Monthly Archives: September 2013

Things I take pictures of and forget to blog

One day my nephew’s grandpa brought some watermelons over. My kids were super anxious for me to cut them up, but we did not have time before ballet. They took matters into their own hands:

20130925-164727.jpg

20130925-164828.jpg

20130925-164933.jpg

When the world is crashing in on me I go to the beach or the monastery. This particular crash the sweet abbess spent a lot of time talking to me and getting things sorted out. Then she gave me a book, a home censer, charcoal and incense. We followed this up with the beach and gluten-free pizza at our favorite spot on the harbor.

20130925-165420.jpg

20130925-165458.jpg

20130925-165631.jpg

20130925-165749.jpg

20130925-170237.jpg

Henry and I love food:

20130925-170027.jpg

20130925-170154.jpg

We’re starting a mission parish for the Orthodox Church in America in our house. We’re so excited to have like minded families, an archdiocese that cares so much about us to send us a priest, and to be able to have the beginnings of an American Orthodox Church as a light to the lower San Joaquin Valley. We’ve celebrated a name day, had Vespers and begun the logistics and planning stages. I also had to reorganize quite a bit of our things to make room. It wasn’t too difficult after having lived in much smaller places for the past three years and so many cabinets and other places around here that were just empty. I kind of like the way we have things now way better, so much so that when we can move to a public location (hopefully soon!) I’m not sure what we’ll do with the space instead.

20130925-170948.jpg
Cake, party horns and Vespers for the feast of St. Aidan

20130925-171145.jpg
The best goat’s milk ice cream from our friends’ goats we had one night after Vespers

20130925-171510.jpg
Very un-Orthodox, but Stephen needed his guitar to help him figure out pitch on Church music one afternoon.

20130925-171647.jpg
Homeschool stuff moved and reorganized.

20130925-171753.jpg
Empty cabinets are so fun to play in.

20130925-171932.jpg
A bedroom and a playroom. The kids love it so much and so do I.

20130925-172102.jpg
The very beginning.

20130925-172203.jpg
Venerating.

20130925-172246.jpg
Our first Typika.

20130925-172351.jpg
Gluten-free pancake breakfast.

We’ve been heading up to Bear Valley to play softball with my sister’s family at their community’s family softball games. The kids get dirty. The boys pee a million times.

20130925-172743.jpg

20130925-172832.jpg

20130925-172929.jpg

20130925-173012.jpg

20130925-173048.jpg

20130925-173142.jpg

We love school work around here. I already mentioned this, but I especially love the Garden of the Theotokos curriculum. Jillian begs to do that first every day.

20130925-173506.jpg

20130925-173619.jpg

20130925-173720.jpg

20130925-173838.jpg

20130925-173949.jpg

20130925-174100.jpg
Saddest book ever. I burst into tears three times.

20130925-174227.jpg

20130925-174337.jpg

20130925-174447.jpg

20130925-174534.jpg

We took on the county fair for the food and animals only:

20130925-175649.jpg

20130925-175723.jpg

We celebrated 10 years of marriage. That night my friend since 4th(me)/5th(her) grade had an art show in town. It seemed pretty appropriate to go. 12 years ago before we even started dating she told us we’d be good together and 10 years ago she was one of my bridesmaids.

20130925-180103.jpg
20130925-180153.jpg

20130925-180236.jpg

20130925-180318.jpg

20130925-180409.jpg

20130925-180725.jpg

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Homeschooling, Kiddos, Ramblings

Cuddle bug.

20130921-211354.jpg

20130921-211416.jpg

20130921-211512.jpg

Sweet little love of a boy. So incredibly sensitive. My most emotional kid of the bunch.

Still needs naps some days. Still needs help getting to sleep (“I want you to lay with me” or “I want to lay in your bed next to you”) at closer to 4 than his official 3 years old. Late night climb into our bed snuggler too.

It will not always be like this: his sweet hand on my lap to help him fall asleep and know that I am close while I quietly knit in dimmed light.

A talk today with my husband about our parenting. How Orthodoxy is changing the way we view our kids and parent.

The huge difference not viewing them as “little sinners” makes when St. Augustine and the Western doctrines on original sin are not the barometer. How their acting out should not be seen as an affront and personally offensive. How that changes the way we love them, discipline them.

Our Orthodox curriculum has been perfect in this season because I feel like I’m an Orthodox preschooler/Kindergartener too. There have been so many little nuggets for me. When we were discussing the sixth day of creation this line hit me, “It is important for us to remember that God made every animal… When we hurt animals, it makes God feel very sad. He does not want any of his creatures to be hurt.”

The implications of that are huge! Take that a step further, we humans were not only made by God, but in His image. When that sinks in, really sinks in, how does that change how we treat one another, how we speak to one another, how we parent our children?

Maybe it doesn’t change anything. Maybe you are like me and 15 minutes after reading that you are speaking harshly to your Kindergartener because she doesn’t want to do the handwriting practice copy work part of the assignment that the above quote came from.

True story.

But maybe, just maybe, it is the first tiniest step to repentance, to change.

There have been many, many points in this parenting journey where I just wanted no one to touch me. Touch, any touch, hurt: Please no one else touch me for the rest of the day or I will have a big rage and tears filled breakdown.

I do know this, the trigger is usually my own selfishness. I want to accomplish something that 80% of the time is not even what I should be spending time on and I get frustrated because “no one” is giving me the space to do it.

That’s changing in me, if only just ever so slightly. I don’t know how. It’s miraculous really.

20130921-211448.jpg

So I’m going to soak up every minute of this sweet still-pudgy hand on my lap. It won’t be like this for long at all. I will miss it, this season of life, of this I am quite sure.

Leave a comment

Filed under Faith, Family, Kiddos, Parenting, Ramblings

Less messy bird feeder craft for kids

We are loving homeschooling right now! There have been some tricky parts like when H climbs on the table and sits on J’s work (so we started doing most of our schooling during his nap) and working through her perfectionism is always a challenge too. It’s magical to watch her brain put things together though.

She’s reading some three letter words now with the “short” sounds for a, i, and o. Last night we read books together, me pausing to let her sound out words she can read now in some of her favorite stories. It is very exciting stuff.

I am also really loving the Garden of the Theotokos curriculum we decided to do this year. I’ve always loved doing art projects and crafts with the kids and this lends itself really well to that. Much like Five in a Row, I am doing a bit of picking over, but I love that it it is all laid out for me, matching up with the Liturgical year for when I do want to do it.

We are currently in the “Book of Creation” section of that curriculum. We learned about the birds and the fish for the fifth day of creation. One of the extra activities is to make a bird feeder. Just about every bird feeder craft I know of has some sort of nut butter mess involved (including the one in the book). Not only did I not want to deal with that, but we were also pretty much out of ours. So I started thinking up an alternative.

Less messy bird feeder craft for kids

Materials
-toilet paper roll
-markers/crayons/paint for decorating
-hole punch
-scissors
-about 12″ or so of yarn
-bird seed (we used raw sunflower kernels from our pantry)

Step 1: Fold end of toilet paper roll as shown below:

20130919-125049.jpg

Step 2: Do the same thing to the other end. The folds should be on the same side of the roll. This creates a little tray for the seeds.

Step 3. Cut out a rectangle/square/oval above the “tray” in the middle of the TP roll as shown below:

20130919-125702.jpg

Step 4: Punch holes in either end of the roll as shown below:

20130919-125821.jpg

20130919-125849.jpg

Step 5: Decorate!

20130919-125941.jpg

Step 6: Tie yarn on to each end using the punched holes.

Step 7: Fill with seeds.

20130919-130136.jpg

20130919-130204.jpg

Step 8: Take them outside and hang them.

20130919-130307.jpg

20130919-130337.jpg

1 Comment

Filed under Craftopia, Family, Homeschooling, Kiddos

2013-2014 school year firsts

First field trip with our homeschool play group to Station 65:

20130901-143756.jpg

20130901-143903.jpg

20130901-143959.jpg

20130901-144036.jpg

20130901-144120.jpg

20130901-144210.jpg

20130901-144321.jpg

20130901-144446.jpg

20130901-144612.jpg

First day of Classical Conversations play camp and parent/tutor practicum:
20130901-144733.jpg

Henry’s first attachment to a toy:
20130901-144907.jpg

20130901-145008.jpg

20130901-145053.jpg

First clothing phase:
“I only want to wear black. No other colors. Just black.” (It lasted all of four days)

20130901-145222.jpg

First day of ballet:
20130901-145455.jpg

20130901-145558.jpg

20130901-145643.jpg

20130901-145728.jpg

First day of Classical Conversations:
20130901-145905.jpg

20130901-145945.jpg

First beach trip:
20130901-150105.jpg

20130901-150146.jpg

20130901-150249.jpg

20130901-150327.jpg

First day of the new liturgical year:
20130901-150441.jpg

20130901-150512.jpg

1 Comment

Filed under Family, Homeschooling, Kiddos, Photography