Can you believe Advent is nearly over? I feel like it has barely begun! Thankfully this past week went much better than the last one. We still have a pretty full week ahead of us to prepare for Christmas and the busy week that follows.
Miss Bear was very excited to finally have the pink candle lit. Now the three older kids can each blow out a candle without having to fuss over whose turn it is.
Today, we set out a few items. A cute little ceramic dish my grandmother gifted me one year:
We put the empty manger in the nativity scene, awaiting baby Jesus:
I hid the baby Jesus in this mini stocking and hung it on the tree for safe keeping. (And away from eager little hands who love baby Jesus so very, very much.)
Mary and Joseph started their journey to Bethlehem up in the kids room by their mini tree. One year I hope to purchase this La Posada figurine for this part of our tradition. Until then, I use the Mary and Joseph from our Holy Family set. Each night, once the kids are asleep I move Mary and Joseph to another part of the house. Finally, on Christmas Eve, they arrive in "Bethlehem."
We have a crazy, wild tree to transform this year. Living in small town Ohio, we did not find a decent place to buy a Christmas tree. My dad suggested cutting one from the back of their property. We found a promising one, but once inside, the tree took on a life of its own! Well, it is definitely unique and will write itself into this year's Christmas story, and no doubt we will remember it just as we do stories from previous years - the year of the flat tire and sick cat, the first quiet year of no traveling when I was eight months pregnant with Critter, the year we had the stomach flu...
We started decorating the tree a bit - some lights and garland. And a baby. ;) Miss Z did not like the garland one bit. She cried and if it blocked her path, she would sit and not crawl over or around it.
This week, I am trying to keep the days as low-key as possible before next week's craziness, but we do have some things to do.
Tomorrow is a day of fun. My husband has a bunch of days to take off and use up before the end of January. We had planned to go to a certain aquarium until we looked closer and saw the ridiculous price for a one hour or so experience. Instead, we are taking the kids to play at an indoor park and do some bowling. As it nears dusk, we will finish decorating the tree and blessing it. And, of course, begin adding the O Antiphons to our prayer time.
I have to bake cupcakes for Skipper's religion class on Wednesday. They are having a birthday party for Jesus. I thought it would be cute to top the cupcakes with pictures from the nativity scene. My parish is also offering a prayer service that night so I hope to join if it does not conflict with the class and Miss Z is finally over this last tooth coming in.
Friday is the first day of winter and I want to do a few things with the kids: make some animal treats to put outside and I want to have no lights and electronics for the entire day. Once it grows dark, we will use candles and then perhaps we can bring out some board games. My brother and his family are due in from out of state sometime that day so I am not sure what will happen.
Other than that, we need to finish up a bit of cleaning to-dos, wrap gifts, and do the regular daily routine plus add in a bit of shopping, a little lab work (for Miss Bear), and Mass and confession. That will keep us busy!
Have a blessed third week of Advent!