Saturday, December 31, 2011

Venite Adoremus

This guy is a garbage man.  I found him like this last night.  It was so sweet.  

Saturday, December 3, 2011

And On Earth, Peace.

Today I made a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament.  Actually it was a holy 45 minutes because I had to get home in time to take my kids to see Santa arrive in our village.  Poor Jesus getting trumped by Santa.  But not really.  Anyways, as you can tell it was a busy day during a busy time of year, but squeezing in that time with our Lord was a complete blessing.  I'm realizing that when I have no time to spare, that's when I really need to just drop everything and pray.

So I knelt down and thanked Jesus for His presence and promptly asked Him to unburden me from my busyness so I could focus on Him.  And as I prayed, I was again drawn to the pregnant virgin.  She is really helping me to grow this Advent.

Imagine the Blessed Mother radiant in her ninth month of pregnancy.  She has her hand on her belly.  I can almost hear her humming a lullaby.  And while everyone around her is running around keeping house, making food, hammering and nailing she is at peace.  She knows a great secret.  That Jesus, Emanuel, is coming.  She adored him as he grew in her womb.    

When things get too hectic, I can come back to this image.  I can share in Mary's secret; that all the preparations and day to day life are not the important thing.  Our Savior is coming.  I too can adore him in the midst of chaos.  After all, Advent isn't just about baking cookies and wrapping presents and decorating houses, it's about preparing the way of the Lord.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Jesse Tree

It's December 1st!  Are you ready with your Jesse tree?  I wasn't.  But it's up now, so we're all set.  

This is what the kitchen looked like around 2:00 this afternoon.

You can't tell, but the dishwasher needed to be emptied, too.  When it rains, it pours.

I still hadn't cleaned up lunch, but even two hour old milk in a blue plastic cup couldn't keep me from my mission: to prepare the Jesse Tree.  For anyone who is wondering, a Jesse Tree is a "tree" that is decorated with one ornament each day of December leading up until Christmas (similar to an Advent calendar).  The ornaments have symbols on them that correlate to passages in the Bible, and the whole thing traces Jesus' lineage (from Jesse, hence "Jesse tree").  

Now, I was slightly prepared.  I had a branch for our tree out under the car port, but it was my "if I can't find a better branch" branch.  So I had to attack it with some loppers, but it turned out quite nice.

I found these in the garage-I didn't even know we had these ones-they are Craftsman!  My lucky day.

Here it is coming together

More of the mess in the kitchen.  Lots of Stuff to put away.  But first, the Jesse tree.

There are many reasons why I love this tradition, but mostly I love it because my husband and I made the ornaments.

My husband is not into crafting.  He is very artistic, but he doesn't craft.  But I convinced him to make these ornaments a few years ago when my son was a new baby.  We made them over the course of several nights.  My husband realized it was fun; it took him back to his Play-Doh days.  We made them from clay (probably Fimo).

There are many ways to make a Jesse tree-just paper ornaments taped to poster board, or felt on felt, or ornaments on a branch or mini-Christmas tree.  I like the idea of a bare branch, so that's what we use.  For some reason I decided to MacGyver our tree and it works, so I still do it this weird way.  I have an old bucket that I cover with purple tissue paper that I found down in my basement.  I didn't have oasis to put in the container and stick the branch in, so I got a cup and filled it with stones to hold the branch.  But it was tippy, so I filled the rest of the container with big potpurri (because it was the only thing I could find laying around the house):

Here it is with the branch stuck in it:

I just keep all these parts together and keep using them every year.  I probably should get organized after Christmas and get something more normal.  But in the end, I think it looks nice.

The white bow definitely helps.

Tonight we will add our first ornament and remember how God created the world out of nothing because of his great love for us.  I just love Advent :)

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

 Happy Thursday!


My aunts on Thanksgiving Day.  I'm so glad they flew in to eat turkey with us!


The cheeks, they are a-growin'!  


Father and son showing off their matching Thanksgiving attire.  Very handsome.
And silly.


This is why you shouldn't give children food in the car (or van in our case).  What a mess!  She's in an Oreo and Barney daze :)

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round button chicken