Sunday, May 31

A Trio of Skirts...

My sister completed seven skirts for our little girls the day before she left.  Sugar Plum and I are so excited! 

Joyous Feast...

Blessed art Thou O Christ Our God
Thou hast revealed the fishermen as most wise
By sending down upon them the Holy Spirit
Through them Thou dist draw the world into Thy net
O Lover of Man, Glory to Thee!
The Learning Basket for Pentecost can be found HERE.

Friday, May 29

Living and Learning: This Week...

Church in the Home
I can't believe that it is Pentecost in just a few short days.  We will make time to read The Feast of Pentecost and Pentecost in The Children's Bible Reader (pages 268 - 269).  One of the easiest ways to celebrate a Twelve Great Feast is to wear clothing to church in the Liturgical color of the feast.  The color for Pentecost is green, so I have to look through our clothing to see if we each have a little green to wear.  If not, perhaps I'll make wee boutonnieres to embellish our outfits.  

We had the tummy bug here this week and I spent a lot of time cleaning and re-cleaning the bathrooms.  One thing that I noticed was that our wastepaper baskets (and kitchen garbage can) are not paragons of cleanliness.  This week, I will be sure to fill them up with some water and soap, let them soak in the sun for a bit, and give them a good scrub.   

The last two films that I have seen in the theater have included folk songs from the 17th century that I have just loved.  Lavender's Blue was featured in Cinderella, and though it doesn't seem to be part of the soundtrack, I have found several other nice recordings.  When I went to see Far From the Madding Crowd last Friday, Let No Man Steal Your Thyme was featured.  When I was growing up, my father would sing to us in the car (as he had grown up doing with my grandparents) and it was our favorite part of night-time trips.  The trio has been really interested in memorizing jump rope chants and nursery rhymes and so I want to sing these with them!
Kitchen, Pantry, and Table
This week is fast-free and I plan to take advantage of the abundance of lovely summer foods we enjoy on the barbeque:  Hamburgers, hot dogs, steak, bbq chicken, kebabs!  Delicioso as our four year old likes to say!

I have been searching for a new bathing suit for a few years now.  My criteria was that it would work well with my physique (I'm busty), is modest, and is stylish (but in more of a classic way, rather than a trendy way).  Enter my friend, Maria.  She suggested that I check out Divinita Sole.  Everything she tells me about I end up loving and I wish that I had checked out the site sooner (she has recommended these bathing suits several years in a row).  I chose a navy suit with an edge  of rosettes on the bodice and love it!

Thursday, May 28

Day Four...


  After a twenty-four hour break from sickness (Kate and Lucy were sick on Monday), Little Man and Sebastian were both taken down by the tummy bug late last night.  Who will be the next victims?

Both the gingham and polka dot skirts are halfway finished.  While Kate slaved over them, I took the children that were well to the strawberry patch.  It was Lucy's first time and she loved it!  Of course, we couldn't bring home baskets of berries without baking a batch of shortcake.  I'm glad that we made the effort, because they were so good!

Wednesday, May 27

Day Three...


  My sister is basically doing all of the heavy lifting for this little skirt project.  All I have been doing is ironing little bits of the fabric as she needs them and holding my bouncing baby nephew.  Kate has nearly finished the seersucker skirt (we just need to procure some thinner elastic), but it is already a favorite! 

Monday, May 25

Day One...


  My sister and I are going to attempt the impossible:  sewing six skirts in five nights with four children, three adults, two upset tummies (let's hope and pray that they were caused by something awful for lunch and not catchy germs!) and one cruising baby.

What do you think of our fabric choices?   

When My Mother Was Here...


My mother is a teacher and had a three day weekend and she spent it with us!  We did a lot, but somehow I forgot to take photographs...  whaaaaat?  There was a lot of laughing, some pizza-eating, some Ladies in Lavender watching, and a whole lot more besides.  I'm really looking forward to our next visit!

 These photos were taken of the trio and their papa while Grandmama and I looked on.  Though it doesn't look like it, it was crazy busy on the beach and boardwalk on Sunday night. It was kind of a relief to get out of there!

Sunday, May 24

The May Mornings...

May mornings wear
light cashmere shawls of quietness,
brush back waterfalls of
burnished silk from
clear and round brows.
When we see them approaching
over lawns, trailing
dewdark shadows and footprints,
we remember, ah
yes, the May mornings,
how could we have forgotten,
what solace
it would be in the bitter violence
of fire then ice again we
apprehend - but
it seems the May mornings
are a presence known
only as they pass
light stepped, seriously smiling, bearing
each a leaflined basket
of wakening flowers.

The May Mornings
Denise Levertov

Friday, May 22

Living and Learning: This Week...

Living Well
For years, the only jam that I have purchased has been Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves.  We enjoy it on our toast and biscuits, with our peanut butter in sandwiches, and the occasional dollop in a dish of yogurt.  I have always saved the jars because they seem so beautiful and useful, but other than storing spices and herbs in them, had no idea what to do with my stockpile.  Not too long ago, I started seeing similar jars being used as candle holders and drinking glasses and decided to try using them as everyday cups.  We like them so much that I don't think that I will have any need to buy glasses again!  They are sturdy and stout (which makes them unlikely to tip) and hold jut the right amount of liquid (less waste).   

After waiting nearly a month for Among the Madding Crowd to hit theaters nationwide (it was in limited release on May 1st), I am finally going to be able to see what looks to be an amazing film (based on a Thomas Hardy novel) this evening.  Have a look at the trailer: 

My sister is heading here for a little visit this coming week and we are hoping to make our daughters a few skirts for the summer.  I've not sewed much in my life (the odd button, Miss Maggie Rabbit), but am exited to learn something new.  We've reached the stage when pretty skirts below the knee are a bit difficult to find for Sugar Plum, so being able to whip something up quickly would certainly be a wonderful skill to possess.

I've just begun Love, Work, and Children, which is the second book of a trilogy detailing life in Morningside Heights.  Cheryl Mendelson, who's work has been compared to Austen and Tolstoy, covers such an interesting array of topics that I am hard-pressed to think of anyone who wouldn't enjoy reading her books.

In Season
Today was the first harvesting day for our little herb garden.  We were able to fill a jam jar with basil, parsley, thyme, and dill and even had a tiny handful of rosemary to round things out.  I'm dreaming of potato salad with dill and pesto with the basil.  Do you have any good warm weather recipes for the thyme and rosemary?  All I can think of is roasted chicken and stuffing.

Thursday, May 21

Joyous Feast!

O Christ God, You have ascended in Glory,
Granting joy to Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Through the blessing they were assured
That You are the Son of God,

The Redeemer of the world!


The Ascension Learning Basket can be found HERE.

Wednesday, May 20



We just had to celebrate the last day of Pascha with little heart-shaped shortcakes covered in freshly picked strawberries and whipped cream.  Each shortcake is brushed with heavy cream and sprinkled with a bit of sugar before baking and they are so very good!

Recipe, HERE.


Strawberry Picking...


Tuesday, May 19

The Land of Big Children...


 I spent a some time last night gathering books, papers, and projects for our last homeschool review of this school year.  I finished up the final draft of lesson plans and our attendance sheets and gathered everything up into a huge bag to bring to the library for Miss Eloise to look through.  This was the last year we will have two little scholars...  Mister Button will be joining us for lessons as a kindergartener in September.  It is hard to believe that we will have three school-aged children.  We've been moving into uncharted territory for awhile now (Potty training!  Weaning!  Sleeping through the night!) and though there is always the hope that we will someday add to our little brood, we've reached a good place...  The Land of Big Children and all of the fun things that they can do!

Salty, Smoky Air...


  I may have been crabby about going to the beach last night.  There may be a pile of wet, sandy clothes and towels on our front porch.  The bathtub may have dirty footprints on the bottom and scavenged seashells strewn along the edge.  But, we also may have been able to skip in the waves, build sandcastles, and roast gooey marshmallows long into the evening and that salty, smoky air just may have been a balm for our weary souls. 
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