Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Response to Katie's blog...

So Katie's blog entry made me think (very dangerous as you read my ramblings below). I wrote a long comment on her blog and then decided to just post it here:

Nowadays, just having a college education will not guarantee that you will have an income to even survive in the US... we have friends that the husband was a teacher and the wife stayed at home and they qualified for WIC and DSHS health care for the children! Both college educated! And what does this say about how we regard teachers... they can't afford to take care of their own families? What does it say about how important our children are when we don't pay teachers a decent salary? I always try to look at things as needs v. wants. We need baby formula. That's a given. We need Paul's insulin and my meds. We didn't WANT to be in the hospital (and meet petros' and my out of pocket deductible for the year), but we need to pay the bill that comes in the mail every month. And sometimes we do need new clothes. or new shoes. The part I struggle with is that I would love to be able to buy the things we need with a minimal effect on the environment (Like what Fr. Paul was talking about in his sermon the other night). Like trying to by things that are not made by slave labor overseas. Or free range meat. Or organic vegetables. BUT when Pavlos needs new shoes and I only have a minimal amount of money to pay for them, what do I do? Most of the time we are fortunate enough to have hand me downs from my nephew and only need to buy a few new items. And right now, I am lamenting that I have two weddings coming up in the next two weeks and I would really like to buy a new dress because I haven't bought a new dress in two years (I did buy two skirts in June, though). I sometimes tear myself apart with should I, shouldn't I?!?! And I read articles about being frugal but I do all of those things they suggest!

I really don't want to complain because we are richer than most people in the world. And we do own our own home. And we choose to send Pavlos to Agia Sophia. And I remember the poor years growing up... but my parents made a decision to send us to private schools, even though we didn't have a lot of money. And they did own their own home and instead of buying a new one, they added two more bedrooms (and my dad didn't take out a loan to build the new rooms... every week, he bought with cash what he could afford to buy... whether it was two nails or another 2x4). And I had a wonderful childhood in a wonderful family... my parents stayed together (and are obviously still together) after 35 years of marriage. And we spent our vacations camping rather than going on exotic trips (OK, we did take a couple of trips to Greece, but my dad went for 14 years without seeing his own parents. Fourteen years! But we went to Greece to see family, not just a whim of a trip). And my granma would make my sister and I really nice dresses that we loved.

OK. I think that's enough. I think that there are more people in our stage of life that struggle financially. They say that we are the first generation that will not be financially better than our parents. I believe it.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Women's Retreat (and other things)...

I have emailed a few of you regarding our women's retreat (asking you to be a contact person for your parish so we can mail you a packet of flyers). Here is information about the retreat on our parish website. You can even register for the retreat online through paypal (and it's five dollars cheaper if you register early). If I did not email you and you would like to be a rep for your parish, please let me know... email me your address (cdblankenstein[at]homtal[dot]com) and I will get a packet in the mail to you. All you need to do is either put the information in your bulletin (monthly, weekly, etc.), post flyers in your church (where permissable), and/or pass flyers to interested women. We are very excited because this year we have Sr. Magdalen (author of Children in the Church Today and Conversations with Children) as our speaker.

Other news...
  • Happy Feast Day! It is our parish feast day today.
  • Pavlos and Petros are growing, growing, growing:)
  • Have seen many movies (V for Vendetta (Petros is currently sporting the bald Natalie Portman look), Everything is Illuminated (saw the movie then read the book, liked the movie and the book but this is one of those rare times that I am glad that I saw the movie before reading the book because there are quite a few differences between book and movie... book is actually stranger than the movie... loved the Ukrainian guy in the movie. He is premium:)... also finished reading the book about the Trapp Family Singers by Maria vonTrapp (you know, the Sound of Music family?!?!?) I enjoyed the book... interesting to read the real story behind the Sound of Music... also been watching snippets of Mary Poppins... this is Pavlos' favorite movie right now and he is constantly doing re-enactments of the movie (especially any of the song and dance numbers).
  • we are getting ready for Pavlos to go back to school and for Sunday School to begin. I feel like I am just going, going, going.
  • Keep Maria, my niece, in your prayers. She will be having surgery this Friday (she was born with cleft lip and palate... she has already had two surgeries in her four years but this one might be a little bit harder on her because she will know and remember what is happening (does this make sense). She does not remember her other surgeries.

I think that's all for now... hopefully, I will be a better blogger in the future:)

Monday, August 14, 2006

A topic to blog on...

Katie posted SEVEN things that she is grateful for (it's supposed to be at least FIVE) so I'm going to copy her and post what I am grateful for:
  • My health and the health of my family: things could have been a lot worse this year and while I will always have health problems, I am currently feeling really well (and I'm so thankful that Pavlos is healthy and Petros was actually born and is healthy, too).
  • Our little house with our little FENCED in back yard so Pavlos can go outside and play whenever he wants.
  • Family: immediate family, extended family, church family, and friends that are just like family.
  • A good haircut (which I don't currently have... but I love the feeling of just getting my haircut)
  • And, I have to agree with Katie on a cup of coffee. And, like her, I would probably take a really good cup of coffee over anything sweet (but I wouldn't necessarily say no to something sweet:)

AND I will add a few more...

  • A book and/or movie that makes me cry (and, in general, finding a really good movie... very difficult to do these days... everything seems to be remakes of the same ideas or old TV shows that we didn't care that much about in the first place being made into movies)
  • can you believe that I haven't written my children as something I'm thankful for?!?!? I know that I wrote about their health... but I guess I was saving the best for last (right). For Pavlos and Petros... I was once told that I would never be able to have children and the children that I do have come at a somewhat high price (I told my mom that pregnancy and I just don't get along AT ALL). So I'm thankful that I have two little boys.
  • OH... and I didn't mention anything about my husband (I'm so pathetic). Now I'm really saving the best for last (I should hurry up and put a disclaimer at the top of this that "these are in no particular order of importance" but I will keep it honest...). My husband who has had to go through so much in this last year (with me and Petros) and who's love, generosity and faith keep me centered and grounded.

So, you go out and post what you are grateful for... right now:)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Blogging is...

a fall/winter activity, I have decided. It's a lot more difficult to stay inside on the computer in the summertime than in the winter time.

I have lots of pictures I would like to post, from our camping trip and Pavlos' sunflower that he planted. But I just don't have the time to do it:)

I have lots of things to report... one cute st0ry is that this past weekend we were at my sisters in Seattle for my nephew's birthday. We went to see the Blue Angels do an air show. When we arrived at the freeway, Maria, my niece, exclaimed that she didn't want to see the airplanes, she wanted to see the Blue Angels that fly the airplanes:) Isn't that cute?

That's all for my little update, hope you are all having a wonderful summer (I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't another post on this blog until September;)