Saturday, December 05, 2009

Where are all the children???

Its only eight thirty and I have not seen hide nor hair of any of the younger set for at least half an hour. Now where can they be? Not already tucked into bed and courting sleep filled with sugar plums and Saint Nicholas? Could that possibly be where they are?

Makes me wish this lively old saint came every night!

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How do I know? Because Cecilia ate one the other night causing quite a stir amongst the children. They came tearing to me pale faced and stumbling over their tongues. "Mummy, mummy Cecilia ate some Holly Berries - she has Holly berries in her mouth."

I quietly picked her up and carefully dug around inside her mouth as she screamed in rage at me. I massaged out some red bits and a small chunk of holly berry. Yup, she had indeed consumed at least one Holly berry. Initially I was not worried. Had I not just researched whether or not Poinsettias were poisonous only to learn that they are NOT.

No - that is not a type o. My tired brain simply was not working properly. Poinsettias might typically be red but they are NOT Holly Berries ... Something finally clicked in my brain and I had my husband hold Cecilia while I not so calmly typed into google 'Are Holly Berries poisonous'.

The first link I came upon was rather impressive as it cautioned that Holly Berries are poisonous and if your child had ingested some to call the poison control immediately. Feeling even less calm I then searched for the poison control number and a very nice and CALM lady asked important questions like the child's age weight and then told me she was okay if she had ingested less than five... We were pretty sure it was only one berry but I was to call poison control back if she started to vomit...

Here are some important links. This one is about poisonous plants and this one is about dangers the holidays can bring into our homes. I think a review of these links will become a Holiday tradition in our home!


here is their site.

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Houston... we have....


We were a few days late getting them this year but I can't think of a more fun way to get a set of Advent Candles than how we did it this year. It was worth the wait.

Just where did we get them you ask that it was such an exciting event?

Well, our oldest son is now working at a lovely church as their DRE and the church is within an hour from us so he invited us to their Advent Wreath making potluck dinner on the 4th. We met our second oldest daughter and her family there as well as Alicia (Jonathan's fiance) and it was a great time. We took some photos of the kids playing together and a few photos of some of the wreaths that were made. However, those photos are on my husband's phone so... it'll be a while before I get my fingers on them. Once I do though I will post them - I promise!

One of the best parts of the party after getting to spend time with my adult children and their growing families was getting to remeet one of my readers. 'Just Jo' and I met 2 years ago at the Envoy Institute's first annual conference. I was pregnant with number 13 and Jo, at 12 children thought her family was complete, so she offered me her maternity clothes. However God had a surprise for her and a few weeks later she informed me that she too was expecting... So we are both mums of a bakers dozen and it was so much fun chatting with her at the pot luck. Hugo and her husband chatted for some time as well.


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Second Sunday in our Advent...

How has your Advent being going? Are you finding it hard to stay focused on quietly waiting the birth of our Saviour when the rest of the secular world is already partying and maybe even your own church is already celebrating the Christmas Season when it is really still Advent?

It is hard to find that balance between allowing your children and family to participate in Christmas parties and activities that are already happening while also observing the quiet waiting that Advent asks of us. Most years I try to have a number of Advent activities planned and last year we had home made Advent calendars that had activities and prayer suggestions behind the numbers on them. And if we should want to have a party during Advent we try to plan it as close as possible to one of the many Feast days that are in December. We have St Nicholas Day, The Immaculate Conception, Saint Lucy, Our Lady of Guadeloupe to choose from.

This year after a whole month of serious illness in our family I did not really have time or energy to plan much in the way of activities. I did manage to make three Advent chains with the younger children, which we did last year. I love this simple activity. Chains are a sign of bondage and this paper chain that we make out of purple and rose coloured construction paper is a wonderful visual reminder not only of how we are coming closer to Christmas and the birth of the Light of the world, but also a reminder of how Christ's birth, death, and resurrection saved us from the bondage of sin. This chain can actually completely replace the traditional calendar if you choose to do so and can simply be paper links the child tears off daily or you can choose to write on each link an activity, small sacrifice or prayer intention for you to do as an individual or family. It is also a very inexpensive activity so that you can easily afford to make one for each child and ease that tension that sometimes comes as children struggle to remember who opened the last window on the calendar.

I have only two other activities planned for Advent, one is an open house on the Feast day Of Our Lady of Guadeloupe and another is a spiritual exercise built around the Cardinal Virtues. I had hoped to have this exercise researched and written in time for the first Sunday in Advent but this was not the case as we were still recovering from the long illnesses that struck in early November. So we will either begin it tonight or tomorrow; the second Sunday in Advent. My hope is to help create more peace in our home than there has been recently through the study of the virtues and how they help us as well as the the resulting 7 Capital sins that can trip us up through the lack of practicing the virtues in one's life.

Our children are good children and are usually very happy but over the past months some bad habits have formed and we need to weed these out sooner than later. What better time to focus on this than Advent and what better way to replace a bad habit than to practice a good one. I plan on sharing this activity later with my readers but first I have two priests reading it to make sure that there are no glaring errors in it. So once more I suggest that you stay tuned!


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Jesse Tree - First Saturday in Advent

The reading for this day are filled with betrayals and the resulting anger due to Jacob stealing his Father's blessings in earlier in the chapter. But the crux of the reading seems to be God's promise to Jacob as revealed in this dream:

...which he saw a ladder resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it stood the LORD, and he said: "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."

Hence the symbol for the first Saturday is that of a ladder and again, here is the link to the Domestic Church's page for this week's symbols.

The reading for today is Genesis 27:41-28:22
(Which is the same as Genesis 27:41-46 and Genesis 28:1-22)

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