This weekend was cold. I guess that should be obvious since it’s January in Virginia, but the weather has been so unpredictable here these past few years.  Next week we will have a couple of days in the sixties and we’re planning a picnic.  Then there is snow in the forecast again for Friday.  I feel like a teenaged girl, my emotions being played with by the weather.

Silas gave the snow another chance and this time he let Jonny put socks on his hands.  I think the socks extended his time outside by a couple of minutes.  That night he insisted on going to bed with socks on his hands again.  When he woke in the night calling “Mama, Mama” in his sweet middle of the night voice, he was still wearing them.  Now anytime we try to put socks on his feet, he sticks out his hands.  I finished knitting his little gray mittens, and he is happy to wear them on his hands rather than socks, as long as they’re around.  We have to make sure they are nearby when it’s time to get dressed.

I made candles by the seat of my pants this weekend.  In other words, I’ve never made candles before, but I did my best.  I have no problem throwing an entire candle back in the pot to melt so that I can try again, and I’ve had to do so more than once.  My candles are wonky, but I don’t mind.  (I know I need to trim the wicks, I just haven’t yet.)  I can’t make up my mind about the whole process.  It’s sort of fun, sort of not.  I think that if I had better equipment, and more experience it would be great.  Of course, if I had candle molds my kids wouldn’t get to drink tons of juice like they have over the past few days.  We don’t usually buy it, but I wanted to use the cans as molds, so we’ve gone through quite a bit.  Candlemas is this Saturday, and we are planning to go to Mass and have our candles blessed.  This is just the beginning of my intention to celebrate the liturgical year more fully with my family this year.  My friend Elizabeth is going to help me.  I’m very excited.  My first lesson was on how to pronounce “Candlemas.”

There are lots of tutorials for making poured pillar candles online.  I sort of followed this one.

I’ve been doing a good bit of knitting with my chair pulled right up next to the fire these past few days.  I’ll have a shawl to show for it soon.  I’ve been letting the boys stay up late to watch episodes of Father Barron’s Catholicism
with me.  It’s made for some really cozy nights.


  1. I am from a part of Germany where many people are Roman-Catholic, like I am myself. It is the typical thing here that Christmas time lasts until the 2nd of february, Candlemas. But I have never heard the English name before and your post made me look into that holiday, all its names and learn anew what it is actually about. Thanks for that.

  2. Hi Ginny, thank you for your neat posts! I always learn something when I visit with you and your family. I LOVE my visits! Thank you! 🙂

  3. I remember when you were knitting that cardi for Bea! Love the Cestari wool–it’s almost cottony-soft.
    We were loaned the Catholicism dvds and loved them; we were sort of sad when we were on the last one, as it was all so enjoyable.
    I haven’t made candles since I was a kid (my dad was always doing crafts with me), but I bought some lovely beeswax tapers from an orthodox monastery I would like to have blessed on Candlemas. I think it is lovely that you are trying to follow the liturgical year…the Catholic Church is so rich with feastdays and celebrations. I love when I tell a priest (usually an older one) that one of my kids was born on the feast of this or that saint, and the priest knows what day that is; it is so very Catholic!

  4. love the snow and candles and silas, i want to scoop up and kiss and hug…and your knits, beautiful dear.

  5. I had a toboggan like that growing up and have the fondest memories. I so deeply wish snow would come our way.
    Love the way your kids jump right into the joy of it.
    And, nice job on the candles. I’ll have to try that sometime.

  6. Love those pictures! Everyone looks so cozy.

    How fun to make candles-my dad made some candles once, and I thought he enjoyed it, but he never made them again 🙂

    I love Silas’ expression in that picture with his pajamas on!

  7. I think the candles are beautiful…I love the rustic, old-fashioned look! 🙂

  8. Where did to get your candle supplies. The wick and wax? I’d love to to this!

    • I got wicks and soy wax from my friend Elizabeth. I think she just ordered from some online source. The beeswax came from lots of different places–some from our own bees! I like to order little beeswax pellets on amazon.

  9. I just recently found your blog. I’d say “Cozy” pretty much sums up the whole thing! I’m really enjoying reading about your days. Beautiful photography too, and snow pictures are my very favorite 🙂

  10. I felt kind of dumb when I realised it wasn’t Michael-mas, but Mickel-mas. At least here in England, anyway. I had never even heard the word before I bought the All Year Round book! I’m glad to hear I’m saying Candlemas right! I say it like Christmas.

  11. have you tried paper towel/toilet paper rolls as molds? i saw martha stewart do it once a million years ago and tried it myself then. i don’t remember how messy it was, but i do remember it made for a really cool size candle and kind of a “matte finish” that was more appealing than one might think, given the mold.

  12. How exciting to bring your own candles to be blessed- this will make it so meaningful for the kids (in the old days- there would be times to bring flowers, wheat, etc into church to be blessed- I say let’s bring that back!)

  13. Nevermind on the sweater pattern. I just saw you posted it. Thanks!

  14. I love the amount of snow deemed worthy of “sledding” in the south. 🙂 Fun.
    I’m looking forward to you sharing more of your attempts at celebrating the litergical year more fully AND, what sweater pattern is your youngest wearing? It’s very sweet!

  15. I have a vivid memory of wearing socks on hands though I was older. We lived in the mountains and came down from the alpine on a cold, foggy, dark night. We didn’t have warm clothing, so my mom put socks on our hands as we sisters rode the horse down. I remember thinking it was so odd and I’ve remembered it ever since.
    I’ve been wanting to live out the liturgical life more fully with my kids too, but with nine month twins I’m not getting far. Thanks for the reminder.

  16. yay, snow! We enjoyed snow a few days ago also, in our part of Virginia (western).

  17. We made candles once too but I did not have any wick so we used string, urgh they were horrible to burn so we melted and made again with wick! I love the cardigan Silas is wearing in the last few pics which pattern is it? It’s a lovely shape.

  18. Chelsea Wipf says:

    love the wonky candles! do you have a good source for getting beeswax in bulk amounts?

  19. FYI, I *do* say candle-mass. 😉

    • I listened to a bunch of pronunciations online, and people say it both ways–mass, and mas as in Christmas. So either way is fine I guess!

      • Well, I think so. I do, however, say “mickle-muss” instead of “Michael-mass”. 🙂

        • Grace, I say Mickelmuss too!! I was corrected my first year here when I said “Michael-mas”. We pronouce Candlemas like Christmas.

          Ginny, whenever you light your new candles make sure you have time to let them burn an hour or two. I learned the hard way that if you don’t let them burn long enough at first they won’t ever melt all the way around and just melt down the middle…if that makes sense.

  20. I use to love making candles, but haven’t done so in years. I do have a huge block of bees wax in my studio..ahem! 🙂

  21. Ginny,

    I am so glad you like the Catholicism DVD’s! Did you know he has a blog?

    So you can get a daily dose 🙂

    Love ya! Kim

  22. We were just talking the other night about needing to start watching Fr. Barron’s documentary! and the socks on the hands is hilarious, my little guy hates socks right now!

  23. My Benton did the same thing with socks. It was quite comical. So glad he now has mittens and may last a bit longer. Oh, I am gearing up for the cold. Soon we will be in your neck of the woods again.

  24. I’ve always wanted to make candles, especially after getting the Tasha Tudor book about Heirloom crafts !! We’ve always wanted to have candles blessed, but I’ve chickened out of asking our priest every.single. year! Shame on me! Thank you for the link to the Fr. Barron talk, we’ve been looking for just this sort of thing to do with our teens in the evenings!

  25. Father Barron is doing a wonderful work! Your images are extremely cozy!

  26. I love Fr. Barron’s series! We are planning to research it over Lent – it is such a wonderful refresher for the faith! If ever you are looking for another Fr. Barron DVD, I also really like 7 Deadly Sins, 7 Lively Virtues. Thanks too for the Candlemas reminder – time to get/make/find some candles for the year.

  27. Thank you for the link to the candle tutorial! I wonder if a small can would work just as well as a juice can? Definitely going to try this out!

  28. Silas is so cute with his mismatched sock mittens (incidentally, we have a Silas now too – when you named your son, I fell in love with the name. I use a pseudonym for him on my blog).

    So how DOES one pronounce Candlemas?

    • I listened to a bunch of different pronunciations online, and I am pretty sure that the correct way is to say the “mas” part just like the “mas” in Christmas.

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