All dressed up AND somewhere to go!
Easter Sunday brought lots of visitors to the Stafford United Methodist Church, including some of our family. The morning included an Easter brunch at church then a service jam-packed with extras like a baptism, communion and a sanctuary full of Easter lilies.
"Christ the Lord is Risen Today" is one of those songs that makes it Easter. (We didn't sing "Up From the Grave He Arose" so Randy had to hear it in the car on the way home. It's just not Easter without it since it was part of my childhood Easter experience.)
We had 164 at church. The ushers stuck a "1" in front of the attendance from last week. Wow! One hundred extra people looked great from the choir loft. As "Tell Me the Stories of Jesus" was played, kids came forward for children's time in their shiny new shoes and spring-colored clothing. What fun to see the children wiggling for elbow room at the altar! It was a hold-your-breath moment to see if the pastor had enough treats for the passel of extra children. Yes, it was another Easter miracle!
Before my dinner party of 15 people could chow down on the spiral ham, cheesy potato casserole, asparagus, homemade rolls and salads, we had to take some photos of everyone in their Easter finery. Yes, I know I'm mean to make people wait. But it was a gorgeous day and the forsythia bush provided that perfect backdrop that proclaimed spring and Easter had arrived.
Dessert brought an extra celebration - my dad's 76th birthday. His birthday was on April 1. Back in 1934 when he was born, it was Easter AND April Fool's Day. So it seemed appropriate to celebrate on Easter this year too.
My mom provided the dessert - two kinds of cake and both Butterfinger and strawberry homemade ice cream - yum!
She brought two cakes because my Dad's choice is coconut, and a few people don't like coconut. (They just don't know what's good, in my opinion)!
Here's the recipe for the Coconut Cake. It is so good you won't believe it starts with a mix!
Coconut Cake1 pkg. white cake mix
1 pkg. vanilla pudding mix
1/4 cup oil
1 1/3 cups water
1 1/2 cups coconut
3/4 to 1 cup pecans, chopped fine
Mix all together. Put into prepared sheet cake pan. Bake until done, 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until it tests done. Cool, then frost with cream cheese icing.
Cream Cheese Icing8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
2 tbsp. butter or margarine (softened)
2 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups coconut (You can toast the coconut. That's optional)
Combine cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla. Add powdered sugar until desired thickness. Add coconut. Spread over cooled cake.
It was great to have my kids home for the weekend. And now the County Line is back to the empty nest. It's less cooking, less laundry and less clutter - but I sure miss them all over again when they pull away, back to their own lives.