Outside My Window::
::It was a beautiful, glorious day and everyone spent the day in the afternoon in the sunshine.
I am Listening to::
::Music Blocks. I have a strict "no noisy toy" policy. I've never bought an electronic toy for a little person. (We do have a video game set but that's not what I'm talking about--I'm talking obnoxious baby and toddler toys that talk and bark and blink and make me absolutely nuts). Any electronic toy given as a gift is quickly banished to the basement and then, one day not long after, it mysteriously disappears. My sanity depends on it. Music Blocks are the one exception. They are enduring and at least 6 babies have enjoyed them well into their preschool years and beyond.
I am wearing ::
::A pink ski sweater, jeans, boots, and a pink bandana tied like a headband.
To Be Fit and Happy::::I'm seriously considering eliminating this prompt because it makes me squirm to look at weeks of resolve and little action.
I am Thankful For::
::a long overdue conversation with a dear soul and a renewed sense of friendship and understanding.
I am Pondering:
::never speak badly of your
brother, not even when you have plenty of reasons for doing so. Go
first to the tabernacle, and then go to the priest, your father, and
also tell him what is bothering you.
And to no one else. - St. Josemaria Escriva
Imagine for a moment a woman's world where everyone took this advice...
I am Reading:
::Lots of picture books from "the first basket on the left." I've organized my books into baskets for the Advent and Christmas seasons . They are lined up on the window seat in the keeping room and we're enjoying revisiting old favorites as the season begins. No Christmas tree there since we're waiting on that until after the floors are finished, but I'm finding that the books bring the season to life just fine.
From the Kitchen::
:: Lots of cooking and crafting this week! Because the floor guys are going to take over our house soon, I'm front-loading the cooking and crafting aspects of advent this year. My hope is to enjoy creating a little Christmas magic in my kitchen and keeping room while the wood just sits here and takes up space acclimates to my house, before the floors are torn apart and made anew. Then, when the workers are tearing up and nailing down the middle floor and we're banished to the upstairs, we'll shift our focus to paper and pencils... I am well aware that I could save all of it for after Christmas day, while it is still the Christmas season, but most of our candy making and crafting is for gift-giving. And giving gifts to teachers and coaches and co-workers and neighbors after the first of the year seems like an afterthought to them (because, most of them aren't operating on a liturgical calendar). Since the gift is for them, I'd prefer to do it on their calendar. We'll scurry early.
I am Thinking:
::that I'm glad to be finished with my Christmas shopping:-)! I've also got our photo taken and cards ordered. Gift wrap awaits the boxes to be delivered. I know that the construction zone to come will present its own challenges; I'd like to minimize the ones that are within my control.
I am Creating::
::homemade healing salve and some chest rub; homemade hand sanitizer; beeswax candles; snowflake ornaments; hot cocoa mix and peppermint marshmallows; fudge; Victorian ornaments and cards; angel ornaments; gingerbread houses...
On my iPod::
::L'Angelus O Night Divine. I will never tire of these songs. Never.;-)
Towards a Real Education::
:: In our family, we have long set aside this season for digging deeply into traditions. We do much, much more crafting than we do at any other time of year. Our academic work is narrowed to math, lots of reading from great picture books and Christmas-themed chapter books, and lots of narrating. We focus on Advent devotions and drink deeply from the well of our Church. It's a busy time and we all learn so much.At some point, Michael returns from college and fits right in--more than any other time of the year, this time is familiar and warm and welcoming for him. After immersion in faith and family, we return to "school as usual" in January more relaxed and more connected to one another and to our Savior because of our Advent traditions. It works for us.
Towards Rhythm and Beauty:
::As the season begins, I am well aware that it's going to be busy and a bit disjointed. I know that things will come my way that look nothing like a Dayspring card. In order to keep my rhythm and see the beauty, I will need to live prayerfully in the moment. I cannot dwell on time gone by. I cannot worry about what's to come. I can only cherish the now and live it to its fullest. Please God, give me the grace and strength to do just that.
To Live the Liturgy:
::I am so ready to embrace heartily this advent season. Both the St. Andrew Christmas devotion and the Immaculate Conception Novena begin today.
I am Hoping and Praying:
::for a child we all know as Wonderboy. Please God, enlighten the doctors and help them and his parents to solve the riddle and know for sure how to nourish him. Grant his parents renewed strength and clear wisdom as they work so hard on his behalf.
In the Garden:
::roses still blooming. Every year, we hope for that December rose. Only two days to go!
Around the House:
::the "Prepare" purple letters are on the mantel and the nativity sets are out--both the ones that beg wee hands to play and the ones we've put out of reach. (I've noticed the sidebar searches for mantel letters, Here's a picture for the beginning of Advent . This is Gaudete Sunday. Here's a tutorial. )
::candles are fresh and ready on the table, awaiting each evening's advent prayer.
::I've gotten some Mrs. Meyer's pine scented soap to inspire us as we "Make our house fair as we are able; sweep the hearth and set the table!"
On Keeping Home:
::It's amazing how much simpler it gets to keep home in a baby's second year. I hope I never forget how difficult it is when one is pregnant and postpartum. I want to have a heart for helping those moms--just when you so need and want order, it's darn near impossible to achieve the order you want. Then, the seasons are over and once again, order returns. But not the baby. So, if you're trying to keep house with a wee baby, squeeze that baby just a little tighter, for just a little longer and cut yourself a whole lot of housekeeping slack.
One of My Favorite Things:
::Seeing Sarah Annie asleep in Mike's arms the morning of his birthday. I think there'd be no midlife crises if every man awakened to find himself 45 and the warm center of a baby girl's world.
Sarah Annie this week:
::She's definitely got Mommy-itis. She won't let me make the slightest move away from her unless she's asleep. But as long as she is with me, she is utterly content. She's also very determined to practice walking all. the. time. She can't let go at all (she's all wobbly knees) and she doesn't want to sit in a walker, but she demands that someone help her walk every waking hour. We watch her and we know that she no longer wants to be trapped in that baby body--in her mind, she's ready to run, if only the rest of her would catch up.
And I, I bite my lip and squeeze my eyes and know that my kangaroo days are numbered and the number is very small indeed.
A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week:
::Atrium on Thursday
::Beeswax Day on Friday
::Futsal begins on Saturday and so does rec league basketball and there's a basketball tournament for the big boys.
::St. Nicholas party at church after Mass on Sunday, December 6.
A Picture Thought I'm Sharing:
Walk on, sweet baby. Just don't forget the way back.