Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Lady Of Advent

Rather a nice RC icon, shamelessly poached from another site.............
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Raising Them Up

Monica asked:
"How did you grow in her love for the saints?
My son is 5, and I pray that God will build the faith in his heart despite all of my bad influence! My son can recite Johnny Cash or Bob Dylan more readily than sing about a saint."

Monica, in our culture, this is a perennial problem. I don't have answers, but this is what we do.......

DD4 is the only one of my four who was actually baptised Orthodox, LOL.

We have loads of icons. A full scale icon corner in the dining room, with lampada, though it is only lit occasionally. Each child has icons of Christ and the Theotokos and Guardian angel in their rooms. The only room without an icon is the bathroom.

I have quite a few picture books about the Saints,and we read them occasionally. When DD4 was tiny (18months+), she was used to a routine of dropping her sister off at school and we would go home and I would pray Morning prayers at the icon corner, virtually every day, and venerate the icons. She just naturally followed the veneration, so I made sure there were icons on shelves at her level; she would pick up various icons and kiss them repeatedly, at all sorts of times as she was passing. Her particular favourite was the Great Martyr Barbara :-)

Once she was old enough, I read the bible story of her Saint, righteous Abigail. She kisses her bedroom icons every night on her own, and will not sleep without praying. I hang my head in shame and freely admit she is far closer to Christ at age 7 than I will **ever** be.

I also pray the Akathist to the Theotokos, Nurturer of Children.
My "background noise" at home is usually The Ark radio station, so she is used to contemporary Orthodox Christian music as well as chant, when she is not watching TV .

At the end of the day, it is each individual child's individual response, and it cannot be predicted.
Elder Porphyrios once said that if you are anxious about your child, don't take it to your child, take it to God and the Theotokos and pray. God will lay it on your child's heart what it needs to know and hear....... I pray this is true.
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I have finally installed the Blogroll widget on the blog, but am only slowly adding folk, so don't panic if you aren't on there yet :-)

I do have 143 Ortho-bloggers on my Bloglines list, but will be ruthless and eliminate anyone who has not updated their blog in the last six months.....
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.....And Ups

The cause of DD3's daily headaches has been identified after a quick trip to our local friendly optician on Tuesday. She has astigmatism and needs glasses for all close work. Considering the amount she reads, no wonder she was having headaches.......!
Said glasses duly arrived on Thursday and she looks so cool. Not to mention the fact that she can now see clearly, and the headaches have gone :-)

Photos will appear in due course....and of course, those of DD4 who has now been duly formally invested as a fully-fledged Beaver Scout, along with three of her classmates and ten other local children.

It has been a busy week :-)
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Dear friends,
My brother is back in hospital and is really poorly. He and his family have fairly major issues going on, and I would really appreciate your prayers for them all.

My mother and I are worried sick, and an initially distressing situation seems to be rapidly going to hell in a handbasket........
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Thursday, November 27, 2008


A Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to my readers across the Pond and those expats currently domiciled here :-)
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Just Wondering.....

Please vote :-)
My tree tends to go up mid second week of December.....

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Answering Queries

Questions have been asked about my recent post regarding Church :-)

Monica, DD4 has just turned 7 and seems to be understanding what we are doing and why. Still has a long way to go, but at last there is some real understanding about the structure of the Liturgy to add to her love of icons and the Saints.

Meg, it was a Saturday Liturgy. Once a month there is a Liturgy in town A, generally on a Saturday.The Sunday liturgies are always held in Town B.
It was my Godmother's Name Day,St Cecilia, according to the New Calendar, hence my determination to get there to celebrate with her :-)
We will have another Saturday Liturgy for St Nicholas Day on 6th December, NC.
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Getting To Church

Yesterday we went to Liturgy, and what joy to see my godmother safely home from hospital and celebrate her nameday with her ! She is much improved, though still not completely recovered from her hospitalisation, and I thank you all for your prayers.

It was a quiet service, with only Father, Presbytera, DD 3&4 and myself in Church, but that meant there was plenty of room for the Angels and saints to join with us in worship :-) The girls sang their hearts out for the Cherubic Hymn, and sang along everything they knew with Presbytera and I. I do need to teach them the Troparia to St Nicholas and St David, ready for the next service......

DD4 had her prayerbook with her - for a change, I remembered to take it (!) and set her a challenge of identifying the key points of the service, which she did successfully, much to her delight. It is starting to make sense to her now, rather than just being a long service. Her comment earlier on in the day was "But Mum, the prayers are soooo looong ! I like saying prayers but they are too long in Church!"

To my delight, when we came out of Church, she grinned at me and said "Mum, this was the best day ever !"
Of course, the two of them then managed to sustain low-level niggling at each other for the rest of the afternoon, but what's new :-)
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christmas Is Coming

...because the young ones have come home from school clutching their scripts for their parts in the Christmas Concert :-)

DD3's costume is easily sorted, but DD4's necessitated a speedy purchase from EBay to make sure we had the garment in plenty of time, LOL.
You will have to wait till the night of the concert to see it, though, as it would spoil the fun..........but I will be at school having fun helping to make the necessary accessories for all 28 children in the class !

School life continues to be busy, but most enjoyable. Morning prayers are tending to be said about 10.45am whilst walking home by the little lake, followed by a much needed cup of coffee when I get home. I have had some interesting conversations with a member of staff who is teaching Judaism to her class next term, and I have offered to share some of my own resources with her, especially my Hebrew/English Artscroll Siddur so the children can see a real Jewish prayerbook, written from right to left and therefore opened at the back in order to start reading.
Still gets me confused :-0

We have had requests from some staff members relating to obtaining books on specific topics which they will be covering during this academic year, and we will do our best to accomodate them in as far as our library budget allows. Most of our Christian interest books are fairly old; it would be nice to have some new ones for the children to browse through !
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Time Managemnt

This post comes from one of my fave bloggers, and really could have been written about me :-)

I spend far too much time at my computer :-(
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Five Things.....

5 Things I was Doing 10 years Ago:
(1) Breastfeeding a six month old baby, my DD3
(2) Breaking my heart as my first husband was having an affair and my marriage was falling apart.
(3) Grieving over having too many health problems to be able to go back to work as a midwife.
(4) Blaming God for everything
(5) Having no idea where my life was going

5 Things On My To-Do List Today:
(1) Morning prayers & Typica ( kids home ill, so no Liturgy today for us)
(2) Meals
(3) Iron school uniform and DH's work clothes for the upcoming week
(4) Pack DD3 & 4 's school bags
(5) Knit ! Currently knitting a purple shawl for DD3......

5 Snacks I Love:
(1) Chocolate
(2) Baked Brie and Cranberry sauce baguette
(3) Chocolate
(4) Jelly Beans
(5) Chocolate

5 Things I Would Do If I Were A Millionaire:
(1) Give 10 % to charity
(2) Put some aside for my children
(3) Build a chapel in the back garden
(4) Buy lots of books :-)
(5) Travel

5 Places I've Lived:
(1) In a three bedroom house with my parents
(2) Next door to a man who was a complete fruitcake.
(3) In a three bedroom house on a council housing estate, also next door to a family who were all complete fruitcakes.....
(4) In a detached four bedroom house, which was beautiful, but I hated because that was where my life fell apart 10 years ago.
(5) In a semi-detached four bedroom house with DH and my two youngest, now the eldest two have all growed up !

5 Jobs I've Had:
(1) Wife
(2) Mother
(3) Midwife
(4) Shop assistant
(5) Blogger :-)
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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ho hum

DD3 has been frogmarched to the doctor's today, after waking up crying in pain with her ankles.
Turns out she has Osgood - Schlatter syndrome, which is a temporary intermittent tendonitis in the lower legs due to very rapid bone growth temporarily outstripping the tendon length.
Treatment is rest and ibuprofen when the pain strikes, and normal exercise whilst she is pain-free.

She has grown at least an inch in the last month, mind, so it is not really that surprising.......
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Scott Moses Murray

For those of you who listen to The Ark Orthodox radio and like Scott Murray's song "Dry Bones" if you go here, you can listen to even more of his songs :-)
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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Odds And Ends

Lots been going on chez moi, but for issues of privacy for some members of the extended family, I have not been able to blog about them in any detail.
Here are some snippets:-

My brother has been pretty ill but is on the mend, glory to God.

Presb. Cacilia is slowly improving, though she will be in hospital for another week, according to the latest news.

DD2's lovely boyfriend Rob has been able to get a job, so we are all delighted for him.

DoomHamster now has functioning central heating in her flat, though can't afford to use it much due to the hike in gas prices !

DH has yet another Meibomian cyst in his eyelid plus a riproaring infection across the whole eyelid, so is on his second installment of antibiotic cream , and sees the Consultant next week.

DD3 is recovering well from an ankle injury.

I have finally started Christmas shopping :-)

Finally, I was forcibly restrained by my DH from buying any more cookbooks when we went to a discount bookshop yesterday. When we got home, I went to the public library and borrowed a copy of "The Hairy Bikers Ride Again" cookbook in order to assuage my disappointment :-)

Info about this hilarious cooking duo - and recipes !- here !
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Asking Prayers Again

My beloved Godmother is ill in hospital.

Please pray for the Presbytera Cacilia !!
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