October 27, 2018

Whenever you leave one place for another you always take something with you.  In some way October 31st will always remind me of the Reformation and I will always travel back in my mind to singing "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God" at my childhood congregation in southeast Missouri.  We take something with us from every place we've been. It will forever be my Grandpa's church where, along with my grandmother, they sat on the left in the second row from the front. The same place I sit with my wife and 6 kids now.

When I was in college and seminary a popular phrase in the circles I ran in was "still attending Grandpa's church". That resonated with me because I wanted the Lutheran church of my fathers. 

In my studies I would go on to learn just how much the Lutheranism that I considered to be normal was a departure from what my ancestor Fritz had known in Germany and then when he came to America in 1865.  He traveled here in part for religious liberty. 

He didn't care for the "rati...

October 23, 2018

It exploded everywhere!

We were finally getting back to a more regular, less scattered routine of family prayers. It was our evening prayer, which includes asking each person in the family to forgive the other person for anything wrong we might have done that day.  Pretty important part of the day in our family.  We're getting the family altar set up, which includes lighting the charcoal for the incense. 

Sometimes they pop a little bit, but tonight, after a great struggle to get to this point, the whole piece exploded.  Amelia went to retrieve a piece of red hot charcoal that had fallen behind the altar.  In the process she burned her hand on another piece that was embedded in the carpet.

As she was quickly trying to remove the rest so they didn't melt into the carpet (which was unsuccessful...) Evangelia walked over and found another piece with her foot.  They were everywhere.  After many tears and as we struggled to keep Kyriaki present as her tired little self wilt...

October 5, 2018

Everyone knows that a newborn baby needs mom.  When a baby is born the first thing they need from mom is nourishment. They need to nurse.  If you walked into the room and put a chunk of steak in little Peter's mouth he'd choke on it because he isn't ready. 

So the reasoning goes for some people who deny the Eucharist to newly baptized infants. The Lord's Supper is clearly solid food that is only meant for those who know their catechism by heart, can reflect on what they believe, and can explain it to their pastor.

On the surface it might make some logical sense, but it simply is not consistent with what Scripture teaches.  The Apostle Paul actually teaches that the Lord's Supper is part of the milk that nourishes infants in Christ.  Don't believe me?  Check this out.

"But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are...

September 15, 2018

Readers of this blog are aware by now that a significant doctrinal reason for my becoming Orthodox is the Bible and it's relationship to Tradition.

I'm going to do some thinking out loud now. I hope you enjoy the ride!

The longer I've thought about this and studied it, the more I've grown to be completely comfortable with referring to the Bible as Tradition.  Remember though, when I refer to Tradition it is different than traditions, which are locals customs that have no impact on the doctrine or dogma of the Church.

Many Lutheran churches have a tradition during the Christmas Eve program of singing a verse of "Silent Night" in German.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with such a tradition, nor is there anything essential about it.  Holy Tradition is more than that, more than the salutary traditions that come from German, Mexican, African or Greek culture or from local customs in Missouri, New York, Hawaii or Colorado.

I've been listening to the beginning of the Search...

September 14, 2018

I don't know what bug we got, but it is no fun.

Symptoms aren't horrible, but it's lasting forever!  I can't remember the last time I was sick for more than a week.  Holy cow guys....

So I didn't want to blog yesterday and I don't want to blog now.  I'm so tired!!!

I have basically been rearranging our entire house the last two days, and it's a great change, but I feel like I was hit by a truck.  It just takes so much energy to blog... Not really, but that's how I feel!

Ok, so, briefly I'll tell you what's up.  Yesterday we got bananas, oat fruit cups that I had a rebate for, and cookies.  Why cookies?  Because it was a hard day that's why.  No judging... I spent $9 and change and put a dollar in our bulk food envelope.

Later that night there may or may not have been contraband food items that came from excess funds that we had... It was a hard day, ok??  But it didn't affect our food budget so yay.  We still got three square meals.

Today Iakabos went to the store...

September 12, 2018

New to our Frugal Food Series? Start here!

Right now all I want is a big fudge brownie sundae.... sounds so yummy...

Unfortunately, that's not in the budget for the evening.  The days where I buy myself delicious treats at the end of a hard day are over, at least for now.  So I'm just going to have to get over that.  Let's move on shall we?

I went grocery shopping last night again.  I used up all but six cents of my food budget.  It was a close one!  Here is what I got: 

Yes folks, that is what $10.44 of food looks like.  I was disappointed that I ran out of money because we are pretty well out of fresh fruit, and that something we almost always eat.  I figured I could fill the gap by using some of our frozen bananas to make banana ice cream after dinner.

The only prep I did after shopping was soaking black beans.  I didn't get anything else done; I was just too tired and thought it probably wouldn't be wise to overdo myself.  So this morning I woke up at 5:30a...

September 11, 2018

The good news is that we are still in budget.  But it's just been kinda dicey.  I mentioned last night that I was exhausted.  I think my biggest issue was that I was just getting a little too overzealous. 

We are trying to eat healthier and cheaper all at the same time, which is a lot.  And we've been sick.  I need to figure out how to not spend all of my free time in the kitchen and not have to stay up until 10:00pm to make this work.

Since we are leaving the house every day for school, breakfast has to be pretty much ready to heat up and eat when we wake up in the morning, and lunch has to be made and packed before 9:00am (and ideally the night before).  

Based on what I had on hand, what I could buy in budget, and what was a good whole-food plant based meal... I came up with blueberry muffins for breakfast and collard rolls for lunch.  Last night I had to go to the grocery store for today, because I knew I couldn't do it in the morning.  

So after all...

September 11, 2018

On our school trip today we decided to go to a small little park out of the way.  Iakabos says he likes the quieter parks, and while we were there I met a gentleman who was there for exactly the same reason.  He came with some food and sat down two tables away from us. 

I asked if he was on lunch break and he said yes, and that he liked to come here sometimes to get away from people and enjoy the peace and quiet.  I agreed, and then we kept to ourselves for the most of the time.

After a long while he complimented me on how I was handling Hope and Jacob (not that I had really done much!) and then said he had a teenage son with autism.  We talked a little more.

Later Iakabos came back from the river with our other four children, at which point he said with wide, unbelieving eyes "Obviously, those aren't all yours."  I smiled and said "Yup, they're all ours."  To which he replied "I don't envy you."  Now, I wasn't planning on sharing this conversation, because it sounds rude o...

September 10, 2018

Read the first post in our Frugal Food Series.

This cold we have is dragging on and on.  I missed church last week with a sick kiddo and I'm missing church this week with a sick self and a baby who is still under the weather.  And there hasn't been weekday services so I haven't been to church in what feels like forever!

In good news, Sundays are an easy food day.  Breakfast is usually just toast for the little ones... but this adorable little lovey grabbed the toaster when I was holding her in the kitchen a couple weeks back and when I walked away it fell right to the floor and broke.  So no toast today, just bread, haha!  But she's too cute to be mad at isn't she?

We had half a loaf in the cupboard which was enough for everyone who needed it.  And then I tell my kids that I don't make lunch on Sundays because they can eat at fellowship, and there is more than enough substance there if they have the patience to sit down and eat it.

Plus today was the Sunday school kick-off B...

September 9, 2018

Read the first post in our Frugal Food Series.

Happy Nativity of the Theotokos to everyone!!

This is the first great feast of the Church year, and we are celebrating! 

Last night I diced up a bunch of apples, put them in a pan, slathered them in lemon juice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, chia seeds and date sugar and put them in the fridge.  Iakabos heated them up when the kids were awake and we had cinnamon apples for breakfast.

After that I was planning on walking to the store but... there is a cold going through our house right now and today is the worst of it for me.  So I just drove across the street instead.  Here is my one day grocery "haul".  If you can call it that lol!

Oh yeah and an adorable photo bomber.  :) 

So normally we wouldn't eat these things BUT it is a feast day after all!  And, bonus points, everything is vegan!  Woohoo!  Did you know you could get vegan Pillsbury biscuits!?  Neither did I.  Obviously I just got a few treats today to supplement the food...

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