Saturday, December 17, 2016

SQT: Advent Highlights

Linking up with Kelly to bring you some highlights of what we have been up to the past three weeks.

So, I'm a day late and a dollar short (but that's a different post) with my SQT.  I have a good reason though. If you keep reading, you will see where we were last night and I wanted to include that in this post.  We have been BUSY!  I really had hoped for a quiet Advent but, it's been all good things.  I am fully intending on taking off a few weeks around Christmas.  The thing with big kids is that it isn't quite so intensive in  a hands on sort of way like with toddlers and babies, but they have activities, social engagements, ideas, volunteer hours. We really try to keep activities to a manageable level.  If it meets more than once a week or interferes with Mass, we don't do it.  We only play sports that are limited to a game and a practice--not four practices and five games.  However, it still adds up and I have been trying hard to keep up with it all.  (especially when we signed up for four "once a month on Fridays activities" which my pregnant brain was unable to figure out meant we are somewhere every Friday.)

St Nicholas Day is always a favorite time.  We had a full day, even though I scaled back a bit.  I really wasn't feeling well that day--very uncomfortable and tired--so there aren't many pictures.  In fact, there are even less that I thought there were.  
  The kids put out the shoes on the hearth, including ours.

 Little Man worked all week making gifts to leave for St Nicholas.  Don't ask me what they are, they were apparently very important.  Thankfully, St Nick was very happy to take them away.

In the morning, the children awakened to treats in their shoes.  There were even treats that they left for Hubby and I.  While I usually do a big breakfast, it didn't happen this year, but the chocolate and oranges disappeared very quickly.

 For lunch we made homemade pizza in the shape of a bishop's miter, or at least that was the plan.  I'm not sure how obvious it is.  We also had homemade hot cocoa.

The day was spent making crafts and gifts as usual.  We usually make gingerbread houses, but this year we made a foam decoration instead. 

For dinner it was cranberry chicken, glazed carrots, sweet potato sacks, biscuits, and cranberry mors to drink.  After dinner, we relaxed by the fire and just enjoyed the warmth. 

We had co-op,  Immaculate Conception Mass, book report day, 4-H meeting/Christmas party, a gallery opening, Sunday Mass, and a family cookie party to round out the week.  The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe--a favorite of my children--found us scrambling to try to catch up on house work and school work after a very busy week.  We did have Mexican for dinner. Whew!

Next up was the feast of St Lucy.  We celebrated at night because Hubby had to go into work far too early for me to be okay with everyone being awoken.  So we shut off all the light, lit a fire and our St Lucy served us crescent rolls, gingerbread, peanut butter cookies, and tea.

I need to upgrade this wreath next year. While it still looks beautiful, the battery operated candles shorted out and I actually burnt my finger trying to get one closed.  So the candles had no light, but it was still a nice evening. 

The next day had us up and out early for orchestra practice, followed by Buddy's recital for chimes choir (like handbells).  We came home just in time to get ready to meet my children's hero, Magnus MacFarlane Barrow, founder of Mary's Meals.
Every kid has that hero, the person he would love to meet. The person that when she can get a ticket to even just see their celebrity, she tells everyone she knows for weeks and wears her fan shirt in the hopes of getting it autographed. I can't tell you what it does to our hearts that for our kids, that person is Magnus, founder of Mary's Meals.
School + food= Hope, that is the Mary's Meals Ambassador motto. Through the children's MM Club, over 650 children in Malawi are fed each day at school, just a small percentage of the 1.6 million fed each day by the world wide charity. Over 93% of all donations, go right to the poorest children to not only give them a meal, but to change the world. If you are looking for a charity to support, we can't say enough about Mary's Meals. Meeting the founder was such an inspirational evening.
If anyone has any questions, I know two ambassadors who are more than willing to answer them.
Last night, we traveled down to our friends' parish, a little over an hour away, to visit the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  My children had been looking forward to this for months.
Not the best photo, it was very busy.  I was so happy to have a front row seat, though.

One of my children's best friends and Buddy's "future bride" helping prepare the incense.

Knights of Columbus color guard
 My favorite place to be is in front of the Blessed Sacrament in adoration.

Each family was given the opportunity to come up and do a private adoration at the foot of the monstrance.  These are our dear friends.  Wish I had a photo of the children and I praying.  It was a beautiful experience.
 That is the end of my agenda for this month. We have our TEAMS of Our Lady meeting tonight but the weather is still not great so that is up in the air.  My next plans revolve around having this baby and making it to the hospital.  Please keep us in your prayers.  Winter weather is not easy when you have to travel over an hour to a hospital in labor.  I'm praying for an easy drive and delivery.
If you are looking for any other Advent ideas, I have three articles posted at Seton Magazine--here, here, and here.
How is your Advent going so far? 

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