21 December 2015

My Heart This Advent

(a close-up of my son's girlfriend's stocking decoration 
~ she is so talented!)

It happens every year.
Advent begins;
I am already behind, but still excited.
Advent is my favourite season;
I am always so full of expectations and hopes and dreams!
The first couple of weeks pass.
A melancholy mood creeps in.
I am not living up to my own expectations;
My hopes of actually getting things accomplished are dwindling;
No one around me seems to share in my dreams.

"Is there room for Me?"

My expectations and hopes and dreams can become idols.
I have to be reminded every. single. year.

are gifts that come only in His presence.

As Advent ushers in Christmas later this week
may I prepare my heart to
Come, and adore Him, 
Christ the Lord!

linking up with:

18 December 2015

08 December 2015

Advent in Our Home ~ week 2

My daughter and grandson decorating his stocking:

  Waiting for the glitter glue to dry:

Yesterday, my daughter and her friend made snowflake wreaths:

The rest of this week I intend to declutter and clean.  In particular, I will be clearing out a spot for our tree.

05 December 2015

A Simple Advent Plan

...because, really, that is all that I can handle.

I am at the stage of my life where I no longer have young children at home.  I have five adult children ~ four of whom no longer live in our home ~ and two teens.  They are busy with their own lives.  They work, attend classes, have husbands/boyfriends/girlfriends, as well as homes, friends, dogs ~ and in one case, a child ~ of their own.  I never wanted to be that mama (or mother-in-law) who insisted that they must spend every holiday with us and carry on every tradition.  Some of my children love all of the traditions, some can take them or leave them, and some would probably rather leave them (sniff).  But that is alright.  They are building lives, homes, families, and traditions of their own.  Of course, they are always welcome here; they know that, and I try plan so that those who wish to participate are able to.

This year the best plan seems to be to focus on one or two special activities each Sunday during Advent, and invite all who are interested to join us.
  • First Sunday, 29 November ~ we didn't do anything.  Everyone had been here on Thanksgiving and had drawn names for Christmas gift-giving.  We celebrated our older son's 18th birthday on Monday. I did finally get the Advent candle set up on Thursday.
  • Second Sunday, 6 December ~ Saint Nicholas Day!  The three children still living at home will awaken to orange rolls for breakfast.  They will find chocolate coins, a mandarin orange, and new pjs in their stockings.  After church I will provide a light lunch, some treats, and hot cocoa, and we will decorate our stockings (while watching the Seahawks game;).  
  • Third Sunday, 13 December ~  put up the tree and lights; maybe a trip to Main Street Bethlehem in the evening.
  • Fourth Sunday, 20 December ~ Christmas baking.  That night there is a free Christmas concert featuring choirs from 10 different local churches; this is one of the very few must-dos on my personal Advent list.

04 December 2015

Advent in Our Home ~ week 1

The season of Advent began on Sunday; 
I did not begin until Thursday.

I put the Advent candles (last year's somewhat faded and tilted candles, minus any wreath) in the center of our table.

 I put the Advent spiral on the paint-splattered dresser in our entry way and started Joseph and Mary on their journey.

 I went to Dollar Tree and purchased supplies for door swags.
My youngest daughter and I will assemble six of these tomorrow,
one for us, one for each of my four grown daughters, and one for her best friend.

Sunday is Saint Nicholas Day, so we will be decorating and hanging our stockings.

linking up for {pretty, happy, funny, real}
at Like Mother, Like Daughter

For Your Advent Listening Pleasure

I have quite a large Advent playlist on Spotify, but I would like to share a much smaller one that I put together on YouTube.

It begins with O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, followed be songs for Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love, and ends with one of my Christmas Eve favourites, Still, Still, Still.

I hope you enjoy it:

Linking up with: