Friday, May 30, 2008

An Evening Sail

Last Saturday evening Erik, Peregrine, and Erik's dad Claud went on a three hour sail aboard the Lady Washington, a reproduction of a sailing ship from the 1700s. The adventure included a mock battle against another ship, The Hawaiian Cheiftan, complete with cannons and pirates! They had a great time on board the ship and I trust it will be a very special memory for all of them. I played around with a few pictures Erik took and came up with this on Scrapblog.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Name and the Story Behind It

Tiny Hands,

Tiny Feet,

Tiny Boy.
Raphael Baraka Samuel.

Our little Raphael finally has his middle names. (All of our children have two middle names, and these things take time. We like to get to know them a bit and make sure their names suit who they are. None of them has had to wait quite this long, however.) Here is the meaning behind his name:
Raphael means God has healed. When Erik and I heard this one day we looked at each other and I think we both knew that would be his name. After losing two babies to miscarriage before this pregnancy, it just seems appropriate! 
Baraka means blessing in several languages. We are indeed blessed. Abundantly.
Samuel means God has heard. Early in my pregnancy Peregrine informed me that we were having a boy and that we should name him Samuel because it means God has heard our prayers. One can hardly argue with that, and it only seemed right to include it in his name. 
We continue to praise God for this precious life. He heard our prayers, brought healing, and blessed us! 

Photos taken by Erik.

Friday, May 23, 2008


*Quick update: I'm feeling much better; thanks so much for your prayers! 

I've always loved muffins, and this is a recipe I've been playing with for a while. My sister Alyssa keeps asking for it so I thought I'd just share it here. These muffins are not only yummy, but are also full of lots of things you're body will like. They're high in fiber and whole grains, low in fat, not too sweet, and yet are very moist and flavorful. This recipe makes 24 regular sized muffins. Here goes....

1 1/2 C Flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
1 C Ground Flax Seed
3/4 C Oat Bran
3/4 C Brown Sugar (or Sucanat)
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t salt
2 t cinnamon
1 C raisins, dried cranberries, or other dried fruit
1 C chopped nuts or seeds (I like toasted pecans)
1/3 C milk (kefir works great if you have it)
3 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/2 C milk powder (optional)
1 orange, unpeeled and cut into large chunks.
1/4 C oil
1 1/2 C shredded carrots (you could substitute zucchini when it's in season)
2 apples, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Mix first group of ingredients together in a large bowl. Put milk, eggs, vanilla, milk powder if using, orange chunks, and oil into a blender or food processor. Blend until the orange is pureed. You'll still see bits of peel in there as if you had grated the rind. Dump this into a separate mixing bowl and mix in the shredded carrots and apples. (I shred these in my food processor/blender. This may be my favorite kitchen appliance, by the way! Useful for so many things.)
Mix the wet ingredients into the dry with a whisk or wooden spoon; the batter will be thick. Spoon into muffin pans. (I use paper liners, but if you don't you'll need to grease the pan first.) You can fill them right up to the top; they don't rise a whole lot. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Because they are so moist they're good even a couple of days after being baked, but I would refrigerate them if you're going to keep them around more than a day. 
If you make them let me know what you think! 
Hope you all have a good weekend! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Sleeping Beauty
(photograph by Erik)

And a quick update on the breast infection. I'm doing somewhat better, but the fever and chills are still coming and going. I have a little more energy but am still pretty wiped out. I have a call in to my doctor and am waiting to see what she thinks.  Thanks so much for your prayers! 

Monday, May 19, 2008


Who's Who: The kids wearing the shirts we made them a few months ago.

Here's an update on life around here:
  • Raphael is almost seven weeks and is treating us to the sweetest smiles! We're so thankful that he is healthy and growing like a weed! (Erik just commented that he thinks our weeds are actually growing faster!) 
  • We've gone from an unusually cool and rainy spring to full-blown summer weather. Up until a few days ago we'd had  only a few days that hit 7o degrees, and now it's been getting up in the mid 90s! Yikes! It takes a bit of getting used to, but thankfully we have cooling in our house so there's some relief and escape from the heat wave. It's supposed to cool down again over the next few days. The garden and the kids are both enjoying the sprinkler! 
  • Erik worked about a jillion hours over the last several days. He was privileged to be able to work on a project testing some new equipment that was brought over from Korea. It was a great opportunity for him even though it meant super long days. He's able to take the extra hours as paid time off, so in the long run it will mean more time together, but it's not been easy having him gone for such long days and not getting a weekend. 
  • I've come down with a breast infection, the first in my breastfeeding career. I'm pretty wiped out and have spent most of yesterday and today on the couch. Thankfully my mom and sister have been able to help with the older kids, and Erik came home early today to take care of me. I'm hoping it will pass quickly without having to take antibiotics, but on the other hand I need to get well so I can care for my family. I'd appreciate your prayers for this. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Thanks again for all of those who prayed for my sister Gloria as she waited for and gave birth to her firstborn. Here are some pictures of little Diego-Ru Okon. Isn't he precious? 

Gloria, Okon, and Diego-Ru

And in case you haven't "met" her, you can read about Gloria here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Forty Days

Just as the Christ child was brought to the temple and presented to God on the fortieth day after His birth, we brought Raphael to church on Sunday for his forty day blessing. In the Orthodox Church there are special prayers of blessing for the newborn baby and his or her mama on or around the fortieth day. Raphael was blessed and prayed for, presented to the Lord in the presence of the congregation of faith, and officially welcomed by our church family. It was very special for us all. 

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Tribute to my Mom

Here's a little tribute to my Mom on Mother's Day. For something slightly more serious click here. I love you Mom!

Don't send a lame Mother's Day eCard. Try JibJab Sendables!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The Water Cycle

Peregrine often thinks up "experiments", most of which we never get around to doing. One of his recent ideas was to make ocean water with salt and water. He did it not long ago and was thrilled that his experiment "worked". Today I wanted to have some "special time" with him. While Raphael slept and Poppy watched a movie, Peregrine and I took his ocean water experiment a little further. You should definitely listen to this while you read! 

Evaporation and condensation,
The water cycle, the water cycle,
Followed by precipitation, 
The water cycle, the water cycle,
The never-ending cycle is taking place
All the time and everywhere....

(Even in our kitchen!)

Here's our mini ocean, a couple of tablespoons of salt dissolved in warm water.

The heat of the sun (or the burner, for lack of a heat lamp and a couple of hours) causes water vapor to form into a cloud of steam.

Condensation and Precipitation
I placed four glasses around the pot, then set a large glass lid on top of them to trap our "cloud". 

Through the glass lid we could watch the steam condense and run off the sides as "rain".

Just for fun we let the water boil away and were left with a crusty bed of salt...

...and a very pleased boy! 

(I know I've linked to these before, but I must put in another plug for these science songs. They were recorded in the 1950s and 60s and Peregrine, and the rest of us, love listening to them. He has learned a lot of basic science concepts from them.)

Friday, May 02, 2008


Guess who is one month old today? I can hardly believe it!

Here are some bits and pieces of life around here:
  • Gloria and Baby got to come home from the hospital last night! Hooray! He is doing good and I trust they and Okon are very happy to be in their own home together. Thanks so much for your prayers. 
  • I explained to Peregrine the other day that people choose different places to give birth to their babies. Here are his thoughts on homebirth: "That's how I'm going to ask my wife to do it. I'll tell her that I would prefer her to have our baby at home so we don't have to be away from home so much. If we ever adopt any orphans, my wife and I, we'll have our birth at home so we won't have to go to the hospital so we won't have to sleep there, so we can take care of our orphans."
  • We just bought a quarter of a cow, cut and wrapped and in the freezer. It's local, grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic free beef. Woohoo! We don't really eat a lot of beef, but when we do I like to buy the good stuff, and this is way cheaper. I also really don't know how to cook anything other than hamburger and roasts. So I guess I'm going to be getting familiar with the meat section of my cookbook. Do you have any good beef recipes you'd like to share? 
  • We'd appreciate your prayers for our family. The last few days have been really difficult with Peregrine, and we really need God's wisdom to know how best to guide our boy. Also, Poppy has been having night terrors, which is upsetting to say the least. Please pray for God's grace and peace for us. 
  • And I'll leave you with one last picture- we're (happily) outnumbered by these three little and not-so-little sweeties!