Saturday, November 27, 2010

Officially Orthodox

I will have more to say - perhaps deeper thoughts, perhaps not - in the next few days, and I will also have pictures, but I wanted to post and tell you that at 6:25pm tonight, when the bells rang from St. George's Orthodox Church, we four were officially Orthodox Christians. We are confessed and Christmated, and now we will fast until after we have taken our first Communion tomorrow at Liturgy. Tonight the four of us stood in the dimly lit and gloriously golden church with our sponsors, took our saints' names, held our candles, prayed, were anointed with oil, and became Orthodox to the sound of the congregation singing God Grant You Many Years. To us: they sang to us. Of all the times we've sung that to others, this time we stood silent and our church family wished us many years of God's grace.

It's all unbelievable to me. God has brought us to this place - this blessed, holy place - and it is the greatest of gifts. I am more thankful - and on a very appropriate weekend, I'm sure - than I have ever been. For my 10 year old, who gently pushed his bangs out of the way to receive the oil on his forehead, for my seven year old who bravely stood up with all of us despite doing so being one of his greatest fears, and most of all for my Husband, who bowed his head and braved Confession, and radiated God's mercy and grace throughout all of the Christmation and Vespers service.

God bless and keep you all, friends. And parting on a humorous note, let me note for the record that, if you, too, become Orthodox, make sure you don't wear tights to your Christmation like I did. Why? Well, they anoint your feet, too, and tights make that kind of awkward.

Blessings, y'all. Many years ...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Five Links for Friday

I am still carrying around my Thanksgiving food-baby, or at least it feels that way when I try to wear anything but elastic waist pants, so I can't say I have much to offer the world of the internet tonight. But here are a few links, in case you're up late, digging into the leftover pie and wondering if there's anything good on TV (there's not, there never is: give up now).

Katie Roiphe has a wonderful piece from the Financial Times about everyone's favorite topic: helicopter parenting. She doesn't call it by that name, but if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck ... Anyway, a very good read. Pour a drink, neglect the children, and read away. HT: Instapundit, where all my good ideas come from.

Adam Savage from Mythbusters took a flight to Seattle recently with 12" razor blades nestled undiscovered in his carry on. Whoops. I guess the TSA is so busy taking the shirts off 6 year old boys, they've forgotten how to operate that x-ray thingy they run our bags through. Good thing we're all safe, though ...

The boys' school is an unofficial Guinness Book of World Records holder for the largest game of tag ever held. 937 screaming children (and adults) played this past Monday to highlight the problem of childhood obesity. The game was organized by two girls in One's class, and as such the honor of "taggers" went to all of One's class. I think it's safe to say that a good time was had by all.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, we're thinking Christmas around here. Hopefully the big hits this year with the boys will be new swords, a Rokenbok building set, and some sort of reading chairs for their rooms. We're having a terrible time over the the last item; we love these iChairs from Pottery Barn Teen, but the price is more than unpalatable. We may have to (gasp!) leave the house and shop in actual stores to find something suitable.

Back to Thanksgiving for a moment, John Stossel was on TV tonight explaining how the first Thanksgiving owes its existence to the idea of private property rights. Not what they taught you in elementary school, is it? His piece is written up here; it's an interesting read.

And that's all I got. Have a wonderful long weekend - mine is likely to be spent unplugged, unless I motivate myself to post a picture or two. Enjoy, y'all.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Thankful

I'm thankful for a lot these days - as I should be every day - but there it is again: you don't always think about how great something is until you're missing it, do you? What specific things, small and big, am I thankful for?

I'm thankful that when Two came down last night to ask for warm milk, he had every intention of making it himself. And he did.

I'm thankful that One's bake sale today to raise money for Living Water was a success, and that the Principal, IB Coordinator, and his teacher all complimented him on his responsibility and hard work. Fine praise when you're 10 - or any age, come to think about it.

I'm thankful that when the battery died in the minivan this afternoon, it did so after the bake sale was over, so while we had to miss a doctor's appointment waiting for a jump, we didn't miss any of One's wonderful sale.

I'm thankful for working from home this week, and being able to get things cleaned in between work projects. That's a lot better than washing wood floors at 10pm!

I'm thankful that I am NOT in charge of the turkey, but that it is in the uber-capable hands of Husband, who will once again, I'm sure, produce the best.bird.evah. I love to cook all the side dishes, especially things like green bean casserole, and I'll even make the gravy, but knowing that the turkey is not my job just makes Thanksgiving Day that much more sweet.

I'm thankful that the boys have their first pieces of music to learn on the violin. I'm not so certain I'm glad I get to listen to Jingle Bells all weekend long, but it could sound okay ...

I'm thankful that, however much work I have to do tomorrow, the laptop will be stowed in its bag by this time tomorrow night, and it will not see the light of day until Monday morning. Four whole days!

Those are mostly small things, but they're the sort of things that make life better in so many ways. I'm grateful beyond belief for so many big things - the kind of things so big they make you cry when you think about them (like the sight of the cross hanging around Husband's neck, for instance) - but I think I'll save all of those for another day.

God bless y'all, and when you count your blessings may they be too many to list.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thoughts on Government

Husband has this dream in which the various federal departments are not only forced to slash their budgets and payrolls by enormous percentages, but also are divvied up by region of the country. Why? Because wherever government congregates in too large a crowd, our money is spent at an even more alarming rate. The harder you make their jobs, the less they'll be able to do. And the less they can do, the more we'll be left alone.

So where do they all go? Here's our joint list:

IRS: Nome, AK. Pure punishment.
Treasury: NYC
Commerce: Chicago
Defense: Omaha
Justice: stays in DC with the Supreme Court
HHS: Minneapolis
Education: Boston
State Department: Miami
Labor: Cleveland
Interior: Denver
Agriculture: Kansas City
Energy: Houston
HUD: New Orleans
Transportation: Los Angeles
Veterans Affairs: San Diego
Homeland Security: Oklahoma City
EPA: Newark
US Trade Rep: El Paso
UN Mission: Guam
NEA: Orlando, so they can wear mouse ears
Social Security Admin: Phoenix
Post Office: Memphis, so FedEx can show them how it's done
BIA: Albuquerque
BATF: Waco
INS: Ciudad Juarez (don't forget to duck, guys)
CIA: Pigeon Forge, TN, because they're all a bunch of boobs
FDA: 3 Mile Island, so they might get faster approving cancer-treatment drugs
FBI: Chicago
DEA: Humboldt County, CA
NSA: Detroit
Weather Service: Mt. Washington, NH
Amtrak: Molokai

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'd Like to Tell You

that my kitchen counter doesn't have a pile of dirty dishes on it, but I can't.

that I've started teaching One how to write with the fabulous Writing Mysteries book I bought him, but that would be a lie.

that I manage to put a simple home-cooked meal on the table for my family every night, but if I did I'd be talking about someone other than myself.

that I jump at every project my boss suggests, and am her favorite "go-to" person in the department ... but I'm not.

that there's not a constant, rotating pile of laundry on my formal living room couch, but then you'd come over and sit on the couch and notice that I'd fibbed to you.

that I know exactly what kind of middle school my 10 year old needs to attend next year - provided that I actually, um, did know that important bit of information.

that I'm not sick-to-stomach about making my first confession ever in three weeks, but I am.

that I end each day thanking God that I lived it with intention, but that would be the biggest whopper of them all.

I am a jack of all trades, master of none. Just call me mom.