our dinner was quite delicious.  We took a halfhour detour to vacuum and collect glass pieces, then we sat down around 6:30pm for a lovely dinner. 

I miss my family (this is the second Thanksgiving in a row without them), but we love spending time with Lyn and Ron and are so thankful they are visiting.

Here are some pictures of our feast:

The bird.  Brined overnight in a delicious concoction of maple syrup, honey, salt, cloves...

The BEST homemade garlic rolls

Stuffing--recipe from Chef Rebekah (a good friend from our church here)

Cranberry orange relish

Honey garlic sauteed carrots

Homemade green bean casserole (with fried shallots to boot!)

Always my favorite part of the plate!

Our tiny little table.  Can't wait to have a place big enough to have our dining room table again!

Lyn's plate

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are experiencing the blessings of having a thankful heart.  

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name."
Psalm 100:4

Team Retreat : Sedona

Last weekend, our Tempe team took a 4 day retreat to the beautiful red rock country of Sedona, Arizona to celebrate our first 100 days as Antioch Community Church: Tempe!  What a blast we had!  We had a team retreat planned ever since we started, knowing from other church planters that the first 100 days as a church plant is hard--in the sense that we will be working our booties off and just persevering in all things.  Having a retreat as a time to praise God and look back on our beginnings was a fun thing to look ahead to at times.  (Disclaimer... although we have been working hard and persevering through this season, that doesn't mean it hasn't been FUN, EXCITING, and REWARDING!  Also, this does not mean life will be cake now.  We are all in this for the longhaul and ready for the next season of church planting.)

On this retreat, we...
gazed upon the beauty of the Lord, 
hiked a beautiful mountain trail, 
relaxed inside reading and 
eating and
eating some more, 
played Spades, 
made meals together, 
sat in the hot tub, 
looked at the stars, 
worshiped together, 
encouraged one another, 
thanked God for all the He has done...

It was SUCH  fun time!  I took 2 days off of work to  be on this retreat, and it was so worth it.  We loved getting extended time together as friends--and family.  We really feel  like we're a family and that more and more people are joining us. 

Here are some pictures from the weekend...
Gorgeous  view from the house we stayed in!

Greetings from Sedona!

Gracie's crazy hair

Me and Ellie taking a dip

More beauty

Joy sadly forgot Emmy's bumbo... so she rigged a contraption using pillows and Adam's belt!  Emily didn't seem to mind...

Where's my food?

Hiking West Fork trail

Tempe women

Bringing a little Jersey to the west... Andy knocking down dead trees... a ritual started in the Jersey woods with his best friend Matt.

Antioch Tempe team!

Travis and his two older girls.  Love this fam!

Love this fam, too! :)

Kristen and me.  Love this friend!!

The Phillips Family

Friday, November 4, 2011

Another Photo Update

If you follow the Phillips' blog, you may see a few of these pictures over there...  Our team has celebrated a lot of birthdays over the past 2 months.  Joy starts us off on September 21, I'm September 27, John is October 7, Adam is October 8, and Andy is October 21st.  Next up is Ellie, who turns 4 on November 30!  Can't wait for that party :)  Here are some pictures from birthdays and such over the past few weeks...
Out to dinner celebrating John and Adam

Great buds

Ellie and Gracie... how grown up do they look?!

Joy and me

Feeding little Emmy

Ellie "feeding" Gracie

Emily and Emily

Gracie and her beloved chapstick

cakes for the guys

Canela, Cheryl, and Rebekah--celebrating Rebekah's birthday!  They are dear friends at our church.

2 Ellies and a Gracie

Carrot cake.  Make a wish!
 And now... for some pictures of our church as of late!  These were taken at our post church service jam session.  Anyone interested in possibly playing in our worship band got together to "jam".  Fun fact:  A sweet friend from my senior year of highschool (in England) came to Tempe to get her Masters in Speech Therapy and now goes to Antioch!  Our friendship has picked up right where it left off, and I'm so thankful for her!  She's the blonde in the front on the bass guitar :)

Andy looking cool on the soundboard