*In a Nut Shell

Tiny with a ‘tude

Anastasia is 3 years old going on 17.

She is quite confident in all decisions she makes for herself; howeverh she is incredibly shy and can’t tell you what she ate for breakfast unless you are a dude she has become smitten with in a matter of minutes of meeting.

She has really blossomed in her role as the big kid having to deal only with Boyd while the actual big kids are at school. She is a regular conversationalist and knows she is all that and a bag of chips. No, I take that back… Two bags of chips.

Her love language is music. I just made that up. But, she adores music and songs and singing. It is too adorable for words and on more than one occasion we have been stopped mid-Winco trip in an empty store to let us know how her beautiful voice is such a delight carrying through the aisles for the shoppers to hear.

She has been taking ballet for about 3 weeks now and absolutely LOVES it. We signed her up for a short program to see if she would actually cooperate and take to the idea, and let me tell ya, she’s uh takin’! It is so fun to watch her finger little ballerina thing and beam her cheesy little grin when she gets a compliment after doing a good job with one move or another.

All this brings me to the fact that Anastasia is still infact 3. Yes, three years old. A threenager in many ways, but three just the same.

And she is number 6 in a long line of seven siblings. She is definitely low man on the totem pole, much to her pretty dismay I might add. So after ruling the roost most of each day, she is railroaded and pushed not once, not twice, but five spaces back to her respective role at lowly sixth place.

No say. No clout. No leverage. Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Zip.

Until recently. And only with one kid: Phillip. Mr number 4 in the line. Two hops up from her is Phillip and she has figured out how to own him and rule all the ruleable things when it comes to any sort of involvement with Phillip.

Even when the card doesn’t play, she still pulls it out with such authority, you can’t help but wonder if maybe there is some truth to it.

You see, Phillip has a wheat allergy that is treated as a gluten intolerance which translates to gluten free in the world of groceries and dessert and school party forms. Yes rice. Yes corn. Yes potatoes. No wheat. But I digress…

Enter Anastasia.

Today, Phillip wanted to have a sip of a juice that I gave to Anastasia after a low. She was determined not to share but kept getting plowed by the older kids and losing out on all her precious juice. Finally, Phillip tried to swoop in and she shouted, “No, Phillip! You can’t have my drink! It is *NOT* gluten free!!” and ran away.

A few days ago, he wanted to see a picture she had colored and was showing off to Karolina, but she pulled it close to her and twisted her back and replied, rather snooty-like, “No. This isn’t gluten free so you can’t see it.”

He recently wanted to juloin everyone on the trampoline to play “gah gah ball” (is that a real thing, or are my kids special?) Phillip couldn’t get on because there was gluten on the leaves that fell on the trampoline that they were using for added enjoyment in their game.

Naturally, none of this works because 99% of the time she is wrong and there actually is no wheat or gluten in the substance, liquid, or activity he wants to partake in. However, it is a very strong argument, and could be very persuasive in the appropriate situation, halting further action. She has seen the power of the statement “that has gluten, don’t eat it Phillip” has and she is so determined to be a big somebody’ boss that this is her call to arms!

And, I laugh every. single. time. she says it.


*In a Nut Shell

Never a dull moment

We have seen some dark moments for sure, but never dull.

I don’t mean dark like “terrible; where is the way out of this trial?!” sort of dark, just the “lights out!” sort of dark.

Last night, our house was hit by lightening!!

It was really loud and really shocking and really bright.

And then really not bright. ;)

I was holding my phone after having just plugged it in before going to bed when it happened. There was a literal glow/spark in my hand and I felt the electricity shoot up my arm and then down both my legs.

Felicity was in the bathroom and was so disoriented by what happened, she couldn’t find her way out so got pretty freaked out.

The boys and Anastasia stayed sound asleep, but the older girls were all awake for it and were shaken. Faith said she could feel it in her head.

All is well this morning though! The power company came out and had to replace the switch to switch us back on, but we are up and running again. The girls are tired and my hand is still tingling and my legs are achy, but all things considered, we are doing great!

I’ve been checking all our things that were plugged in and it all seems to be in order. At this point, the only damage done was to my phone cord and it is fried. I got zapped real good!


Thank You Jesus for keeping us safe!

This now brings me to ask the question:   Should I go buy some scratchers and a lotto ticket?!

*In a Nut Shell


A few days ago, I read this post about the social pushes on women from a regular woman’s perspective. 

I agreed with about 99.9% of everything she said. And I don’t even go to work. Nor do I have to struggle with maybe having to go back to work, especially after having a baby.

Not to mention all the points on being healthy, or the me time, or being the “it guy” in day to day life.

So. Much. Pressure.

It brought to mind a recent post one of the moms I follow on Instagram shared about how everyone only shares their life’s highlights all over social media and how we spend our time competing with someone else’s 5 minutes of glimmer when in reality we are all drowing in something and we need to be supporting each other in those things.

Each person, each family, is on their own path toward Heaven doing their normal. I call it “their normal” because the truth is? There is no such thing as normal. There is only the idea of normal. So, we all have to choose the path of normal that is best for ourselves and our family and move forward without comparing to someone else’s normal. We are all on our own path and in different stages or phases of that journey.

In the end, we are never going to win at this life if we don’t strive to impress God and Him alone.

The reality of social norms is that we will never win because there are no social norms. You are going to be persecuted if you don’t persue a career or return to work 6 weeks after you have a baby, and you’re going to be persecuted for leaving your little baby home to return to work. You simply won’t ever win.

Don’t let society’s “normal,” or your Instagram Following List’s “normal,” or your ever growing Facebook Friend List’s “normal” dictate what your normal is.

Choose the moral normal that fits you and your family best and work at that. Allow only room for growth and not going backwards. Your normal is for you and my normal is for me.

We are not in a competition.

We will not compare.

However, we will support each other because we are all following Christ. Like Christ needed Simon of Cyrene, we too need all the help we can get!

*In a Nut Shell

Easter Pascha 2019

Today we celebrate Christ’s resurrection into Heaven for by death He has trampled death.

In the Eastern Church, Easter is called Pascha which means the feast of all feasts.

At Divine Liturgy on this Bright morning, it begins with Paschal Matins, processing around the church. When we end up at the closed door of the church, the priest reads the Gospel about finding the empty tomb, bangs on the door three times, and says “Lift up your gates, O ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates, and the King of Glory shall enter in.” From the other side of the door comes the question, “Who is this King of Glory?” the priest responds, “The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in war. Lift up your gates, O ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates, and the King of Glory shall enter in.”

When everyone has entered the church, we begin to sing the Paschal troparion “Christ is risen from the dead! By death he trampled death, and to those in tomb He granted life.” It is sung over and over, the church resounding with the triumphant sound of loud stomping on satan when we come to the words “trampled death.”

Throughout Liturgy and continued these 50 days following during the Pascha celebration until Pentecost, the priest and deacons say three times, once in Greek, Aramaic, and then English:

“Christ is risen!” and the congregation responds “Indeed, He is risen!”

What a fantastic day! May your celebrations be deep and holy on this glorious feast day and throughout these days following to Pentecost.

God bless you and Happy Easter! He IS Risen!