We had a bit of illness that came into Advent with us, and then another teeny tiny bug that followed on the heels of it - mostly the girls, and just enough to cause multiple restless and sleepless nights. For them, for me. Add to that an exposure to gluten (I can only speculate) and the end of the first week of Advent found a very stressed-out, way too emotional, spaced-out, and not herself mama. Thankfully, I woke up this morning feeling much more myself - and feeling quite penitent as well.
In the midst of all that ickiness, we did do some of the items on our to-do list at least, and the kids did enjoy themselves. The Advent wreath was a special moment of the day. The kids love eating by candlelight (so do I). The Jesse Tree is a favorite with Skipper. Finding candy canes in their boots on the Feast of St. Nicholas along with a special St. Nick's cocoa for breakfast was a hit. Today we brought out the kiddie nativity sets which the kids love. They played with them all afternoon and took them to bed with them. I loved watching them play act and the phrases that came out of their mouths:
"Look Mom, my baby Jesus is smiling!"
"I love baby Jesus. He's my favorite."
"Look, all of my people are surrounding him [baby Jesus]."
"Mary and Joseph are on their way to Bethlehem. [holding Mary on the donkey and moving her as Joseph "walks" near her.] Baby Jesus hasn't been born yet."
"We can't put Mary or Joseph or Baby Jesus in the manger yet. It's not time. We have to wait."Our family nativity set still needs put up. We ran out of time today since we had a little birthday celebration for my mom. I baked her a German chocolate cake (finally), which was her "first" gluten-free birthday cake since just last week she had blood results come back positive for celiac disease. Now she joins the boys and I in the celiac rank. Later, we all went to see a Holiday Pops symphony.
Now we are home. The kids are in bed. It is late and morning will come too soon, but I wanted to pop on to share my plans for this second week of Advent and to wish you all a peaceful week.
Continue with... the Jesse Tree, the Advent wreath, my own morning readings and meditations.
Monday... Put up the empty nativity. Slowly add nativity figures throughout the coming days (but not the Holy Family or the three kings). Hang up stockings. A letter to Jesus for the angels to take away???
Wednesday... Our Lady of Guadalupe. Enjoy a taco salad for dinner. Read Our Lady of Guadalupe and watch Juan Diego: Messenger of Guadalupe. Do some artwork (bean mosaic).
Thursday... Have cinnamon buns in the morning for the Feast of St. Lucia. Read Lucia Saint of Light. Have husband and the kids put up some outside decorations and lights.
Saturday... Find Christmas tree.
Sometime during the week... Cut limbs and make outdoor wreath (love the smell!). Make pinecone tree ornaments with the kids (think spray paint and lots of glitter). Attempt to learn new Advent song. We are not singers whatsoever but a part of me really, really wants that to be true. ;)
Mostly, I want to enjoy my children, read and cuddle, and feel this time of preparation pierce through me and ready us all for Christmas.