Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Grammar lessons are my biggest hurdle as far as required subjects is concerned. I just want to know what everyone else uses for grammar. I have 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 7th graders. They've had very little formal grammar instruction although my 7th grader is an incredible reader and writer. She wants to be an author when she grows up. We've done a tiny bit with Easy Grammar and are currently working on Writing Strands 2 and 3.
I'm just curious what everyone uses and why.

I've had recommendations for the Building Christian Writing from Rod & Staff but am not sure how I would choose where to start.

Thanks for your input.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Way of the Ascetics"

by Tito Colliander

I bought this book at the bookstore that was set up at the Women's Retreat I attended last weekend. The retreat was wonderful, just not long enough.

The first chapter of this book is amazing and speaks directly to me and my slothful tendencies. I struggle everyday against the demons that entice me to sit and read, sit and surf, sit and _____. I sit and then I despair because I sit. It's a vicious cycle. I find that reading other peoples blogs only exasperates the whole cycle because I tend to see all of these "perfect" people and the "perfect" lives they live and question my abilities even more.
This chapter spoke to me deeply and profoundly. I have vowed to read this 2 page chapter over and over and over again throughout the day. To find Christ in my day by working harder with my children, opening my eyes to see Christ in them, to see Christ in each and every encounter I have.

Chapter 1 "On a Resolute and Sustained Purpose"

If you wish to save your soul and win eternal life, arise from your lethargy, make the sign of the cross and say: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen
Faith comes not through pondering but through action. Not words and speculation but experience teaches us what God is. To let in fresh air we have to open a window; we never reach a goal by just sitting in comfort and waiting, say the Holy Fathers. Let the prodigal son be our example. He "arose and came". (Luke 15:20) However weighed down and entangled in earthly fetters you may be, it can never be too late. Not without reason is it written that Abraham was 75 when he set forth, and the laborer who comes in the 11th hour gets the same wages as the one who comes in the first.
Nor can it be too early. A forest fire cannot be put out too soon; would you see your soul ravaged and charred?
In baptism you received the command to wage the invisible warfare against the enemies of your soul; take it up now. Long enough have you dallied; sunk in indifference and laziness you have let much valuable time go to waste. Therefore you must begin again from the beginning: for you have let the purity you received in baptism be sullied in dire fashion. Arise, then; but do so at once, without delay. Do not defer your purpose till "tonight" or "tomorrow or "later, when I have finished what I have to do just now." The interval may be fatal.
No, this moment, the instant you make your resolution, you will show by your action that you have taken leave of your old self and have now begun a new life, with a new destination and a new way of living. Arise, therefore, without fear and say: Lord, let me begin now. Help me! For what you need above all is God's help.
Hold fast to your purpose and do not look back. We have been given a warning example in Lot's wife, who was turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back (Genesis 19:26). You have cast off your old humanity; let the rags lie. Like Abraham, you have heard the voice of the Lord: "Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from they father's house, into a land I will show you" (Genesis 12:1). Towards that land hereafter you must direct all your attention.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Field Trip Fridays

ADDENDUM: I realized that for being a scrapbook of sorts for our "Fun Friday" field trips I didn't have very many pictures of our first 2 field trips on here. So I have added 9 or 10 more pictures with descriptions to this post!

I've been meaning to blog about the start of school this year but just haven't had time nor the words. I've been second guessing my purpose for blogging but that is a whole different post entirely.
I just thought I'd share with you what our Fridays are going to look like. I want to "scrapbook" all our "Field Trip Fridays" but I'm not really into scrapping so I think the next best thing is blogging each trip. The purpose of that will be more for our own preservation of memories than anything else. After the year is over if the kids want to print out the Field Trip Friday posts and make a book I think that would be a fantastic idea and really fun!
I wanted to make it easy on myself and not have to do too much planning and as little driving as possible. So we are sticking around North Kitsap County and we will explore as many parks and hikes as we can. Some days it'll be a really simple playground visit and other days I hope to get in some pretty good hikes. Even a museum now and again.
On Friday, September 11th was our first Field Trip and we went to Battlepoint Park on Bainbridge Island (which really is only about 15 minutes from here, if that). They have an awesome playground, a nice 1 1/2 mile trail with a cool pond. Here a few pictures of that day.
I hope to get some cool pictures of the kids too during our outings. I haven't been taking a lot of pictures of them lately and they are sure growing up fast! During the very hot hike we finally reached the pond we had heard was there and it was such a nice little respite. Then as we watched a ton of ducks approached. They were so friendly and came up so close but we had no food for them. Later on down the path we ran into a couple little brown bunnies. We sat and watched them for quite awhile.

Here are the ducks making a bee-line for us. It was really cool. They got so close I was able to snap this really neat picture of a female Mallard.

Here we have a picture of the rabbits we ran into. You might have to click on it to enlarge to get a better look. They were so cute. The boys were able to get quite close to them before they hopped away.

Our 2nd field trip was a simple one to downtown Poulsbo to walk the boardwalk that overlooks Liberty Bay. It was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed it. September 11, 2009

I think this picture of Joseph is so neat. This was actually taken on our way back to the parking lot. After all the walking and running on this boardwalk, he finally realized that if he looked down he could see through the cracks to the water. This always freaks him out. The cracks are quite small so he didn't notice before. When we've walked bridges before where you can see water below he is almost paralyzed. It's funny.

It was another beautifully sunny day, of which we really need to take advantage of and be grateful for because they won't last much longer. We walked a short walk on the boardwalk and here is where it ended and the path goes into the woods a little to a VERY tiny play place. I like this picture of the kids.

I have no idea what Charissa and Joseph are looking at.

My "almost" teenager...she is as tall as I am now!

There was this very odd scum on the bay and we took a picture so I had to include it for their memory books. We wondered what it was and why.

This next Friday their "field trip" will only be a playdate at a friends house because I am headed out of town by 11AM to go to a women's retreat in Portland, OR. I am VERY MUCH looking forward to this and wondering what God has in store for me. I waited till the last minute and I just know the way it all worked out it was of God.

I want to post about our curriculum soon.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

St. Sophia

Today we commemorate St. Sophia and her three daughters; Faith, Hope and Love. To learn more about her go here.

Troparion - Tone 5

You blossomed in the courts of the Lord
as a fruitful olive tree,
holy martyr Sophia;
in your contest you offered to Christ the sweet fruit of your womb,
your daughters Faith, Hope, and Love.
Together with them intercede for us all.

Oh Most Holy St. Sophia, please pray unto God for me.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


My baby, Joseph, who turned 7 in July, got to serve in the altar yesterday for the very first time! I wasn't prepared for this occasion like I was with Nicholas' first service nearly 3 years ago so I had to use my phone to make a memory.
This is a picture of both my boys during the Little Entrance. Joseph on the left and Nicholas on the right.

And here are ALL my boys!!!!
(L-R) Joseph; their daddy, Sbdn. James; Nicholas.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Contest at Organic & Thrifty

Win Some Counterculture

over at Organic and Thrifty.
Thank you, Carrie, for this opportunity. How how I would love to win some of these cultures. I've been wanting to try the Kefir!
Good luck to all but I sure I win!!!