Baby showers in the forecast

Our church is a fast growing church, partly because of the number of babies born in our congregation.  We all do our part, it's a must for church planting.  Seriously, in 2011, 10 babies will be born into the Elevation staff.  Now that is a lot of baby showers!

And since having had a baby shower myself recently, I thought I would write a sequel to the post I did a few weeks ago on wedding presents.

Here are a few of my favorite baby items out right now…

Personalized paci.  I am a huge fan of the pacifier.  Mainly because my first child didn't use one and I wished he had.  These are super cute and really unique.  They make them for several different types of nipples as well.  You can purchase them here, $15 for a pack of 3.




Bottle band   
These are super cute bottle/sippy cup labels.  It is a personalized rubber band that will fit on any cup or bottle.  You can also put allergy alerts on them.  You can purchase them here, $13 for 4 labels.




  Puj 3   
This is a Puj baby tub.  I love this.  Baby tubs are always awkward and bulky.  This tub is made out of a type of foam, it easily hangs on the back of the door and it is made for a regular size bathroom sink.  I can bathe my boys in the bath tub and Abbey in the sink all at the same time.  Abbey really seems to love this.  It was also super easy to take with us on vacation.  You can purchase online at Target also in stores and online at Buy Buy Baby for about $40.




Moby wrap


I love my Moby Wrap.  It is the most comfortable baby wearing device I have owned.  Better than the Bjorn I used for Elijah and the Seven Sling I had for Graham.  The Moby is a lot of material but once you are all tied up, you are good to go!  You can buy the Moby at Target for about $30.  (The Seven sling is a second runner up and still a great fast option that I carry in my purse)




I loved all the clothes and accessories given to Abbey.  Baby clothes are so much fun.  You can never have enough sleepers.  My favorites are the zipper ones from Children's Place.  And you can never go wrong giving burp cloths.  My last two babies have been pretty bad sitter-uppers.  I love the ones that are pretty and decorative. 

When I go to a shower, I love to make themed baskets.  Like a beach bucket with swimming diapers, a towel and a baby bathing suit.  Or a basket full of feeding accessories like bottles, cups, spoons and bowls.  Or a diaper bag stuffed with diapers, wipes and the like.

I would love to hear from you, what were some of your favorite baby gifts, or what do you like to give?


Wedding showers in the forecast

I was bringing a quiche to a brunch with some friends the other day when I realized that my casserole carrying case had been a wedding present that I have used so much.  I love that thing and it has lasted me 9 years!

Since it is wedding season, I thought I would post 5 of my favorite wedding gifts, things I am still using today, 9 years later.

1.  My casserole carrying case, also known as Bake-n-Take.




2.  A basket of Christmas decorations.  You can never go wrong with this.  So if you know someone getting married next year, you can wait until after Christmas and make them a basket full of decorations!




3.  My crock pot.  Although it may seem boring everyone needs a crock pot.  (Mine actually bit the dust earlier this year but I got 8 1/2 good years out of it!).  I think my mom still uses the same crock pot she was given as a wedding present over 30 years ago, they just don't make stuff like they used to.





4.  Ok, I don't still have wedding gift cards, but I was able to go and stock my kitchen guilt free!  I know gift cards can be impersonal but they are always appreciated.




5.  Caphalon cookware.  Thank you Aunt Melanie and Uncle Pancho for purchasing quality cookware for me.  My pots are still going strong!




We have several decorative items still around as well; a clock, a favorite blanket, a lamp.  And we also use the same TV trays (no we don't always eat in front of the TV, but we enjoy it occasionally!).

I would love to hear from you, what are some of your wedding presents that have stood the test of time?

Abbey’s hospital hat


I am super proud of myself for Abbey's hospital hat.  I made it.  I don't consider myself a super crafty person, but can be on a rare occasion.

I stumbled across the idea while surfing online one day.  They are called I'm not a boy hats.  I really wanted to get one for Abbey.  When I continued clicking found this tutorial on how to make your own and it seemed easy enough.

I found a hospital hat of Elijah's and one of Graham's in a tub of baby clothes and got to work.

The only thing I did differently than the tutorial is I cleaned it up a bit by creating hems on the hat and the bow with glue called liquid stitch (since I do not sew :)).  I made the hat in about 15 minutes and then bragged about myself shamelessly and showed it to all my friends.

Women in ministry, don’t miss this…

My friends over at Leading and Loving It are hosting a conference this May.  I am disappointed that due to the little one soon to enter my life, I won't be able to attend, but if you are a woman in ministry, you really shouldn't miss this event.  If you register before the end of January, you will be entered in a pretty awesome give away.

Here's a bit more information about the retreat.



Who: A Retreat for Pastors’ Wives
Sr Pastors’ Wives? Yes.
Associate Pastors’ Wives? Yes.
Youth & Children’s Pastors’ Wives? Yes.
Worship? Small Groups? Teaching? Yes. Yes. Yes.

When: May 10-12, 2011
Retreat begins at 6pm Tuesday and ends at 11am Thursday.

Where: Nashville, TN
Retreat at: Union Station
Accommodations: Holiday Inn

Cost: $325 which includes 2 nights at the hotel, your registration fee and more!

For more information or to register, go here.


Check back here later this afternoon for the announcement of the winner of my give away this week.  (And I may have decided to give away more that one thing!)

Give away… a NY Times Bestseller!

Made to crave set
Today I am happy to be giving away a small group study set Lysa TerKeurst's newest book, Made to Crave.

Released just this month, Made to Crave, is already on the New York Times Bestseller list.  Lysa and her family attend Elevation here in Charlotte and we could not be more proud of her.

The book is about learning to satisfy your deepest desire with God, not food.  While this book does give some doctor guided, practical guidelines for healthy eating, exercise and weight loss, the main focus is on replacing your craving for food with your craving for God, not necessarily on weight loss.

The book deals with what happens when we, instead of consuming food, become consumed by food.  We then to equate our weight with our worth.  Consequently, we often allow weight loss to bring us joy and satisfaction when our true ultimate worth must come from God.

Lysa's book is not new fad diet.  It is a book that will help you change not only the way you think about food and weight loss, but more importantly your worth in the site of God which has absolutely nothing to do with your outer appearance.  The book is full of scripture as well as practical steps that will help you re-train your mind and body to crave the living God, not food.

Over the next few weeks, Lysa will be doing a live Made to Crave web-cast every Monday night at 8 pm.  If you missed it last night, you can watch the replay today at noon, 3, 8 and 10 pm EST on the Made to Crave site (my husband was a guest last night :)).

Today I am giving away a small group study set that includes a DVD with 6 video session teachings from Lysa, one copy of the book, and one participant's guide.  Simply leave your name in the comments section ONE time :).  We will close the comments sometime on Thursday and randomly select a winner.  If you don't win, you can still purchase your own copy of the book at Amazon as well as bookstores everywhere.


Organizer 2 In the month of January, retailers seem to take on the themes of weight loss and organization.  I guess those are most people's goals for the new year.  I am in an organizational mood but not because of the new year, more because I have less than 10 weeks before another child is added to my care.

I am working my way through many of the rooms in the house.  One of my biggest tasks is to move Graham into Elijah's room.  They have been sleeping in bunk beds together for close to a year but I have not moved Graham's clothes over.

I have been in search of something to give the boys more independence in the DSC_0223mornings (and me more freedom).  But ages 5 and 3 are not quite able to dress appropriately for a day's weather and tasks.  I didn't want the square organizer that hangs from the clothes rack in the closet, I don't have the space for that.  But I found these weekday clothing organizers for kids.  They are actually made to hang on the door but fit perfectly on a blank wall in the boys' closet.  When Graham saw them he said, "Yeah because you are going to have to dress baby Abbey."

 I hung the organizers and placed the boy's clothes for the rest of the week in them.  I can't wait to say, "Boys, go get dressed!" tomorrow morning.  But I have a feeling they will be dressed before I can tell them because they are so excited about it.

I purchased ours at Lillian Vernon and personalization was included (bonus!) but there are many different versions available online if you search "kids weekday organizer."  I still need to move Graham's clothes to their room but for now I feel a big sense of accomplishment.


Give Away Time!

Jesus bible  
We recently purchased a copy of the Jesus Storybook Bible.  We have many childrens' Bibles in our home but none of them even come close to this one.  The stories are written so well.  And each one points back to Jesus in some way.  The pictures are also modern but not cheesey.

I want to give away a copy of this book to a lucky reader.  Simply leave ONE comment telling me who you will be reading it to.  We will close the comments on Wednesday night and post the winner at the end of the week.

You can read sample stories as well as purchase the Bible here and on Amazon.

Blogs from Christmases Past

Over the past years, I have enjoyed blogging Holiday recipes and activities our family or church does.  Today I thought I would post links to some of our Christmas traditions and some popular recipes. Also, hidden in one of these links is a picture of my husband with no hair and a goatee and one of him with blonde hair :).

Some of my favorite holiday recipies…

    Green Beans

    Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese

    Easy Holiday Cookies

    Pineapple Casserole

    Buckeye Bars

To read about our favorite activity that teaches our kids about Christmas…  What God Wants For Christmas

To read about gifts that we gave our staff one year… Honoring Elevation Staff

To read about my favorite Christmas movie…  My Favorite Holiday Movie

For ideas on how to pray for your pastor and church staff… How to Pray for Your Church Staff During the Holidays



TDSC_0074oday is Wednesday and each Wednesday night I get the opportunity to meet with a great group of women.  Heather Bishop and I lead an eGroup for young married women.  We like to call it H2H.

We discuss the nitty-gritty of being a great wife.  We cook together, pray together, memorize scripture together, and study God's Word.  We discuss respect, communication, affirmation, and finances and anything else that may come up.

We are currently doing the Bible study, For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn, and it is excellent.

Being a part of a eGroup, or small group, is so essential to my growth in my relationship with Christ.  The simple accountability of meeting with a group of believers each week is so encouraging and refreshing.

While our group is full, there are so many opportunities to get plugged in at Elevation.  In fact, this weekend, we are going to provide a way for everyone to get connected to a group.  If you call Elevation your home, you won't want to miss it!

Just One

Sidebanner_justone1-300x172 My friend Lori Wilhite is hosting a innovative conference this fall.  You don't have to pay, you don't have to get on an air plane.  You don't even have to leave your house because it is a virtual conference.

The topics include: Marriage, Relationships, Family, Time and Balance, Growth and Passion.

And Lori has an amazing line up of women speaking on a variety of topics (I was so honored to be included with these women).


Speakers include:

Lisa Jernigan and Patty Wyatt…………Donna Politz

Lisa Young………………………………Jenni Clayville

Cindy Beall………………………………Holly Furtick

Tiffany Cooper…………………………..Heather Whittaker

Kay Warren………………………………Lisa Hughes

Kerri Weems……………………………..Sherry Surratt

Natalie Witcher………………………….Amy Groeschel

Jessica Cornelius……………………….Brandi Wilson

DeLynn Rizzo……………………………Lori Wilhite

The conference will take every Tuesday from September 7th to October 12.  You will have two chances to listen each day, at 12 pm (EST) and at 9 pm (EST).  This is an amazing line up of women, I promise you won't want to miss it.

You don't have to register for the event.  You can simply log on each Tuesday at this link.  If you would like to receive reminder emails before each session, you can register here.

I am so thankful for innovative people like Lori who have a vision for the women of our generation, and she thinks outside of the box when it comes to reaching us.  I am also thankful that I live in a day and age where I can learn from amazing women like these with out even leaving my home.  Lori has been putting this conference together for months and I promise it is going to be amazing.  I hope you will be a part!