New Martyr Magazine features Welcoming the Christ Child!

Have you seen New Martyr Magazine yet? It’s a great resource for children — it comes out four times per year, and contains stories, games and great ideas for Orthodox families! Our family has enjoyed this magazine since its first issue — in particular, my seven year-old reads it cover-to-cover and then carries it to bed with her. Luckily, it is printed on durable stock, so even after loving it so much…

Where to Hang Your Ornaments?

A good friend of mine just surprised me with a photo of the wooden tree she and her husband created for the Jesse Tree ornaments, and it’s beautiful! With forty nails for each of the forty ornaments, her family will count down each day of the Nativity Fast by hanging the day’s ornament in place — until finally the tree is filled and Christmas has arrived! This tree is a great DIY…

Welcoming the Christ Child: My Jesse Tree Board

Now that we have the book and ornament set ready to go, I’ve been trying to decide where we’ll be hanging our ornaments to count down to Christmas. You may have seen my earlier post in which I searched Pinterest and contemplated various cool trees we might make…   In the past, we have hung our ornaments along a ribbon, but this year I wanted to find a way to really count — I’d…

When Kids Don’t Like Church

When we talk about children in the church, we usually mean babies and toddlers — the youngest ones who cannot seem to sit still. That’s a big challenge for parents and for the rest of the parish. But what happens when those kids get a little older?  We don’t talk a lot about what to do when your ten-year old declares that he just doesn’t see the point of church or when…

Sasha & The Dragon – new children’s book with online lesson plans

Sasha and the Dragon is the latest in the series of Ancient Faith Publishing’s very beautiful children’s books. Laura E. Wolfe based the story on one of my favorite anecdotes from Fr. Stephen Freeman. In fact, the two of them will be live on Fr. Barnabas Powell’s Faith Encouraged Live Ancient Faith Radio call-in show on Sunday, October 8th at 8:00 pm EST, talking about the book and the prayer that inspired the story.…

Preparing for Nativity: Practical Ideas for a Jesse Tree

The Nativity Fast will be coming sooner than we think — it begins on November 15 on the new calendar, and November 28 on the old calendar. We’ll be taking 40 days to prepare ourselves and our families for the coming of Christ on Nativity. We’ll fast, we’ll pray and we’ll give alms — and most families will try to work in something special for the children, so that they’ll take in…