On Sunday evening, July 4th, 2021, Warner Avenue Baptist Church (in Huntington Beach, CA) had a special Fourth of July program. The evening started with a piano trio of “Stars and Stripes Forever” by Lizzie, Christeen, and Hannah.
Christeen and Lizzie play a piano duet of “Only a Boy Named David” at our music recital on May 16, 2021.
The young men from church performed “Come Thou Fount.”
On Saturday, Ed flew down from the Bay Area. Although his flight was delayed (first due to a bird strike and then to an engine problem), he finally arrived at John Wayne Airport and then our house around midafternoon. Around 4:00 PM, we finally leave from Laguna Beach to go on a hike (El Moro Canyon).
Unbeknownst to Nicole, Ed had already purchased an engagement ring and was planning to propose on the hike at the top of the hill. Also Ed’s brother and his wife had driven down from Sacramento the day before. They planned to hike to the top and hide so that they could be a part of the big event.
The hike is quite strenuous.
On the way to the top, Ed decides on a change of plans. So he stops at a scenic spot, gets on one knee, and proposes. Most of the group (including Ed’s brother and sister-in-law) end up missing the occasion.
Victoria messages the group and we hike back down to meet up from pictures.
We spend a little time taking a lot of pictures.
We got a family picture (though Jason, Hannah, and Evelyn aren’t included).
We then hiked back down.
Afterwards we drove back to South Coast Plaza for a celebration meal at Claim Jumper’s restaurant.
Because Nicole’s birthday was the next day, she got a mini-birthday cake. We also got a slice of the classic Motherload Cake to share with all.
Youth Choir sings “Because He Lives” at Warner Avenue Baptist Church on Easter Sunday (April 4, 2021).
Kevin and Darlene Weston and their children drove out from Kansas to visit family and friends. On the night before their drive back, we invited all of the Weston clan along with the Ouatu family to our house for a get-together.
Here are some photos from the evening.
Here is the Kevin Weston family. They have two twin boys, Adam and James. Because we’re not sure who is who in this photo, the caption might be incorrect.
Here is a short (two-minute) video collage of the evening.
Six of us went down to the beach – Jeri, Tim, Justin, Nicole, Victoria, and Lizzie. We (purposely) caught it at low tide. The temperature was in the 70s.
Here’s Lizzie walking along the beach.
A one-minute video composite.
A rich, chocolatey dessert! Using a Vitamix and digital scale, this recipe is very easy to follow.
Here are the ingredients:
|Avocado||300 g||2 avocados|
|Cocoa powder (and/or cacao powder)||60 g||2/3 cup|
|Coconut milk (or almond milk)||150 g||1/3 cup|
|Maple syrup (or honey)||75 g||1/4 cup|
|Vanilla||25 g||2 Tablespoon|
|Dates (pitted)||300 g||16 dates|
Start by zeroing the scale with the Vitamix container on it.
Add avocado by scooping the flesh into the container. In the following pictures, I had 318 grams of avocado. Other times, I’ve used only 200 grams of avocado and scaled the recipe accordingly.
Zero the scale and add cocoa powder. To be a bit healthier, I use a half cocoa powder and half cacao powder. The amount should be one fifth of the avocado amount.
Next add coconut milk. The amount should be half of the avocado amount. Because I was out of coconut milk, I substituted almond milk.
Add 100% pure maple syrup. Do NOT use maple-flavored corn syrup! You can substitute honey. The amount should be one quarter of the amount of avocado.
Next add vanilla extract. (I really like to use Mexican vanilla.)
Add a pinch of salt which is about 1/16 teaspoon. In the picture, I have half of a 1/8 teaspoon.
Finally add the dates. Zero the scale. Remove the pits and stem caps. The amount should equal the amount of avocado.
Finally blend on the Vitamix. Use the tamper. Gradually increase the speed until you are finally able to blend it on high to get it really smooth.
If necessary, use a scraper on the sides.
When done, scoop into a container and store in the refrigerator.
For a satisfying treat after a meal, I will take a scoop with tablespoon to slowly enjoy. Yum!
I started with a recipe that I found online. I modified it slightly and simplified its instructions. Original recipe is here.
Some of the young people from church planned a bonfire at the beach for Saturday afternoon and evening. Unlike most of these beach outings, Tim, Jeri, and Justin actually attended this one…for a while.
Here are some pictures. Click on them for full size.
Today, after the morning service, our church had a baby shower for Jason, Hannah, and Evelyn. Today was the first time that they have been able to attend church since her birth.
We had food set up inside. To stay within state guidelines due to COVID-19, we had the men and children eat outside and the women ate inside.
Click on any picture for full size.
Here is a short compilation of the pictures.