Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Christ is Risen!

We've had a whirlwind of a month! We are now officially a "priest's family" because my husband got ordained a priest on Palm Sunday (April 13th). Everyone asks how it feels, and quite honestly, I have no idea! It's been a few irregular weeks since we are currently at my parents' home in New York, so until we get back into our old life at home, I will not really feel any difference, I think. The one thing that has changed is my husband has been serving more frequently. Other than that, it has been strange to see him doing parts of the service I am not used to him doing, but that'll of course take time to get used to.

Our Pascha was really incredible! My husband served like he's been a priest his entire life. He really got the crowd riled up in a good way on Pascha night, yelling "Hristos Voskrese" in different languages and almost running through the church. He had the Paschal energy no doubt!

This year I was so fortunate because my four siblings were all here for Pascha, as well as my parents, my grandmother, and some of my closest family. We had such a spread of food and everyone was in great spirits....The services were the most amazing part though. Each service from Holy Week until Bright Monday was just so beautiful. I really enjoyed them all, even though I had the kids. My mom helped so much in taking care of them, and for a few services, she actually stayed home with them so that I could take the service in and pray, which was really a treat.

We have been busy here ever since Pascha just trying to get the kids' energy out each day and I am trying to relax a bit as well (though that is hard because wherever you go, you are still a Mama!)

My husband is away for a few weeks now, and hopefully once he gets back, we'll be able to get in a little bit of family time before leaving back home.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Pre-Paschal craziness...

Pascha is around the corner, and as it always goes, these few weeks leading up to it have been hectic. Lucky for me, I managed to keep my hubby home for a day to help watch the kids so I could bake my kulichi. I ended up with 10 of them this year! (Photos to come later, as I am on the wrong computer for this purpose). It was a huge sigh of relief when that got crossed off of the to-do list for me!

Of course, a few days after I finished baking my kulichi, life took a turn into an unexpected direction. It turns out that my husband is going to be ordained a priest on Palm Sunday (that is this Sunday!!!) instead of later on in the year as we originally expected. That being said, we are busy making all sorts of preparations and arrangements, talking to family, and just mentally and spiritually attempting to prepare for this enormous step in our lives. We are very fortunate in that the ordination is taking place on Palm Sunday, because he will be a priest for Pascha. Since we are not on a parish yet, Vladika has blessed for us to take a journey over to my home parish in Sea Cliff, NY for one Pascha with my family before we take on a parish in the end of the year. I am so very excited and filled with joy about this! I am going to be with all of my siblings this year, as well as with my grandmother and extended family for Pascha! It is going to be wonderful and I can't wait!! Oh, and several of my 10 kulichi will be making the journey with us ;-).

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Just a quote...

In my first several posts, I ended with a quote. I really planned to keep it that way for all my posts, but I've lagged behind! So today (after a very hard day with the kiddos), I wanted to share a simple but lovely quote.

"There are always roses for those who choose to look for them." -Henri Matisse

Isn't that awesome!? I really need to put this on a post-it and onto my forehead so I see it each time I look in the mirror!!

I hope to continue my quotes at the end of the posts coming, starting with next time :)

Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Living and Learning for April

I don't really spend a lot of time reading blogs, even though there are so many wonderful ones out there, simply because there isn't much time for that in my life these days. One of my favorite blogs however, is Charming the Birds From the Trees, written by a fellow clergy wife who is also a homeschooler. I have been so inspired by this Mama's blog!

One idea I have really grown to love from reading this blog, is to have a monthly plan and list of goals for each month. This includes church feast days, homemaking goals, learning goals, etc. This month (a bit belatedly), I have decided to start my own Living and Learning list for our house. I'm so excited!

Here is our list for this month!

Living and Learning for April 2014

Lazarus Saturday
Palm Sunday
Holy Week
Bright Week

Complete a thorough clean of each room in the house by Pascha
Bake Kulichi
Make sirnaya pascha
Dye eggs
All other Paschal preparations (Easter baskets, decorating kulichi, decorating the house, ironing outfits)

Improve prayer life: Start reading part of an akathist each night before bed
Finish Lenten reading and Psalter
Start incorporating “3 things” into daily life (one thing for self, one for someone else, one for house daily)

Habits to Work On
Reading together after breakfast each morning (other than Sundays)
Taking a morning walk
Afternoon playtime outdoors
Cleaning up as I go throughout the day

Learn XB ("Christ is Risen") in Serbian and Russian chants
Learn and keep practicing the Palm Sunday poem
Keep practicing the Pascha song we've learned
Practice being still and quiet during prayer at home and in church
Continue counting down to Pascha

New York – leave on April 23rd and come home mid-May!

Mother of God, Nurturer of Children

Icon of the Mother of God, "Nurturer of Children"

Some days around here are especially difficult, just because having three very small children comes with having to meet a lot of needs throughout the day, and it can become quite trying for the Mama when there isn't enough of her to go around!

Lately I have been trying to come up with ways to keep myself motivated and to not give up on days like these. One thing that I realized I should do, which I have never done until now, is to read an Akathist to the Mother of God. Who better to look for for help than the Mother of Our Lord? I can't believe I have never done this before. Prayer from your own self is one thing - at least for me, sometimes it's hard to even find the words to pray for what I feel I am in need of. Other days, I'm too exhausted to even think about a prayer of my own. So I find it to be the most fitting for me right now to read a prayer or prayers that are already written down (and have been written by someone much more holy than I!)

I wanted to share this beautiful Akathist to the Mother of God, Nurturer of Children. It can be found and printed at this link. For the last few nights, all I have done was read 3 ikoses and kontakions (so night one, I read Ikos 1, Kontakion 1, Ikos 2, Kontakion 2, Ikos 3, Kontakion 3). I decided to start slow because it was late at night, but also because I don't want to overwhelm myself if I do not have time to read the entire thing some nights - which is very likely. After the first night, I woke up the next morning so much more peaceful, and I had a much easier time dealing with my children that day. It was incredible. My son, who is my biggest challenge these days, even listened to me on the first time for most of the day! It was so rewarding, and all I had done was reach out for extra help to the Mother of God, which took up just a few minutes of my time. I've been keeping up since, and my days are flowing more smoothly thanks to Her help. It's funny how just a little extra effort can go such a long way!