Someday I’ll get into a regular schedule for writing in my blog.  Someday…

How about a simple Daybook entry to get at least something posted here?

Outside my window…our forecast for the last couple weeks has nearly always included phrases like “lake effect” and “Alberta clipper”.  Doesn’t much matter where it comes from or how it forms, but the result is snow.  Cold and snow.  The reports of dangerous winter weather all over the country got Lonna and Jared a little too unfocused on the suffering of others and far too focused on their own potential for a snow day.  I eventually put a moratorium on any mention of the weather.  I was beyond sick of hearing about just how much snow was accumulating at any given moment.  As I predicted, there were no snow days.  It’s Northeast Ohio…we just push the snow out of the way and move on.

I am thinking…about craft ideas for upcoming feasts.  Woefully behind on that.  Need to quit thinking and start doing!

From the learning rooms…just started a unit about Ancient China.  I borrowed “Big Bird in China” from the library for Hilary.  Do you remember that gem from 1983?  Well, it’s not fine, highbrow film making, but it sure is a nice dose of nostalgia!  For modern tastes, I highly recommend the BBC series “Wild China”.  Jared and Hilary both have been fascinated by this intimate look at the landscape and animal inhabitants of China.  The variety in this one country is astounding.

I am wearing…lots of layers.  Actually, at this point in winter, I’m getting pretty used to the cold.  I usually shiver from the end of October through Christmas, and then it just becomes normal.  I only wear skirts (no big political statement there…just my choice).  Layering is your friend when wearing skirts.  Makes me much warmer than I ever was wearing pants.

I am creating…a new chore routine.  Trying to come up with something that is maintainable on weekdays.  Pushing some things off to the weekend just does not work.  Balancing everyone’s schedule isn’t easy, but home priorities should come first (yes, Lonna, that’s directed at you!)

I am hoping and praying…that Lonna continues to heal from her shoulder injury.  She hasn’t been able to swim in almost a month, which has been torture.  Sitting by the sidelines drives her crazy.  I have enjoyed having her around more, but it’s time to get her back in the water.  After weeks of physical therapy and rest, she’ll be allowed to swim on Tuesday.  Just in time to prepare for the championships in two short weeks.  I pray she is able to come back and do well, easing her fears that she’s “lost it”.  I also pray that she does not re-injure that delicate shoulder trying to prove something!

I am hearing…the Theophany troparion.  The leavetaking of the Feast was yesterday.  I’ll miss it.  The Christmas season and what follows is officially over.  I love how the joy of Christmas leads into the peace and renewal of the Feast of the Baptism of Christ on Theophany.  Royal Hours for Theophany is one of my favorite services of the year.  A multitude of Old Testament readings about water.  The cleansing flow of water.  The white beauty of purity.  The manifestation of all three members of the Trinity on one day in the dirty waters of the Jordan.  Birth and rebirth.  Living water.  I love Theophany!

When You, O Lord, were baptized in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest.  For the voice of the Father bore witness to You, and called You His beloved Son.  And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed the truthfulness of His word.  O Christ, our God who revealed Yourself and enlightened the world, glory to You!

Around the house…preparing for our home blessing.  Most people have spring cleaning.  Orthodox have “yikes-the-priest-is-coming-clean-the-house-now” cleaning.  🙂  The priest doesn’t actually care if there are Legos on the floor or notice if there are cobwebs in the ceiling corners, but I like to take this time to give the house a good solid deep cleaning.  I’m not cleaning it to impress the priest.  I’m cleaning it for God.  I don’t like the holy water to be sprinkled on an unclean house.  That represents to me a scattered, disorderly heart.  We put extra effort into the home at that this time to put our best face forward and remember that we must also diligently clean the cobwebs of our hearts.

Water is blessed on Theophany for the use of Orthodox faithful throughout the year.  One of the ways it is used is through a home blessing.  The priest travels around to all the parishioners’ homes and prays for each family.  Then, he walks around the entire house and anoints every surface with holy water.  Is it magic water?  Not in the sense of fairy tales.  Home blessing is yet another way to give our lives wholly to God.  He is holy.  He is present.  He is everywhere.  We cannot fully live without Him.  Never should an opportunity be passed up to bring God’s grace into every corner of our lives.  There are no compartments.  There is one life in God.  How fitting to start out our year by remembering that and showing that our homes, our lives, our days are to be filled with God.

A few plans for the rest of the week…art museum tomorrow.  No school on Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  I think it might actually get warmer…warmer meaning above 30 degrees…for a day or two before the next weather system comes through.  We should try to get outside.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing…

I just love looking through the camera for a different reason and coming across the pictures that Jared takes of his Legos.  Most of his creations are spaceships to share on his Flickr groups, but sometimes he just builds for the sake of perspective.  I like the way Jared sees things.


Outside my window…It has been unseasonably warm for so long, I guess we just skipped the whole season of spring.  I actually turned the air conditioner on…in May!  I know, I know.  Hardly a newsworthy event.  However, ever since I moved north, I like to see just how long we can hold off before turning it on.  What will June have in store???

I am thinking…about the relationship between schedules and self-denial.

I am thankful for…a new medication that has greatly lessened pain I have from a chronic condition.

From the learning rooms…Five more days of school.  We’ve never had a firm stop day before.  Usually, we just kind of end when we’re done or decide to hold things off for the summer.  But this year, Lonna went to public school, and we’ve been matching her schedule.  So, school officially ends on June 8th.  I’m having that yearly feeling of relief, mixed with bittersweet nostalgia, mixed with anticipation, mixed with a big giant…Yikes!!!!

From the kitchen…We had Curried Carrot Soup for lunch today.  It was a very different flavor for us that was complex and satisfying.  It made the house smell like a bright day in India.

I am wearing…a denim skirt and a polo shirt.

I am creating…fish for our felt board.

I am going…to the library.  As school winds down, I’m transitioning to a summer schedule with Hilary.  It will look like:

Monday: beach at the lake

Tuesday: library

Wednesday:  Liturgy

Thursday:  children’s museum

Friday:  field trip/park day
I am reading…

Special Techniques and Stitches in Crochet

I think I just have to make the pillow on page 10.

I am hoping and praying…that my husband has a good phone interview in the morning.

I am hearing…Five year old Hilary chanting during prayers.  Last week, she opened her mouth and a precious, sing-songy lilt of a chant came out.  I swallow a laugh and a tear every time she does it.

Around the house…The simplicity plan, as we call it, continues.  Every inch of the house is being deconstructed and reconstructed as a simple, prayerful space.  The fun areas are over, and it’s time to move to the scary places…the kids’ bedrooms!

One of my favorite things…the baby birds in the house on the deck.  They never stop tweeting at their mama and fighting among themselves.  Hmmm.  Sounds vaguely reminiscent of our holiday weekend.

A few plans for the rest of the week…Lonna’s birthday is Saturday, which also is the last day of soccer for Jared and Hilary.  We’ll go out to eat (a rare treat) and have ice cream cake at home.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing…

First time on her big girl birthday bike

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