Archive | December, 2009

2009: Adeline

31 Dec

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One Day to Say Good-bye, Until We Say Hello

31 Dec

We’ve never been much for celebrating New Year’s.  I hate large crowds so we never go out, and on any other night of the year we’re up past midnight, but we always seem to go to bed early on New Year’s eve.  This year will probably be the same, which is fine by me.

It’s probably safe to say that this year has been one of our most interesting yet (and I can assure you, none of them have been boring!).  It’s been full of almost all of Adeline’s firsts, our falling in love with the Orthodox faith, and more blessings than we could have imagined. We’ve watched Adeline become her own person this year.  It’s been over the past twelve months that we’ve learned that she prefers peas to all other veggies, would rather read than play with toys, and is quite the social butterfly.  I’m so grateful that Matthew and I have had so much time with her despite working and graduate school.  These past few months, in particular, have been wonderful.  With Matthew taking classes only part-time, working part-time, and me taking online classes and working part-time, one of us has been able to be with her always.  Financially it has been a struggle, but it’s for the best currently.

Though the year has been full of blessings, we’ve experienced our share of difficulties and pain, too.  Our struggles with the Episcopal and Anglican churches, and the frustrations we felt with our diocese within them were painful.  Ultimately, though those frustrations allowed my heart to open to Orthodoxy, we lost friends and are still watching many of our dear friends struggle with similar issues.

Also this year we’ve had to put Reagan, our dog, to sleep, and change our seminary plans midstream.  Perhaps most difficultly, for me, was the loss of some very important relationships.  The losses came about unexpectedly and painfully, and I think of those people every day.  They are never and will never be spoken ill of in our home, and Adeline and I keep them in our evening prayers. It seems that they have been able to move on, and I hope the same for myself soon.

So, today I thank God for all that was and all that is to come.  I am okay with saying good-bye to 2009, and am looking forward to what I hope will be a wonderful 2010.  I pray the same for all of you.

Let’s watch the old year die
With a fond good-bye
And our hopes as high
As a kite

-“Let’s Start the New Year Right” from Holiday Inn

Giveaways and Buying Handmade

28 Dec

There are a lot of giveaways in blogland these days.  Bloggers use them to attract people to their sites, while crafters use them to entice people into their shops.  I like a giveaway as much as any other, but I only enter when I’d really like to own the item.  A couple of weeks ago I entered a giveaway on Stephanie’s blog,  Overjoyed, for either an adorable Christmas garland or one of her handmade coloring books.  Being impressed with all of her products, I jumped at the chance!  I was lucky enough to win one of her adorable, beautifully made coloring books.

Coloring Book Cover

Sample coloring page

Stephanie has an Etsy shop, though it is closed for a bit during the holiday season.  If you head on over there, you can sign up to receive an e-mail alerting you when she returns.  Her items are awesome, and I think you’ll love them.

While we’re on the topic, Etsy.com is an excellent place to buy (and sell) handmade items.  Like Stephanie, many of the vendors there are Work-at-home/Stay-at-home parents, and their online shops allow them to do so.  Handmade items are generally of better quality and more unique.  As a mother, I’m finding durability more important than novelty in the things I buy Adeline, and also find it important to help parents stay home with their children.  So, you ought to wander over to etsy.com (Stephanie’s shop in particular) and see all that there is to see!

Christmas

27 Dec
We drove from Wisconsin to Iowa on Wednesday, and spent the remainder of the day hanging out with my mom and finishing our shopping.  On Thursday we had a nice breakfast at the hotel we stayed at, gathered up the gifts, and headed to my mom’s house.  Adeline had a blast with “Gamma” and her cousins, and Matthew and I thoroughly enjoyed celebrating with my family.  Unfortunately, I was not as diligent this year in snapping pictures as I was last year.  So I have only these few pictures of our day all together.
The next morning, Christmas day, we reluctantly decided to skip liturgy in order to beat the storm home.  We did, Adeline was awesome, and we were able to spend a nice afternoon at home together…and all went to bed by 7:30 PM!

Handmade Holidays

26 Dec

I pray that you all had wonderful, wonderful times with your family and friends. We did!

We, in the Moore household, have had a pretty crafty holiday.  We decorated a tree for the first time in our married life (6 years!), but realized we had very few ornaments and the ones we had were not necessarily Adeline friendly.  So I made a few ornaments that she could pull off and put back on the very naked bottom of the tree.

This year my family decided to focus more on the times and experiences  than store-bought gifts, so the adults had a cookie exchange instead of buying manufactured gifts.  I stumbled upon My Baking Addiction, a blog by, well, a woman addicted to baking.  I found all my recipes there.

I made the Snickerdoodle Blondies

The Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

And the Mint Chocolate Cookies, which I don’t have a picture of but were my very favorites!  The batch made six(!) dozen cookies, and they tasted like Thin Mints (yes, the Girl Scout cookie)!  Please, please make them  and give away 5 and 1/2 dozen of them or you’ll eat them all!

As usual, we drew names for the kids’ exchange.  Little Adeline got her 2 1/2-year-old cousin, Maya.  Maya loves dolls, destruction, and building.  So, I let Adeline pick the fabric for a doll.  Maya loved it.  I also made her a memory/matching game, but owe her a bag to stow it all in.

I know she doesn't look happy, but she did love it!

The backs (look kind of like ravioli, huh?).

The fronts (Terrible picture)

Finally, I decided to make a cape/apron for Adeline.  She loves to have blankets, towels, shirts, etc. wrapped around her shoulders like a cape. As soon as it’s in place, she looks directly at Papa so he can tell her how pretty she is.  She also loves to be in the kitchen with me, so an apron was in order.  I saw an idea for a cape with detachable waist straps. Wear it in front and it’s an apron, wear it in back and it’s a cape.  So I sewed my little fingers off (well, not really…) and made this:

Guess what.  She hates it!  So, it hangs on the door knob, she eyes it with suspicion, and I am supremely grateful that I spent my time instead of money on it!

So there’s our handmade holiday. I’ve officially got the sewing/crafting bug again…just in time for classes to start again in a week!  I’d better get to work!

Christ is born, Glorify Him!

24 Dec

A very blessed Christmas to all of you.  I have wonderful Christmas Eve memories, Adeline’s first name day, handmade gifts, recipes, and a very special, important movie to share with you all.  But tonight and tomorrow only one thing matters – that Christ is born to save us all.  That He came to man as man.  Let us glorify Him!

Kontakion: (Third Tone)

Today, the Virgin bears Him who is transcendent, and the earth presents the cave to Him who is beyond reach. Angels, along with shepherds glorify Him. The Magi make their way to Him by a star. For a new child has been born for us, the God before all ages.

Poetry Wednesday – 12/16/2009

16 Dec

I was introduced to Wendell Berry in a nature literature class I took in college.  I actually signed up for a class called “Literature and Ideas” not knowing that the professor was to choose the idea to be the theme of the course.  So when, on the first day of class, my favorite professor announced that the class would be focused on nature, place, and home, I was sort of annoyed and sort of intrigued.  Deciding to stick with it, simply because I despised the idea of hurting the professor’s feelings, I was amazed to find that I truly enjoyed the course.

We read poems, articles, non-fiction books, and novels.  I was introduced to the geniuses of Annie Dillard, Aldo Leopold, N. Scott Momaday, Gene Stratton Porter, and Wendell Berry.  We read his A Place on Earth which is now my  favorite book in my very favorite series. Now, I’m not an environmentalist or a tree hugger.  I use styrofoam cups, lazily “forget” to throw my cardboard into the recycle bin, and regularly forget to turn lights off when I leave home.  But Berry loves the land and his writing convicts and convinces my heart to consider it differently than I have before.  He despises most technology (still dictates to his wife as she records his thoughts on a typewriter), loves his tobacco farm, and genuinely respects women, but denounces mainstream feminism.   If you’re interested, I recommend….everything he’s ever written, but we can start with this poem given to us as a gift on the final day of class from our professor.

Manifesto:  The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

by Wendell Berry

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.

So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.

Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?

Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Please head over to enanoslivo to check out the other selections this week and add your own!