09 December 2010

A Few Advent Pictures

Advent Wreath ~ Advent Readings ~ Advent Box

St. Nicholas stockings hanging along the stairwell

Charlie Brown tree with Advent Ornaments

 for Abi ;~)

04 December 2010

Advent ~ Daily Plans

to see all of my Advent posts click on the banner:

2012's Advent Planning page is here; I will be updating for 2013 soon.

On the mornings we are home we will gather in the family room, light the Advent candle(s) for that week, sing a verse of O Come, O Come Emmanuel, read a scripture passage, and pray the following prayer:

Advent Prayer to Jesus

You are our eternal salvation,
 The unfailing light of the world.
Light everlasting,
You are truly our redemption.
Grieving that the human race was perishing
through the tempter's power,
without leaving the heights
You came to the depths in your loving kindness.
Readily taking our humanity by Your gracious will,
You saved all earthly creatures, long since lost,
Restoring joy to the world.
Redeem our souls and bodies, O Christ,
and so possess us as Your shining dwellings.
By Your first coming, make us righteous;
At your second coming, set us free:
So that, when the world is filled with light
and you judge all things,
We may be clad in spotless robes
and follow in Your steps, O King,
Into the heavenly hall.
Unknown Author, 10th century

(I found the prayer here - the same site we are taking our Advent wreath prayers and scripture from this year.  I  will print out a copy for each child - now that I have ink.)

Then, the children will take turns reading a poem from Come to the Stable and opening the Advent box (a small papier mache box, which I painted purple last year).  The box will contain a chocolate treat, a mini ornament to put on a small Advent tree, and a note about a special activity for that day.

Advent Week 1

Can I say, "We are easing our way into Advent this year." and get away with that?  With classes all day Monday, a birthday on Tuesday, and me working extra hours Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to make up for time off last week, and the printer running out of ink ~ this past week was pretty much a bust when it came to Advent-keeping

I did decide what to use for my personal Advent devotions, which I am enjoying.
I did find some chocolates that my dairy & egg allergic 11yos can have, which I will use as our daily treats each morning when we open our Advent box.

I did choose a book for the kids and I to read during our Advent Morning Times.
  •  Christmas in the Stable ~ Poems selected & illustrated by Beverly K. Duncan
I did make a list of area activities and dates as well as family traditions and acts of service, and I am working on putting them in little cards to go with the Advent box along with a scripture reading.

 I did get the Saint Nicholas stockings, which we will decorate tomorrow after church.

We did make our Journey To Bethlehem last night, and then we came home, got into our pj's, drank hot cocoa, and listened to C.S. Lewis' The Last Battle.

Tonight we are watching a Little House on the Prairie Christmas dvd.

How was your first week of Advent?

30 November 2010

Advent began on Sunday.  I did manage to get the candles and "wreath-like-arrangement" set up, and we lit the first one and read Isaiah 11:1-10 and sang the first verse of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel."  I updated my Advent Playlist and got it posted here, and it is inspiring me, but...

Monday we had a full day at History Quest, including a play, "Columbus's Mistake," put on by the elementary and middle school groups.

Today was my older son's 13th birthday.

So, our Advent Keeping really begins tomorrow.  Have I decided just exactly how we will be doing that?  No.  I have several internet windows open on my computer as well as a few pdf files, and there are a number of books stacked on my desk.  I will have it figured out by the time my children get up tomorrow morning!

12 November 2010

15 Authors I Love (+1)

What a fun idea from Sarah, which I found by way of Brenda.  Thank you ladies.
Of course, I cheated and listed 16!
  1. C. S. Lewis
  2. Charlotte Bronte
  3. Nathaniel Hawthorne
  4. Rosamunde Pilcher
  5. L. M. Montgomery
  6. A. A. Milne
  7. Ellis Peters
  8. Elisabeth Elliot
  9. Madeleine L'Engle
  10. William Shakespeare
  11. Edward Rutherfurd
  12. Ernest Hemingway
  13. Oscar Wilde
  14. Hans Christian Andersen
  15. G. K. Chesterton
  16. Edith Nesbit

    11 November 2010

    09 November 2010

    Our Thankfulness Tree

    ...in progress.
    (please ignore the messy refrigerator in the background!)

    07 November 2010

    11 September 2010

    "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. 
    In the world you will have tribulation. 

    But take heart; I have overcome the world.” 
    ~John 16:33

    10 September 2010

    This Week in the Olive Grove

    Sunday~We had a nice morning at church; i came home and had a great nap, but then we got the sad news that a family member had died.  This was quite a shock as he was only 37.

    Monday~My husband had the day off, but i had to work; so the kids got to spend the day having all kinds of daddy adventures.

    Tuesday~We did our morning time, and then the kids worked on their History Quest homework.  I ordered First Form Latin!

    Wednesday~We had a good morning time; i felt like we were settling well into our current routine.  I went to work in the afternoon, during which time i received a few phone calls from my 10yo son, who was excitedly working on his first ever report.  He read it to me later that evening when i got home, and i was impressed with his work!

    Thursday~I was a grump during morning time (not sure why, probably because i had slept late.)  Anyway, we got through it, and i did ask for my children's forgiveness.  The afternoon was quite hectic, as my husband and four of the kids were packing up and leaving to go 250 miles away to attend the funeral of the family member who died on Sunday.

    Friday~Took my 8yo daughter to Dunkin' Donuts for Special TeaTime.  She had a doughnut with orange frosting and fall sprinkles and a white hot chocolate; i had coffee and a pumpkin doughnut, yum!  Then the 10yo, 8yo, and i went to do my volunteer shift at the Christian Home Library.  Then it was on to MickyD's for a healthy cheap lunch, and they went to work with me.  I talked/texted with my hubby and kids after the funeral.  They decided to stay another night with my sister-in-law.  Friends came by and picked up son to spend the night, and daughter and i are having a movie night.

    Saturday~I hope to get a lot of work done around the house.  We shall see:~P

    14 August 2010

    Father in heaven, thank You. . .

    for my marriage and my wonderful, loving, generous, Godly husband.

    18 March 2010

    today i am thankful for

    friends who travel many miles to visit

    23 February 2010

    today i am thankful for . . .

    snow! in central texas! during the daytime!
    our wonderful pediatrician
    asthma meds

    19 February 2010

    Links for Lent (a little late)

    What? Me? Behind?
    Well, anyway...

    lots of links, indexed, and organized by category

    hat tip to Amy
    This is(was) supposed to be prayed on Ash Wednesday, but I would like to use it throughout Lent.

    Here is another:

    This one is based on the Ten Commandments.

    I especially like the idea she links to here.
    another hat tip to Amy

    I read this as a young teen, and I remember it having a profound effect.  I thought it would be a good meditation for this season. 
    While searching for it on the web I found this:

    As I have not read these posts yet I am not recommending it, merely making a note of it.

    06 February 2010

    today i am thankful for

    • toys on clearance at the grocery store when 7yod has a birthday party to attend
    • a deposit refund that covered the garbage bill for this month & half of next month
    • gas price that dropped $.04 while i was in the store
    • friends to have us over for dinner
    • a friend to give daughter a ride home & save me the gas
    • a God who cares & provides our daily bread

    03 February 2010

    today i am thankful for

    the promise we have of life eternal with our Saviour and Heavenly Father

    20 January 2010

    09 January 2010

    Just Do It!

    I vaguely remember reading about the Pick a word for the year concept last year, and I have noticed it popping up here & there this year; it is an intriguing idea.  I really like Sarah's idea for setting goals for the new year.  Ah, yes, ideas, theories, plans, these are a few of my favourite things.  I love to think about things and plan things, but not so much to do things.  Oh, and I love to tweak things.  Of course, it being the 9th day of 2010, I am already behind.  I tend to do the whole life-evaluating, goal-setting deal around my birthday, too, which is at the end of June. 

    So, here is my twisted, tweaked plan. 

    My word is DO, and I even have a Bible verse to go with it:

    Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men . . .
    You are serving the Lord Christ.

    Colossians 3:23 & 24

    And now, borrowing from Sarah, I am setting 6 goals for the next 6 months until my birthday (actually, exactly 24 weeks from tomorrow):

    1. walk 100 hours (40-45 minutes; 6 days a week)

    2. plan & prepare 168 home-cooked dinners (every. single. day.)

    3. complete 24 small decluttering projects (one a week)

    4. start & finish 4 knitting projects (one every 6 weeks)

    5. read 8 books (one every 3 weeks)

    6. 504 hugs, kisses, and smiles for my husband (three times, each & every day)

    Then I will do it again for the second half of the year.

    Christmas is over

    I am (quite reluctantly) putting away the decorations, books, CDs, etc.  To be honest, I think that some of my reluctance stems not so much from a love of the season as from a sense of regret at (yet again) not completing many of my plans for us.  I truly have made efforts to limit my desires to only those things which I and/or my husband and children really want to do, yet I still seem to accomplish so little.  We did not finish any of the Advent readings; we never even got the fourth candle lit, let alone the Christ candle.  We didn't get a family picture.  We didn't make any ornaments.  We didn't even read the story of the Nativity from the Bible.  I did absolutely nothing special for the 12 Days of Christmas or Epiphany.

    We did get a tree up and some lights on it; I gave the girls some pretty glass snowflake ornaments that I had bought at a craft fair (and promptly misplaced) last year, and
    I bought some painted acorn snowcaps at a craft fair this year for the guys.  I finally attended a midnight Mass on Christmas Eve this year, and it was lovely.  We had our traditional Christmas brunch dishes: egg casserole, little smoked sausages, cranberry-pear crisp, and gingerbread baked in my castle-shaped-bundt-cake-pan.  We had some friends over on New Year's Eve and made a few more of our traditional treats: spinach piroshky, queso bites, and vegan-oatmeal-craisin-chocolate-chip cookies.  Before the arrival of our guests the kids and I got the house clean. really clean. cleaner than it's been in 5 years. and we have kept it up.

    All told, it was not a bad Advent/Christmas season in our home.  My children and my wonderful husband all have fond memories of the past six weeks, and I
    was able to focus on the nativity of our LORD and ignore the clamor for the world.

    I think, though, that I will leave the blue twinkle lights which I bought for Advent this year up around the kitchen windows.  They have become a pleasant companion during my pre-dawn prayer time.

    today i am thankful for...

    the opportunity, privilege, and tremendous blessing of being at home and being able to teach my children

    08 January 2010

    today i am thankful for...

    winter cold without the problem of icy roads
    a warm house
    a car with a good heater and seat warmers

    06 January 2010

    Wise Men Still Seek Him

     Bethlehem morning is more than just a memory;
    for the child that was born there is the King of kings and LORD of lords...


    all the kings that ever reigned, put together,
    have not affected the life of man on earth as much as this one solitary life...

    05 January 2010

    Three versions of Three Kings

    the simple:


    the sacred:


    and the silly:


    02 January 2010

    Toady i am thankful for...

    a clean house, my husband's job, gingerbread and tea.

    01 January 2010