Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Photos

I was inspired by my photographer friend Jocelyn to snap some pictures on Sunday of my girls with their godmothers and their icons on their baptismal day.  I love these pictures.  We decided we need to retake them when the godmothers have their icons handy also.  Andrea is holding St. Catherine and Lia has St. Natalie.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Presenting the Newly Illumined Catherine and Natalie

We had a beautiful Baptismal Liturgy this morning to welcome Andrea and Faith into the Family of God.  Andrea took St. Catherine as her saint after her own middle name, Kathryn and we gave St. Natalie charge over Faith.  In the Orthodox tradition, they will now use these names as their Christian names, particularly when participating in the sacraments.  The liturgy was a bit unique as Fr. Greg wanted to revive the older tradition of the Baptismal Liturgy in which the baptism and chrismation are integrated into the Divine Liturgy.  It was absolutely wonderful - so much more organic in the prayers and flow of the liturgy and sacraments.

I adjure you by the Living God, Who has shown forth the Tree of Life, and posted the Cherubim, and the flaming sword that turns about to guard this: be rebuked, and depart, for I forbid you, through Him that walks on the waves of the sea as upon the dry land, Who forbade the storm of the winds, Whose glance dries up the deep, and Whose threatenings melt the mountains; for it is He Himself that now forbids you through us. Be afraid, and depart, and absent yourself from this creature, and come not back, neither hide yourself in him (her), nor encounter him (her), nor influence him (her) either by night or by day, nor in the morning or at noon; but get you hence to your own Tartarus, until the appointed day of Judgment.

Drive out from her every evil and unclean spirit, hiding and lurking in her heart.  The spirit of error, the spirit of evil, the spirit of idolatry and of all covetousness that works according to the teaching of the devil. Make her a reason-endowed sheep of the holy Flock of Your Christ, and honorable member of Your Church, a hallowed vessel, a child of Light, and heir of Your Kingdom.

That this water may be hallowed by the might, and operation, and descent of the Holy Spirit; let us pray to the Lord.
That there may be sent down upon it the Grace of Redemption, the blessing of the Jordan; let us pray to the Lord.
That there may come down upon this water the cleansing operation of the Supersubstantial Trinity; let us pray to the Lord.

But do You, O Master of All, declare this water to be water of redemption, water of sanctification, a cleansing of flesh and spirit, a loosing of bonds, a forgiveness of sins, an illumination of soul, a laver of regeneration, a renewal of the spirit, a gift of sonship, a garment of incorruption, a fountain of life.

do You Yourself bless this Oil by the power (+) and operation (+) and descent of the Holy Spirit (+) that it may become an anointing of incorruption, a shield of righteousness, a renewal of soul and body, and averting of every operation of the devil, to the removal of all evils from them that are anointed with it in faith, or that are partakers of it.

The servant of God is baptized in the Name of the Father. Amen. And of the Son, Amen. And of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

A robe of divine light bestow upon me, O You that for vesture array Yourself with Light; and bestow many mercies, O Christ our God, who are plenteous in mercy.

The servant of God is anointed with the Oil of Gladness, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, both now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

For healing of soul and body

For the hearing of Faith

That she may walk in the paths of Your commandments

Your hands have made me, and fashioned me


As many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. Alleluia

The Reading from the Holy Gospel

First Holy Eucharist

Glory, bless (+) this Your servant, who is come now to make offering the firstlings of hair shorn from her head

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Photos

On Tuesday we read about the Taj Mahal in our history book while the kids all colored pictures of it.  I happened to ask Andrea if she had ever seen it and, rather surprisingly, she began to describe it to all of us.  Apparently her original adoptive parents took her to see the sights before they brought her home to the states in 2004.  I rifled through my CD's for the one containing pictures of Andrea given to me by her adoptive parents and lo and behold I found a series of pictures of Andrea standing in front of the Taj Mahal!  I just didn't know what they were when I first looked at them but was thrilled I remembered to give them another look.  She does look a bit lost and confused in these pictures - I can't imagine what was going through her mind at the time.  She later told her adoptive parents that she thought her dad had actually come to India to take her back to the United States as his bride!  She's come a long way since these early pictures of her were taken. At any rate, how cool is it that my daughter has seen the sights from our history book half a world away and I didn't even know it?

Monday, November 09, 2009


Mom, you know if you keep eating those peanut butter cups there won't be anymore left.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Le'go Eleven!!

We now have 4 children in the household whose births occurred in the year 1997 - JT in January, Andrea in June, Philip in July and Ben brings up the rear of the year in November.  Each year from the time JT turns the next year over Ben eagerly anticipates his turn at a new age.  This year he finished up the end run of 12 year olds - which means 2010 will be The Year of the Teenager for us - with all 4 of them turning 13 and Miriam having her 15th birthday. 

Ben decided to celebrate with his dad's favorite meal - pepper steak with rice -

 and bypassing the traditional birthday cake, he opted for pumpkin pie. Quite incidentally he had his friend Luke here for dinner and quite intentionally he also had his cousin Sam spend the night.  Since our two year cycle of parties is history we are now back to the pick-a-friend-and-a-parent-for-a-date themed celebration. Cousin Sam was the friend, I got to be the parent and we traveled down to Arundel Mills for the grand opening of the brand spankin' new Lego Store.  It was quite a day...if one enjoys standing in lines.  We briefly stood in line for the chance to build a brick to put in the 12 foot Christmas tree being crafted completely out of legos by a Master Builder.  Once we realized that was probably an hour or so wait we bailed from that line (and thus lost our chance at getting a certificate with which we could stand in another line for half hour to cash in for a chance at winning a $50 gift card to the Lego Store) and instead stood in yet another line for an hour and a  half just for the opportunity to actually walk into the actual Lego Store. It was well worth it according to both boys (or at least they knew better than to say otherwise).  They decided on some purchases and I stood in the check out line for another 20 minutes while they explored the fun parts of the store. 

It was a cool store - esp being only 1 of 2 stores in the country with a lego classroom area.  The classroom was really neat.  It has four areas - a rug area with large rubber legos for toddlers, a huge table of traditional lego pieces, a robotics table set up for programming a few robotics tasks, and a floor space full of girlie legos.  They teach classes there and I'm hoping to make a homeschool field trip out of it at some point in the school year.

Ben had a really good time and it's always fun to see him with his cousin Sam who is  real kindred spirit for Ben.  Happy Birthday Bear!  I'm glad it was a fun one!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Friday Photo

This is what I absolutely love about homeschooling.  I was upstairs in my bedroom recuperating from childbirth whilst Ben was outside, unprompted, leading all the small ones in some adventure - complete with costumes, plot line and character assignments.  I don't know what I love more about this - that Ben can lead them all into a creative adventure, or that they are all willing to follow.  It is not unusual for me to abandon the formal school day to some plot that has developed when I turned my back for a moment.