Thursday, February 25, 2010

Morning Photo Shoot- 18 months

Here are a few impromptu photos from a morning "getting ready" session. I bought Luke a little step stool for the bathroom and he loves to climb up on it and watch me get ready in the morning. He especially likes when I let him participate. :)


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Farm Animal Fun

He can do it all by himself now!


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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Venture

I am moving into the world of resale... and it is fun!

For the past few weeks I have been stepping up efforts to make a sort of business out of my deal finding abilities. So far, it is going pretty well. I have had a few successful eBay auctions and sales from Amazon. My specialty is children's clothing, shoes, and gear- along with some DVD sales.

Today my first big auction day ends- I am just so excited that I had to post! :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

By Request

Lent began this afternoon with the Forgiveness Vespers Service. This is our first year in an Eastern-Rite Orthodox Church. I really enjoyed the service today and look forward to the weeks ahead.

Emily asked me to join in on the lenten discussion and about some good vegetarian/vegan recipes, etc... The focus of lent is truly about fasting from sin, but fasting from certain foods, prayer, and almsgiving are avenues to this end. Here are some of my "tips" or getting through lent. Let me add the disclaimer that I am NOT an expert at fasting. These are just some things that I have found helpful.

1. Pray! Pray like you are really in a battle (it is more real than we know). If I begin the day praying, I have more energy to journey on and am less likely to despair. I suggest Met. Philaret's prayer for the beginning of the day, and the Lenten standard: The Prayer of St. Ephraim (see below). Really embrace the words and keep them with you throughout the day.

2. Go to the extra church services if at all possible. It is SO encouraging to remember that we (the Church) are all in this together. It is easy to get bitter if you feel alone in fasting. Truly, I have found that struggling through Lent with my fellow parishioners glues our community together in a way that nothing else can.

Since Luke doesn't do well at the night services in general, I am going to try to listen to Ancient Faith Radio podcasts during the season. We will try to actually make it to church too, but it may not always be possible.

3. Have a project. If you are spending less on food, buy extra food for the local food bank, send money to Haiti, etc... Almsgiving really helps fasting make more sense to me.

4. Find good recipes and recycle them. I always face the temptation of trying out all sorts of recipes and spending hours in the kitchen. As our priest in CA said, Lent is about simplification. The fast is to focus our minds on the spiritual, not on proper meal preparation. OrthodoxMom.com and Orthodox Mother's Digest have hosted several fasting recipe swaps.

5. Have a baked potato night each week. Baked potatoes are great, and there is little prep time involved. I like to rub oil on the skins before baking them. They are 10x better this way and it encourages everyone to eat the skin (the best part in my opinion!). Vegans-serve with baked beans, chopped green onions, BBQ sauce, salt, pepper, grilled onions. Vegetarians- use cheese, cottage cheese, butter, sour cream, etc... Homemade pizza once a week is also good, and fun for a Saturday night.

6. Make breakfast easy. I like Emily's idea of having oatmeal every day. For myself, I know that the more I have to think about, the more distracted with food I become. I also like cheese or a homemade energy bar for breakfast.

7. Prep veggies and fruit and dips to have on hand. Tomorrow I will make hummus, ranch dip (160z sour cream + 1 packet dry ranch dressing mix), and cut up a bunch of carrots.

I guess I will end with a central prayer for the Lenten season. May God bless you all and multiply your efforts to His glory!

Lenten Prayer Of St. Ephrem The Syrian

O Lord and Master of my life!
Take from me the spirit of sloth,
faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity,
humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.

Yea, Lord and King! Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother, for Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rocking in the Duck Boat

Luke loves a little rocking toy that he has. Today he decided to pull his duck tub out of the bathroom and try rocking in that. Fun, but maybe he should take it easy!


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Thursday, February 4, 2010

17 months

To give you all an idea of just what he looks like these days, here is Luke after his recent haircut. I asked him to smile for the camera and he gave me a big grin!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ball

video

I got a $5 off any purchase for Toys' R Us. Here is Luke enjoying something we bought. :)

It's Like Kix

You know, "kid-tested, Mother-approved!"

This is another in my series of great recipes for toddlers. In this piece of banana bread, they will get carrots, apples, bananas, and a whole grain!

Banana-Oatmeal Bread

Mix together in a large bowl:
Then, mix these in another bowl:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice

  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until combined. Bake in a large loaf pan (greased) for 50-60min at 350 degrees. We all loved this- Luke said, "More, more!"