Autumn as Changing Leaves

20 October 13

Well, as I write this I am sitting at the Dunn’s dining room table waiting for 3AM to come along so we can get the kids up and begin the trek back home to Arizona. Well, home for a little bit longer at least. We spent the last week in Ashland, Oregon and it has been an amazing and enlightening rip for all of us. Well, mostly the adults, because the children at random points during the vacation had moments of breakdown where all they wanted was to go home. Sorry kids, soon this will BE home.

I’ve known for a while now that our time in AZ was winding down. This past summer has been horrendous with the heat. Most of the summer was spent in triple digits with the last few months ranging from 110-118 degrees. Sorry, that sounds like Hell.. and it sure felt like it. So, during all of this we starting talking to Xenia and family about coming out to visit and we settled on Fall Break where I would have a week off of work. We came out the evening of the 11th and at this point I just want to stay.

The experience has really been amazing and we are making finite plans for a relocation at the end of the school year, unless God sees fit to move that time table forward any between now and then. We stayed in Ashland, but took a trip to Medford to drop some things off and to get a feel for that town as well since we have a choice of 4 cities to live in. Ashland is a city of the Arts. Lots of music and craft fairs, street musicians, farmers markets, theatre, pubs, and just a great “small town” feel to it all. We love it here. Sadly, the price of homeownership reflects the awesomeness enshrined in this town. Renting is bearable, but homeownership, not so much.

From the English Pub we went to on Sunday afternoon after church to the two farmers markets we got to see, the amazing food, it all has left an impression that I just can’t explain well. What I do know, and what Kat agrees with me on is the fact that this is where we want to relocate as soon as the house we are living in sells. It’s sort of like, I knew it before the trip, but even mores afterwards that this was going to be the end result.

I have told some people, and most of the people who know are not very happy with the idea, but in the end it is what it is. I need a change, in many different ways, for many different reasons. I’ve been in AZ for 17 years now and between the drama and the heat I feel like I am suffocating. I need fresh air and a fresh start and a move like this will give me those things.

Honestly, if I look at this spiritually, I seriously need a reboot. Through all of the struggles with past situations, the current mission, work, all of that, I need to start back from scratch and rework my salvation from the bottom up. After attending Vespers, Liturgy, the Men’s group during the week, I feel like this is the place for this to best occur.

There are so many things I could write, many things I could share, and I might do that over time, but for now I will close here and get ready as best I can to prepare for our return trip to AZ.

God be merciful to me a sinner.

Painting the Nut House

6 October 12

Well, we did it. We panted the kitchen. In 31 years I have lived in approx. 16 apartments, 1 condo, a trailer in the middle of nowhere God-forsaken NM.. and finally I live somewhere where the walls are not all white and sterile.

We went with a butter cream yellow for the walls, a tea light yellow for the lintel and jambs. In the final image you can see the variations of colours.

South wall of the kitchen with doorway into the "Parlour Room"

South wall of the kitchen with doorway into the “Parlour Room”

North facing view of the kitchen looking into the den

North-facing view looking into the den

We wil be covering the white spaces.

We wil be covering the white spaces.

We are probably going to work on the parlour room next with some shade of green, althugh we have not decided on a final colour. These yelow shades were acquired through Freecycle. Someone had no use for them. Thank you someone. We took care of the entire kitchen with about a pint of each of the two colours. Not bad if I do say so myself. More pictures to follow as soon as there is more painting excitedness.

Martyr Ludmilla, Grandmother of St Wenceslaus

15 September 12

Also commemorated on 16 September:

Martyr Ludmilla the grandmother of St Wenceslaus the Prince of the Czechs

Martyr Ludmilla the grandmother of St Wenceslaus the Prince of the Czechs

The Holy Martyr Ludmilla, a Czech (Bohemian) princess, was married to the Czech prince Borivoy. Both spouses received holy Baptism from St Methodius, Archbishop of Moravia and Enlightener of the Slavs (Comm. 11 May).

As Christians, they showed concerned for the enlightening of their subjects with the light of the true Faith, they built churches and invited priests to celebrate the divine services. Prince Borivoy died early at age 36. St Ludmilla, as a widow, led an austere, pious life and continued to be concerned for the Church during the reign of her son Bratislav, which lasted for 33 years.

Bratislav was married to Dragomira, with whom he had a son, Vyacheslav. After the death of Bratislav, eighteen-year-old Vyacheslav came on the throne. Taking advantage of the inexperience and youth of her son, Dragomira began to introduce pagan manners and customs in the country.

St Ludmilla, of course, opposed this. Dragomira came to hate her mother-in-law and tried to destroy her. When St Ludmilla moved away to the city of Techin, Dragomira sent two boyars in secret to murder her. St Ludmilla was praying at the time, and the two assassins entered the house and carried out Dragomira’s orders.

The relics of the holy Martyr Ludmilla was buried in Techin in the city wall. Numerous healings occurred at her grave. Prince Vyacheslav transferred the body of St Ludmilla to the city of Prague and placed it in the church of St George.

Home Sweet Home

21 March 12

We moved everything into the new place this past Saturday with the help of some friends from Church, Rach’s brother and some friends from his church group. The whole process took about 5 hours from start to finish. Not to bad. We got the bedrooms set up and parts of the house situated.

After a few days in the house things are well and little by little things are making their way to where and how we want them. Today I put a lock on the back gate, bought a lock to install on the back door, a plug for the tub and installed Rach’s curtains in the living room. She is happy to have a room that is shaded.

We still need to put up the other three rods and curtains in the kitchen and the den. We will get there. The list of things to do is rather long, but little buy little we will trod our way through it.

Oh, and did I mention that we lasted in this house all of four days before we got a dog? Yep, we adopted/rescued a dog we found on Craigslist yesterday. His name is Dexter. He is half greyhound and half German Shepherd. He had a rough first night, but he did OK today and seems to have warmed up to the family. Judah loves him, Talia is thrilled to have a dog.. (just wait til she has chores in the backyard!) The people we got Dex from called him Monster when he was younger.. Talia seems to have taken a liking to this and so this is what she calls him jokingly. Silly girl.

So as I sit here tonight I think of how great life is.. I have a home, a family, a dog.. what else can I ask for?

Soon, Soon..

16 August 11

It is funny how different things look when you are next in line to inherit a classroom. As the first few weeks of school shoot by I have been slowly making a list, some of it mental, and some of it on paper, of the changes that will happen when I am passed the reigns of JE#6.

Some small things, some others seem to me to be bigger things, from classroom environment as well as day to day things to some moving around of the materials. I just think that things will work better. It may be next year or maybe or a little later, but I am looking forward to it.

Also, I am looking forward to the little training seminar at the end of Sept. The weekend of my birthday in fact. Slowly things are coming together. We have a lot of  GREAT staff additions this year and I am looking forward very much to spending the next 172 days with them and the great kids we are working with this year.

Also found out today that we CAN get financed with a lender and are not required to go through the other program we were originally going to go through. We have found a lot of great homes and can not wait to start going out and looking at them. Will be posting pictorial possibilities soon.

10 Days In

14 August 11

Last week was the first week of school and the week before was work week where we set things up for the year and got the classroom ready, but now that that is all over we are in the thick of things and I am loving every minute of it.

My classroom feels great, looks great, and our 26 little brains are soaking in the Montessori wonderfulness. We are working through a lot of really great projects and we have some GREAT kids, but things are totally swamping me.

Working from 8-4 5 days a week does not seem like a lot, but I am also soaking in a lot. Things are changing at work in a lot of key areas, I also going to start training sometime this fall, also we are looking for a house and having something that is finally ours.

Things are crazy but I am making it through day by day loving it. We went to the pool today and had a lot of fun. As soon as I can get the pictures from Rachel’s phone I will post them here. Judah had a lot of fun in the starfish floatie and did really well and Talia had her arm floaties and she had a great time as well, to the point where she did not want to leave, but then again wherever we go, she never does! Silly girl.

Tomorrow she is going to have some of her other friends over to go swimming (again!) and she has been waiting all weekend for this. She is such a little social butterfly it is awesome.

Off to bed now, but will post later on. Hopefully before next weekend! 🙂

Martinka Family Icon: COMPLETED!

1 August 11

A few months ago, back in March, when we got my tax return we decided to commission a Family icon. This means that we commissioned an icon that had all of the patron saints of our family.

Counter-clockwise from bottom left St. Juvenaly of Alaska (+1796), Saint Katherine the Great Martyr(+305), Saint Konstanin of Merkushino (+1918), and Saint Natalia of Nicomedia (+306)

The image below is a pre-varnish image sent the other day. Nun Anastasia started the varnishing process today (4 coats) and said that will take a week or so to finish and then she will send another image of the icon when it is varnished, I absolutely LOVED her work before when looking at her website, now that I have an icon of my very own of hers I am ecstatic.

Martinka Family Icon

Martinka Family Icon

Summer Loves

30 July 11

As promised, here are the pictures I took yesterday of the little frogs in the pool. Talia made a friend while we were there, sadly, she is not from AZ, she was visiting her grandma for part of the summer and she leaves tomorrow. We made another swim date for Talia and her new friend this morning. I wish there was a place we could live where Talia had more friends she makes friends easily and is in no ways shy, o it is sad when she does make friends and they go away for one reason or another.  Oh well, on to the pics!

94 Hours and the End of Summer

29 July 11

Today is the last day of summer camp and with it marks the end of the pay period. This means that in the last 11 days I have worked 94 hours give or take and will receive that paycheck at the end of next week. As hard as it was at times it was a lot of fun.

Now to celebrate. As soon as I finish this post we are going to head out the pool and I am going to enjoy some time with my “Nemo” fish and my little water frog. Talia has been asking for us to all go swimming for the past few days so it will be the good end to a great summer program.

I will try to get some pictures to post of my little swimmers.

Just A Bit of an Obsession..

20 July 11

Well, since I am on a Youtube video kick I will also post a video of my latest obsession. Well, it is more of a family obsession. We started watching Dr. Who a few weeks ago and are now working our way through season 5, but here is a small video tribute I found online that I really like. 🙂 Enjoy!