Simple Woman’s Daybook: November 30th

Outside My Window::

::There is a clear blue sky and the sun is shining! God has really blessed me since Nathaniel has been back to work. The weather has rarely gone below -5 (unheard of for this time of year) and it has snowed maybe 2 inches so I haven’t had to shovel at all! It is so much easier getting out of the house when it isn’t freezing cold outside!

I am Listening to::

:: Fred Penner! I borrowed a Fred Penner CD from the library for Mary and she loves it. We have been singing The Cat Came Back for days. I also got a toddler Christmas album from itunes and it has been requested often as well.

I am wearing ::

::A brown/tan skirt and a blue t-shirt. It seems I get so much more done at home when I wear a skirt… I’m not sure why.

I am Thankful For::

::DAYS OFF!! That’s right! Nathaniel is coming home much earlier than expected and I can’t wait!

I am Pondering:

::I don’t understand how you can call yourself a Christian and lead such an idle, useless life. Have you forgotten Christ’s life of toil? – St. Josemaria Escriva in The Way

I am Reading:

::The Way by St. Josemaria Escriva. It is a book full of short thoughts, I keep it by my chair and pick it up when I’m nursing. It’s a good little nudge when I’m feeling lazy.

::Books about St. Nicholas! I have pulled out our St. Nicholas posts and I’m preparing Mary for his feast day on the 6th. I can’t wait, it looks like Nathaniel might be home and we are going to have such a fun day!

From the Kitchen::

:: I made chicken spaghetti last night so we will have leftovers of that tonight. Maybe that persimmon jam I was talking about will happen soon! It is also almost time to start Christmas baking, I have been thinking about Christmas cookies for weeks… I hope my sister in law is making those yummy chocolate things rolled in icing sugar… YUM!

I am Thinking::

::that living the Liturgical year at home is going to get better and better as my kids get older. I have been having so much fun with Mary already!

I am Creating::

::presents for my niece and nephew, a felt Advent wreath, car seat blankets for my kids, felt fish, Christmas cards, and a clean and peaceful home! Phew… I better get off the computer and go get at it!

On my iPod::

:: The Doctor is In podcasts. Dr Ray is my friend.

Towards a Real Education:

:: We are focusing entirely on Advent right now. I’ll do a few crafts with Mary and we will keep working on letter sounds because she loves it but other than that lots and lots of Christmas books!

Towards Rhythm and Beauty:

::I’m spending extra time in prayer these days. I know the upcoming season is going to be hectic and I hope that firmly grounding myself in Jesus will help me. I want this to be a season of joy for my family and being stressed out won’t help that.

To Live the Liturgy:

::We are starting our Immaculate Conception Novena today. Advent has so many beautiful traditions that just beg to be lived, I am very much enjoying it.

I am Hoping and Praying:

::that news will be accepted jofully by who those will be affected by it (I’m NOT pregnant, good grief you guys!).

Around the House:

::Nativity sets everywhere! I will post about them later.

::I’m so glad I got rid of so much before Advent started, it is so easy to tidy up in here now and everything just feels clean.

On Keeping Home:

::Maybe for Advent I should give up not doing laundry… hmm.. wouldn’t that be a switch?

One of My Favorite Things:

::Luke in the morning. He is the happiest baby in the morning, all I have to do is smile at him and he laughs. It’s hard to be grumpy in the morning when you have such a sweet baby to wake up to!

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week:

::Seeing my husband!!

::We have a couple play dates planned, and we’ll go to storytime at play group. Mary loves story time.

::A sleigh ride to look at Christmas lights! I have been waiting for Nathaniel to get home so we could go, I can’t wait!

::A St. Nicholas day party

A Picture Thought I’m Sharing:Mary was not impressed that our big nativity had an empty manger. She thought Mary looked sad because she wanted baby Jesus so she got him one “so now she can be happy baby Jesus is here!”


Jesse Tree: Day 2

Adam & Eve: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24

Symbol: Man & Woman

From our God Loves Me Bible:
God made two people to take care of his world. He made a man named Adam. He made a woman named Eve. Adam and Eve lived in a beautiful place called the Garden of Eden. God loved Adam and Eve.

Jesse Tree: Day 1

Creation: Gen .1:1-31; 2:1-4

Symbols: Earth, Sun

From our God Loves Me Bible:
In the beginning there was nothing. Then God made the sky and the earth. God made the sun and the stars. God made the water. God made the land. He made the fish and the birds and all the animals. He put them on the earth. God loved his world.

Advent with Littles: Our Advent Wreath

This is our Advent wreath. I hope to have a really beautiful one some day but this one will do for now.

The Advent wreath is such a beautiful tradition, like so many things in our Church it is filled with symbolism. Made of evergreens to symbolize continuous life, the prickly leaves remind us of the crown of thorns, thecircle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, and the everlasting life found in Christ.

CERC explains the candles well:

The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent. A tradition is that each week represents one thousand years, to sum to the 4,000 years from Adam and Eve until the Birth of the Savior. Three candles are purple and one is rose. The purple candles in particular symbolize the prayer, penance, and preparatory sacrifices and goods works undertaken at this time. The rose candle is lit on the third Sunday, Gaudete Sunday, when the priest also wears rose vestments at Mass; Gaudete Sunday is the Sunday of rejoicing, because the faithful have arrived at the midpoint of Advent, when their preparation is now half over and they are close to Christmas. The progressive lighting of the candles symbolizes the expectation and hope surrounding our Lord’s first coming into the world and the anticipation of His second coming to judge the living and the dead.

We will light our candles every night during dinner and say a short prayer. I wanted to find a short one that Mary and I could work on together and one that she would be able to understand. I settled on these prayers:

First Week

O Emmanuel, Jesus Christ,
desire of every nation,
Savior of all peoples,
come and dwell among us.

Second Week

O King of all nations, Jesus Christ,
only joy of every heart,
come and save your people.

Third Week

O Key of David, Jesus Christ,
the gates of heaven open at your command,
come and show us the way to salvation.

Fourth Week

O Wisdom, holy Word of God, Jesus Christ,
all things are in your hands,
come and show us the way to salvation.

Advent with Littles: Ready to go!!

So I spent the day going to craft fairs with a good friend (for whom I am incredibly grateful for today because she fed us and made the day go by so much faster) and completely forgot tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent until I was on my way home at 6:30. So I swung by Tim Hortons and got coffee because I knew I had a bunch of stuff I wanted to get done before tomorrow morning and I was already ready for bed!

I managed to get everything done that I wanted to and I’m pretty excited for Mary to get up tomorrow morning and see everything. I thought I would give you a sneak peek of everything set up around our home. Excuse the quality of the pictures, it is dark and I had to use flash… I also didn’t check them before I uploaded them to my camera so some are a little blurry.
This is the Advent wreath I made (full post on this coming tomorrow), I think it looks so festive on our table.

I’m super excited about how Mary’s reading corner turned out. I think she is going to love it. I moved those two baskets on the bottom, I’m going to stick the beanbag chair in that shelf when she isn’t using it.
I moved our coffee table over against the wall and set up our big nativity there. There is no baby Jesus yet and the wisemen aren’t there because they are still on their journey. We will add them in on Epiphany.
You can see the kings on the fourth shelf here, I love it! Her Little People Nativity set is out too, she hasn’t seen it yet and I know she is going to be thrilled.

I’ll be back tomorrow with an Advent wreath post and our first day of the Jesse tree! πŸ™‚

Advent with Littles: The Jesse Tree

If you have never heard of a Jesse Tree you can go to Wikipedia and read more about it here.

There doesn’t seem to be a specific set of readings/symbols, the point from what I understand is to learn more about the geneology of Jesus.

I love the idea of a Jesse Tree but I wasn’t sure Mary would be old enough to really get it this year. I was going through her books trying to see if we had a kid’s bible that I could pull the stories from so that it would be easier for her to understand.

When I found the God Loves Me Bible I knew I could make it work. The bible is set up in character format, each page looks like this:
It is nice and short and simple. The only problem with this bible is that it is protestant so it’s missing some rather important people! πŸ˜‰

We will read a page out of Mary’s bible every morning and I’ll give her the symbol to put on the tree. We’ll do this after our morning prayers. I’m going to try and read to her out of my bible too if she is interested. I’ll put up a picture of our symbol and reading every day during Advent. πŸ™‚

Advent with Littles: Our Advent Basket, part 2

This is the basket I settled on for our Advent basket. I’m still hunting for that perfect basket but it’s hard when we have books of so many different sizes.
I’ve had these books packed away since last year so they will all be new and exciting. I actually went through our books and packed away all the seasonal books so I can take them out during the appropriate season. I plan on keeping this basket on it’s own shelf in our book case all year and rotating the books. The shelf above will be our seasonal shelf. I’ll post pictures of that when I set it up Saturday night. πŸ™‚

Advent with Littles: Our Advent Basket, part 1

Now that we have our living room re arranged I have been able to put Mary’s seasonal book basket in a much more appealing location. I emptied out the bottom shelves and made her a little reading corner. A bean bag is on my sewing list for her corner, something comfy.

Here is what is in our Advent Basket this year:

Touch and Feel Baby Jesus Is Born: This is a sweet book, it has cute pictures and Mary loved it last year. The story is simple and easy to understand for little ones.

Little Donkey’s Christmas Story: This is the Christmas story told by a donkey, it’s a great book for younger ones, the donkey helps keep them engaged and listening to the story.

The Nutcracker: I *love* the Little Golden Books series. Especially the old ones. Whenever I find them in a thrift store or at garage sales I snatch them up. They often have the most beautiful illustrations and the sweetest stories! This book is all that. It is obviously very simplified but a very cute story.

Little Mouse’s Wonderful Journey: This is a Christmas story told from the perspective of a mouse. Mary loves any story with an animal in it right now, I’m excited to read this to her.

Baby Jesus ABC: Another old book with delightful illustrations.

One Tiny Baby: This is another simplified Christmas story. Mary has been asking a lot of questions about Christmas and I’m hoping these books will help bring the story down to something she can understand a little better.

These are the books that are going to start out in our basket. I have more to add through out Advent as we read them together.

Simple Woman’s Daybook: November 23rd


Outside my window… gray and chilly but not cold! It was only -7 here today. I am so thankful for this mild weather, it makes taking the kids out so much easier! …well scratch that, it just started snowing! I guess we won’t be running to the grocery store tonight after all.

I am thinking… that 7am is just too early to be up every day, why don’t my kids get that??

I am thankful for… my kids being considerate enough to take an almost 3 hour nap at the same time so I could get some editing done!

I am wearing… black yoga pants and a long sleeve pink shirt. It’s kinda chilly in here so I changed back into my comfy clothes when we got home this morning.

I am remembering…how nice it was when I didn’t have to get up with the kids in the morning. I should have enjoyed that more!

I am going… somewhere just about every day this week. It makes the days go faster when we keep busy.

I am reading… Snuggle Puppy, Pajama Time, Hippos Go Berserk…. Sandra Boyton is a favourite around here right now!

I am hoping… that my husband’s days off come sooner rather than later…

On my mind… creating lasting Advent traditions for our family

From the learning rooms… Mary has discovered that letter sounds make words, she wants to know what every word starts with and what sound that letter makes, she knows most of them but still wants me to tell her.

Noticing that… my son is getting way too big for my liking! He is starting to pull himself up, he will be 8 months in a few days!!!

Pondering these words… Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving? Show me your feet. Are they wounded in service? Show me your heart. Have you left a place for divine love? ” Bishop Sheen

From the kitchen… I’m thinking about canning some persimmons… has anyone ever had a persimmon? Would they make good jam?

Around the house… I hate to say it but it is sure a lot easier to keep things in order when it’s just me and the kids.. maybe because we have a good routine?

One of my favorite things~ Gingersnaps! I made some yesterday and Mmmm. They remind me of Christmas and are just so good!

From my picture journal…

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You!

Advent with Littles!

I haven’t found a whole lot out there for celebrating Advent with younger kids so I thought I would share our plans with you.

Here is my Jesse Tree all sewed up and ready for hanging! I plan on doing some Advent decorating after Mary goes to bed on the 28th so our Advent wreath, Nativity barn, and Jesse Tree are up when she wakes up Sunday morning.

(please excuse my toes, I meant to crop this before I posted it)