Tuesday, July 28



There was a filmy veil of soft dull mist obscuring, but not hiding, all objects, giving them a lilac hue, for the sun had not yet fully set; a robin was singing ... The leaves were more gorgeous than ever; the first touch of frost would lay them all low to the ground. Already one or two kept constantly floating down, amber and golden in the low slanting sun-rays.”

Elizabeth Gaskell, 
North and South  

Monday, July 27

Living and Learning: This Week...


Living Well
While we were away, I had to run into Target to get a few things and wandered down the soap aisle and got to sniff the Mrs. Meyer's hand soap.  My favorite was the honeysuckle.  I decided not to buy it while we were away in case it ended up spilling on the long trip home, but it is on my shopping list now that we are back.    

My sister just alerted me to the fact that The Secret of Roan Inish is on Netflix now!  I have wanted to re-watch it for years, so this news is exciting!

As hard as it is to believe, it is time to start getting myself situated for this coming school year.  We will have a kindergartener, a second grader, and a fourth grader.  It is going to be a great year and I am excited to begin!

I had not heard about Elizabeth Bard's books Lunch in Paris or Picnic in Provence until a few days ago, but after reading a few pages of Picnic in a bookstore, I immediately went onto our library's website to put them on hold.  Hopefully they will be ready for me to pick up soon!

In Season  
It is finally peach season!  Our local orchard has not offered u-pick yet, so I picked up a few ripe yellow peaches at a roadside farm stand.  I made this peach torte (based on The New York Times Plum Torte) after lunch today and once it cooled, my sister made whipped some cream and we enjoyed a wedge for an afternoon snack.  I admit that I am looking forward to a wee slice with my bacon and eggs tomorrow!

Sunday, July 26


After ten days on the road, we are home!  It was a wonderful adventure, but it will be good to get back into the rhythm  of our daily life and the small pleasures of life in the rectory.

Friday, July 24

All-American Council Video: Friday...

On the Road...


  Father John lined up an Orthodox 360 job for the ride home, so we are spending the weekend in Charlotte...  it's hard to believe that our action packed July is nearing an end.  I'm dreaming of peach picking, art projects, baking, and evenings spent on the beach for the long, hot days of August.

Thursday, July 23

The Missions of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C.

Father John worked on this video this past month.  It aired today at the All-American Council!

All-American Council Video: Thursday...

Thursday at the All-American Council...


Our children's heads hit the pillow tonight and they were out like little lights.  It has been such a great week, but everyone is completely exhausted.

We had the final Hierarchical Divine Liturgy this morning (at seven!) And the children sang before and during Holy Communion.  It was so sweet to hear their little voices!  After Liturgy, our older two attended a nice breakfast with Metropolitan Tikhon and then went to a local waterpark for the day.  I was really impressed with the amazing program that they put together for the youth.  It seemed like just the right balance of fun and education!

Kate and I took the younger children to the laundromat and then out for lunch and ice cream after Liturgy and it was amazing.  Yum!  We tried taking them on a car ride to get them to sleep afterward, but it backfired when only two of the three fell asleep just before we pulled into the parking garage of the hotel and woke up (despite our best efforts) just as we entered the hotel room.  We ended up having a little quiet time in the room and some playtime outside before dinner which was really nice for them.   

Tomorrow morning we will pack everything up and start heading home with a few stops along the way!  I am looking forward to my bed!

Wednesday, July 22

All-American Council Video: Wednesday...

Wednesday at the All-American Council...


Just as we were heading back to our hotel tonight after dinner (an epic feat in this city), we spotted a beautiful double rainbow.

Today was a good day.  We were able to visit Eat.  Sleep.  Knit. with our friend, Rebekah of Verdant Bents.  I really knew nothing about this yarn shop prior to coming to Atlanta and so had very low expectations.  When we arrived, my little nephew was sleeping and so I suggested that Kate and Rebekah go in first.  

A few minutes later, my sister came out and with tears in her eyes (literally) said, "Emma, I have never seen so much MadelineTosh in one place."  It was neat to go in and find all of the colorways I have only seen online. I chose Fir Wreath and am excited to cast on!

Tomorrow is our last full day in Atlanta.  The priority is to wash clothes at the laundromat and have ice cream at Jeni's!


Tuesday, July 21

All-American Council Video: Tuesday...

Tuesday at the All-American Council...


So, Father John has been busy non-stop the entire time we've been in Atlanta.  We see him for a few minutes in the morning when we wake up and then again in the evening for a couple of minutes when we drop off his dinner (tonight was a delicious Philly cheesesteak with grilled onions, peppers, and mushrooms).  It is quite a difference from us since we are fortunate that he normally works from home and we can pop into his office to talk to him, share something, or get a hug.  He is doing an amazing job and we are so proud of him!

This children attended the religious education classes again this morning while my sister and I made a bank run and a quick trip to get a few items from Target with her little ones.  After we picked up my littlest from his class (the older two took a tour of the Coca-Cola Factory), we swung by IKEA to get the things that we left in the cart yesterday and took a detour to Star Provisions, a darling eatery and marketplace.  Though we didn't purchase any food, I think that we might stop there before this trip is over for something tasty on their menu or from their bakery.


Mama, I brought you a Pepsi from the Coca-Cola-Factory!"

Little Man, Age 7

Monday, July 20

All-American Council Video: Monday...

Monday at the All-American Council...

This trip is teaching me to roll with the punches.
Kate and I started out the day by dropping my trio at religious education classes and then heading to the laundromat to wash our clothes (small wardrobes and all that).  We were able to get everything washed and put into the dryers before it was time to pick up Button (the older two are able to go on trips around the city with other youth and chaperones from the council).

After picking up our clothes (which were a wee bit damp...  our room looks a bit like a washer woman is in the midst of a job, I am sorry to say), we headed to  IKEA.  I have wanted to go for such a long time and am really glad that I got to experience it with one of my sisters.  Since we had the three youngest with us, we were able to fully enjoy all of the wonderful things that they do to give families a great shopping experience  (family bathrooms stocked with free diapers and little tables and chairs, yummy food, play areas, friendly staff, etc.).

Unfortunately, just as we were heading for the checkout, we received a call from Father John saying that he needed the car to make an emergency run to get a new hard drive (he is working for the OCA and his crashed in the midst of the project!).  We abandoned our cart and headed for the parking lot only to discover that I had accidentally locked the keys in the van!  The ever-patient Father John came to our aid by hailing a cab, unlocking the car, and  getting us back safely.  Despite the loss of the hard drive, it seems like his project won't be derailed and I hope to be able to share the first of his videos soon!

Kate and I plan to go back to IKEA at some point this week.  We'd like to reassemble our cart (we were impressively restrained, I am pleased to say) and neither of us quite go our fill of those tasty Swedish meatballs!

Sunday, July 19

Sunday at the All-American Council...

Sunday dawned hot and sunny here in Atlanta.  We began the day with Liturgy, an early lunch, and then booth set up in the exhibit hall for Father John's business.  In the late afternoon, we headed out to take a very special trip to a nearby mall that has an American Girl shop (we had never been!) and a Lego store.  My sister kindly offered to take the boys to look at Legos, while I took Sugar Plum and my niece to look at the dollies.  Our girl has been saving up her money to buy a few things for awhile now, so we had fun looking over everything carefully.  In the end, she chose an outfit, a violin set, a special brush, and a pair of sunglasses for her doll.  We ended the day with resorative burritio bowls from Chipotle, which my sister and I relished.  Tomorrow will begin the real fun of the conference,  as well as an ernest search for the closest laundromat!

Saturday, July 18

Saturday at the All-American Council...


We arrived in Atlanta, Georgia just before lunchtime and were pretty wowed by the hotel.  I think that the best part of the day was seeing Metropolitan Tikhon arrive with an escort of four motorcycle police officers with lights flashing and sirens blaring.  Just as the Metropolitan walked in through the doors of the hotel, the heavens opened and there was an amazing downpour, complete with thunder and lightening. The lobby of the hotel was filled with bishops, priests, and lay people singing "Eis Polla Eti Despota" while the hotel staff and other guests looked on a little shell shocked.  It was kind of funny watching people who were clearly non-Orthodox whipping out their camera phones to video tape the Metropolitan's entrance.  I wonder what they will say about it on their social media accounts.

Stay tuned for updates throughout the week.

Friday, July 17

En Route to Atlanta...


  All-American Council bound with the trio and the team from Orthodox Web Solutions and Orthodox 360!

Road-trip Occupations...

A basket of essentials for our road-trip:  

reading material (this time I chose To Kill a Mockingbird, Ross Poldark, a section from last Friday's Wall Street Journal with several articles on Harper Lee, several sections from the Sunday paper, and the latest Soul Journal...  I may be a bit ambitious), headphones for listening to music or an audio book when others are sleeping,  my current knitting project (as well as an extra skein of yarn and notions), the license plate game and a pen, and mobile phone and charger

Reunion, Days Five and Six...

It's hard to believe that our little family reunion is over.

Wednesday was a wonderful day of relaxation and fun.  All interested parties went to the beach for a few hours of swimming, playing in the sand, and (in my case) cloud watching.  My mother made dinner that night with my uncle and it was amazing feast of burrito bowls chock full of rice, beans, vegetables, and either chicken or shrimp.  

Unfortunately, Thursday was the last day and was spent housekeeping and preparing for our next adventure (see my posts this coming week!).  Despite the hustle and bustle, the ladies of our family did take a little jaunt to do shopping, pizza-eating (oh, it was delicious!), and visiting in the early afternoon.  I am so blessed to have such a good relationship with my sisters, mother, and aunts.  The day wrapped up with a scrumptious dinner of sausage, peppers and onions, vegetables and dip, and potato salad made by my sister and her husband.

How did this week go by so quickly?
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