Showing posts from April, 2009

Unfounded Fears

There are so many Scriptures in which we are told not to be afraid: "Do not fear, for I am with you."

And yet, so much of the time, my imagination gets the best of me, and I'm afraid of something or other. I especially don't like new situations or encounters and can spend all kinds of mental energy imagining the worst. Those prayers about evil fantasies definitely apply to this sort of thinking, in my case.

Today I had scheduled a meeting with two public school people (a coordinatoar and a speech therapist) to go over the application for speech testing that I sent in on behalf of my second daughter.

I was so nervous. For one thing, the person who scheduled the meeting implied they were going to poke their noses into the "core content" of what I'm doing to educate my daughter. Yipes. I spent at least one day wigging out and in tears over my perceived home-schooling-mom imperfections and lack of perfect organizational skills. There's always t…

Crazy 8's

I've been tagged by Sylvia over at Orthodox Mom.

Here goes...

8 Things I am looking forward to:

1. My 40th birthday.
2. losing some weight
3. visiting my parents
4. Going to the zoo with my kids this afternoon.
5. Getting the bathroom fixed.
6. Being done with home school for the year.
7. doing some sewing (I have a blouse pattern and some fabric just waiting for me to have time...)
8. Buying school supplies for next year.

8 Things I did yesterday:

1. Went to Matins
2. Took dd to doctor
3. fixed supper
4. Exercised on the eliptical machine
5. played soccer with my son.
6. Went shirt shopping with Wes.
7. watched Deadliest Catch
8. Ate a sugar free Klondike bar.

8 Things I wish I could do:

1. Go to Switzerland again.
2. Visit England
3. Write a book
4. Visit Alaska
5. Go hiking in the Rockies.
6. Have enough energy to do all that and more.
7. Fit into a size 10.
8. Go on a mission's trip/be a missionary.

8 Shows I Watch

1. Deadliest Catch
2. Mythbusters
3. House MD (over the internet)
4. Lie to Me (over t…

No More Lake Baikal on my Kitchen Floor!

Yaaaaay! They fixed it. Now my bathroom's all torn up and something next door. The leak did not stop until they went next door and replaced a pipe over there.

Anyone want to guess how long it will be before my bathroom is put back together?

I don't even want to go there.

So right now I just had a fabulous workout in the exercise room, followed by some ball kicking with the kids. The movie Bridge to Terabithia is on, and I swear, the kid who plays Jess reminds me so much of the boy I had a crush on when I was 12.

It's funny how some things can just take a person back.

And that movie makes me cry.

Patience and Charity

and patience and charity, and some more patience and some more charity. That is what I need because I am about out of those qualities on my own, in regards to the maintenance situation with our apartment.


When we moved in, there was no hot water. For weeks. Six, to be exact. Then they jackhammered the slab in our bathroom to fix the slab leak the week before Christmas. Merry Christmas, we had hot water, and a buggered up bathroom.

Well, that got fixed soon enough...almost. Somehow, someone forgot the baseboard tiles in our bathroom. It's been four months. We've reminded them. It's not an emergency, so not a priority therefore it's not done.

The second slab leak due to the ice storm got fixed a bit quicker and no jackhammering was required in our unit, but it represents a couple more weeks with cold water.

Did I mention the time the roof collapsed on the unit above us, and we had water pouring in through our ceiling during a really bad rain on Chri…

I Like to Think I'm Tough! She's Really Good at Whining

Yesterday, when I was in Nicholasville, I was eating dinner at Bob Evans' Restaurant (the Chicken Pot Pie was very yummy!) and while I was eating that delectable pie, what should happen to me, but my rear lower left molar broke. It broke!

It did not hurt much at first, but this morning when I got up, I was having pain up into my ear, my jaw was hurting and my whole body felt "off". So I headed to Immediadent, the brutal barbarian dentist that is open from nine to nine seven days a week, walk-ins welcome!

Now, I've had braces (the assistant orthodontist was Turkish and had strong garlic breath), a root canal and some major fillings and I've even-by those barbaric Swiss government sponsored school dentists-had cavities drilled with no anesthesia-but today was dentally ROUGH.

I had a novel to read, so the long wait was not so bad. But then the waiting room chair had an ill-designed seam in the middle of the seat cushion and it made my butt hurt. Perhaps my de…

Amos Fortune, Free Man

I just finished reading the book _Amos Fortune, Free Man_ by Elizabeth Yates to my kids.

This is an excellent true story about a man who was born a prince of his tribe in Africa, kidnapped at age 15 by the slavers, and brought to America. Amos (Atmun was his first name) was bought as chattel by a Quaker family, where he was treated well, leaned to read and weave and later, after being sold to a new owner when his first master died, he became a tanner.

Eventually Amos was able to buy his freedom in his sixth decade of life and by working his trade, saved up enough money to buy, marry and free his first wife. She died within a year, as did his second wife. His third wife, who had a daughter of her own, outlived Amos fortune. In all, Amos freed five women, in memory of his younger sister who got left behind in Africa, whom he never forgot.

This story will gently introduce young people to the reality of slavery in the American colonies, and provides a good jumping off point for dis…


Well, great and holy Pascha came and went last weekend. Complete with staying up all night on Saturday night/Sunday morning, many many hours throughout Holy Week of standing on a carpeted concrete slab in the choir loft, and loads of time at home cooking for the feast. I think I was quite worn out by Friday and just kept pushing beyond that.

At least I felt pretty in my Pascha outfit. And we had a great time at the St. Athanasius Pascha Pic Nic on Sunday.

But I've learned one thing: I will never again make that special pascha cheese. I just won't. My cheese turned out lovely. It was/is yummy. But guess what: I'm the ONLY person in my family who is eating it. (That would be like baking an entire cheescake and eating the whole thing yourself.) So. Not. Good. For. The. Waistline. And no, I have NOT been deliberately overeating. Just like: There it is, I might as well eat that instead of something more nutritious and less fattening.

Seems there's never such…

Liturgical Worship in the New Testament Church

I was reading another blog the other day, and in the comments section, I made a statement that liturgical worship is all over the New Testament. Someone name Arthur Sido retorted that this was not the case, and I wrote a reply in which I tried to pull together the information in the following article into my own words. That post got lost in cyberspace and never made it onto that particular blog comments thread.

And, in retrospect that's just as well. In order to do the subject justice, I have decided to quote that one-page article in full (found in the Orthodox Study Bible, on page 1720, Thomas Nelson, 2008).

Liturgy in the New Testament Church p. 1720 The Orthodox Study Bible

“Virtually all students of the Bible realize there was liturgical worship in Israel. Immediately after the giving of the Ten Commandments (Ex. 20:1-17), instructions for building the altar were set forth (Ex. 20:24-26). Then comes instruction concerning keeping the Sabbath (Ex. 23:10-13), the annual fe…

And then it fell apart....

To Do list today:

-wait for maintenance to come and find what's leaking water onto my kitchen floor.
-shop vac said water off floor occasionally

-go to laundromat and dry wet clothes (including towels from mopping above-mentioned kitchen floor)
-pull dryer out of apartment sized dryer/washer nook and figure out what type of belt we need
-find dryer repair man or dryer repair parts and research to to fix it myself


And I was planning on RESTING today.

Impressions from Holy Friday

Sundown to choir music, and a pitch black nave at the end.
Vigilants holding candles-antiphonal choir singing-aching feet.
A corpus icon on the cross-a body on a bier awaiting burial
Arabic lamenting-Greek, English lamenting
ducking low to walk under the icon of Christ's enshrouded body
thinking of Mary and her grief at seeing her Son and her God dead upon the tree
hugs from children
fumbling pages of choir music
holding a candle so the person next to me could see
paying attention to the choir director
feeling tired: all except my voice
taking my shoes off and feeling the cold tile against my bare feet; soothing
the sun shining the the stained glass in the evening, making what looked like a rose pattern on the tile floor
rose petals around the tomb
a smoke filled narthex so thick it would make one cough
Church bells
Psalms being canted
lamentations sung
Ancient hymns
tears on faces
tired bodies
lentil soup and homemade bread
kids running in the fellowship hall

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY April 15, 2009
Outside my window it's dark outside.
I am thinking that I wish that I had more energy to enjoy the unstinting and unrelenting nature of Orthodox worship.
I am thankful for obedient children.
From the learning rooms...spring break for Holy Week, this week.
From the kitchen...homemade artisan bread, and lentil stew. Pascha cheese in the fridge.
I am wearing...a long embroidered linen natural colored skirt, beige t-shirt, green cardigan.
I am creating...a blog post.
I am liturgy in the morning.
I am reading...blogs. And facebook. I ought to read something more substantial.
I am hoping...oh, lots of things.
I am hearing...the TV, kids getting ready for bed.
Around the house...some clutter, some kitchen cleanup needed. All too tired after Unction service to care.
One of my favorite roses.
A few plans for the rest of the week: Church, more Church. A trip to the Chiropractor, and a cup of decaf chai tea.
Here is picture thought I am sharing…

Ah, Holy Week!

So yesterday, I am happy to report, all four kids were perfect angels while I took them to Church in the morning for Presanctified Liturgy. I sang in the choir while they lurked in the balcony of the chapel. I could see their faces (some of their faces) peering down from on high, and I gave them the motherly eye occasionally, and all went well. I think that set up made some of the ya ya's nervouse, but to my great pride and joy, they made me proud. And joyful.

But I'm not so foolish as to try to pull that stunt two days in a row. This morning we take off, and save our strength for tonight.

Bridegroom Matins on Sunday night was lovely. The choir sang.

Bridegroom Matins on Monday night was unintelligible. Everything was echo-y in the big cavernous building and not enough bodies were there to absorb the sound. The tones were Arabic, I guess, Lebanese, or something and at that moment, I really really MISSED the OCA. But it had it's own beauty. And Father G, bless …

Have You Heard About...

FOCUS ministries?

I'm excited. It's high time there was an overarching organization like this. God is in this.

Follow the link and listen to Fr. Justin Matthew's interview on Ancient Faith Radio.

A Few Little "Woo Hoos"

1. After years of admiring them, I ordered my first pattern from Sense & Sensibility Patterns. The Romantic blouse pattern. I've been looking for a good blouse pattern for ages, and I plan on making a toile to fit my hard to fit self perfectly, taking it apart and then having a wonderful pattern for a nice flattering top on hand. Moving toward that uniform I've been wanting forever. Woo Hoo!

2. I was able to find everything Bethany needed to update her spring/summer wardrobe at the thrift store yesterday, and a big baskety purse to use as her knitting basket as well. I was fully prepared to go to a regular store, but she wanted to go to the thrift store first. All these lovely t-shirts in gorgeous sherberty colors, a twinset, a crinkle skirt and a linen jumper. She's a very conservative dresser, by choice. And that makes me glad. Woo Hoo!

3.I have a few little sewing projects on hand to keep me happy. Found some discount fabric that will make up a perfect skirt t…

Revival Week, Orthodox Style

One of the things I like about being an Orthodox Christian, is how we live through the Gospel.

It's true all the time, but at this time of year it is especially obvious. While we do search the Holy Scriptures and seek to be obedient to all it's precepts, what I mean when I say live through the Gopsel, is that we allow the Gospel of Jesus to affect our time. Better than any well-crafted VBS program that might have children "take a walk through the Bible, and re-live the gospel stories", the Orthodox Church does just that, on a grander scale and in a very set form: the liturgical calendar. And at no time is this more obvious than during Holy Week.

This Saturday is Lazarus Saturday. The day Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, caused an uproar thereby and got the pharisees really plotting his death. It's sort of the precursor to what happens next in Holy Week. We gather as a community to hear the story, to see the icon of this event, and to worship our risen L…

A Day Book Entry

Today… April 8, 2009. Today I mailed off some snoods I'd made for a drawing on my other blog, homeschooled the kids, did a bit of sewing and gave a sewing lesson.

Outside my window… It's chilly springtime weather. High fifties. I see grass and hear neighbor children playing.

I am thinking… that I should get off the computer. Why don't I?

I am thankful for… peace and quiet.

I am wearing… pink long sleeved t-shirt, long off white skirt, black fleece jacket, danskin sneakers and a snood.

I am reading… Uncle Remus Stories out loud to the kids...among other things.

I am creating… various things on my sewing machine. Gearing up to do a snood order, I guess. I should open an etsy shop...

One of my favorite things… coffee in the morning.

For education this week… learning about slavery in the 1700's and 1800's, about insectivores and lots of creative writing.

A keeper at home skill I am using/learning… sewing.

A spiritual lesson I'm learning... trusting in God for th…

Hearth and Home

I know I have not blogged very much lately. Please accept my apologies. I mean, what is there to blog about? I have yet another meal of baked potatoes in the oven for my family. How exicitng is that? Not very.

I've been sewing some small things here and there, and starting to teach the older girls how to use the sewing machine. Today B made herself (with my help and guidance) a cute little head scarf like the Cecily style at Garlands of Grace. Except the fabric is differnt, of course.

I've been busy making some snoods for a give away at my other blog, and of course keeping house and guiding the kids with their school work.

Not much to write about there. Things are quiet, simple and...well, quiet and simple.

Had a house full of relatives for this weekend, and we all went to the Zoo. And I did lots of cooking. I think I take after my grandmother. I didn't get to eat any of it, because of the whole low carb thing, but I survived. Made some extra yummy soup jus…

Psalm 85 (LXX)

Incline Your ear, O Lord, and hear me, For I am poor and needy.
Guard my soul, for I am holy;
O my God, save Your servant, who hopes in You.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, For all the day long I will cry to You. Gladden the soul of Your servant, O Lord, For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
For you, O Lord, are kind and good, and very merciful to all who call upon You.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer and heed the voice of my supplication.
In the day of my affliction I cried to You, For You heard me.
There is none like You among the gods, O Lord,
And there are no works like Your works.
All the Gentiles You made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and they shall glorify Your name.
For You are great, doing wonders; You alone are the great God.
Lead me in Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth;
Gladden my heart so as to fear Your name.
I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I shall glorify Your name forever; For great is Your mercy to me, and Yo…

So Tired!

Oh my goodness, I'm tired tonight! I was tired when I woke up this morning, and tired when I went grocery shopping, and tired when I came back and put things away, tired when I went to the chiropractor, tired when I came home and cooked dinner, tired when I ate it, and tired when I went to choir practice.

And then I found out that they were doing the canon of St. Andrew, and Vespers lasted about an hour longer than normal, so I went there instead of choir, and then choir afterward, so all went later.

Raining like cats and dogs coming out of choir, so I got wet dashing to Kroger for a forgotten item and then home.

I'm tired. Did I mention that I'm tired?

It's one of those days that is just lived. Thoughts of God and prayers here and there. But it's just so full of living and struggle, and I did not get everything done I wanted to do.

But that's OK. Tomorrow is another day and I can get some things done then. I hope.

Gotta get my house clean.

A Prayer Request

B just had a change in her meds, and guess what: NO VOICES for the past two days. I ask her "How's your brain?" and she gives me a thumbs up. This is huge. Please join us in praying that this dose of meds will continue to be effective in her body and that God would have mercy and grant that it be so.

It's April, and we are already a couple of weeks past having met our $4000.00 family health insurance deductible for the year. And no one had surgery.