Saturday, December 7, 2013

Our First Week of Advent {2013}

We decorated an Advent Altar with our Nativity set, Jesse Tree, and Advent/Christmas book basket underneath. I asked Scott two days before Advent to build me a little table for our domestic church altar . . . . I got a temporary rustic old outdoor bench. I got a place mat from Target last night to try and cover it up. (It doesn't help much!)

We have a bag of "straw" under the table ready to be put into the manager for sacrifices made. We've been talking about how to make sacrifices. This is very hard for my boys. I have to start being intentional and telling them sacrifices I make through out the day. I keep repeating, "Had you not complained about doing that chore, you could have put a piece of straw in he manager," very often! This is hard work!

We are reusing an Advent Calendar I got last year (Amazon, I think).

We have been watching the daily videos from Holy Heroes and Tyler has been coloring the ornaments. I just tape some yarn to the back and hang it on a branch. The boys cut down a branch on Thanksgiving and put it into a coffee can, spray painted green, with rocks and all tied up with some ribbon! I'm hoping to purchase or make a nice set of ornaments to use year after year some time before next Advent. The videos are nice, but Caleb feels they are too young for him. He does watch them without complaining though.

We also  have been enjoying free Advent Adventures and again Caleb is at the end of the age group for this. They also have the Jesse Tree video, an Advent activity explained, a daily Mass instructions, and various print outs. This has been a highlight of our day.

Here is the non-traditional Advent wreath that I bought. I went with cheap candles since I had to buy the wreath (Christian Book Distributors) and they burn about a half inch in 15 minutes. They won't be lit every night to make it through the season. I do plan to buy nicer candles for next year. I'm not sure I completely like this wreath and may get a traditional one for next year.

Our school work has changed to leave our afternoons free for other Advent activities. Well, that WAS the plan. It didn't go that way, but changes can be made for next week. Less formal school work and less time being out of the house during school time is on next week's plan.

We enjoyed starting our Advent reading, but we didn't get to far, yet.

St. Nicholas came for a visit too! We don't do shoes here. Instead we hang stockings that my Grandmother had for my boys at her house. We got those after she passed away and they have been used for St. Nicholas ever since. Caleb enjoyed a new pair of slippers and some chocolate candy. Tyler is loving his St. Nicholas wooden peg doll from St. Luke's Brush. He carried it around all day admiring it. The boys also got a new book, The Miracle of St. Nicholas. We checked this out from the library last year and loved it! I was able to get it for $9 new at a homeschool conference in August!! I'm happy to report that I got through reading it this time without crying. It's just a beautiful story. The boys like it too.

We made St. Nicholas cookies. I bought a large cookie cutter from St. Nicholas Center and the boys helped with making the cookies and putting icing on them. This activity was a hit! Icing artist we are not!

Today I'm doing some extra cleaning to get ready to do some decorating tomorrow. The boys are setting up a tree in Tyler's room. I really would like to get my hands on a Playmobil Nativity set. Anyone seen any?

What did you do during the first week of Advent? 

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