I loved finding the Orthodox Church. I came into the church when I was 30 and while I was so thankful to have found the church, I wished that I had always been a part of it. On the other hand, I really loved being old enough to comprehend and fully experience my baptism and chrismation-a most glorious event that I recall with every single baptism and chrismation I attend.
Not yet married at the age of thirty, I felt very drawn to monasticism. I spent many years visiting the Kazan Skete in Northern California, entreating the Lord to show me His will for my life. This time was a most blessed time for me (and still is) and I came very close to committing myself to that monastery. However, right before I left to spend a recommended six month stay, before selling everything and committing myself fully, I met Justin, who would become Father Justin.
While our courtship was challenging, we finally ended up together. I am so thankful for my husband and our children. Each of them plays a beautiful and important role in my salvation.
Yesterday, the girls and I took the day off. Life has been a bit busy and serious as of late. Silly stuff. So, I realized that we needed some down time. A little fun.
So, we meandered throughout our day and did whatever we wanted. We made pancakes and had them for breakfast and lunch. We watched Black Beauty. We took a walk. We went to the new house and encouraged Papa in his great work.
Papa came home, did an afternoon Vespers service and then made us his killer pasta with cream sauce. After dinner, the girls got camera silly.
Katherine recently read in one of her publications about a science experiment using the five senses. Of course she wanted to do the experiment. So, I pulled out three foods for them to smell, feel, taste and listen to. The three I chose were chili, kiwi and cumin.
It was interesting that they all three recognized different foods. Zoe was the first to nail the chili. Thea got the kiwi and Katherine got the cumin. Feeling of the foods stumped them all. Of course tasting them was easy.
I didn't have much time to devote to the experiment, so I allowed the girls to continue on without me. Yes, I know. What was I thinking? Katherine thought it would be really funny to put cayenne in Thea's mouth. At least she had the sense to only put a tiny bit. Thea only cried for a few minutes.
Here is a pic of them lining up for the experiment.
Well, we had a close call on the farm today. (We don't really have a farm, but I like to dream.) I went out to feed our chickens and the coop door was open (from the night before) and all the chickens were missing. I looked around for them (we live on a little over an acre and about half of it is thick with woods and privet). When I realized that the chickens were gone, I came in to tell the girls. I knew this would be a hard blow-especially for Katherine who sees them as her personal pets.
However, one of the three left the coop door open and needed to be taught a lesson. After I told them what I had found, Katherine was simply convinced that they had to be someplace close by. I told her with the raccoons, fox and dogs, the chickens probably weren't coming back.
Undeterred, she pulled on her boots and went looking. I was amazed when she found five of the six. We found evidence that one had been eaten. They are all missing quite a few feathers and looked a little frazzled (well, chickens always look frazzled to me) but they are home now.
I was so thankful that we found the five. It would have been really sad to lose all six, but I think having the scare and losing one of the chickens was a good lesson for them. I was also glad that Katherine had the tenacity to keep looking. I am often guilty of giving up too easily.
Well, the roof is fixed, the sun is glowing, the flowers are screaming with neon colors right now. It's amazing the effect that our surroundings have on us.
As soon as our house dries out (from all the leaking) we can start putting it back together. My husband is working tirelessly on this place of ours. He is doing an amazing job. This kind of work suits him well and I know he really enjoys it. I also know he is burning the candle at both ends right now, so please keep him in your prayers.
The place is completely torn apart. New toilets, doors, paint and caulk is staring at us waiting to put the finishing touches (for this phase) on our little casa. I can wait. We've turned a corner and are now starting to do the fun stuff.
It's amazing that all of the problems that have slowed us down, has enabled us to rethink things. While the rain was pouring in our house, we had time to rethink the bathrooms-which will save us money. The kitchen, which has been the most challenging (from a design perspective) has had to be put on the back burner and that has given us much time to rethink our original plans, and those plans too have changed.
The man who fixed our roof saw our basement and offered a solution for keeping the water out. We weren't quite sure what to do with our leaky basement, but now we have a plan. We may not have the money to fix it right now (which is not a lot), but we have a plan!
He's also the guy who wanted to see the house and must have said "What a beautiful house!" about ten times while I was showing it to him. He even offered to buy it. Man did I need to hear that! :)
No, no I didn't get busted doing something I shouldn't have! My computer is busted. Yes, that is my new lap top that Fr. Justin got me last year! Arrrgggghh! Anyhow, no money to fix it now. So, I'll be a little quiet for awhile!
Things are moving along slowly with our house. Hopefully, by the time I get my computer fixed I'll have nice pics to share with you!
We are buried here in the south. We are schooling, gutting a home, taking out bamboo, building a fence, having the flu, going to court over having trash in our yard, having our tenants electrical box go haywire after a big storm (welcome to being a land lord) and believe me the list goes on and on.
My mind is so boggled at the moment that every time I log on to write something, I can't even express my thoughts.
Nonetheless, we remain fairly upbeat. Fr. and I occasionally have the look of treading water for a long time, but we are hopeful. I only thought I never saw my husband. Now, I really never see him. Well, I do, but it's a blurred guy running in covered in mud and filth to jump in the shower and put on his cassock and cross.
Prayer: it's the thing that keeps me sane. Church: it's the constant that keeps me grounded. I don't know how people live without either of those things.
I still love my new little place despite all of the many little bumps in the road. We can't wait to move in and start cooking.
Katherine was reading a book about cowboys to us the other day and she came to the word "bunkhouse". Katherine said "Mommy, what is a bunkhouse?" Thea quickly replied "It's where the horses sleep in their bunk beds".
Thea threw up a little the other night and Katherine came in to report the incident. When I asked Thea what happened, she said "Nothing mommy, I just hicked up my water".
Tee hee hee. I love my girls.
We've been a little quiet around these parts. We're working hard on homeschooling and getting our new home habitable. It's been raining quite a bit here in the south. Everything looks so green and lovely. The flowers are giving us one last show.
I've temporarily lost motivation to write on my blog lately. We're all tired and quiet at the end of the day-including myself. It's a good thing, I think, especially for the soul. I've noticed that when we work hard throughout the day, there's not much time for idle chatter, squabbling and trouble. This is good.
My kids are much better behaved and happier when we keep busy with good things. I am vehemently against filling a child's day with extra curricular activities, however, keeping busy with productive things is different. I see many children who go and go and go, moving from one event to the next and have no "down time" with books or prayer or even a meal with the whole family. I see this as being far more destructive for children than most parents think.
I do, however, think that keeping children "busy" by inspiring them to read or create, pray and helping within the home is a good thing. I learned this the hard way this past summer. I allowed us to have too much free time and my children fought more than they ever have.
Off to play the Lady Bug game. A blessed week to you all!