Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

Welcome Christ Child! Please bring peace and joy to our homes. Here's a video of us decorating our Christmas tree yesterday. It's pretty true to a real life snapshot. We have all sorts of fun here :-)
video


--------------------

Tonight we went to mass at 6pm (so packed it really started at 5:30 because they closed the doors and wouldn't let anyone else in because of fire codes).... it was lovely.
Our 7 year old sang in the children's choir and was so sweet. The twins were ravonously eating the raisins I brought along (mass at supper time is never an easy one to get through), and the toddler and preschooler were fighting over who gets to sit next to mommy for most of the mass.

We happened to inadvertantly sit in the seat where the offeratory family sits.
This means it was our job to bring up the bread and wine for the priest in the middle of the mass. I'm not sure why they trusted us with this, but we dutifully got up at the appointed time and waited for the priest's signal to walk down the aisle. Unfortunately, I wasn't paying very close attention, because the twin I was holding (little P), grabbed the glass flask the wine was in and knocked it over, spilling wine all over my skirt and the floor. Dad is obviously experienced in dealing with little kids and breakable things, because he caught the glass in mid air, saving it from smashing on the floor below. Luckily there was still some wine left to bring up to the priest. I wonder if he noticed that my skirt was all wet and I smelled of alcohol? Can you believe this is the same priest who came over for supper the night that Saint Joseph lost his head?

I don't think we'll be sitting in that spot again.

good night all! I have to go to bed so santa can come and fill the kid's stockings. He IS comming isn't he?? Wouldn't the biggest suprise of all be if he came and vaccummed for me while he was here? Then maybe i'd really believe.

For now, I'll go to bed and be thankful that the most important baby came into our world right in the middle of a messy stable where it was certainly NOT vaccumed and clean. I guess it doesn't all have to be perfect.

Blessings and love to you all!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

He came!! and he ate the cookies they left out

Yes, today is the feast of St. Nicholas, and the kids are thrilled with his visit last night.

Before they went to bed, they carefully put out their shoes in hopes that the saint would come in the night and leave them some treats. E left out her big winter boots, telling her brother thats how to get more candy in them :-)

When they awoke in the early morning, they found chocolate coins, chocolate st. nick's and angels, a game for the whole family to play, a CD to share (St. nick must know we're studying ancient Egypt because the cd was some stories of egypt by Jim Weiss), and a letter from the good saint himself!!

Even the babies had some chocolate, which they thoroughly enjoyed. After a choclate feast, I made a luxorious treat of cinnamon toast (toast with generous layers of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.. so nutritious).
The rest of the day will be spent making some St. Nichoals cookies, watching a movie about the saint, reading a story about him and taking a day off of 'school'. (hee hee.... but they don't know they'll be learning all day when we learn about the saint, do math while baking cookies and seeing fractions in rea life, and practicing reading when I ask E to read some of the book as well :-) I love homeschooling). I don't think I'll get dressed today. Surely mommy can have a treat on St. Nicholas day too ??

Monday, December 03, 2007

Thank you Cay!



OOohhh!! I won another contest in the blog world. How exciting!


Cay Gibson, the author of Christmas Mosaic (I wrote about this in my previous post on advent resources) is having these fun Book Walks, and amazingly enough, I won a book. I'm just tickled, and can't wait to recieve it. Just today I was at the library looking for books from my Christmas Mosaic booklist to read this advent.


Go check out her website and see for yourself. It's a treasure and one you'll use each year.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Advent ideas and links

Oh how can I not share all the treasures with you?
Advent is full of traditions to be made, prayers to be prayed and gifts to be treasured. Here is just a sprinkle of what's out there on the great wide internet for you:

Catholic Culture's Advent Workshop This is an amazing place, full of activities, recipes and devotions for each day of advent.



A Gypsy Caravan's advent traditions: Rebecca has compiled the devotions her family uses each evening during advent and they are so easy to print off and do with your own. She has made a beautiful advent log too that I want to try one day(24 candles to count down to christmas).



Advent Calendar on a beautiful wreath: Dawn always has wonderful ideas at her blog By Sun and Candlelight. She's one of my favorite bloggers. This is a craft similar to the simple advent chain we are doing this year, but much more elegant. Maybe I'll try this more sophisticated craft next year?



Christmas Mosaic: I love it! It's a Christmas booklist with lots of activities to do for each book including copywork, crafts, discussion questions and recipes. This will provide fruit for many a tea time this advent. There are also articles and reflections by homeschooling moms sprinkled throughout the book. I have been enjoying this one, as there are so many fluffy-santa books out there to wade through. I want to know what really good treasures there are for our christmas
reading.

Serendipity: Two homeschooling moms are providing us with so much fruit for advent lessons this year. They have written a wonderful free online 'curriculum' to follow that is loosley based on waldorf ideas. It's just so lovely, and full of wonder and food for the senses. Check out their Jesse Tree posts, and the St. Nicholas Flip book.

O Night Divine: Another wonderful blog devoted to advent and christmas. You can't miss this one. The mom who started it has twins like me. Where does she find the time?

Fall artwork

Artwork artwork artwork... we have artwork spilling out of the windows in this house. E is still drawing up a storm, and her brother Z is falling in right behind her with his own creations. Here are some of their latest creations. If you are reading this and you can't see the slideshow below, click through to my blog at www.catholicmom.blogspot.com


Here is some more artwork that E did at her artclass this term. Her teacher was fabulous and E learned a lot. The puppet's dress was all hand sewn, and the ornament is made out of glass. Both sets of grandparents went to the final artshow, where we were greeted at the door, our jackets whisked away by our artist, and shown around. It was lovely.

Oh, and Here is a picture of our advent chain that I spoke about earlier:

almost advent

My days have been so full with the twins now walking (and climbing! more on that later), that I haven't had a spare moment to blog, read other blogs, do laundry or dust (ok who really dusts anyways??).



I've felt inspired by the imminence of advent which starts tomorrow to come back to my blog. There are so many wonderful resources on the web for celebrating advent. So many ideas, inspirations, templates, files and pictures. All you have to do is spend some time with google looking through all the wonderful pages.



Here is what we are going to be doing this advent. I was drawn to the simplicity of this idea from Jordan at Cheerios and Fingerpaints to make a simple paper chain. One link for each day of advent, with a simple sentence detailing an activity we are going to do to get ready for christmas.



Here's our list:



1. Turn on Christmas lights, set up outdoor nativity
2. Light First Advent candle, sing an advent song
3. Set up nativity scene inside, with mary and Joseph on the other side of the house
4. Make a crib for baby Jesus and set aside straw for good deeds.
5. Read story of St. Nicholas, make st. nick cookies, set out shoes at bedtime.
6. Watch the St. Nicholas movie, Color a picture of St. Nick to hang up for decoration.
7. Make beeswax candles in honor of St. Ambrose feast day.
8. Make Christmas ornament of Mary for Feast of Immaculate Conception
9. Light Second candle on Advent wreath, sing advent song
10. Get out Playmobil Nativity scene to play with
11. Go to mass and pray for someone special, send them a christmas card
12. Read Our Lady of Guadalupe book, make OLG xmas ornaments with shrink plastic
13. Bake St. Lucy buns, and make a crown of candles. Read about St. Lucy
14. Make Playdough xmas ornaments
15. Set up Christmas Tree!
16. Light third candle on Advent wreath. Light Christmas Tree!
17. Bake Christmas Cookies
18. Decorate Christmas Cookies, have Tea Time
19. Wrap cookies up for parish priests, make cards for them.
20. Bring cookies to neighbour's house.
21. Color baby Jesus picture to use as a cake topper on his birthday
22. Make pinecone bird feeders, decorate spruce tree with popcorn chains.
23. Light fourth candle on Advent wreath, eat cookies, Decorate tree
24. Make a cake for Baby Jesus, go to Mass, sing Happy birthday and eat cake, read the christmas story.