Wednesday, July 30

Whitening Linens...

We were given a beautiful feather duvet and a white duvet cover for our wedding.  Despite the fact that the duvet cover was in very good condition, it had gotten yellowed and dingy and I had begun to think about starting to save up for a new one.  A few weeks ago, I was inspired to try to whiten the cover when I read about Deirdre whitening a load of yellowed clothing on Like Mother, Like Daughter.

I was so happy that using Oxyclean, vinegar, and time outside bleaching in the sun worked beautifully!  It was really kind of miraculous, actually.  

Here is what I did once I bought Oxyclean White Revive:

1.  Put a large rubbermaid tote into the bathtub, added a scoop of oxyclean, and filled the tote with the hottest water I could get from the tap.  Pushed the duvet cover into the water and let it soak overnight.
2.  Washed the duvet with vinegar in the washing machine
3.   Hung the duvet out to dry early in the morning and let it sit in the hot sun all day.
4.  Repeated steps 1, 2, and 3 two more times

This project really wasn't much work, though it took a few days to finish.  That being said, I just saved myself a lot of money by fixing a beautiful duvet that I really didn't want to get rid of yet (and honestly couldn't find a good enough replacement for).  In addition, I am planning on doing this with all of our white linens and clothing every so often to keep them beautiful...  maybe I'll even get really wild and start buying white towels!

Tuesday, July 29

The Little Things...

Today's agenda was as follows:  eat bacon and get our dingy duvet cover white again!

Monday, July 28

Saint Martin's on a Monday...


After lunch, I made a blueberry blackberry summer cake (with blackberries from bushes in our yard!).  Once it finished baking, the children and I headed out to do some banking.  A historic church only a mile or so away from our house allows people to walk through on Mondays, so we went through looking at all of the restoration projects that have been undertaken.  It was really interesting to look at all of that lovely old brick, wood, and plaster that dates back to 1756.  Aren't those pews interesting?  I have never seen L and U shaped ones before!    

Sunday, July 27

Summer Nature Table...

::  Out and About  ::  Shells and Driftwood  ::  Little Whale  ::

Saturday, July 26

Pretty Scene...

:: Sunflowers, Marigolds, and Tuberose ::


Papa: Did you wash your hands after you went to the bathroom?

Button: (matter-of-factly) No. I'm already sick.

Papa: ??

(the best part is that he is not sick!)

Reading to Molly...

Over the summer, our library has special trained dogs come to listen to children read aloud.  All three of our little ones read to Molly this past week.  Button chose a Carl book, Little Man read Good Night, Gorilla, and Sugar Plum selected a Berenstain Bears book.  Molly was such a sweet girl!

Little Turtle...

Look who Papa found when he went out to water the plants the other day!  We made a little habitat for him to live in for a few hours and enjoyed observing him before we let him go.

Tuesday, July 22

Summer Evenings...

A cool summer evening calls for s'mores!  We found that in the absence of graham crackers, homemade chocolate chip cookies will more than do in a pinch!


Monday, July 21

A Bowlful of Cherries...

Guests:  Aunt Anna and Justin!

Breakfast:  Blueberry Muffins and a bowlful of cherries


We have my sister and her boyfriend here with us for a few days!  It is the beginning of several overnight guests in the coming weeks and we're having so much fun!  We took the little ones biking around a nearby lake this morning and are planning on spending some time at the beach and boardwalk a little later.  It is pretty mild, so we probably won't swim, but I think that we'll spend some time at one of the quaint seaside towns that are nearby tomorrow.  

Saturday, July 19

Saint Seraphim...

“You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of one who gives and kindles joy in the heart of one who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other, not even those whom you catch committing an evil deed. We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves. When we gaze at our own failings, we see such a morass of filth that nothing in another can equal it. That is why we turn away, and make much of the faults of others. Keep away from the spilling of speech. Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgement. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult, outrage, and will shield your glowing hearts against the evil that creeps around.”

 + St. Seraphim of Sarov


Saint Seraphim's Learning Basket can be found HERE.

Friday, July 18


The little ones and I went to our little farmer's market today and bought flowers for our table (among other things).  I never would have chosen these flowers myself, but the our flower lady just sort of builds a bouquet on the spot for each of her customers after giving them a once over.  Somehow she always gets it right!  I am so happy with the wild oats in particular...  they are the perfect touch among the elegant lilies.

We have new friends with hens and a giant garden and they have been supplying us with eggs and produce for a few weeks.  I think that I literally squealed when I opened up the egg carton and found blue, pink, and brown eggs inside.  They are just so pretty! 

I'm hoping for a very quiet weekend.  We have a huge bag of fresh library books and I have a new project on the needles.  Maybe we'll even get in a few peaceful moments at the ocean, followed with an ice cream on the boardwalk.  Doesn't that sound perfect?

Wednesday, July 16

Katherine Johnson's Blossom Tee...

I am so pleased with how well this Blossom Tee turned out!  Katherine's pattern is beautifully and simply written, which makes it perfect for a newer knitter like me.  I knitted a size 8 for my eight year old daughter and after blocking, there is plenty of room to grow into.  I used Madeline Tosh Merino Light in the Logwood colorway and I am really pleased by the weight.  I think that the tee will be very comfortable to wear in air conditioning even in the hottest months of the year and it will look perfect with a pretty blouse or long-sleeved tee underneath in the cold months.  It really is a sweater that my girl will get to enjoy all year round!  I believe the pattern will go on sale in the beginning of August...  I'll keep you posted!

Yarn Along: Orthodox Life...

Much to my sister's dismay, I frogged my Seashore Cowl last night.  It took f.o.r.e.v.e.r to rip everything out and wind it up into a ball.  This morning, the little ones and I used the swift to tidy up the yarn and now I am all ready to cast back on to a medium-sized Seashore Cowl.  I had previously knitted a large one and it was just too big!  I know that I will be happier with a smaller size (I plan to only wear it as a cowl) and am excited to get started tonight!

I picked up a copy of Orthodox Life from my dad's church two weekends ago.  I am enjoying the articles, but I love the cover art so much!  It is going to go into a frame when I am done reading.

Tuesday, July 15

Recollections of Jerusalem...

Several months ago, I received an advanced copy of Recollections of Jerusalem by Anya Berezina Derrick.  I admit that I was apprehensive about reading a book that deals almost completely with the hardships that Anya, a Serbian Russian from Palestine, endures throughout her life in the Holy Land during World War II and the Arab-Israeli War, life as the wife of an American living in New York and Chicago, and finally her return to the West Bank with her husband for work. It surprised me how relevant a memoir such as this is for Americans living a luxurious life with reliable electricity, abundant food, and safety.  With news coming from the Holy Land as dire as ever, reading Recollections of Jerusalem helped me to understand the complexities of life in Jerusalem in the past and in the present in a way that the nightly news programs simply cannot.  Recollections of Jerusalem is a book that everyone - homemaker to historical scholar - should add to their reading list if they wish to be informed about the world in which we live.

Monday, July 14

Little Tea Corner...

As soon as the car was emptied from our long trip, I was in the kitchen setting up this little nook.  I am so pleased with how it turned out.  Previously, I had all of our mugs, tea cups and saucers, milk pitchers, and the teapot tucked into the same cupboard that housed our children's dishes, ramekins, and travel cups.  It was crowded and inconvenient.  Now, everything is much easier to access and I get to admire these pretty dishes whenever we wander through the kitchen!


Children are better able to retain and internalize spiritual concepts if you don't give them the answers right away, instead letting them ponder the questions for awhile...  It makes a lasting impression on children when they discover marvelous things on their own."


Sunday, July 13

Living and Learning: July...

Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco
Saint Elisabeth the New Martyr
Saint Seraphim of Sarov
Joy of All Who Sorrow
Saint Jacob of Alaska

Black Raspberries!
Make s’mores over an open fire

Summer Camp
Organize kitchen cabinets
Organize baking supplies
Make a flag cake
Visit farm stands and Farmer's Markets
Eat breakfast outside 
Begin a list of books to order for school (3rd Grade and First Grade)
Plan for Auntie Kate's Visit
Finish Blossom Tee

Begin Nimbus
Read Kristin Lavransdatter

Independence Day

Special Days
Father John's Ordination Anniversary - 1st
Button's Hospital Homecoming - 1st
Grandmama – 2nd
Sugar Plum’s Baptism Anniversary Day – 2nd
Independence Day – 4th
Sugar Plum’s Namesday – 5th
Uncle Nic – 8th
Grandpapa – 11th

Full Thunder Moon – 12th
Uncle Peter - 13th
Grandpapa's Ordination Anniversary - 13th

Uncle Peter – 26th
Nathan - 29th

Practice Patience and Love toward one another
Singing – O Heavenly King
Practice cleaning the bathrooms together
Practice sweeping
 Tidy bedrooms each morning   
Sidewalk Chalk 
Visit the Beach 
Snap!  (Card Game) 
Use Nature Guides (Butterflies, Bugs, Shells, and Birds) 
Enjoy the Summer Reading Program at the Library
Setting and Clearing the Table
Nature table scene and book basket
Visit the pool as much as possible
Catch fireflies
Have picnics
Attend concerts and performances weekly
Watch Thunder and Lightning storms
Boardwalk rides!
Take advantage of free movies at the theater

Saturday, July 12

Camp Pickup...

We have our girl back!  She had a great time, made new friends, and learned so much...  She's already begun talking about next year! 

Friday, July 11

Climbing and Cake...

One of the things that has been great about this week is spending our early mornings and late afternoons outside behind the church.  There is a gazebo there and two terrific climbing trees and so I relax with a cool drink while the boys pretend to be monkeys.

We celebrated my dad's birthday today and my mother made a yummy cake with cool whip and raspberries.  It was so good and I plan to request the recipe!  I have a reliable chocolate vegan cake for fasting day, but I'd really like to have a vanilla one for some variety.  

We're getting our girl back tomorrow!  Please keep us in your prayers...  we'll be on the road for hours!
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