Advent ramblings

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Happy New Liturgical Year!

For the last few weeks I have been kinda avoiding thinking about the fact that Advent was starting today *gasp*, which means Christmas is in four (4!) weeks *gasp* (again). John caught Father mentioning that at Mass this morning and turned to me and excitedly whispered “Christmas is in four weeks!”, barely containing his glee 🙂

I love this season of preparing our hearts to receive Jesus again. There are so many beautiful traditions and devotionals out there that can be used for helping us along. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all, and too easy to get caught up in the “must do it all” camp. I feel like I’ve spent so much of the last few weeks just getting my feet back underneath me that it seems even more daunting this year than some of the other years.

One of the devotionals I found (from Jenny @ The Littlest Way) says this:

Instead of doing more, more, more… what if we stepped back… took a deep breath… and decided this Advent instead of doing more- we would just be… more?

Let’s be in the present moment more. That’s where we will find Him. That’s where we will be with Him; you know, the baby-born King.

So, when I read that it completely resonated with me because I couldn’t even fathom trying to DO anything else this year. That being said I’m going to try to pull back a little bit on the Advent-doing. I’m going to be keeping our regular stuff, but most likely a simpler version of it.

The run down:

With the kids/as a family:
* Advent wreath with devotional Jared’s mom wrote up.
* Reading:

The Jesse Tree
We tried this last year, but the kids weren’t really able to sit through it. We’ve been doing a lot better sitting through chapter books recently, so I don’t think this’ll be a problem.
* A paper Advent Calendar given by Jared’s mom. The kids LOVE these!
* This ornament Advent calendar given by a family at church.

* Reading lots of picture books about Saints who have feast days in December, Christmas stories, etc… Maybe this year I’ll write up a post of some of our favorites 🙂
* A punch out Nativity scene with activities for each day. Also given by Jared’s mom.
* We’ll also be putting up our manger scene, once I go get that from the basement.
* I’m also wanting to try a “gifts to Jesus” basket/box which you fill with your “good deeds” or “acts of kindness” and you wrap up and give to Jesus on Christmas Day. I thought that would be a way to make things more “real” for the kids.

* We have big plans to get a REAL tree this year!!!!!!!!!!! Really can’t tell you how excited I am for that 🙂 (Last year, we just never got around to getting one.)

For me personally, I’m planning on a few devotionals (the one above) and one other. And I’m also doing the HolyLens Project put on by Abby @ Surviving Our Blessings. I’ll probably mostly be participating in that on Instagram.

And…. that looks really long now that I wrote it out. Especially since we have a full month even without all the little extras.

Oh, one more thing, The Catholic Women’s Veiling Devotion Group on FB is doing a few veil giveaways (hosted by Emily @ Our Home… Under Mary’s Mantle) in the next week (and some additional ones in the following weeks). There is a giveaway happening now and ending this evening, so be sure to pop over and take a look around. You can read some of my thoughts on veiling here!

Alrighty, enough rambling from me for one day 🙂

~Ruth Anne

 

A Daybook Post {25 Nov}

Praying for:

My little cousin Gabriel, who is still fighting cancer.
Continued patience as we keep adjusting to life as a family of six
Our finances
My husband
People traveling today and tomorrow

Pondering:

A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest

~C.S. Lewis

In light of mostly reading children’s/young adult books the past week or so.

Listening To:

Emma by Jane Austen

I didn’t realize the audio books were free, and given the mountains of laundry I’ve found myself doing lately, these are good things to fill in the time while just folding away. It also helps me peck away at a reading list that definitely will not be accomplished in the next few weeks, but…. such is life sometimes

Reading:

~Blessed is She daily readings and devotions is about all I’m reading at the moment.
~Mr. Popper’s Penguins to the kids. They’ve really enjoyed it so far, and have managed to stick with it, even though it’s taken us quite a while. I hope to finish in the next day or two 🙂

I have a few books on shelves that I’m jumping at the bit to get to, but I’m trying to decide if maybe I should pick up one of the books I started but didn’t quite finish…. or just wait for one of my library holds to be available. Ahhh decisions decisions.

In the Kitchen:

Thoughts about Thanksgiving dinner, which we’re hosting this year :). We are splitting the cooking with my mom, though, so that helps a LOT. I meant to get all organized and write out a list of when to do which things, but so far that hasn’t happened.

I do know what I’m making though:

Mac-n-Cheese (something Jared grew up with)
Cranberry Salad? (also something Jared grew up with)
a Ham (because we’ve decided we need both Ham and Turkey)
Dressing (the southern kind, which is WAY WAY better and not at all like stuffing)
I’m contributing potatoes to the mashed potatoes because I have SO many.
German Chocolate Pie (if I can pull it together)
Blueberry Cobbler

Tonight’s dinner – Tacos
Tomorrow’s dinner – Leftover meatballs or cheese ravioli. Something simple.

Around the House:

I’ve cleared out a space for our cornucopia which I’ve called the “Thankfulness Corner”. Planning on spending the next few days getting the kids involved in the “Thankfulness” part.

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I also checked our Advent candle supply and decided that I have enough to start, but may need to procure a few more purple candles before all is said and done.

Attempting to clean out/reorganize our front entry room area into a sitting area of sorts. I have the bookshelf moved and the magazines lined up for donating, but I’m lacking a couch to put in. And I need to figure out a place for the computer and desk. And I need to clear out another small shelf that’s pretty much just full of miscellaneous *junk*.

Looking Ahead:

Thanksgiving
Advent (one of my favorite times of year)
Crocheting a few more things
Upcoming baptism for Zachary (I know it’s still a few weeks off, but I’m still looking forward to it)
My sister coming home for Christmas break (we miss you!)
And if we’re going to look that far ahead I guess we could look forward to my birthday too 🙂

Captured:

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I have no words….

 

 

Book Review: Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean

I was given the opportunity a few months back to participate in a blog hop with Pauline Books. As part of the “hop” I did an author interview and was given a copy of the book Ten Commandments for Kissing Gloria Jean by Britt Leigh for a review. Life has been happening at an incredibly rapid pace the last few months and I’m just now getting this review written.

This is the story of a 14-year-old girl who is desperate for her first kiss. She has plans for how it will all work out, and has high hopes of it all going according to plan… except that it doesn’t quite happen that way. She first has issues with her “Troubles” (a physical problem), and later she finds herself between the two opposing teams of Religious Education: Theology of the Body vs. Sex-Ed. She must work out which team she wants to fits in and how she will be able to accomplish that.

Once I got into the story and began to do a lot more thinking about it, I really enjoyed it. I think the way that the teachings of the Church, especially of the Theology of the Body, were presented was very beautiful and at the same time very simple. It wasn’t just “here is the Teaching… here are the main points”. It was much more personal. I was really able to see the internal dialogue as Gloria Jean was working through the teachings and what they mean. Watching her struggle against the teachings and then coming around again to understanding, made it very realistic. How many times have I at first rebelled against a certain teaching and upon further contemplation found that in the long run is so much better for me than my own plans? There are struggles presented, yet they’re worked out and worked through in a very positive way.

As much as this book was written for young adults, it spoke a great deal to me too.

If you click over to the author interview there are suggestions for further reading on the subject of the Theology of the Body.

 

My Sunday Photos {23 Nov 2014}

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very teensy family update

We’ve had mostly chilly weather this week, so much of the time has been spent inside. We I got brave enough one day to go outside and snap a few photos. Most of the leaves are off the tree and they haven’t yet turned all brown and crunchy so we had a bit of fun. They especially enjoyed the posed throwing leaves up in the air shots (above).

Baby Zachary is now one month old (today!). I know I think this everytime and every milestone, but it honestly does seem like just yesterday he was born. Maybe it’s my lack of sleep. For some reason he has decided that late night in the wee hours of the morning are fine times for not sleeping, being held, not sleeping, eating…. and did I mention not sleeping? Last night was better, but more nights than not this past week have been vvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy long.

He had his 4 week checkup this past week. Up to 11lbs 1oz. I have already removed all 0-3 month clothing from circulation (they just don’t fit anymore). 3-6 mo clothing here we come!

Jared’s foot is much better (thank you Jesus!), so he can do things like…. walk again. 🙂

Other little ones are doing OK. Trying to work on things like “kindness” with them… and “honoring your father and mother”…. I guess I just thought some of those things were imparted to them with little effort from me, but alas that doesn’t seem to be the case. So I’m trying to be intentional with bringing up these topics and discussing them as they’re able. (Can you tell it’s been a trying week over here?).

Anyways, I’m off to dig up some of the Advent supplies from the attic while the older kids are out with my brother and a friend at a “jumpy house place”.

kiddos in the leaves~~~~~

OneDad3Girls