Thursday, November 27

In Thanksgiving...

O Lord, how lovely it is to be Thy guest. Breeze full of scents; mountains reaching to the skies; waters like boundless mirrors, reflecting the sun's golden rays and the scudding clouds. All nature murmurs mysteriously, breathing the depth of tenderness. Birds and beasts of the forest bear the imprint of Thy love. Blessed art thou, mother earth, in thy fleeting loveliness, which wakens our yearning for happiness that will last for ever, in the land where, amid beauty that grows not old, the cry rings out: Alleluia!

Thou hast brought me into life as into an enchanted paradise. We have seen the sky like a chalice of deepest blue, where in the azure heights the birds are singing. We have listened to the soothing murmur of the forest and the melodious music of the streams. We have tasted fruit of fine flavor and the sweet-scented honey. We can live very well on Thine earth. It is a pleasure to be Thy guest.

Glory to Thee for the Feast Day of life
Glory to Thee for the perfume of lilies and roses
Glory to Thee for each different taste of berry and fruit
Glory to Thee for the sparkling silver of early morning dew
Glory to Thee for the joy of dawn's awakening
Glory to Thee for the new life each day brings
Glory to Thee, O God, from age to age!

-Excerpt from The Glory to God for All Things Akathist


A Brief History:

"This Akathist, also called the Akathist of Thanksgiving, was composed by Protopresbyter Gregory Petrov in a Soviet prison camp shortly before his death in 1940. The title is taken from the words of St. John Chrysostom as he was dying in exile after being forcefully and unjustly removed as Patriarch of Constantinople.

Fr. Gregory's work is a comprehensive celebration of God's glory as found throughout a broad examination of life, in the smallest of things, and most basic circumstances. It is a celebration as understood by someone from whom all beauty was seemingly denied, but who was given the gift to see the beauty of God's work in all things. It is a song of praise and gratitude from amidst the most terrible sufferings.

Fr. Gregory could have reflected on how evil the Communists were who caused his exile and imprisonment. Instead, he rejoiced in Christ, Who was within him and would never leave him. He could have reflected on his misery, on how the rulers had deprived him of his priestly duties and the ability to ministration to his flock, and on the pain that his captors inflicted upon him daily. Yet, the text speaks from someone with the knowledge that everything that happens to those who love God is for their benefit. It is a song of joy emanating from the heart of a man whose physical eyes could not not see the beautiful things which are described so vividly, but through Our Lord, was given a superior vision."

-Taken from:

Monday, November 24

Frosty Nutcracker...

The children and I were able to attend a Nutcracker storytime on Saturday and enjoyed a preview of one of our favorite shows!  We'll be going to the ballet in early December, so there's not much more time to wait!  In the meantime, we've been enjoying a Nutcracker cd I found on the library sale shelves for $1 in the car.

Sunday, November 23

Autumn Color...


I could lower my standards but in so doing would sink with them, taking my children with me.  It is not necessary for us to have candlelight dinners every night.  But the ceremony of meals has always been important to regard.  Where else can children learn so easily and pleasantly, and at such range when guests are included, what it is to be grown-up?"

Anne Truitt

Friday, November 21


I found a folder full of photos that I took during our first Thanksgiving feast with my husband's side of the family at the beginning of this month.  Actually, the ones I am posting here are from the day after...  once all the work was done and I could put my feet up for a bit.  I remember sitting on the porch swing with that slice of leftover pie, watching the trio race around on their various wheeled things (bikes and roller blades) in the warm sun.  Bliss. 

Now that the November chill is here, I have to be moving around to stay warm when we go outside.  Raking is a good activity to get the blood pumping, and so is stacking wood.  Our first load of firewood is about half gone now and I'll probably need to call up the woodcutter after Thanksgiving to request another delivery.  It's kind of exciting to wait for the truck to come racing up the drive, watch it tip it's bed full of wood onto the ground, and then work all together taming the wild mound into a neat stack of wood on the porch.  

I've placed an order for one of Little Man's Namesday gifts and another for the presents we'll give the children for Saint Nicholas Day.  I can't wait!    

Thursday, November 20


My house is coming back under my hand.  Clothes, washed and ironed, are hung in order in our closets.  Sheets are piled up in crisp folds.  Tables have been polished so that we may sit around them and laugh and eat a lot of the things that we particularly like. The web of the house is caught up here and there, reattached, realigned, loosened and straightened.  My bedroom curtains, lightly starched, dance with light.  The front porch is swept ready for the winter firewood."

Anne Truitt

Tuesday, November 18

Settling In...

It got cold and windy overnight and almost all of the leaves have come down.  It was hard to slip out from under the down comforter this morning, so I made apple pie oatmeal (make it with water for lenten days) and lit our pinecone candle.

The children have art class on Tuesdays and all the mamas hustle over to the coffee house across the street for a little break.  We look forward to Art Day so much and are very thankful for Miss Erika!  That hour of conversation over steaming mugs of tea or coffee really helps.

I ordered the chocolate coins that we like for Saint Nicholas Day (if you like them too, you must order by tomorrow to guarantee delivery before December 6th) today and have started to think about gifts for Little Man's namesday and birthday and Saint Nicholas Day.  December is not that far away!

Lenten Cleaning...

I try to deep clean our home as much as I am able during the weeks when we fast. I find that it is really wonderful to enjoy having everything clean and organized for the Great Feasts of the year.  For the Nativity Fast (which began on November 15th) I have made a master list of all the things that I want to accomplish before Christmas (with nothing scheduled Saturdays or Sundays).  With one task planned for each day, getting everything tidy should be pretty easy to handle.   Here's my list:

November 15:  Saturday
November 16:  Sunday
November 17:  Menu Plan and Grocery Shop for Lenten Foods
November 18:  Clean Out Fridge
November 19:  Clean Out Freezer
November 20: Clean Out Pantry
November 21: Organize, Dust, and Style Bookshelves
November 22: Saturday
November 23: Sunday
November 24: Clean Out Bathroom Cabinets and Drawers
November 25: Tidy Linen Closet
November 26: Organize Dresser Drawers
November 27:  Straighten Bedside Tables
November 28: Put Bedroom Closets into Order
November 29:  Saturday
November 30:  Sunday
December 1:  Whip Storage Closet into Shape
December 2:  Tidy Hall Closet
December 3:  Organize DVDs
December 4:  Straighten Kitchen Cabinets
December 5:  Put Craft Supplies into Order
December 6:  Saturday (Saint Nicholas Day)
December 7:  Sunday
December 8:  Freshen Up Laundry Room
December 9:  Straighten Cleaning Supplies Cabinet
December 10:  Organize and Weed Through Toys
December 11:  Organize and Weed Through Games and Puzzles
December 12:  Deep Clean Bathrooms
December 13:  Saturday
December 14:  Sunday
December 15:  Deep Clean Bedrooms
December 16:  Deep Clean Hallway, Entrance, and Living Room
December 17:  Deep Clean Sunroom and Dining Room
December 18:  Deep Clean Kitchen
December 19:  Deep Clean Playroom
December 20:  Saturday
December 21:  Sunday
December 22:  Errands and Tie Up Loose Ends
December 23:  Grocery Shopping for Christmas Day
December 24:  Prepare Food for Feasting

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