Monday, February 27


I was surprised to see a catalogue from Emma Bridgewater in our mailbox today.  I couldn't help squealing when I spotted this Oxford mug within the pages.  I was born in Oxford, England nearly 37 years ago and though I have not lived there since I was three months old, it is a very special place for me.  I noticed that the mug was on sale for 30% off and they were also offering free shipping, so I impulsively bought it.  I can't say that I regret the purchase, either!

Cami's Romanian Potato Salad

Cami is a Romanian woman that comes to our church who is an absolute wizard in the kitchen.  She makes this delicious potato salad for many of our Lenten Sunday coffee hours.  She gave me a vague recipe which I have attempted to recreate for you!  

Boil peeled and cubed potato until they are soft.  Shred two carrots and dice one pickle,  two stalks of celery, a couple of green onions, a quarter to half of a red onion, and some kalamata olives.  Mix a dressing of red wine vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard.  Combine vegetables, drained potatoes, and dressing in a large bowl.  Chill and enjoy!

Sunday, February 26

This Week's Menu


I've made a couple of dishes to see us through the next few days:  simple beets (just salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar), potato salad, and mushroom barely soup.  Along with some hummus, guacamole, bread, pretzels,crackers, fruit, and cut up raw vegetables, meals should be relatively easy this first week of Great Lent.

Saturday, February 25

Embroidering with Matushka Dunia


Father Daniel and Matushka Dunia came over for dinner on Thursday night. We have been meaning to get-together for a meal for quite awhile, but our schedules havent matched up.  After we ate, Matushka spent a little time with our daughter teaching her a few basic embroidery stitches.  Our little girl has become quite the needlewoman of late (she knits, cross-stitches, and can use a sewing machine) and embroidery has been on her list of things to try for quite some time.  She enjoyed her lesson very much and has spent the past few days whipping through the little sampler that Matushka drew for her.  Her goal was to finish by Sunday, and she was done this morning!  She'll be able to show her teacher what she practiced tonight at Vespers!

Thursday, February 23

Flower Girl

Our daughter's gown for my sister's May wedding has arrived

Wednesday, February 22



We celebrated my father-in-law's 41st anniversary of Ordination to the Priesthood last night (a smidge early as it is actually today!).  41 years!  He was here for a little pre-lenten visit and brought a folder full of old photographs like the one above.  This one shows my husband's dear godfather and my father-in-law at Holy Trinity Monastery in the early 1980's.  It was lovely to see a glimpse into his past and hear some of the many stories that he has to tell!

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)
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