Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sick


Various people in our family have been sick these past couple of weeks. Last week it was M and this week, E is vomiting and has the Big D. I'm running a fever, and B is feeling crummy.

Pray for us.

It looks like we are all going to stay in for another weekend...missing a campout at a Civil War reenactment that we'd planned to attend, missing a wedding we'd hoped to go to, and missing Church..again. Early this week I'd wanted to take the kids and myself to Divine Liturgy for the Protection of the Theotokos tomorrow morning, but that ain't happening.

The big blessing is, I was able to get the grocery shopping done before falling ill this afternoon, so at least our pantry is stocked up. I think tomorrow I'm going to bow to the fact that many of us are sick and make a large vat of chicken soup...and eat it. Even if it IS Friday.

But though all the poopy laundry and all the misery, at least it's possible to have a peaceful heart. I've been so blessed this week with several phone calls from friends. This is a direct answer to prayer. Probably three or four months ago, I was feeling very much in need of some closer friends, and the Lord is providing them.

For some reason my feverish self can't sleep, but since I'm sick I"m not going to set an alarm tomorrow morning. yay!

Image borrowed from here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Just Pondering...

I've complained before about how my husband's company jacks up the price of the monthly health insurance premium by a hundred bucks a month if one does not participate in the twice yearly health screening. Of course for a savings of twelve hundred dollars I'll go get some blood drawn and my body fat measured, BMI scored, blood pressure measured...the indignity of it being that it's done in a public place.

Well, apparently next year the company is bending over backwards to pay for smoking cessation programs for the employees who smoke. Good for them. And for those who still choose to smoke...there's that extra hundred dollars a month they get to pay. Hmmmm, how do I feel about that?

Well, they are a private company and can do what they will w/ their health care plan. Employees and family members get to decide how to respond to it. It feels a wee bit "big brotherish" but that's the world we live in these days.

And it does make me wonder...will they be coming after us "fatties" next?????? If they pay for me to go to Weight Watchers (or something like it), and make participation and progress in a weight loss program dependent on whether they pay the insurance premium or not, WHAT would I do??????? It's all theoretical at this point, heh. I'm just sniffing out which way the wind blows.

Health Stuff

Well, I'm about five days into letting go of coffee and diet sodas. Funny, but suddenly this blog is misnamed. I NEVER thought I'd become a non-coffee drinker. It's just that I keep reading, over and over again, in place after place, about a connection between coffee drinking and adrenal fatigue. And coffee drinking and that it leaches minerals form one's bones. The same for diet sodas, not to mention the bad-for-me aspects of aspartame.

So, I'm working on changing a huge major habit in my life. It doesn't hurt that my old coffee maker broke, so I bought small Hamilton Beach number, and I hate it. I can't pour from the caraffee w/ o/ spilling it. I try, but I can't. I guess I'm as of yet still incapable of a slow, patient pour. At any rate, I think I'm going to get rid of it and just not have a coffee maker in the house. Will need to find a friend upon whom to bequeath my stash. Must cancel Gevalia subscription that I just signed up for. He he.

Well, in other news, my whole family's been feeling rather under-the-weather this past week. I was hoping we'd be better by the weekend, but Saturday night had me up a few times w/ one of the kids helping to make decisions about medicine and such and being informed that she's just thrown up again, etc. Yesterday had me sleeping off and on, and running a low grade fever. Everyone else seems to be getting better, but not really. People are still rushing to the bathroom etc. No one at our house went to Church yesterday or Saturday. Wes tried taking the kids to Church on Saturday evening, but E was not feeling well, and then he decided it would be a good idea to walk w/ his eyes closed and he banged into a brochure stand and had a fat lip from it. Serves the silly boy right, I say! Wes gave up at that point and everyone came home.

I'm ready to be feeling good again, but I'm not quite there yet, I'm afraid. It's so difficult to tell what's fibro and what's a bug. The difference is very very subtle. At least I'm going to get up here in a minute and pretend like I'm better, and see what happens with my day.

So, since I'm giving up coffee, should I rename my blog or not?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Undone

For the past several weeks I've been attempting to eat down what is in the freezer in anticipation of defrosting the narshty thang, and getting it cleaned up. I have a full sized upright freezer (love it) that is almost as big as the refridgerator. Bigger, perhaps, if one does not count the small freezer that is on top of the fridge. So, I like buying frozen foods.

We've eaten some but not all of the ginormous Costco bags of veggies, we've taken a stab and the frozen fruit... and finished off one variety of fish sticks. But tehre's just no getting to the bottom of it.

So today was chicken day from the farmer and I picked up my four pre-ordered freshly butchered pastured chickens today when I went to get my milk.

And I decided that I'd just cram as much stuff into the cooler as I could, and cram the rest into the small freezer, and defrost the big freezer today. So there it goes. I have the space heater up on a chair blowing warm air in there, a big bowl to catch the melt and towels on the floor to dam the runoff. Oh joy!

But at least it's getting done.

The weather is nice and cool outside today and I want, want, want, to drag the kids out of doors. Perhaps to the zoo. That will happen if and only if Bethany's appointment with the oral surgeon place doesn't take too long. She needs her wisdom teeth out and today is the consultation. It's already September is it not? I'm wondering if I can schedule the oral surgery for January, when we have more medical money. Hmmm...there's a thought. I'm gonna try and see if they'll let me push it out that far.

It seems like life has been far too busy to blog much lately and even far too busy to think deep thoughts. Indeed. I'm living in mama-land with about 60% of the energy I need (mental, physical, spiritual) to actually make it all work. I can list all day long the things I do get done and the pile of undone stuff still seems to grow.

I hope I can ferret out the important from the necessary, and do those things, and live well and with prayer.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cherubim Hymn



We use this melody for the cherubic hymn quite frequently at St. Michael's.

"We, who mystically represent the Cherubim, and chant the thrice-holy hymn to the Life-giving Trinity, Let us lay aside the cares of life that we may receive the King of all, Who comes invisibly escorted by the Divine Hosts."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Tweeny Bopper Shopping Trip

The Tweeny bopper literally outgrew all her clothes with the near exception of a pair of shorts, a skirt and a few tank tops overnight. So, today was shopping day.

Thrift Store:

1 hot pink knitted beret
1 cute brown top
1 cute blue print flowy top
1 light blue sweater
1 adorable top, black w/ white dots
1 striped long sleeved t-shirt
pair of khaki pants
pair of jeans w/ applique hearts
...all for $15.75

Target:

3 pairs of jeans
1 hot pink tunic top w/ white accent and a wee bit of bling around neckline
...$thirtysomething.

Walmart:

2 pairs of jeans for $2.00 each on clearance (score!)
2 OP t-shirts, one dollar each to sleep in (big ugly OP logo on the front, but they are for sleeping and the price was right)
3-pack of belts, in hot pink, black and silver
card of tweeny looking earrings
1 pajama set
1 pair of black dress shoes, (women's size 7!!!)
Less than fifty dollars...

So the entire shopping trip was less than a hundred bucks!

No fighting and a VERY happy mom and daughter: Priceless.

Teen Fashion

One of my kids has recently out grown practically all her clothes. Fortunately we home school, so that means she can hang in her pajamas all day until her overly busy mom has a chance to take her clothing shopping. Hopefully, that will be this afternoon.

I'm a cheapskate. My kids hardly even know the mall exists, which has been just fine for my two olders, whom I've quite successfully inculucated with my cynical brand of anti-materialism. They like shopping thrift stores and have added their own environmentally conscious self righteous aspie-teen veneer to the process. All is well.

Now my youngest. She also doesn't know about that mall, and I plan on keeping it that way, but she's definitely developing in the more typical pre-teen directions. The other day she was standing in the bathroom, facing the door and I asked her what on earth she was up to. "I'm trying to see if it's possible to stand in here for one minute without looking in the mirror, mom....it's IMPOSSIBLE!!!!!"

Ah, yes.

And so it has begun.

So, in preparation for taking my daughter shopping, I've been cruising some teen fashion websites, just to see what is what. Ok, so she's 11, but it seems like the only difference between "teen" and "pre-teen" is the size label. Really. I'm just as strict at any age, so let the mom-brainwashing continue. Bwahahahaha.

Now, just so you know where I'm coming from: If it were up to me, girls up to the age of fifteen or so would wear loose jumpers with tiny pastel print flowers on them, that hit half way between knee and floor lenfth. Har har har. With demure blouses or t-shirts underneath.

But don't worry. None of my kids actually dress like that. It's just a dark glimpse of my own skewed fashion sense. Neither do I force them to wear coulottes instead of shorts. But I digress. Back to the topic at hand: teen fashion.

I have been looking around to see what I'm up against. Now I begin to understand why some of the young ladies I've seen here and there are dressed as they are. I can only imagine the battles at home their poor mothers and fathers have fought. Not much good is available.

What currently are being sold as dresses, they are SHIRTS!!!! so why does the label say they are dresses???? And is the fashion industry TRYING to make a nation of anorexics with those "skinny jeans"? They might as well call them what they are: Leggings. Might look cute under some of those dresses that are so short they should be called shirts.

Everything is trashy and trampy and ugly. I know. Big yawn. It's all been said before.

Seems like layering and vests and jackets and those ever present neck scarves (which I don't disapprove of at all) are universally popular. Those things are fine.

It's the tight jeans, the too short skirts and dresses and the ugly, ugly print t-shirts and the fabric/colors of the current trends that give me 80's-flash-back-hives...or is that heaves?

Perhaps, what this means is the the lose flowing floral print dresses of the 1990's will be back in style soon? I think I never quite left that decade. Sigh.

It will be interesting to see how the day goes. Fortunately, as long as I resepct her opinion and don't force my taste down her throat, my dd has thus far shown herself to be compliant with modesty standards. And she doesn't know what Aeropostale is yet, thank goodness.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Experimenting with Sugar Free Buttercream


Well, I sort of made myself sick on all the cakes I ate last month. Sick as in, some...ahem...lots of weight gain. So I wondered if this hobby could be continued in a sugar free fashion. Today I whipped up some Sugar Free Buttercream Frosting, using Splenda (my kids are in the background telling all about how bad Splenda is for us...grant it, they are right no doubt and I've just send the hubby out the door to buy a bag of Stevia...yes I know.

But I had some time on my hands this morning (yay, labor day!) and decided to give sugar free baking a try. I don't think I've ever made anything sugar free without also doing low carb, so this was new.

anyways, I found this recipe here. The only thing I modified is that I added twice as much splenda as it called for, and half again as much crisco. And then I just added water instead of milk, and kept adding one tablespoon at a time until it was the consistency I wanted. I still think it was a bit too dry, as my drop flowers were breaking.

Nothing fancy, just experimenting. Next time I'll keep adding more water. It was too dry to do a rose, and so I stuck with these drop flowers on top of the cup cakes. Yeah, just what I need, eh?

What? We are Skipping Sunday School!!!???!!!


Wow, I have not been blogging very much lately. It's because I've been so busy. Crazy busy. I hate the amount of stuff there is to do. I've decided to step back from choir for a while in order to lighten my load a little bit. That will take a bit, a teensy bit, of the load off for a while.

Sunday was so nice, sitting with the family. We got there early and sat in the second pew and I loved it up there. The iconostasis is so beautiful to look at, and it was nice to be able to see and hear the liturgy so well...not that sound is ever a problem, but right up front, wow! And, it was a very non-distracting spot for the kids. Back ground noise is an issue for some in our family, so people shuffling, whispering, active kids nearby, etc. can be extra distressing.

Hmmmm, what else is going on...ah yes. We've made the potentially controversial and radical decision to NOT do Sunday School this year. Except for Maia...she wants to do Sunday School...so someone will take her and go to Matins. Here's our thinking: At least half our kids strongly dislike Sunday School, to the point of being a gibbering mess of tears or jerking movements after that hour and unable to deal with Divine Liturgy. Second, Sunday School has not yielded ANY friendships for my kids in the almost two years we've been here. Zero. Zip. Nada. Third, my kids claim to already know the stuff that gets taught in SS. I don't want my Aspie kids being basically fried by the time liturgy is starting.

I want my kids to love Church. I want them to love the Divine Liturgy as a way to worship God. And in our case, Sunday School is distracting from that, and detracting from that. So, out it goes. I'm not saying this to say anything bad at all about the program here. It just hasn't been a good fit our our family, despite the wonderful teachers. The kids are less than friendly (that just means they are normal/typical kids who fear that Aspieishness/extreme nerdiness is a communicable disease), with the exception of a few more mature high schoolers (recent graduates actually) who have been nice to my teens.

So, I'd love to hear opinions and feedback...especially from Orthodox Christians. Sunday School, after all, is a recent and an American invention...and has not historically been a part of the building of children's faith. Does it add, or distract? And what should a parent do at home to intentionally shoulder this responsibility? (I have some ideas there...perhaps the topic of future blog posts?)

And while we are on the topic of Sunday School...here's more food for thought at Adventures of an Orthodox Mom. You can weigh in on that discussion over there.

And here's a nice link to a good resource: Making God Real in the Orthodox Christian Home.