16 November, 2010

Beer Dinner & Bottle Company

For a wedding shower gift, Eric's parents gave us a "beer of the every-other-month club".  We've thoroughly enjoyed, but the last box came as we celebrated our one year anniversary.

In the past, Eric and I have really enjoyed going out for great beers and food pairing dinners.  This has been getting rather costly.

In attempts to save a little money and share time with some friends - we called the "Beer of the every other month club" and found out that they have a "rare beer of the month club" that also provides information on food pairings.  Four beers in a box.  Four chairs at the table.  Four friends.

Sold.

This month the date for our dinner with Sam and Rosemary also coincided with the day Eric needed to bottle his two recent home brews.  Perfect.  We started with our beer tasting dinner.  This month it included a ploughman's lunch (think British) of cheese, apples, pickles, hard boiled eggs, bread, soup.  The other pairing included something with ginger (as in gingerbread, not asian food).  So Sam picked up pumpkin cupcakes with ginger frosting. A-mazing.

Dinner!

This month's two beers

Blue Cheese and Smoked Cheddar
Dessert
The wreckage


Capping station

Sanitizing

muscles!

Bottling


The bottler

reused 22s

inside the sanitizer

chaos

see, i was there! 


Good to the last drop!

The beer will be ready in just two weeks!  Perfect timing for Thanksgiving and Christmas :)  Thanks to Sam and Rosemary for help bottling!

Confirmation Retreats

Part of my job includes faith formation for the tenth grade students at our parish.  In tenth grade, they are eligable for the Sacrament of Confirmation... Thus I spend about 12 weeks in classes and on retreats with them.  This year we had a smaller class of only 156 candidates.  For two weekends in the Fall I am gone on retreat with them.  One half one weekend and the other have the second weekend.  Yikes!  I orchestrate about 30 volunteers and guest speakers, musicians, priests, deacons, etc to make this happen.  It is one of the biggest challenges I face each year, yet the most rewarding two weekends of the year.


Chapel at Covecrest
 This year because our two groups were smaller, we actually fit in the chapel for Mass.  There is something so sacred about this tiny place of worship.

Working on their pumpkins
 The last few years, the retreats have landed over Halloween - so for a team building activity, the kids have a pumpkin carving contest as a small group team building activity.

Getting ready for Confession
 One of the greatest components of the retreat is for the teens to go to Reconciliation.  Many of them haven't gone in 7 years!


Free time!
 The kids were hanging out at one of the cabins, just praying, talking, reading, playing games! Love it!

Skit practice
 During our "Road to Emmaus" Confirmation retreat, the teen leaders do a skit about sin and how it separates us from God.  This is a little of their practice.

Restoration
 The skit finishes with the girl surrendering all her sins by giving them to Jesus.

Praying over the guest speakers

Eucharistic Adoration!
Saturday night the teens have an opportunity to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament.  Most of them haven't taken a quiet hour EVER in their life, nor ever spent time in Adoration.  It's always a moving experience and is a turning point for many of them to clear their minds and just *be* with Jesus.


These are hands down two of our favorite weekends of the year.  Like I said, a lot of work, but extremely rewarding!  The best part is on Monday when I open my email and read "When can we do it again?"

Beaufort, South Carolina

Pardon the total slacking on blogging.  I haven't kept up my promise to blog ever Tuesday for about three weeks.  Life has been just a little crazy insane with work.  Fortunately, last week I took a few days off to spend with my grand parents in Highlands, NC, thus missing another Tuesday blog. Anyway, without further ado, here's a little catching up from three weeks ago:

Eric's great aunt and uncle, who are basically "grandparents" to Eric and Leeann, have retired to a precious town in South Carolina.  We've visited them once a year since I've been "serious" with Eric.  And they come to Atlanta as often as they can.  It was great with the weddings last year to be able to spend so much time with them.  While we were there, Eric and I went on bike tour, and well as a family walking tour.  By tour I mean "hey, lets go for a walk".  Of course, we had to watch the ND game, since Uncle Jim is also an alum (but let's not talk about the results).  We went to Mass and had a lovely dinner at the shrimp docks.  Oh and yes, this is where they filmed parts of Forrest Gump.  And yes, they had just about every type shrimp on the menu!


One of the marshy docks in town.

Family fun under the tree in Aunt Jo & Uncle Jim's yard

Quiet possibly my favorite photo I've taken (completely untouched!)

Downtown Beaufort.

Family time on the water




As always, a good time was had in Beaufort.  It's always so hard for me to leave a town on the water.  I think only people who grew up on the water really understand the love of the ocean.  I am blessed to have family (albiet extended and in-law) who are so welcoming to share this love with me :)