Saturday, February 28


I unearthed this large cloth remnant from a box a week or so ago and cut it into two pieces - one to fit the kitchen table and one for the dining room table. I put away the dining room table one, but we've been using the kitchen table sized cloth ever since. I like how it dresses up the room a little, looks good with the trivet Fr. John gave me for Valentine's Day, and how I found four matching vinyl placemats for it at Marshall's the other day!

Friday, February 27

Pizza and Kite Flying...

After a morning church service, we realized that the weather was going to be nice and warm. Add a beautiful windy day in with a cheesy Friday, and a kite that has been waiting to be flown since Christmas, and you have the recipe for a great outing!

Wednesday, February 25


For some reason this simple project turned into one that took forever to get around to! These binders will soon be filled with all the papers that are tucked into the nooks and crannies of my desk... I think that organizing by season and having space for school and craft ideas, homemaking, decoration, and list-making will really simplify things for me this coming year. Now all that is left to do is fill them!

Tuesday, February 24

Imaginitive Play: Farm Set

I found these shelves (they can also stand upright) at Michael's a few months ago, and immediately knew that they would be perfect to store and display our farm toys. Using my 40% off and 50% off coupons over the course of a few months, I was able to get three shelves. They are working so nicely! I still have to get four baskets for storage, but Michael's often has sales on baskets during the month. I love how they are the perfect height for our little ones to kneel down and play! They have really enjoyed setting the animals up in different configurations each day.

Monday, February 23

Beautiful Cotton Nightgowns...

Maybe it is because I love old fashioned things, but I have wanted a crisp cotton nightgown with delicate embroidery for years! I love looking at the ones on the April Cornell website and I recently came across Victorian Classics, a site specializing in pretty nightgowns. I would love to get the one pictured above for this summer!

Sunday, February 22

Scary Bedtime Prayer...

I though this was so funny!

**Sorry that your comment got deleted, Penny! I had to get rid of the post because it was messing up my blog... Will you re-comment with that beautiful prayer again?**

Saturday, February 21

Creating a Child Friendly Environment: Play Kitchen

I was in a re-arranging mood the other day and tried changing the play kitchen around. Putting it on a chest with more "counter" space and lots of drawers for food and other kitchen essentials has been great for our little ones. They love the space and the fact that it is a little closer to the ground than the nightstand we had it on before. I love the wood combination and that it fills up that small wall in our kitchen so well! It is always amazes me that children get more interested in something when it is arranged in a pretty and organized manner - even if it takes a little more effort to keep it that way!

Yes, Little Man is perched on a kitchen chair which I normally do not allow someone who is so unsteady on his feet to do...

Friday, February 20

Friday's Feminine Tip...

If you love homemade cookies fresh from the oven , freeze some dough in individual portions. When you want to bake a few, remove the frozen dough from the freezer, arrange them on a cookie sheet and place on the stove while your oven preheats. They will be defrosted by the time your oven is pre-heated and you'll be able to enjoy a yummy cookie in no time at all!

Thursday, February 19

Lenten Calenders...

With Great Lent looming ever closer, I've been thinking about ways to make it more child-friendly in our house. Now that Sugar Plum is nearing three, I think that she can grasp some simple concepts regarding this special time in our Liturgical year. I found this calender idea very helpful and Fr. John was pretty excited when I showed it to him as well. I love the idea of placing a food item in a box for the poor daily, don't you?!

Do you do a calender for Lent ( I am interested in your perspective even if you are not Orthodox!)? I'd love to get some more ideas!

Sunday, February 15

Papa Plays Dolls...

As our children get older, I am really enjoying a new side of my husband. He is a loving and attentive father to little babies, but I think that he really shines with toddlers! He played "dolls" with Sugar Plum for awhile tonight (even though the NBA All-Star game was on!). I love the way that he set them up, don't you?! Check out wild-haired Mama bathing two babies at once!

Saturday, February 14

Happy Valentine's Day!

Sweets for Coffee Hour...

I shamelessly ripped off all of Jessica's Valentine treat ideas for coffee hour tomorrow... they were so easy that I did this huge platter of sweets in 45 minutes WITH the "help" of a two and a half year old!

Thursday, February 12

Famous Rapper Sings about Abortion..

Flipsyde is a group that has toured with Fort Minor, The Black Eyed Peas, Snoop Dogg and on the Anger Management Tour. Two of their songs have been the theme songs for the 2006 Winter Olympics and the 2008 Summer Olympics. It is good to see young and very talented artists standing up for the unborn.

Wednesday, February 11

Valentine Shelf...

The book in the center is Colours by Shirley Hughes (propped open to the page on the color red)... One of our favorites!

Monday, February 9

February 8th...

It's time for another Commitment to Loveliness! This is a fun way to increase femininity and beauty in our lives each week without even trying! All you have to do is choose five things that you would like to work on or do during the week that will increase the loveliness in your life!

Here is my list for this week:

1. Give myself a pedicure
2. Make homemade Valentines!
3. Learn how to use the new-to-me cookie press we received

Clean off the screened-in porch (the children have really been enjoying that playspace the past few days... we should enjoy it while we are here!)
5. Make lots of yummy meals for a fast-free week!

Once you have chosen five simple things, post them on your blog and let us know in the comments section. If you do not have a blog, but have a commitment to share, please post them in the comments section.

Saturday, February 7

Moving Again...

We received word this past week that our landlords (at the house) are not going to renew our lease (I think that they want to move to this area). When we heard about this, I was really heartbroken because I really like this house and I thought that when we left it would be because we were the ones choosing to leave. It doesn't look like the church is going to go for the mansion that I mentioned a few weeks ago, so we need a new home. We spent yesterday looking and there are some beautiful townhomes (think finished basement for a guest bedroom and Father's office, hardwood floors, a sunny morning room, etc!) that are available to either rent or buy only eleven minutes from the church! We're keeping our options open - rent or buy in this area or move on to a different church/ministry. I'll keep you posted! Either way, there's going to be a lot going on around here the next six months!

Friday, February 6

Rice, Rice Baby...

Mrs. Brigham reminded with a recent post that I wanted to make an indoor sand box for our daughter this winter. One large bag of rice and a scavenger hunt for fun playthings around the kitchen (both the "real" one and the play one!) and we were in business. I think that this will help on the cold, dreary afternoons we've been having!

Thursday, February 5

Homemade Bread...

I am always on the quest for good recipes and this one is a keeper! Hannah posted a video by the authors of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and adds her baking notes. The result is bread awesome bread that is crusty and delicious - it's like picking up a loaf of bread from your local bakery! Please try it and let me know what you think!!

Wednesday, February 4

A Beatrix Potter Easter...

Look at these tempting linens and dear dishes that Pottery Barn Kids is selling:

Don't you wish money grew on trees? If you are able to sew though, you can have these for your table a lot more cheaply. I found a site that offers a large array of Beatrix Potter fabrics for much less than Pottery Barn does. In my opinion, the prints and scenes are even nicer!

Tuesday, February 3

The Singing House...

In December 2006, I posted an excerpt of The Singing House on my blog. Many readers enjoyed it as much as I did, but none of us could find it in it's entirety. Several weeks ago, Samantha e-mailed me and said that she had found the whole story and she e-mailed it to me so that I could post it here for you all to read. Thank you, Samantha!

May Morgan Potter’s “The Singing House," a story
published in the 1932 edition of “PTA Magazine.”

I tied the napkin around Fred’s neck and placed before him his glass of orange juice, his cereal, his big glass of foamy milk. In my own opinion I classified among the superior mothers whose children are brought up in the approved manner of an enlightened day.

Fred ate it all dutifully and then slipped down from his chair.

‘Now can I go over to Jimmy’s, Mother?’ he asked.

‘But Fred,’ I remonstrated, ‘you were over there
yesterday, yes, and the day before. Why not have Jimmy come here

‘Oh, he wouldn’t want to.’ Fred’s lip quivered in spite
of his six years of manhood. ‘Please, mother.’

‘Why do you like Jimmy’s house better than ours, son?’ I
pursued. It came to me suddenly that Fred and all his companions were always wanting to go to Jimmy’s house.

‘Why,’ he explained hesitantly, ‘it’s ‘cause—it’s ‘cause
Jimmy’s house is a singing house.’

‘A singing house?’ I questioned. ‘Now what do you mean by that?’

‘Well,’ Fred was finding it hard to explain, ‘Jimmy’s
mother hums when she sews; and Annie-in-the-kitchen, she sings when she cuts out cookies; and Jimmy’s daddy always whistles when he comes home.’ Fred stopped a moment and added, ‘Their curtains are rolled clear up and there’s flowers in the windows. All the boys like Jimmy’s house, mother.’

‘You may go, son,’ I said quickly. I wanted him out of the way so I could think.

I looked around my house. Everyone told me how lovely it was. There were oriental rugs. We were paying for them on installments. That was why there wasn’t any Annie-in-the-kitchen here. We were paying for the overstuffed furniture and the car that way, also. Perhaps that was why Fred’s daddy didn’t whistle when he came in the house.

I put on my hat and went over to Jimmy’s house, even if it was
ten o’clock and Saturday morning. It came to me that Mrs. Burton would not mind being interrupted in the middle of the morning. She never seemed to be in a hurry. She met me at the door with a towel around her head.

‘Oh, come in. I have just finished the living room. No indeed, you are not interrupting. I’ll just take off this headdress and be right in.’

While I waited, I looked around. The rugs were almost threadbare; the curtains, dotted Swiss, ruffled and tied back; the furniture, old and scarred but freshened with new cretonnes. A table
with a bright cover held a number of late magazines. In the window were hanging baskets of ivy and wandering Jew, while a bird warbled from his cage hanging in the sun. Homey, that was the

The kitchen door was open and I saw Jerry, the baby, sitting on the clean linoleum, watching Annie as she pinched together the edges of an apple pie. She was singing; singing “Springtime in the
Rockies .”

Mrs. Burton came in smiling. ‘Well,’ she asked, ‘what is it? For I know you came for something; you are such a busy woman.’

‘Yes,’ I said abruptly, ‘I came to see what a singing house is like.’

Mrs. Burton looked puzzled. ‘Why, what do you mean?’

‘Fred says he loves to come here because you have a singing house. I begin to see what he means.’

‘What a wonderful compliment!’ Mrs. Burton’s face flushed. ‘But of course my house doesn’t compare with yours. Everyone says you have the loveliest house in town.’

‘But it isn’t a singing house,’ I objected. ‘It’s just a house without a soul. Tell me how you came to have one.’

‘Well,’ smiled Mrs. Burton, ‘if you really want to know. You see, John doesn’t make much. I don’t think he ever will. He isn’t the type. We have to cut somewhere, and we decided on nonessentials. I am not very strong and when Jerry came we decided Annie was an essential if the children were to have a cheerful mother. Then there are books, magazines, and music.’ She pointed to the radio. ‘These are things the children can keep inside. They can’t be touched by fire or reverses so we decided they were essentials. Of course good wholesome food is another essential, but we don’t buy things out of season, and our bills are not large. The children’s clothes are very simple and I make them. But when all these things are paid for, there doesn’t seem to be much left for rugs and furniture. But we find we get almost as much pleasure from our long country walks, with Jerry in her buggy, as we would in a car, especially if we had to worry about financing it. We don’t go into debt if we can avoid it. Moreover, we are happy’, she

‘I see,’ I said thoughtfully. I looked over at Jerry and Fred in the corner. They had manufactured a train out of match boxes and were loading it with wheat. They were scattering it a good deal, but wheat is clean and wholesome.

I went home. My oriental rugs looked faded. I snapped my curtains to the top of the windows, but the light was subdued as it came through the silken draperies. The overstuffed couch looked bulky, and not nearly so inviting as Mrs. Burton’s old day-bed with pillows you were not afraid to use. [My house was not a singing house.] I determined to make it sing .

Monday, February 2

The Meeting of The Lord...

Cupcakes for snack time (I never thought that we'd use the yellow sprinkles in our pantry, but they were perfect for a feast where candles are blessed!)...

Our Feastday shelf...

A Beeswax pillar candle we got blessed at Liturgy today...

Sunday, February 1

Living and Learning for February...


The Meeting of the Lord

The Publican and the Pharisee

The Prodigal Son

Prepare for Great Lent


Keep to homemaking budget

Shampoo downstairs carpet

Work on photo albums for birthdays

Donate decluttered items

Seasonal binders

Bread baking

Hang shade in nursery

Tidy back porch

Find child sized chairs

Find child-sized shelving


Host a craft playdate

Improve prayer life

Potty learning for Daughter

Read The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios

Read from the Prologue daily

Special Days

Groundhog Day (2nd)

Valentine’s Day (14th)

Gramma (17th)

Aunt Susan (17th)


Baking on Monday

Library on Tuesday

Playdate on Wednesday

Arts and Crafts on Thursday

Games on Friday


The sign of the cross

Setting the table and helping with the dishes

Late Winter felt board

Heart garland

Homemade valentines

Nature table scene and book basket

Full Snow moon (February 9th)

Log cabin made of pretzels

Visit an Art Museum

Listen to stories on the ipod

Heart birdseed cakes for the birds

Souper Bowl Sunday

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