Moab UT

Moab UT

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So Zoe, what did you miss during lent?

There is nothing like breaking the fast with a great breakfast.  I love breakfast foods:  eggs, scones, butter, pancakes, etc.  (I'm vegetarian if your wondering why sausage and bacon are not on the list).  

We really don't make the girls fast at this age, but we don't have these foods around as much just because Fr. and I are fasting from them, so they don't get them quite as often.  

They were certainly happy to see a 'real' breakfast on the table for a change.  

Thank God for His provisions!  We are so grateful.  

Robin Hood, Robin Hood riding through the glen...

Papa got the girls a bow and arrow for Christmas. They have been wanting one for a long time.  

We all had lessons on how to shoot. Katya took her lessons from Papa and I took mine from her.  She's a pro now you know...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Cowgirl dreams getting closer

My mom and dad got the girls cowgirl boots for Christmas.  Katherine feels that she is only a few acres away from being a 'real cowgirl'.  Pink for Thea (of course), blue for Katherine and yellow for Zoe.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christ is Born Glorify Him!!

A blessed feast to you all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

May the baking begin!


Fr. Justin officially kicked off his first round of  cooking for Nativity tonight.  Tomorrow will be filled with services, so he and the girls are doing their "sweets" today.  

How about the gigantic snowman in the background?  My mom and dad got the girls this for the yard.  Somehow, they convinced Papa to let them keep it in the house. 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Getting ready for Christmas

Yesterday we started getting ready for Christmas by decorating the tree.  We try to wait as long as possible to enter into the "festive" part of  Christmas.   This morning the girls and I started wrapping the presents.
Tomorrow we'll decorate the house, the church and begin cooking.  Thursday there are services all day, with Holy Supper Christmas eve.  Christmas morning we will celebrate Liturgy for Nativity and then go to my folks for the day.
The picture is of the girls wrapping gifts.  It's funny because this picture looks so calm and orderly, when in fact there was scotch tape, wrapping paper and ribbon all over the living room!  

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Little Miss Zoe playing with her babies.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Killer Cornbread

Fr. Justin made an awesome pot of beans tonight.  The southern girl in me wanted some cornbread to eat with the beans.  Alas, most cornbread recipes have eggs and milk.  Ahhh, the internet.  

I found this Vegan Cornbread recipe on  It is most excellent.  I didn't mess with subbing out the white flour for whole wheat.  Fr. Justin, the bread man, wasn't around for me to consult with on this matter.  So, essentially it's a flax seed cake.  It was awfully tasty just the way it is!

Vegan Cornbread
recipezaar  recipe #115929
Taken from Cooks Illustrated

2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
6 tablespoons water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1 cup soymilk (I used ricemilk and it tasted great)
1/4 cup canola oil

1.  Preheat oven to 425 F
2. Spray 8" square baking dish w/ nonstick cooking spray.
3.  Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan.
4.  Add the ground flax seed, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer the ground flax see into the water for 3 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
5.  Set aside.
6.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well-combined.
7.  Add the ground fax see mixture, soy milk, and canola oil to the flour mixture.
8.  Beat just until smooth (do not overbeat).
9.  Turn into prepared baking pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
10.  Cool on wire rack 10 minutes;  invert cornbread onto wire rack, then turn right side up and continue to cool until warm, about 10 minutes longer.  

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Go and go...

"I'm gonna go and go and go and go, and then just sit here for one little minute...zzzzzzzzzz."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Nutcracker

The girls and I went on our annual outing to the Nutcracker.  It was a lovely evening despite us all having the sniffles and staying out too late.  

You see, after about and hour Thea had had enough.  It was 8:30p.m. and she was ready to call it a night.  However, we weren't about to leave.  So, every time the principal dancers would come out in all their glory, Thea would say "Not again!"  And of course I think she asked if it was almost over about five times.  

The funny thing is that when we were leaving and the girls were pirouetting their way to the car, Thea exclaimed "Wasn't that wonderful mommy?"  

Note to self:  next year only a matinee performance.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Georgian Cabbage Soup

This is a great recipe.  It's the perfect soup for a cold day.  I like to serve it with corn bread.  Like most soups, it gets better every time you reheat it.

Georgian Cabbage Soup

1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 head of green cabbage chopped (My kids prefer that I chop the cabbage pretty small)
4 potatoes cubed whatever size you like (I usually put in 6 potatoes)
2 onions red or yellow
2 carrots sliced (I throw in 4 more)
salt to taste (to me this recipe tastes better a little on the saltier side)
chili pepper and red pepper to taste-around 1/2 tsp.  Delete this if you have kids that don't like spicy foods.  I always delete this and it doesn't take away from the great flavor.  Fr. Justin just adds the spices directly to his bowl)
3 cloves garlic minced
tomato paste (This is up to you.  I put in about 3/4 of a 6oz. can.  Start with a 1/2 can and let it cook.  Taste it and see if you want to add more paste.
Boiling water (This simply speeds up the cooking time)

Heat oil hot, dump in onions and saute for a couple of minutes.  Add potatoes, cabbage and carrots.  Continue to cook for about 5-10 minutes.  Add boiling water and tomato paste.  I typically fill my tea kettle up with water and get it boiling.  I empty the water into the pot and it usually makes enough juice to cover vegetables.  I fill the kettle up again and repeat.  You can make this recipe as thin or thick as you like.  I tend to like my soups with a lot of broth.  Turn down heat and simmer until potatoes and carrots are ready, about 15-20 minutes.  

Say cheese!


It's almost Nativity and of course we are thinking "We forgot to take the girls pictures for our 
Christmas cards-again!!"  So, today after Liturgy I hauled the girls outside and begged them to sit and smile...Yeah, right.  

Let me just say that I did not capture the kodak moment that I was looking for, but I will say they sure made me laugh.  Here are a couple of the pics I took.  Some day I'll learn to mark the calendar for picture day sometime back in November...

I love the family portrait with Fr. Justin and Thea looking so very engaged.  I will say, however, I really do love the one of Fr. Justin with the girls.  That one's a keeper

Time to get cozy

Around this time every year I start to take my house apart and clean.  I only really enjoy cleaning when I can take everything out of  the pantry and wipe it down or take everything out of the linen closet and refold it.  Why is that?  I'm not interested in the day to day cleaning stuff.  This is why when we are having people over for dinner, I start cleaning out the utility closet instead of just simply vacuuming the living room.  Then about two hours before the guests are to arrive and the utility closet looks fabulous, I start freaking out because the living room is a disaster.  

Anyhow, Fr. Justin took a little retreat to the monastery this week so the girls and I took advantage and did a little rearranging.  I felt that our living room needed a bit of cozying up. For those of you who are wondering about the paint color for the living area,  we decided on new paint for the living area, I just haven't gotten around to that yet.  

First we broke out the vacuum and then we got out the rags to polish.  Well, with Thea polishing and Katya vacuuming, I had nothing to do (yeah, right).  So, I started scheming.  For those of  you who know me know what I am about to say.  Yep, we rearranged-again.  You see, I have this addiction of constantly rearranging rooms.  About every six months I'll rearrange one of the rooms.  It keeps things fresh and it's fun to see how many different ways I can rearrange a room.  Anyhow, the first pic is of how our living room looks now, then the second is how it looked before.  

When Fr. Justin came home, he just laughed.  He's all too familiar with my innocent question:  "Hey do you have a second?"  You should have seen the three of us moving things around.  The girls had a great time.  Of course, so did I since I had a great reason to not do the laundry.  

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Tandoori-Style Chickpeas

This recipe is one of our old favorites.  We haven't made it in awhile because we used to make it so much I think we burned out on it.  Nonetheless, I pulled it out of the recipe box last night and made it to our delight.  Well, that is Fr. Justin, myself and Zoe, who eats anything.

I'll say a couple of things about kids and this recipe...My kids used to love this recipe.  Last night, however, the 6 and 4 year olds declared that they no longer liked it. The flavor of this recipe is so delicious that I bet I could play around with the ingredients and they would eat it.  Maybe if I left out the spinach?  Funny thing because they love raw spinach.  

I usually serve this with rice.  Also,  this recipe is a bit spicy.  So, I'd take it easy on the curry and perhaps delete the cayenne if your kids don't like spicy foods.

Tandoori-Style Chickpeas
Recipe by Steven Petusevsky

2 tsp. canola oil or olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups diced uncooked potatoes
1 tsp. peeled, grated fresh gingerroot
1 Tbs. curry powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
16 oz. can diced tomatoes
16 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3/4 water or tomato juice, I've always just used water.
1/2 of 10 oz. box frozen spinach, thawed
2 cups chopped cauliflower
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, potatoes and ginger and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add curry powder and cumin and cook 1 minute, stirring.  Add tomatoes and chickpeas; bring to a boil, stirring.  Add water slowly and spinach.  Place cauliflower on top of stew.  Cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender.  10 minutes.  Season with salt and cayenne.

Serves 6

First Portrait

As soon as Katherine got the news that Bishop Jonah was Metropolitan Jonah, she immediately drew a portrait of him.  I'm sure as soon as he finds out that this incredible work exists he'll want it for his very own.

You really have to click on the picture and blow it up to get the full beauty of the portrait.  

LIghting of the square

The other evening we took a brisk evening walk to our town square for the lighting.  Well, we missed the actual lighting (it was already lit when we got there) and the fire truck got a call right as we were about to get an onboard tour, but we still had a nice time. 

The girls got to make a Christmas decoration.  Fr. and I tasted Wassail.  The girls got a cupcake-which they kept dropping due to wearing gloves.  
Anyhow, it was a nice evening.  The pic is of me and the girls in front of the court house.  

S Prazdnikom! Joyous feast of St. Nicholas!

A blessed feast to you all!

A fun and informative website to learn more about St. Nicholas is

Saturday, November 22, 2008


I know, I know.  All of you who have ten hummus recipes in your recipe box probably also have ten lentil soup recipes.  But, you never know.  

This is the recipe I pull out when I have no time to make dinner.  It's fast, cheap and delicious!

Lentil Soup w/ Rosemary
Vegetarian Times

1 med. onion chopped
2 stalks celery
2 medium carrots (I put in a few more)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dried, rinsed lentils
4 cup water
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar (put in about 5 minutes before eating)
salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste
fresh rosemary leaves, minced

In large pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, carrots, rosemary.  Cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften - about 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until lentils are soft ~ 30 minutes.

We start 'em young

around these parts.  

We grind our own grain and this has always been a big hit with the girls.  They all three love to grind the grain and bake.  Each of them started working in the kitchen at a very young age-mostly thanks to Papa.   He is the bread man.

Zoe is helping Papa out this time.

For those of you thinking "I can't believe they are letting her stick her hands in there while it's grinding!"  The grinder is turned of now.  :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tahini Dressing

This Tahini dip/dressing is awesome!  My kids will eat anything with this slathered on top - really.  We eat this stuff on salads, raw and steamed veggies, sauteed veggies, bread.  

I got this recipe from a book called The Vegetarian Mother and Baby Book.  This book was given to me with my first child and it is full of great mothering advice, but especially relating to food.  All of the recipes in this book are really good and easy to make.  This would be a great book for any mom.

I'll warn you, this stuff is addictive!

Tahini dip/dressing
Rose Elliot
The Vegetarian Mother and Baby Book

2 tablespoons tahini
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
juice of 1/2 lemon or ~2 tablespoons is using bottled lemon juice.
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the tahini into a small bowl with the garlic,  1 tsp of the lemon juice, and 2 tbsps water and stir.  The mixture will go very thick and lumpy to start with, then it will gradually become smooth and creamy.  Add more water and lemon juice to get the consistency and flavor you want, and season with salt and pepper.

**This recipe only makes one serving.  After seeing how much we like this dressing, I now quadruple it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Vegan breakfast

When I got married my mother in law gave me a binder full of her favorite recipes.  Two of my favorite recipes are the Red River Cereal and Granola.  They both are super easy to make and so delicious!

Red River Cereal From Malibu, Canada

1/2 cup cracked wheat
1/2 cup cracked rye
1/4 cup flax seed

Add the above to 3 cups boiling water, lightly salted if you wish (we never do this), stirring as you add (I use a whisk to keep it from lumping).  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Can add more water if gets too thick; if too thin just simmer a bit longer.  Top with date sugar, honey, syrup, molasses, etc.  Serves 4

**Since we buy our grains in bulk and grind it as needed, we make this in bulk and keep it in the freezer.  My kids love this recipe-especially in the winter.  They like to add goats milk along with honey.  I think it's just fine with honey alone.  

Scrumptious Granola

3 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cup shredded coconut (I highly recommend using good quality coconut.  Go to the health food store and buy organic unsweetened large flake coconut.  It makes a huge difference.  Plus coconut is not expensive)
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup cold water
1 cup slivered raw almonds (or your favorite nut)
1/2 cup raisins or other favorite dried fruit (optional - add after above is baked.  

Stir all ingredients together.  Place in large, heavy, shallow baking pan (I usd cookie sheets) brushed lightly with oil   Place in middle of oven at 250-275 F for about 2 hrs.  Stir every 15 minutes.  Cool and store in air tight container.  Makes 5-8 cups.  

**I typically double this recipe.  We all enjoy this granola recipe.  It's not too sweet.  During lent I top mine with rice milk (not a fan of soy milk) or we eat it straight as a snack.   

The Jesus Prayer

When Vladyka JONAH was Abbot Jonah he blessed our parish with a talk on the Jesus Prayer.  Of course it was a great talk.  We recorded it and you can hear it at  Scroll down on the menu to sermons and talks.  

Fall in Texas

I love fall.  In Texas it's particularly nice because of the hot summers.  By the time fall comes around down here, we've  typically have just endured a couple of months of 100 degree days with no clouds in sight.  
Then comes the cooler weather-just in time.  The leaves begin to fall. Attitudes change and soften. The windows go up. Wind.  Clouds.  

Yesterday I was standing on our back deck enjoying the weather and thought the sky was so beautiful.  

I loved living in Texas again. 

Monday, November 17, 2008

My little girl is growing up!

Today I spent the day cleaning and catching up after the weekend.  Katya, who will be 7 in January, has become such a big help to me.  As I was busy bustling through the house, I found Katya and Zoe in my room folding clothes.  I was a bit stunned to see her standing there looking so tall and taking care of Zoe by entertaining her.  Wow, they grow so fast.  

The one pic is of Katherine folding clothes and the other is her on the bed making Zoe laugh.  

The right white

Fr. Justin and I are planning to paint the interior of our house.  It is way over due.  After thinking of all the neutral colors I could live with, I've decided that I want to stay with white.  I think.   And this is where the problems began...

So, off I go to Home Depot and Sherwin Williams to find the right white.  Home I come with millions of paint swatches.  Yikes!  My living room wall is covered with white, off white, and beige paint swatches, as well as my bathroom.  

If you feel strongly that I should consider another neutral color besides white, I would be open to this.  Perhaps I am not able to choose a white because it's not the right color?  Go ahead, tell me.  For those of you who have been to my house and thought "If she would just put some color on those walls", now is your chance.   

Now, for those of you who have not been to my house, my colors are greens, reds, golds. 

I'll be waiting for your recommendations.  And so will Fr. Justin as he patiently waits for the right white to surface.

A soup recipe to enjoy

For those who know me personally, you will recall that I don't cook very well.  Fr. Justin, on the other hand, is an excellent cook.  I have learned a great deal from him, but I realize what is missing on my part is the joy.  I don't know why he likes cooking so much.  Maybe it enables him to work with his hands and frees his mind which is always working.  Or, perhaps he doesn't want to starve to death?  Just kidding.  

Anyhow, over the years I have collected a few of my favorite recipes which are vegetarian.  This comes in handy during the times of the year when our church fasts-which is often.  

Right now we have just entered the Nativity fast.  This fast requires that we give up meat, wine, oil and dairy-if we are able.  We will fast until Nativity morning following the Divine Liturgy.  Several friends have asked me to share some of our 'lenten' recipes and so I hope to do that here.  Suffice it to say that none of the recipes I will be sharing are labor intensive.  

So without further delay, here is a pasta and white bean soup.  We all love this soup-especially the kids.  This was taken from a book called Vegetables rock!, which I would recommend if you could pick it up used.  This book is a compilation of favorite vegetarian and vegan recipes from other sources.

Pasta and White Bean Soup with Garlic and Rosemeary
Jack Bishop
The complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook

1/4 cup olive oil plus more for drizzling over the soup
4 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 cups drained canned whole tomatoes, chopped (I buy the one's already diced)
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
7 cups vegetable stock or water
6 ozs. small pasta, such as small elbows or shells (We used whole wheat/whole grain pasta in our house, however, this pasta does not work in this recipe.  You will want to use regular white pasta)
4 cups cooked cannellini beans (you can use two 19 oz. cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed, if you don't want to cook the beans yourself)

1.  Heat the oil in a large soup kettle or stockpot.  Add the garlic and rosemary, and saute over medium heat for about 2 minutes.

2.  Add the tomatoes and a generous amount of salt and pepper.  Simmer until the tomatoes soften, 3-4 minutes.

3.  Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer 5 minutes.  Add the pasta to the simmering broth and cook until almost tender, 7 to 10 minutes.  

4.  Add the beans, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes to blend the flavors and finish cooking the pasta.  Adjust the seasonings.  Serve immediately with a drizzle of oil to taste.

Serve this with hot bread-particularly hot sourdough bread made by Gregory or Maria.  If this is not possible learn to make a good loaf of sourdough for this recipe.  Ok, or just go buy some...


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Axios! Axios! Axios!

Eis polla eti, despota!

Go listen to the banquet speech given by His Beatitude Jonah.  Everyone must hear this speach.  It is riveting.  

Thank you Lord for sending us this man!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Texas State Fair

Every year in September we end the summer by going to the Texas State Fair.  I have been going since I was a kid.  It was much different then.  
We would pack our lunch and go for the entire day.  Around noon my dad would go to the car and get our cooler with bologne sandwiches, chips, iced tea and blankets. He would meet us on the lawn, yes the state fair used to have several nice grassy lawn areas, where we would eat and shut our eyes for a bit.  We would still eat the fair food:  corny dogs, lemmon aide, funnel cakes, etc.  But those delicacies were reserved for the other half of the day.  We always knew that dad would let us eat those foods, but we waited for him to give us the go ahead.  They were a big deal to us kids and couldn't wait for Dad to ask who needed a snack.  To us it was like waiting for the wedding cake at a wedding.  We've come a long way huh?     

I don't remember riding all the rides when I visited as a child.  There was the huge ferris wheel and the sky way taking you over the fair and offering a great view of downtown Dallas-which was also a big deal to us since we drove in from the country over an hour away.  We rode these rides, but I think these were the only ones offered back then.  Thankfully.

Now, Fr. Justin and I get there when the doors open with the intention of getting it all in before around 3:00. (We have to leave by then to avoid traffic getting out of Dallas).  Why don't we spend the day like I did when I was a kid?  Well, there is no place to relax there.  All the nice grassy knolls are sheets of concrete with rides sandwiched so closely together  you wonder how they keep from hitting each other.  And it is incredibly noisy.  A nap would be near impossible.  

Nonetheless, we go with the girls every year and make the best of  what is there.  And we always have a good time.  We no longer pack a lunch, they don't allow you to take in food or drink.  So, we get to dine solely on the five star offerings of the food court.  Of course they still have the food the fair is know for, corny dogs and such, but I do wish we could pack a lunch.  And I do long for a nap around 1:00-ish...
This year we saw a couple new exhibits and shows.  My favorite this year was the train exhibit of old passenger trains.  Too cool.  The old trains were so luxurious.  If they still made trains like that to travel on I would definately take the tracks.  There was a newer retired Amtrak train there and it looked just like the interior of an airplane.  How unfortunate.  
The horse show was wonderful and of course the food pavillion (not to be confused with the food court, the pavillion is an educational building, therefore the food is typically of decent quality).  And, the food here is usually free.  :)   The bee keepers association had their bees working hard to protect the queen.  The dog show is always great.  

We always save the rides for last.  They are so very taxing on the pocket book and the nerves.  Suffice it to say they are my least favorite part of the fair.  They still have the ferris wheel and the sky way, but the girls are mesmerized the noisy fast commotion of the other newer additions.    Nonetheless, the girls picked their rides and ended with the log ride with papa.  

The picks are of Papa and Zoe by a train.  Look at the size of the wheels!  Elsie the cow;  a patient sow (with a smile on her face) and her babies, and the girls and papa on the log ride.  Oh yes, and there is Katherine on the log ride alone.  I couldn't believe that she talked the people into letting her ride solo.  

Despite wishing it were the way it used to be, I still like going.  We all do have fun, even if Fr. and I look at each other as we drive on to the freeway at 3:00 into the traffic with typically one baby crying and two others chattering over each other and fighting over the cotton candy bag, and wonder why the heck we do this to ourselves-every year!  

Oh well.  Next year we plan on making sure we watch the gators get fed.  :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

One in every family...

I've been told that there is one, how shall I say this, "Pistol Pete" in every family.  

Well, ours is a "Pistol Penelope" aka Zoe.

She is by far the most challenging of all three of my girls.   She has the worse sleeping habits.  She knew about sugar long before either of my other two did.  (Occasionally, when I say "Zoe what shall we have for lunch, she will answer:  Ummm, chocat (choclate)"  The other two look at her astonished that she would be so bold to ask for such a thing!  She learned to talk way too early.   Or in other words, she learned to say "Neva! (Never)" entirely too soon and in the wrong context.  The girls taught her all sorts of tricks as soon as she could walk, such as:  getting on the top bunk bed-without the ladder, getting the bar stools and getting things up high, and learning to say "Peeeaaasseee Papa" in a voice that is entirely too precious and manipulative.  Shall I go on?  Nah, I think you all know what I'm talking about.  

The other two did this sort of thing, but not to the degree that Zoe does.  I know when I don't see her for a minute or two I should find her-quickly.   

Oh yes, did I fail to mention that she doesn't like wearing clothes and she does like wearing two different shoes which are typically not her own.  I will say that it has become such an issue a couple of times that we went to church without shoes at all.  And for those of you who are wondering about the clothes issue and church.  Yes, I have looked down to see my little angel trying to take her clothes off during service-more than once.  

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New ladies in town

No, I'm not talking about the three grinning chicks leaning against the fence.  I'm talking about the feathery one's inside.  

We have been wanting to get chickens for a long time and we finally got them.  We would probably still be wanting them, however, some parishoners who have quite a few chickens offered to help us get set up.  We said yes and within two days they showed up with six chickens and the makings for a coop.  We dropped what we were doing and within a few hours we were watching our little ladies scratch around and eat bugs inside their fancy new digs.  

Of course, the girls named the chickens.  Three of them are red, so the girls said they are triplets and should all be called Elizabeth.  That makes things simple.  One's name is Emily, one is Penny and the bossy one is called Queeny Poo.  

They laid one egg a day for three days and then no more.  We are wondering if the cold snap has shut down production.  Any ideas?

Next on the agenda are goats, rabbits and more chickens.  We want a rooster but we live in the city and are wondering if they are going to be too noisy.  

I love them.  I can't wait to get a taller fence around their back yard area so they can roam.  

I need a farm...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

There is always time

for a tea party!  Yes?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thank you Sister Magdalen

On September 13th, we had the great honor of having Sister Magdalen from St. John the Baptist women's monastery in England to speak at our parish.  She was supposed to be in Houston for the weekend, but the hurricane brought her north to our area.  

This was an incredible blessing for our parish.  Since we are a small mission parish, we rarely have the opportunity to have people come here and speak, so we were all very excited.  Her topic was "Busy lives, spiritual lives" and it was a simple, yet powerful discussion on how to keep our daily lives focused on Christ.  

I was wondering what we were going to do with the children that showed up since we didn't have time to arrange for childcare.  I thought we could all take turns watching them.  However, I was amazed that all of the children that attended sat and listened attentively (including my three!!)  What a blessing!

Sister Magdalen works with children in England and is very gifted in this area.  I have read her book "Conversations with Children" and it is quite good.  

I love spending time with monastics because they are a reminder, to me, of all that is possible (and expected of me) in this life.  I love their Christ-like love for people and their humility.  They are a breath of fresh air for me.  

This picture is of Sister Magdalen with Fr. Justin, me and and the girls.  

S Prazdnikom! and many years Zoe Marie!

We celebrated a joyous day on September 14th.  First, it is the feast of the exaltation of the precious and life creating cross in the Orthodox Church.  This day celebrates both the finding of the cross, by St. Helen, and the recovery of the cross after it was stolen.  It is a glorious day in the Church.

We also celebrated the birth of our little Zoe Marie.  We decided, at the last minute, to have friends over for dinner and have a proper birthday celebration.  It was a great evening with wonderful food and friends.  The pictures are of Zoe making her "lenten" chocolate cake,of her burying her face in Thea's chest when we sang happy birthday to her and her blowing out her candles.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mama, I'm gonna be a cowgirl.

For several years now Katherine has aspired to be a cowgirl.  I'm not quite sure how this whole dream started but I think it was confirmed in her heart when Grandma and Grandpa Ocean gave she and Thea horse riding lessons last Thanksgiving.  

On our most recent visit to the N.W., they gave Katherine private lessons with one of the cowgirls on the ranch by their house  (Thea was too young).  

Katherine now talks non stop about horses and has already asked for a horse and cowboy boots.  I can probably come up with the boots, the horse may be a little more difficult.  

The pics are of Katherine at her lessons.  When we went to watch Katherine ride, Grandpa (in the background) allowed Thea to take a few turns.  

Well, it's a good thing we live in horse country.  Maybe I can find someone who wants to give Katherine riding lessons once a week.