We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. ~Isaiah 64:8

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blog names?

Since the beginning of the blog I've referred to my children by their first initial only, but a letter doesn't express anything about their personalities, does it?  I think it is time for blog names.


For my almost 15 year old son (Pleasant with a grouchy streak, neat and detail-oriented, loves wild music, playing bass guitar, may or may not want to be a pilot, has an interest in fencing and archery): 

For my 11 year old son (Always on the go, creative with an almost compulsive need to create, sensitive but with a temper, loves the outdoors, often balks but in the end almost always choses to do the right thing): 

For my 9 year old daughter (Also extremely creative, draws or makes some bit of art every day, loves to snuggle, has a good bit of sass to her, still a real little girl at heart): 

For my 2 1/2 year old daughter (strong-willed, mama's girl still, very affectionate but at times a "touch-me-not", loves to do whatever her mom or big sis are doing, learning to use her voice, finally!): 

Perhaps I should add photos to the sidebar to keep them straight?  I mean for you, not for me.  I hope that I can keep them straight.  But then, you never know.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Daybook - Monday, March 21st - First Spring Monday

outside my window . . . the trees are beginning to get those tiny almost iridescent green leaves.

I am listening to . . . my son slosh around some "slime" he made last week.

I am so grateful for . . . a delightful and successful trip to Biltmore House for Erik, mother-in-law and the older kids.  (Youngest and I stayed home)

I am reading . . . Purgatory, slowly; Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, slowly; Wives of Henry VIII, slowly.  And trying to finish up last month's First Things because the new one arrived this week!

I am thinking . . . about loyalty and faithfulness.

around the house . . . finally had to ditch the homemade laundry detergent.  I liked it at first, but after using it for about 6 months, I am seeing clothes that just look dingy.  I switched to regular detergent and the very first load I did looked amazingly cleaner.  I had a white robe that was getting pathetic and now it looks bright white again.  Too bad, I loved the idea of cheaper and gentler detergent.

from the kitchen . . .  Greek Cabbage soup,  Rice Pilaf and broccoli, Pasta with tomato sauce, Greek Potatoes and brussels sprouts, and Poached Salmon and sugar snap peas are all on the menu this week.

real education in our home . . . we are continuing our study of the digestive system and moving into Ancient Egypt.  I suspect a sugar cube pyramid is in our near future.

rhythm and beauty in our home . . . time to add some flowers to the front porch area.  There are lots of things we'd like to add to our new yard, but we'll have to keep it simple this year.  We'll start with some annuals and a few perennials around the front porch.  Hopefully a fig tree soon...and in the fall some azaleas and small flowering trees...bulbs, too.

the church year in our home . . . Friday is Feast of the Annunciation.  We will have a feast dinner at the very least.  My goal is to make an Annunciation icon before Friday so we can display it on our family altar (which I still have not moved downstairs).    A reading of the Annunciation story and the Magnificat seems to be in order.  Since it is a feast day, we'll get to enjoy a little dessert, perhaps an Angel Food Cake with fruit!  I'll try to devote a post to the Annunciation Feast tomorrow or the next day.

one of my favorite things . . . a clean kitchen with: no dirty dishes, nor any clean dishes waiting to be put away, counters cleared and wiped to a sheen, and a welcoming candle burning.

the week ahead . . . bible study for me this afternoon, meeting at church on Wednesday, our teen book study Thursday, Annunciation Feast Friday, friends over on Saturday, and serving the youth group dinner on Sunday.  

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring is springing ... and other activities

The weather has turned warm here, but I'm still suspicious.  Surely we'll get another cold snap.  Perhaps not, though.  I can't believe I haven't added any photos since January!

This is one of the last days we had these lovely paperwhite blooms.

She loves to pretend to be "big brubbie" with his headphones and computer.  Sorry, Burbbie, about the sticky fingerprints on your keyboard.  :)

E turned 9 in late January!

We took her for a small celebration with two good friends to the "Jumpy Place".

See here they are!

This is why we call it the "Jumpy Place".

The girls caught and enjoyed "fostering" a box turtle for a day.

The creek was still icy on a few mornings.

This is why we call him "King Louis" - King Louis the "CAT-orze" (modified French there)

Valentine's Day treats

These were gone in a day, I think.

Erik brought home some lovely forced bulbs from Trader Joe's for my Valentine's day!
More photos to come...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Busy life means slow blogging

These past two weeks have been strangely busy.  Not going many places, but just lots of stuff going on.  It is good to be busy, I guess.

So, no blogging, but I did take some pictures...

One of our church friends, Mrs. J, came to do an art lesson with us.

The kids painted watercolors and then cut out a piece to make cards.

Mrs. J taught us that art is never wasted, even the mess ups. 

Baby L joined in the action, too.

It was a lovely morning and we look forward to our next lesson!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Daybook - March 14th

outside my window . . .  daylight savings means I'm back to waking up in the dark.  It will take a few days to get used to that, but the good news is it won't last too long.

I am listening to . . .  my girls playing "doggy"

I am wearing . . . grey sweater, bright blue top.

I am so grateful for . . . Saturday morning coffee with a dear friend!

I'm pondering . . . earthquakes, seismographs, etc.

I am reading . . . Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, The Wives of Henry VIII, Dante's Purgatory for Lent.

on my iPod . . . we are going to listen to some classic fairy tales this week.

around the house . . .  just about time to put some cheerful, welcoming spring flowers out on our front porch.

from the kitchen . . . a delicious apple pie to break our fast on Sunday and to celebrate Hubby's birthday

real education in our home . . . birthday cards for family, multiplication facts, 

the church year in our home . . . the first week of our family fast went well.  Everyone enjoyed the respite from the fast on Sunday.  

the week ahead . . . 
:-: Monday - Hubby and eldest are out to see a friend and youth pastor speak tonight.
:-: Tuesday - My MOM's birthday!
:-: Thursday - Saint Patrick's Day!  We'll have a festive (but fast-friendly) dinner and then head out to our weekly book study, "And Then I Had Teenagers", maybe a trip to the hairdresser for me.
:-: Friday - Mother-in-Law arrives to celebrate hubby's birthday (from last week).
:-: Saturday - Off to Biltmore House!

picture thought . . .


Friday, March 11, 2011

{this moment} -- March 11th

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. 
A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Visit SouleMama for more.

Not a technically beautiful photo, but captured a truly remarkable moment: Baby L trusting (and enjoying) a new friend!

(You'll notice I've changed the rules - I cannot help but put a caption on my photos!)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Shrove Tuesday 2011

Welcome to Shrove Tuesday, also known as Mardi Gras!  

We have a big, festive church pot luck tonight so who knows what we'll be enjoying for dinner....but it will be good!  We are getting ready for Lent in our home by spending some time the past few days discussing what we'll fast from for Lent.  Hubby and I both have some other Lenten plans.  For me just some focused reading and additional prayer time.

Here are some links to help you along this Lent:

:-: Starting off Lent with a Good Confession.  A great guide to self-examination (with or without a priest or spiritual mentor).  This makes for a good Ash Wednesday meditation or something to work on through out Lent.

:-: Reading through Lent with the Church Fathers - this is what I'll be reading through this Lent.  (Updated to add: Jessica has asked for anyone interested in reading through Dante's "Purgatory" for Lent.  I may ditch the Church Fathers, saving those for Easter or Pentecost - wouldn't that be appropriate, and join her in this.  I've been trying to read it on my own for a while now and got derailed with our move.  In addition there is a blog devoted entirely to this exact pursuit: Daily Dante.  They are looking for some lady bloggers to join them.  I'm a little intimidated to officially join them, but I will be reading and maybe commenting.)

:-: Family Fasting in Lent

:-: Focus, Spirit, Discipline: A Lenten Series

:-: Lots of great reading from the 2008 Anglican Lenten carnival: An Anglican Family Lent

:-: Jessica also has a link post up for Lent.  You can always count on great links from her!

:-: and one of my new favorite blogs, Like Mother, Like Daughter has a truly wonderful and encouraging post up for those of us , especially those with many children, needing some simple and gentle Lent guidance.  Lenten Preparations.

I pray you each have a blessed Shrove Tuesday and entry into Lent tomorrow on Ash Wednesday.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Daybook - March 7th

outside my window . . .  the grass is starting to poke out from under the landscaper's straw.  I feel hopeful that we might actually have a yard of grass rather than mud one day.

I am listening to . . . my oven's creaks and whooshes as it heats up.

I am wearing . . . brown sweater, medium blue top, jeans, fluffed-but-unwashed hair.

I am reading . . . The Wives of Henry the VIII (A Fraser) and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand

I am thinking . . . about how tired I am and that it might be tired to start taking melatonin again!  It really does help me sleep better.

on my iPod . . .  catching up on a few podcasts today while I do my baking.

around the house . . .  oh, the weekend has put our house is a bit of disarray.  At some point today I sure hope to get it straightened up.  Little E's room needs some SERIOUS attention this week.

from the kitchen . . . batches and batches of sweet treats today for an open house (eldest son's school).

real education in our home . . . tomorrow a friend is coming to give a lesson in water colors.

rhythm and beauty in our home . . . I am trying to determine how to cozy up our kitchen eating area.  The area is large and open and has lots of windows and light.  I love that, but it lacks something cozy and anchoring.  

the church year in our home . . . Ash Wednesday is this week, and of course that means the beginning of Lent.  Trying to decide where to place our family altar.  I moved during the holidays to make room for some special decorations and never put it back in its original location.  I like where it is now, but it isn't a place we can gather as a family, so I'm considering a change to that.

one of my favorite things . . .  fancily painted fingernails on cute little girls.

the week ahead. . .
:-: Today: open house for eldest son's school
:-: Tuesday : water color lesson, and Shrove Tuesday pot luck at church
:-: Wednesday: Ash Wednesday services
:-: Thursday: a special birthday!

a picture thought . . .

Down at the creek a few weeks ago.  Still some icy bits to crunch through.

Friday, March 4, 2011

{this moment} -- March 3rd

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. 
A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Visit SouleMama for more.

My little E with the big pink back pack - the rest friends from other families.