Saturday, December 05, 2009

First Week of Advent

Lots of goings-on here in our first week of Advent! Here's what Caroline and Cecilia have been up to:

~Our First Week of Advent 2009~

We made this St. Nicholas craft. Cecilia wanted Caroline's, so I made the one on the right for her. I can't help but think of Ronald McDonald when I look at Caroline's. :)

We got a package in the mail several weeks ago that had a sticker of St. Nicholas on it - Caroline was convinced it was from St. Nicholas! I had ordered a cookie cutter and some stickers from the St. Nicholas Center to use when making cookies or his feast day. I told Caroline we could open it at the beginning of this week, "in case it is something for us to use for his feast day." Strangely, she has been insisting, "I know it is not really St. Nicholas who leaves things in our shoes - he's in heaven! I know it is the parents!" Bah-humbug, huh? Well, after celebrating St. Nicholas Day today, she told Chris that she thinks it is really St. Nicholas and the parents.

We shopped and wrapped our gifts for the Angel Tree this week. Caroline helped me pick out socks, underwear, a jacket, and pajamas for another four year old girl, and we also got her a baby doll. Cecilia didn't really get it, but we also chose some clothes, pajamas, diapers, and a stuffed doll for a one year old girl.

I attempted to wrap the gifts with the girls... ha! They much preferred going through everything in the wrapping paper box! We will deliver the gifts to the church tomorrow when we go to Mass.

Our manger is being filled with straw to make a soft place for the baby Jesus to lay. The girls have been putting in straws for doing good deeds. Again, Cecilia doesn't really get this completely, but I give her a straw when she helps me with something (like putting a fork on the table) and if she does something nice for Caroline (gives her a toy that she wants to use).

Our Advent wreath on our poster has one candle lit this week. Our Advent wreath has been out and lit each evening at dinner, and we have been saying our St. Andrew Christmas Novena each night after dinner.

Here is our monthly altar on the china cabinet ledge.

We went to Eucharistic Adoration on Friday (our parish has it the first Friday of each month), just for about 10 minutes or so... the girls did a great job! It was totally silent, of course, and they knelt before the Blessed Sacrament, they whispered or were silent, they said a few prayers with me, and then Caroline said her own prayer (while instructing Cecilia how to say her own prayer: "Cecilia, say, 'We love you, Jesus.'"). Then they looked through a few books on St. Nicholas and Mary, and they colored these appropriate coloring pages. While the colored pencils being used on paper against a wooden pew in a completely silent church probably made a little noise (and the brief argument over the blue pencil!), I am hopeful that it didn't bother any of the other three people in the church... and if it did, we were gone after just a few minutes anyway. The girls were there with Jesus, and I think it was a nice way to begin our Advent.

Here is our "Look Around the Stable" activity from the first week: the girls glued in straw, rocks, dirt, rope, a jug of water, a candle, and they colored the beams of the stable. Next week we begin adding animals and some other objects. We have been doing this during our Circle Time.

Our nativity Mary is on the radio in the living room with a random angel (er, I mean Gabriel... just ignore the cymbals. Our nativity didn't include an angel!)... she is being told that she is to have a baby, the Son of God.

And here are our animals waiting in the stable. Just hanging out... Joseph is also on the radio but on the opposite end from Mary (the angel will visit him the second week!), and the wise men are way over on the china cabinet. They will begin to make their journey on Christmas Day!

We are gearing up for our second week of Advent - lots of feast days this week, and a busy week for us as we have things scheduled Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday... have a blessed second week of Advent, everyone!

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