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My Year in Pictures, March 25-31

Well, Monday the 25th I didn't take any pictures.

Tuesday, I received this as a very special thank you!  A friend who had been here for a year with her family came back to help with flood restoration.  She brought this to me.  How did she know these are my absolute favorite kind of GS cookies??

Wednesday...it's hot.  94 in the house for the high and 88 for the low.  Thankfully the power has been pretty reliable so far.

Thursday...This is the bulletin board above my desk.  I have a calendar with the teams coming to help in restoration in different colors, a mission plane flight schedule, a travel schedule, a school calendar, and of course pictures of my family just because they make me happy.

Friday...was Good Friday.  Our small group prayer group came to our house so I made hot cross buns.  I've never made them before, but they turned out great.  The only thing was, I used left-over brown sugar frosting I had.  I tried to thin it down a bit and got it a bit too runny.  But it didn't affect the flavor even though mine weren't quite as pretty as the ones in the cookbook.  Here's my recipe from Betty Crocker's Best Bread Machine Cookbook, p. 198
16 Buns
Put in the bread machine in this order:
2 eggs plus enough water to equal 1 1/3 cups
1/2 cup butter, softened (don't use margarine or oil)
4 cups bread flour (whatever....I just used plain old white four....I think I even threw in a few weevils with it)
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tsps quick active dry yeast
Set on the dough cycle.  At the raisin/nut signal add:
1/2 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup golden raisins (I only had dark, so again, whatever.  I read on the internet you could try craisins or other chopped dried fruit or chocolate chips)

Remove the dough from the pan using lightly floured hands.  Cover and let rest 10 minutes on lightly floured surface.  Grease a cookie sheet.  Divide the dough in half.  Then divide each half into eight equal pieces.  Shape each piece into a ball and place on the cookie sheet.  Snip a cross shape in top of each ball, using scissors.  Cover and let rise in a warm place (hmmm, let's see, which warm place in the house shall I choose?  Good thing I didn't have to let it rise in a cool place!) about 40 minutes or until double.

Beat slightly:
1 egg
2 tablespoons cold water
Using a pastry bursh, brush the tops of the buns.  Place in a 375 oven and bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown (mine never looked as brown as the picture, but they were definitely done).  Cool slightly, then make a cross with frosting made of 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon milk or water, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Saturday....time for more spring cleaning.  This time I cleaned the living room and dining room.

Sunday....Easter!  He is alive!  Hallelujah!  Our church always has a baptism on Easter Sunday.  I love the symbolism of being buried in the water and rising out of the water to start a new life following Christ (no I don't believe baptism is part of salvation; just an outward act showing your seriousness in following Christ).  
There is a woman in our church who was saved about six years ago.  I don't know just what happened...if her husband made her leave because of changing her religion, or if she left.  Then about six months ago she attended a women's conference. When she came back, she asked the church to pray for her because she knew God was asking her to return to her husband because the Bible says "In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands.  Then, even, if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words.  They will be won over by observing your pure and reverent lives."  (I Peter 3:1-2, NLT)  So, she obeyed God and went back to her husband even though she knew their religious beliefs were diametrically opposed.  He has since then become a believer and was baptized on Sunday.  She stood up on Sunday with tears in her eyes and said that she keeps looking at the two verses that are displayed on the wall of the church.  One of them says, "Come to me all you who are burdened and heavy laden and I will give you rest."  Yes, she said, she's found over the years that that is true.  But the other one?  "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, and your house."  And my house?  Can it be possible, Lord?  Dare I hope?  And, she said, today this promise was fulfilled.  Wow!

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