Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Advent Notes

First notable -- the reason I'm only doing about half of what my heart desires in homemaking, crafting, and baking this Advent: Totally worth it.

In a most prominent place, a reminder:
To be replaced with JOY for the Christmas season. With hopes that our hearts reflect our intentions.

The St. Andrew Christmas Novena--
Last year, I began making 15-beaded chaplets with St. Andrew medals for this novena. We never really got off the ground with it then, and I've since realized that beaded chaplets are not really ideal for us, with as many little hands as we have. This year I was a more determined than ever to say this novena. We decorated and laminated cards with the prayer on them on November 30th, the actual feast of St. Andrew. (I know. can you believe it? we haven't missed a day yet.) As a way to count the prayers, I came up with this:
I had wanted to pick up some wooden fish (since St. Andrew was a fisherman) that the kids could paint, but couldn't find what I was looking for. I grabbed these fish stickers instead and they do the trick (they're just stuck to card stock and trimmed around). We use a glass votive holder that Owen made for me a few Christmases ago. We take turns. One child is in charge each evening. They drop one of the 15 fish stickers into the cup, "on the Amen!". When the fish are gone, our prayers are said. It is truly a beautiful novena. I'm so glad we've finally adopted it into our Advent traditions.

Another work in progress -- Jesse tree ornaments:
I've mentioned before how we came to use our Christmas tree during Advent. I'm excited about these ornaments I started making (sometime I'll get around to doing a separate post on them), even though daily life has gotten in the way of finishing them. We've started switching over to our regular Christmas ornaments, so now I have a whole year to get the rest of them ready for next Advent!

Our Advent wreath, which I forgot I had purchased last year. I was happy to find it tucked away:
It makes a nice centerpiece, and the boys are fully dedicated to lighting it every night during prayers.

Even in this crazy hectic time in our lives, I feel like we're establishing some beautiful Advent traditions, which I hope our boys will carry with them throughout their lives.

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