Tuesday, February 21

Preparing for Great Lent: Planning Ahead...

One of the things that really helps to make Great Lent and Pascha go a little more smoothly is to plan ahead.  Here are some of the things that I have on my list to do:

1.  Begin saving onion skins for dyeing eggs red naturally  
2.  Buy candles (battery operated for little ones) for Great Lent, Holy Week, and Pascha
3.  Purchase wheat grass seeds to plant on Palm Sunday  
4.  Purchase Pascha candy and plastic eggs for egg hunt  
5.  Sort out Pascha outfits and egg necklace(s)
6.  Create a Lenten calendar  
7.  Pick out a book or two to read during Great Lent
8.  Print out Great Lent Passport 
 Is there anything that I am missing?

Come and See!

Monday, February 20

Living and Learning: The Week Ahead

Church in the Home
With Great Lent fast approaching, I'll be posting a little bit on some of our Lenten preparations and plans this week.  Have you seen the lenten cleaning plan I posted earlier today?  I'd love to see yours if you have one! 

I started watching Sense and Sensibility last night and am really enjoying it!  I love the Emma Thompson version, but this one is so well done and is lengthier!

On My Bedside Table
I began reading Good Evening, Mrs. Craven:  The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Brown last night and am already nearly done.  I really love reading about the experience of the British during World War II and this slim volume of short stories is no exception!  

Kitchen, Pantry, Table
It's Cheesefare Week for the Orthodox Church and we are planning to eat lots of yummy things before the start of Great Lent next Monday.  Some of the things that I plan to make are:  pancakes, waffles, baked ziti, and grilled cheese.  I'd also love to go out for pizza on Friday night!

In My Knitting Basket
I'm still plugging away on my socks, but I've also decided to join in on a Lenten knit-a-long that my sister, Kate, has begun. I'll be knitting another huge Palmyre Shawl.  I'm hoping that the yarn that I ordered yesterday arrives in time.

Preparing for Great Lent: Lenten Cleaning

I try to deep clean our home as much as I am able during the weeks when we fast (Cheesefare Week begins on February 20 and Great Lent begins on the 27th of February this year) . I find that it is really wonderful to enjoy having everything clean and organized for the Great Feasts of the year. I plan on breaking my cleaning up by cleaning one room or area each week of the Fast (there are seven weeks + Cheesefare Week).  I'll also try to keep up with my regular daily cleaning and laundry routines as much as possible so that the kitchen isn't spotless, while the rest of the house looks like a war zone with naked children running around!


Cheesefare Week
1.  Clean Icon Corners
2.  Plan Lenten Menu List/Create Shopping List
3.  Shop for Lenten Staples
4.  Prepare a few quiet activities for the first week (watercolors, play dough, audiobooks)
5.  Create a Lenten Calendar

Week One (Kitchen)
1.  Clean out fridge and freezer
2.  Clean out cabinets and drawers
3.  Clean counters, appliances, and sink
4.  Wash out garbage can and recycling bin
5.  Wash baseboards and scrub floor

Week Two (Sunroom, Dining Room, and Laundry Room)
1.  Scrub table and chairs
2.  Clean out cabinets and drawers
3.  Clean counters and appliances
4.  Wash baseboards and scrub floors
5.  Tend potted trees (add dirt, repot, etc.)

Week Three (Playroom, Living Room, Entrance and Hallway)
1.  Sort through books, magazines, dvds, and cds
2.  Sort through puzzles, games, and toys
3.  Tidy art supplies
4.  Dust furniture and vacuum under cushions
5.  Wash baseboards and scrub floors

Week Four (Bathrooms)
1.  Clean out cabinets and drawers
2.  Purge bath toys and sanitize keepers
3.  Clean tubs, showers, sinks, and toilets
4.  Wash baseboards and scrub floors
5.  Reorganize towels and replace worn ones

Week Five (Children's Rooms)
1.  Clean closets
2.  Go through books and toys
3.  Dust
4.  Wash all bedding and curtains/flip mattresses
5.  Wash baseboards and vacuum floors

Week Six (Master Bedroom)
1.  Clean out closet
2.  Tidy dresser, bedside tables, and bookshelf
3.  Dust
4.  Wash all bedding and curtains/flip mattress 
5.  Wash baseboards and scrub floor

Great and Holy Week
1.  Paschal shopping
2.  Clean car
3.  Wash glass doors and windows
4.  Tidy porch
5.  Fill hanging baskets and window boxes (weather permitting)

Sunday, February 19



The eagerly anticipated snowdrops finally have a bud and there are masses of daffodils poking their heads up out of the ground.  The question is, will spring come early this year?  Or are we in for one last hurrah before winter gives in?

Saturday, February 18

Plant Happiness


The best way to plant happiness is to do at least one thing every day to make one person happier, and to do it for God. That shouldn't be difficult. We can all do that.”

D.E. Stevenson 

Tuesday, February 14

Saint Valentine's Day

My darling valentines chose these delicately-colored roses for me and we enjoyed chocolates, valentine cards, and a luxurious homemade dinner (grilled steak, loaded baked potatoes, Parmesan garlic asparagus, and salad).  It was such a peaceful day with my sweethearts, which was balm to my harried and weary soul.

Memory Eternal!

Give rest O Lord to the departed soul of Thy servant, Patrick.
Our dear surrogate grandfather, Patrick, fell asleep in the Lord late yesterday evening.  He was very elderly and had been failing for quite a long time, but we are missing him so much. 

Monday, February 13

Living and Learning: The Week Ahead


Kitchen, Pantry, Table
My little Sugar Plum baked galettes for this past Sunday's coffee hour and tried new fruit for the filling.  She made one with peaches and one with peaches and blueberries.  Though frozen peaches weren't bad, I'm looking forward to using juicy sun-ripened summer peaches and sweet blueberries right off the bush.  There's just nothing better.

On My Bedside Table 
I'm slowly working my way through the Miss Buncle books and am going to be sad when they're over.  I have several books that have been recently been lent to me from a few different people, but I'm also looking forward to Good Evening, Mrs. Craven:  The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter Downes.

I read about Ramond Briggs' upcoming cartoon Ethel & Ernest on Sunday and just loved watching the trailer.  It won't be out for awhile, but I'm really looking forward to seeing it!

In My Knitting Basket
I'm in the midst of knitting (and re-knitting) my first sock...  if I can get it right, I can see sock knitting as something I can see myself doing for a long time.  There are only so many cowls and hats one can knit and use, but socks!  Everyone needs multiple pairs!

I've been on a bit of an audiobook bender lately.  I listened to Pride and Prejudice rather quickly and moved right on to Emma, which I am enjoying very much.
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