Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Shepherding Sam by Melinda Johnson- Book Review

Shepherding Sam by Melinda Johnson

Full disclosure: I love corgi's! I once owned a sweet corgi many years ago and have always wanted to own another one. They are wonderful dogs and really great with families. 

A lovely story about a dog and a boy and a monastery. Sam is an active boy that struggles with church and spending time at the monastery. Saucer is a dog who only wants to herd- sheep, nuns, animals, maybe even Sam. 

I loved this book! I loved that the main character reminded me of my own children- not always super excited to go to church, somewhat distracted by everything that is going on around them. I love that this story shows the struggle that Sam goes through to be at the monastery. Sometimes our church stories skip over that struggle. To have a character experiencing apprehension about visiting the monastery and figuring out his place is refreshing especially for those readers who feel the same way as Sam. 

The other great thing about this book is it includes dragons, animals, swords, and a dog and boy who are trying to figure out their own purpose in all of this. 

This book would be a great read aloud with younger children and older children can easily read it on their own. I am very excited that this is now the first book in a series and look forward to reading book two- The Barn and the Book by the same author. 

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Purchase your own copy at Ancient Faith Publishing 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

#GivingTuesday 2018


For our 2019 #givingTuesday project, Agia Sophia Academy students will put together "grab and give" bags for the St. John the Baptist ministry of Sts. Mary and Martha Philoptochos (women's group). Each child will create one bag to be distributed to the homeless in our area. 


This year marks our 15th anniversary since the establishment of our school. To celebrate this milestone, please consider participating in our #givingTuesday appeal. While education costs continue to rise, our fundraising efforts allow us to provide high-quality teachers and curriculum at a reasonable price for our families. Your gift makes Pan-Orthodox education possible for every family we serve and those to come! Don’t forget to submit your donation to your employer (Nike, Intel, etc.) if they participate in matching gifts. 

#FacebookGives & #PaypalGives

Create a fundraiser on Facebook or donate to ours to maximize your impact on November 27. Facebook and Paypal will be matching up to $7 million on #givingTuesday and waiving procession fees. 
May it be blessed!

In Christ,
Katherine Karafotias - ASA Development Director
Christina (Bournelis) Blankenstein - ASA Principal

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Importance of Reading Aloud- Kate DiCamillo

As if we need more reasons to read aloud to our children/students...
Here is a link to Kate DiCamillo talking about the magic of reading aloud.
Click Here :) 

Enjoy! And if you do not know what to read aloud to your children, any Kate DiCamillo book is an excellent choice!

Have a blessed day!
Mrs. Blankenstein

Ps. Here is a list of Kate DiCamillo's books. My personal favorite is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane followed by The Tale of Despereaux.


Chapter books[edit]

  • Bink & Gollie series, text by DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illus. Tony Fucile
    • Bink & Gollie (2010)
    • Bink & Gollie: Two for One (2012)
    • Bink & Gollie: Best Friends Forever (2013)
  • Mercy Watson series (Candlewick Press), text by DiCamillo, illus. Chris Van Dusen
    • Mercy Watson to the Rescue (2005)
    • Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride (2006)
    • Mercy Watson Fights Crime (2006)
    • Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise (2007)
    • Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig (2008)
    • Mercy Watson: Something Wonky This Way Comes (2009)

Picture books[edit]

  • Great Joy (2007), illus. Bagram Ibatoulline
  • Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken (2008), illus. Harry Bliss

Short stories[edit]

  • "An Ordinary Boy", in Spider magazine for children (vol. 8, issue 9, September 2001)[18]
  • "Super Tulip", Spider (vol. 8, issue 9, September 2001)[19]
  • "Visit", Spider (vol. 9, issue 1, January 2002)[20]
  • "The Third Floor Bedroom", in Chris Van Allsburg, et al., The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Book Review- A Daily Calendar of Saints by Fr. Lawrence R. Farley

As the principal of our school, I was very excited to have the opportunity by Ancient Faith Publishing to read and review this book  Every morning, as a school, we gather for morning prayers. I have been looking for a way to incorporate short readings of the saint of the day into our morning prayers and kept coming across either very lengthy readings of saints lives or the readings incorporated language that is way over the heads of our youngest children (our Montessori preschool begins at age three). This book is the perfect balance of length and difficulty for even our youngest students. In fact, I may have our 5th graders eventually read the life of the saint to the children during our morning prayer time. As we use this book everyday, my prayer is that over the years, the children will remember these lives of the saints (not just the well known saints, but even the lesser known saints). 

I highly recommend this book for families with children at all age levels. It is easy to read and comprehend. Most of the daily lives of the saints are a short paragraph while the more well know saints are a bit longer. 

I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Hulafrog- local things for kids to do...
check out their website and "love" ASA!

Monday, November 5, 2018

With Gratitude...


The Virtue for the month of November is Thankfulness/Gratitude. Fitting because we in the United States devote a day in November to “Thanksgiving”. Fr. Thomas Hopko wrote,

The spiritual person is the one who is grateful for everything. He is the one who receives everything with thanksgiving, and who knows that he has nothing except what he has received from God.

If we recognize that all things come from God then we should be in a constant state of Thanksgiving- not just one day a year, but every moment of every day. This is what we strive to teach our students at ASA- to be ever grateful to God for all things!
I am personally Thankful for all of you. Our students, families, staff, and board members.

With gratitude,

Mrs. Christina Blankenstein
Ps. I will close with one of our Bible verses for November:

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. – Colossians 3:17

News from around the school... and ways to support our greater Beaverton community and support our school.

Fundraiser going on now! Click here to find out more information.

We are collecting food for Oregon Food Bank - theme is Ducks v. Beavers- support your favorite college team by placing food in the appropriate barrel. Let's see who wins this battle!

And, to continue withe the Ducks v. Beavers theme, and to take part in the BottleDrop is running a promotion for the month of November that can earn us an extra % of the total bottles and cans that we bring in! So, we have set up, next to the food barrels, Ducks v. Beavers recycling stations to easily return your cans and bottles- each bottle or can is worth $.10 so let's take advantage of this great opportunity. And may the best team win!

For other ways to support Agia Sophia Academy, please check out our website for "everyday ways to contribute" here-
- donate your car
- donate stock
- shop with Amazon? Login through and choose ASA as your nonprofit. A small    percentage of what you purchase goes back to the school!
- Fred Meyer rewards card- you can choose to have ASA as your designated non-profit.
- Twice a month we order Scrip cards (gift cards)

Check out the other ways that you can support our school!

May it be blessed,
Mrs. Blankenstein