Moab UT

Moab UT

Thursday, September 30, 2010

House update

Progress! Our plan is working! This week Fr. has installed the floor in the girl's bedroom. He is very close to being finished.

Tomorrow we have a chimney sweep coming out to help Fr. order parts for our wood stoves. We are putting one in the front of the house and another in the back. Hopefully, this will help with the heating costs in the winter. We have pretty mild winters down this way, so we should be in good shape.

The structural engineer will be here tomorrow to offer advice on our living room ceiling. There is a very slight sag in the living area and we can't figure out why. So, he'll (hopefully) come out and tell us how to remedy the problem so we can mark that off our list. We are praying that it's an easy fix. If not, we'll have a slight sag in our living room ceiling when you come to visit.

Monday the priests start on the kitchen!! This is big news! I'll be painting away in the bedrooms, bathroom and study.

We're on a roll!

Here are pictures of my hard working husband and my hard working girls taking a break.

I can see the letters now!

Over the last year I have been working to teach Thea to read. I've taken a very gentle approach because she wasn't really interested. So, I sort of put the teaching part of reading on the back burner and figured we'd get around to it soon enough. Instead I just continued with reading to her, hoping she would catch the bug.

Sure enough, this year my little student has shown much more enthusiasm with her school work-reading included. However, when we would sit down to do phonics, she would constantly complain that the letters were so tiny. After a few weeks of hearing that I decided to have her eyes checked. I went ahead and took both Katherine and Thea and they both needed reading glasses!

Thea has gone from barely sounding out letters to actually reading in about three weeks! This has been an amazing boost for her. Now, without prompting she gets her phonics and reading books and away we go. I'm so thrilled for her.

Thea chose purple wire rim glasses because Papa has wire rim glasses and her friend Sophie has some too! Katherine chose tortoise shell glasses, which I was surprised about. But she liked them and if she will wear them that's all I care about.

They both look so different, so much older! *Sigh*

Saturday, September 25, 2010

May the work begin and end

"The time has come." I say as I stumble into Fr. Justin's office the other night. Me, looking bleary eyed from being on the computer. Him looking bleary eyed from doing real work. He looked at me wearily and held his tongue, but I knew what he was thinking. "Do we have to have this conversation now?" However, I married a good man. He fully comprehends the meaning of marriage and the crowns of martyrdom that were placed upon our heads at our wedding. And despite my neurotic ramblings as of late, he took the Fr. Justin deep sigh, and gave me the look to proceed. "It's been a year since we started working on our house down the street and this project must come to a close." Well, here is our conversation:

Me: "Well, you see, Soulemama..."
Fr. Justin: "Soul what?!"
Me: "Soulemama...oh, sorry honey." "Well, she's this lady that has a really cool blog, and anyway, she and her husband bought an old house LAST MONTH and they are moving in this weekend!"
Fr. J. "OK..."
Me: "I have a plan!"
Fr. J., getting the weary look on his face again, told me to carry on.

And so I proceeded to tell Fr. my plan about needing large blocks of time to get anything accomplished and that we just needed to bite the bullet and do it. He agreed.

So,starting Monday morning at 5:00a.m. Fr. Justin, myself and our three girls will rise, pray, eat and start working until 11:00a.m., Monday through Friday, until the house is finished. I'll work and homeschool at the same time and what can't be done there can be done after a bath and lunch.

We just found out today that a dear friend, who is a very accomplished G.C., and an amazing woodworker (he is now a priest), is going to come up and help us with the kitchen. When Fr. gave me this news this morning you would have thought we'd won the lottery. And to be quite honest with you, it feels like we have.

We'll take this week to finish up smaller projects throughout the house, then next Monday we (well, the priests) will tackle the kitchen. Meanwhile, I'll be painting and teaching. I am thrilled and so very ready to be in this house. Fall is my favorite time of the year and I can't wait to get in and start a fire (in the fireplace of course). :)

I am hesitant to set a goal. I know that goals are good, but we've set so many only to see them come and go. However, I'm going to step out on a limb and say that we hope to be in by November 1st, but for sure no later than December 1st. (Is that you, Fr. Justin, I hear laughing from your computer?!?)

I'll keep you posted.

A blessed and joyous week to you all!

Great blessings

There are two blogs that I have been following that you should visit. Both of these little ones, and their families, need your prayers. The parents of these blogs probably have no idea how much they are ministering to those of us who have the blessing of reading and sharing in their experience.

May the Lord have mercy on us all!

Go here and here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"The MOST poisonous caterpillar in the U.S.!"

Those are the words Katherine blurted out to me on the phone. You see I was at our local area thrift store taking advantage of a 50% off sale today, when I saw some books that I thought might be a good purchase and decided to call Fr. about them. As I was discussing the books, I hear someone moaning in the background. Finally, Fr. says "I have to go. Thea was just bitten by a poisonous caterpillar and she's in a lot of pain."

So, by the end of the conversation, I learned that they had already googled the furry fellow and found out that he was none other than a Southern Puss Caterpillar, and that he is poisonous.

Wouldn't you know it. I was just passing through the book isle on my way over to the ladies section. I hadn't intended on getting myself anything today, but at 50% off it's a bit of a crime not to at least take a peek. It was probably providential. My last words to Fr. as I went out the door were "Don't worry, I'm just getting a few dresses for Katherine to grow into!"

So, that took care of any overspending I might have done.

Anyhow, back to my baby. We went to the Dr., at his request, and had the sting looked at. I was actually rather surprised that he wanted to see her. He's a pretty hands off kind of Dr. and usually just suggests that we keep an eye on things. Nonetheless, off we went only to get a lecture about things to look for with stings and bites from poisonous insects: swelling around the lips, breathing problems, odd behavior...

So, that was that and Thea milked her injury for all that she could.

I took a picture of the little guy before we set him free. My photo was not good so I borrowed this one from Bugs in the news.

And that was the excitement for the day. Well, until we took the girls to Chuck E Cheese for Zoe's birthday.

Monday, September 13, 2010

"They just keep falling out!"

Says Thea.

"What happens if they all fall out at the same time!?"

Many years my girl!

This little one was given to us four years ago! It's been a blessing to have you in our lives! We love you Zoe Marie!

Joyous Feast!

S Prazdnikom! A blessed and joyous feast of the Elevation of the Precious and Life giving cross!

As thou wast voluntarily crucified for our sake, O Christ God,
so grant mercy to those who are called by Thy name;
make all Orthodox Christians glad by Thy power,
granting them victories over the enemy,
by bestowing on them the invincible trophy,
Thy weapon of peace.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The world cup-small town style

Katherine watched bits of the world cup this year with papa. While it was airing I would occasionally find the two huddled in front of his computer in a world of their own. She has never been the same since.

So, as you can image, when we allowed the girls to choose their sport this year, Katherine chose soccer.

Maybe I should back up and tell you that I am not a sports fan. I've tried and I just can't get into it-especially football, but that's another post.

Anyhow, today was Katherine's first soccer meet. Two hours of joy for her. They practice for a 50 minutes or so, take a 20 minute break, then scrimmage for 50 minutes.

I should confess at this point that as much as I love my girls I was not looking forward to two hours of soccer today. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the time went by pretty quickly. Plus, as all parents can attest, watching your children do things that really bring them joy is beautiful and fun.

I was also entertained by her enthusiasm on the field. You would have thought that she was playing the world cup. Every time her team would score she would pump her fists in the air and do a couple of jumps. I'm sure the other kids were thinking "Who is the new cheerleader?" But I loved watching her and even thought that I might, might become a soccer fan at the end of all this.

Zoe means life

And this one is full of it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day Picnic

We had our annual Labor Day picnic at the church yesterday. I love these picnics. We hold three a year: Memorial Day, Pascha and Labor Day. They are such a blessing.

I love getting to meet and talk with new people. Or spending time with folks that I rarely get to see.

I didn't take very many pictures (didn't I say that last time?). However, I always manage to remember to grab the camera for the children's games. They are my favorite.

Is is my imagination, or does it look like Zoe was reveling in the thought of blasting me with that balloon?

Blessed week to you all!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Those saints

Katherine: "Mommy, remember those studies we used to do about the saints? Why don't we do them anymore? I really loved them."

I had intended on incorporating Letters of Grace back into our studies. I guess I didn't do it fast enough.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


will be the mother of many. Mark my words. I can see it coming.

Every time we have the opportunity to babysit, both Katherine and Thea love taking care of the babies. They love feeding them and changing the diapers. And they both are such good little mothers. But something always happens between the babies and this little girl. There is always some sort of bond that is created that is so sweet. It's the way she holds them. The way she looks into their eyes without looking away. The way she holds their little fingers while feeding them. It's so incredibly beautiful.

After I took this picture of Thea holding baby E.. I said "Are you going to have ten kids or what?" Without missing a beat, and without breaking the gaze with the baby, she answered "Yes mommy, five boys and five girls."