Thursday, April 8, 2010

April's Weather

Well, it is official. It has now snowed or hailed more times in April than it has for the entire winter. That is right... we have had three snowy/hail mixes in April. Previously, for our first and last winter in Spokane, it had only snowed two times. Crazy.

On another note, I am ashamed to say that my children have discovered Alvin and the Chipmunks. How anybody can stand their annoying voices is beyond me. They have already watched the movie two times and I swear I am about to go insane. But on a better note, Levi is dressed up as The Goblin King today. Now that, I can handle.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bright Monday Treat

When my mom was here in January she treated the family to a dinner at The Melting Pot. It was quite an experience! While I would not do the dinner there again, the cheese and chocolate fondue were amazing. Our kids have been requesting to go back almost on a daily basis, so we promised them that we would go out for dessert for an Easter treat. Naturally, we love our neighbors, so we invited them along too.

I guess because the economy stinks, or perhaps because we are such a super cool group, we got almost rock star treatment. We had a room all to ourselves, complete with big screen tv's with which to watch the NCAA championship game. After we ate up our order, the waitress brought us another four plates full of strawberries, bananas, and rice-krispy treats to finish off our chocolate.

We finished off the night by running up on the down escalator; we really needed to burn off some calories!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Holy Thursday

Tonight was my favorite church service ever.

In the Orthodox Church we commemorate Holy Thursday by reading the Twelve Passion Gospels. These are the four Gospels that describe the events leading up to and directly after Christ's crucifixion on the cross. Now, I know that does not sound like it would be one of the best services to attend, but because the Orthodox Church swims in symbolism, this service is truly moving.

Between the twelve readings the congregation sings the most beautifully written hymns. But the most touching, the saddest, and the most profound hymn comes after the fifth Gospel reading.

Every Orthodox Church has a large cross behind the alter. Attached to the cross is the body of Christ. During the Holy Thursday service, the cross is not behind the alter as normal. After the fifth Gospel reading, the lights are turned off. There is only candlelight. Everyone kneels down. The smell of incense is strong. Thru the royal doors, the priest comes out carrying the large cross over his shoulder; just as Christ did. It is heavy, like the cross Christ carried. The priest makes a small procession around the inside of the church while this hymn is slowly sung by one person:

Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung on the tree.
The King of the Angels is decked with a crown of thorns.
He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery.

The priest stops, and inserts the large wooden cross into its stand in the middle of the church. He then goes to the alter, where the body of Christ has been laid. He reverently carries the body of Christ to the center of the church where the body of Christ is affixed to the cross by nails. The canter is singing:

He who freed Adam in the Jordan is slapped on the face.
The Bridegroom of the Church is affixed to the cross with nails.
The Son of the Virgin is pierced by a spear.

By this point, many are weeping, including myself.

Holy Friday we commemorate the burial of Christ.