Monday, August 21, 2017

What we did today - August 21, 2017

Took a walk with the boys today in the rain :) Got them all decked out in their rain suits and boots, walked to the pond in our neighborhood and saw fish and frogs. When we got home, they played in the backyard in the water table, throwing water and watering their dinosaurs (ah boys)...a good rainy day!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Byzantine Chant

This is more for myself than anyone else (just to have everything in one place), but below are several links I use to find Byzantine music:

And these are places to learn Byzantine chant:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Baby bump pictures :)

Sorry it took so long, but for those who were asking:
at 17 weeks

at 19 weeks

at 24 weeks

and Baby at 19.5 weeks :)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Baby updates

So, for those that read this and maybe I haven't actually talked to in a while, here is the latest on Baby Dancer :) (I will upload ultrasound pictures later today).

Frank and I found out we were expecting in May - we are both very excited! Almost at 6 months and still can't believe how time has flown.  I am substitute teaching this year, so I can have the flexibility to be home with the baby when s/he is born.

First three months were miserable, but they're done now, so I'm trying to block them from my memory :) Starting in July, I actually felt like a human being again and have been steadily working to get the baby's room ready and the house in order (since I probably won't have time to do that for a while).  We had our 20 week ultrasound (we did not find out the gender) and baby is looking big and healthy.  We're due on January 11, though I'm pretty open to anytime in early-mid January (I was a late baby, so I wouldn't be surprised if this one is too).

I have started to feel kicks, which is awesome, and Frank and I both enjoy reading to our little Baby at night.

Again, I'll get some pictures up later today of me (since I've gotten requests) and Baby (since that's just cool), and hope that I'll be able to update again soon.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gardening 2013...and a new method of blogging?

So, once again I'm going to make a blogging attempt...this time on my tablet! I got it several months back and it has been amazing at keeping me on task (while simultaneously providing yet another opportunity for distraction...oh well). This is my test post to see if it will actually work, and I'm hoping this method might let me be more consistent at posting.

The picture I attached is my latest seedling attempt. Last year's seeds were a mediocre success, but I'm blaming our unusually hot and dry summer on most of it. This year, my parents bought me a cold frame (like a small greenhouse) for my birthday, and that's where these little puppies are going to sit to see if I can give them a bit of a head start...and keep my window sill clean :-) let's hope yesterday's snow is really the end of winter!

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Joy to Serve

          Recently, I had the blessing of reading Matushka Juliana Schmemann’s newest book, The Joy to Serve.  Having grown up in a family dedicated to the service of the Church (my father as a parish priest, my mother as a priest’s wife and choir director, my sister and myself as a chanter and Sunday School teacher, my brother as a subdeacon), I found this book both comforting and challenging.  Comforting, because it showed that the struggles we have faced throughout our church service are by no means unique, and challenging, because it showed that my opinion about how things should be done is NOT equivalent, and in fact can often be radically opposed, to the Truth of the Gospel, which is simply love for God, and love for neighbor.  Below I share an excerpt that particularly moved me, both when I first read it, and especially now as I travel to join family, friends, and assembled faithful in prayer as my uncle and godfather completes his life’s journey.  May God bless us on our own journey to the Kingdom!

“When preparing for a journey, we try to learn as much as we can about our destination; the climate, the history, the special attractions, etc. We buy special clothes, travel books, we explore the internet.  In other words we spend a great deal of time in preparation for the trip with great enthusiasm and anticipation.
            Exactly the same can be said about our life’s journey to the Kingdom.  The same joy and anticipation can and should take place as we prepare for our final banquet with the Lord, with the Theotokos and with all the saints…
Having laid aside all earthly cares, having detached ourselves from concrete petty thoughts and emptied our minds in order to give enough room for the Spirit to fill, I would like to stand with you in silence, stillness and solitude – solitude with Christ.  Then we can concentrate on our journey, the one that is taking place as time moves inexorably forward, upward, and, we hope, towards the gates…
But we know Christ, we partake of His Body and His Blood, we stand at the foot of His Cross, we know His Love…Love Him back! Always and forever, this is the answer: love Him back!
The Church provides all the tools that this journey requires…”

The Joy to Serve, pp. 85-88
Juliana Schmemann
Published by: Alexander Press

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Triumphs and "Learning Experiences"

     The interval between my last blog post and this one has been FULL of small gardening triumphs, as well as small (and not so small) "learning experiences" - my College of Ed professor's way of describing those situations that do NOT go as planned.

First of all, the potted tomatoes (store-bought) are doing great! Actually, as of this posting we've already harvested 6, and two more are waiting to get picked tonight :) I learned my lesson last year that, to avoid the awful "bottom-blossom rot" I must water these guys incessantly, and keep the dirt from splashing up on them.  To do this, I used some leftover gardening fabric and shredded newspaper to "mulch" my tomatoes and so far, so good : )

Sorry for the side-ways photo, I'll keep trying to fix it haha...but, anyway, this is (or rather, was) my cilantro. I'm blaming it on the heat, but this poor little guy, who started out rather strong, just did not make it.  It does, however, have a bunch of flowery things (just no leaves), so maybe it'll come back next year?

Ahh, the basil.  In this picture, absolutely lovely, and a great addition to my soups and other summer cooking experiments.  Unfortunately, it currently looks HORRIBLE because the Japanese beetles have decided that yes, indeed, it is tasty :( I have managed to keep the beetle populations somewhat at bay through strategically placed bird feeders (and a good hosing off every once in a while), and I still have hope that I can get a few more good servings off of this guy before winter.

One of my students gave me these potted flowers for my last day of school and it is surviving! I have not had great luck in the past with my potted plants (as my husband and dying indoor orchid will attest to), but this guy seems to be made of some pretty hardy stuff (marigolds, snapdragons, and some other flowers that I'm sure my more gardening-pro friends will recognize but I have yet to identify).

These are two tomato seedlings left over from my seed-starting attempt (see more below).  I am keeping them alive, but am not really sure that they are going to get big enough to produce fruit before winter...we'll see.

Ditto as above (except that it's parsley).  It's hanging in there, but since this is a perennial plant I have much higher hopes for a good future here.

This basil was started from seed, and it still looks this beautiful :) I guess if the beetles terrorize the other one, I should at least have this one left.

Slight break from the vegetables, my newest flowering plant :) I can claim absolutely no credit for the flowers in my garden - they came with the house - but I enjoy them nevertheless.

This is the other corner of my yard, filled with asparagus (front), cucumbers (left), green onions (middle), tomatoes (back), and blue berries (right).

These cucumbers started from seed and have some very nice yellow blossoms.  This was a new plant for me this year, and I learned all about it's need for crawling all over the ground (who knew? Apparently everybody but me LOL).  I'm hoping we'll get some cucumbers out of it this year.

One more cucumber, and a tomato seedling all grown up :) As with the other (even smaller) seedlings, I'm not sure it will produce much fruit before winter, but we'll give it a shot.

Again, a series of sideways photos - blueberries from last year, but recently transplanted into pots (ideally for better soil quality control - we'll see how they like it).  So far, with these guys, not even a blossom much less a berry.  I'm chalking it up to transplant shock or heat or not a cold enough winter...other ideas?? I do know it can't be the soil, since I made it nice and acidic for them.

More teenage tomatoes

Last year's parsley - gone WILD! It's so weird, I've barely even cut any leaves for use.  The stalks are huge too! I was really excited that it came back, but now I just don't know what to do with it.  Definitely open to ideas.

This year's parsley - much better :) except that a few chipmunks (at least 3, unless it's the same guy coming back after getting trapped) have decided that parsley roots make great burrowing places.  I've tried moving them, but those guys are crazy good at getting into the pots.

So, that's about it on the gardening front.  I have another blog I want to post soon on more spiritual matters, so keep your eyes open for a new consecutive posting record!