Monday, December 25, 2006


Glorify Him!

Today, The Nativity of Christ, we went to 10AM Divine Liturgy of St. Basil.
For the FIRST time in my Orthodox life I was at Liturgy with my entire family but had only ONE of my four children sitting on the floor in front of me. It was very odd, surreal. I didn't know what to do with myself. "Oh, I can pray, join in the singing." But no, I was too busy being proud of the 3 that were not sitting on the floor in front of me.
First, Nicholas. He just turned 6 on the 22nd and served his first Divine Liturgy today as an alcolyte. He couldn't wait!!! All morning it was..."let's go mom, I'm going to be late... We gotta go now! ... I'm gonna be late... Dad would you take me so I'm not late." He did very well! And was thrilled! Someone asked him after service if he was going to do it again, "Of Course."

Second, Kelsey and Charissa. Began singing in the choir regularly about 2 weeks ago. Charissa still comes over to us from time to time, but some days she is REALLY into it and does very well. Yesterday, the choir director and her husband gave them rave reviews and said they really heard their voices come out nicely. Charissa even has a little foot stool to stand on. This picture is really blurry but the little head hiding with the white scarf is Charissa and the other with the pink/purple one is Kelsey.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Waking Up

I feel like I've just woken up from a very foggy dream. My eyes have opened to a brightness I'm not familiar with. I can see the dirt qute a bit easier, I can see the dog hair far too easily, and the mountains I thought my house had grown are really just piles of laundry that for reasons completely out of my control had grown to enormous proportions. Yes, we finally were blessed by the presence of the electric company work truck to remove the large tree from the power lines, replacing three poles and restringing gads of wire to restore power to our little community. It has silenced the more gas powered generators roaring from the neighbors 24 hours a day. Oh the silence of the country once again. I hardly know I have neighbors...UNLESS the power goes out!
There is a sort of mourning though as I wake to the brightness. I shall miss the simplicity that I learned to live with. No distractions from the TV or computer. The house was quiet, except for the children actually using their wild imaginations to entertain themselves in the dusk of the evening. It was amazing to watch them play, all together, for hours on end; sword fighting, princess rescueing and dragon flying! The glow of the candlelight was really quite lovely and welcoming.
Lessons I learned:
The email kept coming even though I couldn't check it everyday. The world kept spinning even though I couldn't watch the news to see that it was still there. And someone earned a million dollars, even though I wasn't there to watch it. (DON'T TELL ME!!!!!!) I can cook and heat water on the woodstove quite easily. I can bathe efficiently with a 24 qt. stockpot filled with hot water (heated on the woodstove) set in the shower. I can "sweep" dirt and crumbs off carpet with fantastic results. And a chest freezer that is stored outside on the back porch will stay frozen for 5+ days without trouble (in the winter). A chest freezer not plugged in will keep refrigerator items at the right temperature without freezing them nor warming them, if left on the back porch in the cold air. Candlelight is far superior to battery powered lanterns. Children can be sufficiently entertained without any kind of electric powered media or toys!!!

I'm tempted to flip the main breaker once a month!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I just received a status report on my hit counter and see that I consistantly have 10 hits a day.
Thank you to all who are continually coming back to my humble little space on the web.
I wish it was more exciting.

That being said, I must share with you a book I'm reading. It's no secret I've done a lot of reading on sugar and it's ill effects on health. The more I educate myself on this white "drug" the more I become aware of WHY my body is falling apart. I'm not getting old!!! I'm slowly poisoning myself and my body doesn't know what to do with it.
The latest book I'm reading is called "Lick the Sugar Habit". I highly recommend this book to everyone, whether you believe you need to "lick the sugar habit" or not. It is profoundly informative on nutrition and allergies! I am amazed at what I am learning. She goes into detail about what an allergy is and how it affects your body. She quotes endless research studies and lists them in the back of the book if you doubt her. And my favorite so far is the section on what sugar does to your immune system. Here is a quote on some research done:
Two different research projects that evaluate the effets of sugar on the phagocytic index have been done at Loma Linda University. The phagoctes are those white blood cells of the immune system that eat up foreign invaders and debris; they are the Pac-men of the body. The more bacteria eaten by each phagocyte, the stronger the immune system becomes and the less chance the body has of becoming diseased. The phagocytic index indicates the average number of invaders engulfed by a phagocyte.
One of the Loma Linda studies, conducted in 1973, examined the effects of sugar(sucrose), glucose, fructose, honey, orange juice, and starch on the phagocytic index. Except for starch, all the substances were simple sugars. The starch was the only substance to cause a rise in the phagocytic index--the phaocytes actually ate up more bacteria after starch was ingested. The index was highest approximately thirty minutes after the volunteers ate starch. The sugars, on the other hand, caused the phagocytic index to decrease greatly. The index was lowest 2 hours after ingestion. In other words, the sugar had a negative effect on the amount of bacteria removed by the immune system.

The average American eats 10 pounds of sugar each month! That's 30-33 teaspoonfuls everyday! No wonder we are so laden with disease and so many new degenerative diseases on the rise!!!!

James would say, "Well, if sugar is so bad for you why doesn't the medical world tell us that? Why isn't it made illegal?" The authors answer to this is basically job security. If we aren't sick than the pharmaceutical companies are out of business. If we all go on a whole foods health kick, which is what we need to be healthy, then what would happen to companies like Kellogg, General Mills, Kraft!, Betty Crocker, Nabisco, not to mention the huge soda pop companies. Our entire economic system would drop out of the bottom of the bucket.

Sorry so long.

This is a book I'm definitely going to buy.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Updates and More

Hello there! Life has been so busy! We had a great Thanksgiving weekend visiting with many friends and family who ventured over the water to see our new home and US! It was so wonderful to see so many warm and friendly faces we hadn't seen in so long. We miss you all so much!!!! James wrote about it a little more here.

The chicks really do not look like chicks any longer. They are 5+ weeks old now!!! If there is a rooster or two we should soon be hearing some attempts at crowing.

And the wonders and beauty of snow!!!! Oh, I do miss it often. This time though it came with some deep cold that I did not like. Mostly because my little chicks just don't need that kind of temperature while they are still accumulating feathers for warmth. We had 18 for a low one night!!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!!!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Here are two fun pictures.
Killick is looking down at the chick and the chick is looking back. Killick LOVES to go watch them. They fly about and peep and he just watches. If you don't take him with he gets upset.
Mom took this picture of me holding the baby chick.
They are 3 weeks today!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

...and grow!!

I am completely amazed each day when I go out to feed and water the chicks! It seems as if I notice new feathers each visit. I think that if I could sit there all day I'd see their feathers move.
We are having so much fun with these little ladies.
Here they are at 2 1/2 weeks. If you go here you can pop back to them at 1 week and you'll be amazed!!!!

Cousins, Cam and Kayla, came for a visit and they really enjoyed the chickens. Kelsey, Cam and Kayla all have a chick perched on their arms! That was fun!

I grow to love our new home each day as I walk around the property and work in the house. There is so much to see and do. So much to appreciate and love.
This weekend we were busy putting in new windows, stacking wood, hauling wood and a cutting wood. I spent a bit of time stacking wood that was delivered, trying to get it out of the pouring rain, but I had help. On Friday, right before the wood was delivered, Jenny (a dear friend from St. Paul's Church) came by ferry to spend the day with us! It was so wonderful to spend the day with her. She helped the guys put in the new windows and helped me throw and stack wood. It made me feel so good to hear her say "I'm going to quit school and come live here, this is so fun!"
On Saturday the cousins came as I mentioned above. We had a break from the rain and even saw sun much of the day. Early on my mom and James' mom went for a walk and mom took this picture! It is SO beautiful! It is the neighbors driveway but it's our property!!
This little piece of heaven is ours!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

They grow so fast!

Here is a picture of the chicks at one week old! It is incredible how different they look. They are getting real feathers on their wings and hind ends. They are really fun to watch too! They are quite the characters. They chase each other and making little attempts at flying. I've lowered their heat some and added some scrumptious chicken scratch ( bits of dried corn) and they love to eat. We have 4+ weeks left to get the fencing in so that they can attempt to go outside to eat bugs if the weather isn't too bad. They'll love that!
It sure is fun to watch them!
The Fallin clan has joined us for the weekend and I loved Brendan's response to seeing the chicks..."No fair! You get chickens!" It was so cute!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

They are finally here…

We were waiting yesterday morning for the phone to ring to tell us to come pick up the chicks from the Poulsbo Post Office. The call never came. By 8:00 a.m. I decided to call and see if they were there. I was greeted with “Sorry, they didn’t arrive. There is another truck at noon.” They were not on the noon truck and so we waited and knew they’d be on the 6:00 a.m. truck this morning.

About 2:00 a.m. we woke to complete darkness and silence. It was so bizarre to lay there and here absolutely nothing. No cars, no appliances humming, nothing! If you’ve never heard “nothing”, it is almost unbearable…the ringing in my ears was deafening.

(Sorry for the tangent)…Anyway, I was feeling pretty lucky at this point that the chicks had NOT arrived as they would have been in the dark cold coop for a few hours and I wouldn’t have known it. They may not have made it.

At 6:30 a.m. today I decided to call the Post Office and I was told they did not arrive. I was sad. I knew if they didn’t come now to food and water they probably wouldn’t make it and I was sure someone had forgotten them in a corner somewhere. For some reason Kelsey woke at this time and we were sitting on the sofa feeling sad for the chicks, talking about their demise when not 10 minutes later the phone rings and it’s the Post Office saying they indeed had our chicks!!!! We were thrilled!!!! Talk about a roller coaster ride of emotions!!!

We hopped in the car and were greeted at the post office with a SMALL box of very loudly peeping chicks! It was exciting!

We drove home quickly and one at a time took them out of the box and dipped their beaks in water so they could drink! They all made it but one!

So begins our adventure on the farm!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

In a comment below Sara asked if I had any advice on making love the natural response to my children. After writing and finding my comment back quite lengthy I decided to make it a blog post. Not because I think I’m some expert but rather because I have struggled so deeply with this and have found comfort and mercy from God I thought maybe others might benefit from my experience.


I'm so not worthy to give advice on this topic. I try very hard to make love the natural response but fail daily. My efforts include much prayer!!! Years ago I bought "Akathist to the Mother of God: The Nurturer of Children" and made attempts to read it once in a great while when I thought of it. I really wanted to pray this because it sought the Theotokoes in help to raise my children. Who better to ask? It wasn't until recently that my prayer life was less than desirable. But now I know that the one and only way to make "love the natural response" is through prayer. I've gotten very strict on myself with my rule of prayer, it's humble but consistent now and I can definitely see the fruits of my labor a tiny bit at a time. I decided to endeavor to read just two stanzas a day and not think about any more until I have consistently done this so that it was habit. Than I could slowly add one at a time. In the back of the book there are other prayers and I read one of those beautiful prayers to God each day. My favorite is A Prayerful Sighing of Parents for Their Children. You can find this online to print off if you do not own it, here.

But they are rather inexpensive to buy and are published by the Serbian Monastery in

One more prayer that I found online (can’t remember where) that I try and pray often is:

Christ my God, set my heart on fire with love in You, that in its flame I may love You with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul and with all my strength, and my neighbor as myself, so that by keeping Your commandments I may glorify You the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Amen

Having a prayer rule used to be VERY overwhelming to me but once I became consistent and witnessed the fruits of it I find it hard to miss for if I do I REALLY miss it.

So my only advice is PRAYER PRAYER PRAYER for I cannot do it alone!

Monday, October 23, 2006


I ordered 25 Rhode Island Red chicks today!!! We will have fuzzy day(or 2) old chicks on Friday morning!!!! We are excited! And busy making a brooder to keep them warm in for the first month and a half! MAYBE I can get pictures on here when we get them...if the dial-up allows!

I am giddy!!

What's happenin' at the Ferrenberg Farm....

While I'm still unpacking boxes I've found the time to get our and explore my little corner of the world a bit more. This past weekend we had my niece and nephew with us for 2 days and on Saturday I pulled on my boots and we headed to see what we could find out there in the beautiful forest surrounding our home. It was really quite fun and inspiring. I finally know where the property ends as I came across a wire strung up across the far east end of the property. Right next to the wire I found a peculiar sign posted....
"No vehicles allowed." We all laughed as we trampled through the trees and high brush that surrounded the sign. A road? One would have never guessed there was a path at one time that could support a vehicle.
On Sunday afternoon I changed into work clothes and once again pulled on my boots, but this time I went out and began to work on our soon-to-be chicken coop. There are 4 big windows in the coop, two have actual windows that will let in lots of light and the other two were just window openings. After some thought I decided to just board those openings up so as not to let in too much draft and critters. So hammer, nails and boards in hand I went a-poundin'. I then staked out the fence line where I'll have my chicken run. A nice big area that includes some brush and a small group of raspberries that need became out of control ( don't worry I have two rows of tame raspberries in another area, so i'm not wasting these-they'll be a nice treat for the chickens next summer). I look forward to finishing up the coop to welcome our new chickens in the next week or two. We'll get day old chicks that will live in a small brooder in our mud room for the first 4 -6 weeks. Once they lose their fuzz and grow feathers they'll head out to the coop.
OOOHHHH I can't wait to start getting eggs!!!!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sr. Magdalen

I too was at the Portland Fall Women’s Retreat. I’m sure you saw our picture at either Dawn’s blog or Mimi’s. I feel compelled to explain the “roller derby” joke…but Juliana’s blog post from awhile back explains it best.

I just wanted to share a couple highlights for me. These are from my attempt at notes. Do not take these as complete and perfect quotes.

-St. Silhoun said, “The best catechesis for our children is LOVE.” We put the cart before the horse when we try to TEACH our children asceticism. The one who is loved and learns to love will desire asceticism.

-The sorrow we feel for our perceived failures can burden our children with guilt. A young boy said, “I don’t ever want a Christian wife because she’ll just be miserable all the time like my mother.”

- We can respond to our children with our face rather than our mouth.

- The best discipline is LOVE!

- Someone asked about equality/feminism and she said…

We in our society have developed the mistake of thinking equality means doing the same thing. If we can’t do the same thing as the man/woman we are not equal. Wrong! We all know God because He created us persons. We are all person. We all receive communion from the same chalice. We are all baptized the same baptism. What are we after? A cassock? A label?

While at the retreat I bought her book “Conversations with Children: Communicating our Faith”. I have only read the Preface and a couple things really made me pause and are needed in my brain….

-Teaching, like praying, is spoiled when we stop to consider how well we are doing—when we are continually second-guessing. We teach best when we simply enjoy the company of our beloved children.

-A lot of things in everyday family life go on as a matter of course. When conscious decisions or spontaneous choices need to be made, being a Christian will make a difference, but often a variety of decisions can fit in with Christian principles. Orthodoxy does affect one’s lifestyle, but Orthodoxy can live in many different lifestyles. A combination of healthy principles seasoned with common sense means that life goes on organically. If spiritual principles are put first, many decisions make themselves.

-This book is offered to parents even if they read it piece-meal or in random order; concentrated reading is for many a rare luxury. AHHHH someone who knows my reading life well!!!! And accommodates it! J

Friday, October 13, 2006

Going to Retreat

Well, after 2 solid weeks of unpacking, organizing, homeschooling and becoming familiar with our new surroundings I am packing my bags and headed to Portland with Dawn, Mimi and Vicki for the Women's Retreat at St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Portland. I'm so excited about meeting some bloggers face to face, about having some mommy time with full-size people and about hearing what Sister Magdalen of St. John the Baptist Monastery in England has to say.

Friday, October 06, 2006


After purchasing and installing a 56k Modem, stringing (and stretching to it's limit)50 feet of phone cord across the entire house (no working outlet upstairs) I am FINALLY reconnected to the internet. The connection is slower than molasses in January but I DON'T CARE. After being disconnected for over a week this slow modem connection is a welcome sight. I miss my daily connection to my family and friends across the USA!

We are still working on settling in. Emptying boxes and finding new homes for everything is a huge task for 6 people and their belongings. There are always little gliches to pass, like the non-working oven that welcomed us the night we moved in as we carried in 2 Take-n-Bake pizzas. But now I have a range that resembles the one I left top stove and fresh clean oven.

Thank you for all your prayers and warm thoughts!

We finally did it and are excited for what the futre holds as we establish our new life her in the country.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


The newest edition of The Handmaiden is dedicating to "The Ministry of True Hospitality".

Ever since we moved to Bothell and closer to the Church community surrounding St. Paul Antiochian Church James and I have loved to open our home to our friends and hosted quite a number of BBQ's throughout the last 3 years. It started with the notion that it was just easier since we had the most children that needed early bed times and tending to and also the fact we had a trampoline that was VERY entertaining for all the numerous children from the toddlers to the teens. But over time it just became tradition that many looked forward to including us. As we get ready to leave the St. Paul community I know that this is one aspect that I will miss above almost anything else. But as I join another community and Glory to God, within a short distance from the Church and many of it's families I hope and pray that we will be able to continue this tradition there.
As I read the new Handmaiden I realized that I have a lot to learn about hospitality despite the fact that I felt I was a very hospitable person. Mary Vaughn Armstrong wrote an article called "The Christ in the Stranger's Guise" which was VERY eye opening and oh so inspiring! Mary happens to attend St. Paul's where I currently go to Church. She is an amazing person and it shows in this article she wrote. My prayer is to take much of what I read and absorb it into my mind and heart so that I may become more hospitable not only to family and friends but to the strangers we meet. Mary says, "Hospitality has to do with the heart, and absolute trust that God Himself has sent each person who arrives on our doorstep. Every time we open our front door and invite someone to share our lives for a while, convenient or not, we offer ourselves."

Three main articles in this issue have to do with hospitality and I learned from every one of them. I can't wait to take my new found ideas and eagerness and welcome into my home many new friends and old alike.

To all , near and far, my home is open to share, to laugh, to listen, to love in peace and solitude. I can't promise complete silence because my 4 children will most assuredly welcome you as well, but with loud singing and laughing and eager voices to show you all that they do and love.
To my friends where distance will seperate us soon, I LOVE YOU ALL and will truly miss our times together, but know OUR HOME IS ALWAYS YOUR HOME!

"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels." Hebrews 13:2

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Do you ever feel like.... have no one to talk to? Like your mind is racing with so many thoughts you will explode if you can't share them someone? If you can't get advice from someone? But you just don't know that there is anyone out there who would understand or even want to understand?
Do you ever feel like you can't talk about it because than everyone will know your deepest darkest sins? Because then they'll think bad of you and they'll think bad of your husband and children?
How can you possibly share all of your fears and frustrations and still have someone who will care? Who will still love you despite all of your failings?

So you just sit back and let it simmer within all the while praying, begging God to have mercy. Praying and begging God to show you how to TALK TO HIM!!!!

Sometimes I think I have these feelings because I am all alone all day long with no other adults to converse with. No one else to share joy and sorrow with. I'm left to figure it out all by myself.(This is a whole other post.)
Glory to God!!!

Our appraisal on our sale came back with flying colors!!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Reading Charlotte Masons....

"Original Home School Series" which is SIX volumes long and first originally written in 1907. It will take me years to really read it all but will sift through it. If you home school or want to I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with her. There are several great books out there that summarize her philosophy and some great websites, like Charlotte Mason Resource and Supply Company
and Simply Charlotte Mason.

I wanted to share something I read that was pretty profound to me. She's talking about authority, specifically with regards to parents and children.
Authority is that aspect of love which parents present to their children; parents know it is love, because to them it means continual self-denial, self-repression, self-sacrifice; children recognize it as love, because to them it means quiet rest and gaiety of heart. Perhaps the best aid to the maintenence of authority in the home is for those in authority to ask themselves daily that question which was presumptuously put to our Lord - 'Who gave thee this authority?' "

I'm reading from another section right now that I want to share later.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

This looks SO COOL.....

Holy Image, Hallowed Ground: Icons from Sinai
Daily, November 14, 2006 - March 4, 2007

Exhibitions Pavilion, Getty Center

The Holy Monastery of Saint Catherine at Mount Sinai, Egypt, is the oldest continuously operating Christian monastery in existence. The basilica and fortified walls were commissioned by the Byzantine emperor Justinian in the 6th century. This exhibition features a selection of artistic treasures from Saint Catherine's, which possesses one of the world's finest collections of Byzantine icons and manuscripts. Forty-three icons, six manuscripts, and several precious objects used in the celebration of the liturgy are on view. Icons from Sinai reveals the central role of icons in Byzantine spiritual practices and conveys their vital function in religious celebrations. It also shows how the monastery's geographic and historical position as a major pilgrimage destination engendered its astonishing collection of icons and books. The exhibition, accompanied by a major scholarly catalogue, features a film about the monastery and the site, including footage of Greek Orthodox Easter services.

Monday, August 28, 2006 bright purple(as of 9-7-06)

We have another offer already!!!
Prayers appreciated as we now begin a new search for our new home on acreage and that the process for this inspection and appraisal goes well.


The offer has gone great...they just signed off on the inspection and now we wait (at the edge of our seats) for the appraisal.

We made an offer on a house Poulsbo, WA yesterday...seems promising. MUCH closer to Church and ferry for a shorter commute than the original house we offered on.

Thanky ou for your prayers!

We will have the appraisal done on our sale here in Bothell tomorrow, 9-8-06, on the beautiful day The Nativity of our Most Holy Lady, the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary.

Please pray unto God and the Most Blessed Theotokos for us and for the appraiser. This is our last hurdle, I think. is a picture of our soon-to-be home in Poulsbo, God-willing.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


This is the email I sent to Fr. James and friends here from Church. It explains everything!

I wanted to thank you all for your prayers through this stressful waiting time regarding the sale of our home. We have just learned that the buyers have officially terminated their offer. Their appraiser won't change his approach to the remodeling and they don't want to go through this same scenario if they try to sell later on. It's been a tough couple hours for me (Susan), fighting feelings of frustration and anguish, uncertainty and even despair - especially since we have done so much for these buyers already and now need to find a means of absorbing the financial costs that were supposed to be paid out of escrow. But we have talked and prayed and refuse to let the evil one lead us into despair. We will be moving forward with renewed faith and courage and will relist the house immediately! We are asking the sellers of our new home to extend closing and extend the financing contingency. We have invested lots into the new house already and feel it is where we want to be. So GOD WILLING the owners will accept our request to extend.

Pursuing this dream of ours is bittersweet in that it requires us to put some distance between ourselves and you, and now it is apparent that it is also going to be difficult and challenging in other ways we had not foreseen. Needless to say, this Sunday, the 27th is not going to be our last Sunday and that change of plans is one amongst many that we are having to make at the moment...we are sorry that it affects your plans as well. You are stuck with us a bit longer!

Thank you for your continued prayers.

peace and love
James and Susan

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

In the midst of chaos and uncertainty I took these pictures that I absolutely LOVE.
Thank you for all your prayers...I still don't know if I'm moving or not but DO KNOW...that God knows!
In the last week and a half we've been losing teeth left and right here in the Ferrenberg home.
From the left, Kelsey lost her first molar! It's hard to see but she does have a gapping hole on the left side of her mouth. Charissa lost her first top tooth and is amused at how her talking has changed. And Nicholas lost his first ever tooth! It happened at 10pm one night and our house was all full of excitement for about an hour!

These two were taken by me while cuddling with Joe. Nicholas had to get in on the action!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Prayer Request on House stuff still!

and here are James' and my first requests on this matter.

UPDATE.....They are still requesting permits of which there are none. The house appraises at more than sale price but is contingent on permits. The city says it is a VERY long process.
We have written a letter to the buyers lender urging them to reconsider. In this we will send a copy of our original sale 3 years ago that shows the conversion and our being granted a loan regardless.

Please pray that this big corporation has mercy on all those involved, ourselves and the Nunez family our buyers.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

An Ice Cream Kind of Day

I took these just now while the children were enjoying themselves savoring a wonderful treat. I love how they turned out.

PS...thank you for all your prayers(see below).

House Prayer Request ---Immediately

A snag has been hit. I'm trying not to worry because I feel so strongly that everything has worked out thus far so smoothly and that is directed by God. I have faith that God's Hand will be on it until the end.
The snag is the appraiser on our current home. He wants permits for work that was done prior to our even buying the house...the garage was converted into living space and he want permits or recording from the city. There are none. This really shouldn't affect the value of the house if he is doing fair comps, but he's being a stinker. Please pray that this snag will go away so that the house will appraise for just the right amount and God's Will be done!!! It's really out of my hands, there is nothing we can do to change this except trust in God! And I do!
Thank you!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

We just arrived back from 4 days of camping. (pictures here) It was suppose to be 5 but we were cut short one day at the start to go look at a house that had just come on the market. And being that we knew we were going to be homeless in 3 weeks from last Tuesday we thought we ought to look. We got a sitter and made the trip by ferry to look at this house in Seabeck. It has 5 (FIVE!) acres with a 4 bedroom home (2.5 baths). We were astounded at the price lower than we thought we’d ever get. We were even more surprised to get their and both completely fall in love with EVERYTHING! It has just about everything we were looking for and more. All I can say is GLORY TO GOD!!!!

We made an offer Monday night and while camping and via fax received and signed their counter offer. We had our inspection today and it turned out VERY well. And to top it all off there are eager to leave and have no problem with an incredibly short close. It is ours on August 31st. Everything is moving sooooo quickly but yet so smoothly all I can do is give all Glory to God!!! Two weeks ago we were so stressed and nervous about having no place while this one sold so quickly. But we prayed and God heard. (PICTURES OF HOUSE)

Thank you all for your prayers!!!!!

Our camping trip was great! We had nearly perfect weather, just one night of rain, and the sand and sun were so fun! Picture link above.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Prayer Request--UPDATE(in bold)

After 2 1/2 weeks on the market we have an offer on our house. We haven't even signed it yet, the agent comes this afternoon, but if all goes well, these people want it by the end of AUGUST.

Please pray that God will open a door to a new place and that our ever-failing sight will see this door open.
And for a smooth transition and that we may not be homeless for too long.

Thank you so much.

We countered our offer to get back a bit more as it was a tad low. They accepted our offer with no changes and the inspection is TODAY at 4:00PM!
Please pray this goes well, we are very nervous as we've done so much work on this house ourselves.
Also please continue to pray that God will open a door. We will go house hunting tomorrow.
Thank you so much for your prayers.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Flowers and Insects

I took these in the garden today. I LOVE the colors!
The purple cone flower was covered in bumble bees today. I counted 17 if I got them all.
Check out the one with many purple coneflower. How many bees can you find?

Click on the pictures for closer views.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Intentional Community?

What does it mean to grow an intentional community? An Orthodox intentional community? Rade of The New Relic on more than one occasion talked about this. It's something that has always been on my mind as something that could be good if a group worked really hard at it. I came across this website called Orthodox Village that doesn't really have all that much to it but the idea behind it is good. He has good hopes and plans but it doesn't seem to have grown much. On the message board I found this icon that a woman drew when she started in 1994...but she's Orthodox!!! which I found fascinating! (she no longer owns that site)
I love this icon! It is so beautiful!!
This is a link to Alana's -Morning Coffee blog. This particular post I'm linking to is her conversion to Orthodoxy story. It is very beautiful and so well written. She touches on quite a few things that really touched me and I want to share it.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

I'm Melting!!!!!

It is TOO HOT! I know some of you may be used to hot temperatures but I(we) here in Seattle are not. There is not air conditioning except in my van and at the mall. I'm not a mall type person! It is too Hot!!!!!
Record Highs Friday and Saturday in some parts were over 100!!!! I turned my van on Friday afternoon to see the temperature reading outside and it registered 101!

There are, however, certain activities that are especially good for hot weather. Here are some of our favorites we've relished in the last 3 days...
but first I had to put this in this morning....even the dog is hot! Early this morning (Monday) I put the fan in the window and within a few minutes found the dog sitting in front of it!!! It cracked me up!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Update on Rachel

A couple days ago I posted this prayer request and this first update. Here is the wonderful update I received last night...

The fluid in Rachel’s lungs is gone, making possible removal of the drainage tube; just a few minutes ago she was taken off the ventilator, & is now breathing on her own, all thanks and praise to God! She is still in I.C.U., & though receiving post-operative pain medication is conscious & able to respond non-verbally. “Prayer,” as blessed Saint Agathon said so long ago, “ is warfare to the last breath.” May we continue to faithfully intercede for dear Rachel & her family!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Bald Eagle in Seabeck Bay

We went through downtown Seabeck (don't blink) and had pizza at the pizz place on the bay. While we waited we ran into an artist painting on the beach and he pointed this beautiful sight out to us. I didn't get close enough. Click on the image and it will get bigger.

What's been going on here?

We have been quite busy these days preparing for this. I know you probably have seen that link from Paradosis link. In the last 2 weeks before market day (July 7) we completed the family room wall (it was bare drywall) , painted it, redid moulding through almost the whole house, packed up about 6 loads of JUNK to put in storage (don't know why and can't believe all the stuff we can supposedly "live without temporarily"...why not always????). I spent an entire afternoon (6+hours) in the rain planting and mulching and cleaning the yard. The list goes on. Now we are on the market. Within 2 days we had a great offer and 2 days later it fell through. The Missus of the said offer didn't like our house enough. :( But we are only 6 days into the game and have had lots of lookers. When we sold our house in Sultan it was on the market for 3 1/2 months and probably didn't have near the traffic this one has had in 3 days. Another gorgeous weekend to come should bring lots more traffic. Please pray God's Will be done!!
We have the weekend loaded with houses to look at for ourselves on the Kitsap Peninsula. That should be fun. We have our eyes on one we both really like. It is very private 2 1/2 acres and it has all the stuff we need to get started on our "hobby" farm: corral, 2 fenced pastures, 2-stall barn, fenced garden, chicken coop! Perfect. We think.

Another funthing we've been up to is camping. Here are some fun pictures of our trip to Mossyrock Campground in Mossyrock Washington.

Thank you for all your prayers as we seek God's guidance in the sale of our home and purchase of a new home-following our dream.

Monday, July 10, 2006


I received this at 8PM...

Don called a few minutes ago, to report that although Rachel “isn’t out of the woods yet,” the news is much more positive this evening. She has responded well to a medication change, her kidneys are functioning, & although still on the ventilator she is breathing partially on her own. All praise & thanksgiving to God for this wonderful news – may we continue to surround Rachel, her family, & all who care for her with our fervent intercessions!

Thank you for your continued prayers.


...for Rachel. She is a girlfriend of one of our parishioners. She is right now in ICU on a respirator after emergency intestinal surgery. Just 5 minutes ago we were informed her heart is failing. She is 22 years!

Lord have mercy.

Monday, July 03, 2006

You know they've had a good day when...

...they come in the house at the end of the day looking like this little warrior.

I've uploaded some new pictures to the photo blog.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Children Learn What They Live

As I was growing up I frequently saw this poem around and thought it was nice, but unimpressed to say the least.
My mom just posted it on her blog and I've read it again for the millionth time in my life and suddenly it has taken on a whole new meaning! For the past year or two I've heard so much that if I want to see myself just look at my children...

Children learn what they live

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

"Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Calling All Home-Schoolers and Avid Readers...

As a homeschooling mother Paidea Classics is one of my FAVORITE websites!!! They are by far one of the most important resources I have to date.
I just learned this morning that they are struggling financially and it is threatening the continuance of their website.
I come here to spread the word about the TREMENDOUS RESOURCE so you too may help support them and to also beg for prayers on their behalf.
Here is a list of 10 reasons they are SO fabulous:

1. "Our Young Folks' Josephus": The history of Ancient Israel is revealed in a first-hand account from the great historian Flavius Josephus.

2. "The Exiles of the Cebenna": is a moving account of the community of Christians in the Church of Arles during the Decian persecution (249-251 AD).

3. Free Copywork you can print out. Amazing and wonderful copy work of Saints, Feasts and Orthodox Quotes, as well as simple beginning ABC's.

4. If you don't want to print everything yourself they have spiral bound copywork for sale!!!!

5. New Spelling Lessons: 2 levels so far!

6. Free downloadable Orthodox homeschool planning pages.

7. Orthodox Homeschool T-shirts and more.

8. Free E-Texts

9. A list of wonderful articles about all kinds of topics such as prayers, parenting, schooling.

10. Their wonderful history books soon to come out in audio!!" It is our hope to provide resources that will help make homeschooling a family affair and will simplify the teaching parent's life." Coming soon!

PLEASE help support this wonderful home-schooling resource! They have a lot of books that not only would be appreciated by the home-schooling family but also by those who love to read history.

Thank you for spreading the word.

Friday, June 23, 2006

James of the Northwest has just posted about this news article we've read. I commented there but couldn't help but bring it up here and tell you that I've emailed Gregoire.

Please go here and send her a comment. Tell her how absurd it is for her to TAKE AWAY ones RIGHTS to appease another. I'm so miffed about this whole thing. And not so much because of what pill it is(although I'm impressed with Thriftway and will let them know I'll be supporting their stores more than I have) but more because the pharmacies own rights are being taken away and how fair is that. She wants to strip them of their own rights simply because another group feels their rights aren't being respected.

I didn't know something so political could get my attention like this...I'm surprised at myself.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Another writer?

Okay while I'm at it I'll share Charissa's poem to dad. Kelsey taught Charissa a little about poems. She wrote one to her teacher which stupidly I didn't keep, it's quite good! And this she wrote for her dad, it's cute!

Happy Father's Day, Dad.

I found out that it was Father's Day.
It is a penny to pay.

I think he is planning to go to Antartica again.

She has a fascination with Antartica because they just studied penguins in school.

A writer in the making...

Kelsey Anna seems to be taking after her father in writing. She LOVES to write. We have gads of papers with started stories, poems and even comics. She even has a book started on her laptop that I'm told is very funny. This spring she brought home a book of poems from school she had written. They learned all about different kinds of poems. I found this one amongst her papers which wasn't even one of the chose published, but I really do like it a lot.

Listen. Fairies!
Why fairies you say?
Because the sound it makes.
A certain sound like...
A wind chime
Ching Chingle Ching
A bird
Tweet tweetle tweet
A fairy sound
Ding ding ding ding
So if you walk in the woods listen for them.
Those fairies.

by Kelsey Anna

Monday, June 05, 2006

This tops the cake!

Okay....I am udderly flabbergasted at the newest and latest "disorder" that one can order up to justify and explain away ones uncomely behavior. This literally is the icing on the cake....
intermittent explosive disorder (IED)
in laymens terms "road rage disorder".
Check out these headlines...
Road rage is a medical condition, finds study

Sunday, June 04, 2006

"local" economy

I've been suffering through the debate/conversation between my dear paradosis and some of his friends (they are really "our" friends but in this their his--LOL) on the topic of "local economy. One of them says that there really is no such thing as local economy and the other disagrees. I do have to admit to possibly misunderstanding the whole debate but that is what I got out of it. So I as this is really the only place I can get a word in edgewise when the conversation is being carried with this particular group I thought I'd post my two cents. First I might say that I really believe that they are simply debating the difference between micro(local) and macro(global) economics without even knowing it. And if you put it that way they are both right and their it's a no win debate for sure.
But my two cents on the whole "does local economy even exist" is this...if we all stopped buying from the local businesses then they will cease to exist therefore creating a completely useless community and it will die. Thus there IS local economy in that respect. YES, our community not only supports on a local level but also in many ways supports on a global level. You cannot have one without the other for sure. The global economy would cease to exist if there was not many different local economies to make it up.
I just happen to read on the night of this said debate from a great book called "Rural Renaissance" in the section called Supporting the Local Economy...
Ecological communities offer insights as to how we might approach our local community. When we take time to examine our energy flows, the cycling of matter and materials, the interconnection of food webs, the movement from chemical-based mono-culture to organic polyculture, and other factors on our farm, we better undertstand how life manages to sustain itself--often, despite unwise human decisions.
Communities that exist within ecological perspectives, tend to thrive as well, providing healthy, safe and viable livelihoods for their members. Country and samll-town living thrives on shared experience and cooperation.
In an ecosystem, numerous self-preserving mechanisms are in place to keep a system in balance. Healthy communities are much the same. The citizens must be active, engaged and empowered for the community to be vibrant. We are active participants in our community's continued prosperity, development and future.

Yes, I know that maybe I'm making this topic much simplier than they possibly have taken it in their conversations and debates, but why not?

Thursday, June 01, 2006

"Potatoes Not Prozac"

But do you sometimes feel your confidence slip away, leaving you in self-doubt and despair? Does it seem "crazy" that you can be so clear one day and so desperate the next? Worse, you may drop from the heights to the depths in the same day. It's almost as if another person were inside you.
You hate to admit it, but you can be moody and impulsive. You want to get things done, but your attention drifts. You lose energy and get tired.

....It's like having two different people live in your body. From one moment to the next your fine sensitivity and openness turn into moodiness and irritablility. Your confidence and creativity dry up, only to be replaced by low self-esteem and hopelessness. Your visions for the future dissipate into the frustration born of not following through.

*bold is my emphasis

I'm only in the first chapter of this ("Potatoes Not Prozac")book, but I feel like it was written for me. Found it after reading "Little Sugar Addicts". This author, Kathleen DesMaisons, seems to really have done some incredible research. I can't wait to read more.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Memory Eternal

Today is the 2nd anniversary of the repose of my brother, Douglas.
My niece Alexis, his daughter, has been here at my home for 3 weeks visiting from Minnesota. I told her that we Orthodox have a very special way of remembering the departed and I wanted to share that with her. So this evening, I did my best to make Koliva with Alexis. We did have to improvise because I FORGOT to buy wheat berries in time to cook. So I used whole oat groats which cook up to be quite fat and chewy. I rinsed them well after cooking and added the rest of the ingredients. Mounded it all on a plate and covered it with powered sugar. I was very pleasantly surprised to taste what could really pass as Koliva! And Alexis will never know the difference.
We gathered around the icon corner and said a prayer and sang memory eternal. It was really quite beautiful. No, Douglas wasn't Orthodox but I really wanted share this beautiful tradition with his beautiful daughter. And really I don't even know if there is something that says this is only for the orthodox.

Memory Eternal!

PS.. the picture was taken AFTER we'd eaten most of it and realized Alexis hadn't taken a picture. So we hurried and mounded what we could and added more powered sugar to take the picture. The first mound was much bigger and nicer looking.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Over the last 2 days I've accomplished two things that I'm proud of.
One is I JUST finished this evening and that is the kitchen floor!!! I really like how it came out.
The second I did on Saturday, which was to cut the hair on my two boys' heads. It was quite the challenge with Joe, thus quite an accomplishment! But Oh! how handsome they are!!!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I was checking out at the grocery store and bought some beer for James. The checker looked at me a few times before deciding to card me. I always love it when this happens as I'm well past the age one needs to be (by 15 years!).
She takes my ID from me and looks at it, all of a sudden very emphatically she says, "Shut up! Oh my gosh!" "You must have good genes or something."

Grinning from ear to ear!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pictures to share

Go here to see several pictures I've taken over the last couple days.
On Mother's Day we went to the peninsula to visit family and friends and went here. It was an amazing day!
Today we went here.
My niece, Alexis, is visiting from MN for 3 weeks. We are having a grand time.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Mother's Day to me

I recieved this poem(using my name for first letters) yesterday from Kelsey Anna. (My eldest, 9 1/2 years)

Spectacular mom!
Uses love carefully!
Said she loves me!
Always hugs me!
Noticed I loved her!
Loved by your daughter Kelsey

Friday, May 12, 2006

Update on my dad

Thank you all so much for all your prayers and thank you Hilarius for asking about him on Paradosis.

I can't believe it has been since BEFORE his radiation that I've posted. My how time flies!

My dad went through 8 weeks of pure hell in radiation therapy on his throat. Through it he lost a significant amount of weight which he couldn't afford to lose and he also lost his voice. Today, he is back up to 145# (4 weeks post radiation I think) and is sounding great. Glory to God when they examined his throat they found no cancer left. Kelsey Anna and I attribute this to some Holy Oil we sent him to rub on his neck. We pray every day that God will soften his heart so that he too may believe this. He still struggles a great deal with smoking although he is only smoking a couple a day vs. 3 packs a day. Shortly after he finished his radiation he opened up to me about how much he'd been drinking and learned that alcohol in great quantities daily can be a big contributor to throat cancer. Glory to God he has not had a drink since February and finds no desire for it.
Please pray for his struggles with addiction and for the temptations for alcohol that may return as he goes back to MN for the summer and much of his family and friends there do quite a bit of drinking.

Thank you so much for your prayers!!!

This is an old picture of my dad and my kids, June 2004, but I wanted to put it in anyway.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bye Grandma :(

Today at 3:30 PM we packed up the van with all of Grandma and Auntie Carols belongings and headed for the train depot. As they unloaded the van Joseph began wailing that he wanted grandma, he was going to go with her. As he was strapped in his carseat reaching as hard as he could (if you've ever seen a child strapped in a carseat trying to reach with all his might to get out you can see Joseph), tears streaming down and wails of love for Grandma. Mom stood there watching him with tears of her own as she was not prepared for such an outpouring. Once we drove away and she was out of sight he settled down and about 5 minutes down the road very quietly said, "I'm going to miss grandma." Look at the eyes this boy has, they can be heart-wrenching.
For some reason, this time around it was very difficult for mom to leave. Please come back soon Grandma!!!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

More Remodeling

During Bright Week my mom and I spent many hours changing my kitchen. After lots of shopping around I decided I'd give it a gallon of paint and new hardware a try on the kitchen cupboards instead of spending hundreds(or even thousands) for new. The biggest difference is the new feeling of space and light. I love it! The floor is next.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Now I lay me down to sleep...2

Back in November I posted this on the photo blog.

Since so many liked that I just had to share this with you all. I love it!! This is how I found little Joe tonight.