All posts filed under: Family Culture

A Window into Libby’s Home

It’s been so exciting to receive your submissions to our Meaningful Home series. The series has been inspired by G.K. Chesterton’s advice “It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can.” Here is another great submission from Libby Ibanez, a homeschooling mom of 4 living liturgically in the heart of Texas. We are a large family of 6 with children ages 2, 6, 8, and 10. We recently moved from a 4 bedroom home in Corpus Christi, Texas to a 3 bedroom apartment in Austin, Texas. The downsizing was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in a long time. One thing that mattered to us was a home altar/sacred space. But going from 2400sqft to 1300 was something we didn’t think we could make happen. But, with a bit of creativity (and Pinterest) we did it! I used a small bookshelf and put it in the corner of our apartment …

The Sullivan Home and the Moral Imagination

We’re delighted to share with you a new addition to our Meaningful Home Series — a reflection and blessing for a house from our poet friend Helena Nellie Sullivan. Nellie is a former English and poetry teacher who lives in Carson City, Michigan with her husband and two children (they actually live in a funeral home, where her husband works). She begins by interacting with this quote from G.K. Chesterton, the inspiration for this series: “It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can.” I depart from Chesterton on this slightly, in that I do not believe that our own imagination should guide so much as a moral imagination *—an imagination beholden to creeds. To keep a home, then, that fosters moral imagination means that the homemaker will uphold certain “enduring standards”** (as Russell Kirk puts it) in a variety of ways. For us, this means that we hang richly symbolic pictures …

A Window Into Meghan’s Home

This post is part of our series on making meaningful homes, following G.K. Chesterton’s advice: “It is the main earthly business of a human being to make his home, and the immediate surroundings of his home, as symbolic and significant to his own imagination as he can.”  If you’d like to contribute, email thehomelyhours@gmail.com with your guest post! Thanks to Meghan Tarsitano for her contribution and be on the lookout for more “windows into meaningful homes” as we continue this series.  Isn’t it marvelous when things material and temporal point toward truths eternal and unchanging?  Even in small ways, it is better than it simply being a “thing.”  A chair has a purpose; a table has a purpose;  decorative items are best when they have a purpose too.  Certainly, beauty is a purpose in this context, and beauty itself can point toward our Creator.  This is partly why in addition to our more explicitly religious decorations, we frequently have fresh flowers.  God designed those flowers; He called them good; He delighted in his creation, and He wants …

Getting started with Pysanky

Well, one more week until Holy Week, just enough time to consider whether you might like to try the traditional Easter art of pysanky!  Pysanky, or the creation of decorated Ukrainian Easter eggs, is a very old practice that originated in Eastern Europe.  Traditionally during Holy Week, and in some communitites throughout Lent, Ukrainian ladies would gather in the evenings to decorate these special Easter eggs to adorn the baskets that they would bring to be blessed Easter morning.  The baskets were a celebration of new life, often including things that had been given up during Lent, such as meat, eggs, and rich breads. Last year I was curious and decided to try this art for the first time.  My children joined me in learning, and we have all come to enjoy and value this quiet, simple, meditative activity.  Perhaps you might like to try it as well this year? The materials you will need are very simple and inexpensive: a kistka (writing tool) beeswax for pysanky a candle and holder matches eggs (you can …

St. Valentine Coloring Page

If you happen to be looking for a way to highlight that St. Valentine’s day IS a saint’s day (even if we don’t know a whole lot about him), Michelle Abernathy has made a coloring page out of her painting of St. Valentine (see on Etsy)! You can download a printable pdf of the St. Valentine coloring page here. St. Valentine was a priest or bishop that was martyred around 269 in Rome under the Emperor Claudius. I like how Michelle depicts him as celebrant in a marriage ceremony, highlighting that love and sacrifice go hand in hand. I appreciate Auntie Leila’s thoughts on celebrating: “… make it into a real, not just sentimental, occasion of expressing affection to everyone — in family life, just take out the romantic part of it. There’s nothing wrong with sending pretty cards and giving chocolates to those you love best, keeping in mind of course that dear St. Valentine was a martyr for the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and he wants us to contemplate our …

Nativity Artwork for Children (and their Grownups!)

We have had some time this Advent in our elementary Sunday School class while we practice our Christmas play and music, so we decided to do some special projects to share, because I deeply believe that Advent is for making. I thought it would be fun to share a few step-by-steps for making these simple nativities with children and/or adults.  With a bit of advance planning, we completed these in about 20 minutes, leaving us with enough time for some singing and play prep.  This coming Sunday we will wrap them, and send them home to place under the Christmas tree. Do let us know if you make these!  You can tag us on Instagram @thehomelyhours, or leave us a comment here with a picture. Materials: 8″ x 10″ canvas panel for each person (get them on sale; they are almost always on sale:) Acrylic paint in: white, turquoise, gold, yellow, orange, brown. Paintbrush for each person Paper towels Aluminum foil Aprons and patience! Method: Step 1: Before your class or gathering, prep your canvas backgrounds …

Advent Saints Coloring Pages

Are you looking for a simple way to incorporate some feast day celebrations into your Advent this year?  One of our parish members, Michelle, has created these lovely coloring pages for you to print as you will and enjoy with your family.  We are currently in the midst of a very busy season in the life of our family, so this will be about the extent of our feast day observances this year.  I look forward to joining my children in some quiet coloring time!  Thank you again, Michelle! StNicholasColoring StLucyColoring  

How to Survive Your Sunday Shrieker

 You sit in your pew as the priest begins, “Let us confess our sins unto Almighty God.” And behind you, a shriek, a “barbaric yawp” (as one parishioner described it) rips through the sanctuary. You say to yourself, “Lord, help us and deliver us.. And may I never have a Sunday Shrieker.” But they come to all parents, at the fullness of time, when the moment is  ripe for sanctification and shame. So, we’ve put together a guide on how to survive your Sunday Shrieker, giving you the essentials for how to identify and then react, when you encounter a Shrieker in the wild (i.e. in your own family). The Parrot No worries here — this is the imitation shriek. This is the baby’s drone as they seek to join the congregation chanting the Gloria. Everyone thinks it’s cute, so you can stay put, cheerfully (and pray that it doesn’t go downhill). The Bat This is a friendly and happy kind of shriek. Yes, it’s very high-pitched and may cause hearing loss if too close. …

Imagining Musical Culture

Music was a primary reason that we became Anglican. Lately, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on music for a series by Humane Pursuits. In this series, we’re addressing the ways that music shapes the soul and community and teaches us about the order of the world, as well as giving practical ways to build musical culture in the home, church, and wider community. Most of my thoughts on musical culture spring out of the influence of Ken Myers of Mars Hill Audio. My husband and I were his interns in the summer of 2012 and we are always aware of the debt of gratitude we owe to him. He is a major reason that we became Anglican (and don’t dread church every week). The first two posts have been just published. Imagining a Musical Culture In Little House in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder remembers her Pa playing his fiddle as she waited to fall asleep. She “was glad that the cozy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music, were …

Counterpoint & Marriage

I sat in the concert hall next to the only empty seat. The Bach Trios, with Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, and Edgar Meyer, had been sold out for months. The empty seat belonged to my husband. And, while I was listening alone to Bach, he was listening to the screams of our 9 month old as he drove around and waited for her to fall asleep. To explain how this happened would require too much background. But there really was no other way. In the weeks before the concert, my husband had started a great new job. And, while I was so thankful, I was also envious, comparing his new work environment with my limitations. Every toddler meltdown and baby night waking made me more frustrated. Knowing me, my husband saw I needed time to attend to beauty; and so, I ended up at the concert of a lifetime, with the music that my husband and I intensely love together, all by myself. And, that night, was an epiphany in sound. I remembered what I …