Saturday, April 13, 2013

Monastery Visits

On Thursday, April 11th, our family took a "field trip" to Vashon Island.  It wasn't a field trip for school, it's just fun calling it that. But well, we did sight see a bit.  The purpose of the trip was to visit All-Merciful Savior Monastery and visit with Abbot Tryphon. 
Continuing to count...not in order today.
 150. Our whole family taking a day trip to Vashon Island & monastery.
Kelsey Anna, Charissa, Nicholas and Joseph by the Bike in the Tree on Vashon Island.

 We stopped off at cute little country store and explored a little bit.  They had all sorts of neat gardening things and trinkets.
Then we went to find the famous Bike in the Tree.  It was really neat. 

When we arrived at the monastery we pulled into the parking space and right in front of us was another family visiting the monastery.  It was a family of deer!

Look closely and you'll see the mama deer.

The monastery beehives. They were pretty active.
 I love taking pictures of my children. Here are some sweet faces.

148. Reluctant young daughter smiling & at ease after talking with Fr. Tryphon unexpectedly.
149. Peace, peace in my mind & heart! Giving all to God & the Theotokos.

 After a morning full of clouds and rain, we were blessed to have the clouds break up and a very sunny afternoon as we visited with Fr. Tryphon.  There were 3 of us who have chosen Fr. Tryphon as our father confessor and we were there for our Lenten confessions and guidance.
 151. Confessions, forgiveness, new starts.
152. Sweet faces framed in scarves.  

Kelsey Anna waiting.

Nicholas was the one of the protesters of this trip. He did not want to go! But as were hanging out in the courtyard he explained...
147. Nicholas exclaiming, "I love this place. It makes me so happy." 
He talked all day about how he wished he could stay or he couldn't want to come back. 

Nicholas in front of the beautiful Church doors.

Joseph having cuddle time.  He was cold.

 We got to visit our chickens that we took to the monastery a couple years ago.

It was such a lovely visit to the monastery.  We thank God for this opportunity to be together as a family
Thank you, Abbot Tryphon for seeing us and visiting with us.
146. A beautiful visit to the monastery.  

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Lenten Spring

This year Great Lent began 2 days before the official start of spring.  I find it appropriate and beautiful.  

As we make our way down this lenten path, we watch as life renews itself all around us.  The budding trees, the bulbs emerging, grass growing, birds readying for hatching. Life! Full and vibrant.  

At the end of the lenten path we find true life.  We find life that has conquered all that is dark and dead.

I must get ready. Weeding and pruning, scrubbing and cleaning.  Not just the outside world but within my heart. 
Getting ready for life. To really live!

(Since my last blog post I've counted 40+ blessings, so I am not writing them all down here, just an excerpt from my journal.)
Counting....on my way to One Thousand!  Glory to God for all things.
108. Forgiveness: seeking it and receiving it.
109. 4 loads of laundry done.
110. All four beautiful babes at Canon with me & dad. Singing or prostrating, participating.
111. Giggles from girls at bedtime after a tense, angry evening between them.

Red-flowering Currant. The hummingbirds love this.
127. Making dinner with CJ.
128. Planting spinach and sweet peas.
129. 64 degrees
130. Hanging sheets on the line to dry in the sun.

   Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
    For His mercy endures forever. 
 Oh, give thanks to the God of gods!
    For His mercy endures forever. 
 Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords!
    For His mercy endures forever: