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traditions: Jordan Almond Favors

traditions: Jordan Almond Favors

I had several people ask me to show them how I made the Jordan almond favors for my daughter and son-in-law’s wedding this weekend.  Honestly, they are much easier than they look and I’d be more than happy to share how I put them together over about four...
Our Own Calcutta

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...
Chronicles of an Orthodox Traveler

Chronicles of an Orthodox Traveler

When I moved away from my parents to a different state many years ago, the first thing I did was to find the local Orthodox parish. I vividly remember walking into the narthex of that parish and instantly smelling the incense. My first thought was – this is...
Name Days: Saint Justin the Martyr

Name Days: Saint Justin the Martyr

Saint Justin was a well-educated man.  He spent a great deal of his time studying as well as writing apologies for Christians, which ultimately cost him his life when he was martyred for his beliefs.  We commemorate him on June 1st. My little Justin struggles with...
Feast Days: The Ascension of Christ

Feast Days: The Ascension of Christ

This is a moveable feast celebrated each year forty days after Pascha.  On this feast day, we commemorate Christ ascending to heaven after His Resurrection.  “He was lifted up before their eyes in a cloud which took Him from their sight” (Acts 1:9). Before...
The Epic Search for an Orthodox Christian Curriculum

The Epic Search for an Orthodox Christian Curriculum

Why is there a seemingly lack of resources for teaching our children about their Orthodox Christian faith?  Why is it that so many people are adapting curricula from Catholic and Protestant resources?  What does an Orthodox Christian education look like and how do we...
traditions: Planting Basil for the Elevation of the Holy Cross

traditions: Planting Basil for the Elevation of the Holy Cross

One of the many beautiful aspects of Orthodoxy is the rhythm of seasons year after year.  As the buds start appearing on the trees and bushes outside, I know it’s time to start thinking about my little garden and to remember the story of Saint Helen’s...
Feast Days: The Annunciation

Feast Days: The Annunciation

This is a special feast day for our family.  First, we celebrate the Theotokos learning she will give birth to Christ from the Archangel Gabriel.  For our family though, it also significant because it’s the day our middle children remember their birth mom on her...
Healing Wounded Hearts

Healing Wounded Hearts

Purpose:  A unit for classroom, home, or retreat use to help children heal from sadness and be a friend to others who are sad. Grown-ups are not the only ones who may find their heart aching and searching for a way to find comfort.  Children can also find themselves...
Our Family Forgiveness Night Tradition

Our Family Forgiveness Night Tradition

Many years ago, when my big kids were but wee ones, we were unable to make it to Forgiveness Vespers for a variety of reasons that night.  If you’ve never been to this vespers, it is a wonderful service where you approach each person individually in the church and ask...
Feast Days: Presentation of Christ into the Temple

Feast Days: Presentation of Christ into the Temple

We commemorate the Theotokos and Saint Joseph bringing Christ to the Temple and being received by Symeon.  Our family celebrates this feast day by attending Divine Liturgy together. This year, my boys also wrote a short summary on a post-it note about this feast day...
Feast Days: Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

Feast Days: Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

We commemorate Saints Joachim and Anna presenting their daughter, Mary, into the Temple.  She was received by Zacharias who is the father of Saint John the Baptist.  Our family attends Divine Liturgy together on this feast day. This year, we visited a sister parish...
Feast Days: Nativity of the Theotokos

Feast Days: Nativity of the Theotokos

We commemorate the birth of the Theotokos on this day.  There is a beautifully illustrated book and story about the Theotokos that we read each year called The Story of Mary, the Mother of God.  We also attend Divine Liturgy as a family on this feast day. This year,...
Feast Days: Theophany

Feast Days: Theophany

We commemorate Christ being baptized in the Jordan River by Saint John the Baptist on Theophany. Whenever it is offered, we go to the Blessing of the Waters service by a body of water.  Sometimes we go to a river, other times we’ve gone to a large pond, and...
Name Days: Saint Gregory of Nazianzus

Name Days: Saint Gregory of Nazianzus

When my husband was chrismated, he wanted Saint Gregory of Nazianzus (or Saint Gregory the Elder) as his patron saint.  He is the father of Saint Gregory the Theologian.  (Sometimes these two saints are confused and Saint Gregory the Theologian will also be called...
Living Our Faith: “It’s Too Hard For My Kids”

Living Our Faith: “It’s Too Hard For My Kids”

I’ve heard many times over the years, “It’s too hard for my kids” when someone brings up the topic of fasting and children. Let’s consider for a moment our children’s education.  I don’t know of any parent who would present a...