A Simple Prayer for Lent

We've entered into Great Lent.  Most people are familiar with the idea of "giving up something" for lent or fasting but Lent is also a time of increased prayer and almsgiving.

I want to take just a moment to talk about increasing prayer. The other night at the Soup Supper and Talk my priest said that we can increase our prayers through repetitive prayers.  He specifically mentioned the Jesus prayer and the most simplest prayer of all "Lord have mercy".

The Jesus Prayer is a simple prayer that is perfect for increasing prayer during Lent.

The Jesus prayer is "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

If you think in terms of mercy being "not given what you deserve" , then it might seem that our simplest prayer is just a cry to avoid punishment for sins.  That's more a judicial or legal term view.

But the words in Hebrew and Greek that are translated into our English word "mercy" have deeper broader meanings.  The Hebrew word means lovingkindness.  In Greek the word is closely related to the word for oil.  Olive oil is used for food, for lamps, for annointing, and for healing.

When pray "Lord have mercy," we are asking God to pour out his lovingkindness on us to heal us, to illumine us, to bless us and to provide for us.

I love the Jesus prayer.  It is simple. It is beautiful.  It can be powerful.  On Sunday at church the choir sang this prayer as prepared for communion.  I found this version on you tube. This is similar enough that I think you get the idea.

If you would like more information on the Jesus Prayer, I recommend this video with Frederica Matthews-Greene.

I am linking this post up to 40 Days of Seeking Him hosted by Day by Day in Our World.  


Traveling to Egypt ~ Project Passport World History Study {Review}

One of my favorite curriculum companies is Home School in the Woods.  I first encountered Amy Pak through her wonderful Timeline Figures that we used with our history program.  Through the Homeschool Review Crew, I've discovered that Home School in the Woods offers so much more than just figures we can use on a time line. Supergirl and I have been visiting and exploring Ancient Egypt with the HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt.

Home School in the Woods, Project Passport Study: Ancient Egypt #hsreviews

I prepared for our journey by printing out the Travel Planner: Quick Stop Itinerary.  This 3 page document gives a brief overview of the 25 Stops we will make on our trip. Stop 1 and Stop 2 Lay the Foundation.  During these two lessons students will prepare their passport, luggage, and Scrapbook of Sights. The passport and luggage will be used for each Project Passport Study.  I'm kind of relieved that we will not have to make a new luggage folder for each study!

Supergirl shows off her Scrapbook of Sights #hsreviwes  #ancientegypt

During the first two stops you also begin two long term projects: a newspaper and a lapbook. Because I am only using this with Supergirl we are skipping the assignments related to creating a newspaper.  She loves lapbooking so are going to be making the different books to put into a final lapbook when we reach the end of our trip.

Some of the Stops include:
  • Everyday Life
  • Education
  • Arts
  • Religion and the "gods"
  • Egypt's Most Famous Woman
  • Egypt Fades Away
  • Ancient Egypt and the Bible
  • and it ends with Final Stop -- Packing it Up!
If you haven't guessed each "Stop" is a lesson.  How long a lesson takes is left up to you.  If a stop is more interesting to your students you might spend more time there.  If it less interesting you may choose to skip some of the activities and move on.  Just like when you are traveling you may spend hours at one museum because you find it fascinating but cut your day trip short because the water park was just not as thrilling as the guide book suggested.

The PDFs are all organized into folders.  One folder is Text which is your "Travel Guide" another is Itineraries. Each Lesson or "Stop" has a Text PDF and an Itinerary PDF.  I am reading the Text aloud from my computer but you could print it out and bind it into a nice book or do what Home School in the Woods suggests and store the "Guide Book" and the Itineraries in a 3-ring binder.  I am printing out each Itinerary as I need it as this is the "what to do and how to do it document".  I could print it all out and once but I am just not that organized enough.

Activities include:
  • Souvenir Craft Cards - Supergirl is looking forward to the Dress like an Egyptian craft! The Cards have instructions for different craft projects.  These are stored in the
  • 3-D Projects ~ all of the Craft Cards I've looked at are 3-D but there are other 3-D projects such as making Mud Bricks
  • Audio Tours - the Project Passport Study includes MP3s.  In Stop 2 we took a tour down the Nile River. In Stop 5 we'll listen to "Interview with an Embalmer"
  • Snapshot Moments ~ these are items to add to the timeline which is stored in the Scrapbook of Sights
  • Edible Projects ~ We'll be making a Garbanzo Bean salad to bring to church for potluck!
  • and MORE! yes more
There are so many things to do with Ancient Egypt!  #hsreviews

Supergirl is not your typical 2nd grader though she is about the size of one.  She is my medically complicated, developmentally delayed medical miracle.  Ancient Egypt is recommended for grades 3-8.  We only do history 2 to 3 times per week and we are adding in many of the suggested additional resources such as movies, audiobooks, and books.  Spreading each stop over 4- 6 class times works well for us.  

I am really impressed with the HISTORY through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Egypt.  We have Ancient Greece and Middle Ages. I can't decide which we should do next.  They both look just as fantastic as Ancient Egypt.

Home School in the Woods Review by Tess at Circling Through This Life

Follow Home School in the Woods on Social Media!

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/homeschoolinthewoods

Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/hsinthewoods/

Google+:  https://plus.google.com/b/109711152019235885312/+Homeschoolinthewoods

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/HSintheWoods  @HSintheWoods

Be sure to visit the Homeschool Review Crew blog to read what other crew members have to say about these Project Passport Studies!
HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study Reviews

Crew Disclaimer


Just a few of My Random Thoughts

I have a zillion thoughts or so it feels like running through my head and lots of stuff I want to share on my blog but alas I have not made writing a priority.

I just took a peek at my blog and *gasp* I have one post. ONE.  A single post for 2017.

So I'm going to do a Random 5 style update.  I miss my Random 5 posts.

1) 2016 was hard.  I lost two uncles, my beloved cat and my brother.  Never mind the celebrities that died in 2016 people (and an animal) that I love are gone.  I wrote a blog post sitting in my drafts called Saying Good-bye but I couldn't bring myself to post it.

Here are a couple of family pictures with my brother.  This first one is from the late 80's  In order: my dad, my brother, me and my sister.

My dad with his three kids

This one is the family portrait taken at my wedding.  Look at how proud my mom was and look how tall my brother is!

2)  Turtlegirl seems to be settling in well away from home at college.  I miss her so much and I am looking forward to her being home for Spring Break.  Here is my baby from when she was home on Christmas break.

Turtlegirl home form college for Christmas Break

3) Since we lost Lacy unexpectedly in July we've been keeping a closer eye on George.  He gave a us a bit of a scare because he seemed unwilling to walk.  Suspected arthritis.  Here he is chilling at the vet.  And yes it is arthritis.  He's doing much better now that he has some medicine to help with it

George didn't seem to upset by the exam room.

4)  I attended a wonderful women's pre-lenten retreat a couple of weeks ago. The topic was Restoring the Image: Women, Beauty and the Church. Some of my zillion thoughts I want to blog about are directly related to the retreat and how I am trying to have more beauty in my life.

5) The 2017 Homeschool Review Crew year is fully underway! Last week the Crew reviewed Home School in the Woods Project Passports.  I'll be posting a review here myself.  We're studying Egypt and Supergirl is loving it!

6) Speaking of the Crew,  I just received last week a product that the crew will be reviewing called Color My Conversation. I've started digging through the Instructor guide and I am so excited to use this with Supergirl. I think all of us at my house will benefit.

The Crew will be reviewing Color My Conversation from Northern Speech Services


More than just Valentine's Day!

Today many people celebrate. People eat chocolate, send cute little cards, and plan romantic dates.

 We don't just celebrate Valentine's Day today!

My family celebrates today as well but we celebrate something else.  Something much more special.  It's all about Love.  Eternal Love.

7 years ago on Forgiveness Sunday my family was received into the Eastern Orthodox Church.  My husband and children were baptized and the six of us Chrismated.  This took place before Liturgy and at Liturgy we had our first communion.

On February 14th we became Orthodox!

Forgiveness Sunday marks the beginning of Lent.  During the special vespers service we transition into Lent.  It's a beautiful service.

This year Forgiveness Sunday falls a little later in February.  On that day we'll remember that liturgically that is our anniversary.

Today my husband and I will have a little date.  We'll eat steak and shrimp and watch an episode or two of Doctor Who.  (I'm thinking the Christmas Special with River Song sounds perfect). Yes we'll celebrate Valentine's Day but as we enjoy our steak and shrimp we'll also be thinking of something much deeper and far more important.

In Him we have Eternal Life


Five Minute Friday: Crave

Some friends of mine from the Homeschool Review Crew like to participate in the Five Minute Friday link up hosted by Heading Home.  The idea is to set a timer and write for 5 minutes. This week's word is "Crave".


The first thing I think of when I hear "crave" is food.  Food cravings. Craving is not just wanting but has the connotation of needing. When I can tell I am getting dehydrated I don't say that I crave water.  I say I need water.  But when I say someting like "I am craving Chex Mix" it is not just meeting a need such as hunger but meeting some type of psychological need?

I've heard it said that craving specific foods may indicate that your body needs something that is in those foods. I don't know if that is true or not but I know that when I say I crave something it is more than just an intense "want".  I don't just want the Chex Mix.  I can't be sure that I need the Chex Mix but other snacks are just not going to satisfy the way a handful of crunchy cereal snack.

Five Minute Friday: Tess's Thoughts on CRAVE at CirclinThroughThisLife.com #fmfparty

Craving isn't just about food though.  I sometimes crave some aspect of Divine Liturgy.  This week I've been listening to my Church's CD because I wanted, no, needed, no was craving the beauty and worship of Divine Liturgy.  Something about hearing the familiar voice of my priest and familiar hymns meet this need more than listening to Ancient Faith Radio.

When thinking about "crave" I also thought about it terms of relationships.  A young child craves the attention of her parents. She both needs and wants the attention. I found myself craving some extra time with my husband.  Life's been crazy.  We've been stressed and I was craving some simple time alone.  Just Honeybear and me snuggling on the couch watching Netflix.


Come join in the fun! Click on the button below to read more thoughts about "Crave"