Friday, January 30, 2009

Quick Take Friday

So, it's Friday again, and I'll attempt to come up with that many tidbits. Once again, check out Jen at Conversion Diary for more!


I have a twelve year old daughter that likes to cook. This week she has made a banana cream pie, french toast with maple cinnamon Greek yogurt (that she strained herself) and caramelized peaches, and a chicken pot pie, heaped full of crunchy tender veggies and perfectly tender chicken. She is a natural!


I have a 14 year old daughter that likes to keep things clean and organized. She can sweep into a dirty kitchen and have it put to rights in twenty minutes. She can get the little kids to get their work done quickly and without even raising her voice (much).


With those two put together, I ought to be able to enjoy a really nice, relaxing babymoon when the time comes. That will be a new experience for me, as the last time I had a baby, they were only 9 and 7. My eight year old daughter is knitting the baby a blanket, and the 12 year old is crocheting her a hooded blanket. This will be one tended to baby!


I have a midwife appointment today, and every week here after. I can not believe we are to this point already. New name survey:

Christine Anastasia
Lily Anastasia
Lydia Pauline


Any bets on what the concern will be at the midwife's office today? Baby too small? Baby too big? Too much weight gain? Not enough weight gain? It's always something. I feel terrific, though, and just shake my head and smile.


St. Paraskeva's did begin again last night, but I didn't take any photos as everyone is still working on the icons already photographed. It was mostly about getting in the swing of it again, and making some post baby plans about what to do next. I amy not be able to work on any icons myself for a while, but I plan on keeping on assisting others in their iconography journey. We'll see.


Here are 25 things about me I had to do for Facebook, so I'll copy and paste them here.

1. I cannot keep my desk clean for more than a day. Ever. No matter how hard I try.
2. Cobalt blue is my favorite color
3. I should never have gotten pets
4. I love wind chimes
5. I love putting colored glass in window panes and on window sills
6. I would love to play the bass, if I had a next life to learn how
7. I would also like to play the cello. Do music lessons come free in heaven?
8. Candles, incense and icons can change the world
9. I love my houseplants. All seven of them. I have never kept plants alive this long, and now I am attached.
10. I like to put odd little figurines in my houseplants. Like little faire gardens
11. My attention span is getting very, very short the more time I spend on the computer
12. I am getting addicted to Drudge Report, and have to go cold turkey, tomorrow.
13. I wish I was a better photographer. I want to have a really good photo of my new baby when she is born.
14. It seems strange to me to have 3 teenagers. And a new baby coming soon. and 4 other children in between.
15. I love thrift stores. But then you already knew that
16. I could be alone for hours every day and not get lonely. I used to live alone, with my cats, books and paints. By the time I have adjusted to the number of people in my house, they are all going to be grown and gone, and then I'll have to get used to being in a quiet house again.
17. I love grocery shopping. So full of potential.
18. I love to cook. I just hate having to do it every. single. day.
19. It is really thrilling to see my kids get older. They are so interesting and unique.
20. Homeschooling is the best thing I ever hated to do.
21. I don't care how vain it is, I have always wished I was a "thin" person. And I never have been. Sturdy is a good word for me.
22. I want to be just odd enough to catch people's attention, but not so odd as to inspire their sympathy.
23. I have too much stuff, and am terrible at all the decision making I have to do to reduce.
24. I am looking forward to my garden coming back to life this spring, and to see if any of the 400 bulbs I planted in the fall will come up.
25. I still can't quite picture what it'll be like around here with a new baby.

(Austrian crystal hanging in my window with the sun shining through it. Notice the wind chimes in the background)
That's all folks! Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Go Read Now

Okay, to add tears of laughter streaming down my face on top of contentment is just too rich. You have GOT to go read this, especially if you have ever tried to hurry your children out the door for an important outing. Just too, too funny.

Here's a taste:

It's 3:45 and I can see the buildings of the hospital over the trees. I'm congratulating myself silently for my excellent abilities to respond to a crisis when my nine year old says, "Uh, Dad."

This is the kind of "Uh Dad" that precedes something she finds funny and I'll find not so funny. I look in the rear view and she's raising her eyebrows in a comical way. And then she drops the hammer. "Uh, I just noticed there's a little snow on the ground and that's why I'm thinking it might be helpful if the boy had shoes."

SO hop on over to Creative Minority Report and enjoy the laughter!

A blessing this morning

Good Morning! I woke up this morning to beauty. First, I found my littlest (born) child snuggled up next to me, sweetly sleeping (my littlest (unborn) child is ALWAYS snuggled up to me, eh?) The sun was streaming into my window, and fresh layer of powdery snow was glistening on all the trees. I carefully got out of bed, so as not to wake my little one, and went down to the kitchen, to find my 12 year old daughter in the kitchen, making breakfast. She was humming, her hair still up in the pony tail she puts it in at night, the sunlight reflecting off the sparkly snow. Everyone else still in bed, but quietly rustling and stretching, preparing to rise and shine for our day. I now am sitting here, feeling my wee one wiggle around inside me, my next child still snuggled in my bed, my coffee brewing and sharing its aroma, my youngest boy sleepily saying, "Morning mommy" as he goes to see what smells so good in the kitchen. I look outside, and am so thankful for the beauty of this season, cold though it is.

Being content is a gift. Lord knows I can not make myself content, although I do spend much time trying. I thank God this morning that He allowed me, in His wisdom, to begin my day with a deep, cozy contentment; He just GAVE it to me today.

I am now off to have my coffee, my whole grain waffles with pure maple syrup, and turkey sausage. Yum! May your day be full of the gift of contentment!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Paraskeva Update

Just a quick note to say that for various reasons, the icon workshop hasn't begun yet. I haven't actually been slacking on the updates, there just aren't any.

Maybe next Thursday?

7 Quick Takes Friday

So Jen at Conversion Diary has made this cool banner. Very official.


Is it too early for nesting? Everywhere I look, I feel this overwhelming urge to purge and clean. I have learned from experience to proceed in an organized manner, otherwise I will just make more of a mess.


I pulled out a few of my "birthing books", but have absolutely no desire or patience to read any of it. I guess "been there, done that". With all the previous pregnancies I was so anxious about the birth, I would read obsessively about it. This time, not at all. Is the difference that I am older, calmer, more wise? Or have I just forgotten more, and therefore will be blindsided when the day actually comes? I don't know, but I can say for certain pregnancy is more pleasant when I am not consumed with fear and dread. Imagine that.


I have been concentrating on eating healthy, really since right before I found out I was pregnant. What I notice the most is things like donuts sound disgusting to me now. I get a stomach ache from thinking about eating a donut. I still love chocolate chip/pecan cookies, though. But mostly, sugary food has lost much of it's appeal to me. Steel cut oats with dried cherries is now delicious. I never thought it could happen.


I am a classic pack rat. And yet I have taken bags of things to the trash this week. I want to be free! And while I haven't broken my thrift store habit completely, I have walked out of Goodwill empty handed two times in a row. A record for me.


I love, love, love sunlight streaming in my window and shining through the heart shaped colored bottles I have collected on the window sill. Blue, amber, red, clear, yellow and cobalt. Makes me so happy.


When the baby moves, I just can not believe how satisfying a feeling it is. I know I will miss it when the baby is born. I am so loving being pregnant.


Lastly, I have been listening over and over to Handel's Messiah since Christmas. I can't get enough. Is it possible to have music cravings during pregnancy?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

March for Life, '09

I just saw this photo from my friend's Facebook page ~ I was hoping they would run into my son, and apparently they did. I saw some of the boys from my son's school juggling during the coverage of the March on EWTN. One of the best parts of the rally before the march was the Orthodox Metropolitan Jonah. He had the entire crowd responding to his "Praise be Jesus Christ" with "Praise Him Forever" in a mere 20 second lesson. His speech and his call to action were inspiring. There were many good speakers there, and the crowd was huge and very very young. It gives me great hope for the future of the Pro-life movement to see such youth, such sincerity, and to hear their message presented with such charity. Many many calls to prayer for our new president.

Anyway, my heart jumped a little when I saw the photo of my son, so I thought I would share.



Anyone watch Lost last night? What did you think? Whew, I was exhausted afterwards. I'll add some thoughts later today when I have more time, but for now, what did you think?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Upcoming events


I realized just this morning I missed the Friday Quick takes. The weeks are flying by! My pregnancy ticker on the sidebar flipped to 8 months this past week. Wow. I really can not believe that. But it is true.

We spent the weekend Getting Stuff Done. A boring but very necessary list of tasks. And now they are done.

I spoke with my son this weekend. He sounds very good, and I am so happy to hear the steady comfort level he has about being away at his school. It has been a difficult transition, but I see lots and lots of growth and maturity in the entire family because of it. The decision to send him to a school, good as it is, that was so far away was THE most difficult thing I have yet to do as a parent, and it was the fruit of much prayer. To see positive outcomes at this stage is so very encouraging! I just pray for NO MORE injuries, please. Please.

He will be going to the March For Life in D.C. Thursday. My son was the force behind our family becoming more involved in Pro-Life activism. Prior his interest and example, I had been hesitant to go out and peaceably protest, to offer prayer witness and to speak out. My son has gone out to protests, had eggs thrown at him, been yelled at, flipped off, and also been present when women decided against abortion because of his witness. Bottom line, for him, to go the March for Life is a dream come true, and I just can not wait to hear from him next weekend to get all the details.

I have decided we will not be watching the inauguration, but will tune in to EWTN for the March. I didn't watch other inaugurations, and see no reason to do so this time. I find it to be historic for all the wrong reasons, and can not for the life of me understand the adulation and hype. Our new president is a man, a politician, from Chicago, no less. He isn't any kind of saviour, nor is ANY politician or man. I will most definitely pray for him, because just like any other man, God's grace in imperative for our president to be able to bear up under the huge responsibility he is getting on Tuesday.

Enough of that. I will be watching the March for Life and watching for my son's school, and for my friends from our town that are going. To find out about the march, I'll have to look for alternative news sources, because the Main Stream Media offers no coverage of this event, an event that draws literally hundreds of thousands of people out on a cold winter day.

So I ask for prayers for my son and his classmates, that they will be safe, that they will be good witnesses for life. I pray that abortion, the greatest of all civil rights violations, will be seen for the evil it is, and once corrected, we will celebrate in this country with the same zeal as the election of an African American is being celebrated on Tuesday.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009


My goodness, it is snowy here. 14 inches so far, with more expected later in the week. It is positively beautiful, and the kids are enjoying both playing in it and then coming inside to warm up. School is going very well, and it so refreshing to get order back in our days. The moods around here are much improved. An added blessing to me is that the choir rehearsal for tonight has been canceled so I don't have to go anywhere except the corner store for a few things. It is days like these that make me understand the beauty of the seasons, and the idea that there is a time to be busy, and a time to rest. I am feeling that as well with the pregnancy; I am approaching the time to rest. Fatigue sneaks up on me more quickly, and there is no such thing a a flurry of activity for me at this point. Slow and steady would be a good definition for me right now. I am much more able to rest now that my other children are older, and also mentally much more accepting of my limitations, rather than having them chafe me. I find myself leaning into the season I am in, rather that fighting against it. It seems as if part of living with an open hand means accepting what is real, what is put in my hand and what is taken out, and by doing so, experiencing the blessings of all the seasons of life.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Random tidbit

My new favorite way to begin the day. Steel cut oats with molasses, dried cherries, pecans and cream. YUM. I make twice as much as I need and eat the left overs the next morning. Good and good for you. Again, YUM!

Monday, January 12, 2009

What is in store for this day?

On Tap for this week~

Full school schedule, with some fluffing up. We are adding bird watching (we have a bird feeder right outside the classroom window), and for the little ones, we are adding dictation and copy book, using the Beginner's Bible all my older children used. I want to do much more, of course, by if I have learned one thing in the 10 years of homeschooling it is baby steps, and do. not. add. too. much. at. once.

Also, St. Paraskeva's place re-opens this week, so I have to go tidy up the studio and should have updates again soon. I am still working on the Samaritan Woman at the Well. She waits for me.

And, I have to begin clearing space for the baby nook. None of my babies, except the first one, have had their own ROOM. They usually get a corner in my room. I have 8-10 weeks to do this, and it will take that long. I have to move out some things, repaint some things, empty a dresser and then fill it back up with cute little pink, ruffly things.

Another midwife appointment this week, picking up some new glasses and choir rehearsals will keep me hopping this week.

I also began again to use "The Better Part" prayer book this morning, and will try to incorporate it into lunchtime reading with the kids. We'll see. It is worth a try.

Have a blessed week!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


This is my daughter on the way to her skating party.

And he's off...

One last shot of them all together, until Easter.

Quick Update

I passed the glucose test with Flying Colors!! I celebrated with a bit of brownie.

The kitchen is being painted "Cinnamon" color, which is pretty accurate, but can also look a little like cooked pumpkin pie. I. love. it. It's like getting a new kitchen.

My boy is all packed and ready to go, and the tinge of anticipation I see in him is making me happy. Oh, and his doctor appointment went well and his displaced fracture has stayed in place and should heal just fine.

I am off to make one last breakfast for my son until Easter, and then off to the skating party with my daughter, where I will spend my time waiting for her with another sister in law shopping a quaint downtown in the freshly fallen snow. Best run on sentence EVER.

Blessings, everyone!!

Friday, January 09, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday

It is Friday again! This one habit, 7 Quick Takes Friday, is making my pregnancy fly by! Check Jen's place for more Quick Takes.


My eight year old daughter is going to her cousin's house tomorrow for an ice skating party. They are to wear pretty dresses and long coats and hats and ice skate, followed by hot cocoa and treats. I found a perfect dress and perfect ice skates at the thrift store last week. The dress is red velour with embroidered flowers, the skates are white, the leggings black. The hat and gloves are black and the coat is red. She is going to look delicious. She has dark brown hair, cut in a cute bob, and I just can't wait to see her all dressed for the party!


I had an eye exam yesterday, and choose some new glasses. My eyes actually haven't changed in 5 years, but my glasses are about ready to fall apart. The eye doctor has won the prize for the sweetest thing ever spoken to me while pregnant. While filling out the "Patient Information" sheet, I wrote down under "Medical Problems" Pregnant. I told him during the exam I didn't consider pregnancy a medical problem, but still thought it was relevant for him to know. He put his hand over his heart, and said, "No, it most certainly isn't a problem, it is the most beautiful thing in this world." Wow.


Mid-wife appointment yesterday. The test wasn't so bad, really, but I haven't gotten the results. One point of irony. I haven't gained any weight since my last visit (three weeks ago). I measured one cm. small. I got the "We have to make sure the baby is growing enough" talk, meanwhile I am taking the 3 hour glucose test, "to make sure the baby doesn't get too big." So what IS just the right size for a baby?


I bought some old "Little People" (the kind that I played with as a girl) at the thrift store yesterday. My youngest daughters think they are the coolest toys ever made. I already have the old Little People Western Town, House, Airport and Ferris Wheel. Now 5 Little People get the whole thing to themselves. I need more people, but they are difficult to find.


I bought a bunch of baby girl clothes at the thrift store this week. So. much. fun. A few items from each size up to 18 months. My 4 year old daughter had to try all the newborn clothes on her doll, and wants to practice so she can "change every diaper and get the new baby dressed every day!"


Because of my beloved thrift store, I am becoming somewhat of a pregnant clothes horse. I have found some lovely clothes, for under $5 an item. I love how I look right now, which is an unusual thing for me. I am basking in my belly. I did get asked if I was over 55 the other day, to see if I should get the senior discount, but I'll just take that as an indication of the youth of the check out girl, and no reflection on me what so ever. She could have been anywhere from 16 to 28, as far as I could tell.


I will repeat myself, and state that one of the oddest parts of my life right now is the internal heart contortions I have to do to live in harmony with my eldest child being away from home at the very same time I am nurturing my youngest child into the world one sugar-free day at a time. I just really can not wrap my brain around it, so I just accept it and learn to live with the feeling of my heart being tugged in opposite directions. Must be making my heart bigger, more flexible?

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

So how are all of you!

What a week we are having. My kitchen is getting repainted (JOY!) but that means everything off the walls, off the counters, and on the tables. Difficult to cook, eat, or do school but SO WORTH IT!!

We have 3 eye exams this week, oral surgery, my 3 hour glucose test, an orthopedic appointment and an internist appointment. We got the bill from the hospital for my son's arm. Yipes. Welcome, welcome, 2009!

I see this as a good opportunity to put many things right. Reduce the items in my kitchen and adjoining laundry room. Simplify. Beautify.

To make sure everyone is as healthy as we can manage and that they can see well.

To find out if I need to follow a different diet, to keep the baby healthy. This is all good information to have.

Choir begins again this week, and I already hear the girls singing together. The little ones have done a smidge of school work this week. We had delish homemade turkey soup this week.

As far as all the medical check ups and what not, I am finding true the saying, "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later". Eventually, you pay.

And again, my son leaves this Saturday morning. I see that he is happy to go back, looking forward to it a little, even. It makes my heart feel much better to see he is happy there. I'll miss him, but I know he is in good hands. And no more sports for him this year, so hopefully no more broken bones. (From my lips (fingers?) to God's ear).

As far as life goes, I feel like the ground in early spring rain. I am not really able to do much with all the events going on but absorb them and be ready for more. I can't let things "puddle up" or I'll get a flood. Just soak it all in and move on, preparing for the flowers to come.

Have a blessed day, and I hope your new year is proceeding well!

Friday, January 02, 2009

7 Quick takes Friday

Check out the other 7 Quick Takes Friday entries over at Jen's place.
I was supposed to have my 3 hour glucose test today, but I canceled it. I had had wayyyy too busy of a week, too erratic of an eating schedule and not nearly enough sleep to end up fasting for 12 hours and then overloading myself with sugar for 3 hours. I seriously don't understand what this test really does, as I would never, never go 12 hours without eating, and then guzzle nothing but sugar. How does this tell "them" what my body is doing with my regular, protein rich, low sugar diet? Sheesh, I hate all this testing. Hate it.


I am seriously tired today. And absolutely CRAVING a return to our school routine. We have a week until my son leaves to go back to school, but even though we won't be beginning school next week, we are going back to the waking/sleeping/eating schedule we are on during school time.


As I said, my son is leaving in a week, and this time we say goodbye for 12 weeks. Since I will be having a baby in that time, I won't be able to go see him in the middle like I did last time we had a twelve week gap. I just can not think about it yet without tears springing to my eyes. This is just so difficult.


I received a digital cooking thermometer for Christmas and used it on a turkey yesterday. I had heard most people overcook their turkey if you go by time, not temperature. I have to say that must be true, because the turkey reached 180 degrees 50 minutes before the time was up, and it was one of the juiciest turkeys I have ever had.


I have been reading up on natural ways to increase iron and decrease blood sugar, and found that black strap molasses and apple cider vinegar are good for both. So I mix the two and drink it down, and we'll see how it works. I just use two tablespoons of each at a time, so it is like an old fashioned tonic. Any other suggestions, anyone?


Name survey: Lillie, Lily, or Lydia.


My side of the family, Christmas 2008. I am third (fourth if you count the baby) from the left, second row down. The pregnant one with the black shirt and glasses. Seven of the children are mine, the others are my various brother's children. Quite the bunch, isn't it?? (You can click on the photo for a larger view)