Friday, August 17, 2012

The great fruit influx of 2012

We have FANTASTIC benefactors in St. Louis who have been giving us a terrific amount of fruit the past few weeks! Peaches, apples, cherries, peaches, apples…Have I mentioned peaches yet?
With this super abundance of fruit in the house, I’ve been thinking of creative ways to consume as much fruit as possible without getting tired of it, and before it goes bad.
These are my favorite kind of problems…
My solution: Bake!
Fresh Apple Pie!
I love baking. There’s something about combining random things in your kitchen turn it into a goo, pour it into a pan, stick it in the oven and Voila! Yumminess to the extreme!
We have so many people that are SO very good to us, but there were a couple who have truly gone out of their way to help us out. We had been wracking our brains trying to figure out how to thank them when the apples provided a great solution! What better way to say thank you than a homemade pie?
That’s when I turned into crazy pie-maker postulant. It was fun and the pies did turn out looking pretty great (if I do say so myself.).
More Baking! :) 
And I mean, seriously, who can resist a warm apple pie?? 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

What have we been up to?

I promised myself that I would update the blog today.....and I've been saying that everyday for the last TEN DAYS. sorry.

So, quick update:

As you well know from our last post that Sandy, Theresa, and Cheryl moved on to Novitiate! (Praise God!)
...Which means that Carly and I are starting our second-year of Postulancy! (Hurray! God is good!)

Carly and I flew back home, to St. Louis, the last day of July and we received enthusiastic hugs, much love and ALOT of pasta. :) (Sr. Mary Joan knew that her pasta was our favorite, so she made some for our arrival home. She's so sweet!)
The very next morning, Carly and I found ourselves GIVING enthusiastic hugs, and much love as we said GOODBYE to the sisters who were leaving for retreat...Which was EVERYONE except Sr. Mary Assumpta.

just kidding. sorta.

Everything was just peachy.... for about 24 hours.
Then the Internet AND computer system in our BookCenter broke down.
Which meant: MASS CHAOS.
We tried to call our "techy-guru" Sisters in Boston but were unable to reach anyone, because EVERYONE seemed to be on retreat.
Thank God we have THE BEST employee EVERRRRR!!! (Seriously, she's the best. She's got a heart of gold and the patience of a saint! She deserves so much more than the apple pie we made her as a thank you.) She's been on the phone with the computer people for hours everyday for the last week or so, and we finally got some of our computer issues fixed. We are still ironing out kinks but we are able to function with relative ease.

Besides the "Great Computer Fiasco of 2012", we've been up to other things.
Sign across from Sr. Assumpta's room!
(Please note the squirrel holding balloons!) 

Sr. Assumpta's Birthday! Carly and I realized while we were still in Boston that it would only be the 3 of us for Sr. Assumpta’s birthday. So, obviously, we started plotting right away…
cupcake cones!

Sr. Assumpta has a special place in her heart for animals so after she went to bed, we plastered the dinning room and kitchen with animal facts and pictures for her to discover in the morning. We also made an epic sign. (See picture.) Unfortunately, since we were only in 3, we all had to take turns in the Bookcenter that day. However, we were able to sneak into the kitchen in the morning and make cupcake cones for “Lunch dessert” (Because everyone deserves dessert after lunch on their birthdays!) The grand finale of the day was going out to eat at a BBQ place nearby called Bandanas. It was fantastic and we had fun going out to eat! We went home to sing a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday and eat the cake that one of our good friends got for Sister’s birthday! The evening concluded by watching the Princess Bride (her choice!)! Carly and I both hoped that she had as much fun as WE did on her birthday!

Hmmm… other fun things we’ve done?
Oh, cleaning the roof! That was…uh…fun. I guess.
Carly cleaning the roof
like a professional!
Gathering up all my courage to climb
out the window. Yikes! 
It was definitely an interesting experience. You see, I’m dreadfully afraid of heights so it wasn’t exactly a pleasant experience, but the roof is clean and Sr. Assumpta is happy. (My mom always used to say, “When mom’s happy, everybody’s happy!” So, I’m assuming the same goes for convents: When the superior’s happy, everybody’s happy!)

The night before Sr. Rebecca arrived home, we decided to reward ourselves for making it through the 10 days alive by going to Ted Drewes! Ted Drewes is a frozen custard place found only in St. Louis. It’s definitely as amazing as everyone says it is.

Now that there are four of us home, hopefully things will be slightly less crazy. (However, I wouldn’t count on it!)
We’ll continue to fill you in on the ongoing adventures of the “Fabulous Four”!
Until then, God bless you!

In our spare time, (haha) Carly and I created
 new signs for the Chapel!
We hope more people will feel more
invited to visit! 
Sr. Mary Joan asked me to water the plants while
 she was away. I took this early one morning on my
way out to water our grotto in the back yard! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hello and Goodbye

It’s been a while since we posted an update to our blog. We’ve spent an incredibly busy and amazing six weeks here in Boston during our summer experience at the provincial house.

What exactly have we been doing here? 
In addition to living and praying with our larger Boston community, the five of us (Cheryl, Theresa, Carly, Chelsea, and I) have been working in various departments of our apostolate: video, marketing, editorial, and digital.  In June we welcomed young adults who are discerning with our community and more than twenty high school girls who participated in our St. Paul Summer Program.   On July 7th, we had the joy of witnessing Boston native Sr. Marlyn Evangelina’s perpetual profession.   In addition, both Carly and Chelsea celebrated their birthdays here in Boston.   Sr. Margaret Joseph recently interviewed Carly and me for her Pauline Faithways blog and very graciously recapped our Los Angeles experience.    To top it off, we’ve crossed paths just about daily with many of our sisters from our smaller local communities who are visiting here or passing through Boston for their annual retreats.  As you can see, there’s never a dull moment around here!
Cheryl, Sandy, and Theresa
This summer also has been a time of transition for our postulant community. A few weeks ago, Theresa, Cheryl, and I learned we’ve been admitted to the novitiate which will begin for us here in September. Joining us will be Julia, a postulant from our Mexican province, who will also complete her novitiate in Boston. The two year novitiate is a more intense time of prayer, study, community life, and mission. 

While we “pre-novices” are excited to be moving on to this new stage in formation, it has also meant saying goodbye to our friends in St. Louis and to the postulant community.   Chelsea and Carly are beginning their second year in formation as postulants and returned to St. Louis earlier this week.   Sr. Rebecca, our postulant formator, will join them after directing a retreat for some of our sisters.

As I reflected on the past year, it occurred to me that many of our bonding moments as a postulant community have occurred in the kitchen (e.g., Postulant Surprise). So, it’s not a shock that one of our last recreation nights together resembled a bake-a-thon. We divided into two teams to make lemon bars (one of my favorites) and coconut-lime banana bread, which was a huge hit thanks to the recipe provided by our good friend, Erin.
Coconut-lime banana bread!
We've joked over the past year about the personality differences in our group and how these affect many aspects of our lives, including our culinary efforts.  Some of us measure ingredients with extreme precision (yes, that would be me).  Others throw in “a little of this, a little of that.”  At the end of the day, despite our contrasting approaches, we’ve made some magnificent, though unusual, dishes together, if I do say so myself: Birthday Supreme, the aforementioned Postulant Surprise, and our Lemon Trifecta (chicken piccata and lemon pasta with lemon bars for dessert), to name a few. 
"The A Team" preparing to make lemon bars

Our cooking adventures mirror the journey we’ve made as a postulant community.   We’ve challenged each other over the past year—both in and out of the kitchen—and helped each other grow in ways none of us expected.  While we’ll miss each other, we know this goodbye is not forever.  We look forward to rejoining each other next summer as the new novices enter.  Until then, we'll swap recipes on Pinterest and continue to grow in ways both culinary and spiritual!


Carly, Sandy, and Chelsea