Thursday, November 24, 2005

My Yiayia when we were in Greece...

I have been meaning to do this for a while... post a picture of my yiayia. Next week will be her 40 day memorial. Tomorrow is/was her nameday (and my sisters, and my mother in law, and my sister in law and, oh wait, that's it). So, left to right are my pappous, Paul, me, Pavlos (on my lap... he was one... what were we thinking travelling to Greece with a one year old) and my yiayia. This was taken at the port of Ios while we were waiting for our ferry to come to take us back to Athens.

On a different note... Happy Thanksgiving! We are hosting Thanksgiving this year. I have never cooked a turkey but I'm not worried:) I am thankful for my family (all of them), our new baby Petros who will be hear in a few months, my new job that is so very flexible, pays well, and I actually enjoy the work (and is the reason I have not been able to post much lately), our new home, our church community, and our car that is still runnning:) There is a touch of sorrow to this Thanksgiving (because of my Yiayia and Virginia (not that we ever celebrated Thanksgiving with either of them)... but just having spent the last month mourning for the loss of those close to us. I have no doubt of the faith that both women carried throughout their lives. And even though I can count on two hands the number of trips I have made to Greece, the love that my yiayia had for us and the love we have for her is infinite. And both these women LIVED their lives in faith, in love, and in stubborness (you know, it's funny how I can see similarities between the two of them... I don't think they ever even met becaue my yiayia only came to the US once and that was when I was almost two years old). I have a date with a turk (boy, my dad will cringe if he ever reads that ha ha ha), I mean turkey. Again, Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Prayer Request...

This is a picture of my dad and Virginia taken last May at our church fundraiser dinner

UPDATE: Yiayia Virginia passed away. Please continue to pray her her and her family. My dad was very close to her and this will be difficult for him, especially coming so quickly after my yiayia, his mother, passed away. Yiayia Virginia gave our son, Pavlos, a crocheted blanket about six months ago. She wanted him to have something to remember her by. May her memory be eteranl.

"O God of spirits and of all flesh, Who has trampled down Death and overthrown the Devil, and given life unto Your world, give, we beseech You, eternal rest tothe soul of Your departed servant, (Virginia) in a place of brightness, in aplace of abundance, in a place of repose, from whence all pain, sorrow, andsighing, have fled away.Pardon, we beseech You, every transgression which may have been committed,whether by word or deed or thought. For there is no man who lives and does notcommit a sin. You only are without sin, Your righteousness is everlasting, andYour word is the Truth.For You are the Resurrection, and the Life, and the repose of Your departedservant, O Christ our God, and unto You we ascribe glory, together with eternalthe Father, and Your Most Holy, and Good, and Life-giving Spirit, now andforever, and for ages to come." Amen"May our gracious and merciful Lord, who rose from the dead, Christ, our TrueGod, through the intercessions of His Holy Mother and of all the Saints,establish the soul of His departed servant (Virginia) in the mansions of therighteous; give rest in the bosom of Abraham, and number his soul among thejust, and have mercy upon us and save us".Eternal be Your memory.

A "yiayia" from our parish is in the hospital in critical condition. She is not expected to live for very much longer. Please keep Virginia and her family in your prayers....thanks.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Another Tag...

Top 10 Greatest Influences Outside of God and my Family Members

I was tagged by Luz the Magpie so here goes (and this is really tough, when not able to include my grandma and grandpa, yiayia and pappous, mom and dad, sister, brother (yes, he has had a great influence on my life), husband, child(ren), etc…. So here goes (in no particular order)…

1. Mrs. Bowyer: my 7th grade teacher. I had transferred to a new school in 7th grade (junior high is a horrid time to change schools) and she helped me find my way through all that junior high angst.
2. Mr. Kopra: high school counselor. He was in charge of our campus ministry program (I went to a Catholic high school). Through him, I became involved in our search retreat program which literally changed my life. I realized I wasn’t the only one going through all that high school crap.
3. College profs: I’ll list a few together… Prof. Hannah (thesis advisor and amazing teacher), Prof. Brick (advisor in my major), Prof. Cornish (taught Western Civ… was tough, but I loved that class because of him), and Prof. Davis (my first advisor and taught me almost everything I know about Ancient Greece).
4. Fr. Elias: priest from when I was very young until college when he reposed (may his memory be eternal). As a child, I believed he was in direct communication with God.
5. Fr. Demitri: taught me the Jesus prayer.
6. U2: inspired by their music
7. Fr. Theodore: continues to inspire
8. Peracles: who constructed the Parthenon in Athens, Greece and is the father of the senate.
9. My patron saint is, uhm, not a saint, it’s Christ and He’s God so I guess I can’t put him down… so I guess I will put down St. Nektarios because he has been a protector of our family.
10. The high school kids I student taught years ago at an inner city high school. The ones that actually paid attention and tried to learn under adverse circumstances (horrible home life, drugs, etc.) were truly inspiring for me.

I didn't want to do books or authors because, well, then my list would have been a mile long:)
Sorry it took me a while to actually get this posted. I started a new job on Monday (well, it’s actually my old job) working for a man from our parish. Here is a link to his agency’s website. I am able to work on Mon. and Tues. while my mom watches Pavlos (thanks, mom) and then I can work from home when I am able. Norm Rocks! He will be number 11 because both Paul and I are greatly indebted to him for all of his help over the last five years. And we are thankful for this opportunity for me to work again. I will tag Katie and Herman and anyone else who hasn’t been tagged who might be reading this:) Do I dare tag Karl? Will he ever come back to his blog... hhhmmm...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Pictures from our trip to Aegina, Greece...

We went to Greece 2 1/2 years ago. One of our stops was to Aegina where St. Nektarios began a women's monastery and where there is a beautiful church dedicated to him AND where his relics are located. Here are some pictures of that trip (in honor of yesterday being the feast day of St. Nektarios). Every time my dad goes to Greece he always makes a stop in Aegina. My parents just returned from Greece and, I think, they were in Aegina this last weekend.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


boy! So Pavlos will be big brother to a little brother who will be named Petros (after my dad). We are very excited! And he's a mover, let me tell you. The tech had a hard time with the ultrasound because he kept moving around so much. He has a very small hole in his heart, but my doctor is not worried. We will go in again in three weeks. My mom was born with a hole in her heart which she had surgery to repair. And my niece was born with a small hole in her heart that repaired itself by the time she was 6 weeks old. Everything else looks great!

I was going to write...

I was going to write about this article, written by one of our catechumen’s (Rhett/Jude). I’ve been planning to comment on it for, oh, probably almost a week now, but life is just getting a little busy for me. My four month “sabbatical” from the world due to morning sickness and exhaustion is OVER.

I was going to write how when I read the above article it also made me angry/upset/sad. I was angry for the way a mother would treat her own child. Now I know that I am not a perfect mother but there are good ways to handle your children when they are doing something wrong and there are bad ways. Belittling and calling names is never a good way. Talking to your child about WHY what they did was wrong is a better way. And taking them outside if they are throwing a tantrum is also a good thing (nothing like a child throwing a tantrum in a public place to put you on edge). But it doesn’t seem like this little boy was throwing a tantrum. And he is five… just explaining that what he did was wrong should be sufficient enough.

I was going to write how maybe that’s all this mom knows how to raise her children. Maybe she was belittled and called names when she was young. And, now, this will be all that her children know what to do… it can become a vicious cycle. And someone needs to break it (the mom) before her children pass it onto their own children (unless they are able to recognize and break that cycle of emotional abuse).

I was going to write how maybe that little boy did it on purpose because all the attention he gets is negative attention from his mother. And any attention is better than no attention, right?

I was going to write how maybe this woman became pregnant because all she wanted was to be loved… by the father, by a child, by anyone. Children do not love their parents in that way, though.

I was going to write how this really made me angry (the part about the mom not loving her children/taking her children for granted). It made me angry for all the women in the world who want, desperately want to have a child but for whatever reason are unable. My mom used to work in the labor room of a hospital. A labor room has great joy and great sorrow. And there were times when, she says, the sorrow was handed to the “wrong” people. Like the 16 year old girl, having her third or fourth child (different fathers) and the stable married couple who have been trying for years to conceive and once they do, lose the baby. I know that I am making generalizations… I mean, who’s to say the married couple wouldn’t turn out to be a bunch of loonies or something?

I was going to write how if you just go to your local mall (or Wal Mart), you can find lots of mom’s taking their children for granted (ok, I know that sounds really judgmental, but that’s what I was thinking when I read this article).

And the part about the consequences of sex… when we are taught, from a young age, that pregnancy should be avoided, at all costs, but that sex feels good so we should “just do it” of course we are going to think that when we do get pregnant that it’s a mistake/accident/whoops… either my mom or my sister (can’t remember who) always says that there is no such thing as “accidentally getting pregnant”. And the only way to avoid “accidentally getting pregnant” is to not have sex. Simple as that. But try teaching that in your local public school. HA!

I think that was all I was going to write about that. Just some “off the top of my head” thoughts. With a little bit of venting mixed in (because of my personal experiences).

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Annual Women's Retreat Nov. 11th and 12th...

The St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church annual women's retreat will be on Fri. Nov. 11th to Sat. Nov. 12th. Mother Cassiana from Protection of the Holy Virgin Monastery in Colorado will be the speaker. On Friday, she will talk about Marriage and Monasticism from 7pm-9pm. This session is open to everyone (meaning... men are invited). On Saturday she will be speaking on the Holy Theotokos from 9:30am to 4pm (Vesper's will begin at 4pm). This session is only for women and young ladies. Cost is $15 for Saturday (which includes lunch and snacks). If you are interested, please contact Presv. Stacey Dorrance at 503-590-6109 or Jennifer Davis at 503-292-9976 to make a reservation. In the past we have been able to find accomadations for out of town guests but I'm not sure about this year's arrangements. To view the pdf flyer please go here and scroll down until you see the 4th Annual Women's Retreat (there is a flyer you can click on). Hope to see you there!!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

All Saints Eve Party

So at our church (St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Portland, OR), instead of Halloween, we have an All Saints Eve party. The children all come dressed up as their favorite saint or Biblical character (including animals from the Bible). We eat dinner, play games, get lots of candy, and the kids have a great time:) This year Pavlos decided to be St. Nektarios (the last two years, mommy decided he would be St. Paul (Pavlos) and St. Seraphim). Pavlos' middle name is Nektarios and he has an icon of St. Nektarios over his bed (along with his icon of St. Paul). We have even been to Aegina when we were last in Greece (two and a half years ago) and were able to go to the Church dedicated to him and see his relics. My dad, who goes to Greece at least once a year, always makes a stop to Aegina to visit his "friend" St. Nektarios. And he always brings me back holy oil. Thanks, dad.
Back to the All Saints party. Pavlos had a great time. Here is a picture of him dressed as St. Nektarios... And, yes, our little St. Nektarios has a sucker in his mouth:) We video tape each of the children telling us which saint they are and something about the saint. Pavlos said he was St. Nektarios and when we asked him what St. Nektarios did, he replied, "played the drums". So there you have it... a little known fact about St. Nektarios (in fact, I think Pavlos is the only person to ever know this little fact). Here are pictures of Pavlos as St. Paul (2003) and St. Seraphim (2004).
Today is the feast of the Holy Unmercenaries Kosmas and Damianos. They were two of my yiayia's favorite saints. I remember hearing her pray to them (and to the Theotokos). Pavlos and I went to Liturgy this morning in honor of yiayia. May her memory be eternal! As Pavlos entered into the communion line he looked at me and said, "I love communion." And then headed on up to receive communion (later, we met papa for lunch and Pavlos told him that he loved something else (something fairly unimportant but I can't remember what it is)... so Pavlos loves many things).