Saturday, October 31

Almost Ready...


  The house is cleaned (though I still need to give the kitchen and dining room a good sweep), the bacon onion dip, green bean casserole, and Christmas Cauliflower are prepped, the pies are just about to come out of the oven, and the table is set for h'ordeuvres...  time for bed!

Friday, October 30

Beauty in the Preparation...


There's still lots to do to get ready for our Thanksgiving weekend, but I can't help to notice the pretty little details as I work.  Autumn really is the most lovely of the seasons!    

Thursday, October 29

Our Thanksgiving Menu...

Hors d'oeuvres
Vegetable and Dip Platter
Cheese Platter

Main Course
Mashed Potatoes*
Cranberry Sauce*
Squash Casserole*

Vanilla Ice Cream 

* made by my mother-in-law

Tuesday, October 27

Living and Learning: The Week Ahead...

I pulled out our huge stack of Thanksgiving picture books the other day and am really looking forward to reading them with the Trio.  Some of our favorites include The Story of the Pilgrims, Sarah Morton's Day, Samuel Eaton's Day, Tapenum's Day, On the Mayflower, N.C. Wyeth's Pilgrims, and Over the River and Through the Wood.

As long-time readers know, I love North and South (both the novel and the BBC miniseries), but I am not above a little good-natured mockery:  North and South summary from The Toast.

We have family arriving next Sunday for an early Thanksgiving feast (we celebrate with my husband's family in early November and my family on the actual day of Thanksgiving) and so I am busy cleaning my way through the house.  The children and I worked very hard getting all of the bedrooms, bedroom closets, hall, entrance way, and hall closet cleaned and organized after lessons today.  It is a good feeling to see things looking so nice.  I've divided up the rest of the rooms of the house for the remainder of the week.  Once things are clean, I'll turn my focus to the shopping and cooking for our party.  Stay tuned for our menu in the next day or two.

As usual, I am a little late to the view the most recent offering on Masterpiece.  Home Fires takes place in a rural English village at the cusp of World War II.  I have only seen the first episode, but I have a feeling that I will enjoy the whole season.  Have a look at the trailer below:

I am still working hard on my black sweater and have plans for some Madeline Tosh Dk weight yarn I purchased on sale last month.  One of our parishioners just sent me a great article on the benefits of knitting.  I won't feel so guilty when I sit down to work a little on my sweater this week (despite the huge To Do list I have compiled)...  it will lessen my stress and hopefully make me a little kinder to my family!

Monday, October 26

Pumpkin Picking...


  I wasn't sure if we would be able to get to a pumpkin patch this autumn (every pumpkin mysteriously disappears on October 31st in this area), but when this sweet baby nephew came to visit, I just had to take him to get his first pumpkin!  

The first patch that we tried was basically a pumpkin graveyard.  Every pumpkin was in a state of decay and it looked like the proprietor had gotten a truck load of them in August and sort of tossed them haphazardly around a field of weeds.  Not what I was envisioning.  Anyway, the second patch was so nice.  The setting was beautiful and the pumpkins were so perfect! 

I am so glad  that we were able to go...  especially with sweet Sampson.  Isn't he the cutest?

Saturday, October 24

Saturday Pursuits...


Though our leaves have been slow to change,  these brilliant views are a favorite of mine.  The smell of woodsmoke permeating the air seems to go with these scenes and luckily, our first delivery of firewood arrived today.  The split wood was stacked in less than an hour by willing hands.

My sister and her family will be arriving for an overnight tomorrow.  I will bake an apple pie and we'll build a fire to sit around when it gets dark.  Before they leave, there will be a trip to the pumpkin patch and pictures of the baby taken in a pile of leaves.  Golden, glorious October.    


Friday, October 23


Even if something is left undone, everyone must take the time to sit still and watch the leaves turn."

Elizabeth Lawrence 

Thursday, October 22

Returning to Routine...


We have been back for a few days now, and have found comfort in the little routines that make up our day:  cooked breakfast, watering the plants, freedom to roam through the woods playing imaginary games once lessons are over, baking cookies, raking leaves, taking long baths...  it is wonderful to adventure, but lovely to be home. 

Monday, October 19

Living and Learning: The Week Ahead...

On the Web
My sister, Kate, posted a few podcasts on her blog last week.  They are really fun and are just like our conversations together.  Seeing her videos makes me want to do a podcast, too!

Kitchen, Pantry, Table
I have yet to make Sour Cream Apple Pie this season and there is no time like the present!  I still have apples from our little apple picking adventure in September squirreled away for just this purpose!

We are just about at the end of our autumn break and will be resuming our lessons this coming week.  I don't know what next year will bring, but I would love to be able to build an October break into our school year from now on.  It has really been wonderful!  The weather in October is far superior to that of August and there is so much to do and see in our area.

Out and About
We've been in Florida this past week enjoying ourselves, thanks to the generosity of my husband's brother and sister-in-law who treated our family to a trip and will be flying back tomorrow.  It was our first family vacation (normally, we only go on work trips with Papa) and we are very thankful for it!  It's going to be hard to go back to our regularly scheduled lives after living the high life, though! 

Each year, we host Thanksgiving for my husband's side of the family at our house  (November 1st, this time).  I'll be cleaning up our nest, arranging autumnal decorations, and making a Thanksgiving menu these next two weeks.  I look forward to this holiday every year and I'll share some of my preparations on the blog as usual.  It's nice for me to look back each year to see what we've done in previous years.

Sunday, October 18


Fix, then, this in your mind as the guiding principal of all right and practical labor, and source of all healthful life energy—that your art is to be the praise of something that you love. It may only be the praise of a shell or a stone; it may be the praise of a hero; it may be the praise of God; your rank as a living creature is determined by the height and breadth of your love; but, be you small or great, what healthy art is possible to you must be the expression of your true delight in a real thing, better than the art." 

John Ruskin

Saturday, October 17


Mama: What kind of bagel would you like?

Little Man: Do you know that bagel with the birdseed all over it?

Mama: An everything bagel?

Little Man: Yes. I would like a birdseed bagel with cream cheese.

Thursday, October 15

Saint Innocent...

We received our second figure from Sue Dow of In the Loft for Father John's namesday (Saint Innocent of Alaska) last week.  I cannot tell you how pleased we are with the figures that Sue creates.  She painted Saint Elisabeth the New Martyr for our daughter's namesday in July and we have hopes to collect all five of our family's saints this year...  I can't wait to see what she comes up with for Little Man's namesday in December!

Wednesday, October 14



My girl and I have been putting the hours we've been spending in the car to good use.  I am about to divide for the sleeves on my black pullover sweater and she cast off her Present Cowl.  This is the second time that Sugar Plum has followed a pattern (the first was her headband) and I think that she is doing such an amazing job!  She wants to work on knitting a rabbit next and so I'll be printing that pattern out tonight just in time for our next road trip!

Tuesday, October 13


There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October."

Nathanial Hawthorne

Monday, October 12

Living and Learning: This Week...


This past weekend, Button's godmother passed on a treasure trove of Classical Kids cds.  They are such enjoyable stories for both little ones and adults.  Here are the titles that we were given in case you would like to listen with your family:

I haven't worn jeans in a long time, but on a whim I tried on some dark wash Denizen from Levi's jeans at Target last week and loved the fit and look.  I think that they will be a nice addition to my autumn wardrobe.

Kitchen, Pantry, Table
The children and I enjoy watching the Food Network and on one of the shows we watched recently, an amazing dip was featured on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives from a cute little restaurant called George and the Dragon. The ingredients for Bacon Onion Dip are definitely going onto my shopping list this week!

As you all know by now, I love watching documentaries about ballet dancers.  The other night I found out about a new one, A Ballerina's Tale, that will be coming out in select theaters in a few days.  Unfortunately it won't be playing anywhere near us, but I believe that it can be ordered on iTunes.  Misty Copeland's story looks like a great one and I am looking forward to learning more about her!

I am eagerly anticipating Jennifer L. Scott's new book, Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic, in a few weeks.   I have read her first two books and enjoy watching the videos she posts on her blog, and am sure that her latest book will be wonderful!

Sunday, October 11

Celebrating 100 Years...

My husband has been working on a feature-length film for the 100th anniversary of his father's church for six (6!) weeks... here's the amazing trailer!

Saturday, October 10

Bedroom Icon Corner...

My mom and dad purchased the icons in their bedroom icon corner from Hermitage of the Holy Cross.  

Friday, October 9


It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”
Anne of Green Gables
L.M. Montgomery

Thursday, October 8

Newspaper Reading...

I have been buying a newspaper every Sunday for about a year now and rather than trying to read it all in one day, I enjoy it throughout the week.  I open up my paper and take out the sections that interest me the most on Sunday (recycling the rest) and then each weekday morning, I enjoy reading the paper a section at a time while we eat breakfast.  My newspaper routine brings back memories of my childhood and my habit of reading the funnies or an issue of Highlights while breakfasting.  It's a little things that bring joy to my week! 


Wednesday, October 7

New Hope...


  I haven't been to New Hope, Pennsylvania since before I was married, and so when my sister suggested a trip today, we jumped at the chance!  We walked all over the town, enjoyed lunch together, played Pooh Sticks at the canal, spotted faces in a tree, and put one foot in New Jersey and one foot in Pennsylvania on the bridge!  We are exhausted, but happy!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art...


Despite a busy weekend, the children, Father John, and I mustered up the energy to head to New York on Monday.  Our destination was the Metropolitan Museum of Art and we were able to spend a few hours looking at art and eating lunch.  The Met has something for everyone and we were very fortunate that it was pretty empty.  We went to all of our favorite spots and even got a chance to go up to the rooftop garden (a first!).  

While I was in college, one of my majors was art and we took a bus trip to The Met each semester for our Art History classes.  Visiting with our family brings back so many happy memories of those school trips.  These trips we take are infinitely more pleasant, however...  it's glorious not to have papers to write!
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