From the Trenches: Raising Orthodox Christians

Posted on Apr 9, 2014 | 2 comments

From the Trenches: Raising Orthodox Christians

It’s in those moments where the only strength we seem to be able to muster for family prayers that night is to tell our kids to get ready for bed, tuck them in, and then trace the sign of the cross on their forehead.  It’s in those moments where they hear us tell their coaches they won’t be able to make the game Sunday morning because we’ll be at church.  It’s in those moments where you bring them along to drop off food to someone who could use a meal, for whatever reason.

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Illumination Learning is Getting a Makeover!

Posted on Mar 10, 2014 | 3 comments

Illumination Learning is Getting a Makeover!

Five years ago, I started Illumination Learning with one simple idea – gather together a list of Orthodox resources being developed by parents, teachers, and clergy and share it with others.  I built a platform using Ning and WordPress to share this list and through the past five years, literally thousands of people have found and used the website.

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Family Goals for Great Lent

Posted on Mar 3, 2014 | 1 comment

Family Goals for Great Lent

As we are about to enter into Great Lent, we’ve spent some time talking with our kids about our family’s goals for the coming weeks.  As a reminder, we are leaving this list of goals on our refrigerator for the journey ahead of us.

Kali Dynami!  (Good Strength!)

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A Practical Guide to Prayer with Children

Posted on Jan 3, 2014 | 4 comments

A Practical Guide to Prayer with Children

(Sorry about the hiccup when this was initially published.  Something went wrong when I clicked publish and it deleted the majority of this post.  I had to go back in, re-do it, and publish it a second time.)

*This was originally presented via a live webinar in 2011.  I have slightly modified it in order to share it in a blog post format below.  Keep in mind that this is a lengthy post because it was a 45 minute live presentation.  If you would like to see any of the slides larger, click on the picture twice to enlarge it.  (Not a double click, but rather click on it once and then a second time when it shows the picture by itself.)

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Kindness Kids

Posted on Dec 9, 2013 | 0 comments

Kindness Kids

Recently, a post went around on the Internet about Kindness Elves as an alternative to Elf on the Shelf.  I didn’t really know what the Elf on the Shelf was about until this year when my boys became interested in it.  I looked into it a little bit and decided it wasn’t really for us.  We have plenty of mischief around here without encouraging it.  I didn’t give it much more thought after that – until I saw a link to this post on Facebook from “Children in Orthodox Churches”.   After reading it, the ideas started rolling.  This had potential for many teachable moments about living our faith.

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Gifts for Christmas

Posted on Dec 8, 2013 | 0 comments

Gifts for Christmas

Many of us often look for a meaningful gift to give to our family, friends, teachers, and that special someone.  This year, consider giving them handcrafted soap from the Holy Cross Monastery in West Virginia.  Now through December 25th, they will donate 10% from the sales of their Mint Merry soap to the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry.  Not only can you give a lovely gift but you can support two Orthodox groups as well.

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Participating in the Nativity Fast as a Family

Posted on Nov 19, 2013 | 0 comments

Participating in the Nativity Fast as a Family

As we enter the Nativity Fast, here are some ways we can participate together as a family as we are called to fast, pray, and give alms:

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Companion to “Special Agents of Christ”

Posted on Nov 14, 2013 | 3 comments

Companion to “Special Agents of Christ”

This was part of my presentation at the last IL webinar.  For the foreseeable future, Illumination Learning will not be hosting anymore webinars.  As time permits, I will be archiving as many resources as possible from these past webinars on the website.

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Through the Work of Our Hands

Posted on Nov 6, 2013 | 3 comments

Through the Work of Our Hands

There are times where I find myself romanticizing the work of the saints of today and yesterday who have helped people in need around them.  We are all called to be saints but sometimes I get the idea in my head that the only way to emulate them is to become a missionary (family included) and go to the impoverished nooks and crannies of the world. Other times I feel like there’s no way I can make any real difference as just one person and feel defeated before I’ve ever begun.

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Tree of Jesse Ornaments

Posted on Nov 3, 2013 | 5 comments

Tree of Jesse Ornaments

I’ve had some requests asking me if I would mind sharing how I put together our family’s ornaments for the Jesse Tree.   Below are some photos along with a brief description of how and where I got the materials to complete this project:

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