Showing posts from August, 2009

Did You Watch Nightline Last Evening?

I wanted to throw bricks at the TV.

Perhaps if I explain my own personal views/opinions on autism, you, fair reader, will understand why I wanted to throw bricks at the TV.

Ok, this is complicated, but since I'm the parent of at least one, if not three (still waiting on official diagnosis, but I know what I know) kids on the autistic spectrum, I've been around the block, read a thing or two and have lived with the realities for the past fifteen years or so. And I thank God that my kid's symptoms are on the very mild side of autism (Schizphrenia excepted which isn't autism, but which mental illness is found at a higher rate in the autistic population than the "normal" population).

The question someone posed to me on facebook yesterday was whether or not I thought autism is caused by vaccines. Hmmmm. How do I answer this?

Since I'm not a doctor, or a scientist, all I can do is share my own experience in this teeny tiny laboratory that is my own famil…

After the Hamburgers...

...and a rather trying evening, after finally tucking the kids into bed, I go to the kitchen and find that someone (one of the kids) has doodled a cross into the congealed beef fat in my skillet.

This makes me smile.

How To Darn A Sock

Here's the video! It thinks its cute that the first pair of socks I darned today were in a similar pink and brown color, except I used brown to darn the brown heel.

Also, instead of a darning mushroom, I used a baseball, which worked just fine to stabilize my work area.

Darned Socks!

Today I learned how to darn socks, thanks to a youtube video and necessity. I learned how to knit socks last winter, and became rather addicted to them. Well, two wearings after having made the most delicious Noro Wool socks, they got worn through thanks to my horrible dry scratchy heels/hooves. So there they sat.

Additionally, the mess in my knitting basket (I'm a creative type, I have a messy knitting goes together) meant that some random scissors accidentally snipped the heel of a newly knitted sock. Darn it!

I am rather proud of my rescue efforts, and very pleased with the results. I suppose I should post the youtube video while I'm at it.

Thoughts on Staying Home From Church when Ill

Lately, I've been suffering from lots of fatigue. I HATE that. I want to be busy, and get things done. Instead, I am exhausted. During the week, I force myself to get things done anyways, because various kids may have appointments, I don't have another adult to help me, necessity demands it.

And then the weekend comes, and I crash.

And what often happens, is that I get to Saturday evening, or Sunday morning and I simply don't have the energy to go to Church.

And I HATE that. Yes, I realize the inconsistency. I realize the fact that I somehow dig deep and find a way to do all the other stuff, and then not attend Church? How horrible.

I think it's really a matter of rhythm and degree. Like, I push and push and push, and after about five days of pushing, I just don't have it in me to push any more. And the cycle continues.

Next week I don't have as much running around/appointments to do, and I'm glad about that. Hopefully I can take care of whate…

Larry Norman - The Rock That Doesn't Roll (1977)

Wrong cover art. But this is the song that started it ALL. I was eight. I remember dancing around the living room to this song. It was on the Album "In Another Land".

Rich Mullins - If I Stand [with lyrics]

Another one of my all time favorite ever songs.

"The stuff of earth competes with the allegiance I owe only to the Giver of All Good Things..."

Isn't that what I was just writing about in my last post?

Egads! Not Another Saturday Liturgy! Auuuugh! (or...After the Smells and Bells Lose their Glamour)

I have to admit, I like reading the thoughts and reflections of catechumens, or those who have recently decided to become Orthodox Christians. There's a freshness in their thoughts and devotion, and it's good for me to keep my finger on that particular pulse within the life of the Church. I always want to encourage others.

Today we are celebrating the beheading of St. John the Forerunner. It is a strict fasting day, and we had the opportunity to partake of the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ this morning in the Eucharist. What a treat! What a feast! Ascending into heaven!

And my flesh, for a little while yesterday, was rebelling at the thought. I wanted MY Saturday morning. I had visions of sipping coffee, perhaps a stroll through farmer's market, catching up on the Laundry and grading some papers. I was full of justifications, about how "Saturday is a work day" for me, and so I need to skip Divine Liturgy, stay home and do stuff. I am, after a…

Superman - Five for Fighting

Gosh, I love this song! Sometimes I like to imagine it was written just about me. Except I'm not a man in a silly red sheet. But the rest of it, I sure can relate to. I think it speaks to most of us...I suppose that's what makes it such a great song.

Why Yes, I am that Fabulous--I got picked!

Amber over at Little Steps Home listed my blog here as one of her top five picks, so now I'm participating in a fun meme. I guess I will have to out myself, on what blogs I check the most eh?

But first, my top five obsessions in no particular order and not including Orthodox Christianity, which is my Faith, not an "obsession":

1. Food. I've been doing lots of Weston A. Price foundation type of reading lately, and trying to get healthier with the food our family consumes. Nourishing Traditions, GAPS diet for B, all that sort of thing. Have to get back to reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, even though it's preaching to this choir and I'm already convinced. Also in this category: I recently watched Food, Inc. That movie will give you the shudders if you aren't already familiar with the food industry. A good introduction to that topic.

2. History. I love history. I'm currently reading three, count them...THREE different History …

So Tired I could Cry

5:40 pm. stardate 8262009. Fatigue. Computer...make dinner. No? Computer not responding. Big...shuddering...sigh.

Please tell me I'm not the only person who gets so tired at this time of day? At about 2:30 or 3 pm each day I get bone crunchingly (yes, that's a word. Because I said so) tired, and just want to lie in bed and read. But instead, I do things like take people to the doctor, drive my car, help people paint models of the planets and the sun, do laundry and catch up on e-mail.

Oh, and cook dinner. Still have to do that.

now. I go. Getting off the computer to go make a yucky dinner that no one( read: E and maybe A) will want to eat.

All I want to do is climb into a big plate of spaghetti, and some chocolate. But I don't do that. Oh no.

Did I mention that I'm so tired I could cry?

The Week of Too Many Appointments

Yesterday was two appointments, one of which took all afternoon. One of the kids for one, another for the other. M's psych testing for her Autism diagnosis done all in one afternoon, though, so that is good.

Today: all four kids to the dentist (two and a half hours, not including driving time) and B has an appointment with one of her doctors.

Tomorrow: Me and Wes to the dentist, Me and all four kids to the chiropractor.

Friday: Piano Lesson for E, and Milk pickup.

It's only Wednesday, and I'm already exhausted. But I'd best get off here, get my shoes on, so I can take B to her next appointment.

Wish I could just go meander at the zoo for a while.


The Bible in the Divine Liturgy

Here's a really neat link. Someone went all through the Liturgy of St. John Chrisostom and worked up the scriputre references to all of it.

Be blessed!

First Week of School Report

School went really really well this week. It was so smooth. After our first day set-up kerfluffle, where I passed out composition books, we labeled them, introduced the kids to their textbooks...some new, some old, and did some lessons, it was smooth sailing from then on.


Like we've all done this before. Because we have.

Highlights include:

-A very positive reception by all of us of our new American History Curriculum: All American History.

-M. being practically giddy over the fact that she's actually learning Algebra now. And that it's not has difficult as she'd feared it would be.

-A fun trip down to waterfront park just to get some air on Wednesday afternoon.

-Hearing various kids practicing their music.

-E. submitting a very nicely written science report.

-Seeing how each kid's work is better, more accurate, more mature than it was last year at this time. Better writing, better drawings, all of it.

-Purchasing a model of the solar system to p…

Home School Advice from Someone Who's not New at it Anymore

I"m staring my fourth year in a row of HSing. Here's what I have learned so far:

-You will get really busy leading up to Christmas and it will be very hard to concentrate on School work...

-And you might feel rather burned out in January/February.

-I've learned it's OK to scrap a curriculum half way through the year if it makes everyone cry. Even if it's an expensive curriculum.

-I've learned that kids learn amazing things just from reading good books and writing narrations. ...

-And no matter how many times you panic, if the kids are reading, they are learning.

-If they are helping you in the kitchen, they are learning,

-if they are living life along side you they are learning.

-Exploring, being creative, being themselves=learning.

And that's how you get your 180 days out of 365 days. ;-)


Of course I have to have more than one book going at once. Still working on the history book, have been neglecting the book about the Copernican Revolution (but will get back to it when my current history read is done) but right now I'm also really enjoying reading Jane Eyre.

Why, why, why???? did no one force me to read this wonderful book before now? I love the style in which it is written. I also like the slight creepy/gothic factors on the plot line. I'll admit that what got me started on it was the fact that Wes and I have been watching the BBC miniseries over Netflix streaming at night (finished it last night), and that got me wanting to read the book.

I think the next novel I will seek out will be Middlemarch. And then I think I might give House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne a go. Who knows? Of course, one of my students is going to be reading The Scarlet Letter this year, and I was never forced to read that in High School, either, so I'd best…

Out of Shape...Again.

Somehow I never exercise as much during the summer as I think I will before summer happens, or as much as I ought to. I think it is because of the brain-and-body-melting heat. I am so grateful for Air Conditioning. Yes, I am! Too bad that melting heat doesn't be useful and melt of some extra pounds, bwa ha.

So, now that school is back in session, and we are having a wonderful first week of cracking open crinkly new textbooks and reveling in the speed of our new pencil sharpener, I've decided I need to walk the thirty yard distance over to the apartment complex exercise room and walk on the treadmill. Yes that's right. I use heat as an excuse when all summer long there's a nice air conditioned exercise room sitting there, thirty yards from my door. Really.

Just thirty minutes. On a treadmill. Which forces me to walk a bit faster and at least at a consistent rate, than I would out on the hot baking sidewalk. Thirty minutes a day. A nice routine, wouldn't …

Health Care Reform Needs to Start with a Farm Bill

If you have not watched the movie Food, Inc. please make plans to do so. While it did not present any information I personally had not already been exposed to, it really did drive home how skewed and broken the conventional food systems are are in this country.

You see, the problem with the food system the way it is, is that it is exploitative, not only on the animals that suffer in feed lots, but also of the farmers who are sqeezed and exploited by agri-gaints, and the workers in places like meat packing plants.

Our conventional food system keeps people sick. Sorta sick. Well enough to go to work, to earn money to buy pharmaceuticals.

Seriously, how many people are on some sort of chronic pharmaceutical product for a chronic condition? Too many of us. Way too many. And much of it is because of the Farm Bills in this country that subsidize corn and soy, causing Monsanto to get rich, and causing the "little guy" farmer to get squeezed. Causing corn to be so cheap in…

Fun Rambling Family Time at the Zoo

Today was so special. We went to liturgy for the Dormitian of the Theotokos this morning, and came home to a large leg of lamb that Wes had adorned with garlic cloves and put into the oven.

The meat was sooooo good! Heirloom tomato, squash from the farmer's market on the side.

Then we went to the zoo. It was so much fun for the whole family to do something fun together.

The kids and Wes paid for tickets to climb on a ropes course they have there, while I happily sat there and watched. Too high up for me. Besides, they don't let you on there if you have a bad back.

The best thing about the zoo is that each time you go, the animals are doing something slightly different. For instance, today the elephants were not on display. But in the giraffe house, we got to watch a small snake who had just been given a dead mouse by the zoo keeper open up his jaws and start to work on swallowing that thing. A snake swallowing a mouse is more like a snake crawling around the mouse u…

The Dormitian of the Mother of God

O thou most Holy Virgin, who knew not wedlock, the heavens rejoice in thy glorious falling asleep, the hosts of angels are glad, and the whole earth crieth out in joy, singing to thee the funeral song, O Mother of the Lord of all, thou who hast delivered human kind from its ancestral condemnation.

--Orthros of the Feast, Tone 4

A few icons that I had on my computer, to honor the Theotokos today.

O thou most Holy Virgin, who knew not wedlock, the heavens rejoice in thy glorious falling asleep, the hosts of angels are glad, and the whole earth crieth out in joy, singing to thee the funeral song, O Mother of the Lord of all, thou who hast delivered human kind from its ancestral condemnation.

--Orthros of the Feast, Tone 4

Kids Say the Funniest Things

This from Eric:

Eric: "Mom, you know how on cartoons, going faster than light is always depicted as, like, a swirl of colors? Well, I think I should be all be all black, because you are outrunning the light. If you turn a flashlight on while you are going at light speed, it's like dropping pennies behind you while you are skydiving."

Me: "How's that?"

Eric: "Oh, because the maximum airspeed velocity of a penny is much slower than that of a human."

Me: "...ah."

New Autism Stats: 1 in 100

Lesson Plans, the Jesus Prayer, and being Domestic

Today I started typing out weekly lesson plans and got two of the kids' lesson plans done. Including deciding what literature selections they have to read this year.

This give me a cozy, excited "back to school" feeling. The kids are bored. It's time to start school. Too many computer games, and it's too hot to play outside.

We also went to the library.

I've been reading a really good book since yesterday: The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios by Dionysior Farasiotis. Very very good book. Give me a burning desire to pray more. Christians (me) really should be careful to read good literature and edifying spiritual things.

And now I'm tired. I'm also about to go convert my Fast Meals from a Slow Kitchen into a GAPS diet blog if I can. We've had Bethany on the GAPS diet for a few weeks now, and I decided I need to be on the GAPS diet, too.

So, that's me.

Why We Decided to Homeschool

Marigold-the-inattentive (in her words, not mine) asks what made us decide to homeschool. I figured answering it is worthy of it's own post. So here bullet points:

--because we can.

--because we wanted to. I'd always thought the idea of home schooling was nice.

--so that I have time to do morning prayers with my kids.

--so that I have time to read the Scriptures to my kids when I'm not too tired to think.

--because I want to have more influence on them than I would if I did not homeschool. In other words, I want to very actively raise them as Orthodox Christians.

--so that there's no conflict with taking my kids to mid-week liturgy for the feasts of the Church.

--because I want my children to remain chaste and modest and shocked by evil as long as possible in their lives.

--to keep them innocent.

--so that I and my husband are the ones teaching them about sex. (And yes, they have been informed of the facts of life.)

--so that nasty kids won't torture them…

Natural Moms Podcast #124

My Homeschool

Well, this afternoon I get to stay home and wait for the UPS truck to deliver some textbooks. He/She left a note on my door yesterday that the delivery would be this afternoon. I, of course, am eagerly awaiting our shipment. It will be the first of several.

So, I thought it would be nice to share with my blog readers my curriculum choices, and write a bit about homeschooling.

My kids are in grades 10, 8, 6 and 5, so the hard part of teaching them to read and so forth is far, far behind me. All the kids are good students and I don't have to fight with them to get their school work done. This makes my life easier, because who has time for fighting? I'm usually way too busy doing other things around the house while they are busy doing schoolwork, so I also don't want to "teach" them, for the most part. I like independent learning. I do keep an eye on them, answer questions and keep everyone on track.

Last year, our school day started at 9 am with morning …

Breastfeeding Doll Hoo-Ha...or...the LAMEST Article, Ever!

This from Fox News:

Controversial Doll Lets Little Girls Pretend to Breast-Feed

Wednesday, August 05, 2009
By Jessica Doyle

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Bebe Gloton means "gluttonous baby." She comes with a special halter top for young girls to wear as they pretend to breast-feed.

A controversial new doll is leaving some parents wishing for the good old Cabbage Patch days.

A Spanish toymaker known as Berjuan has developed a breast-feeding doll that comes with a special halter top its young "mothers" wear as they pretend to breast-feed their "babies." The halter top has daisies that cover the little girls’ nipples and come undone just as easily as the flaps of a nursing bra would.

The doll — called Bebe Gloton, which translates as “gluttonous baby” — makes sucking noises as it "feeds."

Click here to see Bebe Gloton on 'FOX & Friends.'

Like many other dolls, Bebe Gloton can cry, signaling she wants more milk.

Although many health care providers pro…

Quote du Jour

Be the kind of woman that, when you get up in the morning the devil says "Oh crap, she's up."

found at Ironic Catholic

Why am I on the Internet...

...when I could be spending time with the Lord?



....and how about you?

About Prayer

"But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly." --Matthew 6:6

In my parent's home there is this verse on a plaque somewhere. I remember reading the NIV version of it so often that I had it memorized. This verse is one of the reasons I don't blog very often about prayer.

But tonight I'm going to blog about prayer because it's an area where I've fallen flat on my face. For some reason, very likely because I'm a rather carnal person and God is stripping away all my delusions because I asked him to, after Pascha my prayer rule really fizzled out.

I'm talking FIZZLE fizzled. And then when the school year ended, I did not have that routine of starting our school day with morning prayers to keep me going, and wham, there I've been, on my face in this area all summer long.

Because pride goes before the fall and …

She Reads History Books for Fun on a Saturday Night

Last night Wes and I browsed Books-A-Million in search of a gift for our daughter who is turning ten next week. I always tend to gravitate towards the history section whenever I'm in a bookstore, and yesterday was no exception. I'd picked up a book about the history of the World by some renowned British scholar last time I'd been in a bookstore, and much to my chagrin now, did not buy it. I wish I had, as I can't for the life of me remember the title, author or publisher. I was one of those magnum opus types of books, although it may have been published by Penguin.

But in the process of browsing the history section searching for another copy of that lost book, I found one called The Great Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World 1788-1800.

Perfect. Just perfect. It's the era of the birth of the American Republic from a world history perspective. American History and World History rolled all in one.

Having learned my lesson, I bought the book.�…