Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Free Family ;-)

Well, let's see, our latest development with our dietary issues is this...Jay's adrenal glands are so shot they are not able to handle small amounts of an allergic reaction to anything, as a result, they are not as bad as before, but that is not saying much. His repair will be uphill, but at least we have the problem and are going from there, it is just a battle. Poor guy, he feels great, but he can't eat as much (unless he has a reaction and does not absorb anything) and he is trying to gain some weight which is hard for him, especially in the summer. we are trying to up his calorie intake with an additional nuts and seed mix (with chocolate chips and raisins, etc) to keep him going. We have recently found out he cannot have peanuts anymore, he may never be able to since his reaction was partially anaphylactic, but we will see.
Katherine is off of cow milk products and we think that may have been the issue in the first place, not peanuts, although, those have to stay out of the house now anyway =)
There are all the things I cannot have...lots of fruits, almonds, carrots, now it seems dairy either and I do not eat meat...where does this leave us? Well, we eat a lot of whole food type things: fruits, veggies, rice, beans, eggs, fish, meat for them sometimes, nuts, seeds, etc. It is actually a pretty good diet of refinement. I don't think it is good for people to eat too much processed foods as it is, it just isn't natural. And there is a whole LOT of stuff that has additives that just aren't necessary, just check your natural foods store, lots of the same things, without all the gunk. I know, just not practical for everyone to shop at the natural markets, but even a little bit helps. Ok, enough rambling...for now ;-)
So, that puts us: Gluten, cow milk, peanut free (and for me, that whole list too) family.
I am ok with it now, especially since we are learning how to 'deal' with his reactions to things...they could be lurking anywhere. Well, from here, we just keep on going, trying to repair Jay's such extensive damage from years (who knows how many, really) of problems. It is my suspicion that his adrenal glands would not be quite so bad had he not been practically living on adrenaline in Iraq, but such is life and our struggles. We are doing our best to rise to the challenge. There is a test Jay could take that could help us to see just how bad his glands are, but that is $100 and we cannot afford it right least we know what to avoid, maybe that will work out in the nearer future also...
Anyway, just a ramble today, that is about it...'til next time!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

From where I stand

From where I stand
There is love
Sweet love
A calm that stirs the soul

From where I stand
My heart is yearning
If you
only see it

From where I stand
Complete peace
Heart warming
In and out of struggles

From where I stand
No beginning
There is no end
A taste of life

From where I stand
Feelings of completion

From where I stand
You could too
We could walk together
Talk together
Cry together

From where I stand
My heart breaks
With love
For every
In my own imperfect way

From where I stand
The gates of Hell
Shall NOT prevail
The Word of God
Forever unto all ages

From where I stand
My body may go
My soul will never stop

From where I stand
The journey is just begun
Staff in hand
Face to the Son
Heart on sleeve

From where I stand
I pray
God grant me prayer
God grant me humility
God grant me strength
to bear my cross

From where I stand
Is the only place
I choose

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"Father, what must I do to be saved?"

I am reading this book, Shepherd of Souls, the Life and Teachings of Elder Cleopa, Master of Inner Prayer and Spiritual Father of Romania (1912-1998), by Archimandrite Ioanichie Balan. I very much like it and found this little tidbit when I was reading last night about one of the Elder's brothers who also was monastic, Brother Basil. He would often visit and bring provisions of food to desert-dwellers if they allowed it.

'While delivering the provisions, he would often ask the Elders for a profitable word.
Once he asked a desert-dweller, "Father, what must I do to be saved?"
"Br. Basil," replied the Elder, "pray constantly, do your obedience with love, and have humility. If you guard these three, you will surely be saved." '

Hmm, sounds way easier than it is, and yet, still so simple...I really like this book a lot, highly recommended! =)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


This was a hunk of Fr Boris' homily on sunday and I really liked it. It got my attention and I nearly laughed out loud in church (OOPS!) when I heard him say the word 'stupid'...I don't think I have ever heard him say that word in a homily, um, ever! In any case, do not let my comment take away from the content and purpose, it is all very good =) Enjoy!

"On the Power and Influence of Good Deeds

It is difficult, my brethren, to dispute with an atheist; it is difficult to converse with a stupid
man; it is difficult to change an embittered man. It is only with the greatest difficulty that you
will convince an atheist, a stupid man or an embittered man with words. Firstly, you must
sway them by your deeds. They will come, “by your good works, which they shall behold, to
glorify God” (I Pet. 2:12). Do good to him who would quarrel with you, and you will win the
argument. A single act of compassion will penetrate to a stupid man and soften a bitter man
more quickly than hours of discussion. If atheism and stupidity and bitterness proceed from
ignorance, that ignorance is like a fury that is most easily bridled by the influence of good
deeds. If you argue with an atheist on his own diabolical terms, you simply strengthen the
demon of atheism. If you converse with a stupid man in a spirit of derision, the darkness of
stupidity will be made the greater. If you think to change a bitter man by anger, you will
merely add more fuel to the fire of bitterness. But a meek and well-intentioned act is like
throwing water on the flames.

Always remember the holy apostles and their behavior towards men. If an atheist challenges
you, then it is not the man that challenges you but the devil, for man is by nature devout and
tends Godwards. If a stupid man scoffs at you, then it is not the man who scoffs but the devil,
for man is by nature intelligent. If a bitter man persecutes you, it is not the man that is doing
this but the devil, for man is by nature good and well-disposed. It is the devil that challenges
us in lengthy debates and fruitless discussions, but he flees from the power of good deeds. Do
good in the name of Christ, and the devil will flee. You will be working with men, men who
are devout and intelligent and good. Everything, therefore, that you do, be sure that you do it
in the name of Christ.

The Prologue from Ochrid: Lives of the Saints and Homilies for Every Day in the Year by
Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic from the entry for June 30 (vol. 2, p 380)

Hope y'all liked it as much as I did =) Caio!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My Swap Package

Ok, so here goes...I got my swap items from Susan Sophia just the other day. This is my attempt at posting them so everyone can share in the goodies. I received AAA travel books and detailed travel guide of my trip from Aurora, Colorado all the way to St Brigid's farm in washington (her house) with a few stops at monasteries on the way. There were sunflower seeds, gum and refreshing beverage, what every road trip needs. There was a little magna doodle for Katherine, a shirt of St Brigid's Farm, a story by one of her daughter's about their farm, brochures for monasteries and a lovely framed picture of St Anthony's at sunset. WOW!!!

Look at all my loot =) Thanks Susan Sophia!!! The whole family enjoyed opening it with me, Katherine could hardly wait while I took pictures and arranged it =) This was pretty fun, let's do it again sometime...and who knows, I just may have to use my itinerary to get there one of these days =)
Here is Susan Sophia's blog if anyone is interested =) : You may have to copy and paste, I am not so computer savvy to be able to stick it in there :)
Thanks again!

Travel Swap

I did receive my package from Susan Sophia and I PROMISE to get it up as soon as I have a spare moment to figure out how to post the pictures on that part of the blog, so we will see. We have also taken family vacation so I will try to get them up tonight.
THANK YOU SUSAN SOPHIA!!! I Took pictures strait away, I just have to get them off the card and into the blog =)