Thursday, April 24, 2014

Holy Pascha

Finally! Holy Pascha service. We celebrate this liturgy at 10:30 pm on Sat. night. We made all the kids lay down to nap in preparation for the long night. This is how is goes. 

1. Everyone has a snack and then gets into bed.
2. Cam and I go and lay down.
3. Cam and I fall asleep. We sleep for 3 minutes and then George wakes us by announcing the toilet is plugged. Cam attends to the toilet.
4. Cam and I fall back asleep....after about 20 minutes.
5. Sis comes in to ask us how much longer she has to lay in bed. ARGH!! 
We all laid in bed for 2 hours. Cam and I slept off and on for some of the time. Kids did not sleep AT ALL! Not a wink.

Then we get up, shower and get in our spiffy outfits. The kids argue about what I've laid out for them to wear....Cam backs me up. It's Pascha...and you will wear your shirt tucked in with a belt. :)

Sis slept for about 10 minutes on the way to church. Don't we look cute?! This is my new Stitch Fix Easter dress. I love it!

Papa and George...with his tucked in shirt.

Tuba ready for his favorite night of the year.

The boys on the altar ready for the service. 

The liturgy is very beautiful. We process outside around the church building while singing Christ Is Risen. The bells are rung as we file back in. The music is amazing!

At about 1:30 the liturgy concludes and we head downstairs to our fellowship hall to celebrate and break the fast. We bring baskets of the foods we have fasted from....meat, dairy, wine....etc.
We always have the same things in our basket....cheese, deviled eggs, salami, smoked salmon, cream cheese, crackers, chocolate, cookies, root beer, and wine! 

It's really fun. Everyone visits and celebrates.

This year we headed for home at 3:15 am. Sis slept for 15 minutes during the service. George slept the entire service and woke up to celebrate. The big boys were all awake the whole night. Everyone quickly fell asleep in the van.

We plopped into bed at 4:00 am....with a last warning to the kids....DO NOT wake us up....even if the toilet is plugged.

I woke up at 9:45!!!! I've never slept that late! Moses, George and Patrick were already up. Tuba got up a bit after me. Sis and Cam slept until almost 11:00. Wow!!

Then....we eat, regroup and head to church....again!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Holy Saturday

The morning liturgy on Holy Saturday is my favorite service of the year! Christ is trampling down death in His decent into Hades. The colors go from purple to white in the nave. The bells are rung and the priest throws bay leaves in triumph.

Every year we take a family photo on Holy Friday. Well, this year Cam had to work late and it couldn't happen until Saturday morning. We got ready with a few minutes to spare so we could assemble and get the shot. Really it's only me that wants the photo...the rest of my crew just indulges me.

Here's the first year we started our photo tradition. Look how we have all changed!

Here's a link to all of the yearly photos. PHOTOS

When I look at this photo I notice that the shirt Tuba is wearing now fits Patrick and the one Patrick is wearing is now Moses's shirt. Oh I love Sissy's sweet dress and hair...and I'd love to hold my sweet squishy George again. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Holy Friday Lamentations

The tomb where Christ was laid. We process around the outside of our church with the tomb. It is held in the air as we pass under it and back into the building.

The service on Friday night was beautiful. The girls are myrrh bearing girls and sprinkle flowers all over the church. Last year Sis did this...but this year she didn't want to. No amount of asking/pleading/bribing would convince her. 

She was happy to hold a candle though.

George too.

Moses and Patrick served as acolytes all week....tues., wed., thurs., fri., sat. am and pm service! They were amazing!! 

Moses holding his patron saint icon Moses of Ethiopia.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Journey

George at the Thursday night service. This about sums up how we all feel midweek of Holy Week.

Holy Week is intense. The spiritual journey comes at the end of a lenten journey that was intense. Holy Week is long services every night, and for us that means lots of driving. With a big family it means lots of kid wrangling and outfit changes and meals and squeezing in homework. It's hard to fit it all in. Hard for me to do it all....and do it without feeling pulled apart.

I should know by now that Holy Week is emotionally hard, physically hard. But, I'm always caught by surprise when I fall apart. On Wednesday my kids were crabby. They fought from the moment they woke up. They were terrible to each other and to me. The day and week's stress were complicated by Cam being stuck at work long hours. He would leave the city and drive straight to church to meet us. Being without my partner and help meet made me even more stressed. 

After the kids bad behavior I was running around trying to get out the door for the Unction Service. I had my own melt down. Bad Mommy moment!! At church I felt so terrible that I spent the service crying. The kids were shocked and genuinely felt remorseful. After the service we all apologized and agreed to start fresh the next day. 

Although Holy Week is hard, it's so worth it. Hearing the gospels and how Jesus suffered on the cross puts everything in perspective. Christ's death was the ultimate sacrifice. Surely we can honor Him by coming to church. To worship. To learn. To hear. To grow. To teach. To give praise. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Palm Sunday 2014

I have affectionately....and exasperatedly called Palm Sunday, "Poke you mom's eye out Sunday". Nothing like standing in close proximity to five kids holding palms....waving palms...swinging, swaying, dancing, sword fighting with palms. This year Moses made little crosses out of the leaves. He watched some of the older kids making them and then did it himself.

It is a lovely service. Hosanna in the highest!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Favorite Salad

I love salad! I eat a big plate of greens everyday. I add different things to keep it exciting. I usually wash and chop up a big bowl to have ready. Then I can add some protein to it for a quick lunch. 

This is my new favorite!! So beautiful and so delicious. Baby spinach, avocado, strawberries and sliced almonds. I drizzle my homemade balsamic vinegarette (olive oil, balsamic, pinch of salt, drizzle of honey, fresh ground pepper and a healthy spoonful of dijon mustard) over it. 

Super good. Super healthy. Enjoy!

Other thing I love....

The smell of incense from church in my childrens' hair

An unexpected hug from a child

Hot English Breakfast tea with milk

A pedicure

A dog's devotion

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Little Toes

I love this picture of Sis's toes. It took this pic last summer and I think of it often. It's so precious to me. It makes me think of her soft little baby feet and how she loved to jump on my lap. She sleeps in a crazy bunched up position...something different every night. I never know what I'll find when I go check on her before I go to sleep. Right now she likes to sleep with her head and the foot of the bed. She likes one blanket under her and one on top of her. She will have various dolls and/or toys in bed with her too. Last week I came in and found the entire Barbie Camper on her bed. She is growing so's bittersweet. I miss the little baby that was so round and soft and snuggly. I love my tall thin busy girl just the same. She is changing so fast but she will always be my baby girl. 


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