Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Preparing Our Hearts and Homes for Christmas, Part 5, Decking the Halls

Decking the Halls

I had most of my Christmas decorating done during Thanksgiving vacation. I wanted to enjoy every minute of the tree and all of the lights and decorations that make our home so cozy during the season. I am , however, not a talented decorator. Thankfully, my kids and husband do not mind a bit. Here are some images of our cozy Christmas home.

My absolute favorite, and the most important, of our Christmas decorations is our beautiful nativity set. It was a gift from my mother-in-law a few years ago. She has the knack for choosing the most perfect and elegant gifts. Our nativity adorns our mantle with some greenery and small white lights. Did you notice the small shamrocks? I love anything with shamrocks - it was something my Grandmother collected and used to decorate her home. I think of her everytime I look at this nativity set. I was not able to get a picture of the full set but I think this picture shows its beauty:

Our Christmas tree. The picture is complete with our little one pulling some decorations off!

I picked up these adorable cups and dessert plates through a school fundraiser. They make me want to sit down every so often and relax with a cup of tea . . . and some cookies.
A craft show find for $10:
I found this on sale after Christmas for $3.00!I hope you enjoyed my little Christmas Home Tour!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Best Birthday Ever

I celebrated my birthday this week at a Chris Botti concert. He is an incredibly talented jazz trumpeter whom I have been listening to for the last several years. Last February, we saw him on a PBS special and found out he was coming to our area for a concert on my birthday! We had such a wonderful time! This was the third time I have seen him live and it was the best yet. After every concert, he signs autographs and takes pictures with fans. I felt a little nerdy but I was thrilled to get an autograph and picture:
I felt nerdy because I brought a copy of the picture I had from his last concert when I was just days from giving birth to our fourth daughter and HUGE:

He smiled and signed it, and I had probably the best birthday ever!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Enjoying the Holiday Craft Shows

I have always enjoyed going to craft shows at our local churches. It is a great way to support the church as well as local crafters and artists. It is also an inexpensive and unique way to decorate your home. Here are some decorations I found recently at a craft show:

Old thread spools . . . the possibilities are endless!
A beautiful Christmas candle:
Handmade candles made from a repurposed tea cup and creamer:
Handmade ornaments made from ribbon boxes and a toy tea set:
Another handmade candle made with an old tin measuring cup:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Preparing Our Hearts and Homes for Christmas: Part 4, Making Advent Meaningful

Preparing Our Hearts and Homes for Christmas
Making Advent More Meaningful

Do you have any plans to make Advent more meaningful? In years past, I have had no plan on how to celebrate Advent. As a result, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas went so fast that we really did nothing to actually to celebrate the season.

As I mentioned in past posts, I decided to chose a theme for Advent this year so I could have some activities for myself and my little ones to focus on. Our theme this year is Fruit of the Spirit. I will be reading A Mother's Harvest: A Devotional for Moms Based on The Fruit of the Spirit. I found many books and CDs on Amazon that could be used with children of all ages to learn more about Galatians 5:22-23 . I also found this sweet sticker chart to to reinforce what my girls are learning and encourage them to practice love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control . I also plan to use some handmade coloring sheets and the lesson plan for preschoolers found on this blog.

I am also hoping to make dinner a little more special each Sunday evening as we light the candles on our simple Advent Wreath.

Here are a few other resources you may enjoy:

For some great activities for the kids, check out Holy Heroes. Once you sign up, you will receive daily educational online videos and activities for school-aged children. It is not too late to join Advent Adventure. My girls participated in the Summer Faith Adventure which was a fun home vacation bible school. They really learned a lot. I believe they also offer a free Lenten Adventure.

I have been reading Kitchen Stewardship's Advent Daily Dose here.

Here is a nice article about Advent from Faith and Family Live. The Faith and Family Live website is filled with great articles and activities for the Catholic family.

I also liked the following articles on preparing for Jesus while waiting for Santa and ways to strengthen your family during Advent:



I hope these resources help you and your family take some time to truly celebrate Advent this year!