Wednesday, April 27, 2011


We love our church so much that we agreed several years ago that we would no longer travel over Easter. It's been really great to always be at our church for our incredible services.

This year that meant 6 Good Friday services on the main church campus {between which I hear we had 12,000 people in attendance, wahoo!}, where they did it differently than ever before {transformed the stage and had it go through the middle of the room like a runway, it was really cool!} and it was truly phenomenal, and extremely powerful! As always the room was dark and somber, and they encouraged everyone to dress in black to remember the solemness of the occasion.

Our pastor posted a clip on his blog of one of the songs they sang at the GF services. It was interesting to hear this rendition, and I especially loved the way the orchestra did it! You can't tell because the room was so dark, but there are a few thousand people surrounding the stage in a half circle, and the orchestra was off to the side behind them. So cool!

Then Sunday comes and we truly celebrate like nowhere else I've ever been {and going from the somber Good Friday services the way we do, the celebration is even more memorable and real}, with loud cheers, clapping, shouts of joy, signs saying stuff like "He is Risen" or "He is Alive", and this year we also had confetti! So fun, a true celebration, and we just love it!!

Here's a video clip of what hubby captured on his little video camera during the celebration. :)

A couple hours later, at about the same time I managed to start feeling sickly, we headed the half hour to Tim's mom's house where we had a mini-family gathering {only 2 of his siblings were there}... and I wound up spending the two hours we stayed there {very unusually short} between the couch and the bathroom. :(

Here are a few pics from my viewpoint on the couch...

nephew Ashdyn
niece Carrissa, looks mad here but she's really not, just chilling out
bro-in-law Chris getting licked by Oreo
niece Hayley
Carrissa & Hayley comparing hand sizes
On Saturday night & Sunday morning {before getting all sickly}, I made my food contributions for the gathering.

Crock-pot Cheddar Cheese Spirals {fancy way of saying Mac n Cheese :) - from my sis-in-law Jeremi}:

1 16 oz package spiral pasta {I use Dreamfields Rotini}
1 16 oz container {2 cups} half and half cream
1 10 3/4 oz can condensed cheddar cheese soup
1/2 c. butter, melted
4 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Cook pasta according to package, drain. Pour cream, soup, and butter into 5 qt. crock pot and stir until smooth. Add pasta and cheese, stir. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until cheese is melted. {For me when I'm traveling, I cook it for 1 hour and 15 min on low at minimum, then cook on high when I get to my destination for at least 30 min. It seems to do the trick, but my crock pot also cooks faster than some.} Makes 12-15 servings.

Chocolate chip peanut butter squares {a staple in Tim's family gatherings now as it's regularly requested}

My personal modifications to this recipe: I slightly grease the pan. I also add a little more than half the dough to the bottom because the bottom always needs more than the top. When mixing the sugar, p.b., and vanilla, mix together with your hands toward the end to ensure sugar has blended in well and there aren't any chunks. My oven cooks fast so I normally pull it out at 28-30 minutes. If you chill for more than an hour, let it sit out for 20-30 minutes to soften a little or it's too hard.

Brownies {from my coworker Joe's wife - these are also a constant staple in family gatherings now}

2 13 x 9 Family Size Betty Crocker Brownie Mixes {you don't have to use that brand but that's my preference and I think it turns out the best}
Add ingredients according to package {making sure to double the amount for 2 mixes}
Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 15 x 10 {or so, note that this is an unusual size, it makes the brownies thicker and more awesome} pan with parchment paper. Very lightly spray the edges with cooking spray to keep the corners in place. Mix together brownie mixes, ingredients on packaging, and about 1/4 bag of chocolate chips. Pour into pan and spread until even. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the middle comes out clean.

Hope you all had a really wonderful Easter!!!

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Your church sounds amazing! I hope you are feeling better:) Congrats on the new little nephew!