Friday, December 30, 2011

A Week Before Christmas...

After a great and beautiful day


today my chest cold is back.

I am making a good supper in hopes

of regaining some strength.

Thanking God that He sent his Son

our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

on Christmas day...

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Kate, Noah's Mom,

updated her blog on how Noah is doing.


It was wonderful to be at the monastery

and to have children such as Noah prayed for.


A small prayer request for me-

it seems that the rash I have gotten before

is back again.

Thankfully I know what to do and God willing

it subside soon.

Still I admit it is a bit of a bummer to have

return again but God is with us

and will not abandon us.

Day at the Monastery

It was so wonderful to be at

the monastery.

So beautiful.

Beautiful day,

my favourite weather - sunny, cold, snow on the ground,

so good to see the sisters there.

Loved this Christmas greeting in French!

Soon will God willing be the new year

and after this

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at my church.

I have a lot to be thankful for

and give thanks to God for such a beautiful first day

of my 35th year!

Beginning of 35

God willing I am off the monastery soon!

My Mom gave me cute china egg holders

so I think I will have a lovely

tea/brunch for a

later birthday party

and use them!


Please pray for our travels as it has snowed in Ottawa this week!


Thanking God for year 35!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

End of 34


Tomorrow I turn 35.

I'm please about it.

A new year,

with new things to hope for...

Tomorrow I am Lord willing

going to the Greek monastery for the day.

I can't think of a better way to

spend my birthday than this.

I've been sick with a bad chest cold

for a good while;

I really hope for the strength to go tomorrow.

I had a great evening and dinner with good friends


a lovely last night to being 34.

I am grateful for all I have been given,

including my family

and my Oma whose panahkyda I hope to do

this coming Sunday.

I am grateful for little things,

like finding my silver ring

that I wear in memory of my Grandfather

that my Grandma got for me after he

died, by my request.

I am grateful for each of you

and for all of God's mercy and goodness.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Latest on Noah

From Noah's Mom via FB:

Praising the Lord for a sweet nurse friend (she was Noah's home health nurse most of his life) who came and spent the night with him last night and did all his meds so Jeff and I could sleep. In the not-at-all-good news front, we found out today that Noah's urine is infected with MRSA. Moving to aggressive antibiotic coverage tonight and praying that this doesn't hit his bloodstream. He's allergic to some of the best antibiotics for this infection, unfortunately. In addition to the regular prayer requests, please pray for sleep, rest, and peace for Noah. He has been VERY agitated for the last 20 hours or so. He cries when he's awake, he cries when he's asleep, and he only sleeps tiny bits at a time.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Prayers for this evening

Such a blessing I have been given in a quiet day.

As we continue to pray for Noah,

can I please also ask prayers for my beloved

blog friend MamaJuliana?

She has had two surgeries this past year

Asking your prayers.

Quiet and Remembering

I had begun fasting on the new calendar

for Christmas

so I could celebrate with friends in Ottawa

since I am not able to be with my family.

We have a nice dinner together.

I got to hold my godson.

I realized that

today I have to reserve as a quiet day.

Still recovering from my chest cold

and realized I needed a day

to remember my Oma

as I am still

processing her passing

from life to life.

I am greatly looking forward

God willing

to the panakhyda for her this coming Sunday.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Noah - Fighting and Struggling

Please pray for Noah that

he will be comforted and not afraid about

leaving his family in order to

go to heaven with Jesus.

Pray for Kate and Jeff his parents for strength

and for every mercy...

His siblings, including Matthew.

For mercy - God's loving-kindness.

Please see here for the latest on Noah.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve, Part 2

Noah woke up today

and was sitting up in bed,

his mother Kate related to us today via FB.

Thanking God for this mercy.

It is still a very hard situation...

I called my MI Aunt,

my Mom's oldest sister,

since I had missed calling her for her birthday

and today is/would of been/was my Oma's

103 birthday.

So we are all thinking of my Oma a lot.

My first Christmas (n.c.)

without family.

I am physically exhausted from my cold but

am really hoping to make it to part of vigil

as there are special icons there of the

Mother of God.

I also hope to make it to o.c. liturgy at my church

tomorrow and dinner with my close

friends later that day.


The goodness is that Christ came on Christmas to be with us

no matter the pain, joy or sorrow we find ourselves in.

Christmas Eve - December 24, 2011

Today my is my Oma's 103 birthday

(I say this because she is still alive in heaven).

I am asking God to send my Oma

my love to her this day

through the Holy Spirit.

It is nice to know that we can do this...


I have been feeling unwell for a while

and now have a head/chest cold.

Drinking lots of tea and resting.

Don't know if I can make it to the Christmas dinners

I was to go to tomorrow.

All this is in God's hands.


Still praying for Noah,

no new news yet...

Lord have mercy on him

and his family.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Continued Prayers Needed

Talked to my Grandma Ruth today.

She was in a lot of pain yesterday

but is doing a bit better today.

She is on pain killers

and still sounds very tired.

Please continue to pray for her



And of course we are all keeping vigil for

young precious Noah...

Here's the lastest update from his Mother Kate:

Noah is very gravely sick. He is a little better than he was earlier -
this afternoon both lungs were filling with fluid and he was not
responding to lasix - was barely peeing at all, in fact. A second dose
of lasix opened the floodgates and his lungs are much better, but
we've been cautioned that this not reason to get our hopes up too
much. This could go either way right now. He could recover or he could
have only a day or two - and anything in between. We've been
surrounded and blessed by the presence of people we love quietly
streaming in and out of the house to pray and just to sit. Perhaps the
greatest blessing of the day is that this afternoon Noah surprised us
all by waking up enough to open his present from Mommy and Daddy and
his present from his brother David. It took all he had, but he did it.
Thank you all for your continued prayers.

Noah - desperate shape

from FB via Noah's Mom Kate:

Noah is sicker. He has more edema (swelling) and now has fluid in his lungs. He's vomiting and appears to be in pain. He is doing a little "barking" with each breath because his vocal cords are apparently starting to swell. We've just now jumped his pain meds up quite a bit, and phenergan, ativan, and lasix are coming. (The first two are for the nausea and the lasix should help him pee off some of this fluid.) We can and will get oxygen delivered if needed. The hospice nurse is here now and Dr. B will be coming over at some point. Dr. B is trying hard (please pray) to find a way to get him blood and/or platelets here locally - if Noah needs to be transfused (and he will soon at this rate), we can't drag him an hour and a half to Greenville to do so. We have a fairly large regional hospital a few minutes away, but they've refused to transfuse Noah even when he was healthy - they say his "needs are too overwhelming." I can't stand the thought of losing him if blood could help him get over this crisis, so please pray that we can work this out. He really can't be woken or roused at this point - may open his eyes if he vomits or retches, and has nodded his head in response to questions a few times, but then is immediately back out. ANYONE local who wants to come sit in the living room and pray is MORE than welcome - just come right in - you don't need to call or knock.

Sights Seen

A small picture tour of what my

library friend and I saw on

the first half of our walks...

Outside of the NAC (National Arts Centre)

... there is always music playing

by this piano man

(speakers above not pictured)...

Entering the beautiful part of Ottawa...

I live about a 15 to 20 minute walk from this...

My first real library job

was about a mile down the street from here...

and was part of my falling in love with Ottawa...

The Chateau Laurier.

Beautifully kept up and very good food

and high tea.

Also quite costly so only a place I visit to look

at their historical photographs;

years ago when I had a good job and did not take a vacation

I went there with a friend who came to visit me

for high tea.

It was really lovely.

One of the hallways there...

Picture taken from an enclosed crosswalk

looking towards the Parliament buildings,

the Chateau being in the right hand corner...

I wish for a Canada of old more than what it is turning

into now but I still do love

Canada very much...


It was really nice to show my friend the Ottawa that

I know and love!

Nearing Christmas

I had a library school friend visit

me this week;

it was really nice to see her again

and spend time with her.

We took various walks and had a nice lunch together yesterday.

The picture above is a bit of the cheer I saw on our last walk.

I went to the grocery store with her and

she noticed the really great sale on

these oranges and I bought some other things

plus these oranges

and she carried the oranges back for me.

They taste really great.

I've gotten some Christmas

plus one birthday card

so far and it brings a lot of cheer to me.

I have not been able to do cards yet

with everything happening with my Oma

and then recovering from that.

But I am hoping to get to some today.

I've gotten cards from some faithful friends

throughout the years and

never have been able to return

their blessings of cards with one from me.

I hope to do better this year,

even if it does miss new calendar Christmas!


I am thankful that on Christmas Eve

new calendar

that I can go to my friends church for a vigil

with some special icons.

This is the first (and I pray only) Christmas I

have had away from my family.

My good friend who is like a sister to me

whose third child I am the godmother to

is having me over for their families'

Christmas dinner

so that is a real blessing.

I did start the fast early so I can have a

western Christmas meal

and I am so glad I get one with such

dear friends.

I truly have a lot to be thankful for.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Urgent Prayer Request: Noah

URGENT - Noah is running a fever. On hold with hospice now. Lord Jesus, give him Christmas. - Kate Estes Mother of Noah's new status. Please pray!!!!


The doctors, labs and meds are all on their way to Noah.


Please pray for them.

Kate had recently updated us all on keeping Noah

at home and honouring his wish to die at home.

Asking prayers...

Lord have mercy!!! Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy!

Most Holy Theotokos save and protect!

Lord Jesus being their comfort and shield!

My Oma: Part II - Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple

The Theotokos, when she was three years old after the flesh, was led to the Lord; and Zacharias, the priest of God, received her in the temple with rejoicing and established her there.


My Oma was taken to heaven on the morning of the

feast of the entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple.

I had a ride to an old calendar church

that day

after sitting outside my parent's door as I knew

that a phone call at 7 in the morning meant

that my Oma had died.

When I was in the car riding to church

I realized that my Oma had been taken

on this feast day of the

Mother of God.

I told the priest about my Oma's death

before the service

and he commented about the Mother of God

taking my Oma home

and how he has seen icons of this feast

where it looks almost like the


at three years old

is skipping up the steps of the temple.

I found this incredibly comforting;

that the Mother of God had taken my Oma

on her feast day,

a day of entrances.

It must of been hard for St. Joachim and Anna to

let there child go.

But how wonderful that the Mother of God

came to the temple;

that she was prepared to bear Christ

the Saviour of the world.

I had never really noticed this feast in such a deep

way as the day my Oma died

and the Mother of God took her...


Today the living Temple of the holy glory of Christ our God,

she who alone among women is pure and blessed,

is offered in the temple of the Law,

that she may make her dwelling in the sanctuary.

Joachim and Anna rejoice with her in spirit,

and choirs of virgins sing to the Lord,

chanting psalms and honouring His Mother.


Some years back, when I was a couple months

from becoming at catachumen

I was at my Oma's for Christmas;

I think she turned 95 that year.

And late that night I remember thinking

very strongly of my Oma as a Mother

and the Mother of God.

Now I realize how much the Mother of God was present

in my life and especially during that time;

my Oma bore and raised 8 children;

Somehow I know that my Oma is close to

the Mother of God...

Anna, the all-blessed cried out rejoicing:

'O Zacharias, take her whom the prophets of God

proclaimed in the Spirit, and

lead her into the holy temple,

there to be brought up in reverence,

that she may become the divine Throne of the

Master of all,

His Palace, His resting place,

and His dwelling filled with light.

My Oma died on this feast and

was buried on the feast's leave-taking.


May the Mother of God always protect my

Oma Grace...

(all quotes in italics are from

The Festal Menaion for this feast)

Noah - Prayers Needed

From Noah's Mom via FB:

Good and bad news- this is just a worsening of Noah's constant GI bleeding and is not fixable. Really bad news- Noah is also oozing blood around his broviac and supra pubic cath, and when I adjusted his shirt to show the doctor his tummy, I realized his arms were covered with petechiae. They are on his torso and face too and starting on his legs. Called Dr B and we are doing labs as soon as we get home. This could be a sign of some very bad things. It's not an emergency right now, but could become one. Please pray & I'll update later.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Beauty in the Christmas Season

Nativity in Glass from Romania

from Rebecca and Mark.

Small cloth under made by my Oma.

Mirror and kleenex holder were my Oma's.

I was given the Pascha egg

this past Pascha

by one of my favourite older women parishioner's sister...


Christmas and Pascha are deeply linked.


The small icon in the background is

St. Stylianos of Paphlagonia

which is there for Noah,

who is quite ill.

Many are holding their own small

vigils in prayer

for Noah

as they go about the days before Christmas...

It is hard for us all to focus

on the coming of Christ.

So many things are thrown at us during fasts;

Christmas lent/Nativity Fast means

distractions on the party & presents level

and often more painful things,

illness, loss, grief.

But Christ came and was born on this earth

so that He could defeat death.

Christ is with us in the

times of joy and the times of great grief.

My Christmas Icons.

Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,

Christ our Saviour with Angels,

St. Nicholas to provide and protect

St. Spyridon to help us

the Mother of God to console us.


May God give us strength for this day

and hearts that are open to thanksgiving

and worship of God

amidst all things.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Prayer Request - My Other Grandma

Just got this from one of my Aunts:
In case any of you haven't heard ... Grandma fell last night and broke her pubic bone. She went to the hospital this morning and had lots of X-rays and they determined that was the cause of much pain in her leg.

They can't do anything surgically - she just needs to stay off it as much as possible. She will be staying with me until she is better. She is very comfortable while sitting or lying down but not while on her feet.

Please pray for her.

Of course I find this upsetting.

But am also glad that it was not a worse accident.

My Grandma's name is Ruth.

Monday, December 19, 2011

St. Nicholas Day

Liturgy was a joy.

And added to that joy was that my

close friend and her son

my godbaby

were able to join us.

I got to hold my godson for most of the liturgy

and bring him to communion.

It was so special.


I have my house almost clean again.

A friend from library school

is visiting me overnight tomorrow

and that will be really nice.

I have not seen her in some years now.


I love St. Nicholas Day.

He is such a special Saint...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pre-St. Nicholas Day Celebrations

Last night I baked my

St. Nicholas Cake

a vegan chocolate cake

for St. Nicholas Day

while Cleo supervised.

After liturgy we had our St. Nicholas fish

dinner and concert;

it was also a parishioner's birthday so we sang

happy birthday

and many more years.

"St. Nicholas" came and all the kids got presents...


Tomorrow is St. Nicholas Day

and I will be God willing

at liturgy for this day.


I love St. Nicholas...

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Noah's Mom Kate

recently put on FB

that Noah has been throwing up for over an hour.

Please pray for Noah and his family.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Reflections and Rememberance

Reflections about my Oma

Part I

It's funny how you can know that

you are hearing the end of one's story.

My Oma surprised everyone

earlier this year

by going with at least 4 or 5 of her 8 children to Perry Sound;

I knew somehow she was her last acts of love

for her children.

She never stopped knitting.

She finished those 7 scarves and

gave them to my Mom to give to us.

After we said goodnight she told my Aunt

that she was going to finish up the slippers

she was knitting before going to bed.

Within an hour of finishing those

last slippers

a shade of purple with a lot of red in it,

yellow knit on top of them,

she fell.

While they were waiting for the ambulance and she was

in bed, one of my Aunts called from the room

by my Oma's bed,

to my other Aunt (the oldest who is in her late 70's)

in Michigan to tell her

that Mom fell and would you like to talk to her

and so they did and my Oma told her oldest

daughter not to worry about her

that she would be fine

and that she should go to bed.

Mother to the end to her grown children,

that is my Oma.

The last conversation my MI Aunt, the oldest daughter,

ever had with her Mother.

My Mom would often go once a year to Brampton

when I was young and would eagerly wait

my Mom's return

to see what my Oma gave her for us.

Knitted slippers, socks, mittens, hats;

small blankets,

doilies, little booties for babies, tea cozies...

At home I still have a lovely edition of the book

beauty and the beast

that my Oma gave me and she used to send all of us

cards for our birthdays.

With 8 children,

at least 25 grandchildren and well-over 10 great grandchildren

not to mention some

great-great grandchildren

this is a lot of people.

My Oma stopped some years back but when I was a child

I always got a card from her.

I have one from just a few years back

when my family went to Brampton for Christmas.

I have a lot more to write about my Oma

who grew up in Holland on a farm

and was faithful to her Lord,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.

She would ask me from time to time

to make sure I was still trusting in God for everything,

praying and reading my Bible.


I really appreciate each of you;

your words, love, encouragement and prayers

for my Oma, my family and myself

are a real blessing.


I seek to remain thankful,

for our God,

for each of you,

for my family and

for my Oma.