Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Good Shepherd's Garden Party :: Week Three

The Heavens Tell God's Glory!

As spring from winter does succeed, and leaves the naked trees do dress:
The earth, once dead, is clothed in green, in sunshine each their joy express.
My sun's returned with healing wings, my soul and body do rejoice.
My heart exults and praises sings to God who hears my joyous voice.

~ The Garden of the Good Shepherd

There must be something about this third week of Easter... Once again, just like last year, we had crazy weather this past week!  Sunshine, Clouds, Rain, a Rainbow, and an intense storm last Monday that brought strong Winds, Hail, Thunder and Lightning - we had one of those lightning bolts actually strike one of the trees on the mountain behind our home, lighting it on fire!  On Tuesday the kids told me there was a fire helicopter with a bucket flying over our home... I heard it, but didn't look outside, telling them that it wasn't fire season yet, and they are probably just getting ready.  I was wrong!   A neighbor passing by let my husband know about the "big tree on fire" behind our home.  It's too early to be worrying about forest fires!

Speaking of fires, we were very blessed that the fire in our own "backyard" this past Tuesday wasn't serious, but Elizabeth's sister-in-law and her family (another family with seven children) could really use your prayers.   In a matter of minutes, this homeschooling family lost their home and all of their belongings to another fire.   You can read more here.  Please remember them in your prayers!

Today we are back to some nice, mild, sunny, spring weather.  The kids are all playing outside after our yummy meal based on "The Heaven's Tell Gods Glory."  I love finding new ways to change our original menu, and this week we used the rainbow fruit platter from last year, but everything else was new, trying to create a Sunday Brunch.

Twinkle Toes set the table with our "Heavenly" tablecloth, covered with angels and roses, and Chiquita added a few play silks like every year. . . Here are a few pictures from our party:                 

~ The Sun ~

There are lots of ways to tie in the "Sun" to a brunch - Orange Halves, Sunny D, Eggs - sunny side up or down! - and even mini quiches would be great.   I ended up using our favorite Frittata recipe, renaming it Sunshine Frittata!  I layered the veggies - zucchini on the bottom, then the Sweet Potatoes, and topping it with some slices of orange and yellow bell peppers - to create a Sun!   Originally I didn't bake it long enough - trying to do too many things at once - but after I popped it back in the pan for a few more minutes and it was delicious.  

~ The Clouds ~

While I was making the Frittata and Pastries, Hubby made pancakes and turkey bacon, an idea shared by Angie for the Clouds and Lightning. 

~ The Rain ~

For the rain we had some After the Rain Mud Puddles... Hot Cocoa! 

~ The Lightning ~

Since I had an extra sheet of puff pastry from our Pinwheels (see below) I decided to make theseSugar & S pice Pastry Straws, baking some of them as additional Lightning Bolts.

~ The Wind ~

The much-loved Bugles mini Tornadoes from last year really didn't go with the rest of the meal, so I decided to make Windy Day Pinwheels  (aka: Cherry Pinwheel Pastries).   

I used this recipe as a guide, substituting cherry jam for the apricot, and egg wash and icing for the cinnamon and sugar.  These were really fun to make and turned out great.   

~ The Rainbow ~

I love Rainbow Fruit Platters!   I just think they look so pretty.  This year, fresh blueberries were too expensive so I opted for some more grapes.   

~ The Hail ~

Mini Marshmallows worked perfect to represent "Hail" and top the cocoa.  

I was amazed that even with all the Eggs, Veggies, Bacon, Pancakes, Pastries, Fruit and Cocoa, we hardly had any leftovers.   Everyone really enjoyed our Brunch!   

I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's Garden Parties over at Catholic Cuisine.


  1. What a lovely brunch! Last night we spent the evening with 3 of our grandsons (mom and dad had a dinner out). I had ordered the "The Garden of The Good Shepherd" sticker book, but had not had the chance to share it with the boys as they live an hour away. So they took turns after dinner doing the readings and placing the stickers (we are now up to date). Wednesday, we will be giving another daughter and husband time away (five days), so the readings and stickers will travel 4 hours away to continue readings etc. A Good Shepherd party will be part of our week. You are such an inspiration and a wealth of ideas. I cannot thank you enough. P.S. Your steamer love has freed me from going crazy with my floors. I have cherry floors in all of the rooms except kitchen and bathrooms. I had tried so many products to no avail. I had researched steamers, but finally decided to buy after hearing your opinion on your "Shark model". I now have clean floors, and do not have to change cleaners etc. Thank you, thank you! Blessing to your family.

  2. A wonderful celebration Jessica!

    God willing we'll be able to have at least one Garden Party. As you know our lives are a bit topsy turvy right now.

    Thank you for praying for my SIL.... May God reward your kindness!

  3. Very nice brunch! So pretty. I always love fruit rainbows myself so that's a favorite and those pinwheels are a great idea!

  4. Oh! I love the pinwheel pastries and the use of the silk squares for a rainbow table decor. A very cheery celebration!

  5. Hey Jessica, so glad to keep revisiting your lovely blog. Loved the pinwheel and the beautifully arranged rainbow fruit platter!!!
    Hoping you all are in the best..Warm wishes for a great weekend :)

  6. How yummy looking...I am still trying to figure out how you do it all...I would like to just do half of what you do!! and I only have 4 boys...maybe once we are unpacked...oh and sleeping in and less computer...

  7. I found your post while searching for creative food platter ideas as it's my turn to provide morning tea in a couple of weeks and wanted to bring something other than donuts/cake etc. Is the white parts of the rainbow cream? Would yoghurt work? Thanks, Ash :)

  8. Yes, the clouds in the rainbow are whipped cream (I think I actually used cool whip) but I would think yogurt would work just as well. Good luck with your tea!


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