Saturday, May 28, 2011

Evening Prayers

As we approach the Ascension and take leave of Pascha, I wanted to share a snippet from our evening prayer routine.  We are going to miss singing Christ is Risen!  The girls love singing this (They can even sing it in Slavonic.) and "The Angel Cried..." 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Childproofing Kiddie Style ...or on a budget

I've always been a proponent of houseproofing the kids rather than childproofing the house (although I gave into popular opinion and did some childproofing since I have children in the house who are not my own).  The other day Bumble found a rubber band and did some extra childproofing for me.  She put it on some cabinet doors, but she soon found there was a problem with this -- she couldn't open the doors with a rubber band on them and she couldn't get it off!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Let Summer Begin...

It's time to frolic in the grass.  The dandelions are ready for wishing.  Pick one, pick two, pick as many as little hands can hold.  Make a wish.  Encourage new growth -- there are many more wishes to be made.  When the wishing is done, it's time to relax and enjoy the first ice cream cone of summer!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Keeping It Real Award

I'm so excited... my first blogging award!

There are so many people to thank.  First, thank you to my dear husband for having to serve in the altar, making it necessary for me to deal with the children on my own.  Thank you, of course, to my daughters for making it as difficult as possible to get through a church service.  Thank you to Holy Trinity Cathedral for having longer services than most other parishes. free smileys

Seriously, though, how nice it is to be appreciated.  I think it's great that Mat. Anna has created such a fun award.  What's even better is to know that there are so many of us out there trying to live a good life, stumbling along the way, and admitting our shortcomings thereby encouraging the millions (if only my readership were so large) of other women and men just trying to make it through daily life.

Although there are many deserving women to whom this award might be passed on, I think Mat. Anna deserves to be a recipient as well as the founder.  Here's to the many ways in which your blog inspires us to strive for the niceties of life while reminding us it's okay to be human.

Finally, I think this is an occasion for creating a new sidebar section in my blog...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

–Rudyard Kipling

In fourth grade we had to memorize poems to recite before the class.  I learned two: Little Boy Blue by Eugene Field, and this one.  I can still largely recite Little Boy Blue, not so much If.  However, to this one I have turned many times over the years to check my progress in life.  Even after trying for 20+ years to reach "manhood," I still haven't arrived.  Sometimes I do much better than others, but I often slip and have to get back up again

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,

This I can do, I have done.  Most recently I conquered this obstacle when trying to get my book published.  Some friends and family doubted, as did I at times, but I kept trying.  It turned out I do have a some talent, even if only a bit.

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

I can't do this one, and I may never do it.  I do wait, but usually I wait impatiently, hoping for the wait to end soon.  Sometimes it feels like the waiting will never end, but I really am tired of it.  I don't want to wait to buy a house.  I don't want to wait for my book to be released.  I don't want to wait to win the lottery.  Okay, so I never play it and will be waiting forever... I'm still tired of waiting.

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

This one I have down.  I can be fairly intelligent and offer wise words from time to time.  But on occasion I say something downright stupid or do something terribly embarrassing to humble me and remind others that I'm not all that great.

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same

I haven't mastered this one, but I'm working on it.  I do get excited by my triumphs, and I want to proclaim them to the world.  I want to proclaim my disasters, too, but they do get me down.  On the other hand, my innate timidity often tempers my excitement and the sharing of my triumphs, and my fairly optimistic personality does help me to stop dwelling on the misfortunes that life brings.  So, while I may not treat those two impostors just the same, I'm getting close.

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;

I'm not much of a risk taker, at least not when there is really something to lose.  I don't think I'll ever be able to do this, but I don't think I really want to either.

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

I think that I can do this.  However, I can't do it on my own.  This is one point where I have to rely on God.  And there have certainly been times when it seemed like there was nothing left to hold on to, but somehow I did hold on with many heart-wrenching cries for strength and grace from above.

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,

I'd like to think I could do this one.  However, if I'm going to be honest, I don't think I can walk with kings.  I can talk with crowds and not be swept up in immorality.  And I'm pretty sure I can hang on to the common touch.  But as much as I've always dreamt of being sophisticated, elegant, witty, and intelligent enough to walk with kings, I think I fall short... short according to my standards, at least.

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

I am no where near to mastering this point.  Both foes and loving friends can and do hurt me from time to time.  I try not to hold onto the hurt for too long, but it's not always easy to release.  There was a boy from school, who tormented me from junior high through high school.  When I heard how bad his life was a few years ago, I felt glad for his misfortune.  A sure sign that I was still holding on to the pain he had inflicted.  On occasion, I still think about how mean he was, but I no longer revel in his misery.  It took quite awhile, but I have moved on.

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Finally, this one I struggle with every minute!  I do want to live life to the fullest, but I have a problem with wasting time and procrastinating.  Some days are better than others.  Indeed, some minutes are better than others.  Sometimes, I just wish the minutes would slow down and give me a chance to catch up, use them fully, and enjoy them.

Here's to growing up and living the best life we can!

Friday, May 13, 2011

10 Things You Never Knew About Me

Let's start at birth.

1. I am the worst Christmas present my older sisters ever got.

2. In first grade, I smart-mouthed at teacher.  The class was getting water after recess, and the teacher was counting to 3 for each student's turn.  On my turn, I said, "I can count to three."  I didn't get any water, but I did straighten up after that.

3. I tried out to be a cheerleader every year from 6th grade on, and I never made it.  This is actually funny if you know me because I was...

4. ... so shy through high school that I would only whisper if called on in class.  In fact, the girl who sat in front of me in my history class seemed very smart because I would whisper the answers, and she would shout them out.

5.  Even into my 20s I felt like a child.  I've finally gotten over that, but sometimes others still seem to think it.

6. I am expert at burning food.

7. I don't want pets.  I worry about what would happen to them in a fire, and I don't want to have to wash my hands more often than I already do.

8. I don't care for gold jewelry.  It seems too flashy to me.  I prefer the coolness of platinum and silver.

9. My favorite scene from a movie is in French Kiss when Meg Ryan's character tells Kevin Kline's character, something to the effect of you'll be a lonely old man sitting in the corner of a bar saying, "My ass is twitching.  You people make my ass twitch."  I even laugh at my own impression of the scene, and you must use the gestures (smoking a fake cigarette) while saying it.  It's been too long since I've watched that movie.  I may have to sit down with it this weekend.

10. I unlocked all the achievements on Plants vs. Zombies by myself.  If you'd like to try it, you can find it at various places online.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Have a Head Egg... and other misunderstood words

My last posts on language got me thinking more about the class I took at Tulane on the history of language and its evolution.  That was an informative, useful, and fun class.  One of the activities that we did in this class was to create a list of "vulgarisms" (ways in which proper language usage is changed by popular usage).

There are dozens of ways for language to be vulgarized (there's one now: changing a noun or adjective into a verb).  One that DH hates is the insertion of a non-etymological consonant into a word, such as sherbert instead of sherbet.  Another one is the pronunciation of silent letters, such as the way many non-native English speakers say saLmon.  And one of my biggest pet peeves the misuse of prefixes like irregardless.  (Funny, the spell check feature on blogger fussed at me for sherbert, but it didn't bat an eye at irregardless!  I guess the language has already accepted that one.)

Anyway, what I was really thinking about when I began this post is what we termed in class "ignorant interpretation of unfamiliar expressions."  My title example was one that I used as a kid.  I often had headaches when I was growing up.  I guess the first time I heard the term, I heard head egg.  From then on, every time I had a headache as a child I would envision a fried egg on my brain.  I couldn't explain why that egg made my head hurt so much, but it did.

Today Bumble Baby asked for a "girl cheese sandwich" for lunch.  I said, "Girl cheese sandwich sure."  Then she changed her mind, "No, I want a boy cheese sandwich."  This isn't the first time we've used these terms, but I still find it cute. I'm probably a terrible mother, though, because instead of correcting her I've created a new sandwich.  The girl cheese is your typical grilled sandwich with buttered bread and cheese. The boy cheese sandwich adds thinly sliced apple.

I'll leave you with a few other examples from my class, and I'd love to hear yours.

Muddy Gras, Cars' Way (for the Causeway a bridge in Louisiana), Youth in Asia, doggy-dog world, Yawn Kipper, appleplectic, some roaches in the liver, sick as hell anemia

The Answer

All of the words in the list are (were) brand names.  Interestingly, scotch tape is still called cellophane tape in Scotland.  Of course, we can add band-aid, Kleenex, Tylenol, and aspirin to the list, but that would have been too easy.

Several years ago, I had a class on language evolution in which we discussed the various means by which languages change.   We used the term metonymy for the use of a brand name to refer to the generic product.  I always thought of it as a high compliment to a company that its product and name could be so popular as to become the default word for said product.  Apparently, this phenomenon is now being called genericide, a decidedly negative term.  And companies are spending lots of money on advertising to remind us that their product brand is just that.  A notable exception is that Microsoft is actively trying to integrate "Bing" into our common lexicon just as Google has done unwillingly.

You can listen to an interesting show on the topic on The Age of Persuasion with Terry O'Reilly.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers' Weekend

I get a whole weekend instead of a day.  Yaya came home from school Friday and was so eager to give me the gifts they made in school.  She had already told me about the coupons they were making earlier in the week.  As she told me what the coupons were for --give a hug, clean the house, make dinner, make breakfast--, I stopped her and said, "Make breakfast, I want to use that one tomorrow."  She love that idea.  She grabbed a pen and paper instantly to take my order and wrote bred with paska chees, stawbarrys, yougur, cofe.

Later, when Daddy arrived home, she accosted him with "Daddy, Daddy, you have to wake up early tomorrow at 7:00 so we can make breakfast for Mama, and she can sleep late!  We can use the bed tray I made!"  Then before going to bed that night, she told me, "Mom, shut your door tonight so Bumble and I can't bother you tomorrow."

Yesterday morning around 7:00 I heard Thump, Thump, Thump, Thump, Thump, "Daaddy, it time to wake up!"  Yaya had sent Bumble to make sure Daddy was getting up.  I heard Daddy get up, and I lay back in bed and smiled to myself.  Outside my door I could hear the bumping, mumbling, and sometimes yelling that goes along with the girls' morning routine.  Not long after they were all up,  I heard Bumble repeating "Kitchen, kitchen, kitchen."  I don't know if she was trying to get Yaya and Daddy into the kitchen to or if she was just excited to be allowed in the kitchen making noise so early in the morning.  Whatever she her reason, Daddy calmly answered, "Bumble, you must quiet down."  It didn't bother me at all.  I knew I could relax and not worry about keeping the girls quiet so others could sleep.  At 8:00 they were finished, and my door opened letting in two bouncy girls and Daddy with the food.

While I ate, Yaya also gave me a card she made in school (she had shown it to me already, though).  It was a card all about me according to Yaya.  It said things like "My mom's name is Kelly," "My mom's favorite hobby is babysitting" (I had to explain that the real reason I babysit is to spend more time with my own children.), and "My mom's favorite food is green beans" (I probably would not have given that answer if asked, but I had to admit that I do like green beans, and I cook them all the time.).  It was quite a revelation of our relationship!

So, now it's Sunday, and to make it even more special it is also the Sunday of the myrrh-bearing women.  Somehow it seems just right that we should be celebrating both mothers and the women who first announced the Resurrection of the Lord.  So far this morning, I was serenaded with a "Happy Mothers' Day" song upon waking, and I've got a nice stepping stone made by Yaya, Bumble (and me...).  Other than going to church, I don't know if we'll do anything else today, but I'm sure I'll have a great day with all of my family.

Happy Mothers' Day to my mom, my mom-in-law, Mat. Anna, and Mat. Joanna!  We love you all!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Riddle

What Do These Words Have In Common?

scotch tape
kitty litter

hint: it has to do with language evolution.
answer to come...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Growing Up... or Maybe Not

I took Bumble to the park today, and she decided to try out a new part of the play equipment.  Today she wanted to climb up a curved ladder (you can see it next to the large slide in my title picture).  This is actually a pretty tough ladder because you have to stretch a bit to reach the next rung.  So, I held her waist the first few times she climbed it.  She'd reach the top and shout, "I did it!"  By the fourth time she wanted none of me.  I tried to hold my hands out just to spot her, not even touching.  What did she do?  She let go with one hand and swatted my hand away.  I was persistent, so she did this twice before I gave her a little extra space, and I thought Boy, she's growing up fast!

No more than 30 minutes later when we arrived home, she asked me "Where's fly?"  Yesterday, she had seen a large housefly on a planter near the front door and didn't like it one bit.  I replied, "I don't know where he is, but he flew away yesterday.  It's okay."  No sooner had the words been spoken than the fly swooped down from no where landing on the step just in front of us.  She shrieked liked a banshee and grabbed my leg.  I couldn't help but laugh at her reaction and think Well, maybe she's not growing up so fast after all.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Axios! Axios! Axios!

This weekend Archimandrite Matthias was consecrated Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest.  From an external perspective the consecration services went off without a hitch.  Behind the scenes a very loyal subdeacon had to save the day by returning to Holy Trinity Cathedral to pick up a trikiri & dikiri to bring back to Christ the Savior Church so the consecration liturgy could begin.  Then, it all went off without a hitch.

So, here are some photos from the weekend's events!

Profession of Faith and Vespers on Friday Night

Fr. Matthias being presented to the gathered bishops

"Hazing" by blessed water

The Holy Synod of the OCA

Consecration Saturday Morning
(This was a packed service and nearly impossible to see. These photos are courtesy of  my husband.)

 The Installation (and Dinner) on Sunday
The faithful gathering
The Holy Synod lining up

Arrival of Metropolitan Jonah

Vesting of the Metropolitan

Subdeaconal Ordination of Reader Gregory

Little Entrance

The Choir
The Epistle Reading
The Gospel Reading
The Great Entrance

Deaconal Ordination of Subdeacon Gregory

Communion of the Faithful

First Litany of Deacon Gregory

Presentation of flowers to Metropolitan Jonah and Bishop Matthias
by members of the Sisterhood of Saints Martha and Mary

Someone had a long day!

If you'd like to see even more pictures, email me and I'll send you a Picasa link.