Thursday, June 30, 2011

Michele Bachmann on Abortion

(FYI: The video does not show on Google Reader.)

Rock Hill, South Carolina (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann revealed to a town hall audience Wednesday that she once suffered a “devastating” miscarriage.

Bachmann, a congresswoman from Minnesota, told the story in the course of answering a question about her position on abortion.

“After our second was born, we became pregnant with a third baby,” she said, referring to her husband, Marcus. “It was an unexpected baby, but of course we were delighted to have this child. The child was coming along and we ended up losing our child. And it was devastating to both of us, as you can imagine if any of you have lost a child.”

She told the rapt audience of 400 South Carolina voters that the experience changed her and eventually led her to raise 23 foster children along their five biological children.

“At that moment, we didn’t think of ourselves as overly career-minded or overly materialistic but when we lost that child, it changed us, and it changed us forever,” she said. “We made a commitment that no matter how many children were brought into our life, we would receive them because we are committed to life.”

On the matter of abortion, Bachmann said she is “100 percent pro-life from conception until natural death.” [emphasis mine]


Sorrows are allowed so that it will be revealed who really loves God. Without enduring sorrows, even a grateful soul is not fit for the Kingdom of God. The steadfast endurance of sorrows is equal to martyrdom. Sorrows are insignificant in comparison to spiritual blessings. 

--St. Nikon of Optina (1920)

Festal, Fasting Dessert

Or Fasting, Festal Dessert. Feasts that land on a fast day are always a little anticlimactic. I try to have something special for dinner and made this yesterday afternoon for dessert.

Fasting Coconut Cream Pie

1 can coconut milk
1 lg pkg instant vanilla pudding
1 container whipped topping
1/2 - 1 cup shredded coconut
1 no-bake pie shell

Mix the coconut milk, pudding mix and 2/3 whipped topping in large bowl. Add in coconut. Spread evenly into pie shell and top with remaining 1/2 whipped topping, spreading evenly over pie filling. Sprinkle a little coconut on top for garnish. Cover and freeze for at least 4 hours (so it will be a little firmer).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer-weight Cotton

For a dear little girl...

Approximately 24 inches square

Sts. Peter and Paul

Joyous Feastday!

Troparion - Tone 4

First-enthroned of the apostles,
teachers of the universe:
Entreat the Master of all
to grant peace to the world,
and to our souls great mercy!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cloth Diaper Flats

No, I haven't gone off the deep end and I know I have no one in diapers, but I still retain an interest in cloth diapers. I wanted to do it for years but with working full-time I had to take into account the preference of my husband. Finances were also a concern because there's a good-sized outlay at the beginning. I didn't have any friends who were cloth diapering so I didn't have any mentors in that direction (or I might have started earlier). I finally got a start with my last baby, Pickles. We had so much baby stuff already that we just asked for diapers. I researched and researched and settled on all-in-ones because that seemed easiest for Father to handle. He didn't have to put anything together; it was just like a disposable. We got Kushies AIOs. They were cute, and easy to use, but the drying time was outrageous and it was hard to get them clean. I began to wish I had settled on diapers and separate covers. I had a few covers and prefolds handed down by my sister who had not been able to use them successfully on her son. I had problems keeping the prefolds' ends all tucked inside the cover. The moisture would keep wicking out onto the clothes. (One thing I did like was the Snappi fastener. Very handy and effective.)


Prefold with Snappi fastener

Since that time I have seen many more things about cloth diapers I wish I had known. Oh well, hindsight and all that. There are so many options. I like the idea of the fleece covers that Michelle of Our Little Monkeys made. I also like the tabbed prefolds she made.

Fleece cover by Michelle

I saw an article the other day on using flats. Now, that has always been rather intimidating, but I gave it a hearing. I have to say I'm half-sold already! It does address the problem that I always had with cloth diapers: price. In the long run it saves you money to use cloth diapers over disposables (and my frugal mind likes that), but the initial outlay is so high! When one diaper costs $12 then you start to lose your enthusiasm. The people who could really take advantage of the overall low cost of cloth, i.e. low income, can't afford to even get started. It's kind of ridiculous.

It really hurt to read in the article about some poor families reusing disposable diapers because of cost. The author had had a similar reaction and started a Flats and Handwashing Challenge on her cloth diapering blog (that focuses on laundry). She had people sign up to use only flats and handwash them for 7 days. Eventually 400 people signed up. They used various handwashing methods and the response was overwhelmingly positive.

I started looking into it, and having actually done some cloth diapering (primarily with AIOs), those large, flat, thin Birdseye diapers look pretty good - especially from a laundry point of view. I looked at a site called Green Mountain Diapers* and their flats are $25/doz for small and $27/doz for large. Yes! They come in different sizes! Somewhere on the site I read that the Gerber flats you can buy in stores tend not to be the normal, full, flat size so they don't work properly. Then, people just write them off. I also happened to notice that they sell fitted diapers out of prefold material! Now those were a little more expensive, $4.95 to $7.95 depending on size and whether or not you wanted snaps. The regular prefolds were $15/doz to $39/doz ranging from preemie to XL. This sounds idiotic, but I had no idea prefolds came in different sizes! That's probably the reason for my failure with the prefolds I used before.



Fitted Prefolds

*This site also sells AIOs, AITs, covers of various kinds, organic, etc. It's a great site with tutorials on folding and hints on which covers work best with which diapers.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Wildfire threatening parish

Please pray! (link to news on fires and link to church)

"Dear Brothers, 

I just want to ask for the prayers of all of you. This is Hieromonk John at St. Dimitri's in Los Alamos, and currently there is a uncontained 6000 acre wildfire in Los Alamos. Voluntary evacuations are underway. The fire is half a mile from the lab which could be the prelude to a bad situation. I have evacuated the holy things to a safe location and will be going to and from Los Alamos to assist parishioners and anyone else in need. Please pray for us all, and that the good Lord will send rain!

With Love In Christ
Hieromonk John"

[Also, so far things seem to be going well with Leo. Please continue to pray for him - he's not out of surgery yet.]

Morning prayer requests...busy day! [Updated...again]

For Baby Leo, whose extensive cranial surgery is this morning...lasting all day...

For the Child Noah, who is having multiple procedures under general anesthesia this morning...

For Svetlana, who is having all the hardware removed from her ankle (remember the horrible fall and compound fracture when she was heavily pregnant?) this morning. She has been in a lot of pain.

May the Lord have mercy on them!

[Updates: Leo is mostly likely out of surgery and in ICU. The last update on his blog was that they were closing and things were ok. Glory to God! Noah's tests (endoscopy and colonoscopy) were not good. His mother will be talking with the doctors tomorrow about the results, but he is clearly in worse shape than they thought. Lord have mercy!]

6/28/11 - Leo is doing well! There's an update on his site. Glory to God! Prayers that he continues to recover. Svetlana had a successful surgery and is recovering. Please pray for pain relief for her.

Who are Christians?

"Christians are not differentiated from other people by country, languages or customs; you see, they do not live in cities of their own, or speak some strange dialect, or have some peculiar lifestyle. This teaching of theirs has not been contrived by the invention and speculation of inquisitive men; nor are they propagating mere human teaching as some people do. They live in both Greek and foreign cities, wherever chance has put them. They follow local customs in clothing, food and the other aspects of life. But at the same time, they demonstrate to us the wonderful and certainly unusual form of their own citizenship.

They live in their own native lands, but as foreigners; as citizens, they share all things with others; but like foreigners, they suffer all things. Every foreign country is to them as their native country, and every native land is as a foreign country.

They marry and have children, just like everyone else; but they do not kill unwanted babies. They offer a shared table, but not a shared bed. They are at present "in the flesh," but they do not live "according to the flesh." They are passing their days on earth, but are citizens of heaven. They obey the appointed laws, and go beyond the laws in their own lives.

They love everyone, but are persecuted by all. They are unknown and condemned; they are put to death and gain life. They are poor and yet make many rich. They are short everything, and yet have plenty of all things. They are dishonored and yet gain glory through dishonor.

Their names are blackened and yet they are cleared. They are mocked, and bless in return. They are treated outrageously and behave respectfully to others. When they do good, they are punished as evildoers; when punished, they rejoice as if being given new life. They are attacked by Jews as foreigners, and are persecuted by Greeks; yet those who hate them cannot give any reason for their hostility.

To put it simply - the soul is to the body as Christians are to the world. The soul is spread through all parts of the body, and Christians are spread through all the cities of the world. The soul is in the body, but is not of the body; Christians are in the world, but not of the world."

--From the anonymous Letter to Diognetus, written in the 2nd century

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Synaxis of the Saints of North America

(and, because he got left out of that icon, our beloved St. John Maximovitch...)

Kontakion (tone 3)

Today the choir of Saints who were pleasing to God in the lands of North America
Now stands before us in the Church and invisibly prays to God for us.
With them the angels glorify Him,
And all the saints of the Church of Christ keep festival with them;
And together they all pray for us to the Pre-Eternal God.

On the second Sunday after Pentecost, each local Orthodox Church commemorates all the saints, known and unknown, who have shone forth in its territory. Accordingly, the Orthodox Church in America remembers the saints of North America on this day.

Saints of all times, and in every country are seen as the fulfillment of God's promise to redeem fallen humanity. Their example encourages us to "lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us" and to "run with patience the race that is set before us" (Hebrews 12:1). The saints of North America also teach us how we should live, and what we must expect to endure as Christians

Although it is a relatively young church, the Orthodox Church in America has produced saints in nearly all of the six major categories of saints: Apostles (and Equals of the Apostles); Martyrs (and Confessors); Prophets; Hierarchs; Monastic Saints; and the Righteous. Prophets, of course, lived in Old Testament times and predicted the coming of Christ.

The first Divine Liturgy in what is now American territory (northern latitude 58 degrees, 14 minutes, western longitude 141 degrees) was celebrated on July 20, 1741, the Feast of the Prophet Elias, aboard the ship Peter under the command of Vitus Bering. Hieromonk Hilarion Trusov and the priest Ignatius Kozirevsky served together on that occasion. Several years later, the Russian merchant Gregory I. Shelikov visited Valaam monastery, suggesting to the abbot that it would be desirable to send missionaries to Russian America.

On September 24, 1794, after a journey of 7,327 miles (the longest missionary journey in Orthodox history) and 293 days, a group of monks from Valaam arrived on Kodiak Island in Alaska. The mission was headed by Archimandrite Joasaph, and included Hieromonks Juvenal, Macarius, and Athanasius, the Hierodeacons Nectarius and Stephen, and the monks Herman and Joasaph. St Herman of Alaska (December 13, August 9), the last surviving member of the mission, fell asleep in the Lord in 1837.

Throughout the Church's history, the seeds of faith have always been watered by the blood of the martyrs. The Protomartyr Juvenal was killed near Lake Iliamna by natives in 1799, thus becoming the first Orthodox Christian to shed his blood for Christ in the New World. In 1816, St Peter the Aleut was put to death by Spanish missionaries in California when he refused to convert to Roman Catholicism.

Missionary efforts continued in the nineteenth century, with outreach to the native peoples of Alaska. Two of the most prominent laborers in Christ's Vineyard were St Innocent Veniaminov (March 31 and October 6) and St Jacob Netsvetov (July 26), who translated Orthodox services and books into the native languages. Father Jacob Netsvetev died in Sitka in 1864 after a life of devoted service to the Church. Father John Veniaminov, after his wife's death, received monastic tonsure with the name Innocent. He died in 1879 as the Metropolitan of Moscow.

As the nineteenth century was drawing to a close, an event of enormous significance for the North American Church took place. On March 25, 1891, Bishop Vladimir went to Minneapolis to receive St Alexis Toth (May 7) and 361 of his parishioners into the Orthodox Church. This was the beginning of the return of many Uniates to Orthodoxy.

St Tikhon (Belavin), the future Patriarch of Moscow (April 7, October 9), came to America as bishop of the diocese of the Aleutians and Alaska in September 1898. As the only Orthodox bishop on the continent, St Tikhon traveled extensively throughout North America in order to minister to his widely scattered and diverse flock. He realized that the local church here could not be a permanent extension of the Russian Church. Therefore, he focused his efforts on giving the American Church a diocesan and parish structure which would help it mature and grow.

St Tikhon returned to Russia in 1907, and was elected as Patriarch of Moscow ten years later. He died in 1925, and for many years his exact burial place remained unknown. St Tikhon's grave was discovered on February 22, 1992 in the smaller cathedral of Our Lady of the Don in the Don Monastery when a fire made renovation of the church necessary.

St Raphael of Brooklyn (February 27) was the first Orthodox bishop to be consecrated in North America. Archimandrite Raphael Hawaweeny was consecrated by Bishop Tikhon and Bishop Innocent (Pustynsky) at St Nicholas Cathedral in New York on March 13, 1904. As Bishop of Brooklyn, St Raphael was a trusted and capable assistant to St Tikhon in his archpastoral ministry. St Raphael reposed on February 27, 1915.

The first All American Council took place March 5-7, 1907 at Mayfield, PA, and the main topic was "How to expand the mission." Guidelines and directions for missionary activity, and statutes for the administrative structure of parishes were also set forth.

In the twentieth century, in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, countless men, women, and children received the crown of martyrdom rather than renounce Christ. Sts John Kochurov (October 31) and Alexander Hotovitzky (December 4 and August 7) both served the Church in North America before going back to Russia. St John became the first clergyman to be martyred in Russia on October 31, 1917 in St Petersburg. St Alexander Hotovitzky, who served in America until 1914, was killed in 1937.

In addition to the saints listed above, we also honor those saints who are known only to God, and have not been recognized officially by the Church. As we contemplate the lives of these saints, let us remember that we are also called by God to a life of holiness.

(shamelessly lifted straight from the OCA main site)

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Well, I haven't posted anything about gardening once this year. (I think.) That's because I haven't really done any. [pause to let the gasps and shrieks from the audience die down...]

That's right folks: I am not a gardener.

I do love looking at other people's gardens though. I envy those who sport thumbs or other assorted digits in a brilliant green. I may be green, but it is mostly with envy. I got the July Southern Living Thursday and was looking through a fantastically gorgeous hillside garden in Mt. Airy, NC. It was so cottagey with a wildflower look. It was exuberant. I thought about how much I love wildflowers.

I saw another garden, more of a woodsy, rocky one (like those too), and a quote from the gardener jumped out at me, "If asked the question, 'what is your favorite garden', the answer should always be your own."


In the front of our house there are two beds, one on either side of the steps. The soil there is good and you can tell because the weeds just love it. There are also elephant ears and a few of the things that look like banana plants (sorry - remember - not a gardener) and a small clump of salvia, but other than that...

Yesterday I was moving some things on the kitchen counter prior to wiping it and picked up a box of wildflower seed mix.

1 + 1 = 2

After supper, after the shower had moved on, I went out to the front beds armed with shovel, spade, fork, and bug spray. I got the right bed done. I pulled up every weed, uprooting them. I dug the entire bed up (saving the elephant ears and banana thingies). Some of the roots were gigantic, especially the Spanish bayonets. I was absolutely filthy when I came in at dark.

This morning I went out to the left bed, doing the same thing. After cleaning up I got out some different kind of zinnia seeds and the box of wildflower mix. I scattered the zinnias at the back and the mix over the entire thing.

I hope in several weeks I have some pictures to share.

*One* more...then a break.

I have one more award to hand out and then I'm taking a break - unless someone wows me with their "realness" over the weekend! (:

I was scrolling around and realized to my shock that I had intended to give an award and forgotten - that's the plain truth - and it had never happened. Mea Culpa! SO, today's "Keepin' it Real" Award goes to....

For showing us beautiful and inspiring photos of her schoolroom (St. Theophan Academy) and related areas....and also what it looks like when it's not prettied up for a photo shoot! That was a seriously impressive contrast, Anna! You could have left us all in total awe, but you let us in on the real life side too. Thanks. (I encourage you to go to that post even if you have no interest in real life, or something like that, because it is truly a beautiful and impressive home school room.)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Double-Header Day! Another Winner!

Wow, when it rains, it pours (thankfully not literally as we've had enough rain for a while thankyouverymuch). We have another winner for the "Keepin' it Real" Award today:

I have to say, I have been shocked and horrified by what I've found in my purse, and try to remember to dive into its depths on a semi-regular basis for excavation, but I have never actually posted an exact inventory with photos of what I found there. (And she even made the photos look nice!) Congratulations, Rebekah! (And Godspeed on your labor - may it come soon!)

"Keepin' it Real"...Calm

This may be the shortest post to which I ever award a "Keepin' it Real" Award!

And to see why, you'll just have to go to her blog, Working Orthodox Mom. (c;

Congrats, Amanda, and feel free to pass this to anyone else who deserves it!

Prayer Requests

Rebekah, who is due to go into labor any minute with her second child. Her due date is today.

Jodie, who tragically has lost her baby Alexis, the third baby in a year. Lord have mercy!

Elizabeth, who is struggling with both health and job issues.

Baby Ambrose, who is still adjusting to having his tongue clipped and his mother Michelle who is exhausted because of it...and driving with the entire family out of state today...

Baby Lucia, who will be baptised this Saturday and her parents Presv. Magda and Fr. Peter.

Nonna, who is adjusting to new medication with some difficulty.

Baby Leo, who is scheduled to have significant, day-long surgery on his head this Monday. He will need blood transfusions and CANNOT get an infection between now and then.

Basil, the godson of John at Ad Orientem, who was in a serious car accident early this morning.

Sarah and Wyatt, who have requested prayers for housing and job.

Child Noah, who is increasingly frail, facing multiple medical tests and procedures in the next week and who just lost his grandfather, and of course his parents Jeff and Kate.

Through the prayers of St. John the Forerunner, may the Lord have mercy on them!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Boy, I look back at some of the music I used to listen to and wonder where my head was. Not heavy metal or acid rock (No, I didn't listen to those...come on people), but the contemporary Christian pop. Now I will say in all fairness that there are a few of those that I have heard since and still rather like, but the majority...

However, I can still say that in that category I just mentioned, beats the St. Louis Jesuits all hollow. Ick. If you don't know what I'm talking about, then you are blessed.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

So far away...and yet so close

The Fathers are timeless:

It is not good to be either too compliant or too contentious, with the result that one is either so uncritical that he obliges everyone, or so volatile that he cuts himself off from everyone. Lack of discrimination is just as unproductive as infidelity is socially irresponsible. 

--St. Gregory the Theologian (4th C)


We must be super-conservative in preserving the Orthodox Faith and super-modern in propagating it."

  --St. Nikolai Velimirovich (+1956)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Diamond Four Patch Quilt

Remember this?

The intended recipients should be getting this momentarily so I'll go ahead and post it.

Pieced 15 years ago. I hope I've gotten better since then...

Machine quilted with the binding hand-sewn.

Full-size (shown on a queen-size bed...sorry).

Still Keepin' it Real!

Today's "Keepin' it Real" Award goes to...

...for allowing that children may sometimes fight, the car may (accidentally) get crunched, and a host of other things. Svetlana, feel free to pass this along to anyone else you think deserves (or needs) it!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Technical blogging question...

...does anyone know how to have music playing as soon as your blog opens? [note: I swear I will NOT do that to this blog (or to Lost Innocents). I know how annoying that is.]
Many Years to all of our fathers!


Memory Eternal to all of our departed fathers!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Father's Day

Yes, I know Father's Day isn't until Sunday, but Sunday morning is not a great time to cook a big breakfast for your priest husband. Considering that we'll be busy Saturday morning and Monday morning is the beginning of the Apostles' Fast, that left this morning.


Breakfast Casserole
Orange Rolls

(considering the nature of the fast-free week this week and the fast coming up next week, we just omitted the fruit...)

The children made cards. The girls' cards were elaborate as usual and included a large sign ("HAPPY FATHER'S DAY"). Pickles hasn't gotten the hang of holidays that aren't birthdays so he kept asking how old Papa is while making his card. It featured a cake, candles, sparkles and flowers. Ginger must have gotten vaguely confused while helping Pickles with his card, because his featured a big "37" on the front too. (: As we were giving the cards out, Father was joking around, trying to come up with a Father's Day song. Pickles tried to be helpful and in sotto voce sang out the first bit of "Christ is Risen".

By Father's request, we watched his favorite Father's Day video:

More Than the Sum of its Parts Ice Cream Sundae Pie

Goodness knows where this recipe came from. All I know is my MIL gave it to me (Father loves it). It looks so simple but there's just something about the frozen combination that is phenomenal. And it makes a great summer dessert. Children can help (if you don't mind a little mess and a few mysteriously missing Oreos...)

1 package Oreos, coarsely crushed
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/2 gal vanilla ice cream, softened
1 jar hot fudge sauce, melted

Crush Oreos in gallon plastic bag. Add melted butter and mix in bag. Put 3/4 or more in bottom of 9 x 13 in pan and press down lightly. Smooth ice cream over cookies. Pour hot fudge sauce evenly over ice cream. Top with remaining cookie crumbs. Freeze overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope"

I went out on a limb and posted Innocent's story on "Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope". (Note: it is a hybrid of the two stories I've written so it includes more graphic information than the one in the "Your Stories" section of Lost Innocents.) This is a good resource for those looking for similar stories to theirs as one can search by specific categories. His story is here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Personalized Divine Liturgy Book for Kids

Want to make your own personalized Divine Liturgy book for your child(ren)? Athanasia created one and made a template on Shutterfly (or you can just print hers)!

Sometime ago I created a brief liturgy book for my toddler. I filled it with pictures taken over the course of many Sundays. Each page showed a part of the liturgy with what it is called (for example, "Little Entrance," "Gospel Reading," etc). It was a big hit with adults and children in our parish. Many people hoped I would publish it, and I did try. However, Conciliar Press suggested that it was too particular to be of much interest to the larger Orthodox community. I think they are probably right, although I think many people in the Diocese of the Midwest would like it. Conciliar Press thought a better idea would be to offer a template for people to make their own books. Nothing has been done through them to pursue that yet, but it may still happen in the future.

Recently my "toddler" having grown into an older voracious reader asked me for a new liturgy book. So, I sat down and compiled a translation from various sources.* Then, I brought my compilation to church and edited it while DH handled the kids during Sunday liturgy. Now, after much labor, I have decided to share this one with everyone. You can use the template I've created and tweak it with the translation used in your parish and pictures of your church family. This one is very pink for a girly girl, but you can even change the color scheme.
(Go to the link on her site to view the entire book.)

Great work, Athanasia!! (If you use this, consider sending a donation to compensate Athanasia for her significant time investment.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Hey! I joined Ravelry! Nifty!

Ravelry is an online site dedicated to everything yarn: crocheting, knitting, dying, etc. If you're a yarnie, consider looking it over. It looks like a great resource. I have several projects posted and I'll post some more when I've got time.

(Admittedly you have to sign up in order to view anything, but it's easy, free and you aren't subject to spam and ads.)

Drawstring Alphabet Bag

Inspired by someone who is heading to a conference complete with infant and a not-quite-three-year-old who likes letters and needs something quiet to do, I came up with a nifty toy. Being a mother myself (or hadn't you figured that out yet?) I know that the last thing you need is a toy with multiple small pieces that can get lost (or used as projectiles) or that makes noise. Or that uses batteries. Etc.

So here it is. Next time I'll do it a little differently. I've got to figure out some way to attach the letters to the bottom of the bag using something that won't tangle so easily. Lanyard plastic? Any suggestions?

Each side has a strip of clear vinyl sewn with bias tape. The bottom edge is open to admit the letters. Each letter is double-sided and most are made with fleece and/or wool. The ribbons are sewn into the bottom seam.

Here's the other side. I didn't include Q, K, V, X and Z because small children
are unlikely to use those to make words. (I added an extra E.)

When you're done playing, the bag turns inside out (or right-side out, depending on perspective)
so that all of the letters are enclosed in the bag.

Then it closes with a drawstring.

Taa daa!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Joyous Feastday!!


Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God,
Who hast revealed the fishermen as most wise
by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit -
 through them Thou didst draw the world into Thy net.
O Lover of Man, glory to Thee!

(Two good places to see resources for children are here and here.)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

"Lost Innocents" Getting Ready to Roll Out

(That sounds like a newspaper headline about a new car model - too funny.)

When I first started Lost Innocents, I said I wanted to have it done by Pentecost. Well, Pentecost is tomorrow and I think that while this site is never going to be "finished" as such - there will always be stories being added, etc. - it's finished enough to call "finished". I added a new page last night called "Specific to Stillbirth". It had come to my attention that while there's more nitty-gritty information about stillbirth out there than about miscarriage, there still isn't much from an Orthodox perspective. Women had written telling me that "this site was helpful despite being about miscarriage and not about stillbirth." While I'm glad it was helpful, I don't want anyone to have to filter through things in order to glean any help. Since I haven't had a stillbirth I asked the assistance of a woman who had one early this year. She responded with extreme graciousness and now there is a new page.

After Pentecost is over I will be starting the process of getting the site "out there" by sending the information to various priests around the country. Help is no good if you can't find it and putting the information in the hands of the ones who are going to be called upon for assistance seems reasonable. This is somewhat intimidating and not something I would have thought up on my own (it was Father's suggestion), but I hope that Lost Innocents can fill a void that shouldn't have existed.

[Update: it's officially "done" and out there. Feel free to send the information to anyone you think might be able to make use of it.]

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Bible-believing, Full-Gospel....Orthodox Church

I've heard before the assertion that the Protestant "Bible churches" or "Full-Gospel churches" really use the Holy Scriptures in their services, while the Catholic and Orthodox churches use "man-made liturgies". I don't want to be snarky here so I'm going to suggest that it is most probable that the vast majority of the people making these assertions have never actually attended a Catholic Mass or Orthodox Divine Liturgy nor have read either of them. That said, since it is something likely to come up, I thought I'd stick my neck out on the chopping block for a few minutes and address it.

I'm not going to get into the differences in how Protestants and Catholics and Orthodox believe the Bible was written/inspired/etc. That can be a topic for another day (but there are two good posts here). This is actually looking at how much actual, quoted Scripture is used in the course of the Divine Liturgy (and Mass). I found a fantastic analysis of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom here (see below) done by the V. Rev. John Matusiak. It's much, much more than just the Epistles and Gospel. From the Opening Doxology to the Dismissal, the Liturgy is hopscotching all over the Old and New Testaments.  You can't get away from the Bible no matter where you look. There is also a discussion to be found here.

 The Catholic Mass too is based entirely upon Holy Scripture (article here).

As for how much Scripture is used in the course of a Protestant service, obviously it depends on the brand of Protestantism and that can be wildly divergent. I am vaguely familiar with what is used in the mainline Baptist churches and a little more familiar with what is used in the Episcopal churches and those are certainly seated on different parts of the spectrum. In any event, this was more addressing the assertion that the Orthodox and Catholics do not base their services on the Holy Scriptures, not about how much the Protestants do.

And on a lighter note, a sign I found while looking around...

Amazing similarities...

I haven't done a music post in a long time. I was listening to a bookmarked Youtube clip the other day and suddenly I realized what it reminded me of: Sacred Harp singing or Shape Note singing. For those not familiar, go here. Listen to these clips and you'll be amazed at the similarity.

(This is Christmas music. The first one is the one that reminded me of shape note music, but the second one is really my favorite: Nebo i Zemlja (Heaven and Earth))

This has some information about Sacred Harp music:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Apron from a Thrifted Dress #2

I liked the first apron I made so much (and wear it to the exclusion of all others now) that I decided to snag another linen dress the last time I was at the thrift store. This time I found one that had a lovely flower and leaves pattern along the hem and the waistband. I was fool enough not to take a picture before I started cutting, but it was just one of those typical sleeveless jumper numbers that were so, so common in the early 90's. The dress wasn't bad in and of itself, but I always look dreadful in them so turning them into aprons is very satisfying. I was also very bad and took no pictures of the process but it was very easy.

I liked the waistband but if I used it as such the apron would be too long. I cut it out, leaving an edge of plain fabric. I separated it into two parts to use as ties. Then I did some trimming on what was left including cutting the skirt straight up the back. I took the bulky seams out of the sides especially since there were hemmed slits there too. (When I say "took them out" I mean cut them out entirely.) Then I stitched the two halves of the back onto either side of the front. I basted the top of the skirt and pulled to gather it. I saved some of the top of the skirt when I cut it down a bit and used that to make a new waistband. Then there was some hemming and finishing work. I folded the flowery bits I was using as ties in half lengthwise, stitched them down the center then attached them to the waistband. I used some invisible slip-stitching by hand just to make it neater.

Indiana, sitting out the photo shoot.