Thursday, June 29, 2006

Chronia Polla!!!!

Oh foremost of the apostles and teachers of the world
Interced ye to the Master of all
that He may grant peace to the world
and great mercy to our souls

Ok, big feast day in my family. Happy Name Day to my dad (Petros), my husband (Paul), my sons (Pavlos and Petros), my nephew (Pavel) and my father in law (Fr. Paul... May his Memory be Eternal). Normally, my parents would probably have had one of their famous lamb roasts this Saturday (their own version of a Panayiri) but we just had Petros' baptism a few weeks ago... just can't do two lamb roasts in one month:) So, maybe next year... It is also my brother in laws birthday today.
One interesting thing to note is that after my sister and I named our sons after St. Paul, dad told us that his great great grandfather was named Pavlos. The name didn't get passed down because the family did not want to name a son after the other grandfather. So we have re-introduced the name back into our family without even knowing it! (my mom's grandfather and uncle were also named "Paul" but they were not very nice men and so we just try to forget about them:)

Monday, June 26, 2006

"Hello, I'm Johnny Cash"

Pavlos' new favorite album is a Johnny Cash greatest hits... although we may have to cut back on him listening to Folsom Prison Blues as it sounds a little funny hearing him run around the house singing, "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die." Pavlos' real favorite song is Ring of Fire... he even made up hand motions to go along with the song:)

We were at the monastery this last weekend... very nice. Although I am selfish and would rather be there when no one else is there... too many people. Papa Herman has pictures on his blog (he didn't take them as he wasn't there). Pavlos is not pictured in the picture of the kids ringing the smaller bells, but he "helped" ring the bigger bell:) It was very hot and we spent a lot of time with the goats (hopefully, not the goats that Christ separates from the sheep).

In other news... my uncle Pete is getting married. This is big news as he is a confirmed bachelor of 48 or 49 years of age. We can't believe it. He is in Greece right now. I think my new aunt is a couple of years younger than me. We are very excited and happy for him. Seriously, we never thought this day would come. And, in fact, he has 3 nieces and a nephew that are married before him:) This is an answer to my yiayia's prayers (she passed away last October... May her memory be eternal). I know that while she was alive she prayed constantly that Pete would get married... her prayers in heaven are more powerful because he's getting married!!! I might just have first cousins that are 34 years younger than me (and younger than my own children). Only in crazy Greek families:)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Another Something I have Learned Since Becoming a Mommy...

The organizational status of a kitchen towel drawer does not mark the end of the world. Sometimes it is better if I just let things slide (which is hard to do for an organizational type person such as myself... I value and crave CONTROL which, when having children, means you lose a lot of).

Paul and Pavlos have dropped me off at my parents' home. They are driving to the monastery today. Petros and I will be going tomorrow morning with my parents. Yesterday I ran into two of the nuns from the monastery at Costco. This is the second time I have run into them there. It's kind of funny, for lack of a better word, to see them at Costco. And surprising. Especially because yesterday it was two of the nuns from Greece and I know there is nothing like Costco in Greece. I saw them as they were walking out and I was walking in. So, through the rest of my trip in Costco I thought what it would be like for them to walk through that gigantic store full of bulk items and $2000 TVs. And it's always interesting to run into them in the public... they always look the same while I have my specific clothes for church/monastery and my everday clothes (not that I was wearing anything outrageous... just some capri pants and a t-shirt oh, and a baby in a bjorn). I wasn't embarassed, but it made me think (which can be a trying thing to do for my baby brain).

So, I'm at my parents' home, baby is asleep, and I actually have time to write a blog. I have just finished reading Touching Heaven by John Oliver. He writes about his experience with the Theotokos. I have always been curious... as a cradle Orthodox I have never doubted or questioned the role of the Mother of God... it just seems so natural the role she plays in the Church (and I'm not implying that just by being a cradle Orthodox, one does not question... I'm sure there are plenty of cradles that struggle with this issue... I just never did and neither has Paul...). And I don't think that Roman Catholic converts have the difficulties in honoring the Theotokos as the Theotokos (birthgiver of God). So, if you are a convert or a cradle who has struggled with this idea... how did you get through it? Maybe you are still struggling with it, I don't know. Maybe I haven't struggled with it because my yiayia (grandma) was always praying to the Panagia to protect her grandchildren. It just seems to me such a natural thing... to honor the woman who gave birth to Christ. I mean, God would only choose someone worthy of that calling. And I know that a lot of Protestantism is really an attempt to put off anything that might at all resemble Catholicism. But to completely disregard the Theotokos?!? And, even snub her (as I have heard/read some people do) seems so, uhm, I don't know what word to use, uhm, incomprehensible to me (whew... that's a ten dollar word, especially from my little brain). Anyway, if you have thoughts on this, please, post away!!!

I think this is a long enough blog entry. I'm going to try to download a picture from the baptism for you all to see... might take me a few minutes:)

UPDATE: Ok, a picture of Petros with his godparents and Fr. Theodore. I look like I just ate something that tasted bad... oh well:)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A Good Movie..

I think for every good movie we watch, we must see a couple of not so great ones. I won't write about the not so great movies:) but we recently rented The Syrian Bride which was very good... both funny and sad at the same time. I enjoyed it. And I re-watched My Left Foot yesterday while writing thank you notes for Pavlos' birthday and Petros' baptism. I had not seen it since it first came out, 16 years ago or something like that:) Thanks, Dawn, for writing movie recommendations which prompted me to just link these two movies I recently watched:)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

What I've learned since becoming a mommy... and other updates

If you have a four year old boy, just leave the toilet seat up at all times. It makes life easier (and you won't ever sit in a "puddle").

Other Updates:
  • Last Saturday was Petros' baptism. He literally cried for a second and then just looked around at what was going on. It was beautiful. I didn't cry, but I warned Paul the night before that I might cry. You see, Petros' baptism was one of those future events that kept me going in the hospital... as in I would say to my self when I was really feeling down or yucky, "by the time this baby is baptized, everything will be ok." And it really is ok. We had a lovely party at my parents home complete with lamb on a spit (and my dad hung the Greek flag on the garage a la My Big Fat Greek Wedding). It was a beatiful day.
  • Pavlos' last day of school is Friday. I don't know what I am going to do with him this summer. Mom is suggesting some community center classes. I will look into that. I know that we can spend one day a week at the zoo, at least. He will be going back to pre-K in the fall. We are very pleased with the school and with his teacher.
  • We are going to the monastery for their feast day (anyone else going to go... we'll meet you there:).
  • My sister and brother in law are moving in the next few weeks and celebrating their 11 year wedding anniversary. Congrats to them. In this day and age 11 years is almost a miracle (and, boy, does that make me feel old... they were married a few weeks after I graduated from college).
  • I just finished reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Very interesting book. One of those magical realism type books with a strong emphasis on the realism part. And through out the book I actually felt like magic existed in England. I love it when authors put in fake footnotes and cite non-existent books, very realistic. It was a very interesting read...
  • uhm, that might be all for now... I have to stop and think for a moment...

AAWWW, yes, I have something to say... I have been reading people's blogs, but haven't been putting in too many comments. I just don't feel like I have the time right now. So, please know, my faithful few readers, that I am reading your blogs:) And keep writing...

I thought of something else to add... we are on the family cell phone plan with my parents (they have two phones), my sister (she has one phone), and Paul and I (we have two phones). Dad upgraded the phones recently. Now, none of us are big cell phone users. I pretty much just keep mine in the car. And I know for sure that my sister can't even remember her pin number to access her messages (it's been that long since anyone has left her a message). So, anyway, Dad upgraded the phones. Dad's great at finding deals and we are all proud owners of the Motorola SLVRL7. This phone does everything. It has a camera. It connects to the web (for a fee so we won't be doing that), it can hold 110 songs (I believe that's how many... it could be more). And, according to my brother who knows such things, this is a "flippin' cool phone". Uhm, ok. I don't think I have ever been this cool in my life...

Monday, June 05, 2006

On Yesterday, Six Years Ago...

Rob/Paul and I were married. Happy Anniversary!!! We went out to dinner and saw the movie Water. It was very good. Mom and dad watched the kids. Today is Katie and Steve's one year anniversary. Happy Anniversary!!!

What a big year for us... baby, bought a new home, moved into the hospital for a while, lost a spleen... always something going on. I don't have time to post more thoughts because the baby is starting to cry. Maybe I will try to write more later (not today, probably, we are going to a dinner tonight).

Thursday, June 01, 2006

On This Day, Three Years Ago...

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
O Christ our God, You ascended in Glory and gladdened Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit. Your blessing assured them that You are the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Second Tone
O Christ our God, upon fulfilling Your dispensation for our sake, You ascended in Glory, uniting the earthly with the heavenly. You were never separate but remained inseparable, and cried out to those who love You, "I am with you and no one is against you."

On this day, three years ago, we were in Greece for the Ascension, at the church of the Ascension on the island of Ios (where my dad is from). The church is one of our family churches (our other church is to St. Petros). It is a very small church. When I asked my Aunt Ourania how old is the church... she replied, "very old." I said, "no, really how old? One hundred, two hundred years?" She, again, replied, "very old." So I am going to assume that this church is probably 500 or more years old because the "new" addition on my grandparents home is 2oo years old! Hope you like the pictures!!! And remember I'm really bad at posting pictures so if they are in a weird order, please forgive me:)