Monday, June 30, 2008

I can wash

a sink full of dirty dishes in 7 minutes.

In the same amount of time it takes to make a big pot of popcorn on the stove.

Preemie Potatoes


We had a bucket potato plant and somehow it died, so we dumped the dirt and found these preemie potatoes. Aren't they adorable? They'd make a doll sized feast! We were all making exclamations in high squeaky voices when we found them...well, all us girls at any rate. My son is much less impressed with "baby" things.

Alphabet Soup

Recipe stolen from Maria.

A is for age: 38.5

B is for burger of choice: Any burger, with a low carb bun. In fact, that's what's for dinner! Low carb bun: separate three eggs. Whip whites with a pinch of cream of tartar. Into yolks stir in a few T. of cottage or ricotta cheese, and gently fold into stiffly beaten whites.

Dollop onto baking stone (makes six dollops) and bake at 325 until golden brown.(half hour or so. Might work better to slow the oven down and go for longer.) Two dollops make a good sandwish "bun".

C is for what kind of car you drive: I drive the Kia Sedona minivan and sometimes on the weekends, I borrow my husband's beater Nissan with the excellent now engine that gets good gas mileage.

D is for your dog's name: If I had a dog I would name it "Back-puller-outer" or "Poop-factory." Therefore I am not a dog owner.

E is for essential item you use everyday: Och, too many to count! How bout this laptop?

F is for favorite TV show at the moment: There is none. Don't watch any TV.

G is for favorite game: Tetris and Scattergories. I rule at both games.

H is for Home State: Huh?


I is for instruments you play: Guitar (AKA "Gitfiddle"), soprano recorder, mouth harmonica, kazoo, vocal chords.

J is for favorite juice: Grape, fermented.

K is for whose butt you'd like to kick: The butt of the dirt in my house.

L is for last restaurant at which you ate? TGI Friday, on my wedding anniversary. But it wasn't nearly as good as the Johnnny Carino's date dh and I went on a week before (I started dieting hard core and at a new level before our anniversary...and just after the excellent and too-good meal of chicken marsala and tiramisu, bread and wine at JC's,) and only ate broccoli and a plain steak at TGIF's, so it wasn't that spectacular. Hard to enjoy eating out when one is die-ing, I'm mean dieting.

M is for your favorite Muppet: Slow cooked in wine. Not fond of muppets, so my thought is they should be hunted to extinction. How to hunt muppet: Get a big net ready, and go up to a waist high garden wall, or near a shrubbery and start singing a song with an easy chorus. Wait for muppets to pop up and join you on the chorus, and nab them in the net. Or you could try asking in a very loud voice what letter comes after the letter "C", or something like that. I hear muppet meat is either blue, red, or purple, depending on the breed you nab. Strong flavor and a bit dry. Hence the slow cooking in wine is recommended. Mushrooms, onions, garlic and carrots at a nice provincial touch. White wine for the blue and green muppets and red wine for the red, orange and purple ones. Bon Apetit!

N is for Number of Piercings: Two. Well, three actually, because I double pierced an ear lobe at a high school retreat one time, but that hole's gown back together. I don't recommend the ice cube and needle routine. It hurts.

O is for overnight hospital stays: Tonislectomy in 1978, Child birth in 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999 and then staying with my dd in December of 2007.

P is for people you were with today: All my kids, dh early this morning, Michelle the nice PA who dx'd my ear infection, various pharmacy customers and staff and random pepole in the waiting room/reception desk at the doctor's office, oh, and a nurse who took my BP.

Q is for what you do with your quiet time: Pray, read, be on computer, walk. Almost all my time is quiet time. Sigh.

R is for biggest regret: I should've picked the blue pill!

S is for status: Married 16 years to the best husband. SAHHSM of 4 kids.

T is for time you woke up today: 6:30 am.

U is for what you consider unique about yourself: I'm a weirdo. It's just so true.

V is for vegetable you love: green beans cooked with garlic and mushrooms. A nice dark green fresh salad. Tomatoes. Cucumbers. Green peppers and onion, and oh yeah, sweet yellow onions sauteed all by themselves in a bit of oil until caramelized. And fried okra. Definitely fried okra.

W is for worst habit: Getting distracted.

X is for x-rays you've had: Teeth, back, neck, toe, kidneys, are there any more? Can't remember.

Y is for yummy food you ate today: All my food's been yummy today: fried eggs for breakfast, dark green salad with zucchini, tomato, chicken, sour cream and vinegar for lunch, and hot decaf tea with egg/protein powder donut holes for afternoon snack.

Z is for zodiac: Capricorn. Baaaa!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Day Late: Saturday-All the Saints and the Departed

Well, Saturday morning, unfortunately, is still a dead zone at our house when it comes to prayer. I'm learning to go hide and pray by myself, but this week I didn't even do that. So today I realized I'd forgotten to post on what Saturday stands for in the course of the week.

It fits in with the rest of the theme of "community". Saturday is for all the Saints and the Departed.

Troparion to All Saints: O Apostles, Martyrs, and Prophets, Hierarchs, Monastics and Righteous Ones; ye that have accomplished a good labour and kept the Faith, that have boldness before the Saviour; O Good Ones, intercede for us, we pray, that our souls be saved.

Troparion for the Departed: O Thou Who by the depth of Thy wisdom, out of love for man kind, dost provide all things, and grantest unto all that which is profitable, O only Creator: Grant rest, O Lord, to the souls of Thy servants, for in Thee have they placed their hope, O our Creator and Fashioner and God.

Kontakion for the Departed: With the saints give rest, O Christ, to the souls of Thy servants, where there is niether sickness, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life everlasting.

Kontakion to the Martyrs: To Thee, O Lord, the Planter of creation, the world doth offer the God-bearing martyrs as the firstfruits of nature. By their intercessions preserve Thy Church, Thy commonwealth, in profound peace, through the Theotokos, O Greatly-merciful One.

---

And finally, dear readers, I would like to refer you over to the words of Father Stephen Freeman on the subject of the Saints. He says it much better than I could. Please follow this link and read what he's written on why the intercessions of the saints is a dogma.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thursday: The Holy Apostles and Saint Nicholas


Troparion to the Apostles: O holy Apostles, intercede with the merciful God, that He grant unto our souls forgiveness of offences.

Kontakion the the Holy Apostles: The firm and divine-voiced preachers, the chief of Thy disciples, O Lord, Thou hast taken to Thyself for the enjoyment of Thy blessings, and for repose; their labours and death didst Thou accept as above every sacrifice, O Thou Who alone knowest the hearts.

Troparion to Saint Nicholas: The truth of things revealed thee to thy flock as a rule of faith, an icon of meekness and a teacher of temperance; therefore thou hast achieved the heights by humility, riches by poverty. O Father and Hierarch Nicholas, intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

Kontakion to Saint Nicholas: In Myra, O Saint, thou didst prove to be a minister ofthings sacred: for having fulfilled the Gospel of Christ, O righteous one, thou didst lay down thy life for thy people, and dist save the innocent form death. Wherefore, thou wast sanctified, as a great initiate of the grace of God.

-----

The Apostles, of course are the foundation stones of the Orthodox Church, which is built on their teaching and which is faithful to their teaching.

Saint Nicholas is considered the ultimate example of a good bishop. He is a model of how bishops should be, in the Church.

One thing about the Orthodox, is that through our line of bishops (who ordain the priests), we have unbroken succession back to the apostles. It's not a succession of ideas, or a succession of a book, but rather one of people. A living, breathing community that can trace its continuity to the beginning.

In the Orthodox Church, decisions are made in a conciliar manner among the bishops, which means there's a balance of power and a faithfulness to the apostolic teaching that is maintained. Furthermore, the test of the veracity of a council is if the WHOLE Church accepts it. So the role of the laity is vital in this process, too. One body. Historians have done a much better job of expounding what I"m barely touching upon here.

But all this to say: The thing that stands out to me, in our daily commemorations as we go through the week is COMMUNITY. The God-worhsipping community that is the Church is more than just the ones I can see when I gather on Sunday mornings. It's more than the believers I know via the internet. It's an unbroken living community of those who have gone before, together with us who are so very very "new" and also the angels (who are as ancient as anyone created can be). It is into this community of LIFE that we who are as of yet barely alive in Christ join ourselves and are made even more real: the Church, of which Christ is the head.

I've perhaps stated it all muddled up. But hopefully it makes a bit of sense.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Wednesday and Friday: Remembering the Cross


Orthodox Christians fast on Wednesdays and Fridays (unless it's one of the oh-so-rare fast-free weeks, like right after Pascha or just before a long fast).

One Wednesdays, we are remembering Judas' betrayal of Christ and Christ's willingness to go to the cross, and on Friday, of course, is the actual crucifixion and death of Christ. These are sobering themes if we really pause to contemplate their reality.

How many times and in how many ways have I betrayed Christ? Sinned against my Christ?

And yet, He goes willingly to the Cross for my sake. For the sake of His Church.

Troparion: Save, O Lord, They people, and bless Thine inheritance; grant Thou unot Orthodox Christians victory over enemies; and by the power of Thy Cross do Thou preserve Thy commonwealth.

A different translation sounds like this: O Lord, save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance. Grant victories to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries; and by virtue of Thy Cross preserve Thy habitation.

Kontakion: O Thou Who wast lifted up willingly on the Cross, bestow Thy mercis upon the new community named after Thee, O Christ God; gladden with They power the Orthodox Christians, granting them victory over enemies; my they have as Thy help the weapon of peace, the invincible trophy.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

One Weird Quiz

How I scored on the 1930's Wife scale:

105

As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!

A Literary Meme

picked up from Temperance Girl

The rules:
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.


"Deacon: For this holy temple, and for them that with faith, reverence, and the fear of God enter herein, let us pray to the Lord.
Choir: Lord, have mercy.
Deacon: That we may be delivered from all tribulation, wrath, and necessity, let us pray to the Lord."

This is from page 123 of the Jordanville prayer book, and is an excerpt from the Ectenia of Fervent Supplication, Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom.

And yes, that really was the closest book I spotted.

If you are reading this, consider yourself tagged.

Tuesday-Saint John the Forerunner


And today happens to be his birthday, too!

On Tuesdays Orthodox Christians commemorate St. John the Forerunner. He is the last of the Old Testament prophets, and was given the honor of baptizing our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ.

So he links the Old Testament Church to the New Testament Church.

Here are the hymns to commemorate him:

Troparion: The memory of the righteous is celebrated with hymns of praise, but the Lord's testimony is sufficiaent for thee, O Forerunner; for thou hast proved to be truly even more venerable than the prophets, since thou wast granted to baptize in the running waters Him Whom they proclaimed. Wherefore, having contested for the truth, thou didst rejoice to announce the good tidings even to those in hades: that God hath appeared in the flesh, taking away the sin of the world and granting us great mercy.

Kontakion: O Prophet of God and Forerunner of grace, having obtained thy head from the earth as a most sacred rose, we ever receive healings; for again, as of old in the world, thou preachest repentance.

----

The thing that stands out to me while looking at the daily commemorations that we go through each week (and this is in addition to the "saint of the day" that cycles through on a yearly basis), is that these commemorations are a constant reminder of the COMMUNITY in which we find ourselves. More to come on that subject as the week progresses.

Why on earth, you ask, does he have angel wings in the icon? He was, after all a man of flesh and blood.

Yes, indeed. The angel wings are to portray that he lived "the angelic life" of extreme asceiticsm. Often this phrase is used to describe very great ascetics.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday-the Bodiless Hosts


It's Monday morning and a slow start to the day. Each day of the week has a special commemoration in the Orthodox Church. Monday is the Bodiless Hosts...that's Angels in plain English.

Why do we remember the Angels? Well, they are servants of God, for one thing. They don't sin like we do. It ought to go without saying, but I'll say it anyway just because somebody out there in the blogiverse probably has a misconception: Just because we address a hymn or a prayer to a saint or an angel does NOT mean we worship them. Worship is for God alone. The angels and the saints are among the "great cloud of witnesses" who are cheering us on and praying for us.

Here are the hymns for the Bodiless Hosts:

Troparion: Supreme Commanders of the heavenly hosts, we unworthy ones implore you that by your supplications ye will encircle us with the shelter of the wings of your immaterial glory, and guard us who fall down before you and fervently cry: Deliver us from dangers since ye are the Marshalls of the Hosts on high.

Kontakion: Supreme Commanders of God and ministers of the Divine Glory, guides of men and leaders of the angels, ask for what is to our profit and for great mercy, since ye are the Supreme Commanders of the Bodiless Hosts.

-----

I think it's important to remember that there are these holy warrior beings who are very interested in whether or not we fight the good fight and run the race of faith.

And on Mondays we remember them. I personally like thinking about the fact that the angels are all around us, worshiping God, and praying for us. Any prayer that I do is a sliver compared to what they are constantly offering up to God. But we are on the same team, and that makes me glad.

Now it's time for some rather belated morning prayers with the kids. (We slept in and then I made lenten waffles since we are now in the Sts. Peter and Paul fast this week, so it's been a slow morning.)

Icon image of Archangel Michael from www.goarch.org

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Through the Week as an Orthodox Christian-Saturday night/Sunday moring

I've been meaning to write some blog entries about life in the Orthodox Church and how it gets lived out at home and in ordinary life outside of the Church services. This will likely take more than one blog post. So, here I go.

Tonight is Saturday evening. Liturgically, Orthodox Christians follow the same reckoning of time as the Jews did (in the Bible)...and there was evening, and there was morning, the first day, etc. In other words, the new day starts at sunset. Practically, this means that Saturday evening is holy time. We start our Sunday worship by attending Vespers/Vigil (evening prayers) on Saturday evening. In our parish this happens at 6:30 pm. in various places it's done differently (In some parishes, Matins is prayed on Sunday morning before the Divine Liturgy is served.), but for us, part of the Matins prayers at tacked on to the back of the Vespers service, so that we are usually praying until almost 8 pm. This includes a Matins gospel reading, which is always one of eleven or twelve readings about the resurrection of Christ. So, every Saturday night, we start to turn our hearts towards Sunday morning, the reality of Christ's resurrection, and we anticipate receiving His body and blood into ourselves in the Eucharistic celebration. This is our life.

The whole week revolves around this.

So, Saturday night is a special time. After vespers, we come home and eat a meal. We try to make is substantial, because barring health concerns it is normal to fast completely from food and drink starting at midnight Saturday night. I always remind the kids to drink a large glass of water before bed so that they aren't dying of thirst the next morning, too.

Saturday night is not a time for going out, or going to a party, or watching a movie at home even. It's a quiet evening. Usually we are tired. And after Vespers and our meal, once the kids are tucked, we like to pray a canon and some prayers in preparation for Holy Commuion. This is normal, and not at all considered "above and beyond". We examine our hearts and make sure we are at peace. Saturday evening after vespers is a very common time for people to make confession in preparation for receiving Eucharist the next day.

Orthodox Christians believe about the Eucharist the same as the earliest Christians, that "this is truly Thy body, and this is truly Thy most pure blood" and so we take our preparations to receive Christ very very seriously. Hopefully, no one approaches communion in a flippant way, or in a "I deserve this" way. But rather, we we like to say: "In fear and in faith and in love, let us draw near."

Saturday night is a good time for a husband and a wife to talk and pray together. Letting go of distractions and having this quiet carved out in our life is something that is very special to me. It's best not to go to bed too late, though.

Sunday morning is simple. Everyone just rolls out of bed and into their Church clothes and then we get in the car. While we are driving to Church, since our famly lives so far away, we have time to pray the 30 minute pre-communion prayer service. Many folks might pray this on Saturday night. That's fine, too. These prayers are rather penitential in nature. I think it's good to be penitential when approaching God. But these prayers also express an absolute faith that God is the God who saves, and that He does save us, and that He also transforms us into His glorious likeness. We pray, as it says in 1 Cor. 11 that we would not partake in an unworthy manner unto our death.

And then we enter into the Divine Liturgy. It's preceded by a short 20 minute service called the prayers of the hours, in which 1st hour prayers and 3rd hour prayers are prayed. (Praying the hours is another blog post all its own, and I'll write about that after I write these posts about "Through the Week...")

The structure of the Divine Liturgy is the subject of many books. Perhaps I'll do a blog post on it someday, as well. Suffice it to say, we pray intercessory prayers for everyone and everything. We offer worship to God, we bow down to Him (literally), we listen to and Epistle and a Gospel reading, we pray the Beatitudes, and we offer, with much thanksgiving and many intercessions (litanies) the Eucharist. After it's all over we pray what are called "Thanksgiving Prayers". About two hours.

Yes, it is a lot of work. But it is THE work...the work of the people. It's what we DO. And everything flows out of this. The almsgiving, the giving to others and working for peace in our families, in our communities, the prayers we offer up the rest of the week...all of it flows out of or reflects back on or looks forward to the Eucharist. Jesus Christ is the highlight of the week and for Orthodox Christians there is this beautiful structure each week and each day that reminds of constantly of this truth, and draws us inexorably further towards God, if we but give in and let ourselves be tugged along by this life.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Roses



Cut from the back yard, on my table.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Keeping House

I haven't really found anything interesting to blog about lately. I've just been busy keeping house.

The good news is, I've upped my dish washing habit a notch, and now I'm much mor likely to do up the supper dishes than leave them for the next day. I find it's easier to attack a meal's worth of dishes, or half a day's worth of dishes, than it is to leave them all for at once. So, there's a shred of order and beauty being added to my day.

On the sewing front, I've got a couple of skirts cut out...actually they are "makeovers". What I mean by this is that I find a jumper (in this case one that's too big for me now and not a flattering length, and I cut it off under the armpits and add an elastic waist for a long skirt. Very comfortable and flattering.

While I was cleaning out the girl's room I found a regency style dress in very light blue light weight denim (or is it chambray?) that they did not want. I'd made it as a mock up before doing a wedding dress a couple of years ago. So this morning I harvested the fabric from the skirt of the dress, removed some panels and have pieces to sew myself a skirt and a skirt for one of my daughters. The skirt I'm making for me is going to be what I like to call "monastery length"...in other words, all the way to the ground.

Unfortunately I'm very tired today. I had to run out this morning to fetch some de-caf coffee (which clearly still has addictive qualities since I had a headache until I had some), and ran into some friends at the store. It's was like a little party in the coffee aisle at Kroger. And while we were chatting, we spotted another friend of ours. So it really WAS a party in the coffee aisle at Kroger. I have lived in this neighborhood for eleven years, and this is the FIRST time that's ever happened. I'm grateful that I finally know some people. This is the fruit of going to a local women's Bible Study.

So I've got this sewing looming, that I really want to do, and more grocery shopping to do that I really HAVE to do, and NO ENERGY!!!!! Yes, I want to bustle around, getting stuff done and making my home pretty but alas...my body has no energy today.

But I'm trying to keep things pleasant and be upbeat.

In the garden, we have lettuce ready to be picked. The roses are prolific and I have some cut in the dining room.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Pentecost Sunday...

Oh, I could use some joy in the Holy Spirit right about now! Comforter, comfort me! ...all of it.

I'm convinced that I (and my family) are put on this earth so that others can be glad in their blessings and grateful that they are not us.

Did I mention that I struggle with depression? Oh, yeah. Time and time again. I sure wish there was an apple cider vinegar depression cure. (Seems to cure everything else, so why not?)

I'm being a good person and staying off carbs and sugar (as per doctor's orders), eating lots of fresh veggies etc., and I'm on my guaifenesin (which scientific genetic study has recently been published to the cheering vindication of all guai users and those who have known all along that fibromyalgia is genetic) and I'm taking a multi-vitamin and a B-complex each day. And I'm off caffeine.

And. I. Am. Barely. Functioning. My energy levels are SO LOW. (Please don't spam me with suggestions that I take a certain herb or drink Kombucha...etc. Those would block my guaifenesin protocol and I'm not interested.

So, I could use some joy in the Holy Spirit. Some comfort. Some filling up. Cuz Lord, I am EMPTY!

Today's Church picnic was a fiasco for my family because somehow I missed the announcement that it was "Bring your own stuff and blanket and food" and I thought it was being done common meal style. So my big platter of chicken with no plates, napkins, or anything else, didn't do so well.

I, of course, spent most of the morning in tears over it, and then my family just packed up and went home as soon as liturgy was over.

And so it goes.

Did I mention that I could use with some Holy Spirit filling right about now? But since I can't really manipulate God, all I can do is ask.

I'm so thoroughly aware of my own sinful lack of faith and lack of gratitude and self pity and all those negative things that I struggle with/against constantly. God have mercy!

O Heavenly King, Comforter Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things and Giver of life: Come and dwell in us, and cleanse us of all impurity, and save our souls, O Good One.

Happy Pentecost!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Aint no cure for the Summertime Blues...doing dee dee doing dee dee....

Sometimes a mom's just gotta be a harda$$. You register for an online computer game and IGNORE THE AGE RESTRICTIONS...you are SO grounded from the computer for WaYYYYYY longer than YOU think is reasonable. (Even though if you'd have ASKED, one of us would have been happy to sign you up, kiddo.)

You don't like dinner OR a peanutbutter jelly sandwich? Well then, enjoy your rumbly stomach, kid.

Your BORED???? OK, Kid, howsabouts doing some laundry!

And so it goes.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

What I've done this week

I tend to discount many of the activities and things that I do. Some of them are too ordinary...you know, like washing dishes, or fixing a meal. And some of them are one-of-a-kind. Some take a long time, and some are moments.

My big fault is that I see the grace and beauty on other women's blogs and I compare it to the drabness and everydayness of my own life (and blog) and I get discouraged.

So, here's what I have done this week:

Prayed with my family each evening.
Prayed with my kids each morning.
Read my Bible.
Washed dishes.
Made meals.
Gone to the grocery store for snack items for VCS and a sleepover.
Arranged child care for my kids while I was in surgery.
Had numerous doctors appointments.
Swift sneaky trip to fabric store.
Sewed two head-coverings.
Surgery! (Submitted to, not performed)
Took some pictures.
Read blogs.
Wrote on blogs.
Took a nap.
Got upset at husband. Asked forgiveness later.
Took kids to library.
Lead two days of singing time at Vacation Church School.
Made recordings of songs for VCS.
Let a little boy "play" my guitar.
Made posters for songs at VCS.
Took some Pannera bread to some refugee friends of ours.
Did laundry. (Including folding it, and putting my part away!)
Mopped my kitchen floor.
Swept various other floors...

and on and on.

So why don't I think that I measure up?????

6 Quirky Things meme

this one from veiledglory.wordpress.com

Ok, 6 quirky things about me:

1. I hate listening to music unless I'm in the car.
2. Can't stand long soaky baths, bubble or otherwise. Washing is best done via as quick a shower as is humanly possible to take.
3. In winter, at night, I must be covered in pounds of blankets. Must be heavy. One little electric blanket, although warm, would be entirely inadequate in the winter time.
4. Must have coffee in the morning, even if it's decaf. Exception: Before Eucharist.
5. Toenails are not to be clipped, they are to be picked at.
6. I suspect I'm growing to be a bit hard of hearing. Probably due to too much loud music in the car.

Tagged: If you read this, you are tagged.

Suisse

Dreamvacation

A Terrible Meme

in which I've been asked to reveal all the secrets of my life. Auuuuuugh. You are about to witness the most horrify sights, should you read further. And seeing them, you will understand my tendencies towards lunacy and depression.

So, without further ado, here's my fridge. It is too small. Much, much too small. This is after a week of eating and we still don't have enough room in there. And check out the very cool gorilla-tape shelf fixes. Things only fall out every other time we open the refridgerator door.




And here are some dishes waiting to be washed. My kitchen is never perfect. That's why I'm a flylady dropout.

And here's the toilet. Raw, and uncut. Fortunately the lid was closed, otherwise, I'll bets would have been off.

Here's the closet. Not too bad.

Shoes. In pile. Behind closet door.

I like the back yard with garden, especially now that it's freshly mowed.

My favorite spot depends on what time of day it is, what the weather is, and what mood I'm in. But here's the view from my back porch spot, which I love:



Here's some laundry surrounded by the next room that should be cleaned:

I don't have a dream vacation. I don't LET myself have a dream vacation. Although I'd like to go to the beach. Or Switzerland. Yeah, that sounds good. I'd settle for some camping out at Red River Gorge. See the youtube link.

Lessons from Motherhood

Michelle had a post on what important lessons from motherhood she learned, that she did not expect...or something like that.


And of course she challenged her readers to share as well.

So, what did I learn form motherhood that I didn't expect:

-Special needs are special needs and you can't spank it out of them.

-Every child is unique.

-Every family is unique.

-I matured and grew as a parent, got wiser. And more tired. Things I swore I'd never do with number one, I did do with number four.

-I learned that the world does not end if you have to give your kid formula.

-I learned that sometimes all the tried and true parenting tricks to get your kids to do X (like, say, eat vegetables) just. don't. work.

-I learned that some battles are not worth fighting.

-I learned that some are.

-I learned that I'd rather try to treat my kids like human beings (while not forgetting that I'm the partent and the buck stops here) than treating them as persons or things that can or must be controlled merely for my own convenience.

-I learned that if I want my kids to be kind and gentle, I must be kind and gentle, if I want my kids to be neat and tiday (HA!) I must be neat and tidy (HA! HA!) etc.

-And I learned that little apples do not fall far from the tree and all my kids are so much like me in various ways.

I'm glad I'm a mom. And I'm glad I did not know in advance what all I was getting in to.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Simple Pleasures

A goose had to cross the road, and chose to do so right in front of my car. The road was very busy, and that goose caused quite a traffic back-up. But I had the pleasure of watching it's leisurely waddle. This brought me much unexpected joy, as I had been driving along and feeling rather tired and stressed out.

That goose seemed so content. He (or she) took his time. And got across the road safely. While all the humans in their big stinky cars had to wait.

The meek shall inherit the earth.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Being Blessed by God

I truly feel blessed today. God granted me the energy for VCS singing time. I was worried about it. My fingers are sore, and yesterday I was having trouble making the chords to make my guitar sound good, but today I was able to do it. And no back pain or hip pain either!

So, God sustains us. We should remember that. Not just in extraordinary circumstances, but every minute of every day. He keeps us alive and no matter what, we depend on Him.

I think if you've been blessed with lots of energy, you should give thanks to God for it, and if you are ill, you should do what God commands, and "Be still and know that I am God."

Either way, it's a blessing.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Glad Game

I watched the Masterpiece Theatre version of Pollyanna last week. It was quite inspiring.

So, here's a list of things I'm grateful for, or "glad about" as Pollyanna would put it:

A husband who is good to me and who is lighting the candles for family evening prayers.

A daughter who is playing classical music on her alto recorder.

Open windows.

Sweaters to deal with too-cold airconditioning that I'm not used to.

The ceiling fan in my bedroom

Pool passes

The fun time I had at the Explorium (Children's museum) with my two youngest kids on Saturday

My sewing skills

Lace curtains (they make me so glad!)

a chance to relax and watch a movie tonight

the fact that I have a good marriage

things growing in our garden

My parish

I'll stop there for now.

There's lots to be grateful for.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Disturbing


Whatever happened to modesty? Privacy? Oh, I guess we gave that up when we all rushed to wear string bikinis and be naked in public as much as possible. My bad.

So now if you fly the friendly skies, you just might get SCANNED!

(But it is kinda cool in a weird, futuristic sort of way...as long as it's not MY blubber getting scanned.) Here's the article.

I must confess

that I've gotten bogged down in my Bible reading challenge. I resolve to take my Bible to the pool this afternoon and keep reading it, while the kids swim.

Also I wanted to send out apologies to all you who read my blog and are not all that interested in instructions on making silly hats. I'll try to write something more interesting soon.

It's just so darned HOT that my brain doesn't work well. And, I've been focusing on being busier around the house, keeping the kitchen clean, etc. That does not make for anything interesting to blog about, that's for sure. Neither do trips to the pool or grocery shopping. Sigh. I spent 250 dollars at the grocery store yesterday. Can you believe it? Hopefully all the food will not be gone in a week, but the kids do seem to eat more than they used to. Meanwhile I try to eat less, but it doesn't seem to balance out.

I should get back into reading those Scriptures. Perhaps something blog worthy will come to me then.

I also have a stack of papers to grade, dishes to wash and I promised the kids a trip to the pool this afternoon. I shall procrastinate on the papers. I always do.

Today's mine and Wes' 16th wedding anniversary. I recommend marriage very highly. Here's our secret to happiness: We tolerate each other's goofinesses, and laugh at each other's jokes, and generally have a good time. I miss him when he works so much, but I know he's doing it for the family. And he misses me when I'm too tired to do anything but be a vegetable on the couch, but he knows it's because I've been busy working for the family. So we pour out our lives for each other. That's how it goes. I only get miserable when I try to change him. When he tries to change me, I make sure he's miserable, too. So it's better to just love one another. We've learned this. Happy Anniversary to us!

Yet Another Hat



This one is made from a lacy crocheted thrift store sweater. It's silk. And the crochet did not ravel. I handled it gently, and sewed the pieces together with a straight stitch and then zig zagged the edges. Like always.

In the back, I put a little bit of elastic on this one, and the front brim is stitched in place.

Monday, June 02, 2008

And the Winner is...

Philippa! Congratulations. I'll be sending you your Jordanville prayer book cover in the mail after I contact you.

I'm just very tired tonight. I spent the afternoon visiting some friends, and that was a blessing, but I came home very tired. And then I crashed.

I think I need to go back on the hypoglycemia diet. Sigh. The Lord got me through Lent, and the fasting, but now I'm crashing again and feeling sick and miserable when I don't eat.

I will do another blog giveaway soon. Probably a hat!