Moab UT

Moab UT

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The ladies after five

We went to a Christmas party last night.  When I told them we had a party at six, they immediately took the opportunity to put a little extra flair.  

I love how Katherine's scarf is tucked in to a ribbon on her belt.  Thea's scarf flowed down her back, coupled with a diamond number around her neck that my mom got her for Christmas.  

Zoe took the practical route and just put a church head scarf on.

You know it's time for Christmas detox when:

You ask your three year old what we should have for lunch and she says:  "How bout goldfish and pretzels!"

"You put steamed vegetables on the table and your children say:  "But it's Christmas!"

Your children wake up and assume that it's OK to have cookies for breakfast.

Hope your having a glorious feast of the birth of our Saviour!  Clearly my children are.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Signing off for now!

I won't have time to blog between now and Nativity, so I'll wish you and your family a blessed and joyous feast of the Nativity of our Lord!

All of creation rejoiceth in thee, O Full of Grace, the assembly of angels and the race of men.  O Sanctified Temple and spiritual Paradise, the glory of virgins, of whom God was incarnate and became a child-our God before the ages.  He made thy body into a throne, and thy womb He made more spacious than the heavens.  All of creation rejoiceth in Thee, O Full of Grace.  Glory to thee!  ~ Hymn to the Theotokos

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Three doctors, three opinions

So, a certain three year old doctor told me tonight, as I was playing a heated game of Rat-a-tat-cat, that I didn't look so good and that she thought a check up was in order.  Before I knew it, I was laying on the couch with a seven yr. old, a five yr. old and a three yr. old all giving three different opinions about what should be done.

Zoe:  "I fink she's sick."
Katherine:  "We need to cut her open."
Thea:  "We just need to kiss her and she will wake up."

Zoe:  "Let's take her temperature."
Katherine:  "Let's cut her open."
Thea:  "Let's kiss her."

Zoe:  "Hold still mommy and I'll listen to your heart."
Katherine:  "I'm telling you she needs to be cut open."
Thea:  "She just needs to be loved."

The moral of the story is to always get a second opinion and maybe even a third.


Is that you?  

The feast draws nigh!

A few more days and we will be celebrating the feast of Nativity!  

I am ready.  The groceries are bought, the cards and gifts are wrapped and mailed.  

We decorated the tree on Sunday evening.  The girls are beside themselves with joy.  

Tomorrow we'll decorate the church and our home.  We will start baking sweets after we decorate the church.  Thursday we'll have several services and end the day with Holy Supper with our parishioners.  Friday morning we'll wake up, have liturgy and go to my mom and dad's for the day with my brothers and their families.  This is a precious time.  

I thank God for all that He has given to our family.  Living at the rectory, we see a steady stream of people who are hungry, sick, alone, confused, strung out, sad, the list goes on and on.  I feel so blessed to be able to put food on our table three times a day.  I feel blessed to have clean clothes and a washer an dryer in my home.  I feel blessed to have a warm home and a bed, a hot shower, our health, two cars!  I pray I never forget to give thanks for all that God has given to us.  I pray I never forget to ask forgiveness for forgetting to give thanks!

May you all have a glorious week leading up to the feast of the Nativity of our Lord.  May we all remember to give thanks for the great goodness and wealth God has given us.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Memory Eternal!

Remember, O Lord, the soul of thy departed servant, Vladyka Job, that has fallen asleep in the hope of resurrection and life eternal, and grant him eternal memory!

You get what you get,

and you don't throw a fit.  Especially if you've waited until the 11th hour to take Nativity pictures of your children.  

Can someone tell me why I can take hundreds of pictures of my children that are so great, except when I really need a picture to send out with Christmas cards that are already really late?  

I tried to take some photos of the girls outside the other day and Zoe, being a true Texan, could only take a few minutes of posing in the free-sing (her word-not mine) 60 degree weather.  (There are a couple of drawbacks to being a Texan, not many, but a few.)

We had another photo shoot today, this time indoors.  I think I got a few good ones-thankfully.  
Hope your having a lovely week in preparation for the feast.  Mine just got lovelier!  :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Slowing down

It's time for us to wind down with homeschooling and start to focus on what lies ahead in the next few weeks.  The girls are antsy and know that a break from school is close at hand.  The feast of St. Nicholas always seems to give them the heads up that we'll be slowing down until after the first of the year.  

Katherine has finished up a math workbook, so we'll not start a new one until after the first of the year.   From now until after our break we will focus on reading and spirituality.  These two areas we try to never lay aside.  

We will decide on crafts to make for our loved ones and start working on those this week.  We'll try to focus more intently on the Lord over the next few weeks-and what His birth means for us.  We'll meditate on our blessings, those blessings we love and those that have challenged us, and we'll give thanks for them all.  We'll try to be quiet and not get caught up in the insanity of the world at this time.  

A blessed preparation for the coming of our Lord to you all!  

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A time to pray

Last Monday morning we got up early and headed down to Holy Archangels Monastery in Kendalia.  It is an Athonite Greek Monastery hidden in the Texas Hill Country.  As I've mentioned many times before, I love monasteries and wish that everyone could have the opportunity to cultivate and be a part of a monastery on a regular basis.  I am  blessed time and time again by the quiet, the conversations, the wisdom of the elders and the opportunity to pray unceasingly.  

The brothers at Holy Archangels are so precious.  They have truly committed themselves to the monastic life and in going there one cannot help but feel the Holy Spirit.  The fruit of the labor of the brothers is clear.  

We try not to bother the brothers in any way, but they always have something new to show us and spend time talking with us and making sure we feel cared for.  

One of the brothers took us up to the bell tower and gave us a course on the different kinds of bells and the purpose of each one.  He even let Katherine ring the bells.  

Thea became very preoccupied with the graves this visit.  She wanted to take several walks with Papa to the cemetery to visit the graves.  She took countless pictures and talked and talked about those people who have fallen asleep in the Lord.  Fr. Justin was happy to oblige her and talk about prayers for the departed.  My girls have been to many funerals and so it was good to spend time at the cemetery and talk about the need to continue to pray for those who have fallen asleep.  Thea took the picture of the cross on the grave in this post.

The services at the monstery are beautiful.  I remember the first time we went as a family, I was worried that I would be distracted with the services in greek since I don't speak the language.  I also thought the girls would be bored since they couldn't understand the services.  But the services are so beautiful and holy that no one ever even mentions that we don't understand what is being said.  In fact, I never feel like I don't understand what is being said.  I always feel completely part of the service.  We all just listen and pray silently. 

Here are a few pics of our stay.  May the Lord grant us a visit again soon!