Good Morning!! I was 22 years old when I found out Shelby and I were going to have a baby. Shelby was estactic... me not so much. The pregnancy was very hard with a lot of complications, at 4 months they did an amnio to see if this precious baby was down syndrom or a baby missing a chromosome. The medical team told us we may have some hard decisions to make, we were young and afraid. I was put on bedrest and a monitor and waited for this precious baby boy. Landon Taylor Stephens was born a few weeks early and absolutely perfect on November 30... and my life has never been the same. I am honored Taylor to be your mom.... you are an amazing young man, with a great heart. You have brought so much chaos, joy, fun and laughter into mine and your dads life. Happy 20th Birthday....the thought of your future makes my heart sing..... I love you with all my heart.... Always allow the Lord to guide you!! Happy Beautiful Friday yall.....Reality check, I have a 20 year old..God is good and I celebrate my precious Taylors life today:)
_Good Morning!!The crew accepted and I can not wait to see what happens.... Yesterday afternoon I gathered the crew together and issued a challenge..... "I will give each of you $10.00 and a pie box. I want each of you to bake a pie that we do not already make and bring it in, you have until next Friday to find a recipe, the $10.00 is to buy the supplies, and bring it in for a 3 panel judging.....the winner receives $50.00. 5 years ago I had never made 1 pie. I was completely out of my comfort zone when I started baking and our heavenly father has blessed the CIG with an amazing pie business. There are many reasons why I issued this challenge....1 of the reasons is to show the whole crew, they can do anything they want as long as they set their mind to it. You have to step out of your box, for great things to happen. Baking brings joy....when you watch a smile spread across someones face because of something you made, ahhh there is no better feeling. The next 8 weeks are going to be very trying and we have to completely believe that we can do it...we all are going to be out of our comfort zone. Happy Beautiful Thursday yall, I am so excited to watch this great crew rise to the occasion. My words to them....anyone can make a pie, you just have to try, the reason I chose those words ? I want them to truly believe anyone can accomplish anything with a will and a want to. Woot Woot let the great bake-off begin. I am so thankful for the courage our heavenly father gives us....5 years ago the Lord filled me with courage and confidence and for the next few weeks I am praying for those strengths again not just for me but for my whole crew. I am excited to watch and taste what happens:)
_Good Morning!! F.R.O G.....forever rely of God. Mr. B has a plastic frog that is kept in his pocket, I wrote of him and his struggle with thryroid cancer. The day he shared his precious plastic frog with me, I was struggling and he offered words of comfort to me. Funny, he was in a war with cancer and he was giving me words of comfort. This is the kind of man Mr.B is. He had surgery and treatment and has been cancer free.... He returned to work and so I only get to see him when he is scheduled for blood work. Mr. B has been coming in since we opened, Alysha and I become giddy everytime we see him, always kind words and big hugs. Yesterday afternoon I was buried deep in work....I hear his voice before I see him and then he appears in my office door with his hands full, bearing gifts...(food gifts the best)The Company that Mr. B works for has a popcorn maker that they have set up for the holidays.....popcorn that taste like the movies. I stand up and greet my sweet friend and thank him for the salty treat.....he has brought this to us for the last 3 or 4 years."Mr. B how ya doing?"... "Received some not so good news.... my cancer is back". My heart sunk as he told me what was going on. I expressed my concerns and told him I would be praying..."Mr. B do you have your frog?" absolutely were his words and he pulled out the little plastic frog that was nestled in his pocket. Happy Beautiful Tuesday yall, my heart was heavy after Mr. B left...as I was tossing the popcorn in my mouth my thoughts went to his act of kindness. His life is up in the air right now, a new battle is starting ,but he thought of us at the CIG and brought us so much joy. Dont we all want to have a heart and faith like Mr. B....when things in his life seem unsettled he is thinking of others, he is making a difference with his actions. When we were talking, his words to me.."Its ok, its just another part of this great life." Mr. B feels blessed no matter the circumstance, he is praising our heavenly father and truly living the words F.R.O.G....forever rely on God. May your day be beautiful and your actions show kindness to others, it is the simple things that make the biggest difference. I love this man so very much and my prayers are with him and his sweet family.....his life lessons are teaching all of those around him...he is allowing our heavenly Father to shine through him, no matter the circumstance!
_Good Morning!! The year was 1969, this was the year I came into the life of my big sister. My parents thought their family was complete, my brother was 8 and my sister 6 and I was a surprise. My sister named me and then immediately gave me the nickname Tesa and this is the name my family still calls me(dislike). My big sister, Judi, played with me, dressed me & protected me from the wrath and teasing of our big brother, I was a complete nuisance in his book. In the 70's there was a kidnapping spree happening in our city, they had described the vehicle and told families to protect their kids. Judi was my playmate...she would usually do anything I ask, bike riding was on schedule for the day....We made the loop around the house and I tell her.. "I have to go to the bathroom, I will be right back",she was irritated but told me she would wait for me out here. I lay my bike down and my 5 year old legs carry me to the house.....her head laying across her arms on the handle bars she was deep in thought. Lost in her own world, she hears plan as day the words, "Judi look up!"(I know straight from our heavenly father) as she turns her head to look up the vehicle that has been describe by the police is at the curb and the door was opening right where she was.....as her mind starts racing I am running out the door to jump on my bike, her first thought was not her it was me, I will never forget those words she screamed to me..."Tesa run!!" I turn to run as she is climbing off her bike. This day has been with me always. My big sister has protected me and loved me with no thought of herself. She took me on every date with her and my future brother-in-law. It was her living room couch I cried on when I got my first speeding ticket, knowing our dad was going to be furious. She protected me in so many ways when our mom was sick. She prayed for years to have a baby....and was frustrated and sad that it was not happeing. I was reluctant to tell her I was having a baby, I did not want to hurt her, but no matter how she felt.... she showed excitment, she helped me plan for my precious son, she took care of me, loved me and guided me. When the decision was made for me to be a stay-at-home mom there was not a lot of money....she would send grocery gift cards, just to ease the burden... I was too proud to ask for help, so she just did it, she knew. Happy Beautiful Monday....if you have a sister, you understand the kind of love and bond I am talking about. Judi is one of a kind...she has an amazing sense of humor and love for our heavenly father, she will sacrifice anything for her son and family, she puts others first. Where I am the selfish youngest child she is everything I am not. My heart is truly connected to hers and when she is struggling and sad my heart breaks open. I have prayed a million prayers with her, cried a thousand rivers and laughed until we fell to pieces. These last few years she has had a lot of struggles....but when I call to check on her she always brings the focus back to me....her words that she is proud of me always bring comfort and peace . When the reality hit that I was truly moving the grill, I started getting anxious about the expense of getting the new building ready... I started praying, "Lord I need labor donated, I can't afford all of this". A few days after I started praying this prayer, I receive the call..."Hey I have been meaning to call you....Ernie(brother-in-law, contractor) wantes to do the labor on the new buidling, its a gift". This is my sister.... I honor her and love her. Our God is so awesome to give us siblings....take time yall to tell your siblings you are thankful for them and that you love them, they truly have been on your journey from the beginning:)
_Decorating the Christmas Tree is like opening treasured gifts .... When I flip off the lid to various boxes my mind is flooded with tender, fun precious memories. I remember!!Every ornament I pick up, I say, "oh this is my favorite or remember this?" I get so caught up in the festivities of the season ... Catering 's , shopping, parties, making pies, decorating that sometimes my mind forgets what this beautiful season is about. This is one of my favorite ornaments and it reminds me that I am celebrating the kings of kings birthday this season. I pray y'all have a beautiful Friday and may your memories be special and your heart on the true meaning of this season, it's a grand birthday celebration :)
_Life is a journey and right now I am on a huge journey of change, apprehension. Yesterday as I was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted, my focus was getting out 120 pies to precious people that allowed the Cast Iron Grill to be apart of their families holiday , a day of thanks!! My words of being thankful do not even describe my heart . I have been blessed more than I ever deserve. Over 20 years of marriage to my sweet Shelby Stephens has been fun, full of belly laughter, stress, forgiveness and love. He has stood by my side and has been my biggest fan through this crazy journey called the CIG... I am thankful for my 2 amazing boys, Taylor Stephens And Branum Stephens .... When I am crazy and stressed they love me.... Yes they do tell me I am crazy and stressed .... But they love unconditionally.....and to my precious Mindy Weaver, I never knew I could love like I do, to someone that just came along , you not only have captured Taylor's heart but mine also . My cup runneth over.... I am waking up today with change , I am not with my precious daddy for the first time in years... When The Lord took my mom, he was so great to leave me with the best dad ever and I am thankful . Tomorrow starts the work on the new location for my precious Cast Iron Grill... Our Heavenly Father has guided me through this year long process and now we have arrived to our reality of a new place. I have been blessed and I am thankful ..... My heart is full .... I have hundreds of people that at one time were guest that I now call my family and friends ..... I pray y'all realize how blessed we all truly are. Happy beautiful Thanksgiving ... A day full of love, joy and a heart of thanksgiving :)
I do believe we have a lot going on:)..... Woot woot what an amazing blessing:) better get back to work before they try to replace me!!
Yep, took the best crew in town on a field trip to the new location .... What an exciting time. If you have never had the honor to stand in a circle, hand in hand and listen to a powerful prayer with your co-workers, you are missing out. Blessing this new location and crew... Ahhh I can't describe the feeling:) back to pie making , I just needed a slight break:)
It's official !!! Contract signed and keys in hand ...Welcome to the new home of the Cast Iron Grill...
My reality check........ I need help loading Christmas stuff to take to Idalou, so like any mom i turn to my boys and i have realized no matter how old they are, they make fun of each other, make jokes on me, their attention all of the sudden becomes a disorder, they take forever & can't keep their hands off of each other.. in the process of dealing with them it starts to rain on my beautiful Christmas tree that is loaded in the back of one of their trucks. I need to get it home quickly .... The truck I am borrowing from one of them is about 1 mile till I am pushing it... What a blessing to be a mom to boys !!!
I opened the Cast Iron Grill in October 2007. Lots of changes have happened in the last 5 1/2 years. The CIG started with 55 seats in an office building located at 18th and K. After five years, we were bursting at the seams with now 167 seats, and 24 wonderful co-workers working on top of eachother to make it happen. 2012 the Lord chose a different journey for the CIG. We relocated the CIG and opened our doors on January 2nd, 2013, just four blocks away from the old location! It has changed my world completely! All of these stories are the happenings of the people and the joy and celebration that make the CIG what it is.