Archive | October, 2008

Our Dear Bishop Ackerman to Retire

29 Oct

For the past few days we have been blessed to have Bishop Ackerman here at Nashotah House for trustee meetings and the ordinations of six new Quincy deacons.  At a meeting last night for the Quincy seminarians, their spouses, and staff/faculty canonically resident , +Ackerman announced his retirement as of November 1, 2008.  While we are so sad that this must be, we are happy that he and Jo (Mrs. Ackerman) will have some much needed rest and time together.  We also know that he will be continuing with Episcopal duties.  We know that though he will not be functioning as our bishop any longer, he certainly is not going anywhere.

I must tell you that I have two overwhelming and very different emotions when it comes to this present situation.  I have an amazing love for +Ackerman.  I doubt that I could respect anyone more than I do him.  As my dear co-worker would say, I would follow him into hell with a squirt gun.  +Ackerman and the Diocese of Quincy are actually one of the reasons Matthew and I decided to move back to Davenport (just across the river from the diocese).  We knew that with the state of the church, we could trust and follow the good bishop and whatever decisions he and the diocese made.  We have never been disappointed or regretted the decision.

+Ackerman is the dearest man I’ve ever met.  I’ve seen him stop in the middle of a sermon to remind some children playing in the back of the sanctuary that Jesus loves them and give them pocket crosses to remind them of such.  I’ve watched him get down on the floor to meet and bless my daughter for the first time.  It seems that everyone has a +Ackerman story.  Most of all, he is the godliest man I’ve ever met.  He fervently champions the Orthodox church in a loving, humble manner to a group of heretical hatemongers. This is where the second emotion comes in.

I am furious.  I am bsolutely furious that this holy man of God; this humble servant of Our Lord has been persecuted by the national “church” in such a manner that his physical health and his safety in his vocation have been threatened and has led to this decision.  I am furious that simply believing and speaking the revealed word of God is earning faithful men (+Duncan, +Iker, +Ackerman…etc._) targets on their heads in the shape of depositions.  I find it rediculous that “christians” (though musn’t one believe in the diviinity of Christ to call oneself that?) are vocationally martyring christian leaders for simply shepherding the souls that have been entrusted to them in the way they should go and for speaking out against the actions and beliefs that will slowly (or not so slowly) kill the church. 

The Diocese of Quincy will miss Bishop Ackerman in the way he has served it in for the last fifteen years, but is certainly looking forward to his leadership in this next chapter of the church.  I regret that his thoughts have had to dwell on the not-so-pleasant things of this life and hope that he and Jo may spend and enjoy much time together and  continue their service to Our Lord and His Church..

As for Matthew and I, we trust in the diocese and the Standing Committee to lead us and make the decision as to whether we will re-align with the world-wide communion.  We anxiously await our diocesan synod early in November and look forward to seeing a (hopefully) well-rested, retired eighth bishop of Quincy and his dear wife.

If I was a flower growing wild and free, all I’d want is for you to be my sweet honey bee.

25 Oct

Tonight was the Nashotah house Fall Festival. The festival first started with Trick or Treating around the campus and followed with snacks and games in the gymnasium.  There were some absolutely adorable costumes!  Adeline’s best friend, Margaret, was a beautiful butterfly.  As someone else put it, “They float like a butterfly and sting like a bee!”  Our good friend, Robert, who is two days older than Adeline, was an adorable puppy dog.  There was a Winnie the Pooh, Sarah Palin, a knight, a few other puppy dogs, princesses, ballerinas, and all sorts of other great costumes.  We had blast!

As you can see, Adeline was the most adorable little bee.  Thank you, mom, for the costume!  It was a huge hit…with everyone but Adeline!  She didn’t mind it so much at first but it got awfully hot in that gym so we had to take it off and become a Baseball Fan as she had her St. Louis Cardinals onesie on underneath.

After the gymnasium there was a hayrack ride in search of the Black Monk who haunts the Nashotah grounds and scary stories told around a bonfire.  The three of us did not participate in these events but are looking forward to by our senior year here.

It was beautiful to see most of the community children together.  They were all so joyous simply to be together, have some snacks, decorate a pumpkin, and ride on some bails of hay.  It was also nice for the adults to spend time together in the midst of the chaos.  So often when we are all together our conversation focuses on the state of the church, theology, or other serious matters.  It was nearly impossible to think of these things with little monkeys and cowboys running around!

So at the end of a very long and joyous day, I am thankful for bean bag tosses, caramel apples, simply decorated pumpkins, and innocent little bees with tulle wings.

Fall at Nashotah House

22 Oct
On days when the weather and Adeline cooperate, the two of us try to walk to the chapel to meet Matthew and walk him home.  Today was such a day.  We thought you may like to see how beautiful our new home is in the fall.  Enjoy!

 

Only Daddy can make it better.

16 Oct

 

If you look closely you can see the little band-aid on Chunker’s thigh.  Today was vaccination day.  She loved the oral vaccine she received!  The nurse that administered the vaccines told me she had never seen a baby react as Adeline did to the oral vaccine – she would would smack her lips, wiggle like a little worm, and even grabbed the nurse’s hand to try to help!  Unforunately the shots weren’t as pleasant. 

I gave Adeline some Tylenol before we left the doctor’s office.  That worked until two o’clock – an hour before I could give her another dose.  For the rest of the afternoon she fussed until Daddy came home and cuddled her, let her watch Sesame Street on YouTube, and ultimately got her to fall asleep on his chest.

Now we are just cuddling an hoping that tomorrow will be a better day as we drive back to Iowa.

Oh- for all that keep asking, our little chunker now weighs 10 lbs 6 ozs!

…and the little one said, “Roll over, roll over!.”

14 Oct
This is my 'I'm about to roll over' look!

This is my about to roll over look!

 That’s right, my friends, she is one step closer to mobile.  She has mastered stomach to back, but hasn’t thought of going the other way, which is fine by me.  While it’s so exciting to se her grow and change everyday, it’s hard to believe that parenthood gets any better.  I know everything is but for a season, but must the seasons go so quickly?

It is beautiful to see her develop her routines, mannerisms, likes, and dislikes.  Currently she loves Daddy’s silly faces, trying to climb over Mama’ shoulder, speed-metal music (thank, Daddy), watching her mobile, and Dexter’s (the cockatiel) singing.  We are learning tha this can change any day.

As for Matthew, both Adeline and I are extremely proud of him.  He’s doing well in his classes and is more excited about school than I’ve ever seen him- I feel like I’m auditing the class…I’m learning so much from him!  Right now he’s writing papers on St. Ambrose of Milan and seems fully pleased with his research.  Hopefully he will be able to blog soon.  He can tell you much more about where his time goes than I can.

I till spend my days playing with babies and working in the admissions office.  I sometimes feel as though parts of my brain are atropying.  It sure is hard to find time to do the (other) things I love between work, housework, and taking care of Adeline.  I am bound and determined, however, not to lose myself completely in my new role and identity as a mom.  I want Adeline to always learn how important it is to be a strong, learned, creative woman no matter what her responsibilities and roles are.

Monday, Monday.

7 Oct

For the past few days it seems that Matthew and I have been circling the topic of gratitude. When we were dating we required each other to report each day one thing/event that we were grateful for or, at very least, made us happy. Somehow and some way that routine disappeared and negativity has definitely crept into parts of our lives that it shouldn’t have.

That being said, Mondays are especially bad for me. I’m sure this is general consensus among most working people, but I truly love my job. My difficulty comes at 8:45 in the morning when I must leave Adeline at the Canter household. I know that she is well taken care of for the three (yes, only three) hours I am at work, but we, however, are absent from one another. That simple and small truth still makes this new mama’s heart ache. I hem and haw, find reason for a few more kisses, and am often almost late to work. If I leave her while she’s crying, I feel as though I am a deserter. If I leave her while she’s in good spirits, I feel as though I’m missing out on the best part of her. If I leave her while she sleeps, I fear that she will wonder where I am when she awakens.

(I’m getting to the gratitude, I swear.)

While I hate, hate, Mondays, I know that I would hate them much worse should we still live in Iowa. I cringe at the thought that I would habe been back to work full-time two weeks ago had the Lord not called us from our home to this new home in Wisconsin. How many giggles, diaper changes, and times of consolation would I have missed had Matthew not heeded this Call? This thought is what I’m most grateful for today.

But in my gratefulness for all the moments I DO have with Adeline, I meditate today on the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ. I do not think, today, so much of His pain and suffering but that of His Father in Heaven. How much more terrible were those moments of separation from His Son than mine from my daughter, and all endured for us. What pain, what love.

Try, try again.

3 Oct

As Matthew stated, we are so sorry that we’ve not kept up the blog.  Life at Nashotah, as a rule, is insanity.  Life as a new parent, as a rule, is insanity.  Combine the two and little to no free time exists for either seminarian nor wife.  For example, between writing this sentence and the previous sentence I’ve fed Adeline, changed her, swaddled her, read her Bedtime for Frances, rocked her to sleep, and laid her in her bassinet.  I fully expect her to wake up any moment, thus interrupting the blogging process for the umpteenth time today.  Maybe tomorrow I will read the first page of Mansfield Park for the eighth time and understand it for the first…

As a quick catch-up (the Sparks Notes version of  Nashotah Bound: The Life and Times of the Moores at Seminary) I offer this:

We arrived at Nashotah House Theological Seminary on August 15th, 2008.  We (we consists of Matthew, Jennifer, Adeline, Reagan the mutt-puppy,and Dexter the cockatiel)  live above the Nashotah House bookstore in a spacious apartment with somone else’s stains on the carpet, a ton of white walls, and a kitchen that was built before modern appliances existed. Strangely enough, we love it.  The rooms are bigger than in our “quaint” cottage in Iowa but it certainly lacks the house’s charm.

At Nashotah House acquaintances and friends are quickly made.  We’ve been here for about a month and a half and we feel (pardon the cliche) that we’ve known many of our new friends forever.  They are fantastic and I’m sure I will write much more about them as time goes on.

I’ve gotten (another) job.  Besides being a stay-at-home mome for 21 hours a day, I work in the Admissions office of Nashotah House for about 15 hours a week.  I get to work with prospective students and with the wonderful women in the Registrar/Admissions/Dean’s office.  I couldn’t ask for a better workplace.  However, with the addition of the wonderful job, there is the not-so-wonderful aspect of leaving Adeline for those three hours a day.  Luckily, there are many other new mommas here (five of us with babies within about five weeks of each other).  Another mother took a job in the library in the afternoons so she watches my little peanut for part of the morning, we make the switch at noon, and I keep her Margaret four a few hours in the afternoon.  It’s a fabulous arrangement and I look forward to seeing the girls grow together and become friends.  They don’t seem to mind the arrangment much, but Ashley and I talk each other through it everyday.  I can’t imagine going back to work full time and praise God for His provisions so I don’t have to. 

My dear husband has been quite busy himself…I suppose that is what we’re here for.  He is a choral scholar (surprised?  I didn’t think so.) and Junior Class Refectorian ( he gets to boss people around in the “cafeteria”).  His day starts at 8:00am with morning prayers, continues with breakfast, classes, lunch, work crew, meetings, choir practice, studying, evening prayers, family time, more studying and bedtime.  We carry Greek flashcards with us at all times for “just in case” we have time to run through them while in lines, etc.  He is doing fabulously and I couldn’t be more proud. 

Adeline is doing wonderfully.  We often awaken to the sound of her cooing and laughing in her bassinet next to us.  I secretly dread and simultaneously look forward to moving her to her crib (thank you ladies!) in her room.   She loves to be spoken to, photographed, read to, and cuddled.  She is beautiful, smart, and so strong.  We adore her more and more everyday.

We miss all of you at our “homes” in Iowa and Indiana.   Not to mention all of our friends scattered all accross the country.  We hope that you will continue reading our blogs as we share our journey through parenthood and seminary.  To our new friends and fellow travelers, we are thankful that we are here to share this time with you.  We are amazed and feel priviliged everday to have been called by Christ to be here.