Moab UT

Moab UT

Friday, March 26, 2010

From Zoe

Zoe: "Mommy, I need some Ssssthsssmoked Gouda! (Smoked Gouda) Why you don't buy that good stuff anymore!?"

I'm just glad it took her forty days to figure out we're fasting.

Holy Week

Today is the last day we will homeschool for two weeks. We will spend next week attending services, baking, reading the Bible and illustrating the week through different mediums. We are ready for the break and look forward to the services leading up to Pascha.

I'll make my shopping list for Pascha this weekend and try to make those purchases Monday morning so that I can focus solely on Holy week with the girls. I will also begin my lenten cleaning. I'll try and spend one day on each room with a day devoted to going through the girls clothes and reorganizing them for summer.

Fr.'s very busy schedule as a priest and general contractor has the girls a bit out of sorts these days. We will be finished with the apartment by the end of Bright Week (our tenants are moving in on the 10th!!). A break will be in order at that point so that my poor husband can have some time away from his hammer and hopefully find inspiration to pick it back up and work on our house-at some point. Please, keep us in your prayers!

I encourage each of you to enter as fully into the liturgical life of the church as much as you possibly can this next week. Even if you think you can't, try anyway. The services are extraordinarily beautiful and help us enter more fully into the great feast of Pascha. Yes, they are exhausting and time consuming but so very worth it. Set aside all earthly cares for a week. As Mother Susanna used to tell me, with a loving smile: "It'll (the world) will be fine without you".

A blessed Holy Week to you all!

Friday, March 19, 2010


"...It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

Professor A. Dumbledore

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Have you seen this website?

Have you heard of For every vocabulary word you can correctly identify, they donate rice through the World Food Program to help end hunger. Check it out!

By the way, Katherine loves this site.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pause please

Zoe (3): "Mommy, will you pause your talk, I gotta go to the bafroom."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sweet memories

of our time with Vladyka Jonah.

Thank you Patrick for the wonderful photos!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cooler days

We enjoyed record snow days here in the south this year. I love that we now seem to get snow here in Texas, which has not always been the case. I can remember as a child not having snow during the winter and wondering what it must be like to play in big fluffy snow. I now know!

I wanted to post a couple of these pics before I forget about them. Obviously, the girls loved the snow days.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Little by little

I'll be the first to admit I am not a great homeschooling teacher. I've leaned heavily on friends and books for advice and direction. I do love having the girls home with me and and I love schooling them and very much believe in home schooling, I just don't think I'm very good at it.

However, there is one thing that I implemented that has worked so very well that I feel that I should share it in case it might be of help to someone else.

Every morning I help the girls with their morning prayers. After that I have Katherine get the Bible and and the calendar and look up the daily reading. We talk about the calendar, day, month, season, etc. Then I make her look up the reading and read it out loud to us all. When we first started doing this last year, it was hard reading for her. Now, she is able to read with great ease. We also read the Epistle and a Proverb. (We use the Orthodox Study Bible for the ease of read but also for the explanation at the bottom of the page).

While this has helped her reading a great deal, the conversations have been amazing. Every single morning the girls want to know what the Gospel is talking about, or why something did or didn't happen or why things went a certain way. They now have an understanding of the difference between the Gospel, Epistle and The Old Testament. Katherine now listens for the what we read in church and her eyes light up when she hears chanted what she has read. (Lord, may it always be so!)

Not only has this been a blessing for my girls, but for me too. I love discussing the Bible with them. We all have benefited from our morning Bible study.

While Katherine (8) and I engage seriously during this time, I let Thea (5) and Zoe (3) come and go as they please. I will usually get out the play dough so that they will stay close by and at least hear what is being said. Thea will always chime in with at least one question.

I thank God for this small blessing in our studies. I am always tweaking the girl's schooling this way and that, but I hope this area of learning always remains the same. "Little by little" the precious Mother Susanna always says, "Little by little".

Audio Stories

One of the very best gifts my girls have ever received has been their portable c.d. player with an album full of stories on c.d. My girls listen to stories daily. They love them. Thea's god mother blessed the girls with this great gift several years ago and by now they have a huge collection of c.d.'s to listen to. A couple of their favorite collections are: "Adventures in Odyssey" and "The Chronicles of Narnia". Grandma and Grandpa Ocean sent these as entertainment for our annual drive out to the N.W., however the girls listen to them over and over.

If your hoping to get your children away from movies a bit (or all together), this is a great solution. Katherine draws and draws about the things she hears on c.d.'s. Thea is really starting to draw more these days too. No doubt she'll find some inspiration in the audio stories also.

Here is a picture of Thea and Katherine on the floor the other morning listening to the end of a story they had started the night before.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Please help!

Please help the brothers if you are able!

The Monastery of the Archangel Michael in CaƱones, NM is in dire straits. With their superior having been ill (ulcerative colitis) so long and now out of commission, they are in a financial crisis.

They need $1400 in the next two days or they will lose power. No power means no ability to make candles, which is their major source of income.

Please if you can help, write to Fr. Silouan at Or call the monastery there in New Mexico (575) 638-5690. You can also send checks to PO Box 38 Canones NM 87516-0038.