Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Bunch of Little Things...

NOTE: Check the blog button everyday to enter to win prizes:)
So I added this button from this blog linking to the above website because I would like to get in on the possible prizes (it's all about me, you know:)

I am not an artistic person but I consider myself creative. As in, I find creative ways to accomplish what I need to do (I had to make a poster for Sunday School Registration the problem is that I can barely write in a straight line... the solution? Using Microsoft Word to print out in cool fonts and colors the letters for the sign and then cutting and pasting those letters onto my posterboard... that's the creative part of me... but it is definitely not artistic:)

Paul and Big P are on their very first real backpacking trip. It's just one night but they are hiking in and camping and then maybe doing some fishing. I am very excited for my big boy. So that leaves me home for one night with Little P:) We are going to go to the Mt. Angel Oktoberfest with Yiayia and Pappous. I remember going to Mt. Angel with my grandparents when I was a child. It was always a fun trip. I hope to maybe come across some peaches, blueberries, and/or blackberries along the way. I need to finish up my canning (I already have 12 jars of raspberry jam done... well, actually, 11 now because I gave one to my very good blogging friend Mimi when I saw her yesterday at the baptism for Baby Suzy, Katie's baby). I want to make jelly with the blueberries and blackberries. The peaches I would like to can, cut in half or quarters. I love canning. My maternal grandma did lots of canning. So I feel like I am carrying on a tradition from her. If I do not find the peaches/berries on the trip to Mt. Angel, then I am heading with the boys to Sauvie's Island one afternoon this week.

Last night we went out to The Mississippi Pizza Pub for dinner because they have Gluten Free Pizza and Gluten Free Beer on their menu. The GF Pizza was awesome (I have made GF pizza at home but it is a bit more time consuming to make than regular pizza so it is nice to have someone else do the work). They had a band playing music last night and the kids loved it! One other great thing is that it is about 5 miles from our house. We will probably go back there for some special occasions in the future:) Pizza is one of those foods that Paul really misses now that he is Gluten Free.

Also, another GF shout out to this amazing Gluten Free bakery conveniently located next door to Trader Joe's in NW Portland! It's called New Cascadia Traditional. Their Portland sourdough is awesome. I buy it, cut it up, and freeze it right away. Then, when we are having GF pasta or some bean soup I just pull a few slices out of the freezer and warm them in the oven or lightly toast them for Paul and he is his own French bread!

To completely change the topic this week is the first week of school. I am a bit worried/concerned about Big P and our decision to keep in Montessori rather than putting him in the K-1st grade class. I think that I am just worried because it is my job to be worried. But I also think (after having a very wonderful chat with a great friend today at church) that I would be more worried/concerned about him constantly (as in throughout the year) if I put him in the K-1 class. I know he can do Montessori and I know he is successful at it. His teacher knows my concern and there is always the possibility that he might just move into the K-1 class anyway. I just need to not "worry" about it because in the grand scheme of things, this is very small:) But, as I already wrote, I just need to constantly have something to worry about:)

I also have decided that instead of Big P playing soccer this fall, he is going to start swim lessons. He was deathly afraid of swimming pools (he has always loved his bathtime) until about three months ago. We have been going to the swimming pool for family swim once a week. I have taught him to hold his breath underwater and to swim using a kickboard. He is definitely ready to have some lessons. And I am going to sign up for lessons with Little P. He is not afraid of water at all which scares me a little as he has no fear (that's his general attitude towards life... I believe it is a second child trait). I have declared this year the year of swimming lessons. Maybe next year we will add soccer, but it is very important to me that our children know how to swim (I was a fish when I was younger... I loved swimming and I was good at it).

Big P's other major accomplishment this summer is riding his bike. He still has training wheels, but he rides his bike when we go swimming or go to the library. We bought him this bike for his 5th birthday and he hated it. Did not want to ride it at all (he is small and his feet barely touched the pedals). This summer he has been riding everywhere.

It seems as if Big P is always just a little behind his peers in accomplishing these things (swimming, bike riding, etc.). I know that he is going at his own pace and that he is smart and talented in his own ways, but I guess that's why I should keep him in the Montessori program for another year; let him have the opportunity to catch up with everyone else (he struggles with his fine motor skills... he is in occupational therapy during the summertime... he is also in vision therapy because his eyes do not track properly). This summer I have seen him accomplish so much but I guess I have to be careful of pushing him. As a teacher and a lover of learning, I just want my children to love school and to love learning (he does love school and learning). As a first born child, I have to be careful to not push him too far and destroy that love of school and learning. I am thinking about buying the "Handwriting without Tears" program for him to use at home (he is using it in OT and is doing really well with it).

I think I have posted way more than anyone wants to read. If you made it all the way to this last line, I thank you for reading.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Article re. Ecumenical Patriarch...

My husband forwarded this article to me. Notice that it is co-sponsored by the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate.

SEN. MENENDEZ FIGHTS TO ENSURE TURKISH GOVERNMENT RESPECTS RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH㏎ ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATESEN. MENENDEZ FIGHTS TO ENSURE TURKISH GOVERNMENT RESPECTS RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH㏎ ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE SEN. MENENDEZ FIGHTS TO ENSURE TURKISH GOVERNMENT RESPECTS RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHURCH'S ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATEIn seeking to join European Union, Turkey must adhere to certain criteria, including the guarantee of respect and protection for religious minorities WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has introduced legislation to urge the Government of Turkey to respect the rights and freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Orthodox Christian Church, in accordance with criteria necessary to join the European Union. The Ecumenical Patriarch is the leading figure in the Orthodox Church and has suffered from discriminatory treatment from the Turkish government. "For a government to treat a revered religious institution and leader in such a discriminatory manner is an affront to human and religious rights and shows disrespect to the hundreds of millions of Orthodox Christians," said Senator Menendez. "There must be fairness and freedom when it comes to the Turkish government's treatment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. As Turkey appeals to the European Union for membership, I would expect its treatment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to be a prime topic that must be addressed." Senator Menendez's resolution, which is co-sponsored by Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Joseph Biden (D-DE) and Benjamin Cardin (D-MA), urges the Government of Turkey to respect the rights and religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Orthodox Christian Church. It calls on the Turkish government to immediately: • recognize the right to the title of ﹛Ecumenical Patriarch'';• grant the Ecumenical Patriarch appropriate international recognition and ecclesiastic succession;• grant the Ecumenical Patriarch the right to train clergy of all nationalities, not just Turkish nationals; and• respect property rights and human rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Government of Turkey has sought membership in the European Union and maintains strong bilateral relations with the United States Government. The accession of Turkey to the European Union will depend on its adherence to the Copenhagen criteria that require candidate countries to have stable governmental institutions that guarantee human rights and that respect and protect minorities, including religious minorities such as Orthodox Christians.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Netflix Problem... I know what is really going on...

So we have Netflix and we are that percentage of the Netflix population that is having problems receiving our movies and receiving emails (go here for a short article).

Here is what I think is going on... NBC has paid Netflix to have "technical" problems in order that we will all stop watching our movies and start watching more of the Olympics:)

Just an idea...

Friday, August 08, 2008

Would You Like Something From Starbuck's?

Today was one of "those" days. My very good friend called me from the Starbuck's drive-thru and asked if she could pick something up for me. Normally, I am just perfectly content with my cup o' ordinary black coffee from my home brewing machine (aka. coffee maker) but today was one of "those" days. I normally don't do soy. I just don't do it. But I had her bring me a grande-vanilla-soy-latte. So, thanks, friend!

*Note: One of "those" days generally means one or both of my lovely children are involved in doing things that are driving me absolutely batty. Thank God I do not have too many days like this. Sometimes it seems as if everything just builds up to a certain point and my patience runs out and then I have one of "those" days. I think everyone wants to get back to school (not just me wanting eldest son to go back to school... he has wanted to return to school since the first day of summer vacation:)

In other news... my mom has a plan. She wants us (her, my sister, my sister in law) to set up a booth at the upcoming Artisan Fair for our school. We will make baby/children clothing items and blankets. I have this idea of doing kids aprons with cross stitch animals, bugs, etc. on them and then selling them. We'll see how this goes. I took a cross stitch class this summer at the Greek church and made a very nice bookmark (class was taught by a wonderful Greek woman who really can cross stitch (like my yiayia)). So I am getting "in" to cross stitching (with all my spare time...HA!). I will definitely keep you posted because if this goes well, mom has plans. She wants to expand, go to other fairs, maybe even open an online store?!?!

I leave you with a somewhat recent picture of the family (we rarely have pics of us together). Oh, and I added an Amazon widget to the ole blogging page. These aren't necessarily books that I recommend, more like books that I have read this year.

Nevermind the picture... blogger won't let me post it for some reason. I will keep trying.

Oh, and I added a picture to my page. It is called The Secret School. It is a famous Greek painting. We are hoping to buy a copy of it for our living room, someday. It is our favorite painting (it shows a priest teaching children secretly under the Ottoman Occupation while a Greek soldier stands guard).