Saturday, April 29, 2006

Another cutie

I just don't want to forget how my three year old always asks for a "bamama" in the morning. Just now he said, "Knock, knock". me: "who's there". he: "bamama". me: "bamama who?" he: "bamama YOU!", followed by peals of laughter and delight. *cute*

I decided to FreshenThings Up

I took a page from Alexa's book, and messed around with my template, and like the sleek new look. I also added a few more links. I added Luminous Miseries, which holds the record for being on my blogroll the least amount of time, because when I checked the link to see if it worked, I saw Owen had closed it down. He has replaced it with these new
blogs, and I highly recommed checking them out.

I was going to delete a few links, as they are inactive, but decided to just put them at the bottom of the list with a # next to them. Who knows, they might come back.

Do you ever remove people from your blog roll? If so, why? I have been dropped, and it makes me feel as if I have done something wrong. Maybe if there are reasons that are purely practical, I won't take it so personally.

Anyway, hope you enjoy the new look. I am open to feedback about it. LMK. And enjoy meeting Owen if you haven't already.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Pure Evil

Garlic Mustard

This has been the bane of my existance this spring. When I moved to crazyacres 5 years ago, I marveled at the spring wildflowers in the woods and in my "lawn" (mowed weeds). I noticed this little flower was here and there, and thought, "Oh, how sweet!".

Now, this monster demon-spawn straight from hell weed has invaded my entire yard, despite my effort to pull them, burn them, weed-wack them, etc, you get the point. If you didn't take time to read the link, these monster demon-spawn straight from hell weeds produce 250,000 seeds a year, per plant. They live for 2 years, they cannot be killed, the demon-spawn seeds lie dormant in the ground for 5 years, the root system changes the chemicals in the ground to prevent other plants from growing there. If you pull the weed when it is flowering and leave it on the ground, it will still mature and go to seed. You can't burn the pulled weeds, as the seeds will float out in the air and spread even further. You have to put the pulled weeds in a closed container and wait for it to compost.

As I have spent day after day after day, year after year, fighting this evil &%$#@*, I keep thinking of virtue and vice. How easy it is for vice to spread and choke out virtue, and how difficult it is to root out vice. How I have to prevent any further spread of the weed, but cannot eradicate it myself. It truly is impossible to rid my property of this weed. IMPOSSIBLE. I need a "messiah", and savior, someone to do a job that is impossible for me.

This led me to contemplate my frustration in attempting to eradicate this weed. This must be what it was like pre-Jesus. The struggle, the work, the knowing that it was impossible to weed out the sin that had entered the world.

So, every day I keep pulling the &%$#* garlic mustard, feeling grateful that the salvation of my soul is not dependent on my labors.

Monday, April 24, 2006

A Day of Grace

Christ is Risen!

What a glorious day! Yesterday we had our large family Easter party, with 30 children and all my immediate family. The weather was perfect, the children were giddy with joy, and the adults were glorying in the blessing of our children, our Redeemer, and our Faith. We had an egg hunt, lots of food, and so much laughter, I feel full for a long time.

By far, my favorite food was the Trader Joe's cheese, aged chedder with carmalized onions, and the Yellow Tail Shiraz. I made a roasted veggie dish, and a flourless chocolate cake that were to die for. The ham was delicious, the fruit my dad brought was bountiful, and the prociutto (sp?) was delicious with the goat cheese and cantalope.

Today was wonderful, coming off the high of the party. The weather again was glorious, I didn't have to cook because of all the left overs, and the house came together again rather quickly.

I worked on an icon today, The Good Shepard. What peace! What joy to spend my free time today working on a blessed image of my Lord and Saviour. He was definately with me today, I could just feel it.

My husband was flying out of town today to visit his brother, but alas! it wasn't to be. He called me midday, saying that on the way there, the plane had to land in Denver as one of the engines BLEW UP!! and they had to land. He was calm as a cucumber, and is now home, safe and sound. But really, my heart was in my mouth thinking of it. I try no to worry when he travels, and this morning when he left, I was unusually calm. Then, just a few hours later, I hear of this incident, and realize how close we came to disaster. Thank you dear Lord, for preserving my life as it is now!

Today, my three year old son was telling me of a "true story" where he and my seven year old son were on a mission, and they encountered a green dinosaur. My seven year old stabbed the dinosaur just as the large, curling teeth were closing on my three year old. Then, the two boys were on the way home, and a BLUE dinosaur attacked them. This time, both boys used their swords (sticks) to slay the evil beast. They, too, are now tucked in bed, safe and sound. I asked him if this was a dream, and he said, No, this was a real mission they were on. He said his brother was nice to him to kill that dinosaur just in time.

So there you have it, a grace filled day, full of love, protection, and good left-overs. Does it get any better than this?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Grant it, O Lord!

Denise is "due any day" with number eight, and I would like to ask for prayers for a smooth, soon, and transcendant birth (when we ask, we might as well as big, eh?). She has a lovely post up now about waiting.

With one push!

(From our lips to God's ear)

Thanks, dear readers!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Christ is Risen!

Truly He is Risen!

Pascha Greeting to you all! I am still recovering from our Lovely Easter, both the Liturgy and the meals afterward. This week is known as "Bright Week" in the East, and there is absolutely no fasting, not even on Friday. We were planning a big steak dinner, just to stick death in the eye once again, but now I think we will go with spicy Italian Sausage, creamy pasta salad, and pinapple upside down cake with vanilla sauce (heavy whipping cream, sugar and vanilla - you could just drink it). After the Eastern Lent, it is actually phycially difficult to eat meat and dairy in the quantity my brain says would be good. My stomach begs to differ, and so we are trying to ease into real food. Makes me realize how little food I actually " need " and how feasting reserved for feast times really is plenty.

In other news, my lap top bit the dust. I am using my husband's computer, and frantically trying to save my info before it is gone forever. That laptop (Sony VIAO) was a pain from day one. Either it was a lemon, or that particular computer is no good, but can't say I am sad to see it go.

My children continue to expand my heart in so many ways. I am contstantly overwhelmed with the magnitude of their existance, their eternal souls, their unique individuality and the secret desires of their hearts. I feel ill-equipt to be their guide during these very important years, and yet that is my life now. I guess I can either live in fear of messing it all up, or just love them to the best of my abilities, and not be afraid to do the hard things necessary to see this through.

Yesterday my newly 6 year old daughter ran to me, squealing with delight. "Mommy! Mommy! I have a loose tooth!" As the fifth child in the family, she has seen many go before her in this rite of passage, and has looked forward to this day with great anticipation. It always seemed a long way off to me. And now here it is. My fifth child is loosing her baby teeth. Only two more children to go, and the tooth fairy retires. Again, what a paradox for me. To share the excitement of my children as they pass the milestones of growing up, growing away, and then hold the sadness quietly inside me as I loose them just a little bit more each day. *sigh* Motherhood isn't for sissies, I say. It just isn't.

Friday, April 14, 2006

- All creation was changed by fear when it saw you hanging on the Cross, O Christ; the sun was darkened and the foundations of the earth were shaken;

Great and Holy Friday

Today there is the Matins Service of the 12 Gospels - Into the framework of Matins are inserted 12 readings from all the Gospels relating to the sufffering, death & burial of Jesus. Each reading is followed by antiphons reflecting on His Passion. During the service the Cross is placed in the midst of the church for veneration

John 13: 31 to 18:1
John 18: 1-28 (Arrest of Jesus in the garden of Olives)
Matthew 26: 57-75 (Jesus before the Sanhedrin and Peter disowns Jesus)
John 18:28 to 19: 16 (Jesus before Pilate and Jesus crucified)
Matthew 27: 3-32 (Death of Judas and Jesus before Pilate and the way of the Cross)
Mark 15: 16-32 (Jesus is crowned with thorns and crucified)
Matthew 27: 33-54 (The way of the Cross)
Luke 23: 32-49 (The way of Calvery)
John 19: 25-37 (Jesus' last words and Jesus is pierced)
Mark 15: 43-47 (Burial of Jesus)
John 19: 38-42
Matthew 27: 62-66 (The guards at the tomb)

Here is a prayer, part of the service called the Ikos, that was particularly touching to me:

As she saw her own Lamb being dragged to slaughter Mary, the Ewe-lamb, worn out with grief, followed with other women, crying out, ‘Where are you going, my child? For whose sake are you completing the course so fast? Is there once again another wedding in Cana? And are you hurrying there now to make wine for them from water? Should I go with you, my child, or rather wait for you? Give me a word, O Word; do not pass me by in silence, you who kept me pure, My Son and my God.’

The grief pierces the heart, no?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Wednesday of Great and Holy Week

Today's Gospel is Matthew 26:6-16. The themes of Jesus' betrayal by Judas & his annointing by the woman at Bethany are interwoven in theis evenings service. We also recieve Holy Anointing for physical & spiritual healing and to prepare us for the mysteries at hand.

Great and Holy Thursday

Today is the Commemoration of the Last Supper with Vespers and The Divine Liturgy of St. Basil. Today will also be the blessing of the Pasca(bread) and wine for Easter Sunday.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Great and Holy Week

I'll be posting the Gospel readings from the Presanctified Liturgy this week, known as Great and Holy Week, as well as a short reflection, and that will be about it. It is gorgeous weather, the kiddo's and I are taking Spring break and preparing for Easter. So, a holy and great week to you all, and a Blessed and Glorious Pacha!

Monday of Great and Holy Week

The Gospel reading is Matthew 24:3-35. In the Gospel today Jesus announces the end of the world. We Christians must live in the awareness, that this world is passing, that our true homeland, our true citizenship, is not here but in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Tuesday of Great and Holy Week

The Gospel reading is Matthew 24:36-26:2. These parables of the Wise Virgins and the Talents are understood as parables of judgment; and as such they emphasise the responsibility we have for our lives. God gives us grace: in His love he is always with us, forgiving, strengthening, and prompting us to live according to His will.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Housekeeping details

I have updated my blog buddies list.

There is my brother at In the Eye of the Storm. He is about to move on to the next phase of his life, and I am so pleased for him. He also has a wicked sense of humor, as well as very intense observations about life and people. Check out his photo blog, too.

There is Mimi at Bigger than a Bread Box., who has visited me and left wonderful comments. We share a love for Eastern Christian traditions, as well as family life. I have enjoyed "meeting" her.

There is Suzanne at Sincerely My Thoughts, whom I ran across at Alexa's place. I have found her experience to be refreshing, and her perspective wise.

I think there were more I indtended to add, but I am out of time now. As a rule, I will add commenters if I get to "know" you. Or, if I see comments on others' blogs that intrigue me, I'll check out their blog and take a look around. If you would like to be linked from here, let me know, and I'll get to know you!!

I also, again, have updated my Lenten reflections, as well as added a graphic of The Jesus Prayer. Eric at Square Zero created this gem, and gave me permission to use it. Thankyou Eric!

A few of my blog buddies have signed off. Veronica has taken a pause because she is expecting TWINS and mothering her other two children, as well as the usual exhausting home stuff. Keep her in your prayers, please.

Kate has moved to Louisiana to be with her husband for an indefinate, temporary relocation. She is relegated to library internet, but I am sure she would still appreciate visits, encouragement, and prayers.

Lisa appears to have dropped off the blog world, but she is a busy, lively mom of six, so I haven't given up on her. I look forward to reading what she has to say when she has time again.

So, when I have more time, I will add more people. I have been using other people's blog lists because I am lazy, but will try to be more responsible and add them over here. Jamie just changed her template, and poof, her blog list is gone. Now I have to find these people again.

Alicia has a great blog list that I frequently use. Thanks, Alicia!

Til later, Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Cutie

Three year old son walks over to me, carrying his jacket. It is a sunny but chilly day, and he wants to join the other little kiddos outside. He has already slipped on his boots, and his pant legs are squished up around the top of the boots.

"Mom", he asks, holding out the jacket to me, "can you fix my jacket. It's upside out."