Friday, November 27, 2009

Family Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours!

We may have had only a small crowd this year, but we still had PLENTY of food to feast upon!!

After a quieter - but still full - Thanksgiving Day, we enjoyed relaxing all evening, but when Friday morning came, we got back to work!

As of right now, Saturday evening, autumn and Thanksgiving decorations have been gathered and packed up; winter and Christmas decorations delved into and then paused; leftovers consumed (last of the pie disappeared this afternoon); plans for next week suggested and committed to (did we just say yes?); the living room has been repainted (walls and trim); the fragrance of pine is beginning to mingle with the smell of turkey soup and cover up the paint fumes; laundry has been done; floors are being vacuumed; furniture is being dusted and put back in place; some decorating has been resumed... The day set aside nationally for Thanksgiving may be over, but while we work we are still finding so much to give thanks to the Lord for - not the least of which are closely related to home and family! We are blessed!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Church Thanksgiving

On Sunday, November 15, our church hosted a few other area churches for an afternoon and evening of thanksgiving, celebration, and fellowship! The Lord truly blessed our time together and I'm thinking that we'll have to do something like it again!
Each church brought a few things to present - mostly music related, and some requiring young musicians to step onto stage, while others had "retired" musicians pulling out their instruments again!

Our church opened the time of celebration by singing "Hallelujah, Praise Jehovah" together. We closed with a time of prayer for our country, our churches, our families, and those present that evening.

Of course, after the "program" we moved to the fellowship hall for a few hours of visiting, eating, dancing, chatting, etc... It was a very special and enjoyable time, and we enjoyed building closer ties with certain churches, and building new relationships with others. Praise the Lord for the community of believers!

Doughnut Days

Yup! It's time again for our annual tradition: Doughnut Day!! This year we had to really work to squish it in to everyone's schedules, but yesterday afternoon we did get it in. All the ladies and children came over and we made cider-glazed-pumpkin-doughnuts! Mmmmmm....

Actually, while it is overall a fun day, it is really characterized by the constant requirement to exercise self-control. To some degree, anyway. Like, only eating a dozen, not two dozen, doughnuts. And it is an exercise in child supervision - making sure they eat only one, not two, dozen...

But doughnuts make everyone smile, so they are hard to resist!

Hmmm. I get the sense from looking at this picture, that Josiah might have just grabbed a fresh, hot, glazed doughnut as he walked by!

Long day, and a tummy full of doughnuts - I think someone looks ready for bed!

Autumn Fun

This post is out of order, but I didn't get around to posting it before we left for the wedding, so here it is now! Josh & Abbey hosted a fall "Saturday Special" for our church and it was so much fun! They've organized a few of these through out the year, and have done a great job with each one. This time it was held "indoors" at the Geaschel's barn.

There was cider making, donut making, ping-pong, carpet ball, volleyball, crafts and coloring, and just plain ol' fun visiting through the afternoon hours.

Even "indoors" it was pretty cold that day so everyone stayed pretty well bundled up!

Of course, with a ping-pong table and a crowd we had to play "Around the World!" :)

Despite the chilly temps, Bella had fun, too!

Then, after a big chili dinner, came the "organized activities." Basically, Josh stood on stage and said "I need three volunteers" or "I need 4 Dads" or "3 ladies" or whatever combination he wanted. Then, after you were on stage, you were given your assignment. :-)

There was a pie eating contest, a "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" race, various ensembles given select instruments (balloons, recorder, trombone, kazoo, etc.), and other creative assignments. My favorite was the four dads that had to put together and perform a ballet routine for us. Absolutely classic!

And then, of course, there was a sing-a-long. Due to weather, it wasn't around a campfire, but we still sang campfire songs! Thanks so much, Josh & Abbey, for all the work you did in planning and hosting that day! We all had an unforgettable time and have a larger store of great memories with our church family!!! :-)

Of course, how could we title a post "Autumn Fun" without including a picture of leaves... or trees missing their leaves!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Steven & Rebecca's Wedding

(Photo credit: Tiffany McDonald)

Friday, November 6, 2009, found us in St. Louis, Missouri for a wedding! What a privilege to attend and take part in the solemnities and festivities of the day! However, we were not merely celebrant observers. The Servens honored us by again asking us to come down and prepare the feast for a daughter's wedding! We figured if they can handle two weddings in one year, so can we! :-) You will have to look elsewhere for pictures of the ceremony and reception. We came home with a camera loaded with kitchen pictures!
We drove down on Wednesday and settled into our accomodations that evening. On Thursday, festivities began. So did the work. Thursday evening the guys headed over to the church to help with set-up and decorating, and Mom, Joanna and I spent 4+ hours in the kitchen prepping the beef. We were not left to trudge through our work alone, however. A sociable young man with a camera kept us smiling - in exchange for just a few samplings of the roast. You know, the odd end pieces that can't be served...
We also prepared the "au jus" the night before, and, frankly, the only way to really tell if it is seasoned properly is to smell it.

Friday morning arrived quickly and we were off to the church to prepare the feast in the larger kitchen on site. I soon found myself staring at their stove space, their stock-pots, and 110lbs of green beans. It was time to move from theories to practice and get all this food cooked in the remaining hours before the ceremony.
At the same time, Mrs. Young was directing a crew of young ladies in the preparation of over 40 apple and pumpkin pies! All created fresh, and completely from scratch!

I can personally attest that the results were as yummy as they looked!

The biggest challenge cooking for a crowd that size (400+), is simply the amount of space it takes to prepare and store the required quantities!

Washing and chopping mushrooms for the gravy, washing and slicing radishes for the salad...
Demonstrating knife skills....

Wondering where I'll fit the rest of the green beans...
Dare I confess that I was rather nervous at times during the day regarding both the timing and taste of the meal? The Lord was very gracious, however, and everything turned out fairly well and was hot (or cold!) at the right time!
The reception was lovely, and the staff of servers much appreciated!
At both Beth and Rebecca's weddings we have had the opportunity to get to know and work alongside new friends. What a blessing that has been!
The day was lovely - in every respect - and in all things the Lord was magnified! To Him be the glory! God bless you, Steven and Rebecca, as you now serve Him together!