Winter Daybook

outside my window

We’re back to chilly and cloudy after a glorious week of sun. While so much of the country is buried in snow, wet Oregon was enjoying bright, warm sunshine. It was a welcome break.

celebrating the seasons

I have all these books (and of course, Pinterest boards) full of great seasonal crafts I mean to do with the kids. I fail mostly due to lack of planning ahead. Must think of a way to remedy that, and in the meantime, I think we’ll make rolled candles with the beeswax sheets and wicks my beekeeper sister gave the children for Christmas. I also have kite paper to make some window stars. Hopefully next week I’ll have something to show for myself.

listening to 

I’m trying to remember to take the opportunity to listen to audio lectures on my iPhone when I get the chance, mainly when I take walks with just Sophia or while doing laundry during quiet time. This week I’ve been listening to Fr. Josiah’s podcasts (a favorite of mine for years – I highly recommend them!) and some great homeschooling lectures from Sarah’s Listen Up! page. The Christopher Perrin talks are especially great!

sharing stories with the children

The requests lately include My Warrior Saints (James’ Christmas present and definitely his current favorite. Warning, the link makes noise! I hate that!), original Winnie the Pooh stories, and Lucia, Saint of Light.

reading myself

Paul and I are both reading the Game of Thrones series. It’s too violent for me. I think I’m going to take a break.

I’m reading My Antonia, the first book I’ve read electronically (I’m reading it with the Kindle app on my phone, because it was free that way and we’re observing a No-Spend January). I’m not a fan of reading this way, so I doubt this will be a regular thing. I do love the book, though.

Also reading Scream-Free Parenting in little bits.


Someone posted this poem. I love it so much I think I will try and memorize it.

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

– Wendell Berry

carefully cultivating rhythm

We have all sorts of rhythms we need to readjust. The only one that works pretty well is the dinnertime through bedtime rhythm. The rest of the day is still a little chaotic and we all need some more rhythm and discipline. I think I will start focusing on one time of day at a time until the whole day is running more smoothly.

{added later} After I wrote the paragraph above, I read this post: An Inner Experience of Rhythm. It both agrees and clarifies what I had been thinking about, and gives me more to ponder.

creating by hand

My knitting has been at a standstill for quite a while. Like I talked about before, I’m trying to remember that holding the baby in the evenings is really more important. Maybe I can switch to getting some more real reading in, since I’m still scanning the internet more than I want to be. But I do miss making things, and hope to start fitting in at least little pockets of knitting. I am sad that Sophia’s beautiful blanket is still languishing about 2/3 done.

learning lessons in

Child-Parent Relationship Training (the link has a pretty good overview of what it is). One of our priests is also a Marriage and Family Therapist, and he arranged for one of his colleagues, a certified Play Therapist, to come to a three-week long training in bringing the concepts of Play Therapy in our homes. It is very interesting and I feel like I’m learning some good tools.

learning at home

I was all excited to get back to our preschool circle time routine. It is a routine that worked very well all autumn until we had a break for Christmas time and recovering from sickness. Going back to it, the kids had a much harder time engaging in our normal routine. This week is a social one, so we’re not doing much “preschool” and I am thinking about whether we just need to reacquaint ourselves with the old routine or if we should shake it up some. Maybe a little of both.

clicking around

How to Make Beeswax Candles.

Candlelight throughout the day.

Chesterton on the Freedom of Home, via my friend Juliana. I agree that, as much as I love being at home, it is hard to feel like it is a place of freedom when one can’t do anything without several small people tagging along  (or climbing all over you). But maybe I need to rethink what freedom means, and maybe home is really where freedom is found.

keeping house

We have three playdates in three days this week. My house is definitely not spotless, but regularly having people over is good both for our social lives and for keeping the house at least reasonably clean. Well, reasonably clean and totally covered with blocks and train tracks.

in the kitchen 

I’m working on going back to being grain- and sugar-free. Paul and I have been eating spicy sausage cooked with a pile of greens for breakfast. It’s delicious and keeps me going for a long time!

moments to remember

Sophia smiles so big it’s like her face muscles won’t let her smile any bigger. Giant gummy smiles. Mostly when she spots me 🙂 She’s the sweetest baby. She comes with me everywhere, just snuggled up on me in the sling. What a darling girl she is.

Today when James was telling me something and I wasn’t paying attention, he took my face in my hands gently, turned my face toward him, and said, “Sweetie Mama? Sweetie?” to get my attention. It was very sweet, but also reminded me to not make him go to such lengths to get my attention 🙂

Just before nap when I was helping James get the pasta sauce cleaned off his face, he smiled at me and said, “Is I’m shining like gold, Mama? Is I’m?” Love preschool grammar.

As I tucked Miriam into bed just now, she sighed and said, “Today is a fun day, Mama.” She says this almost every day. Usually at night after I’ve tucked them into bed, she will yell over and over “Today was a fun day! Today was a fun day!” until I go in and agree that yes, today was a fun day.

giving thanks 

For our church community. I prayed and prayed that we could move here and be part of this community when I was miserable in Philadelphia. It’s a wonderful place for our family. Paul recently became part of the parish council and we went to a parish council appreciation dinner at our priest’s home last night. I was reminded all over again how blessed we are to be here. Such wonderful friends we’ve made here.

living the liturgy

We celebrate the Three Holy Hierarchs on Thursday. Maybe we’ll actually make it to an early morning Liturgy. Fingers crossed.

planning for the week ahead

We had friends over Monday and the parish council dinner that evening. Then a little friend came to visit this morning. Sophia’s godmother and her little ones will visit tomorrow. Maybe Liturgy Thursday. It’s a full week.

And I have to start thinking about packing. I shudder to contemplate it.

a photo or two from the last week

There were several days in the last week that the kids begged to have a picnic lunch in the backyard. The picnic table would not do; it had to be a proper picnic, which meant a blanket. There were several times that I looked at them out there just starting off into the trees, watching birds or squirrels. It was sweet to watch them being quiet and peaceful out there together.


All my babies piled on the couch.


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2 Responses to Winter Daybook

  1. Juliana says:

    You might find a real Kindle better going–the app drives me crazy with the back lighting–it makes me read like I read blog posts. I got a paperwhite from my parents for Christmas and the reading experience is much more book-like.

  2. Mimi says:

    Wonderful snapshot, love the moments you have captured.
    Making candles is perfect for the Presentation(Candlemas in the West)

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