Thursday, June 24, 2010

First - Summer S’mores

This is Kristiana. She is 1 1/2 years old and this is the first time she has ever eaten a s’more.


This is John. He is 92 years old and this is the first time he has ever eaten a s’more.


There is a first time for everything.  Life is full of firsts.

Family Gathering

It seems that in the summer time you do not need a reason like a holiday to gather.  If it is a nice day, people often decide to get together.  But in this case, everyone had to gather because Grammy and her John were in town.  Grammy travels a lot to be with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  We are grateful for the gathering.

The Brothers Clayton with Their Grammy


Three Sisters


The Marshmallow Roast


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Fathers’ Day

Saint Joseph

For all the men who were there to help us grow into the people we are today. 
May God bless them.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Icon Writing 101: Fruition

It’s not perfect.  It’s my first one.  I tried to stop while I was ahead.  But, I would be proud to have it hang on my wall.  I still need to varnish it and put a wall hanger on it, and of course have it blessed.  There is gold paint on the borders laid over brown paint; the background behind Blessed Theotokos is yellow ochre with a lighter coat of gold paint and the halos are white with gold paint.  This Icon will be a gift when completed.  I learned patience.  I learned more about love, humanity and peace.  More importantly, I think the image speaks for itself.  It is worthy of being gazed upon in deep, spiritual meditation.

Part way through my working on this, our priest brought us this booklet on the Virgin of Vladimir. 
So now I know more about the image and the intricate symbols.


Related Post:

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Moments In The Sun




  Another new snack—chex and multi-grain cheerios rolled in butter and salt
Alex liked the squares and Kristiana liked the circles

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A picnic at the park 


Kristiana’s friend


Friday, June 11, 2010

Tot Talk: This Is Not What I Ordered

Grandmom made mini-apple pies last night.  Alex danced around the kitchen for an hour waiting for the pies to be done singing, “I want apple pie! I want some! I want apple pie!”100_2383 Finally, he sat down to eat his pie.  He ate some of the crust off the top.  Then he dug in with his fork and pulled out a chunk of apple.  “Hey!” he exclaimed with a whine and then a whimper, “I don’t want apples in my apple pie!”

Do you see the kind of pickiness we’re dealing with here?  I have faith that this will pass.  A lot of his pickiness stems from his ignorance and inexperience.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Real Pickle in the Middle and Other Goofy Things

I thought that there was no way the kids would like this snack.  It has green in the middle.  They didn’t eat the green part.  But, at least that did not deter them from the rest of the snack.  When the kids are older and less afraid of green and crunchy, this might actually become a favorite.

The recipe called for vienna sausages, but I used plain old hot dogs.  I sliced the hot dog, mini sweet pickles, and cheese into 1/2 inch portions.  Then I speared them with toothpicks.  The pickle goes in the middle ;-)  Personally, I thought they were great and would be fun for an informal party.  Let me know if you try these and what you think.


Alex and I thought it would be fun to make a self-portrait of us. 100_2375

Getting big! At this rate, I will gain more than with the other kids.
I hate to admit this is only 25 weeks (15 more weeks to go)
But, I recall leveling off in the third trimester, so no worries, right?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

“Pickle In The Middle”

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Success! A snack that everyone enjoys. 
From my new favorite kids’ snack non-cook book “Pickle in the Middle”


6 graham crackers
3 prunes, cut up
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 Tbs. honey

Put the graham crackers in a sealable bag and crush them into crumbs.  Add them to a medium bowl.  Cut up prunes with child-safety scissors into the bowl.  Add peanut butter and honey; mix it with a spoon until mixed thoroughly.  Roll into 1 inch balls and let stand for 10 minutes.



Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Picky Eaters Anonymous

I think I am on my eighth parenting book. This time I am reading on picky eaters.  Why doesn’t someone write a book that covers all the major parenting topics in one book like the “What to Expect…” books—with all the common expert advice.  So far I have one on sleep, a second one on sleep, potty training, discipline, parenting in general, The Duggar’s family book (just parenting tips they have learned over the years), one on manners (that I haven’t really read yet), breast feeding and “What to Expect the First Year” and now picky eating.  Some have been very helpful and some not so much, some I haven’t read all the way through. I am sure I will read a few more before I am done.  I thought parenting would be intuitive.  It sort of is, but then again, when you love someone like you love your child, and children are irrational, unformed humans, you find your own thoughts and actions being irrational. 

9780679314547 Back to picky eaters—The advice section of the book was unimpressively short.  The book begins by explaining that the fact that my child’s picky eating/bad behavior toward food has gone this far is my fault.  Fair enough, I would agree with that.  I have been a big push over about what he wants to eat.  I have been a hovering and uptight about food.  I have just been happy if he would eat anything.  I have let him eat in front of the T.V. if would eat his meal.  There are lots of reasons children in general are picky eaters, but parents like me make it worse. And the height of picky eating is three years old, which is where we are.

The entirety of the book’s advice can be found in this article from the Mayo Clinic with a few anecdotes for good measure.  But, the advice is sensible and I have seen a few positive sparks.  There are lots of recipes.  Most of the recipes I have said, “Yeah, right. Like my kid is going to eat that.”  I might find one that I will try.

100_2357 My mother-in-law pulled out an old-timey children’s cook book call, “Pickle in the Middle.”  There were lots of simple, healthy, snack recipes that kids love to eat and could even make themselves.  The book is designed for kids to use.  I found a bunch of recipes I am going to try this week.  Today, Alex and I tried fruit spears.  Alex was really excited to help make the snack.  He thought it looked great.  Then when we were finished making it, he said he wanted to eat a slice of bread instead.  I didn’t fuss.  He’s on a bread kick.  Kristiana and I ate the fruit.  She ate all the bananas and nutella and I ate the rest of the fruit.  I put a little nutella on Alex’s bread.  I could not believe he did not want to eat all this luscious, tasty fruit.  The picky eater book said that snacks should be a safe place to eat friendly foods, because mealtimes might be a little stressful with foods that are unfamiliar and scary. 

We’re taking baby steps.  We have stopped asking him what he wants at meal times.  Then if he doesn’t want what is prepared, we just tell him he doesn’t have to eat it and move on.  I think we will come through this one okay.  Alex and Kristiana are both excellent sleepers via applied advice from a book (two different strategies).  We’re figuring this parenting thing out.  ;-)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Jesus’ Posse

Alex and I made Apostle Action Figures.  I went to a website selling icons of the Apostles, copied and pasted them into a Word document and then printed them in color.  Then we cut them out and taped them to 3 inch tubes, cut from a wrapping paper tube.  We talked about the names of each Apostle and he learned that they are Jesus’ friends.  He’s remembered a few names and faces.  I think we will take a little time each day to learn a fact about one Apostle a day.  The construction of the Apostles was enough for one day.  Then the Apostles came to the kitchen and watched us make cookies.
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fasting Without Fasting?

May 31st began the Apostles’ Fast, or St. Peter’s Fast.  I did not know much about this fast until now. 408px-DidacheI learned more about it this morning from wikipedia.  As the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”  Each day, month, year I am learning more and more about the practice of the Eastern Catholic Tradition.  I have discovered that a vast majority of these traditions were set in place before the schism and therefore are the oldest faith practices of the Church.

In short, this fast begins after the Pascha Feasting.  It is in remembrance of the Apostles’ preparation to preach the Gospel after the Ascension.  The practice of it “The Apostles' Fast is not as severe as Great Lent or the Dormition Fast, but entails fasting from red meat, poultry, meat products, eggs, dairy products, fish, oil, and wine. Fish, wine and oil are allowed on Saturdays and Sundays, and oil and wine are allowed on Tuesdays and Thursdays.” (wiki)

As a pregnant woman, I struggle with what to do, as I did with Great Fast.  I have found that nothing deepens one’s spirituality like abstaining from essentials like food.  Giving up red meat at the moment is not an option.  I was quite low on energy last week and finally increased my red meat intake and I am feeling much better.  I find that fasting from vices (bad habits) is not as effective either.  I soon lose interest in whatever it was, because it was not as essential to my life—it is hardly missed.  Nevertheless, I will resolve to give up sweets and coffee, except on the weekends.  More prayer and observance of all things holy would obviously be great too.  But, that is where fasting is so great—every meal, every hunger pang is a certain and cutting reminder of the need to pray and move closer to the Lord.  What will remind me now to pray?