An Alphabetical Collection: E, F, G

I am seriously behind in blogging. Where oh where did the time go?  Yes, I set blogging aside just before the Holidays. It didn't start out intentional. I still have several drafts of posts that I intended to polish and publish. Maybe they'll see the light of day someday.

I thought I would do something easy like a Random Five since I am typing this on Friday but I think instead I'm going to stick with the letter theme.  I made it through the letter D so here I'll pick up E, F, and G. Maybe I'll get through all the letters at some point.

E.   Electricity ~ Electricity is something that I take for granted. We rarely lose power and when we do it is often only out for an hour or less. We've had some longer stretches and, in December during the darkest weeks, we lost power for over 6 hours. In the big picture that isn't a long time but it felt like eternity (see another E word!) when I realized how completely dependent we are on electricity.  We couldn't do school because so much of our school relies on the Internet. We managed though and it fostered gratitude in all of us when it was restored!

F.   Family Fun ~ I had planned to write about the fun we have as a family while playing games, but as I write this I am smiling as I think of the fun we often have just being together and laughing.  Shared jokes and lots of giggles.  Memory making moments filled with love and laughter and FUN!  The other night Supergirl had a huge case of the giggles. It was infectious. She was being silly and we all enjoyed her laughter and we had fun as a family.

G is for GRACE @ Circling Through This LIfe

G.  Grace ~ Grace is a word with multiple meanings. It's also a name.  I was an adult before I learned that my grandmother's first name was Gracie. No, it's not because I thought it was Grandma; it's just that everyone called her by her middle name. At some point the Gracie part dropped off.  I gave one of my daughters the middle name of Grace. Yes, I named her after my grandmother but I also chose the name because grace, from a Western Christian perspective, means unmerited gift. She is a gift from God. I am also reminded of the definition that speaks of charm, beauty, or elegance. Of course my daughter is all those things.  Six years ago I added "God's uncreated energies" to my list of definitions for Grace. That is the Eastern Orthodox understanding of God's Grace.  What do you think of when you hear "grace?"


Random Five on Friday: December 11th Edition

I know I’ve been super quiet on my blog for December and then wham I post on Thursday and Friday!  I have posts planned for Saturday and Sunday too.  I plan to post the Letter E and the Letter F so I will be caught up with the Blogging through the Alphabet link.

Wow I haven’t done a Random Five on Friday since November 20th!
Random 5 on Friday at Circling Through This Life

1. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It was just the six of us. Tailorbear baked a pumpkin pie and an apple pie.  I made a Trim Healthy Mama S style No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake. I need to tweak the recipe I created a bit and maybe I can share it in time for Christmas baking. Tailorbear also took care of cooking the turkey. It was wonderful to have someone else do so much of the cooking!

2. We played games on Thanksgiving Day.  That is our tradition and we played more games on Friday and on Saturday! We were really into Scattergories and Trivial Pursuit. We also played several games of Apples to Apples which is always fun with Supergirl as she just randomly chooses a card. Sometimes, they actually fit!

3. We attended the Sounds of Christmas Choral presentation at BooBear’s University. It was her last choral concert for this year as she has to drop Choir for Spring Term. Required course time conflicted with Choir practice times. I’m a little sad. No wait. I’m a lot sad that she has to drop it but we’re both hopeful she’ll be able to join again in the fall.

4. The Sounds of Christmas program was based on the Lessons and Carols from King’s College Chapel in Cambridge. It is a Christian Worship service celebrating the Nativity of Christ and is comprised of Bible readings interspersed with Christmas carols, hymns and choir music. The service was beautiful and audience interactive! Different choir members took turns reading the Bible (I don’t know what version but personally I didn’t care for it). For the more traditional hymns such as the First Noel or Joy to the World some verses were song by “ALL” which meant both the Men’s Chorus and the University Singers and the audience.

5. Supergirl loves celebrating St. Nicholas Day. The big girls wanted to do shoes but Supergirl wanted to use her stocking. I compromised. I told her to put out a slipper. Her shoes are too small and she got her traditional “gold” chocolate coins in her stocking and her Frozen themed mug for hot cocoa in her slipper. Then it was off to church to where St. Nicholas came to visit and passed out little packages with a little orange (cutie?), some chocolate coins, and a candy cane. 

Supergirl gets a gift from St. Nicholas


D is for Daughters: My Daughters

I missed the letter D (and E and F but those will post!) in the Blogging Through the Alphabet link up hosted by Cristi and Meg. Daughters.  That starts with D and I have four of them.

I am biased because I am their mother but I have four amazing, wonderful, and beautiful daughters. Each one different from the other but all special to me. Talented in different ways but each possessing something that sets them apart.

Each one is so different in personality from her sisters that it can be so hard to believe that they are all related. I see so much of me and at the same time so much of my husband in each of them. Sometimes, I joke that each of them inherited all of my traits and all of her father’s bad traits.

Each of my daughters have the ability to make me smile, to make me laugh and to make my heart swell to bursting with pride.

Sometimes I look at them and I see the little girls they were and then I blink and I realized that they aren’t little anymore. I still hurt when they hurt. I imagine I always will. I still want to fix everything and make everything alright and sometimes it is harder than I ever thought it would be to sit back and let them make their own choices and watch them fall down. But the joy that comes from watching them get back up again? No words to describe that.

I don’t know if daughters are more difficult to raise than sons. I have no little boys to raise but I do know that this parenting gig is the hardest thing I’ve ever done but oh the rewards of seeing these young women growing up makes it all worthwhile!

My Four Daughters on St. Nicholas Day: D is for Daughters

Though I am not linking this post up, I do encourage you to go check out this awesome linkup!

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My Love Affair with Coconut Oil

This week’s letter is C.  Join me as I join Cristi and Meg and I blog about My Love Affair with Coconut Oil.

Many years ago a friend of mine introduced me to coconut oil. I confess I was not keen on it. I am not fond of coconut flavored anything so why on earth would I want to use coconut oil!!!???  Now of course coconut oil is all the rage.  And for good reason. I’m not going to extol the virtues of coconut oil but instead I am going to share a few of the ways we use coconut oil and how I’ve gone from a “seriously? coconut oil?”  to a “Yes, seriously, coconut oil. Try it!” perspective.

I love Coconut Oi. It has so many uses!

  • Coconut Oil is a great substitute for butter. Yes, for me it took some getting used to but coconut oil as a butter substitute is a hit here. Cinnamon Raisin Bagels are quite yummy during Orthodox Christian fasting seasons such as Advent and Great Lent and my girls love them spread with coconut oil. No, I confess coconut oil as a spread is not as yummy as cream cheese on a bagel but it works. Turtle says she loves toast with coconut oil and peanut butter.  It is her go-to breakfast during the fasting seasons.
  • Coconut Oil is solid at room temperature. This makes it an ideal substitute for that nasty hydrogenated shortening.  Tailorbear uses a 1/2 coconut oil and 1/2 butter with her cookies to achieve a great texture with a buttery taste. BooBear makes these awesome chocolate chocolate chip cookies with just coconut oil and they have a great texture like you would get from using shortening and they have just a hint of coconut flavor. I am NOT a fan of coconut.  Coconut anything makes me want to run but these cookies? The coconut oil adds something that I can’t describe but makes them extra yummy and doesn’t make me want to run away. Cookies do not taste right anymore if they are not made with coconut oil!
  • Coconut is a wonderful moisturizer for your hair! When I was young, I would get those Vo5 hot oil packets to do a hot oil treatment on my hair.  Tailorbear has been using coconut oil as a conditioner/oil treatment for her hair for a couple of years.  I’ve recently started using coconut oil as treatment oil for my hair.  Boobear slathered up my hair and her own and we sat around in our grubby clothes and let that oil rich oil soak into our hair.  We’ve decided we should do this once a month.  The only problem?  I kept thinking I smelled like a cookie and I started craving those chocolate chocolate chip cookies. 
  • Coconut Oil is naturally anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacteria. It’s a boost your immune system. I combine extra virgin olive oil, fresh chopped garlic, and unrefined organic coconut oil and we use this when we have a cold. It makes an excellent spread for French bread or you can spread it like vapor rub.  Sounds gross but try rubbing it on your feet and putting on socks. I don’t know how it works but it sure helps Supergirl when she is fighting a cold virus.

What are some of the ways that you love to use coconut oil?  Share your favorite way to use coconut oil in the comments!


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Random 5 on Friday ~ November 20th Edition

It’s been a busy couple of weeks around here!

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1. A weekend or to ago Boobear and I had girly time again. On Saturday, we deep conditioned our hair with coconut oil and then later on Saturday she did henna on our roots. My hair seemed to really love the extra attention!

2.  It is concert and recital time for Boobear again! Last week we attended her choral concert on Tuesday night and her keyboarding student recital on Thursday night. I’m looing forward to attending the “Sounds of Christmas” choral concert in December.

3.  Turtlegirl took the SAT and has started hearing from universities in response to her SAT scores. She finds that very encouraging. I’m proud of how hard she is working and studying.  Honeybear, Turtlegirl, and I attended an informational/recruiting dinner for Turtlegirl’s first choice college.  She was able to speak with someone from the Honor’s College and with someone from the Arts and Sciences college and discussed Earth Science/ Geology major options. 

4. Yesterday was my 21st Wedding Anniversary. To celebrate we attended a small gallery reception of Byzantine Icons and Celtic manuscript illustrations. I really enjoyed the chance to see several different styles of icons and I loved the Illuminations. After that Honeybear and I just stopped for pizza. Not the most romantic dinner but I think we’ll have something fancier and cozier tonight. Supergirl likes to play restaurant and Tailorbear likes to cook. I didn’t get roses this year but here’s a picture of my anniversary roses from last year.

Roses for profile pictures

5. I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is next week. I am so unprepared. I don’t have a menu planned. Not that it will be much different from any other year but still no plan, no list, and no food shopping.