Wednesday, November 28

Feed the Birds...

I bought this lovely window bird feeder last year as a little gift for our family of bird-lovers.  My dream was to have it hang on the dining room window so that we could enjoy our feathered friends while we ate (which is often in our little family!).  Unfortunately, the birds did not get the memo.  As far as I know, not one bird ever came to partake of the birdseed that filled the tray. 

This morning, Little Man and I watched a few birds flitting around the front of the house.  Inspiration struck!  What if I move the feeder from the back to the front and put it on the window that is behind our nature table?  We quickly moved it and filled it with fresh seed, and though it is too soon to tell if our plan will work, I am hopeful!

Tuesday, November 27

Yarn Along: Shadows of the Workhouse...

My reading and knitting this week have been so enjoyable, it has been hard to tear myself away!  I am knitting another Honey Cowl (I gave last week's to my Aunt Susan on Thanksgiving), but this time I am knitting it in the most wonderful yarn that I have ever worked with:  Madeline Tosh DK in the colorway Heuchera.  The color is fantastic!  It has ruined Patons Wool for me completely.  Though I can't get Madeline Tosh locally (Of course I plan on begging for it to be carried in our local shop!), I can find it in small quantities at a little shop near my father's church...  So now we know where all of my pennies will be going!

I was thrilled to receive Shadows of the Workhouse and Farewell to the East End in the mail this week.  They continue the story that was begun in Call the Midwife.  I began reading Shadows of the Workhouse as soon as I could, and have found it to be every bit engrossing as Call the Midwife.  The topic is a bit different (Call the Midwife was more about the midwifery side of Jenny's time in the East End, while Shadows of the Workhouse is about the people that she's met affected by workhouse experiences, the nuns at Saint Raymund Nonnatus House and one of the male patients that she cares for), so I was a bit unsure about it.  I was pleased to find that I really do like it and I look forward to my reading time all day!

What are you knitting and reading this week?

Sunday, November 25


The Reverend Mr and Mrs Applebee-Thornton returned to Poplar for a few days before they sailed for Sierra Leone.  I have never in my life seen a woman so changed.  She was tall and regal, her eyes were smiling, and calm confidence seemed to spring from deep within her.  Pippin hardly took his eyes off her and always referred to her as "my dear wife", or "my beloved Jane."

Of course, we had to have a party.  Nuns love a party.  They are very sedate affairs, ending at 9 p.m., in order for Compline and the Greater Silence, but they are fun while they last.  Mrs B. provided excellent cakes and sandwiches, to which we added a little sweet sherry, compliments of the Rector.  The invitation was open to anyone who had known Jane and wanted to wish the happy couple well in their new life.  About fifty people came, and some boys fro SBY (the South Poplar Youth Club) provided music with their guitars and drums, which was considered to be very risque.  Pippen gave a delightful speech.  The length of the phrases and the extravagance of the language - about pearls of great price, and the best wine being served last - was lost on many people;  but the gist of the message was that he was the luckiest man alive, and everyone cheered."

Jennifer Worth

Saturday, November 24

Forty Shopping (and Fasting) Days Until Christmas...

By Fr. Steven Kostoff

On November 15, we observed the first day of the 40-day Nativity/Advent Fast, meant to prepare us for the advent of the Son of God in the flesh. For some/many of us, this might very well catch us unaware and unprepared. However, as the saying goes, “it is what it is,” and so the Church calendar directs us to enter into this sacred season on that day. This indicates an intensification of the perennial “battle of the calendars” in which every Orthodox Christian is engaged—consciously or unconsciously. The two calendars – the ecclesiastical and the secular – represent the Church and “the world” respectively. Often, there is an underlying tension between these two spheres. Because of that tension, I believe that we find ourselves in the rather peculiar situation of being ascetical and consumerist simultaneously. To fast, pray and be charitable is to lead a simplified life that is based around restraint—a certain discipline and a primary choice to live according to the principles of the Gospel in a highly secularized and increasingly hedonistic world. That is what it means to be ascetical. It further means to focus upon Christ amidst an ever-increasing number of distractions and diversions. Even with the best of intentions and a firm resolve, that is not easy! From our historical perspective of being alive in the 21st century, and leading the “good life” where everything is readily available, practicing any form of voluntary self-restraint is tantamount to bearing a cross. Perhaps fulfilling some modest goals based on the Gospel in today’s world, such as it is, amounts to a Christian witness, unspectacular as those goals may be.

Yet, as our society counts down the remaining shopping days until Christmas; and as our spending is seen as almost a patriotic act of contributing to the build-up of our failing economy; and as we want to “fit in” – especially for the sake of our children – we also are prone (or just waiting) to unleashing the “consumer within,” always alert to the joys of shopping, spending and accumulating. When one adds in the unending “entertainment” designed to create a holiday season atmosphere, it can all become rather overwhelming. Certainly, these are some of the joys of family life, and we feel a deep satisfaction when we surround our children with the warmth and security that the sharing of gifts brings to our domestic lives. Perhaps, though, we can be vigilant about knowing when “enough is enough”—or even better, when “enough is a feast.” An awareness—combined with sharing—of those who have next to nothing is also a way of overcoming our own self-absorption and expanding our notion of the “neighbor.”

Therefore, to be both an ascetic and a consumer is indicative of the challenges facing us as Christians in a world that clearly favors and “caters” to our consumerist tendencies. To speak honestly, this is a difficult and uneasy balance to maintain. How can it possibly be otherwise, when to live ascetically is to restrain those very consumerist tendencies? I believe that what we are essentially trying to maintain is our identity as Orthodox Christians within the confines of a culture either indifferent or hostile to Christianity. If the Church remains an essential part of the build-up toward Christmas, then we can go a long way in maintaining that balance. Although I do not particularly like putting it this way, I would contend that if the Church is a place of choice that at least “competes” with the mall, then that again may be one of the modest victories in the underlying battle for our ultimate loyalty to which a consumerist Christmas season awakens us. The Church directs us to fast before we feast. Does that make any sense? Do we understand the theological/spiritual principles that are behind such an approach? Can we develop some domestic strategies that will give us the opportunity to put that into practice to, at least some extent? Do we care enough?

The final question always returns us to the question that Jesus asked of his disciples: “Who do you say that I am?” If we, together with St. Peter, confess that Jesus is “the Christ, the Son of the Living God,” then we know where we stand as the “battle of the calendars” intensifies for the next 40 days.

Tuesday, November 20

Yarn Along: Everyday Saints...

This week I am working on something fun.  I bought some pretty yarn from Romania at our yarn shop as a little treat.  I love the color and I really like the pattern that I am using!  I am knitting up a Honey Cowl (the shorter version) and it seems to be going pretty quickly...  I'd like to finish it by Thanksgiving!

I finished reading Call the Midwife (so, so good!) and am now diving into Everyday Saints.  My mother recommended it to me and so I bought a copy from the bookstore my brother-in-law manages.  Before I could even read the first chapter, Father John started right in and read every spare minute he had.  Now that he's done, it is my turn!  It is wonderful so far!

What are you knitting and reading?

Monday, November 19

Christmas Chocolate...

Look what I found!  We were in our grocery store (which of course is decorated for Christmas already!) and I spotted a display of these chocolate bars!  I bought a few to stick into stockings on Nativity...  though they might make a nice treat of one of Twelve Days of Christmas, too.   

Sunday, November 18


In the light of the lanterns and candles, our brothers' moleben services- short, private prayer services- and requiems (pannikhidas) began again.  At this service we all asked God, the Mother of God, and the patron of the monastery, Saint Cornelius, for the blessing of the day to come.  Using an oil lamp hanging before a miraculous icon, the monks lit a candle in an even more ancient lantern, in turn, they lit the wood-burning stoves of the monastery kitchens  After our brothers' supplicatory prayer services we listened to the morning prayers, at which we read long lists that had been handed to us by pilgrims.  These lists contained the names of persons for whose health or peaceful repose we were to pray for.  Then, finally, those who had not participated in this second service- and this group included me- went to get breakfast.

When I saw what they feed the pilgrims for breakfast, my mood began to improve.  They were serving fresh fish of a type that even in Moscow you would hardly ever see.  They had pickled mushrooms and eggplants and various types of oatmeal and other grains - buckwheat- and they had fried onions.  And plenty of everything- more than enough for everyone.  I later found out that it was a tradition in Pechory to feed the pilgrims and workers in the monastery well.  This tradition had been established from the time of the previous abbot of the monastery, Father Alipius, and had been continued under his successor, Archimandrite Gabriel.

Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov)

Saturday, November 17

Why Vigil Lamps Are Lit Before Icons...

By:  Saint Nikolai Velimirovich

1.  Because our faith is light.  Christ said: I am the light of the world (John 8:12).  The light of the vigil lamp reminds us of that light by which Christ illumines our souls.

2.  In order to remind us of the radiant character of the saint before whose icon we light the vigil lamp, for saints are called sons of light (John 12:36, Luke 16:8).

3.  In order to serve as a reproach to us for our dark deeds, for our evil thoughts and desires, and in order to call us to the path of evangelical light; and so that we would more zealously try to fulfill the commandments of the Saviour: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works” (Matt. 5:16).

4. So that the vigil lamp would be our small sacrifice to God, Who gave Himself completely as a sacrifice for us, and as a small sign of our great gratitude and radiant love for Him from Whom we ask in prayer for life, and health, and salvation and everything that only boundless heavenly love can bestow.

5.  So that terror would strike the evil powers who sometimes assail us even at the time of prayer and lead away our thoughts from the Creator. The evil powers love the darkness and tremble at every light, especially at that which belongs to God and to those who please Him.

6.  So that this light would rouse us to selflessness. Just as the oil and wick burn in the vigil lamp, submissive to our will, so let our souls also burn with the flame of love in all our sufferings, always being submissive to God’s will.

7.  In order to teach us that just as the vigil lamp cannot be lit without our hand, so too, our heart, our inward vigil lamp, cannot be lit without the holy fire of God’s grace, even if it were to be filled with all the virtues.  All these virtues of ours are, after all, like combustible material, but the fire which ignites them proceeds from God.

8.  In order to remind us that before anything else the Creator of the world created light, and after that everything else in order: And God said, let there be light: and there was light (Genesis 1:3).  And it must be so also at the beginning of our spiritual life, so that before anything else the light of Christ’s truth would shine within us.  From this light of Christ’s truth subsequently every good is created, springs up and grows in us.

May the Light of Christ illumine you as well!

Friday, November 16

Vigil Lamps...

O Gladsome Light of the holy glory of the Immortal Father, heavenly, holy, blessed O Jesus Christ. 
Now we have come to the setting of the sun and behold the light of evening. 
We praise God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 
For meet it is at all times to worship Thee with voices of praise, O Son of God and Giver of Life, therefore all the world doth glorify Thee.


One of the things that is really lovely about icon corners is the oil lamp that sits in the center of the shelf shining its light into the darkness of a room in the evenings, reminding the faithful that "Jesus Christ is the light of the world that illumines our souls".  It is surprisingly easy to find the things that you need to have your own oil lamp and it is not too difficult to tend and keep lit.

The first thing that is needed for a vigil lamp is a glass vessel to hold the oil.  There are many sources online for beautiful lamps, but all you really need is a glass that is wide at the top (to prevent soot from accumulating).  The next thing to find is a floating wick or a wick-holder.  Our family prefers cork wick holders (and so my instructions will reflect that), but you can use any sort of wick holder.  Next, you'll need wicking.  The cotton wick is threaded through the center of the float with just a little bit above the hole and the rest dangling down into the oil.  Finally, you'll need oil.   The custom among Orthodox Christians is to use the best oil available as an offering to the Lord.  For some this means olive oil which has traditionally been used and for others this may mean a type of vegetable oil as it burns more cleanly and does not produce soot (which soils the walls and ceilings above the icon corner).

Some nice things to have on hand are:  matches or a lighter, tweezers and/or manicure scissors to trim the wick prior to use and also to pull the wick through the hole in the float a bit each day, and a small dish to put underneath the vigil lamp to catch oil drips.

Once you have everything you need, you are ready to set up your lamp.  Put oil into your glass and thread your wick through the float.  Place a small dish on the shelf and put the oil lamp on top.  Light your lamp and enjoy it's light through the night.  In the morning, you can simply blow out the vigil lamp (gently so as not to blow oil everywhere) or push the cork float down into the oil (this is called sinking the float).  When you are ready to relight your vigil lamp, use your tweezers to gently pull off the burned part of the cotton wick (trimming the wick) and bring a little bit more of the wick up through the hole on the float.  Relight the wick and that is it!

One word of caution:  Do not allow the oil in your lamp to get too low.  If it does, the glass can explode.  Use common sense when leaving your vigil lamp burning.  We keep ours burning through the night, but we do not keep it lit when we leave the house.  We have also hung our icon shelf on the higher side to keep it away from little hands. 

Thursday, November 15

Preparing for Nativity...

The faithful of the Orthodox Church are embarking on the Nativity Fast today.  Though we try to keep our Christmas celebrations to a minimum prior to December 25th, we do some exciting things to prepare and enjoy this special time as well.  Here are some of our plans for the next forty days.  

November 15: Plant Paperwhites
November 16: Clean Out the Refrigerator and Grocery Shop for Lenten Foods
November 17: Start Writing Out Christmas Lists
November 18: Go Through Books to Give Away
November 19: Go Through Toys to Give Away
November 20: Donate Money and/or Canned Goods to the Food Pantry for Thanksgiving
November 21: Entry of the Most Holy Mother of God
November 22: Thanksgiving Day

November 23: Make Beeswax Ornaments
November 24: Plan Christmas Card
November 25: Plan Christmas Menu
November 26: Plan Christmas Outfits
November 27: Participate in Gift Giving for those Less Fortunate
November 29: Research Different Christmas Activities in the Area
November 30: Begin Listening to the Messiah
December 1: Put out the Nativity Books
December 2: 
The Nutcracker
December 3: Purchase This Year's Ornament Frame
December 4: Little Man's Namesday
December 5: Bake Saint Nicholas Cookies and get Golden Chocolate Coins ready for the Shoes
December 6: Saint Nicholas Day & Christmas Parade
December 7: Begin Listening to Christmas Music
December 8: Horse and Carriage Ride and Watch a Blacksmith at Work

December 9: Hang winter wreath on front door 
December 10: Gingerbread House Party at the local bookstore
December 11: Hang snowflake decorations from dining room chandelier
December 12: Little Man's Birthday
December 13: Saint Lucia and Saint Herman
December 14: Winter Wonderland of Lights Festival
December 15: Decorate the Mantle and Hang Stockings
December 16: Living Nativity
December 17: Watch The Christmas Miracle of Johnathon Toomey/Put Out Nativity Scene
December 18: Hang Garland Around Front Door
December 19: Purchase a new Christmas book for our family collection

 December 20: Cut Paper Snowflakes for Windows
December 21: Put out Christmas and Winter Decorations
December 22: Bring home the Christmas tree and decorate it
December 23: Christmas Wrapping
December 24: Prepare Food for Parish Feast After Midnight Liturgy

Tuesday, November 13

Yarn Along: The Midwife...

Oh, this book!  I was able to watch Call the Midwife on PBS which was great! When I found out that the show was based upon books written by Jennifer Worth, I decided that I wanted to read them.  At some point, there will be a boxed set of three of her books coming out, but I decided that I didn't want to wait.  I ordered the first one (originally called Call the Midwife but apparently now just The Midwife) and it was excellent!  There are parts of the book that are not for the faint of heart, but this is an excellently written story of a midwife serving the poor in England in the 1950's. 

I have am nearly done with Button's hat and could easily finish it, but I want to bring it to our Knit Night on Thursday to see how it is supposed to be completed properly.  The little ones and I have been making these tiny yarn pumpkins and apples this week, which has been fun.  I am going to be learning how to make a pretty lace wrap on Thursday!  More on that later!

What are you knitting and reading?


Today, Archbishop Tikhon, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, was elected Primate of the Orthodox Church in America!  Father John and I were very happy to hear this news.  Metropolitan Tikhon has been our spiritual father since his days as a priest-monk at Saint Tikhon's Seminary.  AXIOS!

Lantern Walk...

On Monday evening (in honor of Saint Martin), we lit candles, put them into lanterns and took a walk on our driveway, winding our way through the woods. It was such an exciting adventure! There is a peacefulness that we all felt and I think that we will be taking nighttime walks frequently this winter.  Perhaps it will be something that we enjoy on feastdays!

Monday, November 12


Autumn Salad...

Our little family loves to eat fancy salads, so when I saw a recipe for a delicious looking Chopped Autumn Salad on Pinterest, I decided to serve something similar for Saturday's lunch.  Ours was made with roasted chicken, romaine lettuce, crumbled bacon, chopped Gala apples, cucumbers, dried cranberries, hard-boiled eggs, and bleu cheese dressing (the children opted for balsamic vinaigrette).  Everyone declared that it was scrumptious and so it is something that I will be jotting down to make again!

Sunday, November 11


Breakfast was laid out in the dining room, and I would take mine first, then go to bed for a few hours.  I raided the larder.  A pot of tea, boiled eggs, toast, home-made gooseberry jam, cornflakes, home-made yoghurt, and scones.  Heaven!  Nuns always have a lot of home-made food, I had discovered.  The preserves came from the many church bazaars and sales that seemed to go one throughout the year.  The delicious cakes and biscuits, and crunchy bread were made either by the nuns or by the many local women who came in to work at Nonnatus House.  Any staff who had missed a meal through being called out had a free run of the larder.  I was deeply grateful for this liberality, which was so unlike hospitals, where you had to plead for a bit of food if you had missed a meal for any reason.

It was a royal feast.  I left a note asking to be called at about 11:30 a.m., and persuaded my tired legs to carry me up to my bedroom.  I slept like a baby, and when someone roused me with a cup of tea, I couldn't remember where I was.  The tea reminded me.  Only the kind sisters would send a cup of tea up to a nurse who had been working all night.  In hospital it would be a bang on the door, and that would be that."

Jenny Worth

Saint Martin...

In signs and in miracles thou wast renowned throughout Gaul.
By grace and adoption thou are a light for the world, O Martin, blessed of God.
Alms, deeds and compassion filled thy life with their splendors,
Teaching and wise counsel were thy riches and treasures,
Which thou dispense freely to those who honor thee.


The Saint Martin Learning Basket can be found HERE.

Friday, November 9

Favorite Things: Britian's Country Living...

Around the second week of every month, I take the little ones on a trek to Barnes and Noble.  We go for the train table in the children's area, to check out the new books, and to buy Mama the latest issue of Britain's Country Living. 

I usually tuck my magazine in a safe place and wait for a few days for just the right moment to dive in.  Happily playing little ones?  Check.  Mug of tea?  Check.  Blueberry muffin?  Check, check, check.  It is such fun to read through the articles and look at all of the lovely photographs.  In my opinion, it is far superior to the American version of Country Living and I look forward to getting this magazine so much each month!

What magazines do you like to read?

Thursday, November 8

The Archangel Michael...

Commander of the heavenly hosts,
we who are unworthy beseech thee,
by thy prayers encompass us beneath the wings of thine immaterial glory,
and faithfully preserve us who fall down and cry to thee:
"Deliver us from all harm, for thou art the commander of the powers on high!"


The Archangel Michael Learning Basket can be found HERE.

Wednesday, November 7

Living and Learning: November...

Archangel Michael
St Nectarios
Saint Martin
Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos
Kursk Root Icon

Purchase last bits of warm clothing for the cold weather
Host in-laws Thanksgiving dinner
Create costumes for the children to wear on Saint Michael's Day
Plan Cleaning List for Nativity Fast
Plan activities for the Nativity Fast and the Twelve Days of Christmas
Plant Bulbs and Pansies
Feather the nest with down blankets for the beds, warm throws for the living room, pajamas and slippers, candles, slippers and a stock of teas and cocoa
Plan Nativity activities
Plan for December's feastdays (Saint Nicholas Day, Saint Herman, Saint Lucia, Christmas) Plan for Little Man's Namesday and Birthday
Knit three little hats for the children and  one for their Papa
Plan celebration for the feast of Saint Martin (Martinmas)
Stock the winter pantry

Native Americans

Try to keep from over scheduling our days... especially keeping the shopping to a minimum

Special Days
2nd Auntie Heather's Birthday
9th Uncle Nick’s Namesday and Birthday
9th Jacob's Birthday
11th Veterans Day
17th National Bread Baking Day
20th Uncle Gregory’s Namesday
22nd Thanksgiving

28th Full Beaver Moon

Practice being still and quiet during services and prayers

Practice patience and love towards one another
Learn to Sing "Beneath Thy Compassion"
The Sign of the Cross for Button
Nature table scene
Seasonal book basket
Celebrate the feast of Saint Michael

Celebrate Martinmas
Encourage imaginative play 

Take nature walks through the woods
Polish wooden toys together
The Tree of Jesse - Christmas Preparation
Celebrate the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos

Tidy bedrooms each morning  
Tidy the playroom each afternoon
Put Away Own Laundry 
Work on Letters and Numbers with Little Man
Use the Moveable Alphabet with Sugar Plum
Attend Homeschooling Evaluation on the 15th
Visit a Local Native American Museum

Tuesday, November 6

Yarn Along: Be Loving No. 3...

It looks like I have accomplished nothing!  I did finish my Be Loving Hat last week (while watching Sense and Sensibility!) and cast on to my third and final gray one.  I am hoping that it fits my littlest, but I am not sure that he'll wear it.  For weeks and weeks, he has been wearing an engineer hat from our dress-up box everywhere (and I mean everywhere...  to bed, in the bath, to play.  We draw the line at church, but even there he clutches it in his arms!).  I am hoping to finish this one off soon so that I can cast on for a requested hand-knit.  My husband would like a hat in black wool.

We finished reading Jenny and the Cat Club and The School for Cats and are now reading through The Hotel Cat.  I am still slowly reading The Little Village School.  I like it very much, but have had little time to read for pleasure.  This whole knitting thing crimps my reading style!  I am hoping to get a book light that I can use to read a few pages before I fall asleep.  The list of books that I want to read is growing and I refuse to start another before I finish this one!

What are you  knitting and reading?

Monday, November 5

Woolen Hats...

Here are the two Be Loving Hats that I completed this past month.  They weren't very hard at all and I am looking forward to trying my hand at a new hat pattern.  I had a lot of difficulty with my first hat (the one that Little Man is wearing) and it required some help from our local shop owner, Monika, to look right.  Sugar Plum's was a bit easier (part of my problem with the first one was that I didn't use double pointed needles to finish the decreases), but I still found that finishing without a hole in the top was impossible.  I am hoping that M. can help me finish my third hat on Thursday night so that I can see how it is supposed to me done.

Sunday, November 4


In November, at winter's gate, the stars are brittle.  The sun is a sometimes friend.  And the world has tucked her children in, with a kiss on their heads, till spring."

Cynthia Rylant

Saturday, November 3

Ask Father: One Question/One Answer...

Question: How do prayer and the keeping of the commandments actually affect our daily lives? Don't we say that everything that happens to us is part of God's providence? If so, what's the point? We can't really change our destiny, can we?

Answer: Though the Lord works in mysterious ways, arranging all things according to His Providence, we do actually have a crucial part to play in choosing our own destiny, both in this life and the next.

As the Scriptures teach us, just because God is all-powerful and always desires what is best for us, this does not mean that He will force us to enter into His Kingdom. He respects our free will so much that He even allows us to choose hell, both in this life and the next. Though He desires to shower us with His goodness in an infinite measure, in order not to infringe on our free will, He limits His goodness to us to the measure that we are willing to receive it from Him by working with Him - keeping His commandments, praying to Him, etc..
That's why when we keep the commandments or pray "Lord have mercy" we should remind ourselves that we are not trying to convince the Lord to be merciful to us - how silly would it be to think that we sinners can convince the Lord of infinite goodness, love, and wisdom to be more merciful or more loving. Prayer and the keeping of the commandments have their power to change our destiny not because we convince God to do something better for us, but because through prayer and the keeping of the commandments we become humbler and more open to His action in our lives - we allow Him to work wonders on our behalf - the greatest wonder being the gift of salvation. In the spiritual life, the simple rule is: the measure in which we change (repent, turn to the Lord, keep the commandments, etc) is the same measure in which we will receive God's mercy. I think that this is really what St. Anthimos of Chois was getting at when he said that "the Goodness of God is so rich in graces, that it seeks a cause to have mercy on a person."

Anyway, it is a daily struggle (for all of us) to put Him first, but the great thing about it is that when we do we are guaranteed that everything will turn out for the best (even if we can't always see it from our human perspective). Hard work in the spiritual life always is worth it.

Friday, November 2


Last year, we spent some time decorating our sliding glass door with pretty leaves that we cut out of watercolored coffee filters.  Since we were in the process of moving, we had to remove our leaves soon after putting them up.  I knew that the pretty stained-glass effect that the leaves had in our old house would be wonderful in our current playroom.  We took our time with this project and painted our coffee filters one night just before bathtime.  The next day, I made two leaf tracers on card stock and Sugar Plum and Little Man traced the leaves on to coffee filters that I had folded into fourths.  I then cut the leaves out and we took turns applying a tiny bit of glue stick glue to the backs and sticking them on the window.  When it is time to take our pretty leaves down, I will just peel off the leaf and spray the window with glass cleaner to remove any glue residue.  Then we'll do it all over again with snowflakes!

Thursday, November 1

Pumpkin Carving...

Last night, we had our iconographer friend over for supper and she was somehow roped into carving our pumpkin for us!  We were inspired by Martha Stewart's gorgeous pumpkin carvings that used linoleum cutters to achieve a beautiful pumpkin that can be used as a centerpiece for quite awhile!  We also enjoyed roasting the pumpkin seeds with a bit of olive oil and sea salt for a little late-night snack.  It was such a nice evening of fun and visiting!
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