Moab UT

Moab UT

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Say cheese!

"Stay still Mommy and I take you picha!"  This is what Zoe said to me yesterday.  So, we decided that while she was taking my picture, I would take her's.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


So, you know your kids are Orthodox when they are playing a game and you hear the one shout "Axios" and the other two follow with "Axios, Axios, Axios!"

The girls were playing a made up game called "Treasure Hunt" and Zoe found the treasure.  When she discovered it she shouted "Axios" and the older two followed in unison.  

This gave me good belly laugh.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Please, make yourself at home.

A cat's life

So much to do, so little time to do it...


My kids love Starfall.  They don't get to go there and play around very often, but they do love it when I let them.  

Here is a pic of Katherine tutoring Thea and Zoe on vowels.

Morning prayers

This morning I woke up early because of the storms.  I was excited to feel rested (not something I feel every morning) and to be up so early, since this time of the day is not my favorite.  Well, I should say that I do like the mornings, It's just that I always stay up too late to enjoy being up early.

I was thinking I would pray, read for awhile, do some laundry, paint my house (just kidding).  

I had just got my cup of coffee and in walks Little Miss. Sunshine...

So much for a contemplative morning.

We had a nice quiet morning.  We had our toast and coffee, prayed together and she played quietly while I got ready for the day.  

Here is Zoe waiting for me to pray with her.

Good Friends

My god parents came over for dinner last night with their 13 year old, which I very clearly remember being born!  We had a wonderful time of eating, talking, walking, eating more and laughing.  

I am so blessed to have Fr. John and his lovely Matushka as my god parents.  They are an inspiration and and encouragement to keeping fighting the good fight.  

Fr. Justin smoked a brisket, made cole slaw and beans.  I made mac and cheese from scratch (yum!!), and of course Fr. Justin made another Cheese Pascha!!!!!!!!  I probably shouldn't tell you that this is our third one?  We did share one with the parish.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Agape Vespers and Picnic

At 3:00 on Sunday afternoon, following Pascha, we have an Agape Vespers and picnic.   It's always a glorious time of continuing the celebration of the resurrection of our Lord.  Everyone goes home from a long night of services with a feast following to break the 40 day fast (so this means we get in bed around 5:00a.m.), and then returns that afternoon to keep on singing "Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tomb bestowing life!"  We all greet one another with "Christ is Risen!"  "Indeed He is Risen!"  

This year we had a record breaking crowd at our picnic.  We estimate around 200 people showed up to celebrate with us.  

Fr. and the men, along with the help of my girls, roasted a lamb, as they always do, and all the folks brought their favorite dishes.  (Roasting the lamb has become a favorite tradition for my girls.)  After we ate we had an egg hunt for the little one's and a scavenger hunt for the older kids.  So much fun.

Here are a couple of pics of the festivities. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bright Week

This week has been a very nice, slow paced, yet festive week for us.  Fr. Justin is spending as much time with us as possible, as the weeks leading up to Pascha is always very time and labor intensive for him.  So, as you can image, by the time Pascha arrives we are seeing very little of him and the girls really feel his absence (me too!)

Today we had the great joy of feasting with our precious Vladyka Dmitri.  On every bright Tuesday, he has the local area clergy, and their families, over for lunch.  There is a beautiful group of priests, and their families, in this area.  Vladyka's hospitality has always been a blessing for me and an inspiration to extend hospitality to others.   I pale in comparison to his generosity, but he always inspires me to be better.

Here are a couple of pics from the gathering.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Christ is Risen!

Indeed He is Risen!!  A blessed and glorious bright week to you all as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!  We'll spend this week feasting and celebrating with one another and friends. 

As for now, Fr. Justin and some of the men in our Parish are roasting a lamb for our afternoon Agape Vespers, picnic and egg hunt.  Come on over!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Blessed Holy Week to you all!

The girls and I will take this week off from school to attend as many services as we are able.  We'll begin our Paschal baking and the cleaning and later the decorating of our church and home. We will contemplate the days leading up to the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ and then rejoice in His glorious resurrection.  I will shut my computer off for the week and join them in their efforts.  

A blessed Holy Week to you all!

A penny for your thoughts.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Cowgirls on the range

After looking for quite some time for a good, experienced person to give the girls horse lessons, we finally came across the right cowgirl-at the right price.

Recently, a post came across our homeschool forum about a lady who wanted to give lessons, who's been around horses her whole life and "just loves them".   How romantic, huh?  So I gave her a call.  I explained what I wanted from lessons:  horse etiquette, grooming lessons, a good healthy dose of fear injected into my eldest about the possible dangers of horses-since she has none.  We agreed on everything and she assured me that these things were included in her lessons.  Perfect!  

It was extremely windy that day which, Michelle began to explain, in turn made the horse, Eldorado, a little skittish-which in turn made me a little skittish.  Michelle said that her horse is very old and very tame and would never bolt or anything like that.  (Who said anything about a bolting horse?  Clearly this woman doesn't know that those sorts of realities she should just keep to herself and not even mention to a city slicker, already nervous, mother of three little angles that mean more to her than anything in the whole world and who would totally flip out if the horse bolted or anything like that.  But I'm sure that since she said that her horse wouldn't bolt, he won't...right?)    She also said this was good experience for the girls to be around a skittish horse....ummm, oh, I see.  Ok....I guess.  I mean where is my cowgirl spirit after all!  

OK, I'll be honest,  I was very close to calling off the lesson.   He was indeed skittish and jumpy.  At one point when the horse was tied to the barn and Katherine was petting his neck the wind gave a big loud gust, the horse reared up, as far as he could being tied up, and Katherine just calmly stood there-totally unaffected by the whole incident, while I came slightly unhinged.  Michelle calmly asked Katherine to back away from the horse and gave her a lesson on why she should have backed away when the horse started to rear up.  She explained that horses are sensitive to loud noises, commotion and smells.  She said that since the wind was so gusty, she would need to be sensitive to him and watch his body language very carefully.  What?  My kids are anything but sensitive to other's needs!  They are four and seven!  I mean, we do work with them about these things, but it is a work in progress.  And we've just been talking about the needs of other people not those of gigantic horses. 

Then, Michelle gently cozied up to Eldorado and whispered in his ear "Hey what was that?  Your not afraid are you?  Your a good boy"  Huh?  What's she saying to him?  Is this horse psychology?  Perhaps another day would be better for lessons?

At this point I'm thinking that horse lesson days are a great thing for papa to do with his girls and a great time for me to do laundry.  I'm also thinking that ballet lessons sound really good right now.  I also begin to search my purse for any Rescue Remedy that might be lurking around in there.  Maybe I could slip a little RR into the horse's mouth without anyone noticing?  (Just kidding)

So,  after the girls groomed the horse and got a lesson on putting on his saddle and bridle, out to the riding area each of the girls went (separately) and took their turns walking around Eldorado, talking to him petting him and then finally mounting him for a ride.  (Michelle, the trainer, did stay close to them that day because of the wind.)  Good  idea. 

Meanwhile,  as I'm trying to suppress visions of Eldorado bolting into the horizon with my four year old on his back, Zoe is barefoot and in the barn with Michelle's super sweet golden retrievers, rolling around in the horse dung and hay having a blast.  What can I say, I was  little preoccupied.  

At one point while Thea was having her lesson, I look out to see the horse go from a gentle walk to a trot to a much faster trot.   I hear Michelle saying "Whoa Eldorado" over and over.  Thea, on the other hand was perfectly composed.  Not an ounce of terror on her face.  I was shocked and so was Michelle.  She looked over at me and said "This is great!  Most kids are freaking out and screaming at this point."  All I could say was  "Oh really, wow, that's...great"  all the while thinking that I was about to freak out and start screaming myself.   She calmly yelled to Thea "Are you enjoying your ride?"  Thea shook her head no, which gave us a tickle and eased my tension a bit.  Michelle reminded her how to slow her horse down and bring him to a stop.  Thea did beautifully.  At this point my arm pits are soaked and Katherine hadn't even had her turn yet.  I cannot help but think that a torrential downpour would be great at this moment.  I mean, we do need the rain.

Katherine went out next and after having watched Eldorado take a little trot with Thea, was suddenly looking and clearly feeling a little humbled.  She didn't quite have the cowgirl spirit she did when we arrived.  Me either.  In fact, at this point I was needing a fortified cup of tea, or the Rescue Remedy-whichever I could get my hands on first.

Her ride went well and we all finally bid a sad farewell to Eldorado until next time.   

As we drove away, all three girls were cackling excitedly in the back seat about "What a sweet horse he is, isn't he mommy?"  and "Did you see him start running mom?"  "When is our next lesson?"  and of course Zoe is chiming in "I ride too mommy!!"

Uhh, huh...