Monday, April 9, 2007


You know you do it.

Those wishy-washy words have and do escape your mouth more than you would like to think.

Daniel and I do it.

Pet names.

Yes, we do have pet names. I never thought that those types of words, in that type of voice would actually escape my lips so smoothly. I don't know how many times I have rolled my eyes when I have seen couples uttering those controversial utterances in public. The worst is when they do it in "that" voice.

Daniel and I have done what most couples probably do (I think) and "experiment" with different names to call each other. I mean, you have to feel good about the name you choose, and most importantly your significant other needs to feel good about it too before you sentence... I mean, before you bestow that name upon them for the rest of your lives. We did this sort of switch up where we would use a certain name for awhile. Then, it would change. I honestly think we have come upon our preferred, and maybe permanent alias. I am sure you are wondering what it is.

Honey. Yes, it is Honey. I do throw in a "sweetie" now and then, just to shake things up a bit. Honey. Sounds pretty nice and it rolls off so easily. "Honey, can you get me a diaper?" or "Honey, thanks for doing the dishes" sounds pretty good. Interestingly enough my parents have the same pet name for each other. So when we see my parents there is a lot of "honeying" going on.

See, I can handle becoming one of "those" couples and using "honey" even in public. I can take not hearing my own name for long periods of time (it sometimes sounds weird when Daniel actually uses my name). But, I think it is totally weird when my own daughter calls me that. Yes, Maya has caught on, and now refers to both her parents as "honey." "Honey, sit down!" "Honey, Nemo on!" When Maya wants something she calls us honey. There is still potential in getting her out of this habit before it actually becomes something somewhat serious. At least she hasn't completely abandoned the more traditional "daddy" and "oh-mah" (korean for mom).

I have to admit it makes me laugh when I hear her calling Daniel from her room "Honey! honey!" then she comes running out, grabs his hands and pulls him to her room.

I wonder if I sound like that.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

The "Good News" of Easter

Today the tomb was found empty. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James had come to where the tomb was and found the stone rolled away. They looked inside and did not see the body of Jesus where it was laid. Inside they saw an angel (or two depending on which gospel you read). The angel tells them the good news, that Jesus is not here, but that he is risen. The angel asks them if they remembered when Jesus had told them that he was to be crucified and that he will rise on the third day. Then they remembered all that Jesus had told them. They ran and told the apostles.

Jesus is risen today! This day is the greatest day and the greatest news to all of us. Because Jesus overcame death we have overcome it as well, and we can have eternal life. Isn't this the "Good News" of the Lord? As I write this post to you I can't even explain the wondersful feelings that are inside. TOday is truly a day to celebrate. My hope for you is that you and your families can feel God's love as I do today. Jesus is the Christ and He lives!

The tendency for us is to have this day pass and we resume normal things in our lives. But I hope that we can dedicate ourselves more fully to our Lord and to keep this "Good News" within our hearts always. That we can always remember His sacrifice and His triumph. That we can share this spirit and this wonderful news to all of those people who may not know it yet or who may have forgotten. That we can instill this knowledge of God's unconditional love to our children. Christian churches today celebrate the Risen Lord, but the Easter celebration does not end today. It lives on through our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

For Christians, the week following Easter Sunday is Easter Week. Also the Easter Season or Eastertide goes all the way until Pentecost (50 days total).

Happy Easter everyone!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Holy Saturday

Hey, as our series on Easter and Holy Week continue, today we celebrate Holy Saturday. This is the day where we remember Christ being entombed. Many Christians wait in anticipation for the resurrection of Jesus. This site I was looking at called the Women for Faith says, "It is a day of suspense between two worlds, that of darkness, sin and death, and that of the Resurrection and the restoration of the Light of the World. For this reason no divine services are held until the Easter Vigil at night. This day between Good Friday and Easter Day makes present to us the end of one world and the complete newness of the era of salvation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ." I think that this sums up Holy Saturday pretty good. The Easter Vigil is a time for rejoicing.

In my last post I talked about traditions. Do you ever wonder why people always buy new clothes for Easter. Every Easter growing up I got a new dress to wear on Easter Sunday. I do the same for Maya. Just last week I went and bought her a new dress to specifically wear for Easter Sunday. Come to find out, this tradition of buying new clothes for Easter has some deep Christian roots. In the Catholic Church catechumens (again, I would link this if I could) or those who are to be baptized, are baptized on the Easter Vigil, which is Holy Saturday. Today, potential converts to the church spend the whole year learning the doctrines and customs of the church through the RCIA program and then they are baptized on the Easter Vigil . A long time ago, this was also the case. But the catechumens were given a new set of white clothing to be baptized in. This all symbolizes the convert's dyeing wih Christ and being brought up in a new life with Christ. This is where the clothes tradition comes from....and we thought that it was the stores fault that we always buy new clothes for Easter.

Last night, our family had fun dying eggs and baking bread for Easter. I took some pics of my bread making for you guys to see. Again, I hope that you have a wonderful and beautiful Easter!

God Bless!
The dough in two ropes:

The dough twisted:

In a wreath shape:

With the traditional Greek red eggs(still raw):

All finished:

Some of the eggs we colored (Maya had a blast coloring eggs and smashing a couple:

Friday, April 6, 2007

Good Friday

Today is Good Friday, the second day of the Easter Triduum. The Easter Triduum is the three holy days where Catholics (and other Christians) celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Just to show how important these days are here is a quote from Vatican II Council: "Christ redeemed us all and gave perfect glory to God principally through his paschal mystery: dying he destroyed our death and rising he restored our life. Therefore the Easter Triduum of the passion and resurrection of Christ is the culmination of the entire liturgical year."

Today is the second day, Good Friday. So if Christ was crucified on Good Friday, why is it called "good"? On wikipedia they say it is a peculiarity of the English language. Like how "Good bye" came from "God be with you," Good Friday started out as God's friday. Either way, today is a very important day for most Christians around the world. There are some different practices, but since I really only know about Catholicism, I will just mention thei practices here. 3pm is the time traditionally marked as when Christ died. Mass is held at that time, but there is no procession or consecration of the Host and Wine at this Mass. Consecration was done on Holy Thursday. The bells are not rung and there is a more solemn feel of this Mass. Usually before Mass they will have the Stations of the Cross (if I could link this I would give you a link--but you could look this up on wikipedia or something if your interested) where the Passion of Jesus is reflected upon by prayers and stuff. Again, after Mass, people leave in silence instead of the usual procession and singing. Good Friday is a day of fast for Catholics. They are asked to attend the Mass services and/or stay at home with family. Usually Catholics will abstain from things like the t.v and radio to keep the solemnity of this occasion and to better reflect on what has happened on this day. This observance continues until the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday. It is on this day that Christians remember that God has died so that we might live!

Fasting is different in the Catholic church. The fast requirement is that you are allowed one "large" meal which is smaller than your regular meals. You are also allowed two smaller meals that when combined are smaller than the "large" meal.

I hope that today we can reflect on Christ's sacrifice for us, maybe read the scriptures and pray. How marvelous this season truly is, we are waiting in anticipation for the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!

God bless you guys today!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Easter Continued: Holy Thursday

Continuing with Holy Week, today is the observance of Holy Thursday. Today Christians celebrate the Last Supper before the death of Christ on Good Friday. Holy Thursday (also known as Maundy Thursday) commemorates 3 things: the washing of the Apostles' feet, the Eucharist (Communion, Sacrament) instituted by Christ, and the betrayal of Judas Iscariot. Services are held in the evenings and there is a washing of feet ceremony along with another reading of the Passion of our Lord.

A really neat tradition is baking of the Easter bread for Easter Sunday. In Europe they bake Easter bread on Holy Thrusday so it will be ready for the following Sunday. The bread is usually a yeasty egg bread. In the Greek tradition whole dyed eggs are baked with the bread. They are usually colored red which symbolizes the blood of Christ. The egg itself symbolizes new life. The bread can be braided in a wreath shape or left as a braided rope. They also make Byzantine crosses with the a little of the dough that is baked on top of the loaf. It is really a neat, beautiful, and delicious tradition. That is why I decided I was going to try it out this Easter. But instead of baking the bread today (which is the tradition), I am going to bake it on Friday. Daniel and I thought it would be fun and appropriate to color eggs, bake bread, assemble Easter baskets for our families, and read the story of our Savior's death on Friday evening. I will have to take pictures of our bread making and egg dyeing and post them up soon.

So I have been thinking about some things, prompted by some stories Daniel told me and here is one of my thoughts:
It is funny, I think that some people get really caught up with the fact that the major Christian holidays (Christmas and Easter) have so many pagan starts and traditions woven into them. While that is true, I don't believe that we need to stop celebrating them because of some thought that we might be doing pagan things. An example is the eggs on Easter. To the ancients, eggs symbolized a regeneration (which happens in the spring time) and fertility. That symbol of the egg has been adopted by Chrisitians to also symbolize a new life, but a new life in Christ. Symbols are really only symbols when we believe them to symbolize whatever they are symbolizing --ok, sorry for that sentence, but I don't know how to say it in another way.:)
Ok, so the point I am trying to make is that symbols can change and we don't have to get caught up in the fact that the Easter Bunny was a pagan symbol for fertilty or that the date for Christmas really was the commemoration of some sun god(emphasis on "was"). What we have is what those holidays mean to us and how we can draw closer to our Savior during those times. Now, we also don't need to make the Easter bunny central to what Easter means to us. We don't have to follow what the stores say should be emphasized for Easter or Christmas. We really can make our own traditions. when I thought about all of this, I looked back onto my childhood and what my family emphasized for those holidays. Yes, we had the gift-giving and the egg hunts, but we also had the church services we went to, focus on Lent and other Holy times and days, and time with family. Daniel's family always read the story of Christ's birth on Christmas, or Christmas Eve. Daniel and I have been adopting this tradition for Christmas and Easter which has a lot of meaning for us. These traditions and meanings that came from our families really shaped us and carried us through till now. It is really neat how most of us are new families with a small child or children on the way, and we have the opportunity to set or carry on traditions for our families today.

It is really hard especially with school and work and other obligations, but I hope that we can all really set some fun and meaningful traditions for our families (whether for these important holidays, or other things) while we are young and starting out, it only gets harder the more we wait.

Hey, I have an idea, maybe we can all post on some favorite traditions we have from our families or that we just developed, it would be fun to read, I'm sure.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Some thoughts for Easter-- Palm Sunday

Hey guys! It has been a really long time since I last posted. I think almost 40 days. First of all, our computer (well, the one we are borrowing from my sister-in-law) had its hard drive fail. We finally got that fixed, and then school has been crazy scary!
There are so many things that we have to catch up on but I wanted to post first, and formost, on how special this week really is. I came across this quote by John Duncan (he is either, a congressman, a politician for British Columbia, a Harvard math teacher, or an art guy-- all according to Google search) "Never in the Universe of God did there take place such things as took place that week on earth." This week Christians all over the world are celebrating in anticipation for the Glorious Resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is what Chrisitianity is all about-- Christ rose from the tomb fulfilling all that He came here for. His teachings, His sacrifice in the garden and His death on the cross were all real and important, especially since Christ defeated death and rose the third day on Easter. I can't express how truly amazing this is. Christ lives and He lives for us!

In lieu of this great season (of course General Conference was watched) I attended Mass in American Fork at the St. Peter's Church on Sunday. Catholics and others, celebrated Palm Sunday yesterday. There is a really neat tradition that they have where all the parish gathers outside of the church. We met underneath a small pavilion that the church owns. There we are given palm leaves and missal books to be able to follow the Passion of Christ, which is done during Mass. The Father begins Mass outside. He does a special blessing on the palm leaves and us and then we follow in a big procession singing praises as we enter into the church. For the Gospel readings during Mass, the Passion of Christ (the time of Christ's entry into Jerusalem until his death on Calgary) is read. In this parish the part of Christ was read by the Father, the narrator was read by the Deacon, the other parts such as Peter, Pilate, etc. were read by a lecturer, and the crowd parts were read by the congregation. It was so neat to be able to focus on this very important story. Mass continued as normal.

Holy week extends from Palm Sunday until Easter. In between, Mass is held on Thursday (to commemorate the Last Supper), Good Friday (to commemorate His death), on Saturday (there is a vigil), and then on Sunday to celebrate His Resurrection. I really hope that I can attend some of these masses. I encourage you guys, wherever you may be, to find a Catholic church (orthodox, Anglican...) and find out when these Masses will be and attend one. It is quite an experience and it will help you focus on the importance of this week.

You know I have felt so very blessed especially now during this season. My birthday happens to fall in Holy Week (it is today!) which hardly happens. I don't know what it is, but I feel the need to pay extra attention and care. How great it is to celebrate and commemorate God's greatest gift to mankind and the greatest miracle ever!

Well, I hope I haven't bore you, I just wanted to share some thoughts and remind you guys of this special time. I hope you are all doing well!