Cranberry, Orange, Apple Pie {Printable Recipe}


David decided that he wanted to make a pie
with cranberry sauce and apples for Thanksgiving.

This is a very simple and incredibly delicious pie!


All of the kids helped!
David helped make up the recipe,
Gregory and John helped combine the ingredients,
and Grace decorated the pie crust.
They did a beautiful job!


Cranberry, Orange, Apple Pie
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8
A perfect pie for the hoilday season!
  • 1 14oz can Whole Cranberry Sauce
  • 3-4 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • Juice of one orange
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 Tbsp butter, cut into small chunks
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 pre-made deep dish pie crusts (or you can make your own!)
  1. In a bowl, mix together cranberry sauce, apples, brown sugar, orange juice, and butter. Mix throughly so that the butter is spread throughout (it will still be in small pieces).
  2. Add flour and cornstarch; mix well.
  3. Pour into uncooked pie crust.
  4. Cut and decorate top of pie crust and then adhere to the top of the pie.
  5. Bake @ 375 for 45-55 minutes. Check at 30 minutes to make sure it isn't browning too much.

Thanksgiving Day

ThanksgivingWe began the day with Thanksgiving Liturgy at church.

Then we went to our local fire stations
and delivered cookies and
maple-bacon wrapped smokies to the men
who were working on the holiday.

After that, we went our for a delicious breakfast and then visited our friends in the hospital who just had their first baby!
She is beautiful!!  And the new parents were overjoyed by their precious miracle.
It was a highlight of the day!


The kids were were excited to get special gifts from the firefighters, but were very disappointed when they weren’t allowed in the hospital room to see the new baby.

It was just our family this year for Thanksgiving.
Since we aren’t big turkey fans, we had pork tenderloin instead.

Dessert was delicious.
I’ll share about the pie in another post!

I hope you had a nice day!

A Giving Heart

Great states!

A few days ago, the kids were playing Great States!
John, the youngest player, won the game, David came in second, then Gregory, and last was Grace.   I wanted to do something to cheer up the ones who hadn’t won, so I decided to do a speed round.

Typically, David takes more time to answer questions while Gregory and Grace are very quick on their feet.  Well… just a little bit into the speed round,
John, Grace and Gregory were all in tears!

David has answered every question first, and then it dawned on me:
David has an eidetic memory!
Since we had already played a round, he could perfectly remember
where everything was on the game board.

My incredibly empathetic and loving firstborn quickly got up from the game, ran and got his last three pieces of candy from our Family Fun Night and handed them to his siblings.

Great states!

Great states!

Then he gave them piggy-back rides around the house.

Great states!

We are truly blessed in these wonderful children!

Holiday Gift Idea: Sew Geek

My friend, Ruthann, is an incredibly talented seamstress
who makes adorable items for kids and adults.
Her shop is called Sew Geek.

She is offering all Be As A Light readers
10% off any order!

Sew Geek
Eco Baggies $6 snack size. $7 sandwich size, not shown here.

She is also selling these incredible kid aprons


and these bracelets!

You can receive 10% off your order
by telling Ruthann that you saw this deal on my blog.

She is only taking orders until Dec 10th, so order soon!

On These Things

I was chatting with one of my closest friends recently about how social media makes being a mother very difficult.  We are bombarded with positive posts and beautiful blogs, and, naturally, we assume this must be what a person’s life is like all the time.

However, no one’s life is exactly as it appears online.  I’ve already written a post about comparisons, but there is more to it than just that.

Many of us tend to put our best face forward to the public while behind the scenes we are dealing with many struggles, internal and external, that we aren’t comfortable sharing publicly.  As my friend put it,

“I think most of us moms struggle with [comparing ourselves to other moms]. And it is definitely a bad place to be. We are all different, different family compositions and different skill sets. Plus, we never really know what’s going on in others’ hearts and homes.”

She hit the nail on the head!

For each of us, we had a vision of how our lives would look, and for most, our lives did not turn out that way.  There is a grieving process that comes with accepting life to be something other than what you expected it to be.  Even when life is beautiful and there is much to be thankful for, there is that subtle reminder of what could have been when we see posts depicting exactly what we had hoped for but do not have.


In Philippians 4, it says:


As my priest told me, rather than judge others or compare ourselves, take that moment to pray for that person.  And then remember Philippians 4 and think upon the things in your life that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, and be thankful.  Do not allow yourself to be consumed with thoughts that bring you down.

“How much time he gains who does not look to see what his neighbour says or does or thinks, but only at what he does himself, to make it just and holy.”
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations


Christian Education

“Before you examine the school’s ability to teach academics,
however, it is absolutely necessary that you determine
whether the school is Christian-friendly, Christian-tolerant or anti-Christian.
If you find the school to be Christian-friendly and capable of teaching academics,
you may want to utilize it as part of your responsibility to rear
and educate your children. If, however, the school
is merely Christian-tolerant or is anti-Christian,
it behooves you to look for other choices.
Let me stress that in raising your children,
it is their eternal salvation which should be at the top of your priorities.
This is your responsibility before God.”
-Bishop THOMAS, Ed.D.,
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America


We are fortunate to live in an area where the students in the public schools are often taught by Christian teachers.  And because we live in the “Bible Belt,” religious tolerance is the norm.

For us, it just happens to be a perk of homeschooling that we are able
to incorporate religious education into our daily lessons.

This year, my children are memorizing a large passage of scripture in both English and Latin.  We have time to do prayers together and read the Bible every morning, sing the hymns of the church, do art projects relating to Bible stories or Feast days, read books about Jesus and the Saints, and talk openly about our faith together. Great states!

Copy workIdeally, we would be able to attend more church services because the children do not have to miss class in order to celebrate a Feast in the Church.  Hopefully, as they get older, this will become much easier.  It is hard getting out the door by 7am with five young children and evening services are difficult when our children go to bed at 7pm!  In time, we will be able to better take advantage of this perk as well.  

I love that their reading, writing, handwriting
and copywork are passages of the Bible.

I want these words to penetrate their hearts and minds, and I feel blessed that we are a homeschooling family!

Sensory Integration Games & Activities

I hesitated sharing this on my blog, but I figured that maybe the things I am learning can help others.  The truth is that some of our children have sensory processing/sensory integration delays/struggles.  With one child, we’ve known for a while, and with another, we just got the official diagnosis last week (among other things).

While we always knew something was going on, we didn’t know the severity of it until recently.  These children are doing occupational therapy, but I wanted to continue their growth at home, so I didn’t a lot of research and found simple/fun ways to help.

Sensory Bins

The goal of sensory integrative therapy is to facilitate the development of the nervous system’s ability to process sensory input in a more normal way. Sensory integration is a term for a process in the normal brain which pulls together all of the various sensory messages in order to form coherent information on which we can act. Basically everything we do requires sensory integration. This normal process can be missing or very badly organized in some people, notably autistic individuals.  Found here

These are games and activities that all children can enjoy, regardless of ability.

Continue reading

Holiday Gift Idea: Twirled Peace

IMG_20141119_155219 Before Elizabeth posted photos of her creations, I had never heard of quilling.   Quilling involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs.   She shared an adorable nativity set on Twirled Peace, and I knew I wanted one for our family’s Christmas decor.


I was impressed with how quickly our nativity set arrived and how beautifully it was wrapped.  The children were in awe!

Go to the Twilred Peace Facebook Page to place an order.

Here are some other quilled pieces that she has made:

She will be taking orders for Christmas quilling (nativities, snowflakes, etc.) from now through Sunday (11/23) at noon. After that, she will be focused on quilling for her own gift giving and won’t be taking new orders until March, 2015.

Please consider supporting my friend and her beautiful art!

Holiday Gift Idea: Cozy House Curios

During this Holiday season, I am going to be sharing gift ideas from independent designers, crafters, and shop owners that I love and hope you will love, too.  

Mixed-fiber hand-knit acorns - set of three - assorted shades
My friend, Matushka Anna, has finally opened up an Etsy shop: Cozy House Curios!

IMG_20141120_103525She graciously sent me a set of
Mixed-fiber Hand-knit Acorns.

These make an adorable addition to your Autumn and Winter decor!

They would also be cute as Christmas tree ornaments.

She is also selling dollhouse items, knit clothing for dolls, and knit hats.

In the store, as of this afternoon:
Gold Censer with bells – crocheted – children’s toy for playing Liturgy or Mass

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 11.02.04 AM


Please like Cozy House Curios on Etsy and Facebook.

Financial compensation was not received for this post.
A sample product was gifted from Cozy House Curios.
Opinions expressed here are my own.