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    Sunday, May 28, 2006

    It's a Meme Thing

    You called it, Erica, you know memes are my weakness, well sort of.

    1. What time did you get up this morning?
    7:50am

    2. Diamonds or pearls?
    I have diamonds in my wedding ring, does that count?

    3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
    Whew, I think it was a matinee showing of Cheaper by the Dozen right after Basil was born. We don't like to spend our precious date nights in the theatre.

    4. What is your favorite TV show?
    I do miss The Simpsons

    5. What do you usually have for breakfast?
    An "everything" bagel if Aaron makes it with his. Toast, eggs and fruit if I eat with Basil.

    6. What is your favorite meal?
    I agree with Erica, hard question. There are just too many.

    7. What is your middle name?
    Marie

    8. What food do you dislike?
    Oysters. I tried, I really did.

    9. What kind of car do you drive?
    2001 Saturn Wagon

    10. Favorite sandwich?
    I could say chicken breast with avocado, tomato, lettuce, and cheese but really I think it would have to be PB and H on a sweet whole wheat bread with crunchy, "natural" peanut butter (non-hydrogenated, the kind you have to stir; aka the kind I hated as a kid) and a thin layer of honey. mmm.

    11. What characteristic do you despise?
    Lying. This just bugs me, and usually it's obvious when someone is doing it. It really bums me out to feel like I can't trust someone.

    12. Favorite item of clothing?
    Toss up. Skirts and a good old pair of jeans.

    13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation?
    Somewhere with really good food.

    14. What color is your bathroom?
    A cream-ish something and green

    15. Favorite brand of clothing?
    The kind you wear.

    16. Where would you retire to?
    Guess I'll see when I get there.

    17. What was your most memorable birthday?
    So far, my eighth. Since my birthday is November 2, my parents gave me a halloween costume party. We made a giant spider web with yarn in the backyard and played the coolest games.

    18. Favorite sport to watch?
    Golf, just kidding.

    19. How far away do you think people are reading this?
    Maybe Victoria, in BC?

    20. Who do you least expect to do this?
    Chance ;)

    21. Person you expect to do it first?
    Well, I would have said Aaron but now I have no idea!

    22. When is your birthday?
    See above...ok, November 2, now you don't have to scroll back up.

    23. Are you a morning person or a night person?
    Both, to my detriment. And I guess it depends, too

    24. What is your shoe size?
    It used to be 7 1/2 then pregnancies squished them out to a fair 8.

    25. Pets?
    Just two feral rabbits that have graced our cul-de-sac and have eaten my entire parsley and basil plants!

    26. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us?
    My friend Cybil just told us that she's pregnant again.

    27. What did you want to be when you were little?
    I don't think I knew. I did go through a phase of signing my name "Sara Pass, PhD." I guess I just wanted the title because I can't think of what my "doctorate" was in!

    28. How are you today?
    Doing well right now. The kids are down and the house is quiet.

    29. What is your favorite candy?
    Dark chocolate

    30. What is your favorite flower?
    Most wildflowers

    31. What is a date on the calendar you are looking forward to?
    July 9...Juliana's first birthday

    32. Are you married?
    Why, yes I am.

    33. Do you enjoy your job?
    Yep.

    I cordially invite you to participate in this notable undertaking, if you feel so inclined.

    Thursday, May 25, 2006

    Another Day

    It's amazing what a night of sleep will do.

    My Munkee brewed up some delicious Liquid Amber with this odd but amazing Aeropress.

    Completely loving Sufjan Stevens. He is so very talented and moving and fun. I could listen to this all day. Oh wait, I do.

    Getting the house ready for this guy's lady to stay with us.

    Have a blessed weekend and a happy Friday :)

    Wednesday, May 24, 2006

    Slow Going

    It feels like I have been in slow mode lately. It's hard to get things done and get motivated. I feel like I could always use a nap or a cup of coffee. I don't think the heat is helping. Wah-wah ga-ga.

    What's that major shoe company slogan? Just go on the computer? No. Just pop in a movie? No. Just lay in the hammock?

    Ok, ok, I know.

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    The Ancient Struggle, or The Reality of Toddler Acsesis

    Aaron was at a Men's group meeting last night, listening to the tales of a WWII vet who helped raid Hitler's bunker (pretty cool...whole other post), so the kids and I met my mom for dinner. On our drive home, the melodic mellowness of Iron and Wine (a MD gift from my Munkee) was lulling J to sleep. I heard a sudden THUD on the window next to the sleeping girl.

    "Basil, did you throw your bear at her?"

    "Yep, I want her to wake up."

    "You can't throw things at her, Basil...let her sleep. You need to be nice to her!"

    "I'm trying to be nice." pause, me thinking, yeah right. "It's pretty hard, Mommy."

    "I know it is, buddy."

    There it is. It is hard. We are struggling against the flesh. Restraining our impulses for destruction, self-gratification, self-exaltation, anger and TRYING to replace them with love, grace, patience, self sacrifice. Why? To be "good people"? To avoid punishmet? Hopefully, my struggles are aimed at wholeness...communion with my Creator, becoming truly human, with God's Grace, as He intended me to be.

    While a two-year-old may not understand concepts like synergeia or theosis, intuitively he knows...it IS pretty hard. But, alas we are God's fellow workers (1 corinthians 3:9) and He gives us what it takes to fight the good fight.

    "If we are to achieve full fellowship with God, we cannot do so without God's help, yet we must also play our part: we humans as well as God must make our contribution to the common work, although what God does is of immeasurably greater importance than what we do." Bishop Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Church

    What a truly amazing mystery. Lord have Mercy.

    Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    Heroes, Copycats and Muffins

    I adopted two of these chalk slates from a garage sale. Basil likes the scribble, wipe, scribble thing. Yesterday he made this for daddy. It's Harry Potter...complete with a scar. Pretzel "wands", cloaks and, quidditch are popular around here these days. He's seen a very edited version of the first film. I think that's about all he needs.

    My sewing machine is back in action, and she stitches as smooth as butter! I copied Carol's idea to make a summer shirt. I used the same pattern she did too, copycat!! I really like how it turned out. It's so light and has lots of room for nursing needs. I did take in the side seams a bit at the top to make it flair a bit more, but I think I'll make more. Thanks, Carol :)

    I made these muffins late last night for today's breakfast. Basil woke up and came stumbling into the kitchen, rubbing his eyes, saying he was hungry just as they came out of the oven (boy can he put it away...seems like he has chronic growth sputs!) He sampled them, Aaron liked them...so they have the two-year-old AND husband seal of approval. Whole wheat, oatmeal, applesauce...you know. Here's the recipe if you like that sort of thing:

    1 1/2 C Oats
    1 C whole wheat flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp salt
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    2 Tbsp vegetable oil
    2/3 C brown sugar (could use maple syrup/honey etc...just lessen the liquid)
    1/2 C raisins
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
    3/4 C applesauce
    1/3 C apple juice or milk

    Heat oven to 400 F. Combine dry ingerdients, stir. Combine wet separately, mix well. Add wet to dry ingredients; stir until dry ingredients are just moistened, don't overmix. Fill muffin cups almost full. Bake 20-22 minutes. yeilds 1 dozen. enjoy :)

    Thursday, May 11, 2006

    Mother's Day, In Three Parts

    Since I probably won't post tomorrow or over the weekend, Happy Mother's Day to all of you who have earned the title. I wanted to share something but couldn't choose which one to post. So here's all three :)

    I. Firstly, I have found being a mother takes lots of prayer, justwanted to share these prayers:

    O Holy Theotokos, Mother of our God, pray for us mothers. That God would grant us peace, patience, and a desire to serve and glorify Him, and to exemplify His love to our children and those around us.

    May the Morning Star, which is thy Son, shine with unfading light in the hearts of our children, that they may cry to God, Alleluia.

    II. Of course, an ode to my own mother!

    This photo of me and my mom is one of my favorite, it's nice to see my mom at around my age and doing what I'm doing now...she looks so happy. Thank you, Momma, for your love, hard work and encouragemnet, I love you.





    III. A fun but poignant "story" my sweet grandpa sent me.

    A few months ago, when I was picking up the children at school, another mother I knew well, rushed up to me. Emily was fuming with indignation. "Do you know what you and I are?" she demanded.

    Before I could answer -- and I didn't really have one handy -- she blurted out the reason for her question. It seemed she had just returned from renewing her driver's license at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Asked by the woman recorder to state her "occupation," Emily had hesitated, uncertain how to classify herself.

    "What I mean is," explained the recorder, "Do you have a job, or are you just a ......?"

    "Of course I have a job," snapped Emily. "I'm a mother."

    "We don't list "mother" as an occupation..."housewife" covers it," said the recorder emphatically.

    I forgot all about her story until one day I found myself in the same situation, this time at our own Milpitas City Hall. The Clerk was obviously a career woman, poised, efficient, and possessed of a high-sounding title, like "Official Interrogator" or "Town Registrar."

    "And what is your occupation?" she probed.

    What made me say it, I do not know. The words simply popped out. "I'm....a Research Associate in the field of Child Development and Human Relations."

    The clerk paused, ball-point pen frozen in midair, and looked up as though she had not heard right. I repeated the title slowly, emphasizing the most significant words. Then I stared with wonder as my pompous pronouncement was written in bold, black ink on the official questionnaire.

    "Might I ask," said the clerk with new interest, "just what you do in your field?"

    Coolly, without any trace of fluster in my voice, I heard myself reply, "I have a continuing program of research (what mother doesn't) in the laboratory and in the field (normally I would have said indoors and out). I'm working for my Masters (the whole darned family) and already have four credits (all daughters). Of course, the job is one of the most demanding in the humanities (any mother care to disagree)? And I often work 14 hours a day (24 is more like it). But the job is more challenging than most run-of-the-mill careers and the rewards are in satisfaction rather than just money."

    There was an increasing note of respect in the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up, and personally ushered me to the door.

    As I drove into our driveway buoyed up by my glamorous new career, I was greeted by my lab assistants -- ages 13, 7, and 3. And upstairs, I could hear our new experimental model (six months) in the child-development program, testing out a new vocal pattern.

    I felt triumphant. I had scored a beat on bureaucracy. And I had gone down on the official records as someone more distinguished and indispensable to mankind than "just another......"

    Tuesday, May 09, 2006

    Backyard Finds

    So, the kids were sleeping and I was tidying up the kitchen. I went to take the trash out to the bin out back. It was so quiet. I checked the garden, sat down for a minute, and went inside to get my camera. I know, dork. Walking around the yard taking pictures. It's fun, what can I say? Here's what I found...

    A place to swing. I asked my mom to bring back a hammock from her recent trip to Mexico. This is the softest woven hammock I have laid in. This thing is dangerously comfortable. A few years ago I made a canvas one with woven hang-y parts. I borrowed Beniy's cool book on hammock making. It came out nicely, I thought but not as comfortable as this sweet score.

    Tomato Blossoms. One eager yellow trumpet made it's way into our garden. Can't wait for the plump juicy reds we'll find in a few weeks time.







    Paint soup. Basil's leftovers from a past creation that is still hanging out by the water spigot. Tasty fun.





    Friendly fungus? I have no idea. I guess I could bust out the mushroom book and try to identify this baby. If we find a dead possum or cat I guess we'll know. Better get rid of it before curious hands try to add this to a certain soup!

    Friday, May 05, 2006

    Marguerite Daisy

    This post is all for you, Mimi! Those flowers behind Basil in the "spring friends" post are Marguerite Daisies. I knew they were daisies but had no idea what kind. I guess they're also called Summer Daisies, Paris Daisies, and Cobbity Daisies. Who'da thunk it. Here's an interesting website I stumbled upon in my quest. Thanks for asking, Mimi...you do learn something every day :)

    Happy weekend, everyone!

    Thursday, May 04, 2006

    On a Whim












    My friend Jen called early this morning inviting us to join her at the Fullerton Arboretum. Clouded skies, fragrant blossoms, peanut butter, apples and baby ducks made for a fun morning. Basil and Jake found a bean teepee and ran around looking for dead leaves to throw at eachother. Aaah, boys.

    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    My Singer Has Lost Its Voice

    My Singer sewing machine, that is. No, that's not MY machine in the picture, but it is a beauty. Mine really needs to be taken in for a repair. The bobbin thread isn't catching and I think the timing is off in general. Bummer. Why do I feel the urge to use it when I can't? Maybe now I can get a bunch of things cut out and ready to go.

    I found a sweet pale yellow cotton with pink and white dots for a dollar today. I think it will be a good summer dress for Juliana...or maybe pajamas for me...hmmm. Wash and cut.

    After chores, that is. Thanks to Susan and her Mother's Rule of Life, I actually have a schedule to follow. I know, how very un-Sara...but boy does it help. Speaking of which. I have a bathroom to clean...maybe I'll make a trip to the repair shop after the kids wake up.

    Here's to getting things done.

    Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    Spring Friends



    Monday, May 01, 2006

    Paschal Hymns, Gardens, House Painting and other Spring Happenings

    Hi, here's a random but cute picture of Juliana. Ok now down to business...it's good to be back. I missed blogging and the outlet it provides and my family was getting anxious not hearing about the latest. Thanks for all of the nudgings to get back at it.

    We had a wonderful Pascha. As usual, the late night Liturgy was so beautiful and festive. The party following was filled with laughter, meat, cheese, dancing and lots of creamy sweets. This year, we tried something new. I put Basil to sleep in the back of the car (wagons have nice little bedding areas for a two-year old). He enjoyed "camping" at church and we got to boogie down for a bit before the wee hours became too much for the wee Juliana. We checked on Basil and kept the car within eyeshot (the party was outside in a huge tent).

    The next morning I woke up with a dreadful breast infection! Blech! If you've never had one, count yourself lucky, if you have...you know. I was down for about 4 days and had lots of help thanks to Aaron and my sister and parents. All is well now and life is back to normal. Basil has helped keep the Paschal spirit alive with his sweet rendition of the Pachal Hymn...which includes lots of made up words and meshed together phrasing...I really ought to record it.

    Our garden is really taking off. The corn is especially impressive... every morning we're amazed that we haven't heard it growing in the night. I'm really looking forward to harvesting and having losts of fresh veggies on hand.

    Third and lastly, our house is getting a new coat of paint. As renters, we had little say in the color choice, which ended up being a butter yellow with white trim. It looks fresh and cheery, however. I'm just thankful to be rid of the turquoise front door!!

    So long for now.
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