"The primary goal in the education of children is to teach, and to give the example of a virtuous life."

Saint John Chrysostom

Making This House Our Home

Posted on Apr 19, 2015 in All Posts, Garden | 3 comments

Making This House Our Home

Our high today was 75!  A glorious 75 degrees!!   I know that when I’m pregnant my hormones are still not “normal” because I FREEZE in the wintertime…but only when I’m pregnant.  Otherwise, I enjoy cool weather.  The best way to describe the cold for me when I’m pregnant is…painful.  I avoid going outside at all costs.  When I go to the store, I’m literally layered and will only go to one store, so they better have everything I need there.

I can’t describe how excited I am to have warmer weather again!  We spent the entire day in our backyard doing yard work, gardening, filling in doggie holes, playing, relaxing, grilling, and eating.

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Together Again

Posted on Apr 13, 2015 in All Posts, Family & Friends, Orthodox Christianity | 2 comments

Together Again

Niki flew in for the weekend and Zach N. was able to drive up to spend some time with all of us as well.  It’s one of those things where your oldest child is growing up and becoming more independent so you simultaneously miss them fiercely but are also so excited to see all the fruits of your labors as you watch them maturing and succeeding on their own.  I find myself savoring every moment I have with her before she gets married.  More than likely her or Zach N. will get a job far from us since they both have these wonderful opportunities with their internships – so I’m thankful for even the briefest of visits with them these days.  It was especially nice having these two around because every time I turned around they were loading the dishwasher for me.  Niki also made Eggs Benedict for all of us one morning. Yes…it’s nice to be spoiled like that once in awhile.

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Not Every Lent Looks the Same

Posted on Apr 7, 2015 in All Posts, Orthodox Christianity | 3 comments

Not Every Lent Looks the Same

Each year we find ourselves on a journey during Lent. Traveling that long and arduous pilgrimage – focusing on others more than ourselves and realizing it’s much harder than it sounded.  After all, going to church at the end of a long day, multiple times during the week becomes weary very quickly as we realize we’re worn out and don’t have much left to give.  Giving up some of our favorite foods in order to save money to give to someone else more in need than ourselves is difficult.  I worked hard to attain these comforts and I’m not willing to give them up easily!  Going to confession is just downright embarrassing and that takes a lot of work to force myself to go.  Immediately, our own wants and desires make themselves known and we find ourselves either making excuses for why we didn’t go to church or have to push ourselves to show up.  In those moments, we realize it’s much easier to put ourselves first – even before God.  We struggle with this realization with differing levels of difficulty but as we attend the Paschal liturgy and listen to the powerful sermon of St. John Chrysostom, we are incredibly thankful for God’s abundant mercies upon us!!!

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Holy Week and Pascha Project

Posted on Apr 4, 2015 in All Posts, Homeschooling, Orthodox Christianity | 1 comment

Holy Week and Pascha Project

I’m taking a pregnant break and sitting at my desk for a few moments after spending the day cleaning and prepping for this coming week.  I figured I might as well do some computer work while I’m sitting here.  As I type this, Symeon is kicking and saying hi to all of you.  

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Life Lessons

Posted on Apr 4, 2015 in All Posts, Family & Friends | 10 comments

Life Lessons

We got back tonight from dropping off Luna with her new owners.  We had a little less than a 5 hour drive each way to meet them half way.  Gabriel was an absolute rock star on this drive!  This is the very first road trip EVER where he hasn’t screamed for a loooooong time.  This is our child who has hated his carseat from infancy.  I couldn’t even go to the grocery store without him screaming the entire ride there and back…and he NEVER simply screamed himself to sleep.  Ever.  Not once.

On this road trip, I realized another lesson Malaki taught me.  He taught me how to perceive that pivotal moment just before my children are going to have a meltdown and leave on a high note before they lose it.  (Malaki has severe sensory processing disorder per a diagnosis from Children’s Hospital.)  I wanted to go out to lunch with Luna’s new owners so badly (and felt horrible needing to turn them down) but I knew Gabriel – he was at his limit.  We needed to find someplace for him to run around for awhile until we could check into our hotel.  We would have a meltdown if we didn’t – not a Malaki level meltdown but a meltdown none the less.  We saw a Lakeshore Learning down the road and stopped there.  (I was thinking about you Melissa!)  We were in there for over an hour letting Gabriel walk around and play with the display toys.  And…mommy wasn’t disappointed she had to walk around and look at stuff at the teacher store either.

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Our Own Calcutta

Posted on Apr 1, 2015 in All Posts, Foster Care & Adoption, Orthodox Christianity | 8 comments

Our Own Calcutta

I don’t remember the first time I learned about the life of Mother Teresa but it was a long time ago.  I sat glued to the photos of her in a magazine as she attended to the sick and infirm, to the poor and unwanted, to the forgotten and alone.  I was mesmerized by those pictures – realizing life was more than just acquiring a job and (hopefully) raising a family.  It was about helping others.  It was about doing the work of God through our own hands.

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Goodbye Plum and Luna

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 in All Posts, Family & Friends, Foster Care & Adoption | 2 comments

Goodbye Plum and Luna

I’m having flashbacks to foster care.  Last week, I prepped for everything that would go with the dogs – everything I’d want if I was adopting them.

I can’t help but have memories and emotions surfacing for Malaki and Justice right now.  It’s not the same – but there are enough similarities that it’s getting me teary eyed.

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The Writing Project

Posted on Mar 27, 2015 in All Posts, Family & Friends, Homeschooling | 0 comments

The Writing Project

I set a little goal for myself with my big boys for 2015.  Each of the three boys will write a letter to each of their cousins for their birthdays and I’m going to stick in a little monetary gift to go with it.  Even though the first cousin’s birthday wasn’t until earlier this month, I missed his birthday.  Way to go Aunt Jenny!  (Amazon gift to the rescue!)  Now the second cousin’s birthday is coming up next week so we worked on our project all day yesterday.

Transitions are a struggle for my big boys.  Any and all transitions.  Part of it is a situational trust vs. transferral trust issue.  Part of it is a brain processing issue.

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Coming Spring 2016!!!

Posted on Mar 26, 2015 in All Posts, Family & Friends | 8 comments

Coming Spring 2016!!!

I learned last night, through my can’t-keep-a-secret husband who begged his daughter if he could tell me, that Niki will be having several clothing designs go to production for the Spring 2016 line!!!

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Week with Family: Continued

Posted on Mar 21, 2015 in All Posts, Family & Friends, Homeschooling, Road Scholars | 5 comments

Week with Family: Continued

Wednesday:  All the kids played – inside and outside – during the day and then we went to Presanctified Liturgy that night.

Emma told me yesterday, “I like your other house better than this one.”

I inquired, “Why’s that?”

She responded, “You don’t have chickens here.”

Who would have thought that taking care of chickens is a lot less work than training two puppies?  Not me.  I think we’ve already decided that after buying our next house, at some point, chickens will be a part of our backyard again.

Wednesday night, after church, she told me, “I like your new house now.”

“What made you change your mind?”

She looked up at me as we’re walking out of the church, “I like this church better than your old one.”

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