Moab UT

Moab UT

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Anniversary my love!

Today is our 10th wedding anniversary! I only have one regret marrying him...that I didn't do it sooner!

Pictured are Fr. Justin, Katherine, 4, Thea, 2 and Zoe 1 month.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Our little choir

The other evening we had Vespers at the church and there was neither a reader nor a choir. So, the girls and I took the positions.

It brought back such sweet memories of when we started this mission. Katya was three months old and I was the choir and reader at an occasional week day service. I'd wrap Katya on my chest and away we'd go.

The girls were thrilled when Fr. said they could sing. I had to grab the camera and snap a picture of the trio. I pray they grow up singing together in church!

Have you read this book?

I have been reading this book upon the recommendation of a local area priest. I am loving it. So much great wisdom.

Go here to order.

"Our Thoughts Determine our Lives"
The life and teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
Translated by Ana Smiljanic

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A day on the lake

Last weekend we went to a crawfish boil fundraiser for our local area women's monastery "The Nativity of our Lord". It was great fun and the setting was beautiful. The couple who hosted the fundraiser held it at their house on Lake Tawakoni, out in East Texas.

The girls ate hot dogs, swam in the lake and in the hot tub, went for boat rides, jumped in the lake off the pier. It was a fun day for them.

I grew up on Lake Texoma, a very large and beautiful lake in North Texas. Being on the lake brought back such sweet memories of my childhood. During the summer we would camp every single weekend. And through the week, while my dad was working, my mom would load up the neighborhood kids and take us all to the lake. (I'm not sure I would have the nerve to take all the neighborhood kids to the lake myself, but she seemed happy to do it.)

Anyhow, a great time was had by all.

I took a few pics of the boat ride, Katherine jumping off the pier and Thea loving floating around in the lake and a happy wet Zoe.

(I shan't mention that lake Tawakoni is known for it's unusually large population of water mocassin snakes. Did you just shudder? I did.)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A glimpse of things to come...

We're painting!

Thea and I finally came to a compromise on the pink walls in the playroom. Whew! That was no easy task. She wanted really, really dark pink and, well, I wanted a pink so pale it looked white. Anyhow, I think her color will work just fine.

Katherine picked a turquoise called "Spa".

I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Can someone please answer a question for me?

Where does time go?

This is my Zoe, who, by the way, will turn FOUR on Elevation of the Cross. I kid you not, it seems like I had her last week. Oh, the precious memories we've made here in this house.

As excited as I am to move, it will be bittersweet. This place is home to all of us. Fr. and I were married in 2000 and we moved up here when Katya was three months old in April of 2002.

Can you tell I'm cleaning and getting ready for a move? Stay tuned for some emotional posts, a few tears and some great pictures of boxes headed to the thrift store. Soon, you'll be saying "All right already! Enough!"

Nah, not you all.

A blessed week to you all!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Make your own pizza night

Last night we made pizzas. We've been making our own pizzas for years and they are so delicious. Fr. Justin has the crust down to perfection (from the Dad's cookbook I mentioned in an earlier post).

We did things a little different last night and let the girls make their own mini pizzas. It was a hit. Even though they all like the same toppings, they had a blast preparing their very own pies. Katherine finished her's off by putting her initial on the top. (Oh, and if you look close enough you can seeing the anchovies too. Yep, the girls love anchovies. Ack!)

Making pizzas, and cooking in general, is one of our favorite ways to spend time together as a family. We are really fortunate in that Fr. Justin loves to cook and so he is usually in the kitchen when I make dinner. Of course the girls love helping in the kitchen. I prepare the meals mostly these days, but he can always be found hovering around, adding spices and tasting as I go along. (This is a good thing for everyone since I cook out of necessity and he cooks out of love).

A blessed weekend to you all!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Did you hear that? That was a huge sigh of relief. Fr. and I are finished with the apartment behind our house that burned in January.

Fr. Justin has worked tirelessly on that house and it looks great. Of course our back yard looks like a landfill and the inside of our house is filled with scrap lumber and all sorts of trash from the apartment. But the inside of the apartment is lovely. Well done Fr.!

We'll spend the next week or so cleaning up a bit...OK a lot. Then, it's back to work on the main house.

I tried to get Fr. to take a couple of weeks off but no deal. He's ready to get going again on our house. I sort of feel the same way. I thought I'd be really burned out but I'm actually motivated to get finished with the rest, to move, to make our house a home.

I'm ready to start packing. I'm ready to start purging. There seems to be a lot of talk lately on blogs and with friends (we have three newborns in our parish and another on the way, so there's been a lot of nesting going on around here!) of clean homes and simplicity and it's gotten me in the mood. Now if I can just stay in the mood.

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. They are felt.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

On modesty and little girl's dresses.

I'll go ahead a admit that I'm a bit prudish when it comes to clothing. I am not a fan of most modern clothing-especially for little girls. I am always shocked at what I see in the stores for young ladies to wear.

I get a lot of questions from mothers at our parish, and some of the times fellow bloggers, about how I dress the girls. So, I thought I'd jot down a couple of things that have helped me. Now, please keep in mind that these are decisions that I have made for my girls. I have no intention of trying to tell anyone else how to dress their children. We each do what we are able and what we think is best.

The most frequently asked question is if I make our girls wear dresses all the time. No, I don't. We did do that for a time (and I loved it) but the girls complained about not being able to play in them and I also got tired of digging dress hems out of bike chains. Also, I've lost several perfectly good dresses to stains from outdoor play and painting, etc. So, I threw that idea out the window.

My rule for dresses is this: Anytime we go anywhere we put on a dress. If we are at home they can wear whatever they want but if we leave the house for a special reason (grocery store doesn't count, besides I go without them) or if we are having guests, we put on a dress. Of course, vacation is different too (except when we go to church). They have no problems with these rules and don't even really think about them.

Another frequently asked question is where I get dresses for the girls that are modest, that is, below the knees. I purchase their dresses a couple of sizes too big. If the dress is sleeveless, they put a t-shirt on underneath.

Another question is where I get their pantaloons. If you look up pantaloons on the internet, they can be pretty pricey. The cheapest I've ever paid for pantaloons was at the thrift store. The second cheapest was on Etsy. Just do a search for girls/toddler pantaloons and there are tons of them. My girls don't always wear pantaloons. I keep an eye out at the thrift store for crop pants and things that I know would work well under a dress. (For those of you who sew, pantaloons are easy to make!)

I am adamant about my girls having something at least knee length on under their dresses-from newborn up-in church. When they were babies I would leave the bloomers in the drawer when it was time for church and put on leggings, crop pants or pantaloons. I saved the bloomers for home use. I dress the girls the most modestly in church.

The last question is where I get their dresses. I do all my shopping at thrift stores. I buy their underwear and socks and shoes at a retail store, but all else comes from the thrift stores. About once a month I hit all the thrift stores in town looking for any items we might need. Typically, I look for Katherine dresses because she is the oldest and outgrows her dresses. The other two get hand me downs.

I have Fr. watch the girls while I do a little round at the shops. This gives me a little time away and plus I can shop faster without them. The other reason I don't take them is so that Thea and Zoe don't feel left out. Katherine is usually the one that gets the new dresses, but occasionally I'll pick up something for the little ones. When I get a new item I just come home, throw it in the wash and it appears in their closet. Usually when Katherine gets a new dress, I'll pull a dress from her collection that's getting too short and pass it to Thea, I'll do the same for Zoe. No attention or fuss is made.

I just had a nice little revelation at the thrift store last week. Katherine has outgrown her play shorts so I stopped in to one thrift store close by to see what they had. As I perused the girl's shorts I couldn't believe how short they were (this is always a problem for me). I looked around and saw the boys shorts hanging there. I went over and looked through the rack. I was surprise at the length (long-which young boy wears hot pants?) and the price (much cheaper than the girls). So, I went over to the size 8 and got her four neutral colored, knee length shorts for $2.00 each! I was so excited!

Now, it may seem like I'm a bit obsessed with the way the girls dress. I'm really not. I'm just trying to cultivate a few modest and feminine habits in my ladies. If I expect them to dress modestly later, it must start early. At this point the girls know how we dress, when and where. I don't even have to tell them anymore.

I hope this helps any of you who have the same goals for dressing your ladies.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Dad's Own Cook Book"

Have you heard of this cookbook? It is a great book to have on your shelf. The recipes are easy and delicious. Amazon sells it for around $10.00.

The brownie recipe in this book is the very best I have ever tasted. Also, we make the scones at least once a week.

This would be a great cookbook for young budding cooks.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A friendly chat

We live in a rectory on the second floor of our parish. Anyhow, we have a friendly relationship with our Baptist neighbors to the East. They are lovely people and the girls go over and work in the yard with them when they are out and about.

The other evening we were sitting at the dining room table after dinner talking and the girls heard our neighbors. As always, the girls gathered in front of the window and yelled hello, asking how they were and other such niceties.

Well, I'll just recount the conversation:




MR. M. "OH, I SEE..."


Fr. Justin and I just sort of stare at one another with the deer in the headlights look.

Now, I'll give a bit of explanation for those of you who are sensitive to such conversations. The girls know what margaritas taste like because we having given them a tiny taste before. No, we do not let them drink margaritas.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the house.

I have a five year old that loves all things girl. My mom gave her some finger nail polish for Christmas and she loves it.

I am not a makeup fingernail polish kind of gal, but I'm not against it either. I simply want my ladies to understand their beauty is not defined through such means.

Katherine is with me in that she is not interested. However, you can see in the previous post that she obliged Thea by allowing her to paint her nails. Thea convinced Katherine to do it by saying "Kaferine, you'll love it!"

Zoe and Thea are very much into it and have recently reminded me that they are almost out of polish. I don't suppose that I could get them to forget about the stuff huh? Probably not.

Well, it's happened.

Anytime I am looking for my eldest daughter now, this is what I find. She has finally become a serious reader. I am so thankful for this. I had hoped that she would be a lover of books and I pray it continues.

What was the book that hooked her? Harry Potter. Fr. Justin has been reading the books to her-but just not fast enough. One afternoon as she was complaining that we weren't reading to her at the pace she wanted, I told her to read it herself if she couldn't wait. And so she has.

Now, to get number two to start reading. Thea claims that she doesn't want to read. She said "Why should I read Mommy when you and Papa read to me?" Hmmm.