This week, we learned how to properly clean the kitchen, learned about St. John Maximovitch, drew a picture of a map using a description from a book, tended to a nasty bump, had the results from our pokeberry dye bath, picked the seeds from our Panama’s Tears plant, and jumped into piles of leaves.

Life Skills: Properly Cleaning the Kitchen

My two boys, who load the dishwasher daily, needed a refresher course on how to load it so items actually get clean and don’t fall to the bottom of the dishwasher where they will melt.  Guess what boys?!  Today we’re going to learn how to clean the kitchen properly!

Honestly, I really don’t enjoy teaching my kids how to clean.  I’d rather just do it myself.  It’s a lot less frustrating and a whole lot quicker.  But…if I want them to be able to clean their own homes in the future, then I have to patiently teach them how to do it in this home.  I don’t think they realize that this is the last thing I wanted to be doing today either.  Life is full of things we have to do but don’t want to do and it’s an important lesson they need to learn.  I don’t expect them to clean it like this every day but it’s nice for them to know that I’m just making them do minimal cleaning on a daily basis not the scrubbing they think they do.

A photo taken of Saint John glowing with light as he served the Divine Liturgy

North American Saints: St. John Maximovitch

St. John was born in Russia.  He lived in Shanghai for awhile and is known for helping the orphans in the area.  When the Communists came into power in China, he and many other people had to flee the country.  They eventually found their way to California.  St. John passed away in Seattle, Washington in 1966.


Maps: Shepherding Sam

I was given a review copy of Shepherding Sam to read.  You can read the post I did for the book here.  There is a paragraph in the first chapter that gives specific details about the monastery grounds.  Based on the description from the book (carefully read several times), my boys created a map of the area.

The path starts and ends at the church door.  It winds down a gentle hill, curves around the tidy rows of vegetables sprouting in the garden, and swerves over to the parking lot.  Coming back into the monastery, it rolls around the apple orchard and passes a wooden fence with a squeaky gate, on its way to the nuns’ quarters.

Chapter 1

Liturgy & Co-op

We went to liturgy in the morning and then co-op in the afternoon but we only stayed for the first class.  Three toddlers (Symeon included) were hanging out at the doorway watching everyone in the hall.  Their combined bodyweight pushed the baby gate out of the doorway and they all three fell to the ground.  I’m not sure if Symeon hit his head on the frame of the baby gate or the hard floor, either way…I took him home (along with the rest of the boys) so I could give him some pain medicine.  He’s okay but it was a nasty bump.

I signed up to teach a class next semester.  Each teacher gets to pick what they want to teach (name the class, describe the class, list materials needed, etc.).  I submitted a proposal to teach “Wild Kratts Academy” which is a spin off of the PBS cartoon “Wild Kratts”.  I’m going to teach the littlest kids (pre-K to 1st).  They’ll learn about one animal each week.

Then my friend from church (she’s the one who told me about this co-op) talked me into teaching a second class and she’s going to be my helper.  Now, I’m also teaching a class for middle schoolers called “Junior Journalists”.  We’ll spend the first half of the semester learning about the basics of writing and the types of writing.  Then for the second half of the semester, the kids will be contributing junior journalists to our (new) homeschool news blog.  I’ll share a link to the blog once I have something going on it.

Living in God’s Creation

My pokeberry dye was a bust.  I had two batches of dye but the problem with both batches was not enough berries.  The batch of dye with 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1 gallon of water – was disgusting.  It smelled horrible!  It also didn’t dye the shirt at all.  The second batch of pokeberry dye was 100% vinegar and pokeberries.  That one was better but I didn’t have enough berries to significantly dye my shirt.  I got a very pale pink from it.  I’ll have to try again in the future.

I picked the seeds on of my Panagia’s Tears plant.  I’m giving them a chance to dry out a bit before attempting to figure out how to make a prayer bracelet with the seeds.  I’ll have to figure out how I’m going to poke a hole through them.  I guess I’ll see what I can find at the store that might work.

All the boys had fun jumping into the leaves in the yard this week.  So cute!