Monday, December 9, 2013

"Heedless of the Wind and Weather!" (Advent Happenings in our Warm and Cozy Home)

So far, we've been having the kind of Advent I'd been hoping for... lots of singing and prayer without pressure; a messy house that doesn't bother me because eventually it will be cleaned; time focused on making gifts for others.  

Last year St. Nichols Day took me by surprise and I said, "Never again!"  Well... you guessed it - it happened again this year. Last Monday I remembered I wanted to paint peg doll nativity sets to give to the kids on St. Nicholas morning.  A good friend, who is a talented and experienced peg doll painter (and painted the sets featured in this post from the past) helped me get started Thursday night.  I'm still not finished, but I'm certainly enjoying this new-found craft hobby!  I also didn't get to make the special breakfast of St. Nicholas' crosier coffee cake that I had "pinned" last year.   Maybe next year, but I make no guarantees.

It's all ok, though.  My mantra this Advent is: don't fussdon't go nuts, don't regret; just do what works, what makes sense and what's fruitful.   

So on St. Nicholas morning the kids' slippers were full of leftover chocolate from All Saints Day and they got to eat it at breakfast (what!?!?!)  We read our St. Nicholas books and the boys asked if we could go to Mass to celebrate the day.  Uh... ok!  We cancelled school lessons for the day and after Mass we spent the rest of the morning making salt dough ornaments to give as Christmas gifts. 

(I'm taking it so easy these days, I didn't even edit any of the pics...)

In the afternoon we sat around building Christmas tress out of our geometric arranging games.  I seriously couldn't have asked for a better St. Nicholas Day. (Well, actually it would have been a little better if St. Nick had left that coffee cake for me in the morning!)

We are all enjoying lighting our wreath at night and most nights we're eating dinner by candlelight.  Little fingers have been picking at the candle wax and at the beaded place mat under the wreath.  Kids try to blow out the candles when they think Mom and Dad aren't looking and usually there are grouchy faces from those who aren't chosen to blow out the candles after dinner.  But, what did I expect?  The average age of these kids is 4 and half and I'm trying not to be upset when they don't act like silent, cloistered monks and nuns.  :)  We haven't been organized enough to hang our Jesse tree ornaments every night, but it works out nicely when we skip a few days and then have three ornaments to put up at once - no arguing about who's turn it is!  (the path of least resistance is sometimes the right path!)  

We've been singing People Look East and O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and are practicing the later in Latin again this year! We also spent quite a bit of time this past week brushing up on Immaculate Mary, Hail Holy Queen Enthroned Above, and the hymn to Our Lady of Guadalupe, in the hopes that they'd be on the list at Mass this past Sunday.  Nope.  And again, not even at Mass this morning!  We've just had to be content singing them for our own (and Our Lady's) enjoyment at home :) 

** Here is where I insert into all this rambling one of my favorite images of Mary so that I can join Mary's Feast of the Immaculate Conception linkup!  I admit I don't have a favorite, but this image, the Polish Madonna, is most reflective of my prayer these days... Lord, there is much to do.  Allow me to embrace household life and work peacefully and joyfully - the way you  have called me to live my vocation.  Guard me from anxiety and resentment, and grant me peace and contentment as I order my work toward the good of my family and for your glory.  

ps - allow me to confess here and now that I cannot recall a time in my life when I have ever hung a single scrap of laundry on a line.  I like my dryer :)  

And now we take you back to the Advent Week 1 recap...

I've also been realistic about how much I can do in a week before I get burned out (for me, burnout sets in quickly if I'm out of the home too much - especially now that I'm in the thick of my third trimester!)  So I said "yes" when my dad offered to take the kids on a winter nature hike and when my mom offered to take them to a production of the Nutcracker.  I've definitely loosened my tight little fists and am letting go of my need to be the one who makes fun things happen.  

And I'm crocheting a lot!  (when I'm not painting the nativity peg dolls, that is!)  Last night was like a dream come true - everyone under the age of 30 was in bed before 7:00 and everyone over the age of 30 spent a positively lovely evening in front of the fireplace chatting, eating cashews, and crocheting.  (Well, only one of us was crocheting!)  

So this past week??  Contentment.  Gratitude.  Peace.  

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
our spirits by Thine advent here!

* * * * * *

Holy Mary, conceived without sin, Patroness of the United States...
pray for us.

1 comment:

  1. Love how peaceful it sounds at your place! That image is beautiful...I especially love Jesus' bare bum on the ground. And Mary isn't freaking out :) Thanks for linking up!


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