Saturday, April 05, 2014

Greedy for virtuous strength, or: confession

Just realized I forgot to post about yesterday. Husband and I had confession with Fr. Elias, and for the first time I went first (they decided, since Timmo looked like he might go to sleep in Fr. Peter's arms—he didn't). Going first is way better, since I didn't have all the time my husband was confessing to worry about how unprepared I was. Got plenty of advice on what to do with the children in church (lower expectations of participation, don't worry about anyone's opinion except Christ's, bring quiet books).

Had an interesting time decorating the icon in the afternoon. We decided that Fr. Peter would go during naptime to get flowers and stop by Michael's to get more foam for a frame, since the large frame would be needed for some icons during Holy Week. That meant he needed to take the frame with him, so I started taking off the flowers—and a certain lovely lady who had decorated the icon last week seems to have completely replaced the foam frame! It was a wonderful treat, and saved us time and energy on a busy day. Fr. Peter and Teddy went out to get flowers from Aldi and came back with a mixed bouquet, and three of six roses each (one pink, two red).

I took off the old flowers and put them in a boxlid, carefully putting the pins on the table next to it. I asked my husband to take the flowers out to be put with the yard waste. While he was out dumping, I noticed that there were only three pins on the table. I asked Teddy where the pins were. "I put them in the box."

So my husband who is fighting off a cold got more clothes on and patiently sorted through the yard waste and came up with about 12. He came in and asked how many we started with. I wasn't sure, but thought about 25 or 27—and I need at least one per rose, 'cause they're persnickety like that. He said it was really hard as I'd filled the yardy halfway with brown sticks and leaves and the pins really blended in and there wasn't much of a way to distinguish them. So we tested the refrigerator magnets, and they were strong enough to work pretty well, and he came back with several more. (There are probably a few in the yardy, but there were enough for all the roses and a few more for the other flowers. We should really figure out where to buy some more...)

It was fun getting the lights from the chandelier to frame Mother and Child.

Before we left for church, I made sure the kids had eaten. I snatched up (we're always in a rush) about five books about church and saints and off we went. On the way there, I reviewed what we do when we get to church with the children, and told them that this time we were going to sit one pew back from where we usually sit, and our job was to stay there and to be quiet. (The front pew where we usually make camp is open to the front of the church, with no physical barrier.)

I actually had a pretty good time with the kids in church. Teddy started in the altar but came out after a while and looked through the children's books and paged through the Akathist book and pestered me about what page we were on, etc. He didn't want to read the prayer that week, but seemed rather content when I didn't bother him about standing, sitting, facing the front, etc. Lucia had her baby doll and was taking care of her while I was taking care of Timmo. (We both went to the back of the church and walked around for a bit, patting our babies on their backs. Must remember not to step backwards while I have my shadow trailing me so closely.) She was a bit distressed a couple of times about the "don't leave the pew" rule, but mostly adhered to the idea. Timmo was pretty tired and fussy. He really wanted to go to Daddy, especially when there was censing. I had stuck a necklace of wooden spools in my pocket, and brought that out. Timmo was quite happy with that for a while, and very good at not smacking them into anything (which didn't help my nerves, because I kept expecting him to). When he got really fussy, a couple of parishioners took him over and kept him mostly downstairs after a while. He was ready to go to sleep, but kept fighting it. One reported he kept tugging at his right ear. (No no no no.)

So we're still working things out and seeing what works and what doesn't, and sometimes what worked before doesn't work any more. Hope everyone (especially me) has the patience for this.