Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos - An August Fasting Menu

I am a high school teacher (Speech, English, Drama, and Debate) and school is rapidly approaching. We were blessed to home school last year, so are a little nervous about the kids being back in public school, though they are in wonderful programs. This year we'll have my husband in grad school, my son in 2nd Grade, and my daughter at Montessori preschool, so we'll all four be in four different schools!

Anticipating the need to give more time to my family and my classroom, I plan on substantially decreasing my blog presence. I did a similar thing last August, but had not the grace to let you know first.

My goal is to post once a month, near the beginning of the month, so here is my post for August: Dormition Fast Menu

Sunday - Procession of the Cross
Supper: Caponata and Polenta (with olive oil instead of butter)

Breakfast: Vegan Banana Bread I can't count the endless number of times we've enjoyed this - thank you so much, Matushka Emily, for sharing it!
Lunch: Crock Pot Veggie Soup
Dinner: Tostados (crunchy corn rounds topped with seasoned refried beans, caramelized onions & kale, tomatoes, and guacamole)

Breakfast: English Muffins and Fruit
Lunch: Polenta Slices (leftover from Sunday)with Peanut Butter Sauce or with Caramelized Onions and Kale from yesterday
Supper: Purple-hull Pea Patties or Pasta and Marinara

Breakfast: Scrambled Tofu
Lunch: Boca Burgers
Supper: Pinto Beans and Rice

Breakfast: Squash Bread (like Banana Bread recipe, but use mashed cooked Sugar-Pumpkin Squash in place of banana)
Lunch: Bean Quesadillas
Supper: Liturgy for the Transfiguration

Friday - Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
Breakfast: English Muffins and Fruit
Lunch: Peanut Butter and Jelly
Supper: Grilled Fish marinaded in Dales

Breakfast: Pancakes
Lunch: Bread, Earth Balance, and Sauteed Greens
Supper: Pizzas made with Mission Sun-dried Tomato & Basil Wraps and the crust, Basil Almond Pesto, mushrooms, tomatoes, and veggie mozerella.

Week 2 will be the same, except Monday will include Alaskan Salmon Patties in honor of St. Herman of Alaska

Snacks: grapes, banana chips, almonds, animal crackers, flour tortillas

And to feast, I highly recommend this Lasagna Casserole, which makes enough to serve one 8x8 pan and freeze the 2nd 8x8 pan for another week.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Gifts from God: More Monasteries

The Dormition of the Theotokos in Michigan had a wonderful children's garden, planted by Abbess Benedicta, memory eternal.

I would love to create some of these little rock messages in our garden at home.
The Monastery also sells little nun and monk dolls , which were dotted all along the children's garden, re-enacting various scriptures and events.

At Holy Cross Hermitage in West Virginia, we all got to milk goats!

The monks use the goat milk to make soap and lotion products.

Although the monastery website provides a woderful 7-page Vistors Guide, I would add One More bit of ADVICE as a Mother:

Do NOT put your little girl in pretty church shoes. Tennis shoes or mud boots would be much more appropriate for milking goats and hiking through the woods!

As the monks said every time we told them "Thank You" for something,

THANK GOD for our summer visits!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gifts from God: Visiting Monasteries

We were blessed to spend an afternoon at the Presentation of the Theotokos Monastery in Marshfield, MO on our annual summer drive to the grandparents.
After visiting over a lovely afternoon snack, we stepped into the stream of prayer that flows day and night all over the world in faithful monasteries.
The nuns introduced us to some instruments that often call people to prayer.
Little Builder ringing the bells (with protective ear coverings).

Hammering the simantron. Mother Alexandra explained that when the animals heard Noah beating his hammer, they heard it as a call to come to the ark; and so we also can hear the beating of the wood as a call to enter the ark of the Church of Christ.

In general Abbess Sergia and Mother Alexandra were so generous and attentive to the children. When we asked them later what they remembered about the monastery they replied,
"the sweet nuns."

During the evening prayer services, both children were unusally peaceful and quiet. Our souls indeed were nourished by the sweet and holy spiritual atmosphere in the chapel.

Thanks be to God.