My husband and I decided we wanted to homeschool when we became parents.   It was not even feasible until recently when my husband obtained a new job with a better salary.  I would probably need to supplement his income a little just so we have some savings in the bank. However, finances would be VERY tight. I have a good job right now with a good salary as a paralegal and office manager. Since my husband obtained new employment, we are finally able to start putting a little in savings and to begin paying off credit card debt. So, to leave my job to homeschool is a little scary. Our son is in kindergarten, in a private, Lutheran school right now. The school is alright, but we haven’t been thrilled. Then, this week, I was approached by 2 homeschooling friends who want to start an Orthodox homeschool co-op.  I think I could do some freelance paralegal work and, if we had enough children in the co-op, I could receive a small stipend; both would help supplement our income.  We are really torn. Any advice?

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While I love my mother dearly, one benefit I did not receive from her growing up was learning to cook healthy, nourishing meals. We alternated between Campbell’s Soup and McDonald’s for dinner. She was a mother who worked outside the home full-time with a long commute. I am a mother who works outside the home full-time with a long commute. However, I am determined to learn how to cook good food for my family. Not to say that I am better than my mother; indeed, I don’t think she understood the damage that processed and fast foods really do to the body. I just happend to come upon literature about the benefits of traditional foods, which led to more research on the topic.

I’ve signed up for the following course. Even though I’ve read a lot about the benefits of traditional foods, I’m still so new to this that I thought some video instruction would be beneficial (it’s one thing to read it in a book, it’s quite another to have somone show you how to do it).

Here are some of the topics:

• How to Soak Whole Grains, Nuts and Seeds
• How to Make Soaked Whole-Grain Flour Baked Goods I
• How to Make Soaked Whole-Grain Flour Baked Goods II
• How to Soak and Cook Dry Beans
• How to Sprout Beans
• How to Cook a Chicken and Make Chicken Stock
• How to Make Skillet Dishes: A Dinner Formula
• How to Make Water Kefir
• How to Make Dairy Kefir
• How to Make Soft, Spreadable Cheese
• How to Make Sourdough Bread
• How to Sprout Whole Grains for Sprouted Grain Flour & How to Bake With Sprouted Grain Flour
• How to Make Natural Pickled Foods

If you’re interested in signing up for the ecourse, here is the link:

GNOWFGLINS

Enrollment ends February 22nd and the class begins February 23rd.

Today, the 2nd of January, the Church celebrates the memory of St. Juliana.

From Kontakion 1 of the Akathist Hymn to Juliana the Merciful

O righteous and merciful Juliana, who wast chosen by God, and amidst worldly cares didst in thy soul live in Christ, as in heaven; and who didst abide in great stillness, loving silence within thy heart! Glorifying the Lord Who hath glorified thee, with compunction we sing to thee a hymn of praise. Do thou, who endured grievous sorrows in thy life, pray for us, who are tempest-tossed by perils and sins, and entreat the merciful Savior to grant us salvation of soul and deliverance from misfortunes, that, giving thanks unto God, we may glorify thee, saying:
Rejoice, O merciful Juliana, boast of Murom and adornment of women!

The Life of the Holy & Righteous Juliana of Lazarevo

A recent trip to my local grocery store has prompted me to make a New Year’s Resolution [this should be done at the beginning of the Church year in September, but this just happened, so I’m making an exception for the secular new year]. It was dark (about 8:30 p.m.) and as I got out of my car and walked towards the front door, I was approached by a young black man with long dreadlocks, pushing a shopping cart piled high with what was obviously his entire earthly possessions. “Maam, can you help me?”, he said. I paused, a little uneasy. I reached into my purse and grabbed a dollar which I knew was in my wallet, but I kept my eyes fixed on the man. I handed it to him, the dollar at my fingertips since I was wary of getting too close. Even though I figured that he would use it to buy liquor or drugs, I was too nervous to not give him anything. He looked down at the dollar, looked up at me, and proceeded to give the money back to me. “No,” he stammered. “I was wondering if you could buy me something to eat. I’m really hungry.” It dawned on me that he was probably afraid to go in to the grocery to buy anything with the money he had panhandled; either that, or they had kicked him out previously.

I stared at him for moment in disbelief. I’d never had a homeless person refuse money and actually ask me for some food. “Uh, sure,” I said quietly. I went in and bought him something to eat and brought it out to him. He thanked me, our eyes locking for a moment. And then he walked away. I got in my car and cried.

My New Year’s Resolution: do not judge anyone.

I thought of St. Juliana of Lazarevo (my Name’s Day is January 2nd). Merciful Juliana, pray unto God for us!

Margaret from Koinonikon bestowed upon me a Superior Scribbler award. I am so honored; I greatly admire Margaret, and her incedibly insightful and thought-provoking writing.

Here are the rules:

Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post which explains The Award.
Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List.

Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

Here are my 5:

Brigid. Under the Oak. A beautiful blog about Irish saints. A wealth of information about these wonderful saints and the early Irish church. I have a great love for Ireland, and I was thrilled to find this treasure in blogdom.

Donna. HALIWERFOLC. Mat. Donna’s blog is dedicated to St. Cuthbert, an Anglo-Saxon bishop, hermit and wonder-worker of the 7th Century. My side of the family is mostly English and I love reading about Anglo-Saxon saints.

Mary. Evlogia. ευλογία is a Greek word meaning “a good word; a blessing.” Her blog is most definitely a blessing. It’s a lovely blog focusing on family, educating children and things domestic. I’ve gotten some wonderful ideas from her for educating our son and for teaching Sunday School.

Mary. Milk & Honey. She posts sayings of the Desert Fathers, saints of the early church, as well as contemporary saints.

Handmaid Leah. Christ is in our midst!. Aestetic blog…filled with beautiful words and exquisite paintings.

Margaret from Koinonikon was kind enough to bestow a Superior Scribbler award on me and I was planning on posting on Monday evening. My husband needed the computer that night for work, so I thought I would post Tuesday morning. I knew Monday evening I was probably coming down with something….I’ll go to bed early, I thought, and everything will be fine. Well, it was not fine. I have been miserable the last 2 days. When I get sick, it wipes me out. I just wanted to pick my head up from my pillow long enough to post an apology. I will post my 5 for the Scribble award later today, hopefully.

I’ve just discovered a new blog, courtesy of Aaron at Logismoi. It’s called Under the Oak, and it’s by an Irish woman devoted to Irish saints and the early Irish church. I highly recommend it and am adding it to my blogroll. My husband is part Irish and we named our son, Declan (a little-known Irish saint).

Do check out Under the Oak

I am so excited! I just found out that I am going to be a recipient of an autographed copy of Nina Planck’s new book, Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby’s First Foods. It was a giveaway on Kimi Harris’ excellent blog, The Nourishing Gourmet. I encourage everyone to check out her blog (it’s linked on my blogroll under “food blogs”). We are on a limited budget and Kimi’s posts about nourishing, yet inexpensive, meals have become an invaluable resource for me.

As I posted in the comments on Kimi’s blog, Nina’s first book changed my life. I was born in the 70’s and my mom was a typical working mother of that era: every night was a boxed meal nuked in the microwave. I had NO idea how to cook when I got married. I did teach myself how to cook certain dishes, but had no idea about traditional, nutrient-dense foods.

My husband and I are hoping to conceive, but have been having a difficult time. Nina’s new book talks about fertility, as well as good foods to eat while pregnant. I am so thrilled to be receiving this book!

I received my recent purchase from Eighth Day Books in the mail the other day:

The Theology of Illness, by Jean-Claude Larchet

The same day I found out that my very good friend’s sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer just after her 38th birthday in September. She and her husband have 3 small children and her husband was laid-off from his job a few months ago. He has been looking for work, but so far nothing has materialized. She had a double mastectomy and the doctors found cancer in her lymph nodes, requiring additional surgery. She is now undergoing chemotherapy. Lord, have mercy.

I know God does not give us more than we can handle. But it has been a very trying month. My older half-sister (same biological father, different mothers) informed me that, after 36 years of marriage (she married the year after I was born), she was getting divorced. They had agreed on how to split everything, so it would be quick. And it was. 3 weeks later they were divorced. 2 days after the divorce was final, our younger sister gave birth to her first child and 2 days after that, our older half-sister’s mother died. So, there was a birth, a death and a birth and death. Isn’t that what divorce is? a birth into a new life (even if it’s not wanted) and a death? The actual divorce date, the birth of my niece and the death of my half-sister’s mother all happened within a week.

Then, I was informed that a childhood friend was diagnosed with Leukemia. He is 42 years old. His wife just had a baby in March. His mom and my mom have been best friends for 45 years. Lord, have mercy.

My younger sister had a difficult pregnancy and birth. It also took her years to get pregnant. At 35 years old, this may be her only child. May God grant Meghan Jewell many years!!!