Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The twins on TV!

Those who have kept tabs on my collection of baby pictures at Flickr.com might have noticed that there are almost no photos of Deanna there. This is partly because she and I tend to visit the babies at different times, so as to give them collectively more time with their parents; and this is also partly because, on those occasions when Deanna and I do go to visit them together, she is busy feeding them and the photos I take tend to be, um, shall we say, just for the family.

But now, thanks to the CBC, you can all see her feeding them anyway. Click here for the online text version of a story about Canada's only milk bank, which also includes links to RealVideo and QuickTime video files in which Deanna gets a 13-word soundbite.

Saturday, February 25, 2006


This is a picture of your David eating world famous Memphis ribs at The Rendevous. I thought the Flash-Toy was too fun to pass up sharing with everyone else. Give it a try!

The twins @ three weeks

Hi there, y'all.

Nothing new to report here, since the twins are still at St. Paul's, but I figured I'd keep the weekly updates coming anyway.

When they were born three weeks ago, we were told that the twins might stay in "special care" for about three weeks -- basically until they had learned how to feed properly. Well, it's been three weeks now, and I haven't heard any definite word yet on when they might be coming home -- Deanna says the doctors tend to talk as though it'll happen any day now, whereas the nurses tend to talk as though it won't be for days yet. So, we'll see.

Feeding aside, they seem to be doing very well. And I have to admit that a part of me has kind of enjoyed the convenience of the twins being cared for elsewhere (three blocks down the road). But then I saw that picture of Gabe and Owen resting on the floor together and realized that that is something I have not done yet with either of my kids. (I don't think hospital floors were meant for lying down.) Yeah, I want 'em home.

Side note: Thomas weighed 5 lbs 2 oz when he was born, and last night he weighed 6 lbs 5 oz. I was a bit startled to realize that he was no longer in the five-pound range -- that he no longer weighed the number that I had committed to memory mere moments after his birth -- and that he would almost certainly never be that weight again. It feels like he's growing up so fast, and the boy I thought I knew is slipping into the past already.

Yes, I will be a nostalgic wreck when they finish high school.

Friday, February 24, 2006

what is in a day? (another discussion topic...)

You know… I’ve been thinking…. A lot of us know each other through this blog, but I would be interested in knowing what we do during our days. Do we work, do we raise kids, are we in school? And if we work, what do we do for it, if we raise kids, what are some of the cool things about it, if we are in school is it going well, what is loved about it?

Throughout my life I was always counseled by my wise very-loved Mother to enjoy every season of life I am in. Today that is pretty easy to do—it is a lovely cold sun and blue sky day in Ottawa, my co-op for my Masters in Library and Information Science [MLIS] is going well… (Btw I do not work in a library but in a research based medical place and I do various library and project management tasks from keep minutes for working group meetings to developing print and online collections for our library service: in other words I sit at my computer all day).

So… what do you do with your days?

Thursday, February 23, 2006

something completely different

Before Lent arrives in force and we shouldn't ask dorky things for awhile --anyone have any thoughts on crop circles? Some of them are so beautiful and /most/ of them are mathematically sophisticated, makes me think friendly (especially the beautiful part).

Sorns? Hrossa? I'm thinking more Sorn-y, but I'm open. Don't even go there with the hoax thing -- it's just not possible with the vast majority of them.


since lent is on its way...(YAY!)


I am reading a book about prayer, and it is good.

I sort of started asking this over on my own spot, but here is as good as any.

when we pray, is it about meaning the words, connecting to God, feeling like we are connecting to God, obedience, discipline,

should we repeat prayers if we find our mind wandering, how do we discipline our mind?

any thoughts on prayer are welcome here, rather, requested...

oh, and maybe we can change the colour of the background during lent?

Bumper Sticker I Enjoyed Recently...

God is not a Republican...
...or a Democrat.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Apologies and Invitations

Recently, I submitted a post that was an apparently ill-conceived spoof and ironically got David into a bit of "trouble." This highlighted, for me, the fact that this blog does indeed associate stongly to St. Herman's and should be respected for such. So, to begin with, my apologies to everyone, especially David who caught the fall-out from my choice.

On a related note, the young adults from my church have a Yahoo Group called The Orthodork Cafe which operates in similar fashion to this Spruce Island blog -- fun, informational, and closely related to the workings of my home parish. For a number of months now I've been receiving requests from Orthodorks across the globe requesting to join. I'd love to have somewhere to direct them that would probably be more along the lines of what they're looking for.

Additionally, I like the idea of Spruce Island and would like something similar that I can invite my friends to join but will be larger in scope than a local parish.

So... given those 3 factors The Orthodork Cafe: THE BLOG has been created. If you'd like to join surf on over to the site and send an e-mail my way.

The Thrill of the Chaste

I just couldn't resist the title of this upcoming book about sex and singles from Dawn Eden, a copyeditor and columnist recently kicked off the New York Post for her pro-life views. There is a post about her today on the fantastic blog Get Religion. This blog, if you haven't encountered it yet, monitors and sometimes challenges the MSM treatment of religion stories, and espouses old fashioned journalistic values such as balanced treatment of topics....

Get Religion is the work of Orthodox Christian and journalism professor Terry Mattingly and some of his friends from various church traditions. I highly recommend it as a supplement, and sometimes antidote, to the mainstream media.

we just lost to russia!

defenseless in torino

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Front Page Pic

...on the OCA website highlighting mission grant recipients 2005, All Saints Victoria. In this pic and others in the mission grant section you can spot a number of Sprucies and other former St. Hermanites.

Speaking of Seraphim's Amazing Paintings...

I have the word from the painter himself, that a couple of original painted works will be donated to the Project Mexico Silent Auction taking place next Friday, March 3rd. The Marimba Soiree will showcase the talents of many in our community. Dan Steenburgh will be giving us a sample of Marimba music along with some other good surprises.

If you have something you are able to share in the Silent Auction portion of the evening, please prepare it and bring it to church with you this coming Sunday. Pass the item along to JeanClaude or Muryn and I will collect it from them and prepare it for Friday's events. Some ideas might include: a handmade item, a beautifully piece of photography simply framed, a ceramic piece, or a gift certificate to a local business that you frequent. It could be a book you've written or a CD you've recorded. It could be a children's toy you've fashioned with your own hands, or a pair of tickets to a local cinema or theatre event.

The project Mexico team from the lower Mainland is now: Josina, Sarah and Seraphim (who has gracioiusly taken my place, as I am now unable to go.) Please keep these and the others in your prayers as they prepare for the trip.

All contributions (financial and otherwise) will be greatly appreciated.
See you next Friday!

More of Seraphim's Amazing Artwork...

...is now up on Seraphim's site.

Monday, February 20, 2006

three hundred bishops

Of all the historical books sitting on my desk, i cannot find one simple piece of information. if anyone knows the answer, please post a comment:

how does the church view the Ecumenical Councils (particurily Nicaea 325)...Are they "divinely inspiried", "just a bunch of old guys from 1700ish years ago arguing about the nature of Jesus", maybe both? and so on and so forth...

Many Thanks (I can even site you in my essay :P )

We have a sister blog!

I just noticed that Matushka Jaime René was inspired by our blogs to start a blog for the women of St. Peter the Aleut in Calgary! Looks like there are a few good recipes there that we might want to steal for Sprucies in the Kitchen... While you're at it, those of you who know them might also want to check out the René family blog and drop them a line!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The twins @ two weeks

Hi y'all, sorry we haven't been to church lately, but there were a couple of births two weeks ago that you might have heard about, and then last week I was pretty sick (so sick I didn't visit the twins for a couple days, lest I infect them), and this week ... um, this week I had some work to catch up on. (Still do, in fact.) That's probably the lamest of the three reasons, but what can I say, it's true.

Nothing much new to report here, except that Elizabeth and Thomas are still in the special-care ward at St. Paul's Hospital and will probably be there for another week, or however long it takes for them to learn how to "eat". (If they were still in the womb, they would be a few days past 35 weeks right now, so this is about the time they would be learning how to suck.) They're still being fed through nose-tubes for the most part, though tonight I got each of them to almost finish a small bottle; the trick is to get them to the point where Deanna can nurse them both properly.

As you can see from the photo, I'm finally getting around to learning the skills that I will need to look after these tykes at home; until now, it has been far, far too convenient to just let the hospital take care of this stuff for us. (One could almost say the babies have been "pampered", except I don't think I've seen that brand there. It was also nice to know that Deanna and I didn't have to even think about finding a babysitter when we went out for our first wedding anniversary last Monday...) Deanna took this picture of me giving Thomas a bath yesterday, and I have to say I was startled when I saw it -- I'm a giant next to him! Every time he sees me, he must be in absolute terror!

I kid, of course. He actually sleeps very peacefully when I hold him. So much sleeping. I envy these babies.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Memphis: Revisited

Okay, for starters, let me just update you and tell you that your buddy David is making a very good show of Canadian manners because I have been mean and snarly most of today and he's been very corgial. Y'all would be proud.

Next, David mentioned that we had a thunderstorm last night. Correction... David saw a flash somewhere and heard some thunder. We DID NOT have a thunderstorm. He made this comment to a couple of my friends and they just looked at me funny like, "What's wrong with you friend, Stacy?"

Third, David is a magnet for every vagabond in the tri-state area.

And apparently David has decided to bring enough tobacco home with him to give the entire Northwest lung cancer.

I look forward to visiting y'all soon.


Lenten Reading -- Journeys

I'm splitting off just one of Elizabeth's three topic-starter questions and bringing it to the top here. Gosh, maybe we need another sub-blog-- Sprucies in the Library (I am KIDDING! ;-)

I haven't decided on what to read this year. Of course, you can't lose with Schmemann's classic Great Lent, and there are numerous works by or about the saints we commemorate in Lent, like John of the Ladder and Mary of Egypt. But in Lent particularly I always find myself drawn to journey tales, so the following titles, though perhaps a little unexpected, are some of my favorite Lenten reading:

The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis. This is the most Lenten of the Chronicles of Narnia. It begins with sin and repentance, and tells of an ascetic journey in the harsh Northern Wilderness, where Jill and Eustace must escape captivity by Giants and subterranean creatures in their quest to rescue an enchanted prince. Along the way, Jill is required to recite a list of signs each day; and like us, she loses her way when she sets aside her daily discipline. At the darkest of moments the greatest courage and determination are required. "I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia."

Crusader by Tim Severin. The author of The Brendan Voyage recreates a medieval journey by horseback from Ireland to the Holy Land. A great way to learn what the realities of pilgrim journeys were like in the old days. And of course Brendan Voyage itself demonstrates the possibilities of the Irish Saint's sea journey—the ancient account may seem like some flight of fancy, but the re-enactment of the voyage from Ireland to North America in a skin boat shows the tale is not so far-fetched after all.

As long as we're on the journey theme, try any of the travel books of H.V. Morton—titles include In the Footsteps of St. Paul. Morton was an English traveller in the early part of the 20th C, and his books are still easily available in second hand shops. Like Severin he has not just the essential curiosity but the humility of the great traveller, respect for the people and customs he encounters. Morton, travelling many decades earlier than Severin, encountered a Holy Land that was still in many respects like it was in the First Century.

Lastly, because most of us are not desert monks but are making our Lenten journey in the company of our fellow parishioners: Richard Adams' Watership Down. This book should be required reading for all seminarians and indeed for anyone, lay or clerical, interested in establishing a mission. It contrasts in detail the differences between healthy and unhealthy communities, including the importance of tradition, freedom, teamwork, and many other things; and it provides a paradigm of steady balanced leadership, a priestly leadership in which the Chief Rabbit must "Be El-ahrairah to his people" in self-sacrifice, healing, nurturing the weak, learning from others in the team and providing them opportunity to use their diverse gifts. I actually wrote a whole essay on this application of this book, all done but the footnotes, never got around to sending it anywhere.....

Thursday, February 16, 2006

heard of this?

okay, maybe I'm the last one in our weird little Ortho-world not to have heard of this, but I was listening to ancientfaithradio today and they had several quotations from an astounding piece of work called "Prayers by the Lake" by St Nikolai Velimenovich (sp?). It is profound and fresh stuff, man. I could only catch one little bit long enough to write it down (I'm happy to report I was working on an icon and so up to my wrists in egg yolk and poisonous powders) but it was this:

"All the world would not have the power to nourish one single blade of grass if God did not give it the power to do so".

I love how this perfectly expresses the relationship between God and the environment. There is no 'mother nature' -- as CS Lewis said, she is our sister, not our mother. God is the one who sustains it all.

Having said that, not raping, pillaging and dumping toxic crap all over our sister is just common sense, no?

Anyway, I am wondering if anyone has actually seen this book and where it can be found for meeeee to have. I want it! I waaaaannnnt it!


Hey All,

I am in Memphis, hangin with Stacy, its good times. Yesterday in Dallas the weather I had to suffer through was 80 degrees, and here in Memphis, its 70 today. very nice.

Anyways, they have a beautiful church here, I thought I could maybe borrow half of it to help out St.Herman's

So, here is the question of the day, not from a discussion, but a curiosity of mine.

Men, when you are visiting, do you stand or sit when you take a leak?

Oh, and I have acquired enough tobacco for the entire church for pascha. I will try to put new pictures up on flickr, but we'll see.

anyways, I am well, but its great to have the Island to keep in touch, so lets hear about the news from church.

Oh, and we are going to that canadian restaurant sometime.


We must be really busy…

No one has posted almost all week! Hope everyone is doing well… Here’s some questions I would be interested in hearing about:

~is anyone going to read anything special for lent?
~what is your favourite Lenten service?
~any fun things being eaten in this fast free week?

May God guide and bless us all as we journey towards lent.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Two starlings.

Hello all you wonderful Sprucies! I've grown to love this blog. It is a way to feel connected over hundreds of miles. And it is a wonderful way to keep in prayer for one another.

In that spirit: if you all could pray for Esme' as she is having issues with ear infections (probably in both ears) related to teething. She is so sweet and girly and plays the part of princess: this is especially so with teething. Thus the earaches and naturally we are concerned. So please pray for her. Thanks so much.

The picture shows both of the little birds (who are both getting over cough/colds by the way). Aren't they so darling? We can't wait for you all to see how much Jude has grown, and to meet Esme' for the first time (you will all die).

Thank you to all.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The twins @ one week

Hi, all -- just an update on the twins here.

On Thursday, they were taken out of their incubators, and today -- just a few hours ago, in fact -- they were moved to St. Paul's Hospital, which is fantastic, because that means they are only three blocks from home. No more long-ish bus rides! (This is especially good for Deanna, who is still re-gaining the use of her legs after three months of bed rest and the atrophying that resulted therefrom.)

Alas, I've come down with something the last couple days and haven't seen the twins since Thursday night; for now, I'm staying away lest I infect them with something.

Many thanks to those who have given us food and to David for delivering it.

Deanna seems to recall that someone had offered to organize help of a non-food sort, but she can't remember who it was; so, if that person still wants to do that, please call us at our home phone number (it should be in the directory).

Thanks as ever for all your prayers, etc.

misc. stuff

As some of you know, like lots of other folks we had flu around here, and Father did not go to the retreat after all; however we are grateful that Fr. Justin is still going to preach and preside this weekend. I will see you at liturgy, D.V., though not vespers tonight-- still pretty congested and can't sing anyway, Mag and I are coughing in stereo...

in other news, for those who enjoyed Chocolodoxy, there are further adventures today at http://raftersscriptorium.blogspot.com

and a shout out to any parents, kids and teachers with an interest in Canadian history-- below the Chocolodoxy post, you will find a review of my friend's book about Labrador medical missionary Wilfred Grenfell.

thank you, we now return you to your regularly scheduled blog....

Friday, February 10, 2006

if you're passing through Cranbrook...

(i just saw this exciting bit of news on Jaime's site.)

Glory to God!

A new mission is born! The East Kootney Orthodox Fellowship in Cranbrook, BC was blessed as a Mission Station a month ago and yesterday they became St. Aidan’s Orthodox Mission. May it prosper and be a beacon of light to all.Troparion O holy Bishop Aidan, Apostle of the North and light of the Celtic Church,glorious in humility, noble in poverty, zealous monk and loving missionary, Intercede for us sinners that Christ our God may have mercy on our souls.

posted by jaime @ 8:56 AM 2 comments

The name of this new mission reminds me to pray for our little Aidan. (Who is probably not so little anymore)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Vegan Lent

Hey, what do vegans fast from during lent? and do any of you know of any orthodox vegans?

Sunday, February 05, 2006

It's a ... one of each!

UPDATE!! UPDATE!! (DATED FEBRUARY 6, 2006, 9:50pm)

Deanna came home today, so don't bother to phone the hospital number -- you'll only be interrupting the poor woman who took Deanna's place! The twins are still at BC Women's, though, so we'll be going back for visits often -- and if any of you happen to tag along with us, you can see them too!

In the meantime, my parents have posted a few of their pictures here, and I've started a Flickr account with a few more photos here.

- - -

And to think I was going to see Curious George this morning.

For those who just want the baseball-card stats, Deanna went into labour Saturday morning and gave birth to Elizabeth Joy Chattaway (4 lbs, 12 oz) at 3:17pm and to Thomas Lawrence Chattaway (5 lbs, 2 oz) at 3:46pm.

Deanna will probably stay at BC Women's for only two or three nights, including tonight, but the twins could be there for up to three weeks -- it depends on how quickly they learn to "eat". Apparently it is the hospital's policy to keep premature babies in the "intermediate care ward" there until the 36-week mark, and Thomas and Elizabeth (how patriarchal of me to keep listing their names in that order, when it was she who was born first!) were at 33 weeks and 2 days today. So, I'm not sure who can see the babies in person just yet -- just relatives and "support" personnel, I think, and while I would normally interpret "support" to mean medical types, they did allow Fr. Lawrence to come in and say a prayer.

For those who want a little more story ... and a few more gory details ... I'll post it in a comment to this post. No point in clogging the home page with my anecdotes.

But there's always room for one more picture! Here's one of Deanna's hand touching Elizabeth:

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Thomas and Elizabeth

Welcome to the World!
Thomas and Elizabeth Chattaway were born today.
I don't know the details, but they will come no doubt.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Mark your calendar

The MaRimba SoiRee!
Fundraiser to benefit Saint Innocent Orphanage/
Project Mexico 2006 Team

7-10pm, Friday, March 3rd, 2006
75 - 43rd Ave, (one block west of Quebec and Main), Van
Contact: Kimberley Francis cell: 604.626.3296

Those interested in helping out are invited to one
of two planning meetings: Monday, February 6th at 7:30pm
Sunday, February 19th at 5pm
at: 6229 Chester Street, Van (49th and Fraser area)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Awwww... God bless you Owen!

Say hello to your new little brother....
Owen Pierre Edward Lanteigne!
God grant you many years!

Gabe just sent these on and asked us to share them around while Amy and him get some well deserved rest with the little guy.