Sunday, February 27

Button at Eight and a Half Months...

Our little one is getting so big, so fast! He is now sitting up unaided, eating little bits of cereal and apple or pear sauce, and grabbing at anything he can get his hands on! We are still waiting for his teeth to come in (our babies teeth very late!) and are enjoying the fact that he cannot crawl yet (the house is not baby-proofed in the least). Button loves playing with his sister and brother and truly enjoys listening to books and playing with toys. Bathtime is his favorite time of day. It is so cute to see him waving his arms and legs in an effort to splash the water. We have recently been getting a lot of belly laughs from Button, which is a huge treat since he is Mr. Serious. Any time people coo and smile at him when we are out and about, he surprises them with a somber expression - it is rare for anyone other than family to get him to crack a smile! Button's new trick is to stick out his tongue like a little lizard. He cracks us all up! He is a sweet little baby and we are so blessed to have him in our lives!

To Market, To Market...

The children are all sick with what Father John had this past week: headaches, fevers, coughs, chills, etc. With a little encouragement, they played market for a little while this morning. We all have cabin fever, but this soothed it for a little while. Papa's plan is to bring us some lovely Meatfare treats this afternoon when he returns from Liturgy... I can't wait!

Friday, February 25

Button in the Highchair...

We pulled out the highchair for Button this week. He liked sitting in it, but at eight and a half months, he is still too small... his chin barely made it above the tray! After watching two tiny babies grow into healthy and strong preschoolers, I feel like I am finally in a place to enjoy (and embrace) the fact that I have little babies longer than most mamas. The pretty chair went back in the closet for a few more weeks and we'll just continue to enjoy our lap baby!

Thursday, February 24

Now Available on iTunes...

For only $4.99, you can now download The Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer on iTunes!

Learning Basket: Dogs...

Ziggy, a dog visiting our friend's dog kennel for the weekend

McDuff Books
Angus and the Ducks, Angus Lost, Angus and the Cat
Harry Books

Make or Buy Doggie Treats for Favorite Dogs in Your Life
Learn How to Behave Around Dogs
Using a Drawing Book, Learn How to Draw a Dog



There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
And Bingo was his name-o.

There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
And Bingo was his name-o.

There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
And Bingo was his name-o.

The song continues through 6 verses, at each new verse a clap is substituted for an additional letter in the name "Bingo", until on the 6th verse, all handclaps are given for the letters in the name.

Learning Basket: Hearts and Valentines...

I am sorry this is so late! I completely forgot to post it last week!

The Valentine Bears
Tomie's Little Book of Love
Guess How Much I Love You
Mama, Do You Love Me?
Papa, Do You Love Me?
Love You Forever

Make Valentine Cards for Those You Love
Learn How to Cut Hearts Out of Paper
Make a Special Valentine's Day Dessert - Chocolate Covered Strawberries!
Make a Paper Heart Garland
Make Heart-Shaped Foods: Heart Cookies, Fruit cut into a Heart, Heart Pancakes, etc.

Tuesday, February 22

Making Crayons...

Do you remember this Sesame Street Clip? I can clearly recall watching it when I was a child and loving it! It was fun to show it to my little ones tonight.

Monday, February 21

Photographs of the Wedding...

Photos by Juliana

Peter and Katharine...

Since I was in the wedding and Father John had to take care of our little ones, only one picture was taken at my sister and brother- in- law's wedding (and it was snapped with a mobile phone). I cannot wait to get my hands on some more photographs so that I can show all of you what a beautiful wedding it was! Everything went off without a hitch! Kate looked lovely and Peter was so handsome! My father did a beautiful job with the service and you should have heard the music! Unbelievably moving!

God grant the servants of God , Katharine and Peter many blessed years!

Friday, February 18

The King's Speech...

What a wonderful movie! The only drawback to this beautiful film was some vulgar language... which made sense for the storyline and wasn't just bad language for bad language's sake (if that makes sense!). The costumes were wonderful and the actor's fabulous! It was great to see Mr. Darcy Colin Firth, Miss Elizabeth Bennet Jennifer Ehle and Mr Collins David Bamber (all from Pride and Prejudice) on the Big Screen! I highly recommend it!

Thursday, February 17

The Playground and Milk and Cookies...

The weather has been unbelievably gorgeous for February! Papa took some time off this afternoon to play outside with us at The Big Slide Playground and we came home to milk and chocolate chip cookies. I hope these sweet and simple moments are the things that our little ones remember when they get older.

Monday, February 14

Making Notebooks...

Writing letters and drawing pictures have become one of our little girl's favorite things to do. I have wanted to make notebooks like Ginny's for while now, but since I don't have a sewing machine (or sewing skills) or a booklet making stapler, I put the idea on the back burner. Enter The Write Start, a book I ordered after reading through Jennifer Hallissy's blog of the same name (you will love her ideas!). The first project I tackled for my scribbler was making these wee books with cardstock, printer paper, embroidery floss, a nail, hammer, and piece of scrap wood (for banging the nail into!). They aren't perfect (in my defense, I was listening to the Orthodoxy in the Home conference!), but they make my little ones happy and are encouraged lots of time at the children's table this weekend!

Saturday, February 12

Magnetic Lenten Calendar...

Check out Orthodox Christian Craft Supply for their latest offering: A Magnetic Lenten Calendar. Each of the families in our church will be getting one to put together before Great Lent begins on March 7th. Keep check their shop during this month... there are going to be a lot of new crafts added for Great Lent, Annunciation, Holy Week, and Pascha.

Thursday, February 10

Learning Basket: Red...

The Red Book
Big Red Barn
The Little Red Caboose
Little Red Riding Hood
The Little Red Hen
The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge

Paint a Picture with Red Paint
Taste Test Several Different Varieties of Apples (Gala, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, etc.)
Create Picture Entirely with the Color Red Using Different Mediums (Paint, Colored Pencil, Watercolor, Chalk, Crayon, etc.)
Have a Snack or Meal with Different Red Foods (Red Peppers, Tomatoes, Cherries, A Dish with Tomato Sauce, Red Velvet Cake, Strawberry Jam, etc.)
Make Crayon Hearts

Wednesday, February 9

Orthodoxy in the Home...


Don't forget to register for the First Annual Orthodox Christian Online Conference - Orthodoxy in the Home. With over fifteen speakers, this online conference promises to be a wonderful event for Orthodox Christians!

In Thanksgiving...

O Lord my Savior and my Master, I, Thine unprofitable servant, with fear and trembling give thanks unto Thy loving goodness for all Thy benefits which Thou hast poured so abundantly upon me, Thy servant. I fall down in adoration before Thee and offer Thee, O God, my praises. With fervor I cry to Thee: O God, deliver me henceforth from all adversities and mercifully fulfill in me such of my desires as may be expedient for me. Hear me, I entreat Thee, and have mercy, for Thou art the Hope of all the ends of the earth, and unto Thee, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be ascribed glory, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

I praise Thee, O God of our Fathers, I hymn Thee, I bless Thee, I give thanks unto thee for Thy great and tender mercy. To Thee I flee, O merciful and mighty God. Shine into my heart with the True Sun of Thy righteousness. Enlighten my mind and keep all my senses, that henceforth I may walk uprightly and keep Thy commandments, and may finally attain unto eternal life, even to Thee, Who art the source of life, and be admitted to the glorious fruition of Thine inaccessible Light. For Thou art my God, and unto Thee, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be ascribed glory, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.


Thankfully, we are home safe and sound from our trip to visit Father John's Baba seven hours away. There was bad weather on Saturday morning and we were in a car accident (along with six other vehicles). Our guardian angels were working overtime that morning since our car was one of two that wasn't totaled (one even burst into flames and was unrecognizable by the time the firefighters put it out) and, most importantly, not one person in any of the cars was injured! Glory to God!

Monday, February 7

For the Love of England...

I don't think that it is widely known that I was born in Oxford, England. My father is quite an anglophile and instilled a great love of afternoon teatime, quaint cottages covered in ivy, wellies, and Miss Read in me from a young age. My godmother lives there and we have begun exchanging letters again after years of neglect (on my part). It was a welcome surprise to find a new letter from Aunt Sarah (written with a fountain pen, of course) and last year's English version of the February issue of Country Living (from my sister's travels to Paris and London) to read on the trip to visit my husband's grandmother this weekend. Traveling with three young ones can be trying, but these two small things were exactly what I needed!

Sunday, February 6

Aunt Cathy's Rye Dip...

Father John's Aunt Cathy had a Super Bowl party at her house and served this delicious dip! It was literally gone within 15 minutes with some people trying to steal the bowl to keep it for themselves. It was a small miracle that our relatives weren't licking the bowl! I think that it will be my new standby for parties!

2 cups sour cream
1-1/2 cups Hellman's Mayonnaise
3 tbsp. minced onion (jar)
1 tbsp. dill weed (jar not fresh)
3 tbsp. parsley (jar)
1 tbsp. seasoned salt

Mix all together and chill for a few hours or overnight. Serve with fresh rye bread cut in chunks.

Note: If you want to be fancy, you can hollow out a loaf of rye bread and fill with dip. Use the hollowed out bread and another loaf for dipping.

Saturday, February 5

Happy Birthday, Baba!

Today is Father John's Grandmother's 90th birthday! May God Grant Her Many Years!

Friday, February 4

Learning Basket: Candlelight, Moonlight, and Starlight...

Candlelight, moonlight, starlight,
The brightest glow is from love light.
~Grey Livingston

Owl Moon
Stars! Stars! Stars!
Long Night Moon

Roll or Dip Beeswax Candles
Take a night-time stroll to look at the stars and moon
Celebrate the feast of The Meeting of the Lord
Learn how to draw a star
Light candles in church to pray for special people in your life

Thursday, February 3

Living and Learning: February...

The Meeting of the Lord
Zacchaeus Sunday
The Publican and the Pharisee
The Prodigal Son
Prepare for Great Lent

Remove the last few Christmas decorations
Remove snowflakes from the front door
Find window covering for front door
Print and hang some new pictures
Research and buy a baby gate for the steps
Reorganized children's outgrown/out of season clothes
Trim Sugar Plum's Hair
Prepare for Kate's Wedding
Get Washing Machine Serviced
Make Dental Appointment for Me

Sitting up!
Rocking and crawling!
Baby food making!

Hearts and Valentines

Nighttime Routines: Dinner and Tidy, Play, Bathtime, Books, Prayers, and Bed

Special Days
Groundhog Day (2nd)
Baba's 90th Birthday (4th)
Valentine’s Day (14th)
Grandma (17th)
Aunt Susan (17th)
Auntie Kate and Uncle Pete's Wedding (20th)

Practice Being Still and Quiet during Prayers and Services
Learn the Trisagion Prayers

Put Away Laundry
Late winter felt board
Heart garland
Homemade valentines
Nature table scene and book basket
Full Snow moon (February 28th)
Visit a Museum
Listen to recorded books
Heart birdseed cakes for the birds
Learning How to Draw Books
Souper Bowl Sunday

Wednesday, February 2

Joyus Feast!

The Prayer of Saint Simeon the God-Receiver

Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace,
according to Thy Word,
for my eyes have seen Thy salvation,
Which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples-
a Light to enlighten the Gentiles,
and the Glory of Thy people Israel.

I'm Reading a Book...

This is particularly funny to me since my mother used to punish us by taking away our books when we were little... I would consider the education of my children a success if I could do the same!

Tuesday, February 1

An Update on Matthew...

Thank you for your prayers on behalf of my cousin Matthew. This morning, my grandfather talked again with Matt's mother, who was much relieved. She had gotten through by telephone (as have several other relatives).

According to my aunt, there are several reasons for optimism. Although Matt can't physically go far enough from his apartment to get to the Canadian embassy (he has dual citizenship, but came into Egypt on a Canadian passport), my aunt is working to contact them. However, as you can imagine, the "waiting line" is very long (there are 7,000 Canadians currently in Egypt), so it might take a little while.

Matthew seems to think that President Mubarak's exile might be imminent and believes that might take off the worst of the pressure. Since he has been assisted, by another resident of his building, to get out to a store, he has a week's supply of food, a goodly amount of potable water for drinking and has filled the bathtub, etc., with water which can be used for other necessary purposes, so he is feeling more secure about his situation. He has also made other friends among his neighbors and has even been invited out for dinner at least once. His computer is working and although he can't go on-line, it is a source of facilitating some work, as well as entertainment.

Should it become necessary to leave, he has heard that Canadians will have an opportunity to get to Germany; where he might be able to take a train to Vienna, where he might beg asylum from some family living there! That might mean, if the stay is short-lived, it would be less expensive to either find his way back to Canada or get back to Egypt if that becomes feasible. Classes haven't been held yet, but the University has said to those who might have to leave, that they would be paid for the current term. So the economic news could be worse.

Matt is banking on good news from the political front, such as for instance, a Mubarak exile ending the constant demonstrations. I am certain I have left some things out or even gotten a thing or two wrong, but this is what I think I know at this juncture. Thank you again for your prayers!
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