7 Quick Takes

Hello, my sweet, neglected friends.  I am (sheepishly, baa) back after another inexcusably long hiatus.  I could blame the hiatus on a certain newish-born babe snoozing upstairs, but…actually, that’s a good plan.  It’s his fault.  Just ask him.  If he blinks twice rapidly, you’ll know I’m lying.

New year, new plan, folks! I am going to actually attempt to make a 7 quick takes post QUICK.  Hold your applause. Let’s see if I can do it.

  1. Peter Moseley


Swoon.  Heart eye emojis forever and eva and evvvvvvvv.  Peter aka Petey aka Pete aka Fat Bear aka Squish Butt Sandwich is every bit as wonderful as he looks.  He’s so happy and yummy smelling, I think I might order at least two or three more.  We’ll see.

2. The List


The List! The List! Long live the List!  So, this is my revolutionary new way to homeschool.  Ready for it? It’s pretty complicated.  Write a list.  Ok, maybe not so complicated.

Every morning, as I’m preparing to make breakfast (we eat Egg Toast basically every morning in case you were wondering in case you are as curious about people’s meals as I am.  This is always my first question to people when they come back from a vacation: Yeah, yeah, the Eiffel Tower is great, but what did you eat? Egg Toast is essentially French toast but way more eggs (at least one per person) and no sugar or vanilla. The syrup goes on the finished product, guys, no need to alert the authorities.)  Is anyone else beginning to understand why my Quick Takes are never very quick??)

Anywho, where were we?  Ah, yes, before I pull out my griddle, I pull out El Listo.  I make one for each kid who can read which, in my case, is my 9-year-old and my 7-year-old.  I write everything they need to do that day including chores, and yes, kisses for Mommy (that list ain’t over until the smoochies have been smooched). The above is just today’s example.  We alternate days for math and science with handwriting sprinkled throughout the week.  You didn’t know that handwriting was something that could be sprinkled, did you? Rainbow handwriting sprinkles.

Apart from the Morning Reading portion, which is about 45 minutes, all is done independently.  They come to me for help sometimes, of course, but they’re mainly on their own.  No more nagging, no fighting for my attention, no screaming, neglected 2-year-old, no cranky, wet baby.  Well, maybe it’d be more honest to say less of all the above.  Today, for example, I was free as a bird with a baby and a toddler strapped to its chest from 10 am on, while the kids worked steadily until lunch.  Insert maniacal laugh here.

3. Speaking of Morning Reading, we always have one of these going, picked out by the kids.  Currently, we’re reading about Mother Theresa.

4. These are theeee greatest.  My kids LOVE them and always have one or two playing during the day.

5. Speaking of audiobooks, has anyone else noticed that good ol’ Grandpa Joe from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory allegedly hasn’t been able to get out of bed for 20 years but somehow undergoes a miraculous healing when he gets the chance to go to Wonka’s factory?  What the heck, ppl?  If anyone should have gone with Charlie, it’s his mom who’s apparently been nursing a faker for the last two decades, amiright? Fist bumps all round.

6. Someone, please buy me one of these. Merci.

7. Petey’s Baptism!



A blessed feast of St Brigid to all!


Why, Part One

Since I am nothing if not original, I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of my BFF’s Jenna and Blythe (why, no, the fact that we’ve never met and they don’t know I exist hasn’t hindered our friendship at all, why do you ask?) and write out my Conversion Story.  Excited? Maybe? A little?  Stick with me.

I planned to have this be about why I converted to Orthodoxy from Evangelical Protestantism, but changed my mind and decided to go waaaaay back and explain why I am a Christian in the first place.  Because the two really go together.  It’s been one path, not two, after all.

I was raised in a Christian home (my parents actually met in Bible college) but, at age 9, my parents split up and my siblings and I moved with my mom to SoCal while my dad remained up north.  My mom still loved the Lord and believed in Jesus as the Son of God, but she was going through a searching period and certain things fell by the wayside. (I hope you’re cool with me writing this, Mom!  Love you!)

~Side Note: My mom is very much a Christian these days and actually converted to Orthodoxy about 1 year after our family did.~


Fast forward to 15 years old.  My dad, who was still very much a devout Christian, took me and my sister to Italy on a summer vacation.  As I mentioned, my faith at this time was not at all what one would call foundational.  I still prayed, and had even had a few experiences with the Lord, but my worldview was far from Christian.  I was very much a southern California teen, who valued bleached blond hair, my best friend’s rad new car, and losing just 5 more pounds over such laughable things as sanctity and chastity.

One of the stops on this trip was St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  I’m pretty sure I knew who St. Peter was but this stop was nothing more than a tourist attraction in my mind, like a museum or a cannoli cart.  I have some pictures that I took right before we went into the Basilica.  They’re a bunch of selfies (I was taking selfies before selfies were cool) where I’m pursing my lip-gloss soaked lips and trying to look coy, or seductive, or I don’t know what.  It’s hard to look anything more than sad when you’re a short, underdeveloped, semi-anorexic kid posing for the camera, but I was trying with all my might.


(I taught Kylie everything she knows.)

So, eventually, my dad pried the camera out of my red-nailed fingers and we went into the church. My dad mentioned that St. Peter’s bones are supposed to be buried under the church and that tradition holds he asked to be crucified upside down so as not to steal any glory from Christ by emulating His death.  I’m listening, maybe half listening, and I say something along the lines of, “Well, I don’t think he’d like all this then,” referring to the utter magnificence of the Basilica named in his honor.

And then it happened.

Or, maybe it’s more accurate to say, He happened.

God showed up.  I really don’t know how else to describe it and I certainly don’t want to be one of those people who describes a holy event by just repeating, “It was indescribable!  Indescribable!” But it really was. They say that for a reason.  The best way I can present it is by saying that the One who knew all, who knew me, and loved me, on a deeper level than any person had ever come close to knowing or loving me, wrapped me in an invisible embrace and said, “I know you. I forgive you. I love you.

Real quick, before I go on, I want to be clear that I HAVE NO IDEA why God gave me this gift.  I don’t think it was some confirmation that, yes, St. Peter is, in fact, stewing in Heaven over how much he hates his Basilica and someone give that girl a cookie for finally saying so.  I’m Orthodox, for goodness’ sake.  No one loves fancy churches more than Orthodox people. I think it was just…grace.  The whole thing still just stuns me.  I probably think about it every week, if not every day.  The thing that blows me away most of all is I that did absolutely nothing to deserve it.  I wasn’t praying.  I wasn’t reaching out to God in any way and probably hadn’t in quite a while.  I wasn’t living a holy life or even a halfway decent life. Frankly, I wasn’t a decent person.  I was a mean, popular, superficial teenage girl who alternated between drowning in self-hatred and self-adoration.  I was the worst.

Yet, God loved me.  He saw me.  He knew me.

I’d love (so so much) to be able to say that my life changed after this blessed event.  That I went home, threw away all my hidden packs of cigarettes, put away my oil-slick-thick eyeliner and started living my life for Jesus.  Unfortunately, that’s not what happened.  My life changed very little, on the outside.  But a seed, a very powerful seed, had been planted and, when it finally was given a little air to breathe, it would begin to grow.

God in Zero Gravity


This is a picture of the Russian side of the International Space Station.

“We have four holy icons on the Russia segment. We also have the gospels and a big cross,” wrote Maksim Suraev (a Russian cosmonaut). “And I have a reliquary cross in my cabin. A priest gave it to me at Baikanur before the launch. Father Job told me a piece of the original cross on which Jesus was crucified is contained in mine.”

I don’t have much to say about this other than, wow.  I first saw this picture on Pinterest.  Whoever posted it had added the caption, “Study Science, they said? You’ll lose your faith in God, they said?”  Apparently not.

I don’t need a picture of the American side to know it looks much different.

This is just a short and sweet post.  I wanted to share this picture with you all on the chance it might be as meaningful to you as it is to me.

May God bless all His astronauts, those that cared to bring their holy things and those that did not.


Quote from Wired