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April 26, 2017

Banana Cake

We celebrated my husband's birthday last weekend.  This is our rendition of the "Manor Born Banana Cake with Coffee Buttercream" in which I accidentally doubled the butter in the batter (but it turned out just fine, thankfully) and we used 2 9" cake pans because I don't have 3 8" ones...my sister-in-law bought me the cookbook with this recipe as a gift after a trip to NYC.  Here is the recipe:
http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/The-Manor-Born-Banana-Cake-with-Coffee-Buttercream
We had a nice time with my sister's 2 big kids, while she took out my girls for pedicures!  Here they are playing with play dough.
Bright week...procession with icons outside.
 After Liturgy, we went to my mom's house, for lunch and an egg hunt.  The weather was really nice!
 My niece with her suction cup man...meet Oogi.
Successful egg hunt, thanks to Grammie.  ♥
Does anyone know what this is?  I seem to remember digging up a plant when we visited my cousin and taking it home.  I was thinking borage, but from the pictures I've seen, probably not.

April 16, 2017

Pascha

My mom made kulich for each of her grandchildren (that's 12), plus other people, one friend who is gluten-free...she also was busy baking lots and lots of prosphora for all the church services.
 Kisses as a thank you!
My friend from over 20 years ago, has been in Korea, as she is in the Air Force, we were so glad to have her here for Pascha. 
 Ready for our basket to be blessed.
We went to my sister-in-law's house for lunch and had a little egg hunt.  It's been a wonderful Pascha so far! ♥  I wish you all a happy festal Paschal season...Christ is Risen!!!

April 3, 2017

FREE photo book

Every Monday, this truck comes to pick up our trash...and it's really fun for a 1 year old to watch.
We just got a FREE Shutterfly book in the mail. ♥
Create your own custom photo books at Shutterfly.com
  If you're a new customer, you can get one, too.

This blog has so many great recipes:
The Greek Vegan.  I want to try the lentil salad recipe.  And I highly recommend the onion pakoras here:  http://www.sophisticatedgourmet.com/2016/05/onion-pakoras-fritters
Very easy to make and delicious! Both gluten-free and vegan.

March 20, 2017

The Suitcase, a review

Paul and I just read this NEW book, The SuitcaseThe newest book by Jane Meyer is a compelling story of what one thoughtful child would put in a suitcase, things for others, to help them and show love.
While reading it, my youngest child who is 18 months old pointed to the animals and other things that he recognized on each page...

As an artist, I found the watercolor illustrations appealing and love how the balance of detail and "white" space, whether it's clouds or a field, well done.

The message is one that my oldest child, was just talking about...during Great Lent, we should be helping others, volunteering at a soup kitchen, donating gently used clothing, visiting the sick, etc.  I think this book would be a wonderful gift for a child ages 1-10 years old, although teens and adults will also benefit.  Even I was touched and thought about what we can do to be a better person, after reading The Suitcase.  Very uplifting!

One of the first things that I looked for was where it was printed...in the United States!  More and more books are published elsewhere, and the quality isn't as good, in my opinion.

I will receive a reading copy of this book in return for my honest review.  And I'm so excited to get a paper copy for our family!
Kisses for Paul from his big sisters...one lucky little guy.  Today is March 7/20, which is the feast of St. Paul the Simple, (on the old calendar) his patron saint, and his namesday!

March 13, 2017

Learning everyday

 We celebrated my father-in-law's birthday last week together.  Paul and his grandpa...
Climbing up the ladder and going down the slide...by himself.  We try to play outside everyday.  In the rain, under the carport, in the mud and cold, too.  We  have had a warm winter this year, overall.  We are expecting snow tonight and I hope it's good, because we've only had about an inch at the most this year. 
The girls started public school last month.  It has been really good for them so far, learning in a bigger social environment, and after years of homeschooling, it wasn't that much of an adjustment, because they were in enough social situations on a regular basis. I still get to help with their learning, when they have questions about their homework. Today, Olivia is doing soccer conditioning and Hannah running track after school.

















I'm looking back at old photos...and remembering how white Olivia's hair was...now it's still blonde, and every winter it darkens, then as the summer approaches, it slowly lightens.  Hannah's sprinkle of freckles and red hair is much like Paul right now.

I got a sneak peek at a new book and will be reviewing it next week:

February 2, 2017

Growing and gathering

Bulbs blooming indoor by the window.  Makes me happy to see how each day they grow a little.
 Rob gathered wood from his parent's house. 
Almost twins! 

January 28, 2017

Count your blessings

This has been a difficult month...right now my body is going through a possible miscarriage.  I haven't ever had one before, but it is so hard to deal with the unknown.  Last month, we were happily surprised to find out I was pregnant.  And then last week, I had an appointment with my midwife and they couldn't find a heartbeat, although I thought I was 12 weeks along. Still, I was optimistic that all was fine, until the ultrasound.  I had a blood test done which showed my HCG levels to be at 10,000, which means the baby stopped growing about 5 weeks.  My body kept growing, the uterus and placenta thought all was well...

Here are some of my favorite photos from 3 weeks ago, after Nativity services, with family.   I have so much to be thankful for...
My littlest nephew, John Frederick, turned 3 months old this week.  And his papa, Andrey, will be 42 next week.