In the journey of life God puts some special people in our way to bless us and help us along.
Some you meet at the start and they are there through thick and thin, some are there for a period of time and then are gone, some you meet later but it seems like you've known them all along. God has blessed me with many friends but He has given me a few people who are my closest, dearest friends. They have encouraged me when I was down, rebuked/admonished me when I strayed, loved me when I was unloving, and always pushed me to strive to be more Christ-like. I love them all dearly and am so thankful that they are a part of my life!
Yesterday I had the privilege of inviting them all over to my home for a small get together (with the exception of one family--we missed y'all Nate, Jo and Ellie!)
We had a simple dinner of chicken wings- which Havi made-, celery and ranch, chips and good ol' Little Ceasar's pizza. Since we weren't a large group all us chillens fit around the table and we had a wonderful time of conversation and laughs.
After dinner we had a time of games which had us all rolling with laughter : D
Luke and Ezzie--Luke was in the midst of trying to describe "Man's chief end" in a minute.
Good ol' Say-Say--He is so much fun to be with!
I'm so glad that Havi, Jared, David and Victoria were involved as well : )
As a "climax" to our games we hosted a "Chopped" cooking challenge! It was a BLAST!
Mom, Dad and I got to judge the competition while the others got to do the cooking.
Team Red: Chelsea, Sammy, Jared, David and Victoria
Team Blue: Luke, Sayre, Havi and Ezzie
The Challenge was to use 4 secret ingredients to create a dessert in 45 mins. I gave each team a bag containing: Strawberries, Honey Graham Oh's Cereal, fresh Mint and a Cucumber as their secret ingredients and they had free range of our kitchen for any other ingredients. I was sooooo impressed with the creativity, originality and teamwork they all showed.
I'll admit that at first I was rather nervous about what would happen--after all I've got to eat whatever they come up with! But it was exciting to watch them and try to guess what they were making and how they would incorporate those secret ingredients--especially that pesky cucumber! We gave points for: originality, taste, use of secret ingredient, oral presentation and visual presentation and they certainly didn't disappoint.
Team Red finished first and presented us with their creation--The Eighteenth Smoothie
It was a strawberry, blueberry, cucumber smoothie with cheesecake (yeaup, they stole a slice of my cake and stuck it in their smoothie lol!) They served it over a crumble of Honey Graham Oh's and garnished it with a slice of strawberry, cucumber and a sprig of mint. Let me tell you, that smoothie was delicious!!! The only down side for me was the crumble--I didn't care for the crunch every now and then but over all I loved it.
Team Blue took a totally different approach and presented us with what they called--Chambolé (and I have no clue if that's how its supposed to be spelled).
They made a crumble/crust with the Honey Graham Oh's and then made a pudding of sliced strawberries, sour cream and sugar which they poured over the crushed Oh's. They topped it with fresh meringue and garnished it with a cucumber heart and a sprig of mint. It was delicious! I actually loved the cereal here 'cause it acted like a crust and made me think of a cool pie. The only downer for team blue was that they only used the cucumber and mint as a garnish and not in the actual recipe which took away from their points.
Having a great time while waiting for the judges to make their final decision.
In the end it was a VERY close competition and team red won by a margin of a few points.
So congrats Chelsea, Sammy, Jared, David and Victoria for your creativity : )
After the clean up we gathered in our living room for a time of singing and testimony which we enjoyed--I don't have pictures of it as I haven't quite mastered the art of taking pictures while playing the piano yet lol. Over all we had a wonderful evening of fun and fellowship but the ultimate highlight for me, personally, was the sweet birthday gift that Sammy presented me with.
He drew a portrait of me!!!
Up close---He did a wonderful job!!! He has so much talent--he's 16 and has never taken art lessons!
The drawing and the picture he based it off.
Of course had to get a picture of us two minion fans : )
And a picture of the cake.
The whole gang.
Guys-- Thank you so much of coming, and for being my friends! I love you all and pray that our friendships may prosper in the Lord for many more years to come!