Thursday, July 31, 2014

Recap of an usual week...

I knew this week I would need a lot of quiet.
I don't know how Moms do it, but I can see why this
After two months in Lent of buying our new home,
in which my husband refers to a few people involved as crazy...
(I still remember the night hours after the close when I realized
how very stressful it had all been)
and then the packing of our old home, 
at least 2/3 done by myself and then unpacking, again at least 2/3 by myself,
with the very real, true and stalworth help of my parents in the move
and preparing the house to be move-in ready,
then 3 weeks about of 24x7 kid-loving (and I did love it)
and then almost 2 weeks of again most needed, good and heartening help
from my parents-in-laws, a time that I treasure,
{esp. remembering my Dad in law's reading of the Book of Acts
that they were reading out loud after a somewhat late breakfast,
how alive it was and how well he understood the story and how to read it};
after all that socialization, plus dinner parties, house blessing
and all the whirl of blessings of the last months,
I would need at least two days of solitude, which thankfully 
Mr. Husband can be with me in without taking away deeply of the solitude.
Well, I got it.
The solitude.
Mr. Husband had a crazy 12 hour or so day on Monday,
a later but not as late day on Tuesday
and a quiet but intense work day Wednesday.
And by Monday night I was feeling ill
and by Wednesday feeling mostly better.
So my solitude was inwardly and outwardly imposed
and through it all I've had church hymns mainly playing in my mind
and the silence has been delightful.
And in the midst of it all,
I was able to go out with Mr. Husband on a daily walk or two... 
Kathleen Norris wrote of a child saying to effect of
silence is what allows one's soul to catch up with oneself.
I am still missing Kathleen Norris, as in a new book by her.
I do wonder if she will write another....
This link took me to two new blogs of artists
and I am feeling more and more the need for quiet
and some reading time.
Meanwhile our futon apparently is not hinged properly in assembly
and as of Wednesday does not want to stay upright.
My lovely peaceful quiet chapel. Sigh.
I blame myself, as I had wanted Mr. Husband to move it
according to my sense of space for the room...
That chapel I can say is the quiet centre of this home.
I am re-reading Gentian Hill as I mentioned earlier in this blog
and Elizabeth Goudge is good at naming homes
and what is in them.
The chapel-library, when it is not as a guestroom,
is my space of quiet,
the circle of quiet that so beautiful titles
Madeleine L'Engle's book.
We are working slowly on getting some new icons for the chapel;
will take most possibly a year or so as they 
are not yet made and are being made overseas.
I am endeavouring to start a new thing:
Sunday School at my church.
I love the children there.
We are a small parish and there is currently no Sunday School.
So I volunteered.
This means I need two things from any of you who want to offer them:
1. PRAYER. Please. You can't imagine. I do have a partial
personal awareness of my inward poverty and yet have
the idea of volunteering to teaching children in church.
It's a very serious thing and while on one hand I can be very well with children
and children tend to love me and know that I love them
but to teach.
Anyway, prayer please anyone and everyone.
2. Experiences in this nature.Please share. 
Comment, email, FB snail mail if you have it
whatever and what-have-you.
I hesitate to ask for ideas rather than experiences just as
my sense is that there is a lot of choice in how to do things
and I know I have to teach what I am able to
and in a way/manner/format that will work for me.
But your stories and what worked for you are very welcome.
I am going to a half day conference on this,
am reaching out to the people in my life who I know best
who have done Sunday School and am reading as I am able...
Sister Magdalen's book continues to be of help;
I hope to order her other book soon...
One of the helps of this book is also 
that she admits that she, to which I take to mean, 
all of us, do not do everything perfectly as we wish or mean to...
One thing I know:
I wish for a lot of time to prepare but August is looking like a lot of
family and friend visits and not as much time
as I would like.
Perhaps this is good as it is true of real life.
But I also trust that God will give me the time, information, people,
and things needed for this task.
And I must trust Him for mercy as I think
of the Bible verse about those who teach others
are more heavily judged.
Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Yarn Along ~ with love to Ginny that we all share~and what we can do

As many others are noting,
Ginny had a tragic loss in her community this week.
It is totally understandable that Ginny
will not be able to do the link up today;
but I thought it best to do one
if only to offer my support to Ginny's work and in 
memory and honour of her friend Sarah.
What a deep and difficult loss.
Ginny has a FB page for her blog and 
linked to a support page to give to Sarah's family.
(I don't feel right linking to this for some reason but you
can find it via a simple Google search).
UPDATED to add this new post by Ginny with a way to support.
I have candles lit for the newly departed Sarah&child in her womb
and for her husband and four living children... and for Ginny.
So I am still working on my surprise knitting.

All I can say is that I am almost done
with sewing it together.
More on it later. 
I am quite pleased with it,
another 'Elizabeth original' that will
never be repeated in exact form. :)
I am still reading the same two books
but added a newly purchased one
to my reading:

It's been a very well written
engrossing read.
Being Orthodox means being concerned with 
world events, esp. those of Orthodox countries;
 and my husband and I are praying
daily for Russia and Ukraine. 
My husband has a set of tapes of a class on Russian history 
and one of the things he remembers most is the American
teacher saying to a Russian, asking if he was hated as an American 
by the Russian and the Russian said to effect:
what people are responsible for their government?
and I find so far that Serge's Schmemann's book 
to have this sort of insight.
The book deals with many things that Russia suffered from
and it shows not only the horrors but the beauty of a people
who underwent them.
It helped me get me thinking about the following...
My husband and I were talking the other day
about the many families devastated by the many horrors of war
and how their homes were destroyed.
We are still making our home and have various
things to put up yet and a few more boxes to unpack.
We often talk of our culture being in utter decline and the many
worrisome things that are happening in our world.
I can't tell you how much this worries me.
Freedom is crumbling in ways that are deeply troubling.
It's like I now understand what a pious Catholic woman once told me
...we are powerless but we have God.
Not meaning we don't have responsibility or some control at least over 
our own reactions to things
but that there is so much that we can't do anything about.
But here is what I said to my beloved Subdeacon Husband:
if we had a son and raised him right, true, with beauty that comes 
from God, in harmony with all virtue,
and he went to fight in a war that was a good just war 
and he died,
would it still not of been worth raising him to be good, right and true?
YES! It would of been worth it all.
It is like that for our lives and our homes.
We need to make them as good, peaceful, beautiful and God-pleasing.
We need to seek to be Christians and grow in 
likeness of Christ.  
We need to keep asking God to have mercy and protect our lands
and our family lines.
Every night I pray with Mr. Husband to the Mother of God 
to protect and save our families,
including all those born to our family lines in the future.
What we are doing matters.
What Ginny does matters.
Her making the best for her family, her love of the outdoors,
her family's going to church and seeking to grow
in Christ;
my life as small as it is with Mr. Husband, matters;
our pursuit of beauty, how we both listen only to three things:
~silence, Orthodox music, classical music~
I hear horrible 'rap music' played in our neighbourhood in 
the cars and homes of others; 
if you listened to the words alone you would understand
how far our culture has declined.
Our lives matter and making a home
that is a place of rest, beauty and for the honour of God,
a home unworthy as it is, to be a place where God is invited
and icons grace the walls.
Creating harmony in life with God matters.
Farming and local choices matter.
Perhaps this is not my usual yarn along post
but my goal today was to support Ginny and all of us
in doing what we can do:
pray, grieve, making the best homes we can and 
just remember that we are loved by God,
our lives matter, our families, our prayer corners
any order and beauty we can bring
is something worth creating.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

New Office Nook

During my father and mother in law's visit 
my father in law made this dream reality! :)
I will have to put up all the pictures/icons that I wish to have
but I am loving the space already!

Monday, July 28, 2014

A lovely meal and dinner party

Last Thursday we have a lovely
dinner party with our good friends and
Mr. Husband's parents.
Tricks to serving included having warm food covered
until the last minute.
I love using the blue and white dishes
and mis-matching them!


My friend's delicious leek soup.
I must get the recipe!!!
Drunken chicken recipe for the roast chicken ~ 
this was done in my large crock pot for 7 hours on low
and then in the oven at 425F for 30 minutes.
Carrots cooked in slow cooker under the chicken.
Gravy made with butter, flour and juice from crock pot.
Also raw carrots, basmati rice &
a green salad with goat cheese and cranraisens.

It was a lovely meal!

I just love the soup tureen for serving!

Apricot Torte for dessert with
french vanilla ice cream and vanilla bean gelato.
It was a lovely time of eating a great meal,

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Yarn Along ~ surprise knitting, meals and many books

 I am finding that it is so easy
to ball up the skeins if I use my knees to keep the 
circle intact :)

I can't say much about this knit as it is a surprise! 
It's coming along well though :)

This was the last of the corn and potatoes from
my parents-in-law's garden.
Learned a new trick when frying up lots of chicken:
for our meal on Sunday we browned up two whole
organic chickens in coconut oil (with flour, salt and pepper
covering the chicken pieces) and some of it
we put in the fridge after browning and did not cook
until the next day.
It cooked up very nicely and we did not have
to worry about dried out chicken because of
baking them and then reheating.
So good!

Conversations with Children: Communicating our Faith

it's such a special, vivid and beautiful book!
Conversations with Children continues to be a 
very engrossing and enlightening read!
It's been a busy summer with many guests in the last weeks
and I am very grateful for it all!
August is turning up to be a busy one as well...
summer is a special time of year where
schedules are changed and the sun shines
and the pool is lovely in the early morning.
I hope everyone reading this is doing well
and do tell us what you are reading and creating!
Yarn Along with us!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Our Home Has Been Blessed!

 Our House is Blessed! 

It is so very nice to have one's house blessed 
with prayer, holy water, oil and incense!  
Our priest, his Matuska and son stayed for dinner;
Mr. Husband's parents have known them all for years
and it was a lovely time of fellowship and reminiscing!

Home grown mashed potatoes & salad from parents-in-law's garden
fruit salad of red grapes and blue berries with whipped cream on the side
red wine, water
Flowers from guest's garden, vase Mr. Husband's.
Table Cloth and Candle holders were wedding gifts to me
from my Ottawa parish.
I also used rose tea towels and apron from IKEA
for the first time... 
I got these from the IKEA gift card
that my Ottawa church family also gave me.
So it was full of many memories and love, this meal...

Grandma's sauce boat.

Bowl from Halifax trip years ago.
Silver from rummage sale Mr. Husband and I went to;
other dishes from wedding, sales and bridal showers...

It was a lovely meal enjoyed by all!
Juniors cheese cake
Tea, milk, cream, sugar, agave.

My Mother-in-law helped greatly with the meal
and it was a really special time! 
We are so thankful to God for His great mercy to us!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Many beautiful and happy things ~ Feast day, Mr. Husband's ordination and Time with Family

We got word this week that
Mr. Husband would be ordained as a 
subdeacon on Friday,
our Churches' Feast day!

Mr. Husband was ordained from being a 
Reader to a Subdeacon
It was so deeply beautiful!
Three years ago I found out that 
the then unknown Reader who I married 
a year-plus-1.5 months later,
was willing to email me and our new 
life had it's beginning through emailed letters...
now we are married and he became a subdeacon 
on this wonderful feast day to St. Elizabeth!

It was so wonderful that it happened that Mr. Husband's 
parents were already planning on coming!
After the Feast Day we all went to Princeton to enjoy
a nice afternoon and early evening together.
Mr. Husband and I's first real date day in New Jersey was
at Princeton and it was really special to go back
with Mr. Husband's parents.
The above picture Mr. Husband when we were dating
said would be perfect for knights jousting
and I said would be prefect for a formal beautiful ball. :)
We then went to the chapel...

We saw the beautiful large chapel at Princeton again;
this chapel was one of the last beautiful things my
Oma ever saw in pictures as we were visiting her
and I told her about the future Mr. Husband and I's
time in New Jersey and showed her the pictures of Princeton
and esp. the chapel. She just loved all that stain glass.
It was so very special to be in this chapel those years later,
with Mr. Husband made a subdeacon that morning
and showing the chapel to his parents, the chapel that Mr. Husband and I looked at together when we were dating and loved so much.
The chapel that my Oma loved and she told me that
everyone wants a little happiness and that she was so glad 
that I was dating the not-yet-Mr. Husband.
We knew that my Oma knew we would marry and it was 
a comfort that I got to see her and show her pictures of 
my then beloved boyfriend.
was a deeply meaningful act of love 
that he showed to me and 
my family.
And so here we are, with family... :)... 
I am now, as a woman who is now a Deacon's wife,
which in the Russian tradition makes her a Matuska,
when her husband became a subdeacon, (the level before Deacon) 
she called herself a subtuska, 
and so I am now (this is a joke of course)
Subtuska Elizabeth ;)
So tomorrow DV is church and our house is being
blessed while my parents-in-law are still here.
My father-in law is making us a beautiful pantry.

More on that DV next week.
We are preparing the house and the food
for the dinner we will make after
the house blessing.
It's a special time for us and one 
that we are most grateful for!