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

Monday, November 17

Preparing for Nativity...

The faithful of the Orthodox Church are embarking on the Nativity Fast on November 15th.  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: Nutcracker Storyhour
November 23: Plant bulbs outside (daffodils and tulips)
November 24: Plan Christmas Card
November 25: Plan Christmas Menu
November 26: Plan Christmas Outfits
November 27: Thanksgiving Day 

November 28:  Hang snowflake decorations from dining room chandelier
November 29: Participate in Gift Giving for those Less Fortunate
November 30: Begin Listening to the Messiah
December 1: Put out the Nativity Books
December 2:  Cut Paper Snowflakes for Windows
December 3:  The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

December 4: Little Man's Namesday and Peter Pan on ABC
December 5:  The Nutcracker
December 6: Saint Nicholas Day
December 7:  Winter Wonderland of Lights Festival
December 8: Begin Listening to Christmas music
December 9: Decorate the mantle
December 10: Create a Gingerbread House
December 11: Visit Frozen Ice Palace
December 12: Little Man's Birthday
December 13: Saint Lucia and Saint Herman
December 14: Living Nativity
December 15: Hang winter wreath on front door
December 16: Hang stockings
December 17: Watch The Christmas Miracle of Johnathon Toomey/Put Out Nativity Scene
December 18: Wrap presents
December 19: Purchase a new Christmas book for our family collection

December 20: Ice skating
December 21: Bring home the Christmas tree and decorate it
December 22: Messiah Sing Along
December 23: Grocery Shopping for Christmas Day
December 24: Prepare Food for Feasting

Sunday, November 16

In and Out...

The opportunity to go to The National Gallery of Art for an hour or so appeared suddenly yesterday and so I seized it!  The children and I were able to see  Degas's Little Dancer along with 14 of his other works and then some Van Gogh, Monet, and Renoir rounded out our visit.  I could have stayed all day long, of course, but I really want these kids of ours to enjoy jaunts to museums so I try to keep things short and sweet.  Despite the speediness of our visit , we've been thinking about all that we saw (especially Little Dancer!)...  we have Chasing Degas to read tomorrow and I have been checking out The Kennedy Center's production of The Little Dancer online.  I love this stuff!    

Wednesday, November 12


 There is a harmony in autumn, and luster in its sky..."

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Yarn Along: Onto the Sleeves...

I finally finished the body of my youngest son's Tama.  It is a bit long in the body, but better long than short!  I have to get the proper double pointed needles to get moving on the sleeves.  We have a bit of traveling on Friday and Saturday, so hopefully I'll make a little progress!

I'm about halfway through Soul Gardening.  It's the second issue that I have received...  it's wonderful!   

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