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