Friday, April 24, 2015



Our Pascha service starts at 10:30 pm. It's crazy to be getting ready for church at bedtime. 

George was asleep in the van on the way to church and came right in, laid down and went to sleep. 

My mom and Bill joined us for Pascha. It was REALLY fun!!

Tuba was all excited!! 

My sweet girl was not so tired. I tried and tried to get her to lay down and sleep. Nope. She slept about 20 min. and then woke up. By the time we went downstairs to celebrate and break the fast she was a wreck. TIRED!! She snapped at me...I WANT TO GO HOME!!

We pack lots of yummy treats! All our perishables were in the cooler staying chilled. 

This year we came home earlier than we ever have. We rolled into our driveway about 3:30. Ugh. Very tired!!

And the next day is the Carnival!! The Pascha Feast and Carnival is Sunday....after we try to sleep in and rest. Really it goes more like drag ourselves out of bed and wonder WHY the children wake up so early, make a yummy breakfast, and then rush around getting food ready for the feast and packing the car full of carnival items. 

The feast day is all about fun...I call it...Let Your Hair Down Day. The kids know they can wear what they want, eat what they want and just play and have fun. 

I was having too much fun at the carnival and didn't take many photos! I did snap this cute one of all the little kids at the egg hunt. The kids were running all over the park with their baskets and people kept driving by and looking at us so strange. We realized it was a week past Western Easter and they must have thought we were nuts! Ha!

The kids jumped all day in the bouncy house. A great way to let off steam. 

After the Carnival we clean up and headed home about 7:00 pm. We were bone tired, hiney dragging tired, exhausted!!

And...hungry!!!! We took the kids out for burgers. You can see from the photos that non-stop church services, plus lack of sleep, plus too much bouncy house and sugar creates some wild kids. 

Or should I say....Wild Sis!!

And a Crazy Mom!!

Whew!!! What a week!! 

Christ Is Risen!! Indeed He Is Risen!!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Holy Week and Pascha Part 2

Cam, Tuba and Moses attended Holy Week services Mon. and Tues. Starting Wed. the rest of us joined in. The services are long but they are beautiful and they are a lovely time spent together. 

On the way home we treat the kids to candy....if they had good behavior. There was one night that the youngest two had to forgo the treat. It's hard being a parent....a good parent that follows through!! They cried and fussed but the next night they were great!

The week is a blur of school, dinner, church....repeat. It's hard but rewarding and fun too.

The big boys were so excited every night to serve. They harped at us to get us out the door on time. I miss standing with them but love to watch them. 

Cam got lots of love from Tuba. Holy Week is his favorite week of the year. Every day he got off the school bus and said, "candles, church, me??". 

How sweet is this?!

Another of my favorite things about Holy Week is since we are at church so much we get to see our friends a lot! Love that. There are some beautiful and loving families in our parish. This is our friend David helping Tuba light his candle. Everyone knows that Tuba LOVES candles. 

Happy boy!!

Moses enduring his Mama and her photo taking. 

The week is a blur of outfit changes. I worked hard this year to pick up the kids' things and hang them up so they would be ready to go again....especially the boys' dress pants. Normally I'd have them do it but it was late and they would strip, put on pj's and plop into bed.

The Lamentations service is Friday night and there are flowers strewn all over the floor. The kids love to gather them up in piles to play with. Sat. morning bay leaves are thrown adding to the flowers left over from the night before. The kids really have fun.

Please note Sis's new shoes. They are so cute and fit her personality. The toes light up too. I was a mean mom (according to her) and wouldn't let her wear them to the night time services....when it's dark in the nave. She was thrilled to put them on Sat. morning!! She loves socks and wears two pair at a time. I try to guide her sock choice but most of the time it's unsuccessful....or she puts on what she wants and then runs out to the van. 

Check out her snowman socks. At least those match the other colors in her dress. 

Moses busy serving as acolyte.

Both boys during communion.

And the reason for Holy Week. We stand right in front of this icon in church. A beautiful reminder of why we attend and celebrate Pascha. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Holy Week and Pascha Part I

Here goes.....

Holy Week was fun...and long...and busy. I didn't get that many photos this year. But, here's the best of them.

Palm Sunday

The kids LOVE Palm Sunday...known to Cam and I as "Poke your parents' eye out day". Ha!!

Sis got busy making crosses with the Palm leaves.

Little brother too.

Actually there was much less palm poking this year. The middle boys served on the altar the the littles were busy making palm crafts. 


I see you...pretty girl.

Tuba loves to wave his palm around. 

We process around our church building waving our palms....and since Orthodox Christians celebrate on a different calendar than Western Christians...we get A LOT of really funny looks. 

My sweet boys did an amazing job!


Monday, April 20, 2015

Island Time

On Friday of our Spring Break...which was now so long ago I fear I'll never catch up with posting...we took a ferry ride to our favorite island.

First stop was our fav pizza place. It's SO good. The marinara sauce is divine...a religious experience. I order a side of it to pour over my pizza. AND...the kids and Cam know to order their own 'cause I'm not sharing!!

A walk on the beach is always needed after pizza.

The weather was rainy with intermittent sun breaks. We wanted to explore a new town but as we arrived the rain was beginning to pour. We headed indoors to a fun wine shop, coffee shop. I bought two yummy homemade pies while Cam pursued the wine shop and made a few purchases. 

As we came out the rain stopped so we decided to hike to the top of the hill. You can see the water on both sides of the island from the top. It was beautiful!! 

We live in a beautiful part of the world!! Rain...yes....but it makes everything so green and lush.

The fab five!!

And the terrific two!

Back where we parked there were art galleries and a cheese shop. Such fun!

And...there was this lovely pond and an Audubon platform overlooking a preserve. We saw so many beautiful birds.

It was a magical day full of good food, sunshine, rain clouds, and new adventures. Oh, and all my loves!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

International District

On Thursday we took the kids to the big city. We have been wanting to explore the International District and eat in China Town. 

I looked online for restaurant recommendations and picked one. I really wanted good Chinese food....not the American version of fried congealed saucy junk you usually find around our town. I had high hopes...and said a few prayers. 

We were seated by a  very friendly woman. This is a BIG DEAL! When you walk into a restaurant with five kids you are often not warmly welcomed. We were off to a good start. 

We could tell the decor was a bit dated....and there was a large broken window near us that had a board nailed over it and cold wind coming through....and there was a huge water damage spot on the ceiling above us. Eeeeeks, Cam and I nervously giggled to each other. 

But, it was clean and that goes a long way.

The kind waitress brought hot tea and the kids were thrilled!! 

A lot of tea was consumed....with sugar of course.

Moses got ready for the main event and was excited to use his chop sticks. 

We ordered four different lunch specials. There was a TON of food!! The kids were in heaven! They LOVED it!! The nice waitress brought extra fried rice just because she knows kids love it. She's right! The kids are still talking about how good the food was. 

Now, if you want to know the truth...Cam and I thought the food was okay. Actually, I think what I said was, "well, it wasn't disgusting". Ha!! It wasn't the best and it wasn't the worst. And...the bonus is that the whole lunch cost us $34.00. No kidding!!! There was so much food left over that the kids ate it for dinner. 

After lunch we hit the streets to explore China Town and Japan Town. There are two distinct areas of the city with shops, restaurants, and businesses. 

We went to the huge international grocery store that we love. It's so much fun!! Everyone got our favorite Hawaiian juice and some rice treats.

We found a huge beautiful community garden on a hillside. You can walk all around and look at the plots and see what is growing. There were even chickens! 

We found some bamboo and it's Cam's favorite plant so we had to get a photo. This would be a good time for all reasonable people to leave a comment telling Cam NOT to plant bamboo in our yard. 

We went to a noodle factory and they also make fortune cookies. We bought a humongous bag of them. They were so good and the kids loved reading the fortunes. 

The best thing we saw was very somber. We spent time telling the kids about what happened in Japan Town during WWII and how the Japanese were rounded up and interned. Many of those families lost their businesses and property. I read a great book called On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet a few years ago. The book is about that time in our city's history. There is a hotel featured in the book and the building is still standing. There is a tea shop there and we brought the kids to visit. I had the most delicious cup of tea.

I was enjoying looking at the photos on the walls when a man sitting at a table asked me if I'd seen the window in the floor. I hadn't seen it so I walked back to look. A hole had been cut in the floor revealing the basement below. In the basement are items that were left behind by families leaving for internment. In the book I read about how people put all of their things into storage and some never returned to claim it. It was moving to see those items frozen in time....a baby buggy, suitcases, clothing, boxes. It's a shameful part of our country's history. We showed the window to the kids and talked lots about it.

It was a good day. Family fun and history lesson all in one. 

On our way home we decided to stop at a big park that we've never been to. It was the perfect photo opportunity. I recently dubbed my kids, "The Fab Five" and I think this pic sums that up perfectly. for a laugh...look closely at Sis's face. She is such a hoot! 

In turn, one of the kids said Cam and I are, "The Terrific Two". Nice! 

More adventures to come....yes, we were exhausted after our staycation. 


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