Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Laugh 'til ya cry?

I love to laugh. Hysterical laughing...my favorite. You know the kind of laughing where you can't tell if you are laughing or crying. The kind where you can't stop. Belly aching rolling laughter. Love it. It's so good for you too.

The other night Cam and I were lying in our bed with Mr. P and Tuba. The other kids were asleep and we were just snuggling before sending the last two to bed. Out of the blue Mr. P says, "So Mom you were really sick when you had me". I said back to him, "Well I did throw up a bunch but it's different than being sick like the flu. Having a baby hurts. The muscles in the mama do what is called contractions to help squeeze the baby down and out". He thinks for a minute and says back to me, "So it's like trying to get a really dry poop out". Cam and I burst out laughing. Then Mr. P joined in too...and then Tuba. The more I laughed the more I couldn't stop. I had tears rolling down my face and into my ears. I laughed and laughed. It was so fun. Kids are great!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Spring is here and we have had two days of sunshine and warmer temps. Yipeeee! I feel like a dark blanket has been lifted off of me. It is amazing what a little outdoor time can do for you. Since it's Confession Friday I'll confess that I do not make my kids play outside in the winter. I give it a lame attempt but fail miserably at it. So, from Oct. - Mar....or even April we play inside. I don't blame the kids. I mean 30-40 degrees and raining is not ideal for outdoor play. Plus, the muddy wet cleanup is awful so I just give in and let them stay inside. It would probably be better if I encouraged more outside play but it just doesn't happen.

This week I took full advantage of the nice weather and took the kids to the park two days in a row! I left a dirty messy house and went out to play. It is my New Year's Resolution so really I had no choice. :)

Tuba loves to push his siblings on the swings. What a good helper! We played at the playground, walked on the beach, looked at the airplanes flying overhead, got to see a train go by and saw a zillion dogs. A wonderful day!

Here's another confession for you. We are looking for our first family dog! Yep. Now, half of you are thinking, "Great! Every family should experience having a dog" and the other half of you are saying, "What are you nuts? The clean up, the extra work!". Well, I'm excited and the kids are over the moon. I always said when our youngest was potty trained that I would get a dog. And that time is here. I know what I want and think I have found the perfect dog. We are going to meet her soon and see if she is a good fit for us. Yipee! More details to come after meeting her. :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hot Tub Shop

Okay, my sister in law Cinn would like to know more about my stint at the Hot Tub Shop. I was in my early twenties, going to community college and newly dating Cam when I had this job. I worked part time answering the phone and helping customers. It was BORING! I hate a boring job. I'd rather work myself to death than be bored. Any day.
Let me tell you about the guy who owned the shop. Nasty. Yep. Picture this. He was probably around 40, stuck in the 80's....mustache, feathered mullet, tight jeans, belt, polo shirt tucked in to accentuate the pecs he thought he had....NOT!. He was proud of his Italian heritage and was full of himself. He liked to pretend he was born in Italy...he wasn't. He thought of himself as the self made man....I mean millionaire. Hmmmm. He did own his own shop but was not a millionaire. In fact his wife had a high paying executive job...that he didn't want anyone to know about. He was annoying but I could tolerate him most of the time.
The job came abruptly to an end one day after Mr. Boss Man made some disgusting comments to me. He thought he was bragging. He was going on and on about his Italian family and I was half listening until he started talking about how his Grandpa had been a Nazi. Huh? I became a bit more attentive. Mr. Boss Man went on to tell me about the war and how his Grandfather had kept teeth from Jews he had killed. And how Mr. Boss Man had those teeth at home. What? I was dizzy, I was sickened, I was out of there! I quit. Disgusting Boss Man was nastier than I thought. Good riddance.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I was thinking recently about all the jobs I've had. Here's a list in order.

Jobs while in High School:
Bus Girl at Seahorse Restaurant
File Clerk at collection agency
Stock Room Clerk and Gift Wrapper at Nordstrom

Jobs after high school:
Salesperson at 579 Clothing store
Salesperson at Nordstrom-Christmas gift dept. and then Lingerie
Receptionist at a real estate office
Receptionist at a Hot Tub showroom
File Clerk/receptionist at Key Tech (a chemical packaging company)
Substitute teacher
Tutor at Sylvan
Private tutor
Community college instructor

I think that's it....does that seem like a lot? Some of these places have some good stories. Which of these jobs would you like to know more about...or hear stories about? Leave it in the comments.

Monday, March 21, 2011


I'm exhausted! Birthday extravaganza weekend. Today I got up to dirty bathrooms, dirty house and laundry up to the sky. All my weekend chores went undone as we celebrated Busy Guy's 5th Birthday. Everyone was well. Yipee! Whatever Baby George had was short lived and didn't spread. Thank YOU God!!
First thing Sat. morning the boys had testing for TKD. I was SO nervous that I cried and then thought I'd get sick. Of course the boys weren't nervous at all....just me. They did perfect. They had to perform in front of about 50 people and in front of the judges table. They did not get to go together and they did....PERFECT. We are so proud of our Orange Belt Boys!

After testing we went out for a victory lunch and then back to the TKD center for Busy Guy's birthday party. Loads of fun!
On Sunday after church we headed to my mom's house for birthday dinner and cake. It was also Grandpa and Auntie's birthdays this week too! We had a great time. Here is Sis snuggling on my sis....and on top of baby cousin due in July. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Flow

I'm a planner and I love tradition. Every Saint Patrick's Day we have a big Irish dinner with beef stew and soda bread and mint chocolate chip ice cream pie. We take a hiatus from fasting for Lent to celebrate two of our boys' special day. Busy Guy was born on Mr. P's saint day! So fun. Now that Busy Guy is getting older he is having a "kid" birthday party as well as family dinner.

I am feeling stressed about this week. BG is snack person at preschool tomorrow. We did green muffins, slices of cheddar cut-out in the shape of shamrocks, apple slices and mint Hershey kisses with juice and fun shamrock napkins. Next up is dinner on Thurs. I was feeling bad that BG was sort of forced to have the Irish stew dinner each year when everyone else gets to pick what they want to eat. I mentioned to the boys that I could cook something else and they were glad....not many stew lovers in our clan. BG debated what to have and then he asked if we could go out for our favorite pizza. Hmmmm. At first I wasn't sure but the next comment form BG had me on board. He said, "you won't have to cook and clean". Well, I do love both of those things but this week I'm a bit stressed with all the birthday activities. So, we will be going out for Italian food at a restaurant owned by a Greek family on Saint Patrick's Day. LOL. Saturday is the b-day party. More posts about that later. The boys are also testing for their next belt level on Sat. Yipee. Wish them luck!

I'm rambling....the real point of this post was to say that I am a planner but sometimes I just have to go with the flow. It's good for me to be reminded of this fact. With all of these birthday/saint day/kid activities planned I am feeling extra pressure. Tonight Baby George got sick. Fever and throwing up. Ugh. I started to fret about how the week will be impacted. But, I know that no matter how it ends up getting changed it will be fine. It will be fun because we will all do it together. As long as this germ doesn't spread too far!! Yikes, I don't even want to go there in my mind.

Oh, and one more thing. A sweet BG story:

This week Sis had a terrible reaction after dinner (two nights in a row) she broke out in hives....all over! We think from tomatoes. So, she went in for a blood draw today to test for allergies. She did not cry or even wince! Amazing. Back to the part about Busy Guy. Upon hearing that Sis could not eat tomatoes...ie: pizza sauce he quickly offered to change restaurants. What a nice little boy! We are still going for pizza as there are many other choices on the menu...but we are taking Benadryl with us just in case.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday of Orthodoxy

The following is from www.goarch.org

Today is the Sunday of Orthodoxy....which is the first Sunday of Great Lent. The dominant theme of this Sunday since 843 has been that of the victory of the icons. In that year the iconoclastic controversy, which had raged on and off since 726, was finally laid to rest, and icons and their veneration were restored on the first Sunday in Lent. Ever since, this Sunday has been commemorated as the "Triumph of Orthodoxy."

The children get to process with icons of their patron saints. Baby George LOVES his saint....I don't know what is up with the face. He thinks that's the way to pose for photos lately.
I love how Busy Guy is looking at Saint Moses of Ethiopia.
AND....Mr. P was enrolled as an Acolyte today. He got to serve on the altar. He was so cute. I got a little teary watching him. I missed him standing next to me too. He is getting so grown up! BaaaaaaWhaaaaaaaa! He did a great job and enjoyed himself.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday, Friday

Again, nothing to do with my post. Tuba came home from school like this. They had a Mardi Gras party. Fun!!

It's confession Friday.

I have to confess that I do NOT like (HATE) the new Weight Watchers program. I've always had great success using the WW plan. This time...not so much. I've been back at WW and using this new plan for over a month and have lost a whopping 2.4 lbs. For the first two weeks I lost nothing...even gained a bit one of them. UGH! I complained to the leader that the new system wasn't working for me. She gave me some suggestions and a pep talk.

In case you are not familiar with WW here is my dilemma. Both plans you count food with a point system and are allotted an amount of daily and weekly points based on your height/weight/age/sex. On the old system I was allowed 21 daily points and 35 weekly points. The new plan I get 29 daily points and 49 weekly points. This sounds strange but on the new system many foods have higher point values. BUT....many of the foods I eat...lean meat, dairy, whole grains, etc. have the same point amount. Many processed foods, sugary foods, alcohol, etc. have much higher values then they used to. But...I don't eat those foods. So, I think I'm getting too many points.

Finally after two frustrating weeks I cut out all the weekly points and ate only my 29 points each day. Also, you earn points for exercise and are supposed to add them back in but I just threw them into the wind. That is the week I finally lost 2 lbs. Yeah!! But, it's so annoying to not be able to follow the plan. I'm an EXACT kind of person. UGH! This last week I lost .4 lbs. Not amazing but at least the scale went down. Plus, it's Lent and all the carbs do make it harder for me to lose weight.

Each week when I weigh in I complain and tell the lady how I hate the new plan. How I'm frustrated. How I'm doomed. This last week she handed this pamphlet that she said, "could help explain my troubles". Okay. Good. Finally. Here is what the pamphlet says, "The great majority of our members see their best losses right at the start.....But a few people get off to a slow start...and often we see it in middle aged, petite females who have a relatively small amount of weight to lose". My first thought was WHAT????? Middle aged???? But, my second thought was Ah Hah!!! Yes, so they are recognizing that this new plan isn't working for everyone. I do fit this description. Middle aged....maybe if I only live to be 80...I plan to live to at least 100. Petite....yes, I'm 5'3". Have small amount of weight to lose....I have 10 lbs. to lose.

I am playing with the points and am eating about 29 a day and NO weekly and NO workout points. I hope this will work.

You may be thinking why not just use the old program. 1. I threw out all my old books...so I could embrace this new program. 2. I use the online recipe builders to find out point values. 3. I plan to do WW forever so I might as well get on board.
Wish me luck!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Is it lack of brushing? Is it the food we eat? LOL. We are losing more teeth around here than I can keep up with. Mr. P told me he doesn't believe in the tooth fairy...since fairies aren't real. I asked him who gives him money for his teeth. He replied that it's just some person who comes in your house and leaves it. Hmmmmm. Yah, a person comes in our house while we sleep, they have no key and we don't know them. That totally makes more sense than a fairy! What can I expect from a kid who has this tooth fairy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


The other day Mr. P said the most beautiful thing to me. It went like this.
Mr. P: Mom, I can't wait to go to heaven.
Me: Really...why do you say that?
Mr. P: Because in heaven I can see Tuba and he'll be able to talk and we can chat.
Me: **gulp** with tears in my eyes.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Forgiveness Sunday

Last night we attended the Forgiveness Vespers service at church. It is such a beautiful service. Humbling. It's exactly the right way to begin Lent. During the service all of the vestments, candle holders and table cloths are changed from red to purple. It's beautiful. Purple, the color of royalty, repentance, and self-discipline, is the traditional color for the season of Lent.
After the Vespers service ends we begin the asking of forgiveness part. We line up and begin with the priests. You stand face to face and each person says, "forgive me", you make the sign of the cross and bow and then each person says, "I forgive you", or "God forgives" as you hug and press your cheek to each side of each other's face. Does that sound confusing? Think of a European greeting with a kiss to each cheek...only we don't do the kiss part....okay, a few people do. After the priests come the Deacons, Sub-Deacons, Readers, and then the congregation.

We go through the line with our kids to help them along. I can say it was MUCH easier this year...my first year not carrying someone on my hip/back/front in at least 5 years. Whew! WAY easier. :) Sis surprised us all by giving each priest a HUGE hug. Wow! Baby George was more shy. Tuba LOVED it and giggled the whole way through. He loves to greet each person. Busy Guy and Mr. P did a fabulous job. It can be intimidating for adults to do this service but even more for young kids. The boys were awesome. They crossed themselves and asked for forgiveness to each and every person. Great kids!
Of course the most moving part of this is when you get to ask your immediate family to forgive you. I always linger a bit longer with each of my kids and husband as we hug. It is wonderful to see our kids hug each other too. Brings tears to my eyes.

I ask all of you for forgiveness also. Please forgive me if I have ever offended you. Forgive me my shortcomings or any wrongdoings.
God forgives.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Confession Friday

This picture has nothing to do with the post. I just really miss the beach and am dreaming of summer....

I am copying this idea from another blog I read. Confessional Friday. I love it. In case you just got really excited and were thinking that I'd be posting my confession list...the one I read to Christ and in front of my priest...well, sorry to burst your bubble. It won't be THAT list but I will be confessing something each Friday.

Here's my confession for today. I have been listening to country music. Yep. And I really like it. I mean I REALLY like it. It began innocently enough one day while driving in the car I happened upon the local country music station. It's "young" country you know. I really liked it and I kept listening to it. Then I started downloading songs I heard on the radio onto my iPod and listening at the gym. Next thing you know....I've gone country.

My husband was/is horrified. He wondered if I was ill....like mentally...or if I had someone in my life that was a bad influence. Nope. I just like it. He just shakes his head in despair. Should he be surprised? I also totally love Disco!

Why do I like it? The songs are fun to sing, the lyrics in some of the songs are hilarious! Who can't use a good laugh? I just heard this song today called I'm Still a Guy by Brad Paisley and it cracked me up. I think Cam would really like it if he'd just listen to the lyrics. They could be written for him...or by him. Here's some of the song.

These days there's dudes gettin' facials, manicured, waxed and botoxed. With deep spray-on tans and creamy lotiony hands you can't grip a tackle box.

Yeah, with all of these men linein' up to get neutered it's hip now to be feminized. I don't highlight my hair, I've still got a pair.Yeah, honey I'm still a guy.

Oh my eyebrows ain't plucked there's a gun in my truck. Oh thank god, I'm still a guy.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lenten Pantry

Lent is here. This past Sunday was Meatfare Sunday. It marks the last day Orthodox Christians eat meat until Pascha. We also abstain from dairy, olive oil and wine beginning this coming Sunday (Cheesefare Sunday) until Pascha. Cheesefare Sunday is also Forgiveness Sunday...more on the forgiveness part later.
I love getting my pantry (and mind) ready for the fasting portion of Lent. I sat down with my cookbooks and made a big grocery list to stock up on Lenten foods....ie: grains, nuts, legumes, veggies.

The first year we were Orthodox we were so lost about what to eat. I remember eating lots of bread, pasta, fries, and....fries. We were hungry, frustrated....and fat! Hmmmm. Not what I'd hoped for. Then there were the years I fully embraced the fasting allowance of shellfish. We had shrimp tacos, shrimp salad, shrimp fried, baked, sauteed. We were broke but not hungry. Then came more kids and more college and more chaos and less adherence to the fasting. We cut out fancy cuts of meat and treats like ice cream but not all meat and dairy...we were barely hanging on. Don't judge.

Which brings me to this year. The kids are older. We have a new established routine. I have a better grip on life here at home. We have successfully been maintaining the fast on Wed. and Fri. Yes, we fast on those days all year round. The kids (the middle two) have enjoyed learning why we fast and what we eat when we fast. Cam and I have set a plan for the fast this year. We will abstain from meat and will have some dairy....ie: milk, yogurt, cheese. Not ice cream. The kids are excited about the plan and so are we.

The spirit of the fast is what has to be the focus. To quote my priest, "If you fasted perfectly but were mean to your spouse, then all you did was go on a diet". The spirit of the fast is to draw us closer to God through fasting. The focus is not only the dietary guidelines but also to eat less, pray more, and give more to the poor.
Plus, eating a mostly Vegan diet is good for your body and the Earth too! Bonus! I'll be sharing some of our favorite Vegan recipes during Lent. You can also go to my friend's Lenten blog for more recipe ideas. Check out the prayer at the top of the page. It is my favorite. Our dear friends always sing it....brings tears to my eyes every time.

A word about shellfish. Because shrimp/crab/clams, etc. is allowed it is okay to eat them. However Cam and I have decided that indulging in expensive shellfish does not fit the spirit of the fast. We are choosing to eat less expensive meals (what is cheaper than bean soup?) and give more money away for almsgiving (another important aspect of Lent).
I read an article last year by Philip Mamalakis, PhD and his words have stuck with me. Here is part of what he says in the article.
"As Orthodox, we fast from food to be able to fast from sin. And it is our sin that keeps us from experiencing God fully. This connection between how we eat and how we sin is what the Fathers of the Church are clear on. This connection is also something that is lost in contemporary society. In America today, we don’t hear a lot about how fasting can help a marriage stay together or how a family can learn to love God through fasting. As a therapist, I see marriages fail because people cannot control how they act towards each other. Essentially the more we indulge ourselves in whatever we want, the more we become enslaved to our desires, rather than free to love. Fasting is not magic, but when we feast at the banquet of our souls through fasting we see God transforming our worldly desires towards His Kingdom. Opening up our marriages and families to fasting, opens up our hearts to be filled with the Grace of God and be truly free".


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