Friday, December 29, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth: Remix

I have a jounalist friend who is doing a great deal of research about global warming.
He has just created this Remix of Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth"
It is worth the watch. It is sort and not so sweet and highlights the main point of the movie in under 5 minutes.
Well done Raphael!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Vancouver Children's Choir

Esmé's Children's Choir has a wonderful Christmas CD out. It was actually released last year, but it is a volunteer organization and it was out just before Christmas. It did not get a lot of PR. Well that has all changed this year. Check out this review in the Vancouver Courier. She performed last night at the Christmas Concert . It was wonderful. Esmé has a duet during a song called, "En Nombre del Cielo". She sang as Mary to another child's Joseph. She did a great job--very professional! I actually have a really shaky video of it that I will try and post when our ill computer is recovered.

Monday, November 27, 2006

St Nicholas resource

I was just pointed to this wonderful website by my friend Jenny in CT. Mamma Jenny is using some of the suggestions from it for her parish's outreach for St. Nicholas Day.
It is a wonderful resource and very fitting as we prepare to celebrate the feast of St Nicholas on December 6th!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Winter Wonderland

This is not a typical November for Vancouver. 20 cm are predicted to fall overnight. The city is beautiful; the drivers are not. No one here has a clue how to drive in the snow. We have already had a successful attempt at snowman making.
Quite a change from Florida! Look at the below post and see what I was wearing two weeks ago in the evening! It is 0'c (32'F) and 60 km/h winds are predicited.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Many Years to Mitzi and Todd

This is the whole family celebrating my brother's wedding. It was a beautiful day. All four of my children were in the wedding party. I made the girl's dresses. They seemed to turn out well. They did a fabulous job: Margaret and Esme were flower girls, Niko was the ring bearer and Elijah was the junior groom's man. I did a reading at the wedding and my husband said the prayer before dinner. We are all very tired now! I was shocked by how grown up Elijah looked standing at the front of the church. He really is becoming a man. I am not sure I am ready for that. Esme loves her new aunt and I can tell that Mitzi has a big influence on her...during the dance at the reception Mitzi and Esme were shaking up the dance floor! We couldn't get Esme to leave to go to bed.
The little ones love running around and playing with all of the other kids--there were tons of them. I had to keep a very watchful eye on them; the lake had ALLIGATORS in it.
I am not kidding......I don't know about these folks in Florida.

This is the present I made for my brother and sister in law. It is a duvet cover, 2 sets of pillow cases and various pillows. I think that they really liked it. My house was chaos before we left: me working and trying to sew all this and the flower girl dresses!

I will try and post some pictures of the rest of our holiday soon.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Things I learned in Texas

So there are some interesting things that I have learned during my sojourn in The Woodlands, Texas:
1-Watch out for Fire Ants (they have that name for a reason)
2-When it RAINS. In BC it rains a great deal of the time, but in TX it rains the same amount, but in about 45 minutes.
3-The mosquitos are BIG...and hungry
4-It is possible to have seven children; as long as their are four parents
5-Texas is waaaay too far away from BC.


How can you tell if you are with REALLY good friends? Everyone is on their own lap top in the same room chatting while blogging / working / checking email /shopping. Does it get better than this?
We are in Texas staying with our friends-in-the-trenches. We have had a fabulous weekend. We went to Blue Bell Creamery and had a tour of the yummy ice cream factory. Now the kids are plotting out the states in which we can purchase this new favourite.

Here are all SEVEN kids that have been under the same roof for the last four days. This is outside of Blue Bell Creamery.

This pic is of the two 2 yrs olds. They are having a blast! They met when M was 8 months old and G was 10 days old; now they are both 2 yrs old and fast friends.
Texas is too far away :(

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Bahama Mammas

This gorgeous woman with the flower crown and veil is my (in the very near) future sister-in-law Mitzi. From right the left: Nicole, Donna (Moo) Mitzi, Kim and Kimbo.
What a fabulous group of women I had the pleasure of getting to know last month in a little ol' place we like to call THE BAHAMAS! Where else would fabulous Floridians and one imported Canadian go to for a bachlorette weekend? We had the very best of times. It is a truly incredibly beautiful part of the world. We went snorkeling and saw parot fish and angel fish and 2 baracuda.

Luckily no sharks! Putting your head in this aqua blue water is like looking into an aquarium. We saw fire coral and fan coral and swam over top of the coral reef. The water was so warm--although the Floridians tried to tell me it was too cool! I found a triton sheel and brain coral (dead) and a conch shell to bring home. It is impossible to describe how blue the water is. At every chance I ran in for a swim.
We Island hopped and drank all manner of rum drinks and ate a lot of sea food.
Best of all I got to know Mitzi better. I am so excited that she is going to be my sister on November 12th.
Get ready girls....I am on my way back soon and the Bahama Mammas will reunite!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Man I Want to Stand Me Up.

I have only ever been stood up on a date once...and that twist of fate (or act of God) brought me to meet my husband that night instead--thank you Lloyd where ever you are! I have been concerned this week that I might cross paths with someone that I would rather avoid. I have not met Ernesto and quite frankly I don't want to; he is far too unpredictable and has a history of violence. I was worried that I would have to make his aquaintance on Thursday, but it now looks like I will be avoiding this awkward, inconvenient and potentially dangerous meeting all together.
Mu future sister in law has invited me to spend some time with her so we can get to know one another and so I am leaving my family far behind this week to bond with the sister I always wanted, but never had. And Ernesto? Well,there is no room for a stormy man when the girls are on the town!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Have you really arrived when you have proof of your existence on the web?
My girl friends have told me that people have come to their husbands workplaces because of this--we will see.
Thank you Alexei for (continually) putting this together.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

We have a home!

We have done the almost impossible:
We have moved and unpacked our entire household in 4 days.
It is such a great thing to have space. The children are like inmates who have been set free; they have been running around inside, outside, upstairs, downstairs...
It has been a long two years living in teeny tiny spaces. A fenced yard is such an indescribable blessing. We all have space to be together and to get away from each other. The 4 kids and I actually happily cooked dinner together tonight--there was enough space for all of us!
The luxery of having an office that is just an office...sigh.
We are discovering things that we haven't seen because they have been in storage for two years. It is so much fun.
It seems to be all coming together. We can see that there is indeed a reason for all that we have given up. How can you measure trifles like home ownership against the beauty of the people that God puts in your path? We are truly blessed and now we have a place that is big enough to comfortably spend time with said blessings!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Say What?

I am not sure this feat will ever be repeated. We were invited over to dinner at an old/new friend's home. Both my husband and I knew the husband of this clan as teenagers in the good ol AYM (Anglican Youth Movement). Well my husband and this husband both grew up to be priests (who'd a thunk?) and now they chat liturgically. Well, my family was invited over to his family's home so both families could get to know each other. The wife is a lovely human and they have two adorable small people running/crawling around. My children were, of course, hideous and caused chaos in every corner of their fine home. Quite embarrassing to have absolutely no control over your own children; well, they outnumber me 2-1, I say in my defence.
There my husband and I were sitting around the dinner table trying to keep the 2 and 4 yr olds in their seats and the 11 yr old from putting his elbows on the table and smacking his lips and all the while trying to have an adult conversation. I am thoroughly horrified with that I have been found out as the brutal mother that I am by a woman that I just met (I usually like to warm them up with the my sparkling personality and witty conversation for a few visits before I show this side). Anyway as the meal ends my 4 yr old says--without prompting, I swear--
"May I please be excused?"
and then GET THIS.....
"Thank you for the lovely dinner"
He really really said that "the lovely dinner"
Who talks like this?
Suitably impressed (and I pray with a good dose of amnesia for all of the previous behaviour) our generous hosts excused him from the table and off he went to continue chasing their little girl.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ramona is the Winner!

Ramona, of the clan Wildeman, is the winner of the piece of chocolate ganache cheesecake for correctly sourcing the quote from the previous post. To collect your prize please contact this blog's author. We shall have to set up an evening to celebrate!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Happy thought, indeed!

Happy things are afoot. We have found a home....a big home! For the last two years we have lived in tiny apartments--first in New York and now hear in Vancouver. Sharing one bathroom and three bedrooms among six people does wear thin after a while. Now we are going to have 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 kitchens (something the big two are very excited about) a HUGE deck and a fenced yard....there is even a great stretch of pavement that is just begging for a game of street hockey! The best part is we will finally have a place to entertain. All of our friends and parishoners have been incredibly sweet and kind and have braved the squishyness of our little condo for many a meal. But now, watch out! My inner hostess will be unleashed in this new house where there will actually be room to breath and talk and eat and drink! O happy day.
Oh and a piece of chocolate ganache cheese cake for the person who can give the the reference for the title of this post.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I Am Done.....almost

Last night I wrote the final exam for my Breastfeeding Counsellor Certificate Program.
I now have to complete my practicum hours and journal about my experiences. This should take me into the summer to complete....I know my limitations, Margaret!
This is quite an academic course with a heavy reading load. Breastfeeding is truly an art; there are so many nuances and sublties. It is ironic that there is a 3 months course to teach us how to trouble shoot and educate women about something that women have been doing since the beginning of time.
What has happened in our society that we don't possess the information we need to nourish our offspring; that our mothers and aunts and sisters don't posses the innate knowledge to help us when we have problems; that are health care system doesn't recognize that supporting and encouraging mothers to establish and maintain breastfeeding greatly reduced illness in both mother and baby for the rest of their lives?
It is a crazy world we live in!
So I am anxiously awaiting the marks from my exam and excited about learning more through my practicum placements.
If you have a breastfeeding issue feel free to send it my way--I would love to see if I could help.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Lord of the Rings

Since Thomas was unexpectantly pegged as Galadriel, it made me curious about who I would come out my surprise it wasn't Gollum!
Try it for yourself.

You scored as Frodo Baggins.

Frodo Baggins






Gandalf the Grey


Meriadoc Brandybuck (Merry)


Eowyn of Rohan


Arwen of Rivendell


Saruman the White


Samwise Gamgee








Peregrin Took (Pippin)




Which Lord of the Rings character are you most like?
created with

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A New Baby!

Congratulations to Cary and Akeiko ! They welcomed their first baby, a girl named Kiera Mae Chow yesterday at 12:29pm (May24, 2006)
They had her at home with a midwife in attendance! Way to go first time parents! I can hardly wait to meet this little one.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Good and the Really Bad

Will I believe you when you say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day
Well I will walk by faith Even when I cannot see because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me Help me to RID my endless fears
You've been so faithful for all my years With the one breath You make me new
Your grace covers all I do yeah, yeah , yeah, yeah, ya
well I will walk by faith even when Ii cannot see
because this broken road prepares your will for me
Well I'm broken- but I still see Your face Well You've spoken- pouring Your words of grace Well I will walk by faith Even when I cannot see Well because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me (Repeat)
Well I will walk by faith Even when I cannot see
Well because this broken road Prepares Your will for me
Hallelujah, hallelu I will walk by faith, I will walk by faith,I will walk by faith I will walk by faith, I will walk by faith,I will walk by faith I will walk by faith, I will walk by faith,I will walk by faith I will walk by faith I will walk,I will walk FaithI will walk, I will walk by faith
--Walk by Faith

My brother, Arron, has just introduced me to a great christian artist.
Jeremy Camp Check out his website. It has some pretty cool interactive bits.
The above lyrics are from the song, "Walk By Faith". Have a listen to this young guy; he has a powerful voice and has something valid and real to say.
"Holy fire burn away my desire for anything that is not of you and is of me. I want more of you and less of me" This is a guy struggling to be holy.

I am trying to find really good artists to get my kids to listen to--they don't have to be Christian artists, but they need to have something positive to say that contributes to human kind. Much of the music that is out there is very "me" and "self" focused; children are already "me" and "self" focused and do not need anything that is going to encourage them to stay there! I want music that will challenge my children and the society around them.
Well, I let Esme pick out a cd a couple of weeks ago, Love, Angel, Music, Baby by Gwen Stefani. I have heard some of her music and was quite pleased that No Doubt did a cover of a Talk Talk song that I love. While driving around Victoria we put in the LAMB cd for Esme to listen to....a couple songs in and I was extremely uncomfortable with what I was hearing and we skipped to the next song and then the next song and then the next.....all the songs were about having sex (some really not-so-subtle euphemisms and imagery "Hurry doctor come, need to get me some"), getting rich, living the high life....not so much about anything that is anything, ya know what I mean?
Now let me just preface the next bit by stating that I am not opposed the swearing in lyrics (in fact I think Bruce Cockburn, U2 and Spirit of the West and even Johny Cash if I am not mistaken, have used incredibly appropriate expletives to convey very strong feelings about the ISSUE they are singing about....think: "If I had a rocket launcher some son of a bitch would die" ), but repetative swearing that is used as a chorus?
Oooh, this my shit, this my shit
Oooh, this my shit, this my shit
Oooh, this my shit, this my shit
Oooh, this my shit, this my shit
So that's right dude, meet me at the bleachers No principals, no student-teachers Both of us wanna be the winner, but there can only be one So I'm gonna fight, gonna give it my all Gonna make you fall, gonna sock it to you That's right, I'm the last one standing, another one bites the dust
--Hollaback Girl
Not only mindless swearing, but illicit sexual interaction packaged up as some sort of aggressive physical contest. I sooo don't want this to be something that my kids think is appropriate or normal or to be aspired to....
Then let's fill their heads with metaphors that equate "love" with street racing and drugs:
Driving fast in your car. I’ve got you tracked on my radar. It’s just such a trip how you’re still my speed racer. You got me so addicted just like a free baser. I want you all over me like L.A.M.B. So get here A.S.A.P. it’s gonna be a party. Don’t forget to make a U-turn. (don’t forget to get here) I see you left your blinker on. (you see I want to get it on) I got it rolled and ready here to burn. Meet me back at home. (you know you need me so come back) Drive back baby to me fast in your car. I’m here waiting, CRASH into me real hard.
Now I am sorry to be so hard on Gwen Stefani, but the woman is quite intelligent and this dumbed down-sexed up routine doesn't really help to uplift women or give girls permission to expect not to be treated as sexual playthings and to be loved and cherished or teach boys that they are called to a higher set of standards and should be protectors of woman and that they do have to wrestle with sexual desire and overcome it, not give in--this is what makes a boy a man, not a shag behind the bleachers.
So there's my rant for the day. Your thoughts?

Friday, May 12, 2006

She shoots, she scores...

This is my new camera. The Canon Powershot S3 IS. I love it. The camera has a 12X optical zoom, 6 megapixels and image stabilization and a 1 gig memory card. It can even do things like take a picture in black and white and then make part of the picture colour--part of the picture colour! I think I need an intensive course to figure out how to use most of the features. Margaret pulled my old camera out of my hands and dropped it on a hard wooden floor at the Capilano Suspension Bridge a few months ago and since then I have been blessed by the generosity of Mark whenever I needed to digitally chronicle an important event. In the last few weeks I have had two doula contracts and decided to use the fees to purchase this wonderful camera. The photos on the flickr side bar were taken with it last Sunday. This weekend I am tasked with taking pictures of my kids and nephews for my future sister-in-law's wedding web site. I can see the slippery slope from here; next I will need a tri-pod and then a wide telephoto lens and then an externally mounted flash......
I had better find me some doula clients!
I really am grateful to have this camera. It wasn't even supposed to be availabe until the end of this month, but there is was at London Drugs last week--one. I had to wait until I was paid and it was still there! Then when I was purchasing it, Peter, the sales guy, said, "I'll just go get your camera and printer"
"Wait a second Pete, I am not buying a printer"
"I know", Pete says to me, "You get it free when you buy the camera"
So now I have a very nice HP printer awaiting a need.
And it gets better....they price match and I just checked the Future Shop flyer and they have the camera on sale for $25 cheaper. Goin' in today to get my refund! I just love it when a plan comes together.
I will share some funky pics when I figure out how to take them! Already I have taken some great photos of dowtown Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains form my office. I will upload them soon

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A beautiful Vancouver Morning

I have lived in Vancouver for nearly a year and I finally did something that I have been wanting to do since we set up shop here. Let me preface this by explaining I had a very frusterating start to my day:
1-I woke up to kids squealing with delight at 0640--that bit was alright, but I had actually been hoping that my client would have gone into labour during the night and that at 0640 I would be at a birth not in my bed.
2-I have a HUGE assignment that I must complete for a lactation consultant course that I am taking and I just can't get motivated to do it....and I am still trying to catch up on 4 weeks of reading for said course.
3-I have to go back to work tomorrow and really want to be able to be at this birth. I have a great back up who will be there to cover during my working hours, but I really would like to be at this birth and wandering around the house trying to will this woman into labour was not working
4-Loaded the toddlers in the van to take Niko to preschool AND THE VAN WON'T START! Dead battery. Thank God we have a great road side service, but that made us 45 mins late for preschool.
So I was a little ansy and on edge this am. After dropping Niko off I decided that I was going to dust off my running shoes and go for a run on the seawall. I strapped Greta into the jogging stroller and jogged from W8th & Heather down to the sea wall at False Creek (see the dotted blue line) then I ran to the Burrard Street Bridge....over the Burrard St Bridge....along Drake and over the Granville St Bridge then back home. It was great!
When one is that exhausted it is hard to find the energy to be irritaed about unobliging uteruses and unfinished assigments and, actually, it cleared my head a bit and I got quite a bit done on my assignment...and then fell asleep when I tried to do my reading!
Gotta love this city!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sunday, Glorious Sunday

Today is the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women and today St Nina Orthodox Mission Station celebrated its first divine liturgy. It was beautiful. We are so blessed by God. I am having a hard time finding words to express it. Dear friends came from afar to support us and help us celebrate. Matushka and her children came from Holy Resurrection to sing with us until they had to leave to go and sing for their service. How awesome is that? Teenagers getting up earlier than they needed to on a Sunday Morning! Margaret had her Godparents there...Nikolai had his Godmother there...I am unable to even say what this means to me. It was so wonderful to have familiar faces worship with us--even though they must return to their own churches next Sunday, it was such an incredible gift to have them with us for this first service to be there for moral support and lend their voices.
And the troopers who have travelled with us to this point waiting and waiting for services to begin--God bless you all for your patience and faith!
It is a fearful thing to have a missionary ministry and to feel very alone most of the time. This Sunday really confirmed that we are supposed to be doing this and God is blessing it. 41 people were at the service!!! Glory to God for allowing people to hear and come and find us in our tucked away spot.
Thank you to all who have prayed for us...please don't stop!
I have put Flickr on my blog, so you can look at pictures of the service.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Something to Celebrate

Christ is Risen!
This Sunday, St Nina Mission Station in Vancouver, BC will celebrate it's first ever Divine Liturgy!!!!! We are even importing the fabulous Akeiko Rown from Victoria to lead our congregation in song.
The Anglican Diocese of New Westminster and its Bishop Michael Igham have granted us the use of St George Anglican Church. The service will begin promptly at 0900 am. We are sharing this space with an Anglican parish that begins their service at 1115am and we don't want to keep them waiting! This will be our home from this Sunday and into the foreseeable future.
Please come prepared to spend the early afternoon celebrating at Douglas Park Community Centre. This is a ten minute walk from the church and there is lots of free parking--you may even want to park there and walk over to the church, where parking is less plentiful. We have rented a gathering room where we can share a POTLUCK luncheon. Coffee and juice will be provided. Please help us make this a feast! I'll bring the cheesecake! This space overlooks the children's playground and we can all have a picnic outside if the weather co-operates.
If you know you are coming could you please send me an email--just so I know how many plates and napkins to bring (and how big of a Starbucks carafe I need to order!)
kimrb at shaw dot ca.
I would love some suggestions on flowers. What do you think are the most festal/celebratory varieties? If you live in Vancouver, do you know a good, well priced flower market?
Check out Holy Cross UBC for updates until we get the St Nina website up and running; our webmaster is in Russia at the moment. I look forward to sharing this first service with you. Please everyone join me in prayer for our Mission Station and its members.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The List

1 empty spray bottle
1 package of Tide sample
1 full box of Borax
1 opened and spilled container of oxygen bleach
1 large bottle of swiffer solution
1 small bottle of swiffer solution
1 small bottle of tea tree oil
1 large bottle of tea tree oil
2 half full bottles of spray and wash
1 full bottle of Eucalan (soap for washing wool)
Where was this interesting assortment of laundry products you ask?
Behind the stacker washer and dryer that we had to pull out and put a runner under.
Fun fun least now I won't have to purchase any laundry products for the forseeable future!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

St Nina

St Nina of Georgia.

Check out Holy Cross UBC
for the fabulous announcement!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Health and Wellness

When health is absent
Wisdom can not reveal itself,
Art cannot be exerted,
Wealth is useless and Reason is powerless.
---Herophilies 300bc

I have recently discovered two fabulous books, by Dr Joey Shulman.
The Natural Makeover Diet is a "four step program to looking and feeling your best from the inside out". It is an easy to understand and implement program. The main idea is that we need to be mindful of what we are putting into our bodies because many signs of aging, digestive complaints and random aches and pains as well as more serious things like asthma are directly related to what we consume. It suggests an easy to follow five day cleanse to start things off. Then changing the way you eat to include primary foods; none of this heat-up-in-the-microve stuff and adds omega 3s and fiber to help out your system. It is a do-able diet!
I find it shocking that the main stream allopathic medical mindset does not even consider the effect of nutrition on health. A number of years ago I was quite ill with ulcerative colitis and the Gastroenterologist told me that I needed to have surgery ASAP to TAKE OUT PART OF MY COLON. Now I was pretty sure that this was NOT a good idea. I was pointed toward an incredibly gifted healer, Naturopathic Physician Cathy Carlson-Rink, and she did a detailed analysis of my whole life, not just the symptoms of colitis. Wow. I had to fill out a 12 page document that asked questions about my sleeping patterns, eating patterns, cravings, energy levels, symptoms etc etc. A thorough physical assessment and Vega Allergy testing provided more clues to the puzzle. Cathy had me eliminate all dairy and meat from my diet and gave my supplement to repair the intestinal flora that had been decimated by all the drugs I had been given to take away the symptoms of my disease. Arrgg! Within a week I felt measurably better. Now it took about a year to completely heal, but one year later I was not only symptom free but completely disease free. I was not on any pharmaceuticals. I was healed by naturopathic remedies and diets changes. Makes one wonder who benefits from our allopathic hack-em-up approach: the surgeons? the drug companies? They certainly won't be able to buy their summer homes if we all stared eating whole foods and exercising. Explain to me why the first treatment for hypertension or high cholestrol or diabetes is drugs? Does that make sense to anyone????
Don't worry about the 7 cheeseburgers you eat per week, just take a pill. We don't expect any self restraint...belly up to the bar and remember to take your Zantac!
What is it about our culture that encourages people to live it up and not accept responsibility for their actions? And then we teach it to our kids.....
Is your child constantly wanting sweets or bread or cereal or any other carbs? Is she a "picky" eater? Does he have a hard time transitioning from one activity to the next? Are her sleep patterns wonky? Dr Joey has another book called Winning the Food Fight
It is a parent's guide to raising a healthy, happy child. FABULOUS! It has recipes and ideas for getting your kids on board and eating healthily.
I believe that much of what ails us could be rectified by implementing a healthy lifestyle, so why don't we all do it? We are always looking for the quick fix and the easy way out. Well kids, nothing is easy and if it looks like it is too good to be true--it is.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

What Ever Happened to Sleeping in on the Weekend???

This weekend was crazy. Friday I worked and then shipped my husband off to the retreat he organzied armed with 6 dozen muffins, 6 dozen cookies (Lenten no less) and a bevy of Rice Krispie Squares that Elijah and I made to feed the hoards; and hoards there were--60+ people!!! Then Saturday I spent at the retreat running around after the kids while organizing meals to feed the retreaters....I am told that the talks were fantastic, though I am sad to say I heard not one word. I then went off to take my oldest to end of the year hockey party--at the Varsity Ridge Bowling Lanes
Can't beat black light bowling! This did mean that I ran back and forth between two lanes to oversee my 4 and 2 year olds as they bowled--or tried to run down the lane. Most people were either looking at me with horror or relief (soooo glad that they weren't me!). It was busy.
Then back to the retreat to gather up the supplies and husband.
Home to the disaster and feeding the kids and hosing them down and tucking them into bed.
Up bright and early to get kids up and dressed and out the door to church...where I chased them for two hours while my husband served. Then out for a wonderful lunch with some awesome people that we are newly aquainted with--there was still a lot of running around after the kids.
Home to laundry and dishes and overseeing homework: spelling, Language arts, Picasso report!
Then inspiration...find a willing babysitter and escape. We bribed (I mean asked) a nephew to come and sit.....and he (foolishly) agreed!!! More feeding and cleaning and dressing and putting to bed of children and then.....bliss.
Dinner at Feenie's.

So superb. It has been on my Top Ten list for a long time. The service and the ambiance were great--the uninterupted time with my husband to be able to finish a thought or a sentence was priceless. If you live in or near Vancouver I highly recommend taking the time to go to Feenies. It was fabulous.
Now back to the insanity tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hobbit Names

Haven't you always wanted to know your hobbit name ?
Now you can find out. Let me know too!
Lila Bumbleroot of Haysend
Wife of Bulbo
Mother of (in chronological order)
Mungo, Camelia, Bolo and Autumn

Friday, March 17, 2006

St Patrick

Troparion - Tone 3
Holy Bishop Patrick,Faithful shepherd of Christ's royal flock, You filled Ireland with the radiance of the Gospel:The mighty strength of the Trinity!Now that you stand before the Savior, Pray that He may preserve us in faith and love!

Kontakion - Tone 4
From slavery you escaped to freedom in Christ's service:He sent you to deliver Ireland from the devil's bondage.You planted the Word of the Gospel in pagan hearts. In your journeys and hardships you rivaled the Apostle Paul! Having received the reward for your labors in heaven, Never cease to pray for the flock you have gathered on earth, Holy bishop Patrick!

I really love St Patick
St Patrick was born Maewyn Succat in either England or Scotland around 387 AD. He came from a wealthy, but not particulariy religious family. At age 16 he was kidnapped by Irish raiders under the High King Niall and brought to Ireland where he was sold to a local land owner, Meluic, who was also a druid. Maewyn Succat served as his shephard.
During his time in Ireland he learnt the language and the customs of his captors along with the pagan rituals they followed - skills which he used to good effect in later years. He spent much of this time in constant prayer and, after six years captivity, had a dream in which he was told that his ship was ready. He escaped and travelled 200 miles south to the sea where he boarded a ship leaving for Gaul.
Eventhough he had suffered greatly at the hands of his Irish masters, St Patrick desired to return to Ireland as a missionary. He studied at a monestary on the island of Lerins and was ordained in 417. In 432 he was ordained a bishop and given the name, "Patricius". He was then granted his wish to return to Ireland and landed at Slane with 25 followers. His knowledge of the language, customs and druid religion enabled him to minister to the Irish people in a very real way.
It is important to learn from his style of missionary work: live among the people, understand their beliefs, speak their language and from a place of understanding reach out to them where they are! Whether the mission field is Vancouver, New York, Paris or Nepal, we need to first live among the people and understand their place in the world. The mission field in your own back yard may be the most difficult because you can assume that you "know" the people and understand where they are coming from, but it might not be so!
After his death, Patrick became a legendary figure and was credited with many miracles, the most famous of which is that he chased snakes from Ireland. However, it is believed that this referred to him eliminating paganism as snakes are a pagan symbol. He is also famous for describing the concept of the Trinity by using a shamrock leaf.
St Patrick fell asleep in the Lord March 17, 461
Stephen Lawheed has written an interesting
fictional account of the life of St Patrick. Check it out!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

What are you doing Sunday Evening?

There are Exciting!!!! things happening at Holy Cross
Pop over there and read Fr Chris update and invitation.
I think it would be fabulous if everyone who wants to find out what we have been up comes out on Sunday night. It doesn't matter if you wish to become a part of Holy Cross or not, just come to get informed of the goings on so you can share the information with any who cross your path!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Go Vipers!

Congratulations Elijah and The Vipers!!!!
7-1 in the playoffs this morning. Elijah had two excellent assists and a breakaway goal. Awesome game. Then this afternoon they won 6-4--the team they played had been unbeaten in 6! This time Elijah had 2 goals and one assist. The whole team played really well--awesome passes and tricky goals and great saves by the goalie.....Go vipers!!!!!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

"Hey you, do you want to start a mercy house?"

This is the kind of thing that my friend Justin Mathews sings about; he also sings about the Theotokos and icons. He sings about how we can apply the gospel to our life in a socially conscious way.... and he sounds fabulous. Check out the songs he has on his web site and then order his CD. He is a 2nd year student at St Vlad's. I am thinking that anyone with a desire to make music in an orthodox fashion should get thee to St Vladimirs Orthodox Seminary; there is an incredible number of talented musicians there at the moment. Father Peter Jon Gilquist graduates this year, but Justin in there for one more year. Fr Peter has some great records--he newest, "The Simpler Things" is my favourite. Fr Peter's web site is a great place to find new to you music!
Check these talented muscians out and get their music!!!!!
FYI this picture of Justin was taken at Central Park at "The Gates" exhibit that was on last fall/winter. Quite an interesting art installation.

Monday, February 20, 2006


Seriously, just watch. I can't type......laughing too hard every time I think about it!
When you get to the page click on the video that says "VP Firearms Mishap Analyst"

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Happy Happy Birthday Birthday

Today is Nikolai's 4th Birthday and Margaret's 2nd Birthday!!!!! They are both morning babies; Niko was born at 7:50 am and Greta was born at 1:50 am. These two are like champagne bubbles--or firecrackers! Interesting fact... they both had the same due date and they were both born 3 weeks early on the same day! I would love to know the odds on this!
Many years to Nikolai John Peter and Margaret Lynn.

Friday, February 10, 2006

A Weekend Challenge for You

I know that most of you have probably seen the list below but after the week I have had I needed a chuckle and I thought I would share it with you  You mission should you choose to accept it is to pick one of these 16 actions and complete it before the end of the weekend Then come back here and post how it went  Please humour me I have spent the last 6 days inside a 12x16 room watching my 23 month old breath  I need some distraction
Now to show you how easy this is I have just completed number 8
If I had a dime to my name I would totally do number 6
Ditto for number 14 so I might have to go to Stanley Park and do number 15 at the petting zoo or the aquarium


















Thursday, February 09, 2006

Greta is Home

We have arrived home from Children's Hospital! Greta really improved over the last 24 hours and is at the moment snug in her bed having a well deserved nap without any interuptions from nurses or doctors listening to her chest (although I must admit that I snuck in and had a listen).
She will need careful watching over the weekend and is still on a high dose of ventolin (breathing medication) and antibiotics, but she is getting better every hour.
Thank you to everyone for your prayers. Her quick improvement is definitely heaven sent. On Monday we were preparing for a very long and scary hospital stay and then I could actually feel the prayers and instead of continuing to get worse, she started to get better around midnight.
Margaret actually had RSV AGAIN. This is the illness that she had at 9 weeks of age that caused her to be in the ICU of Children's hosital in 2004. It is unusual to get it twice and even more unusual to get so very sick with it at the age of almost 2, but because little Greta has developed Asthma from her first bout with RSV, her little lungs have a much harder time dealing with it.
The doctors, and nurses and support staff at Children's are an incredible group of people and their expertise and calm treatment was a blessing.
Now I am sure that most of you have never heard of will manifest as a cold in those people who are normally healthy, but in tiny babies (preemies to 6 weeks of age) and ill children in is very serious. You can help to reduce the spread of RSV by simple things like washing your hands frequently and staying away from any babies (especially preemies and those under 6 weeks) if you have a ANY signs of a cold no matter how small. For the healthy people, always remember to wash your hands before holding anyone's baby. We all know how cute and cuddly they are, but our desire to touch their cute little hands, which they then put in their mouths, can spread illness! I always like to remind people to only touch babies socked feet--since there are so many babies around it is always good to be aware of our actions.
Again thank you for all of your prayers. It is so wonderful to have our baby home and continuing to get better!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Just 'cause everyone else is....

I must confess that this Word Cloud
is oddly mesmerizing. What a strange gathering of words....all from the same mind.
It reminds me of an e e cumming poem......each stanza could be a word cloud!

)when what hugs stopping earth than silent is

)when what hugs stopping earth than silent is
more silent than more than much more is or
total sun oceaning than any this
tear jumping from each most least eye of star

and without was if minus and shall be
immeasurable happenless unnow
shuts more than open could that every tree
or than all life more death begins to grow

end's ending then these dolls of joy and grief
these recent memories of future dream
these perhaps who have lost their shadows if
which did not do the losing spectres mime

until out of merely not nothing comes
only one snowflake(and we speak our names

Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Founder of Christian Xenodolion (hospital-inn)

Commemorated September 4

The OCA website has another account of St Hermione

Our holy mother Hermione was a daughter of Saint Philip the Deacon (Acts chapter 6). She was born in Caesarea of Palestine early in the first century. Inspired by a true understanding of the Gospel, she studied the philosophy of medicine in her native city. After the Christians were driven out of Palestine, Saint Hermione traveled to Ephesus to seek out the beloved Apostle John. By the time she arrived, the great evangelist had already departed this life.

Joined by her sister Eukhidia, Saint Hermione bought a house and founded a medical clinic, devoted to the treatment of the poor and the homeless. Soon, she added rooms for these homeless ones and for poor travelers who were ill. Thus was established the first of those hospital-hostels or "xenodukia", which would become so much a part of the Orthodox Christian tradition. Like the other unmercenary physicians who would come after her, she understood that salvation consisted in the healing and liberation of the whole person - body and soul together. While ministering to the physical illnesses of those who came to her, the saint also nourished them with the Gospel and led them to that true healing and freedom in Jesus Christ.

Filled with the grace of the Holy Spirit, Saint Hermione was given the gift of prophecy and became a link in that chain of New Testament prophets who were united in spirit and calling to the great Old Testament prophets. After a long life of service as physician, evangelist and prophet, Saint Hermione was granted the crown of martyrdom. During the reign of Emperors Trajan and Hadrian, she was arrested and, in spite of her great old age and renown, subjected to terrible tortures in an effort to force her to renounce our Lord Jesus Christ. She was beheaded on September the fourth and received the glorious crown of those who choose everlasting life in our Lord Jesus Christ above this transitory earthly life.

Through her holy prayers, may we also find healing and salvation.

From "Lives of the Saints", Vol. 11
Synaxis Press

Reprinted with the kind permission of Archbishop Lazar Puhalo

St Hemione can teach us so many things. She gave of herself to those in need; she was a servant to those people who were too sick or injured to care for themselves and she asked for nothing in return. Did they thank her or show gratitude? Maybe, maybe not. Sick people can be cranky. Homeless people can seem ungrateful. She chose to help anyway. What do we do?
I love that she is wholistic and treated the body and soul. She is an academic in a time that women were not learned, but she used that knowledge in a very feminine way and cared for and ministered to people.
How can we be like St Hermione? Are we skilled to heal the body as physicians or the soul as proclaimers of the gospel? Can we make a meal for someone who is sick or to support someone who is caring for someone who is sick? What about running errands or cleaning up a house? Or just sitting and being present with someone who is suffering? We can listen.
These are beautiful ministries that are often fulfilled by women because we are empathetic and like a practical way to help people. In our homes and families and places of work and churches, why don't we look for ways to be like St Hermione. Ask her to reveal to you those in need. See what happens....

5:52 am

Why 5:52 am? Well that's what time it is. You see, I have usually been at work for an hour by now and was indeed at work at 4:50 am today only to discover that I don't work until tomorrow!
This could be seen as a very frustrating event in ones life, but it is actually working out quite nicely for me. We had a wonderful friend over for dinner last night and had a very lively and challenging conversation. I threw in the towel at 12:10 am and left my husband and said friend still talking (I have no idea what time my husband finally came to bed). So I was understandably quite groggy at 4:00 am when I had to get up for work and drank 2 cups of coffee while getting ready. I walked across the street to work only to find out I didn't have to be there and so I had a chat with a teammate who really needed to chat said "Hi" to my coworkers and then "By" to my coworkers and walked back across the street home. Since I am too buzzed on the caffeine (a good plan for a day of work, but not for trying to go back to bed) I have been getting so much done.
I did my morning prayers--uninterupted--had a couple more cups of coffee--uninterupted--caught up on my email--uninterupted--you see where I am going with this....
Now I am going to do the dishes and I may even phone a friend in New York while I do them. I can let my husband sleep in instead of having to get up and get the kids off to school ('cause he went to bed waaaay later than me) and hang out with the baby. When she goes for a nap I will go for a nap. Then I will have enough energy to make cinnamon buns for a post vespers treat tonight.
What an unexpected gift this day is already and it is only 6:02 am!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Synaxis of the Ecumenical Teachers and Hierarchs: Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom

Troparion - Tone 1

Let us who love their words gather together
and honor with hymns the three great torch-bearers of the triune Godhead:
Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom.
These men have enlightened the world with the rays of their divine doctrines.
They are sweetly-flowing rivers of wisdom
filling all creation with springs of heavenly knowledge.
Ceaselessly they intercede for us before the Holy Trinity!

Kontakion - Tone 2

O Lord, You have taken up to eternal rest and to the enjoyment of Your blessings
the divinely-inspired heralds, the greatest of Your teachers,
for You have accepted their labors and deaths as a sweet-smelling sacrifice,
for You alone are glorified in Your saints!

Friday, January 27, 2006

To my dear Lady the Reverend and God-Loved, Deacon, Olympias

Did you know that this was how St. John Chrysostom addressed his close friend and confidant, St Olympia? Here is a well researched book by Dr. Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald entitled
Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church Called to Holiness and Ministry It is edited by Father Thomas Hopko.
St Nina's Quaterly has a great review
written by Deborah Belonick Associate Editor for St Vladimir's Seminary Press
Any mention of Women Deacons is charged with varied, but immediate reaction:
"Yes!!! This ministry needs to return"...."Oh no...once they get to be deacons what is keeping them from being priests??"..."Shush"..."That is feminist retoric"..."Why can't women's ministry be ordained?"...
I think it is important to ask why we have these strong emotional reactions and are they based on any facts or research or knowledge of the historical role of Diaconess or are they based on our assumptions and what was debated with our friends?
On a related theme, there are many incredible orthodox women of past and of present. Some are saints, but most are just women trying to live out their life in Christ. Over the next while I think I will post about some of the wonderful women and resources for women and books written by Orthodox women.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Great New Find

I have discovered a wonderful new magazine.
Every DAy with Rachel Ray It is all about food and wine. The recipes are simple and easy to follow with lots of pictures. There is even a 7 day meal planner complete with shopping list! Most of the recipes can be prepared in 30 minutes.
Tonight my husband made fresh tuna burgers with ginger, garlic and soy sauce. They were topped with wasabi mustard and mango chutney. Wow! They were delicious.
Now I love Martha Stewart, but my leisure time has been severely restricted since I took out my subscription in 1996. I wonder if 3 more children and a full time+ job have added any work?
Now in 2006 I love Rachel Ray. Great energy, quick prep times and yummy food.
She does a lot of sea food and pasta, so it is not hard to find fast-friendly recipes.
This is only her second issue; I am sure there will be many more.
Happy cooking.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Did You Vote???

Don't forget that today is election day in Canada.
7am-7pm at your local polling station.
It is very important that your voice is heard.
So PRAY then VOTE.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

January = Birthdays!!!

January is a very busy month for birthdays for our friends and family. Here is a big "Happy Birthday" to everyone.

Kurt Jordan Jan 2
Esmé Hoogendyk Jan 11

Elijah Jan 17
Jonah Jordan Jan 18

Kimberley Francis Jan 20
Alban Jan 21

Kimberly Rigden Jan 22
Malachai Duran Jan 22
Elise Jan 23
Katrina Duran Jan 27
Avery Jordan Jan 29

This is, of course, not an exhaustive list, just all the names I could come up with off the top of my head. Please feel free to add anyone whom I have missed….or yourself if your birthday is in January.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Dea is here!!!!!

Today is a wonderful day. My fabulous friend, Dea, has come all the way from Houston, Texas to visit little ole me! Y'all can meet her if you come to Vespers tomorrow night. She is a breath of fresh, warm DRY air! I was hoping that some of that hot sunny weather would have followed her here, but it seems she is going to see Vancouver at it's finest--raining; we have just broken a record for the most consecutive days of rain.

I have been in denial about how much I have missed her until I saw her beautiful face. I am not going to think about what it will be like when she has to leave again....that is days away.

After I picked her up at YVR, we went to Gastown (and got soaking wet)! Tomorrow thrift store shopping and a good long coffee clatch and then Victoria and Whister (God and weather willing) should round out the week.

Friendship is a truly incredible gift and a friend that you been in the trenches with and and knows that from which you speak it an immeasurable blessing.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Miraculous Intervention or using the skills God gave us?

A post on a friend's blog reminded me of a wonderful clip from Jon Stewart's The Daily Show
I was at a conference last fall for Professional Emergency Communicators and attended a talk about the "Miracle of Flight 358" That was the Air France flight that crashed last summer at Pearson Airport in Toronto. Thank God, everyone got off the plane safely, but having said that, I really appreciate that nod from Stewart. God gives us the gifts to use, but we need to USE them in a competent manner.
Let me know your thoughts on this clip.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Another DA quote for the fans

He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.
Douglas Adams

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

And wow! Hey! What's this thing coming towards me very fast? Very very fast. So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding word like... ow... ound... round... ground! That's it! That's a good name - ground! I wonder if it will be friends with me?
Douglas Adams

I don't know how many of you are Douglas Adams fans, but he is a fantastically hilarious author. I am especially fond of his four part trilogy, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

Thursday, January 05, 2006

This is a picture of Greta taken a few days ago. It is striking how much she looks like Esmé. When I look at this picture, I am looking into Esmé's eyes. Do the girls see the similarity in each other? I am told that both my daughters look very much like me; I can see that they look very much like each other, but do not recognize myself in them. I wonder why? I am not conscious or aware of what (or whom) I really look like?
Tonight I made Prosphera bread for the first time. I was very conscious of my thoughts and actions while making it. I found it a very peaceful ritual in an incredibly stressful day. Tomorrow morning my husband will pray for many people as he cuts it into pieces and uses it in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. I am struck by the miraculous as I ponder how this bread will be transformed during the liturgy. God allows us, such sinful people, to participate in such an act of worship. He is such a loving God. If only I would allow Him to tranform me, flesh and bones and hurts, as He does this flour, water, yeast and salt.

Monday, January 02, 2006

One Last Holiday Treat

This is my Niko. Of course he would have a balloon bicycle hat on his head! We had a fabulous family day at the Vancouver Aquarium
The hat is courtesy of Arty the Balloon Guy. Niko wore it on our walk around Stanley Park...there was no missing him!
As dusk settled on the city we arrived at the miniature train. The area was ablaze with Christmas lights. One last chance to celebrate Christmas! We ate roasted chestnuts and took a ride on the train. We had to wait a couple of turns and ended up at the very front of the line--the kids picked the seats right behind the engineer and we had 15 minutes of bliss: Christmas carols, Christmas lights, ornaments, statues ( including the White Witch in her sleigh) and excited joyful children.
Tomorrow it is back to the familiar and very busy routine: kids to school, coffee to drink, toddler to chase after, diapers to wash, chores to attempt, me to work (night shift--ugh!), but tomorrow also starts a new and precious routine--Tuesday Night Vespers at UBC. What a joy, what a gift!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

One of my favourite prayers

This is one of my favourite prayers. It seemed fitting to post it on the first day of the year. This is a lovely prayer to add to your morning prayers. It just seems to set the tone for the day. I pray it will bless you.
Happy New Year

Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow

Lord, I know not what to ask of You. You alone know what my true needs are. You love me more than I myself know how to love. Help me to see my real needs which may be hidden from me. I dare not ask for either a cross or a consolation. I can only wait upon You; my heart is open to You. Visit and help me in Your steadfast love. Strike me and heal me; cast me down and raise me up. I worship in silence Your holy will. I offer myself to You as a living sacrifice. I put all my trust in You. I have no other desire than to fulfill Your will. Teach me to pray. Pray Yourself in me.