Well...it seems that every time I come to post I am either uninspired, distracted, or pulled away. It has definitely been hectic around here. I do feel the need to write, however, as it helps me to come and re-visit my own postings. So forgive the personal nature of this post as I muse about the ups and downs of my household.
From the prayer corner:
I have really tried over the past month to improve our family prayer time. The kids and I pray in the morning before starting school, but I was inspired by Mary to try and bring another element into our day by implementing the prayers of the hours. She came up with these great visuals for the daily hours, and for each day of the week. We have added our "visual aids" to our altar, and they have been a wonderful reminder to all of us, kids and adults alike!
From the kitchen:
I am so ready for fasting! I know that sounds crazy, but I am so much more organized with menus during fasting times. I have a weekly rotation that is constant, and right now I could use some of that! I may share my whole weekly menu later, but here's a link to my favorite!
From the schoolroom:
Oh, how time is flying, and yet sitting still! You may know that I started homeschooling the kids after Christmas last year, and we began this school year at the end of August. It has definitely been an adventure. The kids are still loving it, and I admit to having days where I love it, and days when I REALLY miss their old school. My one challenge right now is that school feels very monotonous to me. I still don't know how to get out of making it more without adding more. You can always read more about our school days here.
From the church:
If you know me, you know that I LIVE for the Nativity fast. It is so close! I am doing my best to get the Christmas shopping, card sending, cleaning, planning done by November 1st so that when the 15th comes, we can relax and embrace! I am giving a small talk on Advent at our church's womens' retreat next month. I had a great conversation with my Dad (who's also our parish priest) about the difference in this fast from Great Lent. This fast is meant to be fun and exciting. He compared preparing for the Nativity to preparing for the birth of a baby. Preparing the nursery, knitting the blankets, etc. can be just as exciting as the actual event! Here's a post from last year on how my family embraces the Nativity Fast.
On a personal note:
Last week we were able to visit family and friends on a 5 day trip to Michigan. We stayed with my husband's cousin, and the kids had a blast with their cousins. Dan and I left the kids for the weekend to attend a wedding of an old camp friend. We were able to spend a couple of days with friends we have known since we were kids! We both really needed that. I am always so amazed at how attending a wedding or baptism, or even funeral in the Orthodox Church can be so renewing! Participating in these sacraments is a huge confirmation of our own marriage, our own childrens' baptisms. You realize how connected to the people who share your faith you really are. So Many Years George and Suzy! Your wedding blessed us in more ways than you'll ever realize!
I'll leave you with two pictures from last week. One of my 3 (girl in front, boy in back, and the toddler who still has the paci) with their cousins and Tete (grandmother), and the other from the wedding:
Christmas Around the World
5 weeks ago