As 2016 comes closer to its last days I hope with all my heart that people all over will look forward to 2017 as a new beginning. All those planner pages waiting to be filled up and more celebrations waiting to be enjoyed. I am sure there will be great sorrow at times followed by great joy. I always like to look back on New Years last year and compare it with now and just think about how I never would have guessed last year what 2016 would bring me. I could have never predicted events or where I’ll be on New Year’s Eve 2017.
The only thing that I can predict is the cycle of the church. The services, prayers, fasting and Paschal Feast only to realize that it’s almost Advent again. It is the only thing that is certain, that stays the same, that brings me comfort. Everything else is the weather that passes through.
Many blessings to all this coming year.
Off he goes today to the holy mountain. The great Mt Athos. For two week he will be praying and visiting the most holiest of sights for Christians. I do not have a game plan yet for how I will be by myself for that long. Thankfully there is another mom here with 4 kids and one on the way that is in the same boat as me. So far I have come up with these go to advice from the internet.
- It’s ok to let the house be dirty… no one to judge you.
- Give yourself time to do what you want for a little bit each day.
- Reach out to others with kids so you are not constantly your kids playmate.
- Find a good show to watch.
- Find a good book to read.
- Early bedtime… no bedtime… either one.
Our journey begins.
DIY nativity set
We had always wanted to get a nativity set but never end up buying one so what to do?? Make one!
Does not look super professional but the boys love it. It goes nicely with our lesson about the birth of Christ and advent season from the catechism of the good shepherd lesson plan we use to learn about the church.
Sometimes you go to the city and this is what you get…
This week was a cold one. King winter has definitely come. Our addition to circle time is this finger play because it’s cold but no snow yet. We will add another once there’s snow on the ground:
Now that king winter has come to stay
All the trees are bare
Little birds must fly away
To find their food elsewhere
Little seeds lie hidden
In the quiet dark earth
Waiting till they’re bidden
To rise above the earth
We focused on a letter B this week with my own story for the boys about a bear that wants to pray and he searches the forest for an animal that knows how to pray. He sees a beaver and the beaver cannot pray and he sees a butterfly but the butterfly cannot pray either. They hear of a monk that lives deep in the forest that prays all day. So the bear goes and finds the monk.
This is a shortened version of course of St. Seraphim of Sorov that is a beloved saint in the Orthodox Church but this is from the bears side of the story.
I am still working on my artwork.
We also made our friends presents this week for St. Nicholas feast day on Tuesday. Our original idea with salt dough backfired because there was not enough room to fill with beeswax but in the end we ended up making a bear and a letter B then painted them blue and used them as ornaments for the tree. Our friends got cookies and a regular tall beeswax candle we made.
We also finished up the week with walking the letter B and braving the cold days with daily outside time.
I have noticed that the boys need to have games when we go outside because it’s cold so taking walks and playing I spy works for us. These stumps we are hoping to transfer to our house and use them as play things for the boys.
Our random acts of kindness this week included; listening to someone, giving a hug, and giving something to someone else.
More ordinations this weekend for us in seminary. Then off to Mt. Athos goes my husband for 2 weeks! After Christmas of course.
Blessings to all.
Wrapping up our week here we made our first attempt at melting beeswax and making candles
Made a pretty good first candle. My oldest is going to be making these for his friends for Christmas presents.
We also lit the first two candles of our salt dough advent spiral that one is also working out well. It is accompanied by the random acts of kindness for each day of advent the boys and I try to practice each day.
I myself am working on my handwork, trying to do it Russian style with a YouTube tutorial my mom send me. So far I have made a wash cloth, a scrubby and keep failing at a scarf…
Did turn this one into a bunny that we use for our counting, tossing it back and forth during circle time and counting to 10 in English and Russian.
For the rest of the time we explored nature on our hike before it started raining on us and finished up our J activities with jugs we painted.
We have two friends being ordained over the next two Sundays, one to deaconate and the other who is a 3rd year student here in seminary to the priesthood. Axios axios to both!