Saturday, May 30

The Great Debaters...

Fr John and I had the opportunity to watch The Great Debaters this afternoon and enjoyed it very much! The story was wonderful and the costumes and set were fantastic! It is not for young viewers, but it would be a great date night movie for you to rent this week.

Friday, May 29

A Good Sign?

Fr John got word yesterday that the owner of the home we put a bid in for has already sent all the paperwork to the bank. We have been through this process before with a house we opted out of and just getting the paperwork to the bank took over six weeks! I am hoping that this means that there is a good chance we will get this one!

Hopefully we aren't counting our chickens before they hatch, but we've pulled the decorating books off the the shelves to look at possible paint colors! With all neutral furniture, we can put some color on the walls without it getting too crazy or expensive. I am loving this green for the reading room and a shade or tow lighter for the dining room.

Easy Garland...

I love the idea of having a garland to use to decorate for birthdays and other celebrations but don't know how to sew (something to remedy, that's for sure!!). I found this great ribbon garland idea in the June 2009 issue of Parents magazine and loved it! It was a quick craft to make and can easily be done in different colors. Next time, I'd like to try using different widths of ribbon.

Prayers for Bethany and Baby James...

Bethany of The Apple Cider Mill gave birth to a baby boy on Tuesday. James has some breathing problems and was admitted to the hospital the next day. Please pray for their family!

Thursday, May 28

Fun Outside...

We've been getting back in the swing of things since our Memorial Day weekend trip and Sugar Plum's birthday. It has been so wonderful to sit outside with a yummy snack, books (Curious George Goes to the Hospital again and again), and the babies (actually, they are more like children now) and enjoy the warm sun. I have to remember to have our snacks outside more frequently... it's less mess in the kitchen and more fun!


Birthday Cakes for the Three-Year-Old...

Our daughter was very fortunate to celebrate her birthday for several days before her actual birthday. We started the week out with a birthday coffee hour, had parties with both sides of the family, and finished up with a party for the four of us on the 26th. What a wonderful way to celebrate!

Sunday's Coffee Hour Cake

Ice Cream Cake from Grandfather

Nana's Homemade Strawberry Cake (the cake Sugar Plum specifically requested!)

Black Midnight Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Memorial Day at Saint Tikhon's...

Procession to the Pavilion Church

Entering the church

Our Beloved Bishop Tikhon

Venerating the the Sitka Icon of the Mother of God

The Bell Tower

On Monday, May 25th, members of the Mission traveled to St. Tikhon's Orthodox Monastery in South Canaan, PA, for the annual Memorial Day Pilgrimage.

Following the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with Metropolitan Jonah, there was a memorial service in which we especially remembered those who gave their lives in service to America. After lunch, we venerated the Sitka Icon of the Mother of God and participated in an Akathist to St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre, PA. Then we visited the museum dedicated to Orthodoxy in America and the St. Tikhon's Bookstore. Finally, before departure, there was a healing service with annointing of oil.

Birthday Coffee Hour...

This past Sunday, we signed up for coffee hour in honor of Sugar Plum who turned three on the 26th of May. She chose to serve a vanilla cake with vanilla frosting, cheese, pepperoni, crackers and watermelon. That watermelon smelled so good!

Saturday, May 23

Stars and Stripes Memorial Day Carnival...

We are fortunate to live near a community that tries to encourage the arts and a sense of community in not only its residents, but also in the surrounding area. During the summer months, they have tons of performances and things for little ones to enjoy! We found out about it late last summer, but I plan to take full advantage this summer - especially because everything is FREE and less than a two minute drive from our house (it would be a wonderful walk, but it is off of a very busy street!).

A juggler on stilts

Carousel rides

Making bookmarks for the troops

Smiley face painting

Doggie painting

Skits, live music, and show tunes

Rocket Ship Slide

Circus Bounce House and Slide

Strawberries and Toads...

With gorgeous weather finally here, we've been outside as much as we can! Yesterday, we brought home more strawberries from a U-Pick farm than we can ever eat (fortunately, we have coffee hour this weekend!) and enjoyed hunting for toads in the grass.

Friday, May 22

Home Sweet Home?

Fr. John and I found a house we like! We saw this one a few months ago and liked it. Our second time through was today and we realized that we love it (especially after the 30K price reduction!)! Though it is in a development, it's on a large lot with lots of mature trees, a small patio, sandbox and tire swing. There is room for another swing or two (perfect for our swing-loving little ones) and it is located right off the main street of a small town... in walking distance of the library! We put in a bid, but probably won't hear for awhile because it is a short sale. Please pray for us!

Gray and black facade... my favorite!

Family room, eat-in kitchen, and island.

Kitchen... I love the window over the sink!

Dining Room

Living Room - we'd use this as our Reading Room.

Steps and foyer

Master Bedroom

Master Bathroom




Bedroom or Office

Wednesday, May 20

Daily Routines and Cleaning Lists...

When I first became a mother and a homemaker three years ago, I had such an easy time keeping up with everything! We lived in an apartment, I had a little preemie baby that never cried, and I was coming off of three weeks of bed-rest in the hospital so I was raring to go. I absolutely LOVED the first forty days after our daughter's birth and was sad to see it end. We spent the time settling in, getting to know each other, and trying to nurse (and trying and trying and eventually getting it right!). I came up with a daily routine during that time that has served me well for nearly two and a half of those years.

Several homes and another child later, my daily routine list was lacking a bit. I tried to keep the list to five things, but was trying to cram more next to each bullet than I could possibly do each morning, afternoon, and evening. After reading Katherine's posts on homemaking and routines, I revamped mine. I removed things like: rise and shine (which really meant change diapers, dress everyone, brush teeth, hair, and makeup), nap, and tidy up (which meant run through the house picking everything up, empty the garbage cans, and do some laundry) and have replaced it with a more direct list that focuses strictly on our home.

Daily Routine
  • Tidy Kitchen
  • Pick Up
  • Laundry
  • Make Beds and Straighten Rooms
  • Wipe Down a Bathroom
  • Tidy Kitchen
  • Pick Up
  • Water Plants*
  • Vacuum Downstairs Carpets*
  • Laundry
  • Tidy Kitchen
  • Pick Up
  • Collect Trash and Recycling
  • Laundry
  • Prepare for the Next Day
*As needed.
Weekly Cleaning Routine

  • Day of Rest (Ha!)

  • Wash Diapers
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Check Fridge and Pantry
  • Garbage Out
  • Make Bread Dough
  • Clean Upstairs Rooms*
  • Wash Bedding and Towels
  • Wash Kitchen Linens
  • Playdate Day/Errands/Recycling
  • Wash Diapers
  • Clean Downstairs Rooms*
  • Wash Diapers
  • Catch Up Day/Errands
  • Wash Diapers
  • Menu Planning/Week Planning
  • Shopping List
  • Wash Kitchen Linens
* My cleaning routine falls by the wayside A LOT! I rely on the tidying, bathroom wiping, and vacuuming that I do pretty regularly during the week. Quite often my cleaning routine really is: "Oh, that dresser is really dusty! When did I vacuum upstairs last? My, that potty needs a good scrubbing! Oh dear, we have guests coming and the house hasn't been cleaned in weeks!" And then I do it.

Monday, May 18

May 17th...

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.Strawberry picking and my grandmother's tradition of serving strawberry shortcake - and ONLY strawberry shortcake- for dinner that night!
2. An at-home pedicure... it has been put off for far too long!
3. Planning and crafting for a certain birthday girl.
Begin using cloth napkins again.
5. Work towards being more gentle in word and deed.

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.
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