Friday, December 24, 2010

Holy Supper @ Claytonopolis

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!


Holy Supper begins at sundown when the first star in the evening sky is visible.  The star must be spied by the children.  Tonight the sky was overcast and we could not see the stars.  We joined at the table in prayer.  Father began by saying the Troparian.  Then he lit the candle representing the “Light of the World” and he tied a rope around the table binding us together. 


Then mother blessed everyone with holy water.


Father cut a cross into the Kolach bread (eternity bread) and served a piece everyone. 


Mother blessed the children’s foreheads with garlic and honey
representing the bitterness and sweetness of life. 


Each person ate one spoonful of Kutya (wheat porridge) representing bounty and the gathering of the family. Everyone thought is was so good.

Then each person was served a small portion of each dish.  Our Twleve Meatless Dishes for Holy Supper –
Twleve Dishes Representing Twelve Apostles.


And we all exclaimed “Christ is Born, Glorify Him!”


Friday, December 17, 2010

Home Sweet Home Almost

We’re officially Texans since we now own property. We are also trying to get all our things put away in to our new home.  I sort of wish we did not have so much stuff.  I keep thinking that we do not need all this stuff; and I wonder what would happen if I didn’t bring in anymore boxes from the garage, or didn’t open anymore and just called it good. We do not have as much as some folks, but I am a simple gal.  I want to keep it clean and simple.  Yet, homey and comfortable. It’s a fine line.

Our first home. It’s a pretty nice place.  (We’ll have sod soon)


‘Tis the Season – I read an article in the Diocesen newspaper about Advent and Christmas traditions and how important it is to decorate, because the ritual is apart of the development of the soul and not participating in the ritual is like losing a piece of your soul.


Annie wanted to give a little shout out to Aunt Annie. She enjoys riding in the mei tai on the back, but not the front.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Icon Writing with Kids – The Conception of Blessed Theotokos in the Womb of St. Anne

conception of St. Ann

Alex has been feeling a little performance anxiety lately.  I painted most of this Icon.  He started to paint the right hand doorway and started to paint outside the lines and got upset and he decided he would paint the sky and the ground.  He did end up painting a few other areas.  But, it IS hard painting with tempera and our brushes are not ideal.  Anyhow, Alex was excited to paint and learn about the feast.  It was difficult explaining conception to a four year old.  I finally explained that it was the feast of Mary being in her mommy’s tummy.  Then he understood, because he knows that his sister Baby Annie was in mommy’s tummy.

Saint Anne (Forbear of God) is the patroness of housewives, so this lady has got my back ;-).  Holy Saint Anne pray for us.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Public Disturbance

I received a box of clothes and shoes from a friend and Kristiana instantly found some attire that fit her personality.  Now I always know where she is and so does every other human being.  It’s been funny taking her on outings.  This is a problem for going to church and the library, but perfect for taking her in stores where she might run away. Turn your volume up.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Feeling Homeless

We are waiting to close on a new home and move in. Our house is torn a part and walls of boxes are everywhere.  We were originally told we would close on December 1st.  That did not happen and now we are left sitting in the dark wondering when it will happen. 

I feel disoriented and cannot think clearly because our things are not where they ought.  Imagine that everywhere you turn things are not how you remember, things are not ordered.  You keep thinking you have to put them back, but you can’t and you have to figure out what else in the house you must tear asunder.  I have one pot in my cupboard and it takes skill to cook a whole meal each night with one pot.  I know I have not been praying with the children as frequently.  My mind cannot get from point A to point B.  Hopefully this will be remedied soon.

Alex performed wonderfully at his Karate test on Saturday. It was a total surprise to us how perfectly he performed.  He won the most improved award.  He broke his board on his first try and followed along with the big kids.  Then he followed it up by being perfectly behaved all the rest of the day.  It was Alex’s best day ever.


Here is my Annie Bear, smiling of her own volition.


And Happy Feast of St. Nicholas.  Each year I am more and more inspired by this magnificent Saint.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Giving Thanks

I cannot believe it has been 10 days since I last posted.  The Thanksgiving Holiday and enjoying family deserved my time. Now my family is preparing for a big event (to be shared later). 

Until then, here are some pictures my cousin took during her visit with us.  It was so nice to catch up with her.  We had Thanksgiving Texan’ Style



Delicious Boneless Turkey – Year II

Turkey part 2

Watching a barn raising at the Homestead fair

barn raisin'

A visit to the new park sculpture – I call them the Big Baskets

big baskets

some fam

The Little Lady enjoying an early birthday present – Beads!

early b-day

Sir Alex the Cuddly

alex the cuddly

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Icon Writing With Kids - The Entrance of Blessed Theotokos into the Temple

Copying icons with Alex has helped him to know feasts of the Church, stories from the Bible and Theology.  I have taken icons from about our house and copied them as best I could in the limited time we have during Kristiana’s nap.  I describe the scene or tell the story and then I ask him questions about it as we paint.  And voila, icon writing for kids.  It is a great tool for teaching the faith.

The Entrance of Blessed Theotokos into the Temple





The Wedding at Cana


The Ladder of Divine Ascent

Alex and Kristiana with Christ


Friday, November 19, 2010

A Grateful Stay at Home Mom

Received a card from a dear friend. Thank you!


Admired a cornucopia on my table. It was a gift. It makes me feel thankful.


“Mommy, can I help you?!”

“Absolutely, my dear. Thank you!”


Reward for his labor – Today at Liturgy the priest spoke how with God there is great reward for small effort with love.
Alex has been asking for the last week to make cookies. He wanted to make the kids. 




A nice meal of Shrimp Creole to finish the day’s fast. Beautiful.


Psalm 95

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
   let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
   and extol him with music and song.

3 For the LORD is the great God,
   the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
   and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
   and his hands formed the dry land.

6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
   let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
7 for he is our God
   and we are the people of his pasture,
   the flock under his care.

   Today, if only you would hear his voice,
8 “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,
   as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors tested me;
   they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
10 For forty years I was angry with that generation;
   I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
   and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
   ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Happy Bear

Here is my Annie Bear trying to relieve her gas ;-) It was pretty cute.
She kept smiling, but I didn’t capture the smiles.


Pray to St. Francis and St. Anthony for Samwise the Kitty – He has gone missing and we hope he comes home.


Monday, November 15, 2010

Tot Talk: I Like Cop-ee

I have had a little trouble keeping up with the blog lately and everything else in life.  I do not remember the last time the kitchen floor was mopped or the sheets were changed.  I cannot determine whether it is due to exhaustion or inefficiency on my part.  Nonetheless, I am behind.  This week I am going to start trying to post pictures and not worry about also having “deep thoughts” to go along with them.

Here is a picture of Kristiana enjoying her morning cup of coffee (a couple ounces of vanilla almond milk and a spot of coffee).  She also insisted upon wearing my shirt today.  She thought she looked like a princess.

On Saturday morning, Kristiana peered over the side table into my coffee cup and said, “Are you all done?” 

“Yes, I am all done.”  She nodded her little head and said,

“Ooh, okay.”  She took a big swig and said, “Mmm, I LIKE cop-ee.”

Just what I need, my high energy child likes coffee.

I like Copy 100_3087

Monday, November 8, 2010

Archangel Michael and All Angels (Casserole)

Archangel_michael Remember Archangel Michael.  He fought Lucifer the Angel who defied God and cast him out of Heaven.  According to my Byzantine Eastern Catholic calendar, today, November 8, is the feast of St. Michael and the Archangels.  However, on the Roman calendar the feast is on September 29.  I missed September 29, because I was caring for our newly born baby.  So I am glad to have another opportunity to celebrate.  I often celebrate feasts choosing one calendar or another, depending on how our lives are going.  But I do not consistently choose only the Eastern, or only Rome.  We regularly attend a Roman church, because we are 1h45min drive from the nearest Byzantine church.  It just makes sense to celebrate Roman Catholic feasts unless Rome does not celebrate certain feasts and then we go Eastern.  Anyhow, I wanted to share how I celebrate this feast.  I developed this recipe that I think is lovely for the day called, “Archangel Casserole.”

This casserole is symbolic of Angels/Heaven, earth/humanity and Holy Spirit/Holy Trinity.  The chicken represents the Angels’ wings and Heaven.  The vegetables are earth and humanity.  The white sauce is the Holy Spirit, but also has triune ingredients making up the Trinity. (I’m a Catholic nerd. But, it’s a tasty casserole)

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients for Casserole:

  • 2 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 lb. / 16 oz. frozen California blend vegetables
  • 3 ½ cups homemade Alfredo sauce
  • ½ cup fine breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup parmesan
  • 2 T. butter

Ingredients for Alfredo:

  • 3 T. butter
  • 3 T. white flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • ½ cup parmesan
  • Salt and Pepper


I use leftover roast chicken from one I made the night before, but for a simpler version you could use a 14 oz canned chicken breast or bake a couple breasts in the oven while you prep the other ingredients and sauce. The frozen California blend vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.

Pre-heat the oven to 350oF

Alfredo Sauce Preparation:

Pre-measure the 3 cups of milk and set aside. Melt the butter in a sauce pan (1.5-2 qt. pan) on high heat. Once the butter is melted and frothy, but not browned, add the flour 1 T. at a time whisking continuously until completely blended. Turn down the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the milk. Keep whisking to be sure there are no lumps. Slowly bring sauce to a soft boil. As the sauce begins to thicken add the parmesan and keep stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Mix the chicken and vegetables in a casserole. Pour the Alfredo sauce over the chicken and vegetables. Cover the top of the casserole with bread crumbs and then cover with remaining ¼ cup of parmesan.

Bake 45 minutes. Let stand uncovered for 15 minutes after baking.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into Hell, Satan and all the other evil spirits, who wander throughout the world, seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Little Hobbits Update

I have been BUSY and sleepy.  I have been working on  stuff for my Mom’s group, an article, an Advent presentation for the church, cooking, cleaning (sorta’), play dates and karate, home school (also sorta’), prayer and good works ;-)  So here is the best photo update I can offer.  I had better schedule an economic (wal-mart), professional photo-shoot.  Especially if I want to send folks some pictures at Christmas.  It’s been really hard going to stores with three kids.  Kristiana is at the runoff with reckless abandon age.  I know people think I am an unfit mother when they find her all by herself on the other side of a building from where her mother is.  She is super fast.  When they ask her where her mommy is, she is fully capable of telling them where I am.  I just don’t know where she is.  She has no fear either. Eek.  Time to pull out that leash? Yeah, maybe.

Annie Bear

annie bear

Sibling Play


Sisters Entertaining Each Other

devoted sister

Sweet Cheeks #3