Sasha and the Dragon – Helping Children Deal with Nighttime Fears

Recently my daughter has been very scared at night. Someone at school told her a scary story and she just can’t get the idea out of her head. The same week Ancient Faith also released their book called, “Sasha and the Dragon.” It is about a little boy who is scared of a lot of things. He has an icon in his room of St. Michael. He prays and a miracle happens that helps him through his difficult time. I’m going to keep the description brief because I don’t want to spoil the ending for you. 🙂 It’s really beautiful! And Nicholas Malara is an amazing illustrator! He captures scenes from different perspectives and uses light to communicate the mood of the story. It’s really awesome!  (more…)

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Setting Our Minds on Christ at Christmas & a DIY Nightlight Craft

When I was little, our manger had a baby Christ that you could remove. My parents would not put Him in the manger until Christmas morning. We loved looking at the manger and would check it every day until Christmas to see if Jesus arrived. Throughout December our minds were thinking about Christ’s birthday and helped us build anticipation for His birth. We would always looked at the manger first before our presents, which also brought our minds back to the true meaning of Christmas.

One of my favorite quotes and the inspiration to writing my books is from Colossians 3:1-4. It says, “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (more…)

Being Grateful to God During Difficult Times

This post is written in honor of my grandparents and all of the Greeks who gave their lives and survived during WWII. OXI Day is October 28th and it commemorates the day the Greeks said, no, and took Greece back.

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While we usually think about the Nazis terrorizing the Jewish people, we also have to remember that they went after other races and even other Christian denominations. Since Greece is next to Italy, Germany’s enemy, the Germans occupied Greece during WWII.

Both of my grandparents experienced family members being killed during the war. My yiayia, grandmother, and her siblings were orphaned because the Nazis killed her father along with several other men from the village. Then her mother died of a broken heart. My papou, grandfather, had a brother killed during the war as well. (more…)

A Trinity of Lessons for St. Patrick’s Day

The story of St. Patrick is one of my favorite stories. I love how he used shamrocks to teach others about the Holy Trinity. It is such a beautiful example because he used something that everyone had seen and experienced. This is exactly the way I like to teach – taking things from a child’s environment and making them into Orthodox lessons! In honor of the Holy Trinity, I have three activities that you can use at home or in the classroom!

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Christ is Risen Teaching Resource

At our church we always have a Holy Friday retreat for the kids. We have activities planned to help them learn more about the important events of the day and of Christ’s Resurrection. A couple of years ago I had to teach the kids the hymn, Christ is Risen. Since my group was preschool through 6th grade, a lot of the kids may not be reading or not reading well enough to read the bigger words. My teacher brain was thinking of ideas to help the non-readers be able to sing along. I’m sure many of you have seen early reader books where they have the text and a small picture that shows the word. I love how icons tell stories and especially love it when a hymn describes exactly what is happening in the image, so I decided to make a visual version of the hymn for my students.  (more…)

Fishing for Hearts

Do you ever feel like it’s difficult to find active games for Sunday School? Kids need to move around and I’m always scouring the web to find things that get the kids up and out of their seats! Well, I have a very fun game with an Orthodox twist to it. It’s perfect to do with your kids or in the church school classroom!

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Vasilopita Game

Hello! I hope you enjoyed reading my post about the life of St. Basil and the book, “The Lucky Cake.” Today, I’m going to share with you a fun activity I did with my kids. We made our own Vasilopita out of paper plates! They loved this game and want to play it over and over.

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The Lucky Cake & St. Basil

The new year will be here before you know it! I wanted to let you know about an awesome book to help your little ones learn about the tradition of the Vasilopita (vah-see-LOW-pita) and St. Basil. First, let’s talk about this neat tradition.  (more…)

A New Orthodox Book & Matching Game

What Can I Do at Divine Liturgy – An Orthodox Board Book

“Children are great imitators, so give them something GREAT to imitate!” -Anonymousbook-for-web

Description:
Do you wish that your child would follow along and participate more during the Divine Liturgy? This book teaches children how they can be active participants of the Faith. With beautiful photographs of children demonstrating what they can do at church, it is sure to be a favorite with the little one in your life.

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Praying Unceasingly

Every day I have every intention of praying all day. I go to bed with such a positive attitude that tomorrow will be the day that I will pray unceasingly. “I won’t forget to pray,” I tell myself. I will be closer to God. I will be filled with the Holy Spirit. I drift off to sleep…

My alarm goes off and then the reality hits. My mind starts racing about all the tasks I need to do to get the kids on the bus in time. All the things I cannot forget. While I’m doing one thing, my kids interrupt me with things that they need. After I’ve had a few digressions from my original task, I’m faced with the burning question, “Now, wait a minute……what was I doing 10 minutes ago??” Then the cycle starts over again. Ahhh! With all of these things going on in my head, I had to figure out a way to REMEMBER to pray. (more…)