Directions: Push play. Look at photos. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.
It’s our first day in Hawaii and we’re having a great time hanging at our friend’s place right here in Oahu. I’ve never been to Hawaii before and one thing I’m realizing is that no one has ever really told me how this place smells. It’s fantastic. So clean, so fresh, and kind of sweet smelling.
Alright, here’s some photos from the first part of our day today. It’s only 3:50pm right now so there’s plenty of time left for more shots, so hopefully more to come. Photo captions are below each shot.
A long week came came to a close tonight with the above photo. Hands down it was the hardest night I’ve had a in while — surprisingly hard. We all look happy, and we are, but just a few minutes later everyone in this photo had tears in their eyes (minus the babies). Happy hearts turned to bummed hearts because we had to say goodbye to one of the families. Due to a great new job opportunity for the husband, the Lord has willed that they move across the country. We really don’t know if they will every move back to California or what the Lord would have, all we know is that tonight would be the last night we would really see them for a while.
I actually didn’t think saying goodbye to them would prove to be so difficult. It’s not that we haven’t known for months what God’s plan was. We even made arrangements to spend the last four days with them, just to get our time in. And it’s not that we don’t trust God’s sovereignty, because I believe we all do. The truth is we are friends, and in many ways we are closer to these people than our families. We have grown together, laughed together, worshiped together, camped together, ministered together, and enjoyed our families together. These are the kinds of people you let watch your kids, and you do the same for them. They are kind of people you give your house key to, and the ones that loan you their truck when you’re moving across town. They are ones that let you live in their place for six months before you get married (rent free) just because they want to bless you. They are the ones that open their home up once a week so a college-aged Bible study has a place to meet, complete with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. They are ones that invite you over to watch the World Cup and cook bacon wrapped hot dogs. They are the friends who you share struggles with, joys with, and the unknown with. They’re the ones you ask to pray for you and know they will. They are friends who love God and love people, and the kind of people you want to be around. That’s why it was so hard.
I don’t know what the future holds for my friends, but I know that I can’t be selfish with them. I’m sure there are other people across the country who need them and maybe God has sovereignly moved them just for that? Sad or not, I have to be OK with God’s plan. I need to learn more and more to trust Him even when it’s hard. I hope and pray God will use these good friends in their new home and new community to bless others the same way He has used them to bless me.
Maybe it’s because Bethany has gotten really in to the Pioneer Woman, or maybe it’s because I love a good competition, but this weekend found me creating a Dutch traditional dessert called Hollandse Appeltaart (AKA: Dutch apple tart). Our church has yearly contest for a special service we called “Turkey, Tarts, and Testimonies”. During the service we sing some traditional hymns, spend some time hearing from people and sharing testimonies, and at the end we enjoy pie and dessert together. But where my dessert comes in is that the men are to provide the pies, with no help from the women. So my friend Josh and myself got together and baked the night away on Saturday. In fact, we live streamed the entire thing and if you have about 3 hours of uninterrupted time, feel free to watch it here.
For some reason I only took one photo of our final tart, but I did take a few photos of the miniature one I made. I’ve placed it next to my iPhone to give you an idea of the size of this little guy.
The recipe called for some great ingredients including “currants” which are like a small black berry which we found out are regulated by the USDA in some parts of the U.S. Thankfully Sprouts had them in their “open stock” area and we weren’t missing any ingredients from the original recipe. Other ingredients included apples (of course), raisins, lemon zest, sugar, and cinnamon. We made the crust from hand as well, which included an egg and sugar baked in. Super tasty…
Here is our final submission. We were #33 and we took 2nd place in the fruit category for taste! The family cookbook recipe calls for the tart to “always be served with a dollop of whipping cream and strong coffee” (which might explain Bethany’s love for coffee…it’s in her blood!). Our tart was on a cake stand with a French press of Starbucks Christmas blend, along with cups and plenty of dollops for every judge. I even created a little card with the name of the tart and the Dutch flag for good measure. It’s hard to see, but the background of the card I have a drawing of some old Dutch ships, presumably bringing their culture to the States! Later in the evening one of the judges told me we actually placed 2nd in both taste and presentation, but they weren’t awarding any pies with double prizes, yet it’s good to know that it looked as good as it tasted.
And as they say, “If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much” (and I’m Norwegian so I guess that’s saying something).