Follow our family's journey as we seek to nourish our souls with music and literature, good company, great cooking, time spent in nature, and always, the love of Christ especially through the sacraments of His Church.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Advent Trial and Triumphs

How are your Christmas preparations coming? Predictably, we've had our ups and downs already - the days are growing short and there is still much to be done, both spiritually and materially.

Notably, we are way behind on our Jesse tree, and the kids have been watching too much TV. But our focus on good deeds is helping everyone to put forth some extra effort, always a joy to see.

Here's a peek at some of our recent activities, successes and failures!

We made snowflake cookies with blue frosting for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8:

(Benjamin has since had a much-needed haircut!)

We had early Christmas with the paternal grandparents last week. New Lego and K'NEX sets and books are keeping small hands and brains busy while Mom has so much to do! Definitely a win in my book.

Another Christmas gathering is scheduled for this Sunday at our house. I hope I can figure out what to do with the tree before then!

You can't exactly see from the picture, but two of the three feet broke off the stand, and the tree is leaning against the blinds. It can't stand up at all. We never even made it as far as ornaments! Getting a new tree isn't really an option, so we are trying to decide between a bucket of sand, or looking for a used tree at the Goodwill that we can swap out the stand with. (The bucket of sand sounds like more fun for the "chipmunks", don't you think?)

Needless to say, this is terribly frustrating for an impatient person like me. I have come to realize that I already despise tedious Christmas tasks, including fancy cookie baking and tree trimming. I know, Scrooge!!  Then when things go wrong, I am really not so much fun to be around. I am trying to keep the Christmas spirit by remembering that these are minor things which are supposed to add to our celebration, not define it. And I love the results so much that I will go through the aggravation to enjoy them later.

Fortunately, I have drowned my sorrows in the most decadent, easy pumpkin spice latte from Sarah. I finally broke down after weeks of eying her sidebar photo, and I bought the requisite holiday ice cream. In seconds I had something that rivaled the costly lattes available at those places we all know too well. Oh, soooo good!!

It was even better with a chocolate biscotti from the homeschool moms' cookie exchange this week. Happy sigh. I am trying to shut out the little voice in the back of my head, from a Mass reading on the first Sunday of Advent: "Make no provision for the desires of the flesh." Hmm. Still have to work on that one.

Now on the agenda: getting family photo, finishing Christmas cards, more baking, cooking and wrapping. Some new treats I am hoping to try are these darling meringue mushrooms that someone brought to the cookie exchange and some cereal clusters that I would write home about. Yum.

So those are the kinds of things keeping me from my blog these days... An ice storm is headed our way tonight and we are wondering if there will be power tomorrow. Every day an adventure! Hope the last week of Advent is going well for everyone.


  1. yum....that latte looks good!

    We are still working on some baking- now I have to see if I can find that ice cream

  2. I have finally decided that I too don't like trimming the tree - gasp! We have about 5 ornaments on it and I think that's how it is going to stay :) So far no cookies either and I just put the lockdown on the tv yesterday. Sounds like we have had similar Advents!!!