Thursday, April 30

May Day Plans...

1. I'll have some sort of chair and/or table decoration made to surprise my little ones with in the morning.
2. A new seasons shelf scene to set up with Sugar Plum
3. An outing to choose flowers and herbs for our container garden. We'll also try to plant them tomorrow
4. A walk (weather permitting) down to the crabbing pier to blow bubbles over the water. We may also give out flowers to some of our neighbors.
5. Reading a few of Beatrix Potter tales to Sugar Plum and then watching the BBC dvd of Peter Rabbit together while eating popcorn

We celebrated May Day for the first time last year. I'll love some links to what you or other bloggers you know are doing!

Edited to Add: I just read this article and I think that I may try to sneak in a floral crown (maybe made with felt flowers?) for Sugar Plum and a bell bracelet for Little Man. I love the tradition of the May Pole (which I knew about already)... maybe I can get Fr. John to construct one next year;)

Wednesday, April 29

"We Needed Some Room, Mama!"...

While I was washing dishes yesterday, my little ones were playing with blocks. Sugar Plum created a beautiful castle for her wooden children to live in.

She needed lots of space to make her castle,

so this is what she did with the stuff that was in her way.

Evidently it is now time for a few lessons on caring for one's things!


Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were super hot days here! Our children were dressed with the few summery clothes that I had for them, and I even considered blowing my clothing budget for May early on warm things since our daughter had one short sleeved shirt and it was a pajama top (the hand-me down well dried up for both kids it seems:) ) and Little Man has only a few onesies to wear. Fortunately, I heeded my husband's advice to wait. This morning was chilly and it just got colder as the day progressed! We took an afternoon walk and had to wear fleece jackets, scarves, and knit hats!

Monday, April 27

April 26th...

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. Purchase and pot some blooms for the steps on our front porch.
2. Begin a small herb garden with lots of cooking and garnishing in mind for the back porch.
3. Sort through clothing and see what needs to be purchase for the summery weather we are experiencing!
Spend lots of time outside - specifically at the beach!
5. Stop complaining - both verbally and in my head!!

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.

55 Maxims for Spiritual Living...

I found Fr Thomas Hopko's 55 Maxims for Spiritual Living on Sneakers and Books via The Conversion Diary. It is a great list (and one that I have not only printed but passed on to Fr John for use in his bulletin!)! If you haven't see it, enjoy!

1. Be always with Christ.

2. Pray as you can, not as you want.

3. Have a keepable rule of prayer that you do by discipline.

4. Say the Lord’s Prayer several times a day.

5. Have a short prayer that you constantly repeat when your mind is not occupied with other things.

6. Make some prostrations when you pray.

7. Eat good foods in moderation.

8. Keep the Church’s fasting rules.

9. Spend some time in silence every day.

10. Do acts of mercy in secret.

11. Go to liturgical services regularly.

12. Go to confession and communion regularly.

13. Do not engage intrusive thoughts and feelings. Cut them off at the start.

14. Reveal all your thoughts and feelings regularly to a trusted person.

15. Read the scriptures regularly.

16. Read good books a little at a time.

17. Cultivate communion with the saints.

18. Be an ordinary person.

19. Be polite with everyone.

20. Maintain cleanliness and order in your home.

21. Have a healthy, wholesome hobby.

22. Exercise regularly.

23. Live a day, and a part of a day, at a time.

24. Be totally honest, first of all, with yourself.

25. Be faithful in little things.

26. Do your work, and then forget it.

27. Do the most difficult and painful things first.

28. Face reality.

29. Be grateful in all things.

30. Be cheerful.

31. Be simple, hidden, quiet and small.

32. Never bring attention to yourself.

33. Listen when people talk to you.

34. Be awake and be attentive.

35. Think and talk about things no more than necessary.

36. Speak simply, clearly, firmly and directly.

37. Flee imagination, analysis, figuring things out.

38. Flee carnal, sexual things at their first appearance.

39. Don’t complain, mumble, murmur or whine.

40. Don’t compare yourself with anyone.

41. Don’t seek or expect praise or pity from anyone.

42. We don’t judge anyone for anything.

43. Don’t try to convince anyone of anything.

44. Don’t defend or justify yourself.

45. Be defined and bound by God alone.

46. Accept criticism gratefully but test it critically.

47. Give advice to others only when asked or obligated to do so.

48. Do nothing for anyone that they can and should do for themselves.

49. Have a daily schedule of activities, avoiding whim and caprice.

50. Be merciful with yourself and with others.

51. Have no expectations except to be fiercely tempted to your last breath.

52. Focus exclusively on God and light, not on sin and darkness.

53. Endure the trial of yourself and your own faults and sins peacefully, serenely, because you know that God’s mercy is greater than your wretchedness.

54. When you fall, get up immediately and start over.

55. Get help when you need it, without fear and without shame.

Saturday, April 25

Crazy Eights Meme...

Dessi tagged me for this meme... thanks Dessi, I haven't done one in awhile!

8 Things I am looking forward to:

1. My cold going away
2. Finding out where we are going to live when we leave this house in July
3. May Day!
4. Sugar Plum's third birthday on May 26th
5. The start of ballet class for our girl
6. Little Man saying more
7. A trip to Disney World in a few years
8. Mother's Day

8 Things I did yesterday:

1. Went to church
2. Took the children for a walk to the drug store for cold medicine and ice cream
3. Went to the beach
4. Ate out at a local rib restaurant
5. Made pink playdough with the little ones
6. Watched The Other Boleyn Girl
7. Wrote out my menu plan and shopping list
8. Re-vamped my Daily Routine and Homemaking Lists

8 Things I wish I could do:

1. Sew
2. Have more patience
3. Take a two week trip to San Fransisco
4. Visit Prince Edward Island
5. Knit
6. Read Music
7. Speak French
8. Keep my children little forever - but sleeping through the night!

8 Shows I Watch

1. The Office
2. American Idol
3. Barefoot Contessa
4. The O'Reilly Factor
5. Law and Order
6. Life
7. Any Hallmark Movie
8. ??

Tag! You're it!

Back to Big Breakfasts...

I really enjoyed making a blueberry pancake breakfast this morning... it has been a long time! I feel accomplished when I cook two to three meals a day, but the reality is that my family doesn't like to eat that much:( Fr John rarely eats breakfast anymore and prefers a big lunch (which makes a big dinner too filling) and the babies love cold cereal right now and simple meals like a bit of meat and cheese and a yogurt. Oh well... there are worse problems!

Sombody's Growing Up...

We bought Little Man his big boy carseat this past week while we were away. He looks so cute riding in it now! He got a little car sick on the ride home (three clothing changes within an hour!), but all is well now. The only problem with him being in this seat is that I can't fit into the middle seat anymore! It is funny how big the car seemed when we bought it and were expecting our first... children and their things certainly take up a lot of space!

Friday, April 24

Bright Wednesday...

Each year we head about a hour away from my father-in-law's church to one that holds a Vespers Service and Agape meal on Bright Wednesday evening. This year, the Metropolitan was able to come at the last minute, so the children and I got to see him for the second time (the first was The March for Life in January)! It was nice to see all of our friends there, too! :) All our children cared about was that they served hot dogs and strawberries with whipped cream with the meal!

Wednesday, April 22

Bright Tuesday...

We had a lunch date with Sugar Plum's godmother this afternoon and not only enjoyed her company, but got to see the Bantam Silkies she and her family keep in their garden! The have three little ladies who are not quite a year old and just hatched three little chicks! We even got to take home two eggs for Grandfather from one of the hens who is not mothering the babies right now. Thank you for a lovely afternoon, Auntie Claudia!


Bright Monday...

Every year we try to go to my father-in-law's church for Bright Monday Liturgy. We love to go celebrate Pascha with the people that Father John grew up with! The nicest part of the day is that my dad's parish is close to my father-in-law's, so the three priests in our family get to serve Liturgy together!

Tuesday, April 21

Pascha Morning...

Paschal Shelf

Little Man and his camera

Sugar Plum's dress

Egg Hunt Spoils

Paschal Vespers

Censing the church during the Agape Vespers service at noon

Monday, April 20

April 19th...

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. Enjoy our little Bright Week Vacation... we drove up to visit our families yesterday and are staying through Thursday morning!
2. Spend a little time at some of our old haunts with the little ones. We are particularly looking forward to taking them on a canal walk near my father-in-law's house.
3. Take a little time to pop into a shop or two to find replacement "Sunday shoes." Mine are hopelessly scuffed!
4. Visit with Sugar Plum's godmother (who has some baby chicks in her yard!) and with Little Man's godfather.

5. Stop complaining - both verbally and in my head!!

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.

Thursday, April 16

Liturgy on Great and Holy Thursday Morning...

On Holy Thursday morning, we ascend Mount Zion with Christ and the Twelve, and enter into the upper room. Once there, we witness the awesome moment when, at the Last Supper, Christ abolishes the ritual practice of the Old Covenant and establishes the ritual of the New Covenant, prophesied by Jeremiah, through the sacrament of Holy Communion. The faithful receive Holy Communion at that Holiest of Liturgies."

Wednesday, April 15

Tuesday, April 14

Holy Week Links for Little Ones...

Great and Holy Week for Little Ones - Katherine has generously created a pdf file that contains the labeled icons for Holy Week for printing, sorting, and using in a three-part tray.

Journey to Pascha - The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has put together a pdf description of the services of Holy Week for children (though I think parents would probably benefit as well!).

And, just because I am sad that we had our last Bridegroom Matins for this year tonight:

Monday, April 13

Calling All Anne Lovers...

I found this book at BJs on Thursday and whipped through all 387 pages! It was a good book in my opinion, but I only just read all of the Anne books last year so I am no Anne expert. I must say that I am thrilled that Anne and I share March 5th as a birthday, according to Mrs. Wilson (and maybe L.M. Montgomery and I just missed it!)!

If you read Before Green Gables, did you like it? If you haven't read it, will you?

Wednesday, April 8

Fields Around Our Home...

The fields that are barren all autumn and winter always look so pretty in early spring! The green starts to creep back in but the best part is the clover that spreads a purple haze over everything for a few weeks until planting begins. These pictures are a bit blurry because they were taken from the car as we drove by... don't worry, I was in the passenger seat!

Tuesday, April 7

Living Easter...

We visited a nearby Living Easter on Saturday night (the same church did the Living Nativity in December) and really enjoyed it! It was very solemn, tasteful and child-friendly - a good way to near the end of Great Lent!
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