Sunday, April 29, 2007

I am finished!!

Here are three photos of my latest completed icon. None of them turned out quite like I had hoped, although the icon did, praise God.

This is called "Tender Kissing". For me it has been a very emotional icon to write, as the wistful,loving, tender sadness is so present to me as a mother. This icon speaks to me in a very powerful way, and gives me courage to face the challenge and unspeakable joy of motherhood.

I hope to keep up the daily painting, and do a few more icons this summer. I am always inspired by these workshops to intensify my effort in this area. Maybe this time it will stick.

If anyone is wanting more info regarding a possible icon workshop, just email me and I'll give you more information. My addy is in the sidebar, near the top.

I think if you click on these photos you will get a closeup view. I will try to get better pictures later, but this was the best I could do tonight. As expected, I am exhausted and emotionally spent. I am going to watch a chick flick (Return to Me), have a good cry and get it out of my system, then back to regular life tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, April 26, 2007

I am in the home stretch...

I am applying the gold leaf today, and other than that, I am finished with my newest icon. I will also be assisting the rest of the class finish their icons, which is akin to assisting a mother to bring a new life into the world. I expect to be exhilarated as well as exhausted this weekend. I do have a few pictures to post, but my computer hasn't been cooperative, and I don't have time to figure out why.

I have also been inspired to have a workshop of my own this summer. I have learned quite a bit from this experience, and feel like I could do this myself on a much smaller scale (by that I mean fewer students). So, if you are going to be in my area, and would like to learn, let's see what we could do!


Friday, April 20, 2007

A Fellow Traveller

Check out Erin's icon. She is in the workshop with me, and, believe it or not, this is her first icon.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

How I am spending my days this week.

The icon workshop is going quite well. We have 26 students, and maybe eight of them have never written an icon before. The excitement is palpable in the room, as the students form a relationship with the subjects of the icons. The subjects this year are Tender Kissing (an example is shown here ~ this is not the one I am working on, just an example), Jonah and the Whale, St. Michael the Archangel, and St. Nicholas. I am going to bring my camera this weekend and take photos of all of them and then post them Sunday.

At this stage of the course, I begin to get a little discouraged. In my mind's eye, I have an idea of what I want my icon to look like. As I work, I can see it just isn't going to measure up to my expectations. Then, I have to get over myself and realize this isn't about MY expectations, and I beg for the humility to see my abilities for what they really are, and to give my best to my efforts, then trust that God is satisfied. Then I must be satisfied. For me, this is the most powerful spiritual lesson I have received from writing icons ~ I am not perfect, and God loves me anyway. He is pleased with my efforts even when they don't measure up to my expectations, and He is my loving Father at all times, not just when I am "perfect".

Lord have mercy.

(For those interested, Here is a link to St. John of Damascus and his writings against the iconoclasts. My dear husband lead a discussion on this piece last night at our class.)


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Coming up...

Yes, the "Easter Casserole", as we called it, was Delish. I just couldn't believe how light and fluffy it was compared to using milk in similar recipes. The lamb was very tender, and added such a great flavor to the eggs. It was a winning combination.

This next two weeks I will again be doing an icon workshop. This year I am going to be a "lab technician" and assist the teacher in setting up and with the new students and with other things as needed. I don't know if I will complete an icon or not, but I am going to try. Last year I did a photo series of the progress of the icons. I will probably do that again this year, with my icons and maybe some others, as well.

Pray for me, as I undertake this beautiful spiritual exercise. It is one of my most favorite ways to give glory to God.

Also, I am going to need to keep crazyacres running and school going, so I am going to need grace to keep the energy up. That, as at least a 30 minute walk every day.

May you all have a blessed and restful Sunday!


Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Paying no attention what-so-ever to the below post, here is what I did for dinner tonight using Easter Dinner left overs.

12 eggs mixed with a good long pour of heavy whipping cream
Left over asparagus and cheese casserole
Chopped up roasted Lamb
Sliced cherry tomatoes

All mixed together, then topped with grated cheddar and bread crumbs. I also added more rosemary and sea salt and ground pepper.

All in greased 13 x 9 pan, baked at 375 F for about 45 minutes (until it isn't jiggly in the middle).

I haven't eaten this yet, as it is still cooking, but it looks and smells scrumptious.

I'll let you know how it turns out.


A new Blog to check out

I want to highlight a new blog. Carmen at Mom to the Screaming Masses has begun a blog specifically highlighting her weight loss efforts. This new blog is Called the ELFF Diet (Eat less fatty foods).

Carmen is a mom of six, has a life very similar to mine, has worked through all the same excuses I am working through, and has lost 60 pounds. I have been walking and exercising more because of her inspiration, but haven't had the success yet. So, I think I'll pay more attention to her experiences, and really give it a go.

Go check her out, both at MTTSM, and her new site, The ELFF Diet.

And thanks, Carmen for putting yourself out there like that. Blessings!


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I feel much better now.

So, I crashed yesterday. I mean I barely got out of bed. Except to take a bath, then went back to bed. I slept, ate, slept some more. My dear husband cleaned the kitchen after our Easter Party, my kiddos played and snacked on left overs, and generally let me be. Later in the evening, quite a few of the kiddos ended up in my room, just playing reading and resting. A very gentle, restful day. Thanks, I needed that!

In other news, I am allowing anonymous comments again. I just took a lenten break from dealing with all the spammers hitting my archives. It's not that difficult to delete them, but I didn't want to deal with it over lent. If it becomes too time consuming, I'll put the verification thing on, but truy I hate those things, so I'll try not to.

I added some new blogs on my sidebar during Lent. And lost a few. Lisa, where are you now? Amy Caroline? Looks like I'll need another side bar update soon.

Today we have to prepare for our Bright Week bonfire that will be Thursday evening. We are having an Akathist to the Mother of God around the fire, and then roasting hot dogs and marshmallows. I was craving a hot do all of lent, so I am greatly looking forward to this!



Sunday, April 08, 2007

Christ is Risen!

Glorious, joyful and Blessed Easter to you all. After a soul-stirring week of preparing for this day, I am spiritually nourished. After 40 days of fasting, I am physically stuffed. Cheese of all kinds, lamb, ham, creamy desserts and delicious wine. A feast is much more rich when it follows a fast.

and Comments are back on!


Friday, April 06, 2007


Last night I had the opportunity to sing all the Psalms at church with a few hearty souls. We began after the reading of the 12 Gospels, which in itself is profound. Mimi has a great post about that.

I have never read all 150 Psalms in order, in one sitting. It is amazingly cathartic, straight to the soul, straight to the deepest part of our humanity. It covers it all ~ I am not saying anything new here, I know. The Psalms are sort of famous for addressing the human condition in all it's complexities. But I am new, I think, and for that I am grateful. And tired.

Blessed Good Friday to you all.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

**Sniff Sniff***

I forgot to mention we had a birthday celebration last week. Two of my daughters have birthdays on the same day, but 4 years apart. It is very sweet every year to remember their births, as well as to see the bond between them growing as they share this special day. It is getting more and more difficult for me, as the years pass. I hate how quickly they are growing up. I also love how they are growing up, and what they are turning out to be like, but slow down, already.

So now, I have an eleven year old and a seven year old. And to rub salt into the wound, the seven year old lost one of her front teeth today. She'll never look like a little one again. Sigh. And she is my 5th child. Only two more left with all their baby teeth. It's going by too quickly, I tell you.

And, by the way, I hate, detest and despise having the comments turned off. But I will keep them off until Easter. If it kills me.


Sunday, April 01, 2007

And so it begins...

Well, here we are at the beginning of Holy Week. This has been an interesting Lent. We have followed the Great Fast slightly better than last year. I only got half way through the Psalms, but I will just continue on until I finish them. They aren't something I want to rush through.

There have been many sorrows this Lent, both in my family and in the my church community and in my blogging community. I feel weighed down with all the grief, worry and sadness, and am anxiously looking forward to singing the hopeful and joyful refrains next week ~ "Christ is risen from the dead, conquering death with death, and to those in the grave, He granted life."

Life. That is what my heart is aching for. Life that is free from pain, sorrow, weeping and worry, loss, fear and sadness. Christ granted life to those in the grave, which means my heart's desire can only be realized when I, too, have gone to the grave. Until then, I will have to take all the sorrows, and dump them into the lap of Christ. I will have to trust that my particular sadnesses, worries, and anxieties can be given to Him, that He will take them and grant joy and peace and hope in return.

This is going to be a very busy week, since we will be spending much of it at church, and I will be preparing for a Party of Gigantic Proportions next Sunday. I will pray for peace, hope, and joy; I will pray for strength, courage and wisdom. I will be imploring Our Lord to bring me to the foot of His Cross, and to the Glory of His empty Tomb. I will ask Him to pull me from my grave of fear, bring me to the place of Triumph and Glory. Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the Highest!