Raising Hippies | Our New Journey

Motherhood, Uncategorized

We made a BIG decision to take a giant leap of faith & begin homeschooling our children this upcoming year! I am feeling very excited for this new journey, as well at very nervous.

Each day as I am learning more, gathering my resources, and seeing my vision coming together, my confidence is building & the nervousness is quickly fading away.

Although I do not owe a single person an explaination; my biggest factoring decision was the way the world is going. Honestly, I don’t feel safe sending my children out into society anymore. I should not have to worry if they will make it home when they leave for school each morning. I should not have to worry what my children are being influenced of by others at their most vulnerable and moldable stages. I believe homeschooling with allow my children to maintain their innocence, something I was robbed of from a very early age, each year only getting worse.

It may sound counter-productive to some, but I hope to eliminate stress from our lives. Getting five kids of five different ages up early in the morning to get a few of them ready for school is a miserable process that starts our day with negativity, lots of tears; both mine & theirs, the daily struggle to get kids who aren’t ready to wake up yet out of bed, fighting & yelling at each other, fighting the time to make sure my kids bellies are full; the slower eaters crying because they weren’t finished yet, rushing out the door in chaos every morning…. not a healthy way to start our day.

When you begin your day in a state of chaos, every single day, you really begin to lack joy & forget how incredibly blessed you are. You live in a constant state of fight or flight, just trying to make it through an hour at a time. Weekday mornings have been a MAJOR stressor since we first began school.

Then repeat the process halfway through the day for school pick up, only to go backwards in time until bedtime. Rush in the door, fight about homework, fight about clean up, fight about routines, and why my kids can’t have phones like the other kids, rush the clock to get them in bed, only to start over in the morning. I can’t live that way anymore, & we shouldn’t have to. We weren’t meant to.

I also am excited to teach my children other subjects. I will teach Ukrainian language to my children. I will teach them home economics & handicrafts. I will teach them gardening & sustainability. I will teach them important life skills that the schools today do not offer our children. They will take piano lessons from their older brother, Kaden. We will learn character building.

We will practice slow living. We will learn at our own pace, together. We will enjoy the process. We will enjoy life & all it has to offer. I’ll share our journey in the process.

Methods

1. Charlotte Mason

This method, known as “the feast of homeschooling, focuses on shorter lessons and lots of outside time. It is nature/art based, but includes an endless amount of education & resources.

Charlotte lived & taught by 20 principles:

  • Children are born with personalities
  • Children have a will to be good or bad
  • Teach children to respect authority
  • Use daily tools to teach children
  • Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, and a life
  • Environmental education provides natural surroundings
  • Disciplinary education forms good habits
  • Provide life skills education to cultivate ideas
  • Build upon a childs natural curiosity
  • Build learning skills to gain knowledge
  • Feeding a child’s mind with a generous curriculum
  • Relations education builds connections
  • Provide a feast of knowledge for growth & stimulation
  • Narration is a key tool for learning
  • One narration reading is sufficient
  • Use the right way to guide moral and mind growth
  • Occupy a child’s time with positive conditions
  • Use reasoning skills only for mathematical truth
  • Moral principles will lead children to make the right decision
  • A child’s spiritual & mental life are intertwined.

To me, it is a better option than Unschooling. I enjoy the concept of Unschooling, but I cannot live in such a state. I thrive on structure, planners, visual charts, routines, complete organization….. I can’t live my day spontaneously. I would wander around aimlessly, accomplishing nothing. We still get the freedom & best parts of Unschooling, but in a more structured/guided way. It feels safer to me, especially as a new homeschooling mother.

I highly recommend these books if you are interested in learning more about the Charlotte Mason Method:

2. Montessori

This method looks at the child as a whole person through child-led learning with real life tools in a safe setting.

I have already been using this method for all of my children for their entire lives. We do not allow many plastic toys in our home, we strive for wooden, educational, & gender neutral. We are learning to adjust that though as the kids grow and find their own interests. We also focus on having interactive toys for them: a child-size grocery store, kitchen, flower shoppe, doctor office, etc so they are able to role-play & learn life skills on their own through play.

In the homeschool world, I would be considered an “Eclectic,” because I am using 2 or more different teaching methods to focus on the individual needs of each of my children.

Since I have all different ages, it just makes sense to all work together but dive deeper in independent work at their appropriate ages. Charlotte Mason & Montessori make that work for ALL of my childrens ages.

At the end of the year, we meet with a certified teacher for our end of year review to present our curriculum for the year & all that we have learned in order to “pass” the year in place of standardized testing. I am SUPER proud of my curriculum!!

They are still allowed to participate in sports & extra curricular through the school which is a great way to socialize & stay in contact with their school friends. Mia is currently a cheerleader & Ella begins volleyball next week!

I am incredibly excited for this new journey for us & documenting it all here along the way.

Until next time β™‘ Mama Morozov

Meet Sati & Indi!! πŸΆπŸΆ

Uncategorized

I am SO excited to introduce the newest members of the Morozov Family: Sati (Sativa) & Indi (Indica).

They are 3/4 Siberian Husky 1/4 German Shepard. They are littermates that were born on May 27th. They are already doing amazing at potty training, especially Sati. They only had a couple pee accidents yesterday, and no accidents overnight last night. They now cry to let us know they need to go outside. They woke up around 3 & 6 last night to go outside, but I was grateful they let me know instead of just going inside.

Sati is high-energy & Indi is very mellow. Niko & I gravitate more towards Sati, and the girls prefer Indi. Of course we all love them both. Moses was a little scared at first, but he has definitely warmed up. The kids are so happy with them and they have been incredibly helpful with them.

They have an appointment this afternoon with our family vet. Sati has a little hernia that we are a little concerned about, but the vet said they are normal and usually removed around 6 months when they are spayed. She isn’t acting bothered by it or strange in any way, so they told us not to worry but will take a look at it today.

Overall they are the perfect pups for our family. They don’t have any bad habits that we have seen yet. They are very family-friendly & smart pups. Their colors are getting even more beautiful by the day.

We are so in love with them & SO happy to add them to our family! Niko & I were both feeling a bit down as Moses is turning into more of a little toddler than a baby. The kids have been begging for a puppy for years, even more so since our fence was installed. So we figured we’d curb our baby-fever with some baby pups & bring the whole family lots of joy + smiles. We definitely made the right decision.

Until next time β™‘ Mama Morozov

A Humbling Experience

Uncategorized

Good morning world 🌎

I’m going to get really vulnerable here for a change. It’s scary & embarrassing, but it’s real life, and it’s why I made this blog in the first place.

Every once in awhile I notice the lessons that the universe gives me in order to make me a stronger person. It’s honestly really cool and eye-opening. Sometimes we all need to be broken down in some way in order to build us back up, but since beginning my spiritual journey I’ve seen time & time again that you will not be left broken if you have faith.

My husband works a full time career. I am a stay at home mom/homemaker. Our family of 7 receives snap benefits and I’m not going to lie; we rely pretty heavily on that for a big chunk of our monthly groceries. Especially since March 2020, we have been receiving a second payment (called an “emergency allotment”) which has really been extremely appreciated by our family.

It’s an impossible cycle they set in place to ensure reliance on the government. The ultimate goal is to be self-reliant and not need snap benefits, but as soon as you make enough to be comfortable for a split second, they cut you off from benefits and you’re immediately back to struggling. I’ve known people to quit their jobs just to not lose their food or medical benefits for their child.

Anyway, the day it has been scheduled (from 3/20-present) to hit our account arrives and I could not be more thrilled to place our Drive Up order at Kroger. Before I place the order, I habitually check the balance, only to see $7.74. I call to hear our next scheduled payment date: nearly a month away. I panicked.

I did some research online. I saw that only some states renewed the EA payments through the end of April, and Ohio wasn’t on the list. I panicked even more. I have 5 little mouths to feed, plus my husband & I, but their little bellies are our first priority. $7 wasn’t going to work. My first instinct was to find a food bank to stock up on as many groceries as I could to supplement that payment until at least payday, then figure out an entire new budget. I was embarrassed to share my current situation with anyone. I was scared if anyone knew I was struggling with food, I would lose my kids.

I headed to The Healing Place. It was very nice, everyone was super friendly. They offer free onsite childcare with background-checked volunteers while you are there so you can focus on the task(s) at hand, a free clothing/home needs store, a free grocery store with food items donated by local grocery stores such as Kroger & Costco, as well as free bicycles and/or bus tokens, free medical attention (well checks, addiction specialists, mental health services, eye health, etc.) by UC students, and so much more. It really is such a beautiful mission.

I came home feeling a mix of grateful, like a total failure, and very humbled. I hadn’t been in a place like that for myself in a long time. It’s a very humbling experience and definitely knocked my ass down a few notches, but my pride & snobbish attitude obviously needed to be put in check and I needed to be reminded that EVERYONE needs help sometimes. Getting help does not mean that you are a failure or a bad mom, it means you are human.

The next day I went to Kroger to buy a head of lettuce. Before going in I checked the balance, out of habit, knowing that it was still going to say $7.74. But it didn’t. The payment had been deposited a few hours earlier.

It was a miracle. I was seriously shocked. A total wave of relief washed over me. As well as a sobering realization that at any moment our food supply can be cut off- the government has us right where they want us- relient on them.

I now see the importance of having a bulk food & water supply in case of emergencies that our family can survive on, instead of just a fully stocked pantry that I’ve been focusing on in my homemaking.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please do not be ashamed to ask for help. With the intense inflation, many people are struggling more than they care to admit. You aren’t alone. There is plenty of help out there available to families (and single people as well), and that is exactly what it is intended for- to help in your time of need. You are worthy of help.

Until next time β™‘ Mama Morozov

Terra Cotta Potters πŸͺ΄

Crafts & DIY, home, Uncategorized

I went to Target the other day and saw the cutest little face potters for plants that I wanted to get for this windowsill, but then I saw the price tag & said ope, nevermind, and placed it back.

I headed down to Menards and picked up a small stack of these Terra cotta planters for $0.78 each & asked my husband to decorate them for me instead. These first two he made for me are awesome! I can’t wait to see what the rest will turn out like. I want to go back and get a bunch more for the kids & I to decorate also! We have plenty of empty windowsill space to fill with our purposeful art, herbs, & houseplants.

Instead of blowing a bunch of money at Target to get what everyone else has, I was able to save a ton of money & get custom planters instead. You can do ANYTHING with these. Decorate them ANY way you want. Let your imagination run wild. They’ll end up looking way cuter than anything you can find at Target, plus no one else in the world will have the same one as you!

Until next time β™‘ Mama Morozov

Parenthood Perspectives

Motherhood, Uncategorized

I may never be the type of mom that knows how to get stains out of clothes, but I am the kind of mom that throws our stained items in a bin + throws a random “tie dye party” with the kids in the back yard every now & then.

Knowing what to use to get stains out doesn’t make you a better mother. You don’t have to be Pinterest perfect to be a good mom. Life is not one size fits all. Live outside the box & find the solution that works best for you. You are already enough β™‘ & so am I.

Until next time β™‘ Mama Morozov

Today’s Treasures

Motherhood, Uncategorized

My parents town does this annual Large Item Pickup each summer where everyone is encouraged to declutter their homes and place their large items they no longer need or want on the curb. They split it up into neighborhood areas from the start of the town to the end & each section has a different weekend.

It is a day where trash-collectors like myself drive around in trucks (except today I had my Explorer & 5 kids with me) and pick up all the treasures that others are ready to let go of. Some of it is trash, a lot of it is only in need of a little TLC & creativity to be re-purposed, and then there are the real treasures that are things in totally great, like-new shape & barely even used! The impulse purchases that turned out to be a bust.

My husband tells me I have a special gift at finding treasures. It’s actually one of my most received compliments by friends & family, but I just find life to be a fun scavenger hunt. The universe just helps guide me along the way to the treasures instead of a map. 

Today our goal was new outdoor toys. I’d say we succeeded & found some pretty great new treasures for free!

We already had the kitchen to the left, but today we found the smaller kitchen to the right & set them up side by side to make one larger kitchen so the kids have more space to work without constantly bumping into each other.

This adorable little wheelbarrow was in perfect shape! It’s so perfect for the kids to play & practice yard work. They really enjoy gardening + playing with their pretend flower shop. They make their own bouquets out of fake flowers so that will be a fun tool to use for that. I love encouraging play of real life skills.

The kids have been having a *ball* πŸ˜‰ playing with this giant soft soccer ball. Sasha has been really big into umbrellas lately so she was very happy to find this cute colorful one.

Sasha also found this cute little insulated cooler to keep snacks in outside so she doesn’t have to keep going in & out of the house.

Athena wanted a photo with the umbrella too, of course.

This slide was so difficult to get, but when I make up my mind about something, there is absolutely no stopping me. I was determined to get this slide- it was in perfect shape. I tried literally every way you could think of to make it fit in our vehicle safely with 5 children also inside. I finally managed to get it squished in and made it home. I was SO proud of my accomplishment. This was definitely our best find of the day.

They also found these little lunchboxes that they were really excited about.

We found a lot of fun new treasures to be thankful for. The girls had SO much fun driving around, getting in & out of the car (at times in the rain), and collecting whatever we found. It was a very nice memory to make with them. It gave us a lot of happiness & laughter, and of course so much excitement when we scored a great item. I’d take that over a shopping trip any day.

Until next time β™‘ Mama Morozov

New Life in Deer Park

Uncategorized

A fawn was born in my garden yesterday ❀🦌.  These little moments make me so grateful to live in Deer Park. I love watching the fawns grow up, play, & even nurse in my yard.

It isn’t where I would like to live forever. I need more open sky, more nature to discover + play in, more natural water & clay to squish my toes in. I need more land & less neighbors. But for now we are here & we will make it the very best we can with what we were blessed with.

It makes my mama heart SO happy that I have created an atmosphere for the neighborhood animals to feel safe enough to bring their babies earth-side + raise their babies here (we currently have a mama bunny 🐰 & her two babies πŸ‡πŸ‡ living in our yard as well). I’m thankful that my children get to grow up with these experiences as well.

I love looking out the window and seeing the birds drinking from their bath, counting how many different colors I see. I love watching the squirrels & chipmunks play along our fence. They steal my plants, but that’s okay because I am happy their bellies are full.

This may not be our forever home, but when I really take in all my blessings & all that Deer Park has had to offer us in our time here, this place has been pretty great to us.

In a way, it gave me new life too. I shed my old damaged shell of a human here & with wobbly new legs on my own, I became the woman, wife, & mother that I am. I’ll forever be grateful for this home for saving me.

Enjoy this beautiful new life with me;

Until next time β™‘ Mama Morozov

Ukrainian Pancakes (Syrniki)

Motherhood, Recipes, Uncategorized

Sasha & I made Syrniki this morning for breakfast! Syrniki are Ukrainian pancakes made from Farmers Cheese. I didn’t have time to pick up real Farmers Cheese, so I used cottage cheese as a substitute. Next time I make these, I’m going to stop in at Marina’s European Food Market and pick up some real Slavic Farmers Cheese.

In case you don’t know us personally, I am Ukrainian & my husband is from Russia. I was lucky enough to grow up learning some of the Ukrainian/Eastern European culture from my dad & his family (his sister, Mary, & her polish husband, Vince, both who are sadly no longer with us.) I loved going to their family parties! Learning the traditions, hearing the language… I loved their accents. I’d ask them to speak to me in Ukrainian, and in Ukrainian they would say, “why should I speak it if you can’t understand it?” I just thought that was the coolest thing ever. I learned a few words growing up, but never the language.

Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to marry an Eastern European man. I gave all of my children a Ukrainian (or Russian) middle name to honor our heritage: Kaden Yuri (after my dad) πŸ’™, Ella Aleksandriya πŸ’—, Mia Nataliya (after Niko’s birth mother) πŸ’—, Sasha Katiya πŸ’—, Athena Mariyah (after my dad’s sister & my mom, both Mary… *side note: it isn’t supposed to have an “h” at the end. I’m still mad at myself for agreeing to putting that) πŸ’—, & Moses Kolya (after Niko) πŸ’™.

Since the invasion, I have decided to go “full Ukrainian.” I’ve taught myself how to read & write their alphabet confidently. I can now speak Ukrainian at an elementary level. I am teaching my children as I learn so we can be fluent at home. My husband has tried teaching me Russian over the years (which is very similar to Ukrainian), and I’ve tried Rosetta Stone in the past so it wasn’t totally unfamiliar to me, but this time it just clicked- almost like it was unlocked from my DNA bank. I finally would be able to not only understand what they were saying to me, but respond too. I’m so proud of myself.

In addition to all of that, I am learning how to cook Ukrainian foods so that I will be able to pass recipes down to my children to continue embracing our culture for generations to come.

Today we made Syrniki & it turned out REALLY yummy so I decided to share it here.

Gather your ingredients.

  • 2 16oz containers cottage cheese (farmers cheese if possible)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

I have a large family & wanted to make sure that I had extra to send to my parents to try. If you have a small family; cut this in half, or make & use for breakfast prep/freezer breakfast meal for later.

Mix together.

Sasha hard at work mixing everything together in a big bowl.

Meanwhile, pour some oil of your choice on a skillet on the stove and let it heat up.

Wash your hands again. Leave them a little wet, but not dripping. Grab a smallish size amount of cheese mixture and form into a patty & place on stove. Wet hands again & repeat one by one. You’ll want to fry them until they are golden brown. DO NOT move them until you see the crust forming on the bottom & the top looks flat like pancake batter, no longer like cottage cheese (the cottage cheese will slop all over the pan if you flip too soon). Flipping is more difficult than with American pancakes.

Once both sides are golden brown, transfer to a place &…

Serve.

I served these with peaches. I had planned on making cream to go with them as well, but got too overwhelmed with the flipping that I decided peaches were enough. Next time I will definitely make the cream ahead of time because it would be a very nice treat to go with them.

Now that I made them and know what to expect, I will feel more confident making them from here on out. I am excited to try them with various toppings, especially other fruits & jams. They are more savory than sweet, so the fruits bring a natural sweetness to them. They are really, really good though- the kids even said they were delicious!

Until next time β™‘ Mama Morozov

Big Summer Cuts

Motherhood, Uncategorized

We found the BEST kids salon in the world. Seriously.

It is SUCH a cute place! Its like a miniature version of a grown up salon and everyone who knows me, knows how I feel about miniature things 😍.

Seriously though, I couldn’t get over how cute this place is! As soon as you walk in they offer you a drink; water, cold brew, or local craft beer. I can almost never turn down a cold brew πŸ˜‰.

There is a cute little gift shop with adorable hair accessories and little toys. There’s a hair product section of kid-safe products for sale as well. There’s also a play section with wooden toys in the waiting area to play with.

There is also a room for nails & glitter tattoos which is where the birthday parties are held. The receptionist was telling us about more future plans happening that will make this kids salon EVEN better! I can’t wait to see how that is even possible!

Before

During

After

Mia got one braid in the front + purple glitter. Ella got two braids tied behind like a ninja which could not be a more perfect hair style for her + blue glitter.

Mia kept her long hair just trimming off the dead ends, but Ella brought hers closer to her shoulders so that it would be a lot easier for her to maintain without taking too much length. She has very thick hair that locks up really bad. Brushing her hair has always been a traumatic event for both of us, so I am really hopeful that this new style helps. It definitely looks adorable!

This really was such a fun experience and is going to be our haircut home from now on. We have officially become that family that will only go to one place for the rest of our kids lives. Seriously though, it’s that great of a place! We will definitely be back for Mia’s birthday in August for a pamper sesh!

Until next time β™‘ Mama Morozov

Little Summer Cuts

Motherhood, Uncategorized

We went with Grandma Colleen to lunch today at Panera (I had a pick 2: Mediterranian Veggie Sandwich + Strawberry Poppyseed Salad without chicken… SO yum! The girls both had mac & cheese + strawberry yogurt) then took Sasha + Athena to get their hairs cut for summer!

We wanted to break the girls up by the big & little so it wouldn’t be as overwhelming for anyone which was a really good idea.

Before

During

After

They look so cute & behaved so well today. I was so proud of them!!

Back to mom life.

Until next time β™‘ Mama Morozov