FMF: Stuck and Stable

I must admit, a lot of times I feel stuck. I feel stuck in the kitchen cooking for hours each day. I feel stuck on the couch nursing my twins. I feel stuck in this house, homeschooling and cleaning. It can be difficult to remain positive about this stability. It can be challenging to remember that I am doing exactly what God has called me to do. I am nourishing hungry bellies, educating future generations, and caring for the little slice of paradise that God has granted me. Truly, I am blessed.

Stability is one of the vows that all oblates make, and one of the principles that I am trying to apply to my life. We live in world where people shop for “perfect” churches and where families don’t hesitate to move across the country. To remain “stuck” and “stable” is looked upon as archaic. Yet, here i find myself vowing to meet life head-on. I have promised to do my best to remain stable in my spiritual life, commitments, and relationships.

I have vowed to still my wandering heart. There are days where having a career seems more appealing than staying home with my kids. There are moments where other parishes seem to offer more beauty than mine. There times where I regret the path my life is on. This is where my vow of stability comes in handy. When I persevere through the bad days with my kids, I get to see them hit milestones! When I put down roots in my parish, I develop friendships that will last a lifetime. When I am determined to own the major decisions I have made, I find satisfaction in my growth.

It isn’t easy to be stuck, but as Abba Poeman once said, “It is by warfare that the soul makes progress.”



FMF: Money Gatherer

The van was dark as we rode back home, a little later than on a normal date night. Spencer and I had just picked the kids up from their grandparents’ house, and everyone was worn out from playing hard.

My husband and I were listening to a local Christian radio station, as we heard our kids talking in the backseat.

Renee flatly said, “You’ll need to get a husband first, because husbands gather all the money.”

Exasperated, Nora agreed, “I know, I know.”

My husband and I lost it. We tried to cover our snickers as the conversation continued. The girls discussed the importance of a husband. Husbands are the ones who gather money for food, toys, and houses. Before Nora could open her dream grocery store, a husband was clearly needed. (I think they are oblivious to the fact that Mommy brings in money too, but that’s okay)

I love the simplicity of life in the eyes of my children. I admire their thankfulness for all that Daddy, Mommy, and God provide for them. They never worry about tomorrow or food running out. They are never fearful of the car being repossessed, or the bills going unpaid. They trust in God’s Providence.

If only I could cultivate such a life of simple gratitude. If God clothes the flowers of the field and feeds the birds, then of course He will also provide for those made in His image.



I wrote this post for Five Minute Friday. The prompt was “provide.”

2017-2018 Curriculum Review

This is my first official year homeschooling! Believe it or not, Renee is already in Kindergarten. Last year we did a relaxed Preschool, working our way through a used copy of the Sonlight Pre-K curriculum. We had a lot of fun with it, but I felt like it was too challenging to fit our Orthodox Christian faith into their very Protestant minded curriculum. This year we jumped headfirst into full-time Homeschooling, using a Catholic curriculum, and we have been enjoying every step of the journey! IMG_20170911_130757964

Now that our year is coming to an end, I thought I would give you a little review of our 2017-2018 school year.

Renee is very intelligent and creative! She was over-the-moon excited to begin homeschooling. Renee thrives on structure and craves hands on attention. Homeschooling has been such a blessing in those areas. We treasure the time we spend learning together each day.

This year I chose to use Catholic Heritage Curricula. The curriculum boasts of academic excellence, catholicity, gentility, simplicity, flexibility, and affordability. Could you really ask for more in a homeschool curriculum? The best part is, I have found all of these things to be true!

During the past seven months, I have watched Renee blossom into a beautiful little girl. She is no longer an immature toddler. She now has a firm grasp on our faith and a love of learning. Her favorite subject is math and her least favorite thing to do is copywork. (Is she really my child!?!)

My youngest daughter, Nora, has been joining in with our lessons as well. CHC offers a wonderful Preschool program that can be easily combined with the Kindergarten classes. Although academics are more of a struggle for Nora, she has enjoyed getting to take part in the fun!IMG_20170911_130106741

To supplement the curriculum, I have thrown in a few books from the Sonlight book list and a few worksheets I’ve found on Pintrest or on religious blogs. These help us keep the routine fresh and fun!

Recently, I found an excellent resource that I plan on implementing more in the next year and during our summer school program. It’s! They offer worksheets to help kids explore topics, practice skills, and build knowledge. They have easily sorted their worksheets by grade and they offer resources from Preschool to High School!

Here’s an example of a worksheet we just did earlier today. The girls had to guide the caterpillar through the maze, where they met some other cute crawlies along the way! If you are looking for great kindergarten resources, visit

Download Maze Crawlies Answers   

    Download Kindergarten Maze Crawlies  

So that is what the Judd family has been doing this year! If you have any questions about the resources or curriculums I have mentioned, feel free to comment or send me a message!


10 Magical things to Do in Winter

It isn’t officially winter yet, but it isn’t too early to get a head start on some Winter Activities! December is a magical month. Here is a list of some of my favorite Winter activities. Make sure you share some of yours with me too!

  • Make/Decorate Cut-Out Cookies
  • Admire Local Christmas Lights
  • Go On a Carriage Ride
  • Send Christmas Cards to Prisoners
  • Go Christmas Caroling
  • Celebrate the 12 Days of Christmas
  • Cut Down Christmas Tree
  • Read a Biblical Account of the Nativity
  • Donate to a Local Food Bank
  • Decorate the Front Door with Snowflakes


10 Fun Things to Do in Autumn

Fall is finally here and I am extremely excited! There is so much to do and so little time. Below I have made a list of my top 10 Autumn activities. Share your Autumn Bucket List items in the comments!

  1. Visit a pumpkin patch
  2. Attend a fall festival
  3. Go apple picking
  4. Attend a high school football game
  5. Take family photos
  6. Bake pumpkin quick bread
  7. Bake an apple crisp
  8. Make s’mores
  9. Make popcorn balls
  10. Picnic in the mountains

Five Minute Friday: Purpose

A few days ago, I sent in the paperwork to receive a “Religious Exemption” from Public Schooling for my daughter Renee. After a lot of thought, research, and prayer this seemed like the best option for our family. The decision to homeschool has been an emotional journey. Somedays I feel overwhelmed about the tasks that lie ahead, but most days I am extremely excited.

You might be wondering, like the majority of my extended family, what my purpose for homeschooling is. After all, wouldn’t it be easier to send my kids away during the day, and catch up on chores or enjoy a little “me time”? Wouldn’t my children benefit from the socialization?

Those are all tempting ideas to consider, but I am sticking to my convictions…

My purpose in homeschooling is immersing my children in the Orthodox Christian culture. The flexibility of homeschooling gives us the freedom to attend more weekly Church services and allows me to integrate the faith into every aspect of their lives.

I want to encourage strong family relationships, create lifelong learners, and make memories.

To sum it all up…

Our Homeschool Mission Statement:

The Judd Family homeschool seeks to build strong family bonds and develop godly character by immersing our children into the Orthodox culture, fostering a love for lifelong learning, and making lasting memories throughout it all. Our ultimate goal is spiritual maturity and academic success.