Homeschooling: Start

Come into the garden Children…

Our first week of homeschooling started this week. We are starting the Garden of the Theotokos curriculum from Anaphora press and will be using Waldorf Essentials as our main curriculum later in September.

We started lesson 1 that was supposed to start on September 1st but I felt like this is a good intro to schooling and could be done flexible according to homeschooling schedules. It was all about talking to the child about a special place where we are going to talk to Jesus and learn about the Saints and the great Feasts of the church. Surprisingly Mr.4 responded really well to the lesson and the songs. Above is the picture of our space.

Since we are doing the unit studies with our co-op I do not have to worry about scheduling that in so our next lesson is about Moses and the ark of the covenant. In order to prep for this lesson I have to tell the story of Mosses, which is kind of long if people know it, so I decided to break it up into small lessons throughout the week leading to the feast day of Moses. I am using a variety of children’s bibles for that and just keeping it really simple.

Then it’s Russian… ugh. My struggles with teaching Russian has always been ongoing. How will they ever learn! This year I am just doing a curriculum I found that has drawn out stick figures for the words and I do one page at a time for the words. This way I track the lessons and words and can also repeat the lessons beforehand. We will see how this goes.

My crafts:

Decided my hand at candle making this week and also made an altar for a little church play for quiet time. No, dipping a ballon in wax is not an easy process. So I found that dipping the balloon in wax first then dipping it in water speeded up the process. Also I noticed that I had to stick the shells on way later in the process. Oh well, I learn from mistakes.

And there above is the miniature altar I made for my kiddos to play with. Mr.4 really loved watching these crafts. Work with your hands. I try to show them that.

Hope your week was blessed.

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Quiet 

  
All is quiet here around the house, not a sound is heard not even a mouse… Finally after having once of those bad mama parenting days the house is quiet. Tuesday’s are all day and night school days for my husband here in seminary making my night of putting two kids to sleeping by myself extremely difficult. 

Milk is all my son wanted tonight but we didn’t have any and all I wanted was a beer. Thankfully we both got what we wanted from a generous friend by the end of the night. Now two hours later the house is quiet while both boys are asleep. This rarely happens in parenting it feels like. 

So cheers to all you parents out there dealing with bedtime routines, bedtime battles and all that jazz. Good night.

All the leaves are falling down…

  
Here we are the start off fall. It feels very official now since the start of fall is seen everywhere here in New York because of the change in colors. Back in California we never experienced this change since the weather keeps warm or hot all year round and when it does cool down a degree or two then it always climbs back up to the normal warm/hot a few days later. Outfits remain the same all year round really, maybe an occasional sweater or jacket to buy will add that fall feeling to your wardrobe.

“I don’t think the weather is going to be getting warmer” says my frightful husband that has never truly lived in a weather changing place his whole life. I for once am going to enjoy these seasons for a while. Maybe when the snow comes and we can’t go outside anymore then I will have a different opinion, but for now my opinion remains.

All the leaves are falling down red, orange, yellow and brown. Yes all seasonal crafts that we can do and actually experience the season sounds like a good mom time to me.

Happy Friday!

  
Just a typical start to a Friday here in New York. A special moment today for me and my first born. Woke up this morning and got a chance to take a break from the baby and just hang out with my son. Running up and down the hill, climbing hills, rolling on the ground , chasing squirrels, kicking a soccer ball around. 

Sometimes it’s hard to see what you are missing until you experience it again. What special happiness rest in small moments of our lives. Why do we take things for granted sometimes?

Lord grant me to greet the coming day in peace and all that it shall bring 

Babies babies babies!

A very good friend of ours is having twins and asked my husband and I to be Godparents to one of their boys. Well what an honer… except that I do not know the first thing about organizing any kind of baby shower event. Thankfully the Godmother that she had chosen for her other boy is very aware of what needs to be done for such an even. She put me in charge of a few items such as games and thank you baggies. I started having a total meltdown when I realized that I have never accomplished putting together such items in my life. How am I ever going to be a good mother that organizes lunch boxes for her kids is what came into my mind. Hence the meltdown.

I am not what you would call a girly girl. It is thanks to God and His mercy I have a son as a first child since I would not know what to do at all with trying to be girly. I jumped out of airplanes for fun (parachute included) dived the deep seas over 100 ft down (almost died a few times, my cat lives are running out) and jumped off a bridge (bungee cord included). Yes organizing an even and games is not in my nature.

With Google being my best friend in times of crisis, tomorrow is the day of the big bay shower event. “Mom is having to get out of her comfort zone” says my husband to my 6 month old boy that is staring blankly at me as I put together thank you gifts. Yes that statement says it all.

Lent 2014 019

 

Post Pascha blues

Yes the glorious Pascha. We have made it. We have fasted over 40 days and have reached the celebration that is the feast of feasts. Yet every year without fail more and more people that I talk to seem to confirm the feeling that I always seem to receive along with this Pascha season. Our priest calls it the “post Pascha blues.” All the services are now back to their normal schedule, the length of the services is no longer 4 hours and every year it feels so lonely to me. Here we are celebrating the Resurrection of Christ yet I always seem to loose the joy very fast. The everyday woes of life always catch up to me faster then I can notice them and I get just stuck in a funk. How do we keep the joy of the Resurrection with us?

It is the question that may take my whole life to answer, maybe that is why we do have Lent and Pascha every year. During our recent trip to the monastery I noticed how easy it was to get back to everyday cares right when we started driving back and hit a few gas stations. How easy it is to start caring about entertainment and food. The joy of simplicity is hard to keep. The joy of Pascha seems to be swept up and I start dealing with post Pascha blues and try to get the joy, as well as keep the joy, for as long as I can.  Platina 2014 048

Hi Ho Hi Ho on the road we go

Yes we are packing our little bags grabbing our little 6 month old boy and going on a long overdue vacation. We are going to the monastery to visit the monks and nuns of Platina at St. Hermans then going to good ol San Francisco. Vacation with a little bundle of energy should be a new and exciting experience :o)

Wedding and more 527

 

 

Christ is Risen!!!

Paschal message by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

Beloved in the Lord

Your Graces the archpastors,

all-honourable pastors and deacons,

God-loving monks and nuns,

dear brothers and sisters!

On ‘this chosen and holy Day’ when the world ‘that is visible and invisible’ (see: the Canon of Holy Pascha) glorifies the Prince of life and Victor over death, I send my heartfelt greetings to all of you through the Paschal exclamation:

CHRIST IS RISEN!

From year to year the good news of the Resurrection resounds victoriously, encouraging us to render praise to God and the Saviour, who has trampled down death by death and has made us co-participants in the life eternal which is to come.

As we celebrate this ‘Feast of feasts and Triumph of triumphs,’ it is with a special spiritual feeling that we recall the redemptive act of the Saviour of the world, his sufferings on the Cross and bright resurrection. Pascha is not some beautiful legend, not some theoretical theology and not a nod towards a popular custom established in the distant past. It is the essence and kernel of Christianity. It is the victory that God has granted to us.

From the time of the apostles and up to the present the Church has preached Christ’s resurrection as the greatest miracle in the history of humanity. She speaks of this miracle not only as a fact of the Gospels, but – and what is especially important – as a moment of destiny for all those who have received the Paschal good news. This feast bears the most direct relationship to us, for Christ’s resurrection, the Lord’s redemption of the fallen world, is the greatest joy which the human person can experience. No matter how difficult our life, no matter what everyday troubles besiege us, no matter what grief and imperfections we have to endure from the world around us – all of this is nothing in comparison to the spiritual joy, to the hope of eternal salvation that God gives us.

As St. Paul says, ‘he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken our mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in us’ (cf. Rom 8:11).

On the radiant day of Christ’s resurrection the souls of millions of the faithful are replete with thanksgiving to the Creator, and our earthly life acquires true meaning. Christ’s Passover is the greatest triumph of life, the triumph over death bringing love, peace and spiritual transformation.

In celebrating Pascha we each time open up a new period in our lives, for the risen Lord renews human nature, fortifies us in tribulations, and grants to us the strength to accomplish good deeds.

The Paschal message, which has transformed the whole course of world history, encourages us to be morally transformed, to be spiritually renewed, which is so essential for modern-day society. It reminds all people of the sources of Christianity, as well as of the coming eternal Kingdom where ‘God may be all in all’ (1 Cor 15:28).

During these radiant days of the Paschal feast we are called upon to share our joy with our relatives and those close to us, to show them active love and mercy. Such are the traditions sanctified over the centuries, and in following them we testify to our participation in Christ’s heritage and belief that the Lord has truly risen.

Now, as before, the Russian Orthodox Church diligently carries out her saving mission, tirelessly proclaiming God’s truth, affirming the importance of the Gospel commandments, calling for peace and harmony, serving the spiritual unity of nations living in the countries under the pastoral care of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Our special prayer today is for the peoples of Russia and Ukraine that peace will reign in the minds and hearts of our brothers and sisters by blood and in faith so that the ties that have been lost and co-operation which is so needed may be restored.

In proclaiming the love of God which surpasses all knowledge (cf. Eph 3:19), Christianity brings people together by overcoming national, cultural and state boundaries, for ‘the light of Christ illumines all’ (cf. Jn 1:9).

May the risen Lord grant that we may all with benefit for our souls continue our earthly pilgrimage in recalling our lofty Christian responsibility and vocation to create within ourselves and those around us a strong faith, sincere love and steadfast hope. May the joy of this feast day strengthen and inspire us to accomplish good works, grant to us the courage and strength amidst the stormy waves of the sea of life to retain our endurance and calm, to withstand temptation and trials, to overcome, in the words of St. Sergius of Radonezh, ‘the hateful divisions of this world.’

May the light of Christ’s glory that has shone forth from the Life-bearing Tomb abide with us and illumine our hearts, extending to those who are close to us and those far removed from us, and upon all who are in need of our care and support.

In congratulating all of you on the great feast of Holy Pascha, I prayerfully wish for you generous spiritual gifts, physical strength and the gracious aid which is from above in the triumphant journeying with Christ. Amen.

+KIRILL

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

Moscow
Pascha
2014 AD

 

Glorious Pascha is here!

If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord. If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense. If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast. If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in nowise be deprived thereof. If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing. If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; he gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour.

And he shows mercy upon the last, and cares for the first; and to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts. And he both accepts the deeds, and welcomes the intention, and honors the acts and praises the offering. Wherefore, enter you all into the joy of your Lord; and receive your reward, both the first, and likewise the second. You rich and poor together, hold high festival. You sober and you heedless, honor the day. Rejoice today, both you who have fasted and you who have disregarded the fast. The table is full-laden; feast ye all sumptuously. The calf is fatted; let no one go hungry away.

Enjoy ye all the feast of faith: Receive ye all the riches of loving-kindness. let no one bewail his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed. Let no one weep for his iniquities, for pardon has shown forth from the grave. Let no one fear death, for the Savior’s death has set us free. He that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it. By descending into Hell, He made Hell captive. He embittered it when it tasted of His flesh. And Isaiah, foretelling this, did cry: Hell, said he, was embittered, when it encountered Thee in the lower regions. It was embittered, for it was abolished. It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was slain. It was embittered, for it was overthrown. It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains. It took a body, and met God face to face. It took earth, and encountered Heaven. It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. For Christ, being risen from the dead, is become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. To Him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.

St. John Chrysostom Paschal Homily