Saturday, May 31

Twenty-Four Hours...






My mother-in-law took the trio to her house for an overnight and will be keeping them until Vespers tonight.  It is the first time that we've done this without having anything pressing to do or anywhere that we need to go sans children.  I had no list of things to complete while the children were gone, but ended up finding a lot to occupy me.  The big projects were to clean the house and dump some junk left in the attic by the previous owner.  The rest was more relaxing:  knitting, reading, a little television, some chainmail work, and lunch out with my husband.  Oh, and sleeping in.  It was very nice and very quiet...  sometimes we don't know what we need until we unexpectedly get it!  Thank you, Grandma! 

Thursday, May 29

Joyous Feast!




We had a good day.  Everyone is feeling reasonably well and it was Ascension!  We had planned to have a huge pool playdate with friends from church and friends from our homeschooling group, but it was cold and gray and completely inappropriate swimming weather (despite the fact that the last three days have been scorchers!).  Instead, we had a very quiet day with a local family that we love very much...  there was lots of good conversation, knitting, and eating!

In the late afternoon I had a brainwave and dashed out to the library to pick up the first season of Road to Avonlea.  My sisters and I loved this show when we were children and I knew that our little ones would enjoy it.  I was right!  It was hard to not greedily gobble up all of the episodes at once. 

Sugar Plum's birthday bouquet was in a sad state this morning, so I plucked out the good flowers and arranged most of them in a mason jar on the dining room table with the last little bit of our Pascha candle.  Two shorter stems made their way into a little bud vase on my bedside table along with the latest issue of Soul Gardening and a chocolate bar.  It's going to be a good night!

Feastal Learning Basket: Ascension...

Books
The Ascension of Our Lord
Jesus Ascends into Heaven (The Children's Bible Reader, Pages 267)

Activities
Set up a Feastday Centerpiece
Fly a Kite
Picnic on a Hill
Wear the Color White
Go Cloud Watching
Use recipes for the feast of The Ascension from An Orthodox Kitchen
Add a vase of flowers to the icon corner and/or feast day table
Set out an icon of The Ascension
Color an icon of The Ascension
Sing the Festal Troparion Before Meals
Look for Icons depicting The Ascension in church
Listen to the Audio of The Ascension of Our Lord

:::::

Going Up, Up, Up into Heaven

Going up, up, up into heaven
Going up, up, up into heaven
Gonna ride that cloud on up to heaven
From the Mount of Olives
He’s going up to heaven.

from Gigi Shadid’s CD, Celebrate the Feasts

Wednesday, May 28

The Most Perfect Baby Turtle...




Our friends found this little guy on the side of the road and let Button hold him this afternoon (Sugar Plum and Little Man were enjoying their fencing class).  He was the cutest little turtle I have ever seen!

Yarn Along: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society...


I picked up The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society to reread a few nights ago.  It is a great story and I love that it is told through letters.  I am still happily knitting my Seashore Cowl.  I watch episodes of The Good Wife while I knit and am enjoying these leisurely evenings very much!

Tuesday, May 27

Where Does the Time Go?


I didn't get any photos of the boys room today...  There was just too much going on to do it properly and I also really want to hang a couple of things before I take the pictures.  We are all so please with it though!

We harvested the last of our lettuce tonight.  I had good intentions to keep seeding our lettuce pot over and over again, but it didn't happen this time.  I think that the autumn will be a good time to try though.  I popped several herb seedlings in tonight though:  basil, parsley, cilantro, and dill.  I'm excited!  

It is hard to believe that the feast of Ascension is in two days.  The days of Great Lent can seem so long and then the festal season speeds right by.  Before we know it, we'll be at Kneeling Vespers for Pentecost!


Monday, May 26

Happy Day!




Our day was chock full of fun today!  Sugar Plum had lunch out, time in the swimming pool, pretty gifts, cupcakes (from a bakery!) and we finally finished putting together the bunk bed for the boys' room which meant a very late bedtime for excited children!  

Photos of the bedroom to come tomorrow some time...  it was too dark to take any snaps once we finished everything tonight!

Eight!



Happy, happy birthday to the dearest of daughters!  We love you so much!

Saturday, May 24

Farmer's Market Day...




It was a glorious day!  My husband needed to visit a sick parishioner at the hospital which is so close to the nicest farmer's market we have around here.  Our goal every year is to make sure that we go at least once each month that it is opened (May through October) and I look forward to it so much!  It is worth battling beach traffic for!



Friday, May 23

Summer Reading...




We all slept until after nine today!  There was still a lot of coughing last night, but the little bit of extra sleep this morning really helped things. 

I have been sorting through our children's books and have been pulling out some favorites that were forgotten (Pretzel, The Big Road Race, and The Jolly Postman to name a few) and putting books into categories.  One of our categories are New York Review Children's Books.  We only own a few, but they are such good books and I love their pretty red spines and how nicely made they are.  I have always wanted to read more of them to our little ones and as I was admiring them, a little seed of an idea began to grow.  How about a summer reading club with titles chosen from their 3-7 year-old book list?  We will read a new title from the book list each week (there are 14 weeks from Memorial Day until Labor Day) and make a production out of this little summer reading club of ours by choosing the perfect time and place to delve into our book complete with special snacks to share during our reading time.  Our first book is The Mousewife and we can't wait until next week!

I hope that you have a lovely holiday weekend!


Thursday, May 22

Redeeming the Day...




Whenever one of my children keeps me up at night I always say, "I am just someone who needs their sleep.  It is so hard for me to parent at night."  Really?  Does anyone not need their sleep?  Does anyone want to be up with a kid all night?  I am a whiner.

Little Man has been coughing a lot for the past couple of nights and not much has helped.  I've done Vicks on the soles of his feet, given him a steamy bath before bed, spooned honey in his mouth, and helped him blow his nose as much as possible.  It's just going around, I guess.

This morning, I determined not to let my lack of sleep ruin our day.  We had a hearty breakfast (eggs, bacon, and toast) and then I took my little ones to a small farm a few minutes away and we picked a few pounds of strawberries.  Once home, we did our usual:  school, outside time, a little television, some drawing, playing with frogs, and splashing in puddles after a rainstorm roared through.  I made a Strawberry Summer Cake and just chilled out.  It was a good day...  And I only lost it after bath-time when I stepped on a sopping wet rug that my dear children sprayed with water.  It's not a day in the parenting trenches if you aren't humbled by the end of it!

Now, I am off to bed!  Hopefully I will sleep until morning because, as you know, I am just someone who needs their sleep...

P.S.  We found a few Lady Slipper plants in our woods today!






Wednesday, May 21

Yarn Along: The Ascetic Life of Mothers...


I am chugging along on my Seashore Cowl...  it feels like it is really speeding by after the long months of knitting the Grasshopper Shawl!

My mother-in-law gave me The Ascetic Lives of Mothers a week or so ago, and it is a very lovely book.  In it, the author has compiled prayers for anything that motherhood might bring and then she sprinkles thoughtful essays throughout the prayers.  It is a book that should be on every mother's nightstand!

Monday, May 19

The Boys' Room



Now that the boys are getting bigger, we have had to make some adjustments in our sleeping arrangements.  We finally took the plunge and ordered a bunk bed and it arrived today.  It was quite an exciting delivery!  Father John is also making all of my dreams come true by re-painting the walls in this room.  When we moved in, the walls were florescent green and we hoped that the green paint that we chose would tone it done and give us a jungle-y green color, but it was still too bright.  We've decided to go with the same blue that we used in the playroom (Cloudy Day by Behr).  Hopefully we'll be able to do the reveal by the end of the week!

Saturday, May 17

Reading...


Her aunt was busy making a new chicken run and, with a quickening of the heart, Joan saw that Michael was wielding the mallet which drove in the stakes.

'You dear girl,' exclaimed Aunt Ethel, proffering a cold damp cheek to be kissed, while her fingers ripped open the package.  'Four whole ounces!  I can't believe it!  Now I shall be able to knit Jesse a good thick pair or winter socks.  How on earth did Hilda manage it?'

'Sheer favoritism,' replied Joan.  'It was under-the-counter stuff, and passed over with much secrecy, I understand.  They only had two pounds of wool altogether, grandma said, and you had to be a real old blue-blooded Caxleyite to nobble an ounce or two.'

Michael laughed at this, and Joan found him more attractive than ever.

'Now hold the end of this wire,' directed Aunt Ethel, returning to the business at hand, 'and we'll be done in no time.  Then you must stop and have lunch.  It's rabbit casserole with lots of carrots.'

'S'posed to keep off night-blindness, whatever that is,' said Michael jerkily, between powerful blows with the mallet.

When the job was done and the excellent rabbit demolished, Michael and Joan sat in the warm farm kitchen and talked.  Uncle Jesse was in the yard attempting to repair a wiring fault in his ancient Ford, while Aunt Ethel had gone upstairs 'to sort the laundry', she explained, although Joan knew very well that she was having a nap which she refused to admit she took every afternoon."

Miss Read

Friday, May 16

Favorite Things: Bird Watching...




Our children have become increasingly interested in knowing what the names are of the birds come to our little feeder by the dining room window.  After the untimely demise of all but one of our nature guides (they were left outside during a stretch of very rainy weather), I spotted this pretty little poster for sale.  We brought it to Staples to get mounted on foam board and then just punched a hole in the top and hung it on a nail.  It has only been a couple of days, but we really like it!  We're now 'real' homeschoolers with learning posters hung up around the house!

Wednesday, May 14

Yarn Along: The Caxley Chronicles...


I finally finished knitting my Grasshopper Shawl!  It is already blocked and now I am just waiting for buttons before I show you how it turned out.  I cast on to another Seashore Cowl a day or two ago.  I am knitting the largest size in Madeline Tosh Merino Light in the colorway Dr. Zhivago's Sky, which is such a lovely color.  

I was drawing a bath for myself one day last week and needed something to read while soaking and randomly picked The Caxley Chronicles from my shelf.  Somehow I never read it and am really enjoying it.  I love Miss Read!

Tuesday, May 13

A Ticket to Dreamland...




The past few nights have been rough ones.  Button has been up in the wee hours coughing and feeling generally miserable.  We were able to be squeezed in at the doctor's office today and it seems that our little boy has an ear infection and bronchitis.  Hopefully he'll be back to himself soon and we will both get some rest tonight.

It was such a perfect day weather-wise and so I threw open all the windows in reckless abandon.  Our little garden by our dining room window is flourishing and I really enjoy looking through it at all the pretty things.  The lettuce has been finding its way into our salads, the false indigo is laden with blooms, and our hydrangeas are fairly bursting with buds.  My goal is to fill the flower bed with so many plants and pots that I can no longer see the gravel that is covering the dirt and offends me every time I spy it.

I'm off to enjoy the last piece of pound cake before I slip off into dreamland...


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