Today is Pentecost!

"The Christian Pentecost is based on the New Testament where it refers to the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ as described in the Acts of the Apostles 2:1-31."

The above was taken from Wikipedia and you can read the rest of the article here.  But for today, I've chosen, for reflection, the following quotes about the Holy Spirit.  After reflecting, feel free to share some favorites of your own.

 

The power of the Holy Spirit, which is bestowed upon him who loves God and keeps His commandments, does not appear visibly in the form of fire, nor does it come with a loud sound like a violent wind - for this happened only in the time of the Apostles for the sake of the unbelievers. Instead, it is seen spiritually in the form of spiritual light, and comes with all calm and joy."   ~Guide to Byzantine Iconography, Vol. 1, by Constantine Cavarnos

 

“Everything that breathes, breathes by air and cannot live without air; similarly all reasonable free creatures live by the Holy Spirit, as though by air, and cannot live without Him. "Every soul is quickened by the Holy Spirit." Recognise that the Holy Spirit stands in the same relation to your soul as air stands in relation to your body.”    ~St. John of Kronstadt, My Life in Christ

We may study as much as we will but we shall still not come to know the Lord unless we live according to His commandments, for the Lord is not made known through learning but by the Holy Spirit.  Many philosophers and scholars have arrived at a belief in the existence of God but they have not come to know God.  To believe in God is one thing, to know God another.  ~ St. Siloun the Athonite

If your tongue is used to chattering, your heart will remain dim and foreign to the luminous intuitions of the Holy Spirit.  ~ St John of Dalatha

 

 

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

“O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, who art in all places and fillest all things, Treasury of blessings and giver of life: come and dwell in us, cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O gracious Lord.”

 

 

 

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit!

 

 

and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit!her and to the Son and to the

 

I love reading about what others are reading and sharing what I'm reading with others.                      Here's my summary of the past month and what I'm reading now.  I hope you find some good titles to add to your own list and share with me what YOU are reading in the comment section below!

What I Finished in May

The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution:  A Proven 4 Week Program to Rescue Your Metablolism, Hormones, Mind and Mood by Aviva Romm    This book is  SENSATIONAL and definitely, in my opinion, the best source I've read yet.  Now while I'm waiting for my food sensitivity test to come back I don't know that I'll be able to follow Aviva's protocol for diet, but it is an optimal program and I am certainly gaining a ton of insight on other aspects of the protocol because, believe me, it's NOT just about food.  My husband is listeing to this book on Audible and while we haven't had a chance to sit down and really converse about it, I can tell by the few comments he has made that he is equally pleased with the book and the information we are gaining from this doctor.

Everyday Saints and Other Stories by Tikhon Shevkunov   This is quite the lengthy read and I've been working on it for some time.  There is a great number of stories in this work that you will find inspiring and occasionally humorous.  And you will certainly know that miracles do happen even today.

Stuart Little by E.B White  -  My son got to watch two of the movies for his birthday so he grabbed this book off of our shelves one of our many read alouds.  He  enjoyed pointing out the similarities and differences between the book and the movie and  thoroughly enjoyed it, though I think we were both disappointed with the ending leaving so much up in the air-  including the bird!

Murder In The Smithsonian by Margaret Truman  I broke out of my non-fiction mode a bit.  Sometime you just NEED a little fiction in your life.  This book was reminiscent of my youth which was filled with mystery fiction!  I love a good Agatha Christie....  This book was not Agatha Christie but it was a nice switch.  I only rated it a 3 out of 5 on Goodreads but I'm sure mystery fans would still enjoy it.  I found it unsuspenseful and felt like it kept hinting at other story lines that never completed themselves in any way so I wasn't completely taken in by it.

No-Drama Discipline by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, PH.D.  -  I read an article on Facebook (yeah, I spend way to much time on there but...) and took the link to Amazon for this book.  I loved the article so much that I immediately put the book in my cart.  This was a great read, both for the simplistic and important approach to 'discipline' and important aspects of developing emotions and problem solving skills in our children, but also for the important message that we as parents should not beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make.  ALL parents make mistakes.  There are simply no perfect parents out there, including the 'professionals'.  I HIGHLY recommend this book.  While it's geared more for parents of younger (toddler) to say middle grade kids, I could easily apply things from this book to my older kids as well.

What I'm Reading                

 

A Beginner's Guide to Prayer: The Orthodox Way to Draw Close to God by Michael Keiser   I started this book before Lent and actually wrote a few posts in regards to prayer before Lent.   Being that I had promised myself to read my bible readings and a few pages of Thirty Steps to Heaven each day before reading anything else and my consumption of adrenal fatigue and other health related selections, I didn't touch this one all of Lent but it's to be included in my morning readings again soon!

A Woman's Walk with God:  A Daily Guide for Prayer and Spiritual Growth by Shelia Cragg   I know!  I told myself I was going to focus on the Beginner's Guide to Prayer after finishing the Thirty Steps to Heaven back in April but I grabbed this one instead, among others.  It seemed fitting as I packed for my weekend away and it really was.  It's not an Orthodox Devotional (see below for an Orthodox devotional by Sister Vassa), but it is certainly leading me in my search on how to fit prayer and devotion into my daily life.

Reflections With Morning Coffee - 365 Daily Devotions for Busy People by Sister Vassa Larin   -  Oh my goodness, it's Sister Vassa!  I asked in an Orthodox Facebook page if anyone had any good devotionals to recommend, Orthodox or otherwise (I'm not one to shun a non-Orthodox book but it's nice to at least get recommendations from Orthodox friends), and low and behold someone told me Sidter Vassa has one!  I LOVE Sister Vassa.  I used to listen to her on Ancient Faith Radio-- but I'm not an auditory girl.  I get too caught up in doing other things while listening and I have to listen to the same podcast about 5 times before I get it all.  And I've just always been a page in hand kind of person.  So having Sister Vassa's pages in my hand is a nice little uplift.

Blueprints for the Little Church: Creating an Orthodox Home by Elissa D. Bjeletich and Caleb Shoemaker    This is the selection my husband and I are reading together.  Blueprints discusses how we are to involve our children in the life of the Church from birth onward both in the church and at home.  I don't know why we have not found time to read together lately so I haven't made progress in this book but it needs to be a discussion topic soon!

The Whole-Brain Child (also by Siegel and Bryson)  I bought both this book and the No-Drama Discipline at the same time.  I wasn't sure which to start first and glancing through it seemed like both were relevant to one another but I went with the discipline book first.  Now I'm starting this one and I'm just a couple chapters in.  While I can relate what they are talking about from the Discipline book, I do not feel at this time that it's a total repeat, but simply a companion that explains the theory further behind the concepts in the book on Discipline.  I'm eager to continue my reading!

Delicious Blogging:  The Ingredients You Need To Create a Better Blog by Debi Stangeland  Debi is a book on my Kindle (I seldom use the kindle as I just can't resist a paper copy but it does come in handy ) some great ideas for bloggers, especially those starting out or with smaller blogs who want to have more success with finding readers and interacting with their public.  I haven't made progress with this book this month as most of my time is spent on reading about and taking care of my health and just getting a good handle on other things but I'm looking forward to a chance to sit down and soak up some of Debi's wisdom.

 

What I'm Reading With My Son

My son is 7.  He's techinically in first grade-  but I don't go by that.  We read what we think is fun and what I think he will be interested in or what I deem important.  I don't consider grade level.  It's more about age, interests and abilities.

Misty of Chicoteague by Marguerite Henry   While fictional, I chose to read Misty as part of our "history type" literature as it does talk about legendary history and the story behind the wild ponies of Asateague Island (where I spent my honeymoon incidentally).  I wanted to introduce him to the Marguerite Henry books and selected this one to see if he would like them.  We  made more progress with this one and I believe he is enjoying the story.

Red, White, Blue, and Uncle Who? The Story Behind Some of America's Patriotic Symbols by Teresa Bateman and John O'Brien     This is a charming little book to introduce youngsters to the symbols of our country including the Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, The Lincoln Monument and more. I've chosen to use picture books for the most part in our American History studies thus far but am looking to start on some nice biographies soon. In fact, I've just borrowed a few from a friend to let my son pick which he wants to start with.

Poppy's Retunr (Dimwood Forest, #4) by Avi     My son is loving this book as he did the first three.  I was totally enthralled by the first 3, not as much by this one.  I have an issue with the 'swearing'...   while they are not using foul curse words, there is much use of the term 'freaking' and such in a disrespectful tone from the main character's son to his mother.  Maybe I'm old fashioned but I'm not appreciating the 'humor'.  I simply skip over the words or substitute something more mild.  I highly recommend the first 3 for any age---  the porcupine 'swears' in all three, but really it's just a blend of really silly words put together as his form of complaining and both my son and I find that usage rather humorous.  This one, well if you are reading it aloud, it's still very enjoyable, but be aware you might want to be prepared to change some wording IF you feel the way I do about it.

 

What My Son is reading TO ME

Yes-  he has started reading to ME now.  This is his choice- his desire and I love it!

The Mystery at the Taj Mahal (India) by Carole Marsh    My sister got him about ten of this series for Christmas.  I selected to allow him to read them to himself at night while I sit and read in bed. He has read one on his own, is reading another and reads this one to me every now and then (his request).  However, I don't think we even put a dent in it last month and this month was slow.  We finally started it up again the other day. It's a little slow, not just because he has a little difficulty with a few of the words, but wants to stop and congratulate himself for each big word he reads and make commentary mid sentence if he knows a word, relates it to something else in his life or wants to point out how words are connected in other ways irrelevant to the story.  Sometimes I wonder if he really knows what's happening in the story because, frankly, sometimes I'm not real sure myself!  Hahaha!!

He also reads from his Children's Bible Reader to me on some days before our lessons.

I keep track of a lot of what I read on Goodreads.  And you'll see I usually have a LOT on my list at a time.  I used to be worried that this was strange.....then I started reading about Charlotte Mason and her methods and realized I must have been Charlotte in another life.... lol!  Just kidding!  But really, her homeschool methods teach about taking just small bits at a time from a book and giving the child time to think it over and ponder, if you will, and let it all soak in.  And she would have them read from various books each day - history, literature, nature, poetry, etc.  Some books a few pages or chapter a day, some only once a week.  So pretty much I've been doing 'Charlotte Mason' with myself all along.

Find me on Goodreads  HERE.

So--  that pretty much sums up what's on my reading list.

How about YOU?

Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  ~Matthew 6:34

 

Do you often find yourself worrying about things? I mean, like non-stop?? Oh my goodness, please don't tell me I'm alone on this! Actually, I know I'm not because in talking with other moms, I know I'm only one soul among many that find themselves worrying about all kinds of things.  And yes, sometimes I awake at night worrying.  Yet there is so much scripture that tells us not to do this.  How do we stop?  Last week, I wrote about changing perspective and quoted Philippians 4:6-9.  I've made that verse my newest memory verse and I feel it's going to be a 'prayer' that I use for a very long time.  Reading these words help me focus on the pure, the lovely, and all that is good and praiseworthy, rather than my anxious thoughts of worry, worry, worry.

Worry is normal.  There's not a person alive that has never worried over something.  But we must affirm our faith that God is in control and has us in His sight at all times.

Let's focus on that list of what Saint Paul offers us in Philippian's (the pure, the lovely, the noble, etc.) and scripture that reminds us that God is there.  Let us learn to be content whatever the circumstances.

 

Be still and know that I am God.        Psalm 46:10

 

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.  Philippians 4:13

 

But Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.  Jeremiah 17:7

 

What is your favorite verse to focus on whenever you are anxious and worried?

 

 

Time flies when you are having fun!

Well, okay, maybe it hasn't all been fun....in fact, it HASN'T been....  but on the homeschooling front, things are going pretty smooth.  But the thing is, that doesn't mean we are doing ALL of our lessons on ALL of our "school days" or that we've completed some textbook or that he writes 'perfectly' or that we spend every morning in prayer and devotion.

Things are going pretty smooth means I have changed my attitude on what 'school' needs to be, what learning is and it means that learning IS happening!

We saw one of the last circus performances. This was the first time I ever witnessed any 'shyness' in my son. It was actually good to see!
What's he doing you ask? Selling water of course! For FREE! HAHAHA!!!! Gotta love this kid! Oh, yes, of course I 'bought' some!

Here's a 'photo shoot' of some learning that has taken place over the last couple of weeks:

 

 

 

A lovely discovery outside while playing at a friend's house!
We helped a neighbor care for her chickens last fall. This spring we get to watch the new chicks as they grow!
This was the youngest boy's first trip to Niagara Falls and another country! We had a good time up in Niagara, Toronto, and nearby areas.

Perspective is everything!

"Am I "seeing" today in God's light? Or is it a purely human agenda (my own and other people's) taking up my entire field of vision? How burdonsome that can be. And what a relief it is to let light in; that is, hand it all over to God and re-focus on His presence in the whole picture. Perspective is everything!"
~ Sister Vassa Larin

 

This part of Sister Vassa's devotion for May 19th in her book  Reflections With Morning Coffee really hit home this past week.  Often as I work myself up over recent events and anxious thoughts of the future and hurts from the past, I loose sight of this simple and obvious reality.  Perspective really is everything. When we come out of our own field of vision, the anxiety lessens.  When we re-focus on God's presence, everything looks so different!

Recent events in our lives have led me to seeking His word more often - more time alone with Him and more devotion and prayer.  And more listening....  One prayer stays at the forefront of my mind.  It's from Philippians.  It speaks of thanksgiving (gratitude) and changing perspective from anxiety to one of thanks and focusing  on things that are lovely and praiseworthy.  Perspective IS EVERTHING!

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Finally brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on these things.  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.           Philippians 4:6-9

 

Our struggles and challenges are real.  But we need not give all of our energy to being anxious over them.  We can focus on what is lovely.  Perspective is everything!

 

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me, a sinner.

 

 

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So then my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.     ~ James 1: 19-20

 

The above quote came from a devotional I was reading during my 'weekend away".  I've had some issues lately that have ignited anger, or wrath.  It's so hard to deal with angry emotions, especially when you know you are being ill treated.  It's difficult to stand up for yourself without giving into the temptation of reacting in anger.

Be angry and do not sin; Have remorse upon your beds for what you say in your hearts.       Psalm 4: 5

It is okay to be angry, but not to act with anger.  One must even be remorseful for the angry words in your hearts.  One must certainly repent of angry actions.

 

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.    Ephesians 4:29

Be careful of the words you speak while angry.  Be sure they are imparted with grace.  Stop, count to ten and pray before you speak.

 

Oh Lord, help me to not become discouraged and to be slow to speak and slow to become angry.  Give me grace to follow the way of Your love.  Help me to not sin when I am angry but to speak  with grace, to respond with love instead of reacting with wrath.  Help me to keep my head and be careful with my words and deeds.  Help me to remember to pray continually in all moments and to seek You in the times of trouble.  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

2

I've taken a weekend away.  Well not really, it's more like a few days during the week but a few days during the week didn't make a very good title.  😉

Life has been hard as of late and I keep reading about Adrenal Fatigue and how important it is for self-care.  One book author (a doctor) actually recommended to one of her patients that she just stop everything and go away for a month and do nothing but rest and relax.  Um?  I can't do that.  But when my husband said a few weeks ago that he planned on going to see his mom for a few days in May my brain went into happy mode and I asked if he could take our youngest along with him.  The older two are quite self-sufficient and this would give me, not a month, but  a few days in which to go away.  So I left on Sunday- not a minute too soon for my adrenal and mental health- and am happily here until Wednesday.

So I have almost 3 days of taking care of myself.  What to do??

My current "Work Space" for my 'weekend away'...but only for work I want to do when I want to do it.... I'll be sad when the three days are over but hopefully well rested!

 

I brought my own food to a hotel with a kitchen (NOT a bad price, I was pleasantly surprised after doing a little searching). Good healthy food I can just throw together and not worry about whether anyone else likes it but me.  Last night's dinner was yummy!

I brought my favorite icon and my bible.

 

 

I brought two devotional books.

 

I brought my latest and favorite book on Adrenal Fatigue (to study the detox and self-care ideas suggested by Dr. Romm).

And I brought my Bullet Journal -  completely blank with lots of supplies to get it started.  Do you use a bullet journal?  I just stumbled on this idea recently and have watched all sorts of YouTube Videos and scanned Pinterest for ideas on how to make mine work.  It will be all my planners, list making and such all wrapped into one notebook.  I LOVE the idea!!!  And I've had a great time getting it started.

This is in the front few pages....a verse from Philippeans 4 and a doodle page to remind me to simplify things...
My first Weekly Planning pages... I'll be doing some adjustments for next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I actually started the bible reading, prayer and devotionals last night as well as got the Bullet Journal started, ate dinner,  took a bubble bath, played a little solitaire for the first time in ages, played around on the internet and went to bed by 9:15.  Then I  slept for over 8 hours! I haven't  done that in            A G E S!!!  Of course, I'm sure the fact I only slept two hours the night before has a lot more to do with that than just getting away...   🙁

I know this get away will not eliminate the Adrenal Fatigue.  But it IS a step to health.  Learning to let myself know when I need to get away and acting on it is a BIG step in my path to self-care.  Also spending more time in quiet devotion and prayer is something I need to increase.

I'm also working on my food plan for the next few months--  there's 40 new foods on my AVOID list now from the ALCAT test results I got back about a week ago or so and about 15 other items  that affect some of the supplements I've been taking so I need to rethink on some of that as well.  I'll be working on detox stuff too which is VERY IMPORTANT to folks with MTHFR as well as Adrenal Fatigue and whatever else ails me (just sent in some hormone type saliva tests today and will be awaiting those results too).

Well-  there's my little catch up post on my time away and what I'm up to.  Time for a little rest now as my body is telling me to do.  In the meantime,

WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU NEED A LITTLE R & R?

 

 

A long time ago I used to do monthly updates here.  I kind of told what things I was doing in a month- a sort of update on our homeschool life, food life, my writing and book life, and more.  I'm not sure that I'll get back to that, but what I thought I would do since books are such a big part of my life (as should they be for all of us!) is share what I'm reading. So we'll see how this goes.  I started back at the beginning of the month for my March report and I got positive comments on it, so here is one for April!  Maybe I'll make it a monthly thing.

Goodreads

I keep track of a lot of what I read on Goodreads.  And you'll see I usually have a LOT on my list at a time.  I used to be worried that this was strange.....then I started reading about Charlotte Mason and her methods and realized I must have been Charlotte in another life.... lol!  Just kidding!  But really, her homeschool methods teach about taking just small bits at a time from a book and giving the child time to think it over and ponder, if you will, and let it all soak in.  And she would have them read from various books each day - history, literature, nature, poetry, etc.  Some books a few pages or chapter a day, some only once a week.  So pretty much I've been doing 'Charlotte Mason' with myself all along.

Find me on Goodreads  HERE.

What I Finished

Adrenal Fatigue:  The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson  -  This book is instrumental in understanding the reality of adrenal fatigue.  How one's health can be affected by stressors and the importance of how our food, environment and things we do to cope with stress are all important facets to adrenal health and all of this and more are discussed by Dr. Wilson.  It is written by an expert but also  it a way that is easily understood by the layman without talking down to the patient.  It was a very good read and helped me figure out some ins and outs of adrenal fatigue, other things that can influence adrenal fatigue (i.e. emotional stressors, food sensitivities, etc.), physical signs and tests for adrenal fatigue and a whole slew of options (necessities really) of treatment.

Thirty Steps to Heaven:  The Ladder of Divine Ascent for All Walks of Life by Vassillios Papavassilliou  I've actually referred to this book several times in recent posts.  I can't say enough about it.  I personally feel that even non-orthodox would benefit greatly from this book as it talks about all of the virtues we must all strive towards as Christians.  I believe this is going in the reread pile immediately.  It's one that I'm thinking of going back and rereading a chapter every week or two to let it really soak into my mind and may just end up being a constant reread.  It's just that good and necessary.

The Ancient Faith Prayer Book by Vassilious Papavassiliou -  you know I didn't even realize it was the same author as 30 Steps to Heaven until I was writing this list out for my first book post!  This is definitely one of my favorite prayer books.  It will go in the daily devotion pile and I've marked several favorites.

6 Secrets to a Lasting Love: Recapturing Your Dream Marriage by Gary Rosberg  I read another book by Rosberg recently and I really enjoyed his style of writing about very intimate personal issues in a non-threatening manner and with a Christian perspective.  I have found some very good guidance in this book. His wife actually wrote the book with him and so it has the added bonus of having both perspectives of the husband and the wife in the relationship.  I like books like that.    I really think every couple should read marriage books throughout their lives- always keeping discussion of the marriage and the marriage itself front and center to their lives.  My husband and I aren't currently reading this one together but I do mark spots and read them to him for discussion along with other books we read together.  I already have my eye on another book by this man and his wife.

The Ascetic Lives of Mothers, a Prayer Book for Orthodox Moms by Annalisa Boyd  -  I read this book awhile back and even wrote a book review.  I just felt that while I often use this as a resource, it was time to read it through again.  Books like these always offer more every time and this time was no exception.  This goes in the daily devotion pile as it will come in handy quite frequently.  Why I didn't already have it there is beyond me.

 

What I'm Reading

Everyday Saints and Other Stories by Tikhon Shevkunov   This is quite the lengthy read and I've been working on it for some time.  I'm over halfway through now and am enjoying it more and more.   There is a great number of stories in this work that you will find inspiring and occasionally humorous.  And you will certainly know that miracles do happen even today.

A Beginner's Guide to Prayer: The Orthodox Way to Draw Close to God by Michael Keiser   I started this book before Lent and actually wrote a few posts in regards to prayer before Lent.   Being that I had promised myself to read my bible readings and a few pages of Thirty Steps to Heaven each day before reading anything else and my consumption of adrenal fatigue and other health related selections, I didn't touch this one all of Lent but it's to be included in my morning readings again soon!

Blueprints for the Little Church: Creating an Orthodox Home by Elissa D. Bjeletich and Caleb Shoemaker    This is the selection my husband and I are reading together.  Blueprints discusses how we are to involve our children in the life of the Church from birth onward both in the church and at home.  I don't know why we have not found time to read together lately so I haven't made progress in this book but it needs to be a discussion topic soon!

Delicious Blogging:  The Ingredients You Need To Create a Better Blog by Debi Stangeland  Debi is a book on my Kindle (I seldom use the kindle as I just can't resist a paper copy but it does come in handy ) some great ideas for bloggers, especially those starting out or with smaller blogs who want to have more success with finding readers and interacting with their public.  I haven't made progress with this book this month as most of my time is spent on reading about and taking care of my health and just getting a good handle on other things but I'm looking forward to a chance to sit down and soak up some of Debi's wisdom.

The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution:  A Proven 4 Week Program to Rescue Your Metablolism, Hormones, Mind and Mood by Aviva Romm    This book is  SENSATIONAL and definitely, in my opinion, the best source I've read yet.  Now while I'm waiting for my food sensitivity test to come back I don't know that I'll be able to follow Aviva's protocol for diet, but it is an optimal program and I am certainly gaining a ton of insight on other aspects of the protocol because, believe me, it's NOT just about food.  My husband is listeing to this book on Audible and while we haven't had a chance to sit down and really converse about it, I can tell by the few comments he has made that he is equally pleased with the book and the information we are gaining from this doctor.

 

What I'm Reading With My Son

My son is 7. (Wow- that's the first time I've written that- he just turned 7 last week!).  He's techinically in first grade-  but I don't go by that.  We read what we think is fun and what I think he will be interested in or what I deem important.  I don't consider grade level.  It's more about age, interests and abilities.

Misty of Chicoteague by Marguerite Henry  We just started Misty.  While fictional, I chose to read it as part of our history type literature as it does talk about legendary history and the story behind the wild ponies of Asateague Island (where I spent my honeymoon incidentally).  I wanted to introduce him to the Marguerite Henry books and selected this one to see if he would like them.  We haven't made a lot of progress with this one as we've had some disruption in our school days but I just revamped my schedule/plan for Spring and Summer and hope to get back to it tomorrow!

Red, White, Blue, and Uncle Who? The Story Behind Some of America's Patriotic Symbols by Teresa Bateman and John O'Brien     This is a charming little book to introduce youngsters to the symbols of our country including the Statue of Liberty, The Liberty Bell, The Lincoln Monument and more. I've chosen to use picture books for the most part in our American History studies thus far but am looking to start on some nice biographies soon.

Stuart Little by E.B White  -  My son got to watch two of the movies for his birthday so he grabbed this book off of our shelves for his next read aloud.  He has enjoyed pointing out the similarities and differences between the book and the movie and is thoroughly enjoying it.

What My Son is reading TO ME

Yes-  he has started reading to ME now.  This is his choice- his desire and I love it!

The Mystery at the Taj Mahal (India) by Carole Marsh    My sister got him about ten of this series for Christmas.  I selected to allow him to read them to himself at night while I sit and read in bed. He has read one on his own, is reading another and reads this one to me every now and then.  However, I don't think we even put a dent in it this month.  His bedtime has been me reading to him and then me finding comfort in an Epsom salt bath for pain relief so.....  hopefully we'll get back to this soon or perhaps I need to find another time of the day for his reading to me to happen!

He also reads from his Children's Bible Reader to me on the way to our Schole class every Tuesday and at other times when I'm cleaning up the kitchen before we start our short lessons for the day.

So--  that pretty much sums up what's on my reading list.

How about YOU?

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This quote really struck me today.  There is so much truth in this.  SO MUCH TRUTH!

I had some extra time this morning and just thought I'd share a few things of what's been happening in the life of this Orthodox Mom.

Well, maybe it's not so much as extra time as time I carved out while the rest of the morning rests in chaos around me.

Well maybe it's not so much chaos as just not what I planned.

I tend to look at things that way.  If it's not what I planned I go into chaos mode.  Can anyone relate?

So I'm going grocery shopping on my own again this morning. Anyone else dislike grocery shopping?  It's not so much that it's a terrible task; but they are remodeling the store and it's a mess right now and I kind of got used to my husband going with me but that routine has been lost for some time now and while I enjoy the alone time there are so many other things I'd rather be doing during alone time than grocery shopping.

Of course, the chimney sweep guy is here and has disrupted my schedule and he's still working on the upstairs pellet stove and hasn't even gotten downstairs to the big pellet furnace, so I may not get to do the shopping today.... hmmmm.....

There's so much going on that this post will probably be a big rambling mumbo jumbo kind of post but maybe we just need to do that sometimes.

I have two graduations coming up soon-  no , not my own but if feels that way.  My daughter is graduating from college and my son is graduating from high school.  He's essentially done other than a few lose strings so I really should get around to making sure that diploma gets ordered.  It's amazing how time flies.  And then we have our youngest who is???  Technically, according to age and public school junk, would be labeled first grade but I don't really call him anything according to grade level because we just don't do things accordingly to that.  What does grade level really mean?  It's just a label for public schools because they do things a certain way for all kids regardless of their needs or interests.  I don't go by that.

I have an appointment this afternoon with a new practitioner - new to me anyway- she has a practice right here in Williamsport PA that I didn't know about and offers quite a selection of 'unconventional' testing including the ALCAT food sensitivity testing I just had done.  I'm awaiting those results with anticipation and dread.  Solving  my health issues is a BIG priority as it relates to EVERYTHING in my life  but I dread the results that will tell me to give up foods I love or make my life more difficult with food prep, especially when it impacts our ability to travel or go and do things we love to do.  My heart is already heavy this week as we are unable to go somewhere that is a yearly family event for us simply because of food.  And the lack of understanding from others of how difficult that is is also disheartening.  It's not a choice.  It's not something we WANT.  It just is.

I'm trying to get back into the mode of homeschooling too.  Everything was going smoothly and then Holy Week came which, naturally and in a good way, causes disruption, but then I had a downslide with the fatigue and pain and really didn't get back into this past week either.  Except for one lesson with nutrition (it's time to start teaching him why we eat the way we do and I'm using Food Renegade's nutrition book for young kids as my guide to get started) and we finally finished the second Life of Fred book- which he absolutely LOVES!  He and Dad went for a walk in the park yesterday as well and looked at some plants and seeds so I guess he got some science/nature study in as well.  And Free Play is wonderful.  We parents of school aged kids tend to forget how important that is and that a day of play really is education and learning.  So I need not feel guilty for lack of planned learning activities, but should relax and rejoice in our freedom to learn as is appropriate.

I'm trying to reorganize my day to day plans....how I go about my plans in a more relaxed but organized in a simplistic manner so to speak.  I'm eyeing up some books on simplicity, organization and getting things done but am hesitant because I don't want to buy a book and feel like I HAVE to do it exactly the way they say it should be done.  Does that make sense?  Am I the only soul in this world that can buy a book to make life more simple only to make it more difficult?

Anyway, I have my schedule of the things that have to get done.  And I have my list of 7 projects to work on when time allows.... but it's simplified.  I only write a small step of what the next thing to that project needs to be.  It's a new approach I'm trying.  So instead of writing "Clean Closet", the next step is simply to make sure I have all the clothes off the floor.  Once that's accomplished, I can plan the next step for the project.  I'm much more likely to go get the clothes off the floor then clean the whole thing.  That my friends, is the beginning of stopping procrastination.   Or so I hope.

Another example is my kitchen.  I keep wanting to reorganize and declutter  the whole thing.  Well writing Kitchen Reorganization of my list of things to do has been ignored for months.  But when I write "Clean out papers from junk basket", it's more likely to get done because it's a focus of just one thing.  And note, I didn't say clean out the whole basket (thought it did eventually happen), but just the papers.  One small step, but so gratifying when you can cross it off the list.

I'm trying to figure out where I want to go with my Lemongrass Spa business and this blog.  I'd really like to at least make enough with the LGS business to pay for my own products and maybe at least pay for the occasional book or clothing purchase and feel like I'm bringing something in to help my overworked and overstressed husband.

And I'd love to make a bigger impact on my readers and get more interaction here at the blog.  I've worked on some changes already and obviously, working on being more consistent with the posts.  It's a work in progress and I enjoy it.  I wish I had time to write everyday but-  well, you know 😉

Well, I guess that's all for my musings and ramblings today---  time to work on the ever growing laundry pile and that to do list!

I'd love to hear from you.  What are your thoughts on the blog these days and what is going on in YOUR life?

 

It is a time of much challenge to those that are Christians throughout the

world. 

 We  must nourish our minds and souls with the words of our Lord and our Church Fathers.  For in this nourishment we will find strength, courage and wisdom.

 Please allow me share to with you some words that I find nourishing to my mind from the sources that I thrive upon - The Holy Bible, books and sources on the saints and church fathers, and various other books and sources related to my Orthodox Faith.  I hope you will gain from these peaceful reflections as I do.   May God be with you.

 

Recently, I have once again read The Ascetic Lives of Mothers: A Prayer Book for Orthodox Moms by Annalisa Boyd.  Why I don't carry this book around me daily is beyond me.  If you are an Orthodox Mom and you don't have this book, get it now.  Her words are so true to heart and the pages are filled with quotes of the church fathers and prayers to suit every need.  I wanted to share some today.

 

Those times I have stepped back and taken a moment in silence, I have found many of the issues I thought were so pressing actually fall away to reveal heart issues- issues I need to bring before the Lord in continual prayers.  Of course this doesn't mean discipline may not be in order, but I will not be sinning in my anger if I take a moment to reflect , pray for my child, and address him in love. What impact might I have on my children's souls if I consistently approached them in this manner?  ~  Annalisa Boyd

 

Prayer -  Complaining

Lord Jesus Christ, let every word that comes from my mouth be acceptable in Your sight and full of Your praises.  Remind me when I feel like complaining that our Lord Jesus Christ endured the very Cross without a single complaint.  Let my mouth speak of Your goodness, and may I tell the world of my great joy because of Your finished work on the Cross.  When the worm of complaint tries to penetrate my heart and mind, let it be a reminder to me to pray for my family and those in need.  Amen.

 

Prayer - Greed/Selfishness

Grant, O Lord, Your wisdom to teach my children to be lovers of God rather than lovers of the world.  In their innocence let me not neglect these great lessons necessary for their souls.  If my heart has forgotten these lessons, or wasn't properly taught, forgive me and help me to learn in all humility.  Help us to accept the gifts you provide for us, but let us also be eager to give whatever we have to those in need.  Remind us always that this world is our temporary home, a mere shadow of the glories to come.  In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

How do you refrain from complaining in your life?  How do you teach your children to be lovers of God rather than lovers of the world?