Thursday, November 29, 2012

7 TurkeyTakes with Cute Kitty, Cute Kid & Thanks

1. See what I did there? TURKEYtakes about TURKEYday? Just kidding, I find it endlessly annoying when Thanksgiving is called Turkeyday...some people don't eat turkey, but they still give thanks. 'Turkeyday' is as bad as 'Dads and Grads' in June....but I digress...

2. He has blond hair and blue eyes. He must be mostly Puritan, early European American, right? No, we didn't come on the Mayflower, and most of my ancestors are post-Revolution. Color doesn't mean much; I have 100% Mexican students who are whiter than my boy. 
3. According to a family tree that my paternal grandmother researched, we have Native American blood on her side. So we have more Native American in us than early European American. Now, it is a moot point. My children might be all 'mixed up' on my side (Czech, English, German), but they are all Romanian (basically Dacian from Maramures) on their daddy's side. 
4. Poor Lucky, he is an outside kitty and it has been raining. All is well so far; he likes his cozy basket.
5. We do only do-able crafts around here. Girl #2 made a paper turkey to attach to the humus bowl and made a fan of sweet pepper strips for the feathers. Cute and easy!
6. Here's a few things that I was thankful (to God!) for this November:
7. Did you catch Monday's post on this blog? I am starting a new series called 'I'm a Catholic," featuring practicing Catholics, their faith journeys and what makes them interesting and different. Please click over and meet Kim, my first Catholic profiled and come back Monday to meet my far-away friend Cat, guitarist, catechist, mom and all around cool chica

Email me at if you have someone to nominate for the 'I'm a Catholic' series- even yourself! I am specially looking for non-bloggers (or 'micro'-bloggers).

Pretty Happy Funny Real Thanksgiving

Pretty & Happy- Baby Girl was so happy to have time with a family friend's sweet baby. She still remembers that she was not allowed to hold the baby the first time she saw him- of course, we saw him when he was ten hours old in the hospital and we were not going to hand over a wee babe to our barely three-year old girl. She wouldn't smile while I was taking the photo. She knew that she was doing serious work, holding the precious boy.
Funny- We had a small group of friends over for Thanksgiving dinner. They asked what they could bring. They were traveling a ways to get to us, so bringing cooked food wouldn't be practical. I joked- none of them drink alcohol- that they could bring some 'Patron Silver' tequila. Guess what is waiting for a special occasion in my upper cabinet right now?
Real- I have reservations posting this picture. The child didn't ask to be photographed. There doesn't have to be anything wrong with Christmas gifts. It is wrong to post something simply to 'raise awareness,' but photos such as these have inspired me to simplify. It doesn't matter if I have less than the typical California celebrity. I must do more for my fellow man. 
The rich West is well-aware that there is extreme poverty in the world- whether caused by famine, war, massive inequities in resource distribution within a country, or corruption. We are simplifying our holiday celebrations and we will give to some specific causes and people who could use help. I hope you are inspired to do the same.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

An Advent 1st Corinthians 13

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love, I'm just another decorator. If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned mealtime, but do not show love, I'm just another cook. 

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love, it profits me nothing. If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata...but do not focus on Christ,I have missed the point. 
Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens. Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. 

Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can't. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails. 
(This a replay from last year- I think it is a good reminder for the month of December)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Meet Kim: teacher, traveler, mama, Catholic

Thank you, Kim, for being the first in my 'I'm Catholic' series! I want to profile fellow Catholics, their faith journeys and what makes them different and interesting. I'm breaking my first rule today. I was planning on profiling non-bloggers (because we already know how cool Leila, Simcha and Ginny are), but Kim blogs- very occasionally- at Byzymom. I decided to break my rule because she is a rare one- a possible future priest's wife. If you are or know someone who would like to be profiled, send me an email at
How long have you been a practicing Catholic?
I converted to the Catholic faith 5 years ago.

Care to share your conversion, reversion story?
Although I was baptized Anglican, I grew up in an agnostic home. I attended a Presbyterian youth group throughout high school but mostly just wandered around lost and confused. With no knowledge about vocation or God’s plan for my life, it was hard for me to find direction and purpose and I spent my university years trying to find fulfillment in the things of the world.  I read books about many faiths but nothing could answer my questions. When I started dating my now husband I told him I didn’t believe in organized religion and he called my bluff. After a BIG fight I agreed to start reading about the history of the Christian faith. After I was sure that Catholicism was the truth I had been missing it was just a matter of East vs West.  I like the incense, candles and mysticism that is more present in the East than in the West. It also helped that my boyfriend was Eastern Catholic.  I entered the Church on May 13th 2007, about one month before my boyfriend proposed to me. Although my husband is a cradle Catholic, he fell away from the church in his early twenties and we met at the perfect time for his reversion and my conversion. We have been blessed to grow in our faith together. I do find that he has grown in leaps and bounds and I sort of putter along. The grass is always greener where you water it and he is much more disciplined than I am in his daily prayers.

How does your faith inform your day-to-day life?
 I know it sounds cliché but my life is my faith. Meal planning depends on the fast or feast and I am trying to raise my children with the knowledge of the liturgical calendar and seasons.  I don’t know how I would survive three children under three without the intercession of the Theotokos and the Saints! I currently can’t find the controller for the TV and I am really hoping that St. Anthony will intercede for me because without it I have no emergency “quiet time” for the kids.
Like Catherine Doherty (and others) have said “do little things exceedingly well for love of Me”.  When I do the dishes, laundry, diapers, shopping, cleaning I try to do it all for love of Christ. Ideally, I pray a little in the morning if I can manage to wake up before the toddlers, a little in the afternoon while the baby sleeps and the toddlers are playing and a little at night with my husband. We read the Prologue of Ochrid (lives of the saints) together as well as some scripture. I am hoping to go to adoration hour once a week on Friday mornings (with the Roman Catholics). Hopefully this will become a routine in the very near future.
In reality; I almost always sleep as long as possible, the baby doesn’t go down for a nap and I fall asleep before my husband gets home from his singing lessons.  Pray for us.

What is your greatest challenge in practicing your faith?
 As a control freak (with really messed up hormones) there are some teachings of the church (ahem..NFP) that I struggle with. It’s hard to give up control and to trust “Let go and Let God”. It’s much easier said than done. My husband and I both come from small families that only had two children and then stopped permanently. We are already the black sheep with our three. That being said I think my greatest challenge in practicing my faith is my own sinfulness, honest!  I could complain about how my family thinks I’m crazy, my childhood friends have stopped talking to me, my kids never sleep and my husband won’t stop singing weird Bulgarian tones. But the truth is, I would rather sleep an extra hour than get up for Matins, I want my kids to behave in church so I won’t look bad and I have a sugar addiction that makes Lent really hard. The key is to remember God’s love and forgiveness and that each day, each hour can be a fresh start.

favorite Bible verse?
Currently...Luke 10:41-42 “Martha, Martha. You worry and fret about so many things, and yet few are needed, indeed only one. It is Mary who has chosen the better part.”

favorite Spiritual writing (besides Bible) quotation?
 I am big fan of the writings of Catherine Doherty. Living The Gospel Without Compromise is a great book and I’ve read it 3 times...and I should read it again. Her lay apostolate was instrumental in my conversion and I have spent time at Madonna House in Combermere.  I could go on for days about how the light of Christ really shines through these people and their writings!

favorite saint and why?
 Martha. She is not on the calendar in the Eastern Church but this is where I “breath with both lungs”.  I have a hard time staying in the moment and not fussing in the kitchen when I could be present to Christ in my life. Martha reminds me that every person that walks in my door is made in the image and likeness of God and that my daily prayers are more important than making a complicated dinner.

Do have have a living spiritual mentor?
Because my husband is currently a seminarian I have access to a lot of holy people! The local parish is thriving with holy mothers and the rector is always bringing in amazing priests to speak with the seminarians about their vocations.  There are two people in particular that come to mind. One is a little schema monk that travels around the country. He has been a spiritual father to our family for about four years and helped in our discernment of this vocation. He baptized all of our children. The other is an elderly lady whose son is the rector of the seminary. She just radiates with love for Christ and His Church. Of course there are also the priest wives in the area that have taken me under their wings and are always there to listen. I have truly been richly blessed!

What is your ministry in the church?
 My ministry is to raise saints and get my husband into Heaven..haha.  Because my husband will (God willing) be a priest one day I will be a priest’s wife. I am just beginning to learn the ins and outs of this ministry. Pray for me.

Education and job 
 Before I had my children I used to work in group homes and in an HIV hospice. I also worked as a special needs teachers assistant in the schools. My children are very close together and I had to give up my positions when my middle child was born. I haven’t had an opportunity, desire or need to return to work yet. Now that we have moved across the country for my husbands formation I will probably return to some kind of work part time after I wean the baby sometime in the New Year.

favorite movie, book, music 

Ushpizin...such a great movie!

Book?..does a cook book count?...I like to read cook books.  Rebar has NEVER done me wrong during Lent and Nourishing Traditions is a classic with lots of reading material inside! Both are available on amazon and probably your public library (although I was 83rd on the hold list for Nourishing Traditions until my MIL bought one for me..bless her!)

There was a VERY short time in our marriage B.C. (before children) that my husband played the upright bass in a blues band and we would travel around to smoky old bars in the middle of the prairies and it was lots of fun. I like Blues/Country music  (with a side of pop when the kids aren’t in the car).

I am a bit of an urban homesteader (in as much as I can living in a small apartment with no yard). I like to bake and make yogurt and water kefir. One day I want a garden, a worm compost and a chicken.
I aspire to be able to crochet or knit but who am I kidding, it all becomes one big mess of yarn. So, instead, I get books from the library and look at the pictures.
When I have a free moment I study iconography. I take workshops when they come up and have worked under a couple different masters. I have done 12 icons and my master tells me you need to have done 100 before you can be an iconographer so I have awhile to go.

What is 'cool'/interesting about you?
I found this question the hardest. I’m not sure what to say that I haven’t already mentioned.
Three months ago I moved my family across the country so that my husband could attend the Eastern Catholic Seminary for three years. That’s kind of interesting. I have three young children and I want more one day. I also want to be a foster mom when we finish our formation and are settled back at home.

If you had $20 and an hour of free time what would you do?
...browse the organic food store for a good bar of chocolate and then get a manicure, a cup of tea and a newspaper.
Thanks, Kim, for sharing! We will praying for you throughout your family's journey!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Don't Forget to Say Grace

“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.” G K Chesterton, of course
In everything, give thanks
I pray you have a lovely, peaceful agape meal of thanksgiving with friends and family tomorrow! For beautiful words, click on the links below; their words are better than mine.

Monday, November 19, 2012

What Catholics can learn from Mormons

Unless you live in Utah, Mormons are not in the majority, but they have a lot to teach others. 
Their belief in mission and their refusal to hide who they are- All four of my grandparents came from different faiths and levels of practicing their faith. When I was twelve, my parents and we five siblings became Catholic after a few years of roaming around different churches. We had never been invited to visit a Catholic church, unless you count the time that our Mexican neighbors invited us to the church spaghetti feed. A year later, we converted and there are six Catholic marriages and twenty-five or so Catholic grandchildren. Maybe that spaghetti dinner was all we needed to open the door and learn about the Church. Mormons are not so subtle, and it is to their credit. Mormons in good standing will make a two year commitment to mission. Can we take time out of our day to do some form of mission? We Catholics should be educating ourselves with knowledge of the Bible and the catechism, ready to share our faith with others.

Their respect for family- They have a designated family evening where fellow Mormons know not to call and disturb the family fun time. I've heard that Mormon teen girls are assigned families to babysit for; this encourages families to have another child because they know that the community (subsidiary) will help support them. I know of mothering groups and homeschooling groups that can be very supportive in the Catholic world with meals for a while, but after that, each family (most likely without the extended family because families are so spread out) will be on their own, paying at least ten dollars an hour for that rare date night. It usually does not happen. 
My biggest frustration with the Mormon faith besides continuing revelation (Christians believe that revelation- a newly revealed aspect of theology, not just a development or discussion- finished with the death of the apostles as the 'deposit of faith' even if private revelation can exist) is that although they believe in the benefit of large families and a strong marriage bond, contraception, surrogacy (Mitt Romney has two grandchild born from a surrogate) and abortion can be officially permissible in their faith. But however their babies came to be, the Romney family is lovely, don't you think?

Their preparedness for hard times- I think we could use them as great examples of self-reliance. Shouldn't we all be prepared for an emergency? I don't think any of the flashlights in the house have batteries that work...

Their sense of priesthood and individual ministries- As Catholics, we are all baptized into the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Some men are called to become actual ordained clergy. But we all should have a ministry in our lives whether it is church, community or family based. The Mormons take this very seriously with their mission years and their various layers of church authority and ordinations. We Catholics will not go so far as to say that every ward or parish has a bishop, but I believe that a mistake was made when the minor orders (lector, subdeacon, etc) were done away with in the Roman rite. I say, let's triple the number of deacons in the Catholic Church in the United States and begin deacon programs in other countries. Allow the deacons to wear clerical dress in public. Make it a normal part of life and let us not be afraid. Have continuing education for the deacons, have them choose a specific ministry and give them a specific Mass to attend. They will proclaim the Gospel or preach at the pastor's request. For women, a revitalization of the third orders of religious orders would be one place where women can find important ministries. Of course, in the Catholic Church some people are called to 'just' pray and be at the services, but I believe the Mormon church can be an example of getting all the people involved and invested in the faith.

Their balanced and attractive sense of modesty- Their wedding dresses have sleeves! Don't women realize that their strapless gowns will look like they are wearing towels in their portraits that don't show the entire gown? Usually Mormon women dress with shoulders and knees covered, but they always seem to look modern and not frumpy. I also appreciate that the men are always (yes, always) clean, pressed and professional. It would irk me in high school that we girls had a very strict uniform dress code while the boys just had to wear a shirt with a collar. 

Their internet presence- If you want to, you can find a lot of information on their religion on-line. Their mommy bloggers are generally vibrant, happy, beautiful and modern with well-designed blogs that give just a hint of an idea that there is something special about them. If you look, you will see a blog button that leads you to the official website of the LDS church.
Catholic bloggers (start with the blogs at National Catholic Register, In Union with Rome, the blog list at Conversion Diary, and the Catholic channel at Patheos) are doing a splendid job of conveying the Catholic Faith, but there is a lot of diversity out there. Simcha of I Have to Sit Down likes to refer to it as 'here comes everybody!' One cannot put Catholics in an easy-to-label box, and that gets confusing. And Vatican conspiracies aside, there is no one telling us Catholic bloggers to have a consistent presence. 
I'm slightly jealous of the Mormons' organizational skills. I wasted an hour, trying to make a blog button that would direct the reader to the Vatican website and the US Catholic Conference of Bishops website. Maybe a Mormon can teach me how it is done, because my button kept going to a non-existent page on my blog.

Their 'I'm a Mormon' ad campaign- About a year ago, I started to notice the sponsored videos at the top of the youtube videos choices and the different Patheos channels. It was a short video biography of a Mormon, someone with a interesting story. For a person who is searching for a church family, I am certain that this ad campaign has been very successful.  It makes their faith seem relatable, normal and a means to a successful life. 

So I decided to start my own little 'I'm a Cool Catholic" campaign right here on this wee blog. I'll be asking non-blogger Catholics (because all the Catholics on my sidebar and at In Union with Rome have blogs to demonstrate their coolness) to submit an interview/guest post right here. Email me at if you or a friend is a cool Catholic with an interesting story who is willing to answer some questions and email me a photo. I'm thinking it will be a Monday series.

This post is written using my personal experiences. I do not wish to offend members of the LDS church. Thank you for grace!

Friday, November 16, 2012

quick and random quick takes from Priest's Wife

1. I might not be able to retrieve the mortgage papers or tax forms easily (yes, our two filing cabinets are still filled with who-knows-what, Mom), but I have a hook for my car keys right inside the family room.garage and I use it! baby steps...
2. I promise, promise, promise to stop harping on poor China and Christmas. Why not this idea? China has 25% of the world's population- so we can buy 25% of our needed products from them. More than 25% is not quite fair to the rest of the world's industry...and there is their forced abortion policies and bishops in prison and unsafe work conditions...etc.etc...just click on the 'China' label to your right for more information.
3. The Nativity Fast (Advent) has started for us. We will be doing our level best to abstain from meat during this time except I reserve Thanksgiving Thursday as a feast day. This is one of those cultural aspects that separate us from Orthodox who are vegan during the fasting periods. Maybe we will attempt that during Great Lent, but for health reasons, it is not that feasible.
4. I made bell peppers stuffed with rice and beans for dinner. They were good! Using garlic and onions and baking in the oven makes nearly anything delicious. I normally would add cheese to the top, but since it was the first day of the fast, I omitted that.
5. At the top of my Christmas list is a digital camera. These camera phone photos on my bog are painful to look at- especially since some of my favorite blogs- Soulemama, Small Things, Posie Gets Cozy- are stellar with their photography. Maybe St. Nicholas will leave me a camera in my shoe...
6. It has been very strange to not be in Nutcracker for my girls. I would have been year #6. We are so busy that it will be a challenge to even see a performance. On the upside, this will be the first time they have ever seen a live performance of the ballet.
7. Dear readers, 
What is some random wisdom that you would like to share with the other readers? Perhaps a kitchen or child rearing tip or maybe a spiritual insight or perhaps you can help me remember how to tune my violin or cast on my knitting needles- I am a forgetful sort when I stop doing something...
What is on your Christmas list (cue Amy Grant)?
uh-oh...according to old country old lady wisdom, hair will grow on your backside if you sing Christmas songs before apologies
In any case, the comment box takes anonymous comments with no captcha code (you can thank my bad eyesight for that- I don't ask more from you than I can do)! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pretty Happy Funny Real Life

Pretty, Happy, Funny
We bought a new mattress, so I let the kids jump on the old one until the delivery man got there. And then Boy cried when the nine-year old mattress left the house. I told you that we take change a bit dramatically around here. And yes, our bedroom is newly painted rose. I think all the dark brown in the drapes and furniture will balance it out and it will be pretty without being too girly.
The Nativity fast/Advent starts on the 15th for us Byzantine Catholics (St Philip's fast because it starts the day after his feast)- as usual, I am thinking about China- click on my 'China' and 'Christmas' labels to your right to see where I am coming from.

Persimmons for Saint Philip's Day

Even in our temperate climate, we can feel winter coming on. Persimmons with cinnamon and cloves are cooking in the slow cooker to be blended into spiced persimmon butter. We are getting the pantry ready for the nativity fast that begins tomorrow; you know that the 'Twelve Days of Christmas' begins on December 25th for us new calendar folks, right?

O holy Apostle Philip, intercede with our merciful God to grant our souls forgiveness of sins.
Philip was born in Bethesda as were Peter and Andrew. Philip heeded Christ's call immediately. (John 1:43) When some Greeks wanted to meet Jesus, they approached Philip first. It was Philip who asked Jesus to show them the Father. Our Lord replied, "He who sees me, sees the Father."

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's been that kind of week

Poor Duke with his ouchy leg and his 'cone of shame.' His predicament is a perfect indicator of the week I've had here. The chaos of painting and switching the bedrooms, my bedroom drapes destroyed in the washer (drapes that determined the new color of the walls and the bed we bought), a certain event that happened last week, and this cold and cough of mine that has been lolling about for now three weeks and is settled into my sinuses. But by God's grace, no one else caught it from me. Here's to better days!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Pretty Happy Funny Real Bedroom

Like Mother, Like Daughter is doing a bedroom challenge this week, so I decided to join up. But there's a hitch. After eight years here, we have decided to repaint the upstairs and switch the childrens' rooms so that the little kids get the big room. Everything is in flux. But this challenge was still a great motivator in tidying up a bit while we are in a bit of chaos.
I don't even have a bedside table right now because the big girls are getting those plus our bureau. I've had a bad cold, hence the trash on the stool. And yes, that is a model wooden Romanian cart on the dresser....must put the laundry and vacuum away... 
Fifteen minutes later, trash is gone and things are put away in their proper places. The Bible and Introduction to a Devout Life are in their place of honor on the temporary bedside stool. 
No, my husband is not into English cottages or hedgehogs, but I am sure he will be happy to see a bedroom that is tidier than when he left for a stressful day at the hospital.

Freedom & Responsibility & Lost Churches

This church was built as a Greek-Catholic church in my husband's mother's village. It was built before the fall of Romania to communism. When the communists came to power, the church was given to the Orthodox Church, the state religion. Now, with 'freedom' in Romania, it is still an Orthodox Church and any villagers who want to worship at a Catholic church have to travel a few towns away. 

Religious freedom (any freedom actually) is easy to take away and very difficult to regain. "God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than these people are to be free. Establish the law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state to effect and on a general plan." — Thomas Jefferson 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Let's Respect Human Life

"Sweeter even than to have had the joy of caring for children of my own has it been to me to help bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so their unborn little ones could not be willed away from them." Susan B. Anthony 1889
"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit."  Elizabeth Cady Stanton 1873

"I am in no position to judge other women, you know. But I mean, why did she get pregnant? It's not good for women to go through the procedure [abortion] and have something living sucked out of their bodies. It belittles women. Even though some women say, 'Oh, I don't mind to have one,' every time a woman has an abortion, it just crushes her self-esteem smaller and smaller and smaller." Dolores O'Riordan: Lead Vocalist, The Cranberries: (Source: You! June/July 1996)
"But despite their differences of nature and moral gravity, contraception and abortion are often closely connected, as fruits of the same tree. It is true that in many cases contraception and even abortion are practiced under the pressure of real- life difficulties, which nonetheless can never exonerate from striving to observe God's law fully. Still, in very many other instances such practices are rooted in a hedonistic mentality unwilling to accept responsibility in matters of sexuality, and they imply a self-centered concept of freedom, which regards procreation as an obstacle to personal fulfillment. The life which could result from a sexual encounter thus becomes an enemy to be avoided at all costs, and abortion becomes the only possible decisive response to failed contraception."  Pope John Paul II, Evangelium Vitae, no. 13, March 25, 1995
If you or a friend have been hurt by abortion, there are places of healing- the one I know of is Rachel's Vineyard which offers help from Catholic and other Christian perspectives. Feminists for Life and Atheist & Agnostic Prolife League would be resources for abortion healing with a secular focus. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A November Daybook

Outside my window...we have oranges ripening and dead brown November leaves blowing onto the patio. It's a strange climate.

I am thinking...that it is about time that we had an election. Go America!

I am thankful...that all the ugly, scary Halloween decorations are coming down- here comes Thanksgiving and Christmas! Here's a photo from long, long ago...
In the kitchen...pork chops, CSA green beans and potatoes and rocky road ice cream for later!

I am wearing...painting clothes! We are painting the upstairs for the first time in eight years (except for the bathroom- that gets painted more frequently)

I am creating...meal plans for Advent (it starts on November 15th and we go meatless except for Sundays- that's nothing, Orthodox are vegan during this fasting time. For medical reasons, we can't do this)

I am a classical music concert later tonight. Our friends have season tickets and they cannot attend. I don't know what the program is, but I am excited in any case.

I am wondering...what it will take to make Roman-rite Catholics understand that we Eastern Catholics are as Catholic as they are. Martyred bishops and priests and laypeople under communism (they refused to become Orthodox, the state religion) are not enough. Last Sunday, my husband celebrated the 6:30 AM Mass as usual (he has bi-ritual faculties for our geographical Roman-rite archdiocese) at the local 10,000 family parish. The patriarch of the family that literally built the parish over one hundred years ago introduced my husband to the second most important family patriarch in the parish. He introduced my husband as an Orthodox priest. Orthodox priests do not have faculties to celebrate alone at any Catholic church. While the Catholic Church states that Orthodox can receive the Eucharist at our churches, the Orthodox Church rejects this. I know people who were imprisoned and tortured for over a decade because they would not give up the Catholic faith. We hear of modern martyrs every day. It is time to get educated.

I am reading...'just' my Bible. I am between books right now. I might read my girls' latest YA find, Wildwood.

I am hoping...that we can get through painting the upstairs with a minimum of fuss. I nearly laughed at the checker at Lowes today when she asked, "So, you are going to paint the bedrooms?" Um...we have never had the money to employ professionals for anything but plumbing or electrical. Anything that it slightly cosmetic is done by us (and it shows)- kitchen cabinets, counter tops, flooring, windows, all us amateurs.

I am looking forward to...the Halloween candy being finished

I am learning...Algebra I again. It is harder (and/or more complicated) than I remember. I would love to look at my old textbooks because I don't remember forgetting even half of what they are studying now in Algebra I.

Around the house...biggest girl is babysitting the babies and dog downstairs while doing the dishes, next big girl and I are painting their 'French apartment' a dusty purple. I never thought we would live in this townhouse long enough to be repainting and contemplating having high schoolers here.

I am idea for a children's you want to be my agent?

A favorite quote for today..."faithfulness, not success!" (Bl. Theresa of Calcutta)- quoted often, but I wish to be more like she is.

One of my favorite things...not my favorite thing...but priest-husbands- he is director of his hospital's spiritual care department. This means that he is on-call 24-7 in case the official on-call chaplain does not show up or has an especially difficult case. So, one of his favorite things is O'Doul's non-alcoholic beer. This means he can have a drink even when he might be called in to a case. I don't really like the taste of beer, but he does.

A few plans for the rest of the week: switiching the childrens' rooms- the big girl will get the small room, and Boy and Baby Girl will get the big one. This makes much more sense and the littles will finally be able to play in their room.
A peek into my day...we need to eat more pizza (yes, really- we have it less than once a month. One of my sisters has a  homemade pizza night every week...I gotta copy her)