Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas
From the Bentz Bunch

Matt is celebrating this Christmas with the Savior of the World.  They are celebrating together in Heaven where God has wiped away every tear and there is no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for all things have been made new. 

Isaiah’s words have been particularly comforting to us this year.  The Lord has been close to our broken hearts – our counselor, our mighty God, our father and ultimately our peace.  I pray that each of you can know HIM in this deep way this season.

I want to share some of Matt’s final words… his gift to us. 

“God is Good, all the time.”
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7

Monday, December 23, 2019

Christmas Stollen - a family tradition!

Merry Christmas Friends!

The Bentz Bunch is full of food traditions...  I have one to share with you.  We have this each year with our Christmas morning Fruit Soup and Christmas Stollen. (can you tell we're Germans?)

German Stollen

1 package of active dry yeast or 1 cake compressed yeast
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup milk, scalded
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
4-3/4 to 5 cups sifted enriched flour
1 egg
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup currants
1/4 cup chopped mixed candied fruits
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
Soften active yeast in 1/4 cup warm water or compressed yeast in 1/4 cup of lukewarm water.

 Melt butter in hot milk; add sugar, salt and cardamom; cool to lukewarm. Stir in 2 cups flour. Add egg and beat well. Stir in softened yeast, fruits, peels, and nuts. Add remaining flour to make soft dough. Turn out on lightly floured surface.

Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Knead 5 to 8 minutes or till smooth and satiny. Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease surface. 

Cover; let rise in warm place till double, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down; turn out on lightly floured surface and divide in 3 equal parts. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.

Roll each part into a 12X7 inch rectangle. without stretching dough, fold long side over to within 1 inch of opposite side to make typical stollen shape; seal edges. 

Place on greased baking sheets. Cover, let rise till almost double, about 30-45 minutes.

Bake in moderate oven (375) 20 to 25 minutes, or till golden brown.

While warm, brush with butter; sift confectioners' sugar over; or glaze as below.
 Makes 3 loaves. 

To glaze stollen use about 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar, add 1/4 cup hot water and 1 teaspoon butter. (I put almond flavoring in my glaze)

It looks like a lot of work...but it's so worth it!!  Family traditions are our way of saying - "I love you" - Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Another one...

It's official!  Every single Bentz beauty has donated hair to Wigs for Kids!

Here's one of our more dramatic donations... a 16" long ponytail from the sweet girl who had NEVER cut her hair (10 years is a long time to grow it out...)

I'm so proud of her giving heart - and she looks adorable!

Here's the BEFORE:

Step One... those ponytails look a bit longer than the required 12"...

There she GOES!

I measured... 16"!

Seriously, could this short cut look any cuter?? It matches her spunky personality too!

Donated in honor of Dad! 

Monday, December 9, 2019

Road Tripping...

I love a good family road trip!

Here's a little recap of our recent road trip to Conway, AR to celebrate Thanksgiving with our favorites!

Our vacation began a bit differently... by putting these two on a solo FLIGHT to AR to arrive early for a surprise birthday.  They did great!

They pulled it off - a BIG surprise and a fun week with their besties!

Then, we loaded up.. just the 4 of us, and hit the road!

With a quick stop to pick up another driver - the other two were coming a day later... My boys all together!

And, back on the road to AR!

Here's the highlights:

We brought our annual Turkey Coloring Contest with us!  Check it out!

 They colored while we cooked...  It was so much fun to spend the day in the kitchen with one of my besties!

A pretty impressive looking group! It is such a blessing to have friends like these that feel more like family.

Of course... Black Friday was calling their names... Thank goodness for one of my other besties that LOVES shopping!  They were out all day!!

Of course, the long awaited Frozen 2 was a must-see!

Moms like pictures too!

Conway always fills our hearts - we're so grateful for these friendships!

The MCA (masculine club of awesomeness) had a reunion too! That is quite a collection wouldn't you say??

My American Girl Moms ... aka - my Steel Magnolias got a chance for another "mom's breakfast"

Our India team even had a mini reunion for some great Indian food!

We fit so much into a week - and it was exactly what we needed!  Thank you Conway -until next time!

Monday, December 2, 2019

Turkey Contest 2019

We took our annual Bentz Family Turkey Coloring Contest on the road with us to Arkansas this year!

Here are the Bentz Family submissions... competition was high this year!

Rules are simple, create your design - we post it on Facebook, and the most "likes" wins bragging rights for the whole year (and boy, do we brag!)

Of course, we HAD to let our hosts (the fabulous Lewis family) take part in our competition:

And.... the winner was - Maddie Lewis with her fabulous "Yoda Turkey"!!  


Next year Bentz Bunch... you'll have to do better (or not let the truly artistic people into the contest...)

Happy Thanksgiving!