Friday, April 29, 2011


It is not much to look at right now, but I think the general idea is easy to see! Hurricane and I finished up the grout this morning and started the cleaning process. Just imagine the whole thing clean. And sealed. With a table and chairs. Lots of plants. Maybe some party lights.... Looks great, huh!

The Whole Name Thing

So I have been thinking a lot lately about Internet security, privacy, and all the crazies out in the world. I do not want to make this blog private, but something just rubs me the wrong way that ANYBODY in the world can look here and find out some basic information about my family.

Of course, I realize that those crazies can only do that because I choose to post a blog with all that information. But I am sure there is a way to minimize our exposure, while keeping an open blog.

Looking at other friends blogs, I noticed that there are quite a few who do not use first names. They use the first initial, or some sort of a cute nickname. I am not a fan of the plain ol' initial approach (no offense), but had a hard time coming up for nicknames for my family.

So for a couple of weeks I have been mulling it over... what word describes my baby girl? My big boy? My husband? Myself?

And I think I have come up with the answer.

Baby Girl will be Peaches
Big Boy will be Slim
Husband will be Hurricane
I (of course) will be Red

Naturally, it will take me awhile to go through all my past blog posts and reflect this change. I may completely forget and this whole post will be mute. Oh well.

On another note, tons of stuff has been happening at the house lately.

Our patio is totally mortared in place and about 90% grouted. That part should be completed this morning. The next step is to clean it really well and then to seal it.

We adult-ized (not sure what the term is) our main bathroom. I was sick of the frog soap-pump and the tropical shower curtain. Plus, the lovely folks that we bought the house from, did not have the greatest styling taste. The towel rods and toilet paper were in a gold and silver combination. Ugly. So a new shower curtain, towel rods, light fixtures and some touch up paint, makes for a completely new and modern bathroom!

My brother and his wife are coming tomorrow for a week so I have been cleaning and organizing in anticipation of their arrival. They get Slim's room, so I am transferring the important toys (legos) to Peaches' room.

The day after my brother leaves, our good friends from Spokane but now from Utah are arriving. They are driving a motor home here! My kids are SO excited to see our Spokane neighbors!

Finally, we decided it was time to enter the two-car family world.

We bought our Toyota in September because the Dodge needed some massive work. Well, we finally got enough money to do some repairs. Hurricane (Hubby) did some, but the dealership and the brake shop did the rest. It will be nice to have the second car especially with company coming!

Pictures coming soon!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pascha Photos

This is what my kids did the ENTIRE service.

You know you are Orthodox when you give candles to four year olds. At 1 in the morning!

These next ones are from our feast:

Greek dancing!!

Here is the only picture from the day of Peaches and I. We had matching skirts!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

60 Minutes

St. John's Homily

This is read aloud at every Orthodox Church on Pascha Sunday. It was written by St. John Chrysostom, and is simply beautiful.

Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God?
Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!
Is there anyone who is a grateful servant?
Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!

Are there any weary with fasting?
Let them now receive their wages!
If any have toiled from the first hour,
let them receive their due reward;
If any have come after the third hour,
let him with gratitude join in the Feast!
And he that arrived after the sixth hour,
let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss.
And if any delayed until the ninth hour,
let him not hesitate; but let him come too.
And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour,
let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.

For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first.
He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour,
as well as to him that toiled from the first.
To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows.
He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor.
The deed He honors and the intention He commends.

Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord!
First and last alike receive your reward;
rich and poor, rejoice together!
Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!

You that have kept the fast, and you that have not,
rejoice today for the Table is richly laden!
Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one.
Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith.
Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!

Let no one grieve at his poverty,
for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again;
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.
Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.

He destroyed Hades when He descended into it.
He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh.
Isaiah foretold this when he said,
"You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below."

Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.
It was in an uproar because it is mocked.
It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.
It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.
It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.
Hell took a body, and discovered God.
It took earth, and encountered Heaven.
It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.
O death, where is thy sting?
O Hades, where is thy victory?

Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!
Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!
Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!
Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!
Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead;
for Christ having risen from the dead,
is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Orthodox "Easter"

Here is a link to an article written by Rita Wilson. She gives a wonderful and simple explanation of what Easter is to millions of Orthodox Christians around the world.

My favorite line:

(explaining what Orthodox Easter, or Pascha is)

"We don't do bunnies. We don't do chocolate. We don't do pastels. We do lamb, sweet cookies, and deep red."

Have a blessed Pascha everyone! Christ is (almost) risen!

Now we are off to church!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Things have been uber-busy around here lately. I attribute all that hecticness to myself, as I foolishly decided to take on lots of large projects.

No witty writing tonight, folks. Just picture updates of all my latest projects!

A couple weeks ago I finished this knitting project:It was supposed to be a shawl for me, but stupid me, did not check the gauge on the pattern. So now Peaches has a shawl. She looks super cute though!

I thought it would be fun to make one article of clothing for everybody for Pascha. I got Peaches' dress done, (I am too lazy to get up to take a picture, sorry) and started Hubby's. Too bad I won't get it finished in the next five days.

Here is the yarn:And here is what I have so far:
Super cute right? I love it! Here is what the finished product will look like: I really hope that Hurricane will sport that goofy smile too!

I tackled two building projects lately. First I built myself two elevated planter boxes.

Then I built myself a new desk:
I am totally hooked on woodworking. Can't wait to tackle my next project! But that will have to wait until the patio gets done!!!

And here are those pictures: Our first load of stone. That is 600 lbs. We did four loads total.
Laying out the stone...
We also built another stair, since someday we would like french doors leading out.
Well, Hurricane just got back from Home Depot, so I gotta go help unload the car! Another big day tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Patio Update

Despite the rain, we have been making progress on our new patio! Here is what we have done since the last patio post.

Lots of playing:

The pea gravel was delivered:

We hauled the pea gravel to the back and laid down about three inches of the stuff:
The ground had to be super compact, so we did a lot of this:
Next, Hurricane framed in the patio, making sure it was even and level:

Then cut rebar for the inside sections:

Laying rebar:Ready for cement! This was actually cheaper than our normal mode of operation: going to Home Depot and doing it ourselves. Saved our backs from hauling all those bags of concrete mix too!
Getting the first load:
Quite a few wheelbarrow loads later:

Here is a huge THANK YOU to our friend and neighbor, Herman, who helped us with the massive wheelbarrow loads of cement and making a smooth and even patio. We totally could not have done it with out him!

He also came up with the ingenious idea regarding the wheelbarrow full of leftover cement:BRICKS!

Now we are ready to pick the flagstone and lay that down. We really like the center, called Gold Quartzite...
or, this one, called Lone Pine Gold Flagstone.
Opinions are welcome!