Monday, June 30

So True...

"What dreadful hot weather we have! It keeps me in a continual state of inelegance."
-Jane Austen, English novelist (1775 - 1817)-

Black Brook, John Singer Sargent

Baby Ballet...

I recently ordered this dvd for our little one. She has enjoyed dancing for a long time now and though I would love to take her to some mommy and me dance classes, they are pretty expensive and too far away. We have yet to watch the whole dvd (it is 30 minutes long), but the format is great, the directions are easy, and it is a lot of fun to do the stretches and moves with my little one... especially since I can check "exercise" off my list when we dance! A bonus is that I think that watching this video is improving my awareness of my posture (which is very slouchy) and my movements (which can be anything but graceful)!

Someone's Namesday is Coming...

Our daughter is celebrating her namesday this coming Saturday (July 5th). Her father and I ordered a Matryoshka Sock Doll from Denise Mollison's Etsy Shop... Unfortunately, the photo of the one we ordered is no longer on her page, but this one that is similar. I'll be sure to post pictures of the one we ordered when it arrives!

What Do You Think?




I shortened each curtain with the help of my mother-in-law (and her knowledge of the wonder called Stitch Wizardry) and then tied up the curtains with two ribbons per panel like one reader suggested!

Thank You, Sylvia!

When I joined the Orthodox Mom's Swap a few weeks ago, I had no idea that I'd get so many fun things! I opened the package from Sylvia and found a cute handbag full of goodies! The bag will be the perfect thing to hold all the the things I need to carry on a regular basis... plus, it is navy, one of my current favorite colors! I am really looking forward to reading the magazine and the travel brochure to Greece tonight. Our two year old has already tested the crayons, Lord's Prayer booklet, and index cards and I wore the flip-flops to the pool already! The diptych Icon is on my desk and the travel samples and notebook are already in ym new purse! Thank you for all of the little goodies that you sent Sylvia! I am definitely going to enjoy them!

June 29th...

It's time for another Commitment to Loveliness! This is a fun way to increase femininity and beauty in our lives each week without even trying! All you have to do is choose five things that you would like to work on or do during the week that will increase the loveliness in your life!

Here is my list for this week:

1. Make some "mistreatments" for the nursery window
2. Stick to my cleaning routine so that I don't have to have one long cleaning day
3. Watch The Buccaneers on dvd... thank you, library!

4. Clean out freezer

5.
Find some new dinner recipes... things are getting boring around here!

Once you have chosen five simple things, post them on your blog and link to this post in your post, and then post the direct link to your Commitment to Loveliness post in the comments section. If you do not have a blog, but have a commitment to share, please post them in the comments section.

Thursday, June 26

Your Opinions, Please...



I was so thankful for all of your window covering suggestions in my post about our newly fixed up front room (we are now calling it the Reading Room, if you please!). Several people commented on the fact that roman shades would work nicely. Since we already had an abundance of sheers (that were too short!), I decided to go with Matushka Michelle's suggestion of making faux shades.

What do you think? Should I finish or improve things in any way? I need some advice!

Our Mother of God Garden...






Since we are renting, we can't really make permanent changes to our yard. We've always had a container garden and this year went with the theme of a "Mary Garden." I found a couple of links that helped us to choose the plants that we wanted. After a a lot of help from our first born under- gardener we have a little Mother of God Garden to call our own! I wrote the name of the plant on one side of each of our plant markers and flipped it over and wrote the meaning on the other. We planted:
  • Marigolds
  • Calla Lilies
  • Day Lilies
  • Rosemary
  • Foxglove
  • Impatiens
  • Begonias
  • Ferns
  • Geraniums
  • English Ivy

Saturday, June 21

From Office Building to Church: Part Fourteen...




A local iconographer (imagine that!) came down to our mission today to install two icons behind the altar. He did the icon of Christ a few years ago and offered to write icons of the Mother of God and St. John the Baptist for aus a few months ago. These icons, together with the existing icon of Christ behind the altar table, form what is called the ‘Deisis’ – the Greek word meaning intercession since the Mother of God and the Baptist are depicted making continual supplication for us before the Throne of Christ.

Thursday, June 19

New Bookshelves...



Our anniversary gift to one another was a pair of bookshelves. Hubby spent several hours getting them put together and moving the furniture around in our front room. I finished things off by loading the shelves with books (there are even more!) and reorganizing things a bit. There is still more to do... adding two bookshelves ended up creating more changes downstairs... Tomorrow is another day!

Next on the Agenda: Find or make curtains (Any suggestions? Those skinny windows are throwing me!) and see about a better desk chair... Garage sales, here I come!

Home Again, Home Again...

After four trips (12 days away!) since Memorial Day, we are happily back home getting our bearings! I have a bunch of posts I'd like to share in the next few days... stay tuned!

Monday, June 9

Keepin' it Real Meme...

I was tagged by Sylvia for this Keepin' it Real Meme.

The intention of this meme is to see how fellow bloggers, whose lives seem to be perfect, really are in their real life environments. I thought this was really fun, but remember NO PRIMPING THE PHOTOS! This means you cannot tidy up before pics!

1. My Refrigerator

As you can see, the top of the fridge is still loaded with Easter baskets and Candy... YIKES! The freezer side is a huge mess, but the fridge part isn't too bad since today was garbage day AND grocery day!


2. Our family closet

All of my clothing (except pajamas and underclothes) and my daughter's things are here. Some of my husband's things are here and some are in a dresser and most of our son's clothes are in baskets above the changing table. I am hoping to find a tall dresser to replace the rubbermaid thing to store all of the children's folded clothing and hang the rest. We've been using this system for nearly a year now, and it has been working beautifully! Please ignore the piles of outgrown clothing on the floor... I need to do some tidying/organizing!



3. Our sink

It is piled with dishes from the day. When I went to unload the dishwasher this morning, I found that the machine had not done it's job... I still have to go load these!



4. Our toilet

This is one of our three bathrooms. I use it for taking my showers and getting ready in the morning, so that is my basket of things on top.



5. My favorite Pair of Shoes

These are my only sandals. They are getting bit worn down, so I am looking for a similar pair to replace them. I hope that I can find a pair that is both casual and dressy and in such a nice color.



6. My Favorite Room

I love our family room. We just got the couches and they are so comfortable (we still need some throw pillows and blankets to lighten things up). Fr. John and I watch movies and tv in here, we read, eat lunch on a blanket, and just generally enjoy one another here.


7. My Favorite Spot

I like our kitchen table a lot. One of our neighbors was getting rid of it when we were moving out of our first apartment and we found the matching chairs at Target. While it is probably not something that I would have chosen myself, it is worn in all the right places and has served us well for two years. We eat all of our meals here and recently, this has become the little mama and daughter hangout. We do arts and crafts here, drink juice and eat snacks, work on learning new skills, and practice talking here.


8. Here is our pile of clean laundry in the hallway. Happily, I only have few things in the hamper right now because I've been keeping up with things. Usually, my problem is not washing the clothes, but is putting them away. Lately I've been removing them from the dryer and folding them and putting them away while our daughter falls asleep at night. It's been working well, but I definitly need to get a wicker basket of some sort to store the clothes during the day. It isn't too pretty to come up the stairs and be confronted with a mountain of laundry!


9. The Room I Need to Clean

With all of our travels the next two weeks, I don't think that much actual cleaning will be done. I stripped the bed today and intended to clean, but there hasn't been time. I will settle for clean sheets now though!


10. My Dream Vacation

The place of my birth, England. I was born there but my parents returned home to America when I was three months old. I've never been back, but I hope to someday!


Tag!! You're it!!

Taking a Page from the Nester's Handbook...




After having the small table for nearly two years (wasn't it the most ugly piece of j.u.n.k picked up, ever? Now I love it!), the rocking chair for six months, and the little nightstand (it was forest green) for a few weeks, we finally got over our fear of black spray paint! I am thrilled with the outcome and feel like I can tackle the nursery next! We'll see how that goes...

Thanks, Nester!

June 8th...

It's time for another Commitment to Loveliness! This is a fun way to increase femininity and beauty in our lives each week without even trying! All you have to do is choose five things that you would like to work on or do during the week that will increase the loveliness in your life!

Here is my list for this week:

1. Take the children to the pool each day
2. Find some creative ways to keep cool: make ice cream, play with the hose/sprinkler, etc.
3. Find a special gift for Fr. John's anniversary gift

4.
Find beauty tips for using the coconut oil in my pantry
5.
Get my wedding rings cleaned and checked

Once you have chosen five simple things, post them on your blog and link to this post in your post, and then post the direct link to your Commitment to Loveliness post below. If you do not have a blog, but have a commitment to share, please post them in the comments section.

Edited to Add: Once again, Mr. Linky is not working for me. I'm going to have Fr. John check it out, but until then you can post your Commitments or direct us to your blog in your comments section.

Saturday, June 7

Curly Girl Update...

Here is my hair after a few months of doing the Curly Girl routine. I really wouldn't classify it as being curly... especially since when this picture was taken, it was freshly washed and dried. As the day progresses, it tends to lose it's wave.

Despite not getting a head of cascading curls, I think that I will be continuing with the program. I like the texture of my hair on this program and think that it improves the overall "look" of my tresses. Though it sounds like a lot of work, it really hasn't been. This is what I do to my hair:

Each time I shower, I wash my hair with conditioner. On Sunday nights, I wash it with equal parts of vinegar, lemon juice, and conditioner. After I rinse that out, I rewash it with conditioner again. On Wednesdays, I wash it with 4 tablespoons of baking soda combined with 4 cups of water before I use conditioner. Once my shower is over, I scrunch my hair with a towel, spritz it with de-tangling spray and scrunch in gel. I clip up my hair while it air dries and that is it.

S'mores...

On our recent trip to visit our parents, I was lucky enough to catch my father-in-law cleaning out the cellar. We are now the happy owners of a S'mores maker and Ice Cream machine... I am envisioning lots of fun parties on the screened-in porch.

What is your favorite combination for ice cream? Aside from making fondue with the S'mores maker, I am also thinking about mixing it up with the s'mores. Different cookies like chocolate chip or oatmeal with white, peanut butter, or raspberry chocolate sound good... what do you think?

Friday, June 6

Baby Born Twice...



Thank God for the doctors with the skill to perform these wonderful surgeries!

Christy...

For the past few weeks, I've been enjoying an episode or two a day of the Christy series. Since I borrowed it from my mother after Easter, I am trying to watch it as quickly as possible while still savoring each episode. Here are some of the things I have been dreaming of since watching the first dvd:
  • Long, full skirts with a sweeping train
  • Fields of wildflowers
  • Cooking over a fire
  • Living in a rustic cabin
  • Teaching school in a one room schoolhouse
  • Wearing my hair like Christy does in the above picture
  • Ribbon and lace trim on pristine white blouses
  • Long, rambling walks through the woods
  • Homemade watercolors made from plants
  • Eating and reading by candlelight
  • Long, white nightgowns
  • Dangly earrings
  • Fences and gates made from branches
  • Persimmon orchards
  • Drawing sessions in a meadow complete with watercolors and an easel
A hardcover edition of the book by Catherine Marshall is on my Paperback Swap wishlist (Click the PB Swap button on my sidebar to join!)... I can't wait to read it again!

Has anyone watched the Christy specials (A New Beginning and A Change of Seasons) that followed the TV series? Are they worth it?

Tuesday, June 3

Orthodox Children's Book Recommendations ...

Though I mentioned the Twelve Great Feasts for Children books a long time ago, we only recently bought two (Pentecost and The Dormition of the Theotokos) for our children. Our plan is to try to get each of the books in the series this year (as a gift for them on the feast day). Unfortunately, they were out of The Ascension at St. Tikhon's. so that will come a bit later. We were also able to get a set of Icon flashcards. It is a nice set, but a little flimsy for tiny hands. Putting the cards into a small photo album seems to be working out for us though.

Note: I will link to the books later, when the St. Tikhon's Bookstore website is back up and running.
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