Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Slice



Outside My Window -
Rain and grey and drizzly but not too cold. No wind today. I love it that I can tell how windy it is outside by looking at the trees. The trees are full of life, green and lush. The flowers are in bloom too.

From The Kitchen - Tonight some of us had eggs, and left over bacon and some of us had cereal. Exciting huh? Actually it's everyone's favorite when we all do our own thing for dinner. Easy for me too.

I Am Thankful - That our kids get to play sports (and take music lessons). It is expensive! I know it's a luxury that many cannot afford. We work hard and make it a priority to make sure they get to play...and have the equipment. We love to watch them play too. Right now it's Flag Football season for Mr. P and Moses. George is working on his TKD belts. Sis and George are taking piano lessons and Mr. P plays saxophone for the school band. Tuba is the world's best cheerleader. He doesn't care if it's practice or a game, he loves to go and cheer the kids on....even in the rain. 

Okay, at this rainy game he kept saying, "Mama, ewwwww rain", while pointing at the sky.



I Am Wearing - PJ pants, t-shirt, hoodie, sock and slippers, hair in a pony. Basically, my uniform.

I Am Creating - A big list to get us organized for camping. We are tent camping with a bunch of other families just after school lets out. It's going to be so much fun. But, there is so much to get ready! Yikes!

I Am Going - to be subbing everyday...EVERYDAY PEOPLE!!! For the next 2.5 weeks. Gulp!! We can use the extra money (had to pay for fall soccer and summer swimming, and vacation is coming up) It's the time of year that the teachers need a sub. They are testing kids and preparing for report cards. I am nervous to be working so much but I decided to just do it. Some of the days are half day jobs so I will have the afternoons to get my regular chores done....ie; make sure we have clean laundry and food to eat. And then summer break will be here. 

I have really enjoyed my sub job. It's really different than when I subbed thirteen years ago. This time around I am only working at my kids' school. So, I know almost all the kids and I know all of the staff. It makes a big difference. 

I Am Reading -  I just finished Everything I Never Told You. It was very good....and sad too. It was an interesting read. 

I Am Hearing - Cam is loading the dishwasher, Moses is putting his headphones on h
is iPod, Sis and George are talking and getting ready for bed down the hall. Mr. P is sitting next to me breathing. Rocket is chewing his dog bone. 


I Am Planning - What to wear. It fun to lay out my clothes for work each day. Sometimes I lay out two or more outfits so I can decide in the morning and then I can use the other choice the next day I work. I am getting good use out of my closet these days. Lots of my clothes only got used for church or dinner out. 

One Of My Favorite Things - My sweet Kali girl. I love this dog. 


A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week - I am going on a field trip with George on Monday....to the beach. It's a fun trip to look at sea life at low tide. I'm glad I get to go with him and enjoy one last day off before the crazy schedule begins. Plus, we have Cheetos for our lunch. 

A Picture Thought I'm Sharing - This cracks me up. This is my Uncle Larry. He was tired and getting a bit cranky and didn't want to have a photo taken. My kids expressions are hilarious!!


I'll end with a Kairos moment:

We were driving through an intersection when we saw a man waving his arms at the traffic. As we approached I could see that he was ushering a group of baby ducks and the mama duck off of the road and into he greenbelt. It was such a beautiful sight. It really touched my heart. It brought tears to my eyes and I rolled down my window to tell him thank you. 


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

Mother's Day is one of my favorite days of the year. 

This year I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for the day...maybe a bike ride, or a hike. But, Sis spiked a fever on Friday night that persisted the whole weekend. So, I changed gears and decided we would enjoy a day at home.

Now, what is better than a crew of kids and hubby willing to do whatever I wanted to do?! Nothing I tell you. I decided we could have a work party in the yard. And...they were all for it. I have such nice people! 

My day started with this sweet boy making me a gift. He presented me with a halo and said I am "his angel". How cute is that?! 

Then I was presented with the gifts and cards the kids made at school. These are my favorite things! I treasure them. 


Cam took the kids to church and Sis and I stayed home. We decided that a pedicure was in order for Mother's Day. Well, we gave it to the dog. Kali loves this and totally relaxes and snores through the whole thing. Doggy spa day. 


Once everyone was home we headed outside to get working on the yard. The kids were awesome! We chatted and worked side by side. Yes, I worked too.


We weeded and then put in new soil. The plants are looking great!




Everyone was working hard...well except Tuba. Do you see him? I guess he's the boss and watching to make sure we do a good job. 


Cam and the boys mowed and edged the lawn. 


Even my little two are good workers. 


Sis was feeling perkier after a Motrin so she helped too. 


It's a Dog's Life. They moved around the yard and laid near me and got underfoot several times. But, they are so sweet and good company. 



Only one mishap in the day. They boys had gone to Ace to buy more dirt and the little kids were in the back yard. I had been cleaning out those big planters you see in the above photo. They are big and heavy. I rolled them to the edge of the lawn where it meets a concrete bulkhead to our driveway. It's about 4 ft. from the grass to the driveway below. I was bent over scooping dirt out of banter into the compost/yard waste bin. I was hungry and tired and as I stood up I lost my balance and fell over backwards towards the driveway. As I began to fall I thought...oh no, concrete below. At that moment I hit the compost bin and landed in it. Hard. Oh ouch on my elbow, and arm and hip. But, what a save that bin made. Much better than landing on the concrete. My guardian angel was looking out for me. I had to extract myself from the bin with the dogs watching over me. Luckily no lasting damage done other than a scrape and sore elbow joint. 

After our hard labor we enjoyed happy hour on the deck and then BBQ burgers for dinner. Great day!  
There is nothing I love more about my life than being a mom. It's wonderful to celebrate that job!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Holy Week and Pascha 2016

I have only one complaint about our new parish. It has no light. Like I said before it's located in an industrial strip mall. There is one window above the doors to the nave. And. That. Is. It. Hmpf!! So....I could NOT get any good photos. I tried. I didn't want to use a flash and since the services were mostly at night and with candle light...it was impossible to get a good photo. 

But, I want to show what the parish looks like so here goes...with bad photos. 

On Holy Friday the kids and I attended....and Cam worked. You can see the congregation returning to the nave after our procession outside. As we enter we pass under the Epitaphios




On Saturday morning the kids and I headed to our old parish to enjoy my favorite service of the year. It's so beautiful!! It was heartwarming to see some of our friends and hug around the room. I teared up several times. It felt good to be in a familiar space. 

And the lighting at that parish is amazing! Windows! 



Saturday night was Pascha service....which started at 11:30 pm. Yes, that is late! Oh! This year we all laid down around 6:30 for a nap. I slept until almost 10:00...and it was really hard to wake up and get going. Poor George was so sleepy and not able to rally. 

And...hmmmm....lighting in my house at night....not so great either. 


Once in place at church Tuba was so excited. He loves Pascha! The service starts with the priest lighting each person's candle. We sing, "Come receive the light..." and it is beautiful! 


Then we head outside to process around the church...or in our case around the parking median and back in. Cam took this photo of the empty nave. 


Tuba doesn't like to go outside and poor George was snoozing.


He slept the entire service. 


While Tuba smiled and sang and rocked. 



Here's a photo that shows our priest and into the altar. You can see Mr. P inside the door to the acolyte area. He is the only one of us that didn't nap. Tired boy!


I snapped this pic of the bay leaves. I love it that they were left on the floor from the Saturday AM service. 


After the liturgy we went to the priest's house to celebrate and break the fast. The kids were so thrilled! 2:00 AM and having a blast!


On Sunday we had our feast at the new property our parish purchased. It was the first time we got to see the inside of the building. It's a horse arena that has classrooms, restroom and a kitchen. I got to have a tour from our priest and I can now visualize what it will be some day. There will be a temporary church built inside once the permits are approved. It will be much larger than the current space. It will only take a few months to enclose the space and be ready to go. THEN...as a parish we will have to raise the funds for the eventual building. That could take 10 years. Ugh! I will be working on the virtue of patience. But, in the interim the space will be big enough and it will be beautiful. 

Now back to the feast celebration. The weather was sunny and warm. Bonus! The Arena is located on 3 acres so lots of outdoor room to run and play. There was a bouncy house for the kids. Our kids loved it and bounced much of the day away. The food was delicious! We were thrilled to be back eating meat after the fast. 

The best part of the celebration was the games. They had musical chairs for kids and then adults. What a hoot! Then we did an egg toss....which Cam and Moses won. Then a squirt gun fight. What fun!! Kids and adults had a blast squirting each other. I haven't laughed so hard in forever. I highly recommend having a squirt gun fight with your family. 

No pictures from the feast. I was literally too busy having fun! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Palm Sunday 2016


We are loving our new new parish. But, I have to admit I've been missing our old parish. With Holy Week approaching I was feeling a bit nostalgic and at the same time wondering how things would be different this year. 

I'm not a huge fan of change and I have so many fond memories of Holy Week in our previous parish. ...and I don't really like the unknown. What will it be like this year?

We had our Palm Sunday this week and it was lovely! The parish was beautifully decorated! Beautifully!! It reminds me to enjoy change. 


Moses carried a palm with his candle as altar boy. 



Of course everyone held palms. And yes I did get my face and eye poked about a zillion times with those palms my kids held. And yes, the kids did whack each other with the palms and pretend they were swords.

 But, in the sermon our priest talked about how when Jesus came riding in on a donkey that it was the children who recognized him as the Son of God. The children were the ones who laid palms in his path and declared, "Hosanna"! I was so struck by this. The children, because of their purity of heart knew that they were in the presence of God. Amazing. It was a beautiful reminder to look at the world through a child's eyes. 


One of my FAVORITE things about our new parish is this right here...the pic below. When it's time for communion the children all line up first. They stand ready for communion for maybe about five minutes before the priest is ready. That is a long time for kids....and they do an amazing job. The older children guide or help the younger ones. It is so precious! 


On Palm Sunday the Orthodox process around the church with our palms. Our parish is in a tiny, tiny, tiny little tiny building so the procession was.....tiny. It was a hoot. We went out the door and around a parking median and then back into the church. Good thing since it was a very rainy day! 



After the liturgy everyone went over to the priest's home for a salmon BBQ. It was very fun...even with the rain. The kids of course didn't care about rain. 


So we are now heading into Holy Week...and a whole new experience. I'm looking forward to it. New  and different can be wonderful. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring Break 2016

We had great weather for our Spring Break. We did another stay-cation this year. We planned fun day trips and activities. At the end of the week I was exhausted! We had a lot of fun!

Early in the week we took the kids to see Zootopia. I liked it! Really good!

Our favorite day of the week was spent taking a ferry ride and exploring our favorite island. And the weather was great!





We took in the beach while waiting for our favorite pizza place to open for lunch. The kids found lots of crabs and other sea life to look at. There was a huge eagle sitting on the beach too. Really fun to see. 


Then lunch. So yummy!


Next up we visited a huge and beautiful public garden. There were trails to walk along and take in all the blooms.





There were also trails into the woods. It was a nice mini hike.



After our hike we piled back into the van and headed off in search of ice cream cones. We found the most amazing little place in the next town. Oh those ice cream cones were good. We walked along a pair and enjoyed the views. No photos since I was licking ice cream. 

Then we made a stop at a little farm. We visited last year and we were eager to go again. There is a little hike to the top of the hill and the views are gorgeous. 



After our farm visit we weren't sure where to visit next. Cam headed down a road we had never been on just to see where it would end up. Well that was the perfect thing to do. We discovered a beach we had never been to and we loved it!!

The kids and dogs ran all over the beach and driftwood.


Tuba had some fun throwing rocks into the water. 


Along the bluff above the beach is a trail. We hiked up to the top and along the trail. The view was amazing!





I love this photo. It can be hard to get all five of them to sit still, look at the camera and smile. Perfection!


We got home close to bedtime....happy and tired. It was a really fun day!

The next day we went on a picnic bike ride. We packed up and headed for the trail. We rode 16 miles...and it was hot and sunny out. We were beat. Okay, I was beat. The littlest kids were tired and the bigger kids were fine and Cam was just getting warmed up. And don't forget he is pulling Tuba in a trailer. The man is a machine. Did I say how tired I was?! Seriously.



We took the kids to the beach the next day. We packed lots of stuff and arrived at the beach to find out it was colder than we expected. And windy. And we were under dressed. Cam and I piled all the beach towels on us as blankets. The kids played and swam. Crazy!! Plus, then we had to give them the beach towels to dry off with. Brrrrrr. I was happy to go home. 


The rest of the break we spent working in the yard, doing laundry and getting ready to go back to school/work. This pic of Kali is just about how I felt at the end of the week. 


Needless to say I was happy to have a quiet and EMPTY house on Monday morning. I love my family and we know how to have fun. And then, I like a little solitude to balance it out. 

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