Monday, May 10, 2010


I have had "blog about BOB books prize" on my to-do list for months.

In January, I won a prize through the Letters of Grace giveaway. Letters of Grace is an Orthodox homeschooling curriculum geared toward children learning to read. It is the product of much hard work from Mary, Anna, and Matushka Emily. These three ladies have created beautiful and harmonious lessons and tested them on their own families, and are freely sharing their work.

Teddy loves his BOB books. I thought he'd be too young for them, as they are meant to be read by the child. He'd keep coming up to me and to his father, pushing the first book into our hands and demanding: "Mat! Mat!" (the name of the first book). He loves taking the books out of the box and putting them back in, solemnly turning pages and "reading" them himself, then bringing them to us to unlock their non-plots.

I worry that Teddy won't read enough. I worry that he'll read too much (as I did, and probably do). But I love sharing the discoveries with him. (Okay, most of the time, since I've put the BOB books out of reach for a while. "Mat! Mat!" can be too much since Teddy can't read them himself yet.)

So I just wanted to give thanks for Letters of Grace and its creators and share this wonderful resource.

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Monday, May 03, 2010

Meal Plan

While reading posts in Google Reader, I often pause on Mary @ Evlogia's posts, finding them relevant to my current life, or inspiring to some future project. (Most things are on hold, now that we are gearing up for a move this month. The assignment is still not official, so that's all I'll say.)

On the Thursday before last week, I read this post and fell head over heels in love with the idea of a seasonal* meal plan. Mary's meal plans repeat each week within the season, so her family eats the same week's meals (no, not like that) from the Sunday of St. Thomas through the Sunday of All Saints. Then, for the Apostles' Fast, they'll eat using a different meal plan—but one which stays the same week to week within that season.

*Liturgical seasons, that is, fasting for fasts, and feasting for festal seasons.

There are not enough superlatives to describe how awesomely wonderful this is to me. I am struggling with eating vegetables, eating nourishing food, eating varied food**, and preparing meals. I want Teddy to have these things be normal to him, but that means I have to work hard at it now. (Okay, I'd like for these things to be normal for me, too, but that's not as inspiring. Teddy is much cuter.)

**My first academic year at ND included about eight months of lunches and dinners based around chicken patties. And I'm not exaggerating.

So I wrote down all the things we like to eat (feasting-wise) which I could think of off the top of my head, and noticed that three of them (hamburgers, tasty Romanian soup, and seven-layer dip) last for more than one meal. Even with that, it was a bit of a struggle to stretch across to a full 14 lunch and dinner meals, with nothing but the main repeating entree ... well, repeating. Fr. Peter chose seven-layer dip because we'd just had a week of soup, and I don't know whether he will want to have seven-layer dip for weeks and weeks, but so far it is MARVELOUS. I made it on Saturday after the yard sale, and—guess what!—lunch was already made for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday!

This past Sunday we were so exhausted from the yard sale that I didn't have time to sit down and grind out a meal plan—BUT I ALREADY KNEW WHAT WE WERE GOING TO EAT BECAUSE I REMEMBERED IT FROM LAST WEEK!

Okay, we have a PTO board meeting, paraklesis, and shopping tonight, and fish is on the menu (my one stretch, even though it's Costco fishsticks for me and salmon burgers with garlic for the more adventurous men), and it takes a while. I just wanted everyone to know how awesome this seasonal* thing is.

Thank you, Mary.

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