snow days.

Snow Day

Snow Day

i have to admit, i love snow days.  maybe even more so than my kids.  i love having my boys home with me and being able to run around and play outside in this gorgeous winter wonderland.  i love coming inside and snuggling up on the couch and warming up our frozen toes with a roaring fire and giant mugs of hot cocoa.

this past snowfall was the most beautiful one yet.  it was just so soft and glittery and just really felt magical.  we sledded and built snowmen and forts and had snowball fights.  we’ve had soup and sandwiches for lunch in the living room while reading books like The Mitten, The Snowman and Stranger in the Woods and totally took advantage of the lazy restful time that glorious snow provided. [Read more…]

Psalter Group Assignments (Great Lent 2015)

Psalter Group Assignments

The other day I was in the kitchen and it had just begun to snow.  The snowflakes looked so beautiful behind the fresh tulips I just brought home and set out on the table.  Immediately, the anticipation for Pascha rose up inside of me.  The way everything is so bare and empty outside right now, the bright colors of those blooms against the white snow instantly made me think of new life.  And that, of course, made me think of the Resurrection.

I still can’t believe that we are in Great Lent already!  I love this time of year so much.  I love the slowing down of things, social media sabbaticals, hushing of the television.  We spend more time cuddling up with our favorite books and just spending time together as a family.  Ace actually told me the other day that we need to “do this more often”.  And by “this” he meant us not allowing them on the t.v. or video games and spending quiet time together.  It’s amazing how we can all be in the same room but with everyone sort of doing their own thing, it doesn’t really feel like we’re spending time with eachother.  I told him I totally agreed. [Read more…]

Orthodox Lenten Study is Available for Purchase!

lenten study draft

Orthodox Lenten Study Cover

The Orthodox Lenten Study is now available for purchase!  With the Advent Study, I had to manually email the file to everyone who purchased one which was really difficult, so hopefully this time the link will work and you will receive it when you complete your checkout.

It is a 128 page Study that includes a weekly themed devotional reading, a G.R.O.W. page–which is a daily Scripture verse and prompts for reflection, a couple Lenten recipes, a basic run down of Holy Week and also some basic guidelines for Bright Week.  I’m really excited about the writings I was able to include this time around–they’re some of my favorites–and I hope you benefit from them.

It is very simple to use this study.  Simply print it out and place the pages in a binder or folder.  You can take it with you wherever you go!  Grab your Bible and do your daily reading and responding with your morning coffee, in car line or while waiting in the doctor’s office, or at night after everyone else is fast asleep.  It’s completely up to you!

I’ve made it as affordable as possible at only $6.00.  The only thing I ask is that you please only print enough copies for those in your household or if you know someone who truly cannot afford to purchase one of their own.  Please do not send copies of the file to those who have not purchased their own or reproduce it in any way without my written permission.

© This eBook is copyright of Sylvia Leontaritis and Adventures of an Orthodox Mom.  You may download anything on these pages for personal, non-commercial use. For any other purposes please contact Sylvia{at}OrthodoxMom{dot}com. 

Click here to purchase.

Psalter Group Sign-Ups {Great Lent 2015}

psaltersignups

psaltersignups

Great Lent begins the day after tomorrow!  Tomorrow is Forgiveness Sunday, which is my favorite Vesper service of the year.  If you’ve never been to this service, you should definitely make the effort to attend tomorrow evening, it is a very humbling service and the perfect way to begin Great Lent.  That being said, I want to ask forgiveness from all of you for anything I may have said or done to offend any of you.  I know I touch on some sensitive topics sometimes but know that offending anyone is never my intention.  <3

Guess what else it’s time for?  It’s time to sign up for the Psalter Prayer Groups again! Yay!  I can hardly wait to start tucking that little green book in my bag again.

This is one of my favorite things during the 40-day fasts.  It is a quiet time that I can look forward to each day.  And by quiet, I don’t mean the things around me are quiet, those things rarely are, but rather the hush that comes over my soul whenever I open my Psalter and read.

The last few times, I periodically posted some various writings on why reading the Psalms is so beneficial and I’ll be doing that again this time as well.  There are some really beautiful thoughts on this.  God-willing they will strengthen and encourage us as we prepare to receive the Bridegroom and as we trudge the rocky roads of our Lenten journeys.  So please keep an eye out for those!

You may also want to check out this post on The Benefits of Psalter Groups.

So if you’re interested in joining please leave YOUR BAPTISMAL NAME AND EMAIL ADDRESS in the comment section of this post. If you’re new to our groups, click here for all the details…

I will have the groups and everyone’s assigned readings up sometime on Clean Monday!  But don’t worry, if you stumble upon this post after the fast has begun, you can still sign up.  It’s never too late to join in!

You can purchase a pocket Psalter or full-sized one here.

For the Faithful, Martyrdom is a Festival

monk

Several times on this blog I’ve mentioned the Spiritual Counsels series by Elder, now St. Paisios the Athonite.  Last night, as I was re-reading Vol. II, Spiritual Awakening, I landed on the chapter called For the Faithful, Martyrdom is a Festival and I couldn’t help think of the evil that just transpired recently to the 21 Christians in Libya.

I refuse to share the video that was so expertly crafted for our viewing pleasure.  I will not give them what they want, and that is for their evil to circulate to cause fear among us, the people they hate so much.  I’ve shared the names of those men on Facebook so that we could pray for them to be crowned accordingly and the peace and comfort of Christ to come upon their families. [Read more…]

Kyra Sarakosti Tradition + Recipe

Kyra Sarakosti Recipe

Kyra Sarakosti Recipe

Next week we’ll be baking our annual Kyra Sarakosti, or Lady Lent, “cookies”.   We use the same recipe every year from  The Festive Fast cookbook and they have always turned out well and don’t require too much work.   [Read more…]

10 Ways to Prepare for our Lenten Journey

10 Ways to Prepare for Great Lent

Can you believe it is time for Great Lent already?  We just celebrated the Sunday of The Prodigal Son, which is the second Sunday of the Triodion! I swear Christmas was just last week!

Soon we’ll be celebrating my favorite Vespers service of the year on Forgiveness Sunday, the day before Lent is officially underway.  No matter how many times I experience Forgiveness Sunday vespers, it always feels so new and amazing.  What better way to begin our journey toward Pascha than with forgiveness and repentance?  Such liberation from the bondage of sin!  [Read more…]

Anthropologie Inspired Snowball Garland Tutorial

anthropologie snowball garland 1

anthropologie snowball garland 1

This Anthropologie inspired Snowball Garland is a the perfect project for a cold winter day spent cozied up on the couch.  It’s quick, easy and inexpensive!  And best of all it looks fantastic and adds such a fun vintage-y look to a room. [Read more…]

Elder Paisios Canonized today!

elder-paisios

The Ecumenical Patriarchate officially canonized Elder Paisios the Athonite today!  Glory to God!  This is so exciting for us as Orthodox Christians, to watch our beloved Gerondas receive glorification from God and the Church.  This news brought so much joy to my heart today!

There are several links you can translate here on Agioritiko Vima and Romfea.  Nothing has been posted on the Patriarchate or Archdiocese sites as of yet (an official statement is expected later today) but news has spread throughout Greece and other Orthodox communities worldwide, including here on the web.  [Read more…]

Orthodox Kid’s Ornament Exchange {Sign-ups 2014}

orthodox christmas ornaments

Every Christmas for the past six years, here on Adventures of an Orthodox Mom, a fabulous group of moms and kids team up and create the most beautiful Orthodox Christmas ornaments and swap them between our families.

We have a special box full of the precious ornaments that we’ve received over the years.  The boys love taking them out and reminiscing on the times they arrived and what goodies accompanied them, before hanging them on the tree.  It’s so much fun for all of us. [Read more…]