February 26, 2014

My new nephew

Yesterday, we woke up to a little snow on the ground and sunshine.  I felt like it was a beautiful did I know it was going to be even MORE wonderful?  About 8am we heard my sister was in labor...a little later she had her 4th baby...she and her husband waited to find out if it was a boy or girl, so it was a complete surprise to all of us to find out that after having 3 beautiful girls, they now have a boy!!!
Juliana who is the oldest holding her little brother.  She was so helpful, laying out all the outfits, seeing what would fit him and then carefully folding them all up.
Natasha the youngest, was a little unsure, but now she seems to just adore him...
Emma also had a few turns to hold him.  Can you see he's trying to open his eyes in this picture?  She especially loves rubbing his soft hair.
This was morning at my house...a few new eggs with pretty feathers and dusting of snow.  Pepper looks at me as she lays her egg.  I think she may be trying to hatch an egg, she doesn't know it will never happen because there is no rooster around...but it's cute.
Juliana by some of her artwork, I told her she'll need to add another little person, a boy!
 We went to the park to play.
Drawing with oil pastels and making stuff using the Rainbow Loom.
He is yawning!  All the girls adore everything he does...  His name is Timothy John ♥

February 24, 2014


In the middle you see Hannah and on the right there is Oliva getting ready to dance the "Walls of Limerick" with all of the McGing dancers around the balloom of beautiful Music Hall in downtown Cincinnati.

Walls of Limerick from Martha Pavlovna on Vimeo.
 Olivia with her partner, Sioban, doing the 4 hand reel.
Claire is one of the student teachers, the girls favorite!  She is a senior this year and we will really miss having her around.  Here's the ceili last year.

February 21, 2014

A new cookie cutter!

We wanted a cookie cutter that looked like the Irish dance dresses...  This weekend we have a "ceili" - that is an Irish gathering of music, dance and food! 
I used a large round cookie cutter (it was $1.59) and made a paper one, then undid it and marked the metal one with lines where I needed to bend it "in" or "out."
 First dress (using Mom's butter cookie) came out so nicely!
All ready to go into the oven.  Olivia was pretty excited!
Both Hannah and Olivia helped me to decorate these cookies, using a simple homemade icing (confectioner sugar and lemon juice).  Which do you like the best?
I was inspired by these cookies:

February 19, 2014

Upcycled mittens

Have you got a nice wool sweater that shrunk?  We had a few of them and also picked up 2 at the thrift store.  I was inspired by this.  (I recommend watching the video)
Also, in our homeschooling group, my sister brought all the ingredients for us to make bird feeders using gelatin.  We hung them in the tree by the window so we can see the birds enjoying this treat!
We met up with some friends at a park near our house and went sledding.

February 17, 2014

Little Sofia

In two weeks, our friend, Sofia, will turn 5 years old.  She was diagnosed about 2 years ago with cancer in her brain in Ukraine.
They were treated in Israel next and finally, were able to come to the United States.  In Cincinnati, the Children's Hospital is one of the best when it comes to cancer treatments.
After so much radiation, proton therapy, chemotherapy, stem cell therapy (from her baby brother, Timothy's umbilica cord)...her brain had undergone so much stress and was weakened.  She had a stroke Dec. 17, 2013.  Then, a few days later, she had a much more serious stroke.  The left side of her body was affected and she is still trying to regain strength  by physical therapy.  She also lost her ability to see.
She has been in the hospital 3 months today, but was able to come to church yesterday for the first time in months!!!  All the children gathered around her wheelchair, holding her hands, kissing her cheeks and greeting her with love.  She went to Holy Communion.  I took her little brother to Holy Communion, as I am his Godmother.  
I took these two pictures of their whole family in October 2013 when our parish moved from the old building into the new large church!  Everyone carried an icon to the new church. 
I ♥ Sofia's smile in this photo.  She is supposed to be going home this Thursday Feb. 20th.  We are all praying she continues to heal little by little. 

February 14, 2014

I ♥ this...

I made this really delicious chicken and avocado salad with cilantro.  We will be making it again very soon. 
Olivia really likes to use the Rainbow Loom and make stuff.  She made 16 bracelets to give to the kids in our homeschooling group today. 
 Jenny read the life of St. Valentine, as the children wrote messages for each other. 
With God's guidance, Father Steven picked the patron saint of our homeschooling group today.  A couple weeks ago, each family had done some research and picked out a saint they liked.  The children stood up and made presentations on each saint.  Many of the saints had beautiful lives or struggled with learning and through prayers were able to overcome any difficulties.  There was:
  • the 3 hierarchs (St. Basil, St. Gregory and St. John)
  • St. Catherine the Great
  • St. John of Kronstadt
  • St. Sergius of Radonezh
  • St. Emmelia
  • St. Artemis
And now, it is....  the St. John of Kronstadt Orthodox homeschooling group of Cincinnati area!  From this website,

"his intellectual development was delayed, for he had great difficulty in learning to read" and "he prayed earnestly for divine enlightenment, and one morning, after he had risen during the night and prayed while his companions slept, he found himself able to read easily, and to understand what he had read."

February 7, 2014

Wintry weather

Hot organic chamomile tea from Trader Joe's in the thermos we got from IKEA...very nice when you're sitting in cold snow!
We went across the street from our house and built snowforts!  A beautiful sunny (but very cold wintry) day.
 Down the street from us...I like how these people stacked up the ice.  It wasn't a normal snow, more like tiny bits of hail...and ice in the end!
My mom on her 69th birthday yesterday, a wonderful day...started it off with going to Liturgy for St. Xenia of St. Petersburg.  After, a potluck lunch and homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, my sister made lemon bars, and an apple cake that a woman from church made and chocolate chunks, but most of all being with those we ♥ love...