Wednesday, May 30, 2012

PrettyHappyFunnyReal 10 Years of Priesthood

You are a priest forever!
10 years ago, deacon-husband became priest-husband. That day was PRETTY- the sun was shining, the reception tables were lovely (courtesy of Godmother and other cathedral ladies), and the Divine Liturgy was as beautiful as they come.
I was HAPPY that this day had come for my husband and that so many people were there to celebrate.
My husband remembers crying and laughing at the same time and thinking that was FUNNY. He is a soft-hearted person and couldn't get through his Liturgy this Sunday without tearing up again.
There is a lot that is REAL then and today. That day, he became a priest forever, something that the evil one does not abide. So, I imagine a target being on all of us from that day forward. Another thing real about that day is that so many family members could not be there for various reasons. His parents weren't there because of visa and money impossibilities, but we did get to visit the old country right away. And making his celebration video of the past years of subdiaconate, diaconate and ten years of priesthood, I saw that we have lost many loved ones- it is a little too real- but it gave me opportunities to pray for them. May George, Deacon John, Florica, Livia, John-Paul, Miriam, Bishop Louis, Fr Charles, Fr Albert, Maria, Charles, Art, and Pauline's memories be eternal!

go to Like Mother, Like Daughter for more PHFR (and wedding fun!)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Byzantine Catholics- "Obstacle to Unity"?

from First Things- 'That They May Be One'
May 25, 2012-    written by Tim Kelleher

Gathered for their ad limina, Eastern Catholic bishops from the U.S. were addressed last week by Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Leonardo Cardinal Sandri. His injunction—made not about abortion, the HHS mandate, war, wealth redistribution, or gay marriage—could have a critical influence on the Christian response to all of the above. 

Among the Cardinal’s remarks was a tersely reiterated expectation of celibacy for priests serving the Eastern Catholic Churches in diaspora—in this case the U.S. The message may not have been carried directly from the hand of Benedict but the effect has been unpleasant to say the least. 

Enter Thomas Loya, a Ruthenian Catholic priest of the Parma Ohio Eparchy, writing his eparch in response.
"In addition to being chillingly reminiscent of the demeaning attitude of the Latin Rite bishops toward the Eastern Catholic Churches during the beginning of the last century in America, the Cardinal's remarks about celibacy seem to confirm what so many Eastern Catholics in America have suspected for too long: Rome and the Latin Rite see the Eastern Catholic Churches in America as essentially inconsequential, perhaps even in the way of ecumenism between Rome and the Orthodox Churches."
The chilling reminiscence refers, in part, to an exercise in aberrant ecclesiology—more a power play—engineered by Archbishop John Ireland that resulted in an entire body of U.S. Eastern Catholics breaking communion with Rome. I’m not about to jump into the trenches on the issue of celibacy (I would rather the comments box not turn into a Mixed Martial Arts cage). I’ll simply repeat the known fact that celibacy it is not a dogma of the Church but a discipline, and that its normative status in the Latin Church is not of ancient provenance. Moreover, Loya’s point is not about celibacy per se but ecclesial integrity and mutual respect. 

What moves us onto this more sensitive landscape is his suggestion that Rome views the Eastern Catholic churches as “in the way” of relations between itself and the Orthodox Churches. I can certainly see why it would occur to him and he’s not the first to say it. For centuries, the existence of the so-called Uniate Churches has been a vexed point in those relations. 

But I wonder how much help he can realistically expect from the Eastern hierarchs. Too many Eastern Catholic bishops behave as though their mandate actually is to allow their Churches to die a slow, palliated death. 

If Loya is correct, it’s difficult to see how Cardinal Sandri’s words advance the ecumenical agenda. In fact, it would seem to do the reverse. For, what possible inducement to deepening trust could the Orthodox find in Rome’s insistence that Eastern Churches compromise their traditions the moment they hit the customs line at JFK?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Favorite QuickTake- Why Gather at a Big Church?

This was published October 21, 2011- as I am out of ideas, but also planning for a very special Divine Liturgy and lunch celebrating priest-husband's 10th anniversary....this is where my head is now:

1. Introverts unite! In a large parish, you can be at Mass and never have to look at anyone. No one will notice if you don't go to coffee and donuts. No one needs to know your name. No one will know if you are a little late or leave early (at least they won't be able to identify you). The 'kiss of peace' is the one difficulty here for the truly introverted; you could look in your purse for a tissue or be flipping through the songbook so you can avoid making eye contact with a fellow parishioner.

2. Choose your own adventure! Do you like 'folk' music (meaning music written in the 70s and 80s by Dan Schutte)? The 9 o'clock is for you! Or perhaps you would like a real four-part choir with a smattering of Latin. Try the 11 o'clock. Maybe you just want some peace and quiet. The 6:30 AM is just right. No choir is going to get ready to sing at that time! Or if you are really particular, find the next nearest large parish and you might find the music/priest/people/statues more to your liking.

3. Don't see Father sweat. A family, having been visitors/parishioners weekly for over a year, decided to go back to their large parish with the words, "I want to be at a church where I'm not close enough to see Father sweat." So now they are one family out of 15,000 and the pastor doesn't know if they are there or not. See #1.

4. Get really involved. Don't step on anyone's toes and take over 'their' job, but you can volunteer to be a part of many, many activities. You might even get paid.

5. Don't be involved at all. Don't worry, if you don't volunteer to help or be in charge of the youth group or catechism or coffee hour or sewing circle or bell ringers or altar society or financial advisory committee, someone else will. And, sorry to say, even if you have been choir director or flower arranger or sacristan for years, in a large parish they can find someone to take over those roles as well. Perhaps this is sad, but it gives freedom knowing you don't have to do anything for the parish to survive.  If it is big enough, enough people will be interested and able to pick up the slack if you don't want to.

6. Come to a Third Place- there are enough activities besides Liturgy at a large parish to rival a Protestant 'Mega-Church'

7. Last Chance Mass. A large parish usually has a seven o'clock Mass on Sunday evening. Yes, maybe it is in Spanish or Vietnamese or Tagalog, but it will fulfill your obligation. Just remember to set your alarm next Sunday.

For the sake of this blog post, I am generalizing that a 'large Catholic parish' has at least 200 families attending Sunday Mass weekly and this hypothetical parish is no more than a thirty- minute drive to another Catholic church. 200 is probably small for most Catholic readers. The Roman-rite parish closest to me has 15,000 registered families; it is what it is...this post is just my opinion & yes, I know I am generalizing...

Dear reader, you probably have surmised that you will receive none of these benefits if you visit or are a parishioner at one of our Byzantine Catholic missions. You will, however, have a priest who will drive six hours after hospital work on Friday to perform an out-of-town baptism early Saturday morning and be home in time for Saturday Vigil. He will bring some of his kids, though, so that they won't lose too much family-time.

Friday, May 18, 2012

for all Catholics who pray for unity

A letter from Fr. Thomas J. Loya sent to Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan (Archbishop) William and others regarding the recent speech by Cardinal Sandri: 
Christ is Ascended!

Archbishop William,
I take this opportunity of your still being in Italy, and therefore, in or near Rome, to make a formal request to you. My request is actually meant for all of the Eastern Catholic Bishops from North America, but most particularly to you as the ranking prelate of my own Church, the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh.

The remarks by Cardinal Sandri in his homily to the Eastern Catholic bishops of America have filtered back and are reverberating through the clergy and laity of our Churches in America, as well as the Orthodox Churches. In a similar way that the Health and Human Services controversey in America finds the issue of contraception itself being expressive of a deeper and fundamental issue of religious liberty, so too the remarks by Cardinal Sandri for the Eastern Catholic Churches to "embrace celibacy in respect to ecclesial context" are reflective of a deeper and more fundamental attitude from Rome and the Latin Rite that simply can no longer go unanswered by the Eastern Catholic Churches.
In addition to being chillingly reminiscent of the demeaning attitude of the Latin Rite bishops toward the Eastern Catholic Churches during the beginning of the last century in America, the Cardinal's remarks about celibacy seem to confirm what so many Eastern Catholics in America have suspected for too long: Rome and the Latin Rite see the Eastern Catholic Churches in America as essentially inconsequential, perhaps even in the way of ecumenism between Rome and the Orthodox Churches.

Essentially the Cardinal's remarks send the message that the Latin Rite Church is the 'real' Church, superior to the Eastern Catholic Churches and therefore the Eastern Catholic Churches could be ordered to compromise themselves in deference to the Latin Rite Church, the 'real' Church. To us in America the Cardinal's remarks reflected a paternalistic attitude toward the Eastern Catholic Churches in America. Rome seems to see our Churches in America as simply a diaspora having little value other than ethnic customs and the degree to which we can support our Churches in their homelands. 
Archbishop William, my request to you, as the ranking prelate of my Church and especially, if it is still possible while you are in Italy at this time, to meet again with Cardinal Sandri, on behalf of your Church back in America, regarding his remarks and the reaction to his remarks reverberating through the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches in America at this time. Our Ruthenian Church in particular needs to establish a better and more consistent dialogue with Rome so as to present a more accurate picture of the real gift and evangelical power of the Eastern Catholic Churches in America. The Eastern Catholic Churches, and in particular the Ruthenian Church, are actually in a position to indeed supply what is lacking in the whole Church in America and to confront secular society with type of vocabulary and spirituality that we alone can bring to the war on secularism and moral relativism. It seems that Rome understands none of this about us.

For the good of the whole Church and for the good of souls, it is time for our Ruthenian Church in particular stop acting like co-dependent children of Rome. It does not really serve Rome, the whole Church or the people of God for the Ruthenian Church (or any Eastern Catholic Church) to assume a position of weakness and inferiority helplessly waiting for what to many of us is essentially a 'phantom' indivdivual or department in Rome, with so little understanding of our Churches, to singularly decide the fate of our Churches in America. Surely we should have more pride in our Church than this and more regard for the memory of our members who, during Communist oppression, shed their blood out of loyalty to the Pope of Rome. 

Thank you for consideration of my request,
--Fr. Thomas J. Loya, STB.,MA.

Yesterday's Feast of Christ's Ascension

image from orthodoxwiki

"And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:10-11)

"And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight." (Acts 1:9)

"Thou Who art immortal by nature didst arise on the third day, and didst appear unto the eleven and all the disciples, and riding upon a cloud, didst hasten back unto the Father, O Thou creator of all." (Matins canon for the Ascension, 1st Ode, Irmos)

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. {8} And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: {9} Of sin, because they believe not on me; {10} Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; {11} Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." (John 16:7-11)

"O Christ, having taken upon thy shoulders our nature, which had gone astray, thou didst ascend and bring it unto God the Father" (Matins canon for the Ascension, Ode 7)

"Unto Him Who by His descent destroyed the adversary, and Who by His ascent raised up man, give praise O ye priests, and supremely exalt Him, O ye people, unto all the ages." (Matins canon for the Ascension, Ode 8)

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Final Prayers in the Divine Liturgy


Priest (silently): We give thanks to You, O Master lover of mankind benefactor of our souls, that even this day You have deemed us worthy of Your heavenly and immortal mysteries. Make straight our path, confirm us in our fear of You, guard our life, make firm our steps, through the prayers and intercessions of the glorious Mother of God and ever-Virgin Mary, and of all Your saints.

Priest makes the sign of the cross with the Gospel Book, saying:

PRIEST: For You are our sanctification, and we render glory to You. Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever.


PRIEST: Let us go forth in peace.

PEOPLE: In the name of the Lord.

PRIEST: Let us pray to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: O Lord, Who bless those who bless You, and sanctify those who trust in You, save Your people and bless Your inheritance, preserve the fullness of Your Church, sanctify those who love the beauty of Your house; glorify them by Your divine power, and do not forsake us who hope in You. Grant peace to Your world, to Your churches, to the priests, to our civil authorities and to all Your people. For every good bestowal and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from You, the Father of lights; and we render glory, thanksgiving, and adoration to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever.


Blessed be the name of the Lord, now and for ever (3 times).

Priest (silently): You, O Christ, Our God, Who are the fulfillment of the law and the prophets, have fulfilled the whole plan of the Father, fill our hearts with joy and gladness, always, now and ever and forever. Amen.

PRIEST: The blessing of the Lord be upon you, through His grace and love for mankind, always, now and ever, and forever.


PRIEST: Glory be to You, O Christ, our God, our Hope: Glory be to You.


PEOPLE: Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Bless us.


PEOPLE: Christ is risen from the dead, conquering death by death, and to those in the tombs, bestowing life.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Bless us.

PRIEST: May Christ, our true God, risen from the dead, through the prayers of His most Holy Mother, and of the holy, glorious and illustrious apostles, and our holy father John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, and of Saint (N . . . whose church it is) and of Saint (N . . . whose feast it is) and of all the saints, have mercy on us and save us, for He is gracious and loves mankind.



PRIEST & PEOPLE: Christ is risen from the dead, by death He conquering death , and to those in the graves, He granted life (3 times).

Friday, May 11, 2012

Random Mommy Thoughts

"....there is one thing that I can become that’s denied to my male friends…a mother. Motherhood is the most amazing thing that a woman can do in this world. Just think about it: we can nurture and protect another human life. Every single person in the world had a mother; we all spent nine months in the comfort and safety of our mothers’ womb.

So you can see why I am disgusted when I hear of abortion being propagated as a ‘woman’s right’. Abortion is an unnatural act; it goes against every protective instinct a mother has towards her child. Abortion is also the most horrendous violence that can ever be perpetrated on a woman. If you described the methods to a person who had never heard of abortion before - who hadn’t been fooled by all the pro-abortion propaganda and brainwashing - they would think that abortion was some kind of primeval torture....

We need to celebrate motherhood. Every child and every mother is a gift. Women who are frightened and anxious need our love and support. Every woman needs know that she is a life giver, that she can nurture and love her child, that she is doing the most important job in the world. I will continue to stand for every woman, every mother and every child. We must unite against this barbaric and archaic practice. We can eliminate the crisis, not the child." read the entire article at Life Site News
Mommy and Me (I'm 18 months and holding a baby doll bigger than I!)
Two kids are talking to each other. One says, "I'm really worried. My dad works twelve hours a day to give me a nice home and good food. My mom spends the whole day cleaning and cooking for me. I'm worried sick!"
The other kid says, "What have you got to worry about? Sounds to me like you've got it made!"
The first kid says, "What if they try to escape?"
Little Johnny's new baby brother was screaming up a storm. He asked his mom, "Where'd we get him?"
His mother replied, "He came from heaven, Johnny."
Johnny says, "WOW! I can see why they threw him out!" (jokes from
"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
~Elizabeth Stone
“A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.”
-Tenneva Jordan
The blog ministry 'Hannah's Tears' offers prayer support and comfort to the brokenhearted who suffer the pains of infertility at any stage of life, difficult pregnancy, miscarriage, stillbirth, the loss of a child and the adoption process.
If you give a mom a muffin, she'll want some coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some.
The coffee will get spilled by her three year old.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she'll find some dirty socks.
She'll remember that she has to do some laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer, she'll trip over some shoes and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her that she has to plan a supper for tonight.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She'll look for her cookbook (101 Things with Hamburger)
The cookbook is under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill that is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook
The checkbook is in her purse that is getting dumped out by her two year old.
Mom will smell something funny.
While she is changing the two year old, the phone will ring.
Her five year old will pick up and hang up the phone.
She will remember that she wants to phone a friend to come over for coffee on Friday.
Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup.
She will pour herself some more.
And chances are,
if she has a cup of coffee, 
her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

...same poem as last year's mommies and muffins party at Boy's preschool...still funny!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A PrettyHappyFunnnyReal Room

Pretty- My wedding dress was pretty! It was the third and last dress I tried on.

Happy- I'm happy to have finally made some copies of our wedding photos. We will celebrate 14 years at the end of the month, and all I have are 4 by 6s of photos taken by a church friend. This was just before everything went digital, so I'm going to have to scan everything. First world problem, I know...but  I think after 14 years and 4 kids we deserve a few 8 by 10s, don't you agree?

Funny- Yes, those are toy hedgehogs on our dresser. I figured that if Leila can have a Knight of Malta Playmobile on her kitchen sink, I can have hedgehogs on the dresser! (I am not a stalker, Leila- I just have a very good memory for unimportant things- I did use her method to declutter/clean to fix the top of that dresser)

Real- It only took me two dollars and two, three, four years to use those picture frames and get them on that empty wall. I like the black/white photo with the colorful frames. The desert painting is one that my dad's mother, Granny Hatty, painted. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

After Holy Communion- Divine Liturgy series

click on the 'Divine Liturgy Mondays' label to read other posts on the Divine Liturgy's texts

While the priest gives Communion to the people the congregation sings an appropriate hymn.

PRIEST: Save Your people, O God, and bless Your inheritance.

PEOPLE: We have seen the true light, we have received the heavenly Spirit, we have found the true faith, and we adore the undivided Trinity as it has saved us.

Priest (silently): Be You exalted, O God, above the heavens, and Your glory all over the earth. Blessed be our God:

PRIEST: Always, now and ever, and forever.


The priest goes to the Table of Preparation to consume the remainder or the Sacred Species. The altar boy pours wine and water into the chalice and the priest washes his fingers. The people sing the following while the priest is doing that:

PEOPLE: May our mouths be filled with Your praise, O Lord, so that we may sing Your glory, for You have deemed us worthy to partake of Your holy, divine, immortal and life-giving mysteries. Keep us in Your holiness, so that all day long we may learn Your righteousness. Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

PRIEST: Having received the divine, holy, most pure, immortal, heavenly and life-giving, awe some mysteries of Christ, let us worthily give thanks to the Lord.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Help, save, have mercy and protect us, O God, by Your grace.

PEOPLE: Lord, have mercy.

PRIEST: Having prayed that this whole day be perfect, holy, peaceful and sinless, let us commend ourselves and one another, and our whole life, to Christ, our God.

PEOPLE: To You, O Lord.

go to this Ukrainian Catholic website for more

This article has some really well-developed theological thoughts on the Divine Liturgy

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Fun with Uncluttering- 7 QuickTakes

1. "You sometimes see a woman who would have made a Joan of Arc in another century and climate, threshing herself to pieces over all the mean worry of housekeeping."  ~Rudyard Kipling "I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.... I am thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby."  ~Nancie J. Carmody "There's nothing to match curling up with a good book when there's a repair job to be done around the house."  ~Joe Ryan  As you can tell, my thoughts on the cleaning/decluttering issue are all over the map!

2. Listening to podcasts has been a real help in cleaning and decluttering. The Organized Woman Show is one that I have been listening to- does anyone have some recommendations for some more inspiration?I have also joined a group called HelloMornings; it is supposed to help support women in getting up to exercise. pray, plan their day- I could use inspiration in all of this because I would much rather sleep in a bit. I'm sure priest-husband would love a more reliable breakfast routine as well.

3.It is early May, and we have received some boxes of stuff to sell at the November Christmas bazaar at the hospital for Crafters for Life. I could cry. I really have no room around here for my own random stuff let alone someone else's random stuff. But I think that her home is more uncluttered now by giving me her stuff....

4. hmmm...I haven't grown much in the area of dealing with my Mommy guilt- but I know I could do a lot better in mothering my children. At this point, I am just trying to keep doing my baby steps. And even though my home is not all that bad (except for the two dented filing cabinets filled with total chaos) I hope to have some fairly awesome before and after photos to post on my blog.

5.  Five Things I’ve Learned from FlyLady
1. Do it now. Procrastination is a symptom of perfectionism and needs to be overcome. Do what you can, when you can, the best you can. Then let it go.
2. Set a timer for 15 minutes. Set your timer, work steadily at one task for 15 minutes, and then stop, even if you're not completely finished. The next day, pick up where you left off and do another 15 minutes. Trying to tackle an entire room or project all at once can be overwhelming.
3. Go shine your sink. When FlyLady was moving from chaos to order, the first thing she did was shine her sink. Go ye and do likewise. It is amazing what a clean sink can do for your spirits. You’ll feel inspired to spread that sense of order throughout your home.
4. Clear your "hot spots" every day. You know what they are: the kitchen counter that collects all the mail and school flyers; the bedroom chair that would be great for reading in, if only it weren't covered with laundry. Clutter always attracts more clutter.
5. Start where you are. We’re all going to have periods where we fall off the wagon. FlyLady wants us to just dive in wherever we are. Our houses did not get messy overnight, and they won’t be cleaned in just one day.

6. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, (1 Corinthians 14:33) But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way (verse 40). Okay, okay...I'm learning...

7. Now if I could just find my label maker....or I could just use blue painter's tape and a sharpie to make labels now- brilliant and free!

go to conversiondiary for more quick takes!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Simple Daybook for May

Outside my window... Baby Girl is playing in the small amount of dirt we have and Boy is making a tower with his megablocks

I am thinking...about this image of Christ

I am thankful...for the cool mornings lately.

In the kitchen...beef stew, cornbread and some sort of dessert. a very simple meal for family and two visitors after vespers and Bible study tonight.

I am wearing...a soft purple scarf made from bamboo (!) given to me by my oldest sister

I am creating...peace in my home by decluttering as much as I can with four lovely children 'underfoot'

I am make plans to travel & see the new family babies this summer

I am the folks at Blimey Cow decide on the week's topic.

I am reading...Sink Reflections by Flylady and Screwtape Letters by C.S.Lewis- yes, I have both books multiple times.

I am go to the big park day on Friday between preschool and is only once a month and I have to 'socialize' those kids! Really, it is only I needing socialization

I am looking forward to...the Spring semester finishing in the middle of the month. I don't teach a lot, but it takes up a lot of space in my brain.

I am listen to uplifting podcasts while cleaning instead of political talk radio! baby steps to a more positive me!

Around the schooling, playing and hopefully helping me cook dinner a bit later- then- off to ballet!

I am pondering...

A favorite quote for today..."I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it". - Anne Lamott

Some of my favorite things...rice cakes, dark chocolate, Irish breakfast tea, black trash bags for Goodwilling, Castle & Pysch on Hulu- even though I can always figure out the mystery before they do, my husband who seems to get that I am an extreme introvert,  podcasts helping wean me off talk radio!

A few plans for the rest of the week:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I've been tagged...because I am so, so intriguing

Jen from meditatio tagged me with this here it goes...
1.) The first rule is to post these rules.
2.) Post a photo of yourself then write 11 things about you/your life.
3.) Answer the questions for you set in the original post.
4.) Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5.) Go to their blog/twitter to tell them you have tagged them.

OK…11 things about my mama....

1. In the thousand photos on my computer, there are maybe 5 of me (so I posted one of Boy when he was little). The last time I took lots of photos was at my wedding (70 pounds ago)- then I get a photo each time I give no more photos for me.  I don't look monstrous, but I am certainly not beautiful like some bloggers. So I am always behind the camera, and no one suggests that I get a picture as well. This makes it really easy to stay semi-anonymous, but it is rather depressing, and that would bring me to the serious post subject that I'll just write briefly about here and forgo the long, navel-gazing entry:

2. If I had a therapist (which I don't), I would have finally just made a break-though about not being organized and uncluttered. Yes, I am a lazy, tired Type-A when it comes to organizing and cleaning, but my subconscious self is lazy about organizing for this reason: I am afraid I will die if I am decluttered and organized because my day to day purpose would be gone. I remember reading a blog post about a homeschooling mom of five or more kids who was so organized that her children were able to continue homeschooling after she died. It was like she wasn't even needed after she had prepared all the curriculum. I can think of many reasons why my subconscious is silly, but it is what it is.

3. Even though I am feeling #2, I am battling it by decluttering no matter my feelings. Dead or alive, I find peace in cleanliness. We 'goodwilled' ten big bags of random stuff this past weekend. Okay- on to random, non-serious stuff....

4.  My first car in college cost $50- it didn't last very long. I commuted all four years and went through four old cars with varying degrees of drama. I think a car loan would have been smarter...

5. Gosh, I am looking forward to the end of the college semester May 15th. Even though I will be unemployed until the middle of August, it is so time. I hope to see all these new family babies this summer! Two born, two to go!

6. If you have kids two to six years old, be certain to read them the Elephant and Piggie books. Mo Willems is brillant!

7. I wrote this on my real life Facebook "survey- why do the majority of Americans not give stipends to priests for baptisms, house blessings, weddings, funerals etc- I'm not talking about 'paying' for a sacrament but a gift towards his HOURS of work counseling, paperwork, detective work to find old baptism records, etc (...just saying, three Orthodox priests I know charge $1500 for a wedding....not counting the stipend to use the church or hall)"- it was interesting to see the people who responded- or didn't! It is a moot point however. My husband doesn't talk money, so it is free-will completely. And usually a 'non-ethnic' American doesn't make a donation. Oh well. 

8. My almost three-year old is starting to talk. Now, if I declutter enough, I might find the video recorder and camera chargers. Then, I can record the cuteness for posterity. And maybe I'll find the Kindle charger, too.

9. If you hacked into my Pandora, you would find: 70s folk, any Romanian (folk, rock, classical) music, any classical music with an emphasis on the Baroque with almost no piano music, lots of Ingrid Michaelson and Elizabeth Mitchell-style music along with 80s-90s praise/Christian pop and Queen. 

10. Reader Kim is nervous about going to Divine Liturgy with kids at the seminary where her husband will be studying- here's my response to her: 
Kim- plaster this on your forehead- My kids are the present and future of the Church. And then do a lot of Madagascar penguin 'smiling and waving'. Yes- you WILL have these types of people to contend with at the seminary (I assume the public comes to Sunday DL)
1. Grumpy Granny- yes, she really IS glaring at you and the kids. How dare you disturb her beautiful Liturgy- and the kids don't speak Ukrainian well at all! And you don't have the proper head scarf on! (this category is the minority- no solution- smile and wave and try not to listen)
2. Lollipop Poppop- This grandpa type doesn't have his grandkids in the area, so he will use your kids as surrogates. You will have to decide how to deal with his smiling distractions- and yes- actual lollipops given during the Mass.
3. Agent 007- Your eparchy is much bigger than mine- but what happens in seminary will be part of the history of Fr. and Kim and family for better or worse. People have really long memories. Remember that there will be some people whose questions will get a little personal- slowly learn your boundaries and NEVER talk about money. Someone might be all 'concerned' and say "wow- how are you going to support a family of ___ on a priest's salary?" They are fishing. They want-for whatever reason- to find out your financial situation. You might say- I'm willing to live on very little or I'm a nurse so I will help support the family or My grandfather left me lots of money so his small church salary doesn't matter or the church actually supports us well. None of these responses will satisfy someone who asked this question so don't answer it.
4. Lovely Laity- yes- you were right to think that most people 'glaring' at the kids are just thinking the kids are cute and wishing that they had such a distraction- cherish these people!

11. okay...I am really out of ideas...I am not very interesting. 

OK… my questions to answer from Jen!
01.) What food would you never eat even if you were paid to eat it? Hershey's milk chocolate. No, if you paid me to eat it, I would. You would have to pay me a lot to get me to eat kidneys or liver, though. Yuck.

02.) What is your favorite Bible verse or quote? There are too many to count, but Jesus' words to the 'good thief' on the cross is in the top three.

03.) Should jello at church be in the proper liturgical color? We Byzantine Catholics are usually in white or jello sounds pretty spendy.

04.) What was your high school or college mascot? 'Rams' in high school and I cannot remember my college's mascot (I was an anti-sport English and music-type)

05.) What do you wish you could do? Speak the languages I know fluently and play the violin  well and knit well. Doing all these things takes dedication and the time that I'm not willing to put in, though. I wish I could sing again, but one of my vocal chords is permanently paralyzed. People- take vocal nodules seriously!

06.) What book should everyone read? off the top of my head, The Children of Men by P D James. Click the label 'books' to the right to find more of my favorites.

07.) What is the weirdest thing you’ve eaten? maybe cold Chinese eel with chili or blood pudding in Slovakia.

08.) Pretend I magically arrived on your doorstep. How would we spend your ideal day? Since Jen and I are both introverts, we would start by getting a pedicure at my favorite place with lattes in our hands and then go see The Hunger Games. Then, we would be warmed up enough to talk so we would take our children to the park and watch them play. We'd finish the night by going with our husbands to my favorite Thai restaurant and talking theology and church politics without fear of scandalizing lay people. 

09.) Manicure or pedicure? Pedicures are my one indulgence. They last so much longer than a manicure. 

10.) What is the best type of ethnic food? I love Thai and Vietnamese food. The only 'ethnic' food that I don't like that I have tried is Japanese.

11.) Grey or orange tabby cats? Orange tabby! I had one named Sunny when I was little. I love tortoise shell and Maine Coon type cats as well, but the kitty has to be a short hair to live inside.

OK… now my questions for the bloggers I'll tag! (stolen from the blogger who tagged Jen)

1.) What is your favorite movie? 
2.) If you could go back and give your 16 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
3.) Why do you blog? 
4.)What did you want to be when you grew up? 
5.) M&M’s – plain or peanut? 
6.) What was your first car? 
7.) What is your favorite Halloween costume you’ve ever worn? 
8.) What are your favorite blogs?
9.) If you were to have a boy and a girl tomorrow, what would you name them? 
10.) What was your favorite class in college? 
11.) What celebrity do you think it would be fun to be friends 

Now for the tagging!

If you've already been tagged, ignore this! and I know all of you have lives and such. Please find a way to mold this meme to your blog. If you can’t post a picture of yourself, post something that represents you.