Truly one of my most favorite times of year, despite the chaos and stress that it seems it inevitably brings. How could I not love a season of preparation, baking and gift giving? All of those things that are near and dear to my heart.
In an attempt to actually get a post up on my new background and feel like an ACTUAL blogger again, this is gonna be quick.
Advent seemed to sneek up on me despite my planners heart. Oh sure, I read your posts and your wonderful ideas and longed to do such beautiful things in our home this Advent. However, keepin' it real is how we roll lately and with a bout of a series of colds in our family, I just plain ran out of time.
And then Jamie's post arrived in my reader. She's inspirational, that Jamie. And practical. That's exactly what I've got to stick to right now. Her post that had photos of an easy Advent countdown that gave ideas for each day was right up my realistic alley.
Away I went, cutting and creating our own Advent coutdown on Friday. With some of our own creativity and help from the big kids, we came up with a number of simple ways to prepare our hearts, our home and our days.
Our completed countdown serves hangs on a cupboard in the kitchen and serves well as Chrismtas decor too.
A few items from our list:
Several other ideas we came up with included:
-a couple of baking days for the kids and I
-preparing a plate of goodies for a family member in assisted living
-praying for certain intentions
-celebrating Our Lady of Guadalupe
-purchasing items for the food shelf
-the kids' Christmas piano recital that is at a home for elderly
-going to confession as a family
-driving around looking at Christmas lights
-watching a Christmas movie as a family
Jamie even did a follow-up with her list so I could fill in where my feeble mama brain was lacking. Thanks Jamie! Check it out if you haven't already.
Another Advent favorite has been the St. Andrew Christmas novena, which we started on Friday. We have so loved making this an Advent tradition in our home over the last few years.
Tonight, as we lit our first purple candle, we also began our Advent family story book. This year we continue through the books by Arnold Ytreeide and are reading Tabitha's Travels.
Finally, in order to give our Advent a fun jump-start we had one of our diocesan seminarians over to visit this weekend. He came yesterday evening and stayed until after supper this evening. You can't believe the fun our kids had with him! He had my big kids kept busy with card games, board games and Wii while it allowed for Reed and I to catch up on odds and ends around the house. Of course, we visited with him too. Hopefully he felt right at home, because we felt right at home with him here. Hey, he was a cheap 'nanny' for a day! I sure wish he wasn't going back to Rome to study after his pastoral year this year. I would hire that guy for my 'manny' in an instant. I guess God has other plans for him instead.
I hope that all of you are enjoying the beginning of Advent in your home as you celebrate this beautiful season of preparation.