In the name of God, here's looking forward to a single, unified Orthodox Church of the United States.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Working from Home

*nervous energy*

I'm starting out on a new adventure - one that I hope will bring a little much needed income to our tiny household. I just purchased the book Calligraphy for Dummies along with a calligraphy kit (which, so far, is not proving to be worth the money I spent on it) and am beginning to practice basic strokes. It's been difficult for me, who has no artistic training and very little artistic talent, but I'm determined to help EJ out in the income department once the kiddies come and I'm no longer able to work outside the home.

Possible other options for me include:
  • Sewing and alterations
  • Hairstyling and Cosmology (if we're willing part with some money up front for me to go to beauty school)
  • Nail Technician (same caveat as above)
  • Calligraphy
I'm a little nervous about my actual sewing abilities, because they're not all that. I don't mind making (and messing up) stuff for myself, but, living in a Marine town, if I advertised these particular set of skills, I know that a lot of the requests I'd be getting would be for altering uniforms and all those regulations to remember scare the skirts off me.

Even if we were able to afford beauty school, I'm not sure that I'd be able to do it from home - it may require too much initial output in the form of equipment. We'll see.

Calligraphy I've already discussed and I'm really really hoping I can master it. Nothing like charging $300 for hand-lettered wedding invitations, envelopes, and various other sundries. =)

Suggestions of anything else I can do from home that wouldn't take up my entire day, or that can be worked on at various times throughout the day, would be much appreciated. (Day care is out for at least the next twelve months - it's in our lease agreement - and piano lessons are a no go because we have no piano or keyboard. =P)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spring Break

Boy howdy, it's getting so close to graduation that I'm starting to think it may actually happen.

It was Spring Break a week ago and I traveled down south to be with EJ. While there, we leased an apartment; it's a tiny postage stamp of a place, but it's ours for the next twelve months - and we're ecstatic. We've already planned our whole living room (most of it's coming from Wal-Mart, because we're young and poor. All hail the mighty Wal-Mart!) and have our sights set on some bedroom furniture. (Who knew a man could get so excited about furnishings? =P Although, to put things in perspective, when I opened up an online room planner, he only cared about the "squares and triangles" because he wanted to make sure they all fit, whereas I wanted to be sure to pick out the right icons so I could play around with the arrangement of the room.)

In other news, EJ bought a tiny cactus and I promptly grabbed it while groping about in the dark for something that needed plugging in. That hurt and I spent a good 10 minutes digging the little spikes out of my fingers and thumb. (>.<)

Of course, I then decided I'd not had enough pain and went and got my lip pierced.

Yes, you read that right, my lip is now pierced. It's still swollen, though I pierced it over a week and a half ago. And now you can tell everyone you know that someone who has actually had her lip pierced says: "Don't do it!" I like the way it looks ... sorta, but if I ever want it gone, I'm left with a scar above my chin, the ring rubs against my teeth and gums in a most unsatisfying way, and it's a pain to eat with. So, if they're not convinced by morality arguments against piercings (as I wasn't), just give them the facts.

I want to be Daddy's Little Girl

Isn't it funny how a child is able to forgive his or her parents to an almost sacrificial degree or, on the other hand, to hate them with a passion far exceeding that which he or she may have for any other person. Though a child who has been adopted may never have met their birth mother, they still probably feel strong emotions towards them one way or another. When she came of age, my older half-sister, whom my mother had given up for adoption because she would have been unable to care for her as a single parent in the military, sought out and found mom on her own once she turned 17. What is it about parents (blood relation) that has such a grip on our minds that those to whom we are less related or perhaps not related at all simply cannot compete with?

My father is a frustrating man. Many's the time I've wanted to scream in his face that I hate him and never want to see him again. Though he has many good attributes, he's bullied me, told me as a child that he was glad I was afraid of him, and ... yet ... he loves me ... and I love him. Why is that? Why, when he discourages me at every step, do I still want to love him? Why do I want to know that he loves me? What is so important about this particular man that every fiber of my being wishes we had "a better relationship." Why doesn't the wonderful relationship I have with my husband fulfill that desire? After all, EJ's a man. Why do I need unconditional love so badly from one particular man?

Just looking at it from a logical point of view I come to the conclusion that God has built something into us. Family is spiritual, not just physical. There really is something in the blood of relations that binds us closer - and thus can also expel us farther. I don't think I will ever stop loving or forgiving my dad. In trying to mold me into his idea of the perfect worldly woman, he has pushed me farther away than any other human being, yet I keep trying to come back, hoping that someday I will be good enough. God has put that hunger in all of us; inbred, inbuilt, incapable of doing anything else.

Hopefully, I will be able to stand at the Resurrection with EJ on my right and dad on my left, and hold dad's hand and hear him say that he loves Jesus with all his might and that he's always loved me, too, no matter what.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom

Christmas in March

In looking up names for my future children I came across the story of St. Wenceslas (you know, from the Christmas carol?) and his history is quite interesting.

I never paid much attention to the carol growing up because I didn't really understand it, but now, reading about the saint and singing it in its entirety brings it to life in an amazing way.

Good King Wenceslas

Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the Feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath'ring winter fuel

"Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know'st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?"
"Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes' fountain."

"Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither."
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind's wild lament
And the bitter weather

"Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer."
"Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly."

In his master's steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I just had to link this:

Coffee and Dudefrontation

The Red Envelope Project Against Abortion

I think I will definitely participate in this protest. For details, head over to Adventures of an Orthodox Mom.

The form message to write on the back of the envelope is:
This envelope represents one child who died in abortion. It is empty because that life was unable to offer anything to the world. Responsibility begins with conception.
I'm wondering whether (since I'm sure no one will read more than a few of these once they start pouring in) I shouldn't change things up a bit, maybe squeeze something like this onto the envelope:
This envelope represents one child who died in an abortion. It is empty because it was arbitrarily decided that life only begins with birth, or viability, or personality, etc., but I say, what if doesn't? Shouldn't we err on the side of caution? If life does NOT begin at conception, then no harm no foul, but if we're wrong ....
Hmm...not quite to my liking just yet, but I'll think of something, or I'll stick to the form example. I just don't like how that example fights by the anti-life rules; in saying a life can only "offer something", we're taken right back down the road to aborting severely handicapped babies and those who will have "nothing to offer" to society. A life is a life is a human soul - if it's good enough for God, it's good enough for me, whether it "offers" something tangible or not.

EDIT: I received an email from the pro-life group on campus about this and I like the form statement they included:
This envelope represents one child who died because of an abortion. It is empty because the life that was taken is now unable to be a part of our world.

Friday, March 20, 2009

They're insane

Well, I really really don't want to turn this into the Blog of Gloom and Doom, but ... it's kind of impossible to bury our heads in the sand any longer.

We're moving to Siberia.

House adopts plan for 'volunteer' corps

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This is kind of neat. =)


Seeing Sound Waves from John Huntington on Vimeo.

Tip o' the hat to Josephus Flavius.
Well, it's certainly been an interesting few days.

EJ graduated on Monday! =D That's right, he's no longer in his MOS school, he's actually going to start work; today's his first day!!

I've been kind of keeping it a secret that EJ was offered a job at Quantico to work on the Presidential helicopter fleet because I wanted to know for certain whether or not he'd get the security clearance needed before I went and plastered it all over the internet. As it stands now, it's not looking good. Things were going well right up until - literally - the day he was supposed to leave. Then his orders came and, oh whoops, looks like he's not going to Quantico. This doesn't mean he absolutely, 100% won't get the job (since it takes up to six weeks to get security clearance), but it's doubtful. So, it's off to his original duty station. Gotta love the military. (One thing that would have been delightful about the job at Quantico was that he wouldn't have gotten deployed. Where he's at now, that's not really the case. C'est la vie.)

In other news, I found out about the CPSIA completely by accident yesterday. This got me foaming at the mouth angry and I wrote letters to my representative and one of my senators (for me to have actually done that is amazing. I feel as though I did something worthwhile for once). This, plus the NAIS, plus the fact that now North Carolina is stepping onto the "force homeschoolers into public school" bandwagon (although, in that particular case, there seems to be a few extenuating circumstances - the judge doesn't seem to be against homeschooling on principle), put me over the edge. I completely broke down during evening prayers last night and called out to the Christ, Mary*, and Saint Monica for strength and prayers. The government just seems to be intruding into our lives in ever more subtle and ingenious ways and I was beginning to feel like an animal trapped in a corner - normally, I wouldn't bite, but don't you dare stick your hand out towards me right now...

Thankfully, I'm much calmer now. Jesus has begun to answer my prayers and I'm feeling more and more at peace about letting Him control every aspect of my life. I'm finally beginning to realize in my heart, not just in my head, that this earth is not my home, that I'm just passing through, that I should never become attached to anything here, and nothing I can do to prepare for trials ahead (self-sufficient farming, homeschooling, etc.) has any power in and of itself. It's the realization that the government could very well step into my life and take my children away that is forcing me to realize with absolute certainty that I have no eternal control over them. I have to give them over to God or risk a complete nervous breakdown. Jesus knows what He's doing. In a way, it's almost a blessing to be losing the ability to run my own life, because it's forcing me to give up the vain belief that I have control and is making me rely on God in ways I never would have considered except intellectually.

*Last night was the first time I fully realized that Mary watched her son be nailed to and die on a cross. As I was crying on my bed, for a split second I saw Mary obove me (even though my face was buried in the sheets) about to gently cover me with her veil; it almost forcefully occured to me that she knows exactly the fear I'm feeling (to the nth degree) and that I should ask her to pray for me. She knows what it's like to lose her only child to the government - and her faithfulness saw her through. Now, look how she's been rewarded. =)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

There's something growing - something engorging itself upon the innocent minds of English speakers. It daily encroaches, becoming more and more sinister with each passing usage.

It's not a drug.

It's not a weapon.

It's something much subtler ... something known as the comparative.

Example. "My car is better than your car."

Simple enough, ja? The sentence compares one car to another.

How would you feel, though, if I said something like this: "My car is more better than your car." Aside from the potential for arrogance in that statement, using "more" with the ending "-er" is incorrect. Yet, I see just such a structure being used more and more by people who have no intention of being funny - heck, most of the time they're trying to be serious.

So, this is one for the road kids: use either "more" or "-er", but don't use both together.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I could kiss her...

Oh my gosh; I just love this woman. She is so often simply spot on (though I don't always agree with everything she says). I wish I knew how to contact her to encourage her to keep up the good work.

** Please pray for her. Her post just before the one on which I'm commenting says she and her husband are undergoing some spiritual warfare right now.

Her most recent post on the movie Fireproof made me want to jump up and down and squeal for joy. I haven't actually seen the movie (I tend to stay away from any movie the church begins hyping. Usually they're poorly acted copies of post-modern films with only a thin veneer of Christianity hastily plastered over top). At the time the trailors began circulating I was on my headcovering kick and the first thing that popped into my mind was, "His wife isn't covering her head. This is just some evangelical, feel-good, watered-down feminist version of Christianity." I'm a wee bit less legalistic when it comes to headcovering now (=P), but I still have no desire to see this movie.

The second thing that popped into my head when I watched the trailor was, "Yet again, it is the man at fault. Good grief. Why can't any movie make a woman the antagonist??" That's not to say that men are never at fault, just that I don't see any representation of the women who need to take responsibility for their failings on televesion.

I suppose I should watch the movie so I know what I'm up against. I'm just so sick and tired of the collective evangelical protestant church jumping on the bandwagon of any movie that is indistinguishable from the secular culture but for the sole exception that the characters swear less.

That's just one of the many reasons I'm becoming Orthodox. =)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fasting

An excellent little series written by Father Stephen of Glory to God for All Things. He'll probably write more on the subject throughout the Lenten season and I will be sure to add them to this post.

The Difficulty of Lent

Fasting - Prayers by the Lake

Why We Fast

Forgiveness Vespers

Lent has begun.

If there is anything I have done or failed to do that has offended you, forgive me.