In Preparation for Pascha

After a warm, sunny weekend, we woke up to snow.
Our pear trees aren’t too happy about it.

Although, it does seem appropriate that the weather cools down and clouds over as
we participate in Holy Week and prepare for the death and resurrection of Christ.
It looks like our weather here is going to be beautiful on Sunday.
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My parents came for a wonderful visit over the weekend (photos to come!), and now the kids and I are back into the swing of things with school.  We are focusing on Holy Week.

I divided up the whiteboard so that we could discuss each day of Holy Week.
Here is an excellent resource from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese.
It teaches the lessons a day ahead in order to prepare children for the church services.
I am using it, along with my “Our Domestic Church” binder
to help the children understand what Holy Week is all about.

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After I read the Bible story to them,
I have them help me fill in the chart and then we do a craft or activity together.

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I have been wanting to make a Resurrection Garden for years, and Mat Emma’s post reminded me of it this morning.  Fortunately, I had wheat berries in the house because I like to grow wheatgrass for my smoothies (it tastes good, I promise!).

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During Holy Week, the grass should grow.
After Holy Friday services, the children will place a small toy person, wrapped in cloths in the tomb to represent Christ, and we will put a rock in front of the open tomb.
Then on Pascha morning, they will open the tomb and it will be empty!

Have a blessed Holy Week!

Non-Dairy Pumpkin Spice Latte

I was in the mood for something warm and comforting today.  Of course, any type of coffee drink would hit the spot for me, but I decided to go for one with pumpkin. 

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It is very simple to make:
- 2 cups of Almond Milk
- 1/2 cup of strongly brewed coffee
- 2 to 4 Tbsp of sweetener (I used 3 Tbsp of Coconut Sugar)
- 1/2 tsp of Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp of Pumpkin Pie Spice

Combine ingredients in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Do not boil.  Stir until steaming.  Then pour into a cup and enjoy!

Re-Organizing Our Homeschool

I was looking for ways to make our children become more independent in their work when a friend shared that Aldi was selling workboxes for very cheap.
I grabbed the last two that our local stored had on their shelves
for less than what it would have cost for one at other retailers.
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The next step was for me to decide exactly which subjects would go into each drawer.
Previously, our children had been using one big binder for all of their subjects.
This was working fine, but I wanted something that would allow them to work on their own more easily.  I put all of their Classical Conversations (CC) work into one small binder and used the drawers to hold material for other topics.
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Each label has velcro on the backside so that I can move them around and trade them out for other subjects at a later time.

homeschool organizing
Some drawers hold only one book/item, while other hold several. Each child has a pencil holder with just his or her items in it. I also decided to purchase a timer for each child.  When they are given an independent assignment, they are also instructed to set the timer for a certain amount of time.  When the timer goes off, the child is done with that subject for the day and can move on to the next.
organizing homeschool

However, in the case of reading, today David, who complained about reading, heard his timer go off and silenced it so that he could finish the chapter.  Win!  There will definitely be times when the children will need to complete an assignment and the timer will not be needed.

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I also have a board with each day’s assignments that I can change daily. Not very exciting, but practical and communicates what it needs to.

organizing homeschool

The children each have their own chart with each day’s assignments.  I made it weekly so that they can get their work done even if I need to take care of another sick child or if Daddy is watching them for some reason.  They are now able to work independently.

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I also organized all of my books for homeschool as well.
Now, everything has a place and will make teaching much easier
than working out of the basket(s) I was previously using.

organizing homeschoolI also put all of my worksheets and CC work in a file cabinet.

I am sure this will all require some tweaking down the road,
but I am pleased with it so far.

Full of Grace

Rejoice! O Virgin Theotokos!
Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb,
for you have born the Savior of our souls!

UntitledAlthough, we are all home sick today,
we were able to learn a little bit about the
Feast of Annunciation in school today.
I read from Treasury of Feasts from The Garden of the Theotokos curriculum
and The Story of the Mother of God by Dorrie Papademetriou.

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Then the children colored icons of the feast.

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A friend brought us dinner tonight- it looks amazing.
Eric officially has RSV, but is doing well considering.
Unfortunately, he isn’t sleeping well at night… at all!
I am very exhausted, sipping coffee as I write this.

The virus (RSV) takes about ten days to run its course,
but the cough can last up to 3-4 weeks.
Nathaniel and I are both still sick, and all of the
children are dealing with congestion and runny noses.

Glorious Feast!