Friday, June 28, 2019

News and such

Hello friends,
We are thankful for a slow onset of summer here in Arizona. We enjoyed a beautiful spring right up to the end of May. Stefan has been diagnosed with Fragile-X syndrome, which is kind of a relief, since it helps up frame our understanding of his behaviors. If you look it up, you will find a general description that fits Stefi pretty much to a tee. If you know Stefan personally, it will make a great deal of sense. Nothing in particular changes in our day-to-day, but it does give context to his extreme potty-training challenges.

Various scenes from life follow:

Ss. Barsanuphius and John, tr. Fr. Seraphim Rose

A treat before a blood draw.

Farm princess in a bus.




We are right around the two-year anniversary, so things are somewhat disturbed. We appreciate your prayers, and thank you for visiting.
In Christ,

Saturday, May 4, 2019

With thanks to the Holy Trinity

Meet the new member of the family, Bright Monday the lift van!

We are so thankful for the generosity of my mother, who greatly blessed us with a gift more than sufficient to buy a retired paratransit van. Ana can go up the lift, Stefan can flap excitedly over the enormous машина (machina, car), and the kids are thrilled to be able to ride a bus. We are very grateful, it had been a blessed Bright week after a glorious Pascha.

We hope you are all well, God keep you under His wings.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Olive Shoots

Greetings in Christ, friends!

We are nearing the two-year report with Stefan, which is rather mind-boggling.

Our family is rejoicing at the arrival (in March) of our newest, biggest, baby! He is a dear, serious young man, somewhat fussy, and sleep has fled from our eyes, but we are thankful to God for him, and for the warm welcome extended to him by his siblings. We call him Freddy.

Freddy already thinks his big brother hung the moon.
Stefi is very gentle with little ones, for which I rejoice.
This little lady is a big sister, and pleased as punch.

 Playing in the desert and in the park

We are blessed with blooms in the spring. And Choupie has the same colors.
 Just let them try to get Stefan to do this at therapy... but when it's play, well then...

Baby chicks will be with us soon!

 Piano practice, snuggles, etc.

As you see, it is a busy bunch. Stefan is going through a toddler-like language explosion, and can talk about chickens, bunnies, potatoes, tomatoes, and much more.

Our friends, the C family, moved into a bigger space this January after their third child came, and we are glad they have the room they need, but we do feel their absence. Families from our parish have been so kind with meals and help, and one special lady was so kind as to sit with Ana and Stefi while Freddy was being born. That was a busy evening. Praise God, though, all went well.

We are now trying to figure out a school situation for Stefan next year, meeting with the local elementary next Friday. We'll see what they say. He's come a long way, but has miles before him...

Also, we are looking at lift vans. We grew out of our minivan, and are tremendously grateful for the gift of our dear friends' 2002 Accord, which has allowed us to get around very affordably and taken some load off the trusty '06 Sienna. But we can't take everybody in one car anymore, and Mama is not in a place where she should lift Ana (or load/unload her wheelchair from the minivan). So we are looking at lift vans, then looking at our bank account, and then looking to Christ who will give us what we need, and knows it better than we do.

However, I will ask you, faithful readers, if you think a GoFundMe would be appropriate? We were grateful for your help when Stefan came home, but we also know that the most generous people often have the least money, and we always want to be generous ourselves, and not a burden to those near us (however far away they are). Thus, I welcome your counsel and ask for your prayers.

I will close with words from St John Climacus, the abbot of St Catherine's of Sinai (~6th century), whom we particularly remember this Sunday:
"The Christian is one who imitates Christ in thought, word and deed, as far as is possible for human beings, believing rightly and blamelessly in the Holy Trinity. The lover of God is he who lives in communion with all that is natural and sinless, and as far as he is able neglects nothing good." (The Ladder of Divine Ascent, s1.4, tr. Archimandrite Lazarus Moore)
So let us strive to be Christians and lovers of God, not neglecting the good, and we will trust His good providence!

In Christ, who is our life,

Monday, January 28, 2019

An update! With photos!

This young man...

 Does extremely well in church, sitting by me during services. Our parish is very kind and understanding of him when he belts out "HI!" or sometimes "Bum!" during liturgy...

He still loves swinging.

And has a very nice smile - now minus two baby teeth (yesterday) which prompted a bloody mouth all evening, BUT which was all cleaned up and healed this morning!

 He also likes kitties, hoses, and being outside.

We are about 18months into life with Stefan, and now four years into life with Ana. God is faithful, Christ is glorious in His saints, and we are grateful for your prayers.


Ana turns seventeen tomorrow!

I don't have a current picture of her on my phone, sorry. But she is much the same as ever, cheerful, loves her school, ...very....slowly....gaining....weight. She and I and the two behaving boys went down to the Florence monastery two weeks back (for the feast of St. Anthony), and she was thrilled. She loves her siblings, and is doing well, all things considered.

Thank you for your prayers, and God bless you for dropping by!
In Christ,