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Nancy Dytrich is the Director of Women’s Ministries at Hope.  She is a woman of God that is so fired up about her faith it fires up everyone in her presence.   We traveled to the  retreat titled “Journey into Rest”  and sat as our speaker, Kathy White led a very special weekend deepening our intimacy not just in our friendship but a deepening delight in the Lord.  We arrived a day early for a leadership retreat that was expectantly canceled and enjoyed the entire ranch to ourselves.  She hiked and read and I slept.  We were canoeing one afternoon on a magnificent fall afternoon, birds chirping water lapping peacefully on the aluminum sides and all we could hear is a gal chatting on her blue tooth a million miles a minute alone in her canoe at a decibel level which included all in the river in her conversation. We will never forget the gal we paddled by in the other canoe.  The retreat title “Journey into Rest” I took literally and slept my way through the weekend and left with a strong visual picture of being in the canoe with my girlfriend Nancy experiencing God’s Glory in His Creation and being transformed in the clear cool autumn air.  Troubled deeply by seeing someone miss it,  I changed after that weekend and delay speaking or even checking messages on my cell anytime I’m in anyone’s presence even my family.   I don’t know the situation the young woman was in, perhaps checking in with her work.

1 cake mix, any flavor (probably best if it’s not “extra moist” variety

1 can frosting, any coordinating flavor lollipop or cookie sticks

White or chocolate candy coating or “almond bark”

Styrofoam blocks

Decorations and edible ink

Bake cake according to directions. Let cool entirely. (Make up to two days in advance as long as you cover it with aluminum foil.) When completely cool, break into pieces in a large bowl until cake is very crumbly. Mix in can of frosting, either by hand or with stand up mixer. If cake is very moist, may not need entire can of frosting. Using your hands or a melon baller, make small evenly sized balls( at Easter time,  slightly egg-shaped). size depends on size of sticks you will be using. For thin paper lollipop sticks, create balls  the diameter of a quarter. For cookie sticks of plastic and are thicker, the balls formed larger. Place balls on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper and refrigerate for at least an hour. Prepare candy coating, heat pieces in a small dish or ceramic dipping pot in the microwave at fifty percent heat, stirring every thirty seconds until completely melted. A double boiler will also work.  Texture is slightly thinner than yogurt or pudding. May add just a “hint” of shortening if needed for thinning, but do not overdo.  Once cake balls cool , and candy coating melts, dip 1/2 of stick in the coating and push about halfway into the ball.  This helps the ball stay on the stick.  Return to a cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes.  When well set, hold  the stick and swirl the cake ball in the coating, covering the entire surface (may take a little “practice” to get the technique down).  If coatings too thin, try heating a little longer.  To let cake pops dry upright, push the stick of the pop into a Styrofoam block.  Color white candy coating  (tint yellow for Easter chicks and pull up a little point at the top for the head; swirl colors into white for Easter eggs).  Be creative.  Decorate with sprinkles, sugar crystals, teeny-tiny colored chocolate chips, coconut, etc. dipping/ lightly rolling still-wet pops.  Use pieces of candy for feet, eyes, beaks, etc.  Make parts like ears with melted coating formed into shapes on wax paper and then cooled before attaching with another dab of coating.  Draw on dried coating with edible ink to make faces and  swirls.

Have a little summer fun with Cake!