Mar 11, 2011
Chloe and Susan.
This past Sunday we went to Forgiveness Vespers, which I post about every year because it marks the beginning of the season of Lent. At the end of that service, the parishioners one by one, to each person present, bows to the floor and asks for forgiveness of the other. The two people hug and say, "God forgives and I forgive." This is my favorite service of the year. Even if we don't know the other person that well, or have never even seen them before (as happens every year when visitors come from other churches), we ask forgiveness. Our decisions affect everyone around us in positive and negative ways alike. We ask forgiveness from each other as human beings and as Christians. My favorite moments are facing our wonderful priest and of course my husband, who sees me everyday at my best and worst and forgives me out of unconditional love. I have a lot to learn from him.
For the 40 days of Lent, we fast from dairy and meat as well as try to cut back on entertainment. We try replace this with small, healthful meals and reading on more spiritual topics. This is a chance to give more in alms as well. After all, the 3 pillars of faith are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Moses fasted for 40 days in the mountains before receiving the 10 Commandments and Jesus fasted for 40 days in the desert before his crucifixion. This translates to our fasting today! It seems like a lot of effort, and many days it is, but it's the best kind of blessing when you arrive at Pascha (Easter) with a renewed sense of faith and humility. Hopefully that will happen for our family as well.
So what's up with the ice cream picture? Well, every year after Forgiveness Vespers, the church rushes out to the local ice cream shop for our last dairy. The girls were excited as usual : )
Next year, next year.
We've been enjoying some of Hannah's birthday presents. We tried the tissue art.
I'm really happy with my parrot, but will have to finish at a later date : ) Hannah's car is the one with the hidden eyeball, and Chloe worked on the butterfly and fish. Sometimes I forget how some tasks are a challenge for their little fingers and there are still skills left to be developed- like wrinkling paper into tiny balls!
Now that the girls are old enough to understand bits of Lent, the plan was to focus on the concept of Love this week. Most of my plans didn't pan out, but we did manage to come up with the beginning of something I've been meaning to put in their prayer corner. We normally pray for "the sickies" as they call them, so we are adding loved ones to the list. They got as far as the closest family members they know before they moved on to something else. We hope to add a new sheet for the rest of family and then add the friends we love.
I'm loving Hannah's new clock. The colored numbers are fun, and Hannah knows that Mommy does not get out of bed before it says 8 : ) Unless I'm dragged out with enough pleas for attention.
Colin is able to use his own cup now- sort of. As soon as he saw it, he knew how to use it. I remember really working with Hannah on that, but Colin has plenty of examples on how to do things around here.
To "break" things up a bit- a birthday present casualty.
Standing! No, he didn't pull himself up, but he loves to stand.
And he's 9 months old now!! So that means he's scooting himself all around the floor on his belly, working hard to get into anything he can.
The girls are always begging for games. Do they want to play the child friendly games they have? Nope. So we pulled out Cranium. At first I tried to translate the cards into language they could understand. Then I just began making things up and they like it better. "You got a blue card! It says 'act like a monkey!'" Then they discovered the play-dough element I was hiding. Thankfully it was all dried out - hehe.
Gross. I didn't realize before how much grossness is involved with being a parent. In fact, I'd say that's 85% of the job. Diapers, snot, drool, throw-up, mashed up food, dirt, mud... and bologna on the wall.
Hannah got some presents in the mail from Papaw! A family for the dollhouse! They also received a little mini-van. I love that it plays 3 tunes on the radio- 1. Handel's Water Music, 2. A Slow Funk Tune, and 3. A catchy little pop tune I keep asking Hannah to push so I can dance and clap to it. Can you tell which music I'm most familiar with?
Now the bachelor has a large family complete with Grandma and Dog. Hannah named the girl with pigtails "McKenna" after a Barbie movie character. I suggested she name the big sister "Brenna" to rhyme and also because we know a Brenna. Later I heard her calling her "McKennaBrenna." : ) Do you have sharp eyes? Our old friend Beethoven is trying to sneak into the new family.
The family is pretty well off, so they decided to become his benefactors. He now resides in the Build-A-Bear Box attic in their home, composing all sorts of wonderful music. This is probably only funny to a few of you, but it's funny to me and Dax : ) Since the family is bigger, of course there is an addition being added to the doll "mansion." And plans to paper mache the structure with the kids have been underway all week, with no current results... because there are 3 kids living here.
Phew! This was a tough week for me, particularly because Dax works his regular job all day, comes home for a short while, then heads to church for a service for the 1st week of Lent. I've been alone with the kids for about 10 hours a day almost every day. They hate it when he leaves at night! And I did end up having several crazy woman moments today as a result. Hopefully a little rest will do me good, and since Spring Break is upon us, Dax will be more present!