Thursday, January 5, 2012

Daybook Looking Back on Advent (long post warning)...but pictures included so it's okay.

 For today, Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012
(actually very late the night before through...umm Thursday night...took me a while to complete this thing!)

I am thinking:
Do I really want to start this post so late at night?  It's been so long and I miss it, so...yeah, I'll go for it.

Outside my window:
It's very cold, and dark of course.  It's not raining or snowing or windy.

I am wearing :
A new purple jammies set that I got from my in-laws for Christmas.  The pants have peace symbols and winking smiley faces on them.  They would suit Skylar very well. 
Doesn't matter to me what's on them.  All I know is they are a soft, warm fleece and I never want to take them off. 
 It has a matching solid purple top that is cotton, with a plunging neckline I could do without.  But the pants are delish. 
 And I'm wearing some purple and pink striped fluffy slippers.

I am hearing:
Evan's peaceful breathing and the white noise of the sound machine.

I am hoping:
Evan gets over his stomach virus quickly and that no one else gets it.  Part of what makes Winter such a crappy season is the abundance of illnesses.
I am also hoping that my kids enjoyed their Advent season and that I didn't wreck some wonderful moments with my "stressing tantrums".
Grownups can be such babies sometimes!
(yes, I am refering to me)
Our simplest traditions are always a hit.
Evan gets so excited when I bring out our Christmas picture books and Children's Nativity sets.  We have the Little People Set and the Playmobil Nativity.

The kids always enjoy baking.  I know they would prefer we bake from scratch
(simply because it tends to be messier and messier = funner around here). 

And we do, on occasion, but I'm ok with using ready-to-go-dough. 
I know this disqualifies me as a contender for "Mom of the Year", but I've made my peace with that.

The Christmas parade was exciting.  We haven't seen it since Taylor and Skylar were really little, so we were all looking forward to it.


 We had fun during most of the parade and it was a beautiful, chilly day.
Taylor invited a friend to go to the parade with us, but unfortunately she got sick partway through and her mom had to come and pick her up.  Poor thing.  Not the best experience for your first time at a parade, which is what it was for her. 
We need to take her with us next year so she can have a much more pleasant parade experience.

 The parade was so cheery and festive.......
............and long,
 so Evan didn't quite make it to the end.
I'm lovin' the shoes.  They must share my affinity for Elf Culture.  ;)

Thankful for:
Meaningful Advent Traditions

A local Catholic high school hosts a St. Nicholas Day Carnival of Saints every year.
We've attended for the last 6 years or so, and they look forward to it each Advent.

Our Saint Nicholas Day Celebrations here at home are a tradition I started with my kids a few years ago.  They awaken to find a few small gifts and treats in their shoes.  This year, though, they found their treats in cozy, new slippers.

We own The Miracle of Saint Nicholas, but the other two are from the library.  Evan's favorite is The Baker's Dozen.

This is supposed to be a the Mitre of Saint Nicholas.  Before you go all "cookie critic" on me, you must realize I cut them "freehand" and it was a last minute idea for the treat for Evan's K Group which I was hosting that day.  It got cancelled due to many ill children, so we enjoyed them at home as part of our own celebration.  Poor sick K Group....
but very fortunate older siblings in our house.  ;)

This year we participated in our home school groups Advent Retreat for Children.
The children were divided into two age groups.
There are some amazing ladies who volunteered to organize and run this and it was a pleasure to see them in action with the kids.  Skylar and Alexa were in the older group, and I stayed to help out a little with Evan's group.
My mom was still in town from her Thanksgiving visit, so she assisted with me.
It was a great morning focusing on the real meaning of Christmas with the children.
I have pictures from this event, but don't want to post them without the permission of the wonderful mom-in-charge of our group. 

Our Advent Wreath is always special and important. 
Unfortunately, I was not so good at remembering to light it at mealtime this year.  It did sit there, in the middle of our dinner table, reminding us of this important season of waiting.  But I just kept forgetting to light it.
As Sky would say, "Epic Fail, Mom".
Well, at least I can get another year out of those candles. 
(I'm a glass half full kinda girl)
Guess I should have cropped out the paper plates and water bottle first.  Oopsie.
Next year I hope to majorly simplify my plans.
But it's going to be hard to decide what to remove.
It will take some serious thinking about what wasn't necessary this year, and what just didn't go over well.  There are certain things the kids would really miss.
Some of their fave's have nothing to do with the true meaning of Christmas, but they don't take away from it, either.
If I tried to skip these traditions, my children would at best, stop speaking to me and at worst, probably tie all my shoelaces together and stick bleach in my shampoo bottle.

So for starters, I think we'll keep decorating those gingerbread houses.

My kids couldn't imagine December without them.

Praying for:
My dad's wife, my sister n laws mom, John's sisters, a local family that lost their young mother, another local family that lost their 15 yr. old daughter shortly before Christmas.....
From the kitchen
 in December it was fudge, cookies, and sweets and treats of all kinds.  The regular meals were rushed quite a bit some days, so usually not the healthiest.
But we are gettiing back on track, so our diets need to be brought back to the real food groups. 
Not the ones in Elf (candy, candy canes, candy corn, sugar and syrup).

Looking back:
to Skylar's 13th birthday!  My children are growing up so fast!   I have two teenagers now?! 

Looking ahead:
Some birthday parties that my girls are invited to, Evan's K group getting back in session, Girls Club, karate, dance, Taylor getting her permit, Taylor turning 16!, Taylor's trip to NY, some exciting field triips for the younger kids, a Valentine's Day party for the younger kids.....

In my heart:
Cherishing moments we spent with family on our trip to Pittsburgh.
(so many photos in the post already...will save those for another day)
Right now:
hittin the post button on this sucker and hittin' the sheets!

This week:

is practically over, but we do need to clean tomorrow and take down the tree....and Sky has a Christmas party to attend, and Alexa has dance....and Tay hopes to go out with a friend.

Well, this took forever to write.  I know there were a ton of pics and  a lot of focus on this past Advent, but I wanted to reflect on it a little before moving on.

Sorry if it was boring, but I like to have it recorded her for myself, too.

Well, have a great weekend!


Grandma Jo said...

Glad to see this. There was such a loooong pause in your blogging over the holidays, but I can certainly understand why! Love your wording and your humorous comments! Thanks for all the pics, too! These blogs always make me feel closer to you. Wish we could do the Star Wars stuff and just disappear in one place and reappear in another! Wow! Would I be giving the airways a work out that lead to Virginia! lol Thanks for sharing! Love ya! :)

Shelley said...

Hey Tina,

Love your blogging. So nice to see you all in the pictures! Sounds like you all had a wonderful holiday! Thank you so much for your prayers for my Mom. It means the world to me!

I miss you!

Love, Michelle

Tina said... would be so great to see you all instantly, just by pressing a button. But then we'd have randomly missing people in both our houses! love you!

You all are always in our prayers....especially your mom. We think of you guys all the time. Really wish we lived much closer! Hope you enjoyed your Christmas! Love you all!