Friday, October 31

Pumpkin Day...

I can hardly believe that it is already Friday!  We came home from our trip last weekend on Monday night and have been on the go ever since.  Auntie Kate is visiting with her two little ones for about ten days, so we're having a lot of fun.  We've been getting ready for our church's annual Saint Michael's Day Party this weekend and also our early Thanksgiving feast with my husband's side of the family.  

Father John carved our pumpkin last night and even broke out the drill!  The kids loved every minute!  Kate and I picked out all of the good pumpkin seeds and roasted them with olive oil and salt (300 degrees for 40 minutes).

Have a great weekend!  Tomorrow is November!

Thanksgiving Menu...

Vegetables and Dip
Rye Dip and Crusty Rye Bread

Mashed Potatoes
Cranberry Sauce
Vanilla Ice Cream

Sebastian's Baptism...

Wednesday, October 29

Antares Rocket and Cygnus Cargo Spacecraft

The children and I headed to the beach last night to see the Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft take off about 45 minutes from our local beach, but unfortunately, the rocket exploded just after lift off.  Thankfully, no one was hurt.  If you look closely, you can just see the explosion in the distance in the fourth and fifth photographs. 

Lots of news outlets have covered this event, including CNN.  You can watch the coverage here.

Yarn Along: Stockinette in the Car...

We went on a very long roadtrip this past week (from Thursday to Monday night) stopping in so many places along the way:  My husband's Baba's apartment for an overnight first (she's 93!), a little cave exploration adventure, my sister's home, a cider mill and Amish farm, my sister and brother-in-law's church/monastery and seminary for our nephew's baptism and Sunday's Divine Liturgy, a working historical farm, a women's monastery to venerate a myrrh streaming icon of the Mother of God, a state capital building, and an inner harbor (for lunch and wandering with the children while my husband worked), and finally home.  All along the way, this wee sweater was my companion.  I knit the most on the trip up to visit Baba...  the rest of the time was spent in wondrous amazement of the glorious autumn foliage in the area that we were traveling.  It was so thrilling to know that we were seeing such fleeting beauty in the north and would still get to see the autumn colors in our more southern area these next two or three weeks.

I read very little this past week, so I am still working on Lessons from Madame Chic. 
I only have three or four chapters left and recommend it.

Monday, October 27

Milking Seraphina...

I wish that I had more than my phone camera to capture our trio milking a pretty cow named Seraphina on Saturday afternoon, but alas.  All three children were able to get a tiny bit of milk into the bucket and their hopes and dreams for a little sibling farm now include a "moo" (their toddler name for a cow that is now part of our family vernacular).

The Humblest Things...

The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely."

Louisa May Alcott

Wednesday, October 22

Wednesday Adventures...

I borrowed a Dorie Greenspan cookbook from the library a little while ago. She has this recipe called Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good in it and I cannot wait for our annual early Thanksgiving weekend (this year it's going to be held on November 2nd) to make it.  I figure that it'll be good because:

A.  It's a Dorie Greenspan recipe 
B.  It includes cheese and bread
C.  There's bacon crumbled up into the cheese and bread.

Can't go wrong with that trifecta!

Anyway, this cookbook was due today.  I briefly considered breaking the law and just keeping it in the library bag until November 3rd, but in kindness to others planning their Thanksgiving extravaganzas, decided that it should go back.  Of course, I decided head to the to the library just as the first cracks of thunder were heard.  The rain was torrential and the lightening was the fancy jagged kind.  It was all very exciting and much more adventurous than our usual library trips!   

It was still pretty rainy when we got home, so we lit our first fire of the season and listened to the last couple of chapters of How to Break a Dragon's Heart.  We have a fun long weekend coming up and so it was especially nice to cuddle up and relax with my little ones for a little while.

Sweet dreams, Friends!

Yarn Along: Inspiration...

My little Tama is coming along nicely, but I am almost positive that it won't fit our middle child.  Thankfully, it looks like it will work well for our youngest.  I am enjoying this knit a lot (it's going quickly!) and still really like the yarn (Shepherd's Wool in the colorway Milk Chocolate).  I think that the best part of this project is that I can actually pay attention to and participate in conversations while I am knitting.  Dare I say that there will be more garter stitch sweaters in my future?

I finished At Home with Madame Chic and am now working on Lessons from Madame Chic.  Both books have been inspiring me greatly!

Tuesday, October 21

An Autumn Stroll...

Sunday was crisp and cold, so I took a little stroll looking at the leaves, acorns, and other autumnal things.  I know that I am in the minority, but I love autumn and winter.  So many of my favorite things are meant for the cold weather:  knitting, hot chocolate with whipped cream and cinnamon, wood piles, wool, chicken pot pie, raking leaves, strolls on the beach with cold sand on your feet, roaring fires, down comforters, crunchy apples, puzzles, beeswax candles, mittens and hats, hot mugs of tea...  It is a season to savor!


Sunday, October 19

The Way to Salvation...

Order your soul; reduce your wants; live in charity; associate in Christian community; obey the laws; trust in Providence."

Saint Augustine

Saturday, October 18

10 Tips for Living an Orthodox Christian Way of Life...

From Father John's Sunday Bulletin

1.  Attend the Divine Services
Participation in the liturgical life of the church is at the heart of the Orthodox way of life.  Regular attendance on Sunday mornings, Saturday evenings, the 12 Great Feasts, and other special times throughout the year (like Great Lent), is a must to living a healthy Christian life. Check the calendar.

2.  Confess Your Sins
Ask God to help you see your own faults and weaknesses. Go to the Sacrament of Confession with sorrow for what you’ve done and hope for a new beginning through God’s grace and mercy. Confession should be regular, once a month or more; at the very least during the four fasting seasons.

3.  Receive Holy Communion 
 Frequent and fervent reception of the Body and Blood of Christ is indispensable to growing closer to God. Be sure to follow the preparation guidelines, make frequent confession, and remember to offer prayers of thanksgiving afterwards. 

4.  Keep the Fasts
Fasting on Wednesdays, Fridays, and other fasting days and seasons, helps us to deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow Christ. Regular fasting helps keep the body health and the soul pure. Health issues, questions? Ask your priest.

5.  Make Your Home a Family Church
Maintain an icon corner where you say your morning and evening prayers. Place an icon or cross in every room so that you remember God during the day. Have your home blessed each year. Pray unceasingly.

6.  Be a Good Steward
Give of yourself, always remembering that God will hold each of us accountable for the time, talents, and treasure He has entrusted to our care. Our stewardship indicates what we truly love (God or other things), for where our treasure is, there will our heart be also.

7.  Study the Scriptures
Read from the Holy Bible every day without fail. This is God’s Word to you. Your church wall calendar gives the appointed Epistle and Gospel reading for each day. 

8.  Assemble a Home Library 
In addition to the Scriptures, we should read the Lives of the Saints, the writings of the Holy Fathers, and other spiritual texts. Ask your priest for some advice. What are you reading now?

9.  Be Quick to Forgive and Slow to Judge
Always ask forgiveness when we hurt someone, even if it is unintentional. Remember that if we don’t forgive others, then God won’t forgive us. Likewise, don’t judge your neighbor or you will fall under God’s just judgment.

10.  Trust in God; Not Yourself 
Believe what the Lord teaches through His Church. Don’t subject the Word of God to your own personal opinion; we don’t know better than He does. The way to the Kingdom is to follow Christ; we cannot make it there ourselves.
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