outside my window…
are roses! The previous owners of our home didn’t do a whole lot with the yard, but one thing I love is that they planted a whole row of roses just outside the living room bay window, right outside where our living room sofa is. The children have been taking turns cutting one an putting it in a vase next to their favorite icon of the Theotokos, which is a sweet little devotion that they take very seriously.
lots of podcasts lately. I’m loving Sarah Mackenzie’s Read Aloud Revival and the Summer in the Little Oratory podcasts with two of my favorite bloggers, Elizabeth Foss and Leila Lawler, on Leila’s book, The Little Oratory.
I’ve also been listening to a Libravox audio recording of Great Expectations whenever I take morning walks.
On my own, I’m reading the aforementioned The Little Oratory, and bits and pieces of The Ascetic Lives of Mothers (which is a good pair, since The Little Oratory is distinctly Roman Catholic, and the Ascetic Lives of Mothers brings my own tradition into reading about forming one’s prayer life).
I’m very excited to finally be reading simple chapter books with the children. We read Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner first, and today we finished The Trolley Car Children. Tomorrow we start Stuart Little!
household routines. I’m always thinking about that. I actually think I am doing all right in the household management department. It’s something I’ve been very intentional about since I got married, although it has taken my almost six years to not feel constantly overwhelmed and behind. I have rather high standards for cleanliness and organization, and feel like I’m constantly falling short (actually I am constantly falling short), and I have the paradoxical goals of both being more consistent with the implementation and trying my best to relax a little bit about some things. I’ve had a weekly cleaning schedule that I have developed and tinkered with over and over until it is perfectly logical and efficient. And I find it is too much. It has me cleaning things that are really already clean enough, or else making me so overwhelmed I give up and let everything get dirty for two weeks. So now I’m thinking about what “clean enough” is and tinkering again with the schedule. I am very happy with my laundry system though!
how to form a habit of prayer with the children. We’ve started (again) saying morning prayers together, and this time they are fairly attentive and participatory. I try to involve them, and especially to take advantage of our particularly physical and sensory way of prayer – we light candles, and make metanias, place the rose for the Theotokos, and they sometimes hold prayer ropes or pretend they are saying the prayers out of their own little prayer books. They often hold icons, and each blow out a candle at the end. We take time for us all to mention particular things we would like to pray for. I’m always looking for the balance between offering them the fullness of our prayer traditions and overwhelming their little attention spans, so we adjust a little each day.
carefully cultivating rhythm…
We were all away for nearly three weeks. Paul, Sophia and I went to Ireland for two weeks, and the older children stayed with my parents (more on that later, I’m sure). Last week was kind of a loss in the rhythm department and was more like recovery. This week we are getting back to our daily rhythm. My favorite new addition to our daily rhythm is a long read aloud time after lunch and before rest time.
I’m sure I will be posting lots of photos from Ireland soon. For now, here is a picture of a baby and a castle to hold you over 🙂
creating by hand…
I’ve finally picked up Sophia’s baby blanket again. It is getting very close to being finished, and I really want it done so I can go on to other things! I’ve been working on it since I found out I was pregnant with her! I also have a tiny dolly I have cut out and the head made for, that was meant to go in her Pascha basket. Whoops.
preschool this week…
Flower fairy poems, the last of our spring songs (including “Springtime Goodbye”), nearing the end of our children’s Bible, Ss. Peter and Paul, and lots of counting. James learned to count by tens today and is still working on counting to 100 on his abacus. He’s getting very close! Hopefully this week James and I will resume our short reading lessons during quiet time.
Around the house…
Our entry way was completely empty and rather vast. Just a empty pile of shoes and junk that needed to go upstairs. We went on a little shopping trip to remedy that and it’s much better now! The basket holds all the laundry and detritus that needs to go upstairs, so it’s not just piled on the stairs anymore. (Notice the grumpy-looking little girl photobomb).
The print sitting there waiting to be framed is a painting of the wild fuchsia that grows everywhere in the area of Ireland my grandmother lives in (and where we mainly stayed).
My friend, and Sophia’s godmother, wrote a sweet article for The Sounding on fatherhood, and particularly her husband (Sophia’s godfather). I can attest that he is a great father and godfather!
Today is the first day of the Apostle’s Fast, and Katherine wrote a nice reflection on fasting, also on The Sounding.
in the kitchen
This fast snuck up on me. I’m scrambling a bit.
loving the moments
When Sophia sees her Papa and practically jumps out of my arms to get to him.
planning for the week ahead
I’m hoping for a quiet week mostly at home, getting back into our rhythm and working on projects here. We’ll have friends over on Thursday and hopefully we’ll bring breakfast with us and go to the Portland Rose Gardens on Saturday.