Friday, April 9, 2010

Lead Me to the Cross

Last week, I helped plan the Good Friday and Easter Services, coordinated the bands and special brass players for both worship services, rehearsed the bands, played for both, opened for the band Gungor who came through town, and put in a 50 hour work week. It was beautiful chaos :) Working at a church, Holy Week would really seem like a blur if I didn't make myself sit down, and take time to reflect and worship at the Savior's feet. One of the songs we sang on Good Friday was Hillsong's "Lead Me to the Cross" and just rehearsing it and singing it around the house helped prepare my heart for worship:

Savior I come Quiet my soul, remember/ Redemption's hill Where Your blood was spilled For my ransom /Everything I once held dear I count it all as lost/ Lead me to the cross Where Your love poured out/ Bring me to my knees Lord I lay me down/ Rid me of myself I belong to You/ Oh Lead me, lead me to the cross

I love being in ministry. It's hard to believe that a year ago, I had no idea what the Lord had in store for Kenny and I in Cincinnati, and I was so nervous I wouldn't find work...and then...he provided this amazing opportunity to be in ministry at Hope and be a part of His kingdom work every day. I don't want to ever take that for granted or become desensitized to what the Lord is doing around me!

The services went really well and it truly was a precious time to reflect on God's redemptive story...and victory! After church, we all headed over to Papa and Nana's for Easter lunch - Honey Baked Ham, Green Bean Casserole, Corn Souffle, Hash Brown Casserole, Baked Beans, Deviled eggs; any calories I lost running around all week, I gained back on Easter ;)


Didn't Nana do a cute job decorating the table for Easter? :) Mom made the flower arrangement!

One of my proudest moments as a "bakestress" was the accomplishment of a 3D lamb cake! I made it in my great grandmother Gudberlet's cake mold and was told that it "wouldn't turn out" because the ears always fall off, etc. Well, I was determinted! Isn't he cute?


Yes, I realized I took a lot of pictures of my dear lamb cake. It was an all afternoon project, so I needed documentation of my success.

Papa got a wind-up Chicken for Easter that "lays" eggs as it hobbles along. It probably entertained us all more than it should have.
I don't think we'll ever really grow out of Easter baskets! Mine had a Yagoot gift card! Woot!
Sweet Jon & Abigail :)
Notice the boys aren't "cheek-to-cheek"...

I love them.

Uncle Joe and Aunt Kathy drove in from Columbus to spend Easter with us! It was so wonderful to see them!

I love her!!

Kenny doing what he does best on Sunday afternoons...

I hope you all had a relaxing, and blessed Easter too! He is Risen!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Honken Good Time!

Last week, my bestie Lydia Honken was in town from Colorado with her precious 5 month old, Aida! She had a few friends over to her parent's home in College Hill for a fun-filled evening of laughs...and snuggling! (with Aida, of course ;) ) (Aside: although my baby-doll shirt blowing in the wind would suggest otherwise, I am not pregnant ;) )

Seriously, how adorable is Aida?

Aunt Jenn loves her Aida Ann!



Ellen & Aida

Mama's girl

Mr. & Mrs. V with Ellen's beautiful daffodils! Thanks for hosting us - and for the yummy salmon dinner!

My two besties since middle school...hard to believe we're procreating now ;)

Darling girl...


Linnea (Lyd's sister), Sarah, Mr. V (incognito) and Katie just catching up in the kitchen :)

Aunty Sarah with her pumpkin!


Lyd, it is so wonderful to see you as a mother! It makes my heart glad :) Thank you for your friendship - I look forward to watching Aida grow into a beautiful woman of God...just like her mama.


____



After dinner, Lydia made a FABULOUS dessert which I must have again soon! She posted the recipe on her blog, I'll post it here, too....it's just THAT good :)


*LYDIA'S FRUIT PIZZA w/ PRETZEL CRUST & RASPBERRY SAUCE*

Crust:

3 cups finely crushed pretzels
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups cold butter or margarine


In a bowl, combine pretzels and sugar; mix well. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press into a 9 x 14-in. pizza pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack; refrigerate for 30 minutes. (NOTE: It's a bit hard to predict the saltiness of the crust using regular pretzels. Buying unsalted pretzels and adding coarse salt to taste gives you more control).

Frosting:

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips



In double boiler melt chips and add heavy cream, mix until smooth take off of heat. In mixing bowl cream together sugar and cream cheese until smooth, slowly add chocolate mixture. Mixture will thicken up as the chocolate cools.


Topping:
Any fruit you want! I like fresh berries :)

Sauce:
Frozen raspberries
Sugar to taste
1 -1 1/2 c. Water

Puree desired amount of raspberries while frozen. Add enough water to make a nice thin mixture. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Add sugar as mixture cooks till desired sweetness is reached. Simmer about 15 minutes, till thickened. Sauce will thicken more as it cools.

After crust is cooled, top with frosting. I add the berries and sauce to individual slices because leftovers will become soggy overnight if you do it all at once. Whipped cream would be good too :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

5 Dogs + 2 Couples = Happy Weekend!

What a fantastic weekend we had with our sweet friends, Kathryn & Aaron...and their three dogs: Zeke, Huck & Nick! For the weekend, our home certainly went to the dogs :) Kathryn and I have been friends since early high school years and I am so thankful for her! How neat to share so many wonderful memories together: we were both present at some point during our first dates with our husbands, we were in each others weddings...the list goes on!

They drove in late Friday night from Nashville and we sipped decaf and caught up for a few hours. Saturday, we enjoyed a leisurely brunch at our local cafe, took the dogs for a hike, and ate a delicious dinner in Mt. Adams! Sunday, we worshiped together at our church, gobbled up some Mexican food, and then they headed home that afternoon! It was a whirlwind of fun!

My greek omelet was....yum.

Aaron loved his souffle...

The whole clan...er, pack? :)

Our little family.

I enjoyed taking some pictures of the dogs for them to frame in their home! Here's one of Zeke...

Sweet Nick boy...

Huck, the love....

The view from Mt. Adams at The Rookwood


We love you two!! Thanks for visiting us...and come back soon :)