Happy Thanksgiving and Blessed Advent!
So how was your Thanksgiving? We had a wonderful weekend. All of our family lives close by, which means we don't have to travel for the holidays. It also means that we always have two Thanksgiving feasts, one at my parents' and one at my in-laws'. And that means we spent the weekend eating a ton of food. But remarkably, no turkey: antipasti, lasagna, and cannoli with the Italian side, and a casual (but gigantic) meal plus karaoke and cards with the Filipino side.
The rest of the weekend was rainy, which meant lots of chores around the house. I printed off our Advent memory work, finished lesson plans for the rest of the term, started sewing some gifts, and got a start on Christmas shopping (online, from the comfort of my cozy home). I also slept in (!) a couple of mornings and ran a couple times too...so pretty much a perfect fall weekend is what I'm saying.
I planned to post this morning, but the day just got away from me--I almost always feel like that coming off a long weekend. I hope your holiday was as refreshing as ours!
The kids did a little Thanksgiving crafting last week:
Their egg carton wreaths came out lovely and are now adorning the grandparents' houses. (We used this tutorial. A poinsettia version would make a fun Christmas craft, I think.)
Sunday was the beginning of the new liturgical year and the first Sunday of Advent. We began our Advent devotions by reading a couple pages from The Way to Bethlehem and a poem by Christina Rossetti, blessing and lighting our Advent wreath for the first time, beginning the St. Andrew novena, and playing the first Christmas music of the year.
(We are geeks and have our Christmas music collection split into two CDs: one for Christmas and one for Advent. We try to stick with the Advent selections until Christmas Eve, when we finally start playing our Christmas CD. Does anyone else save Christmas music until the official Christmas season? I have to admit, our family custom was borne partly from a desire to maintain the Church's liturgical seasons and partly from my own preservation instinct. I like Christmas music, but a few weeks in, I'm ready to shelve the CDs until next year. So if we hold off, my enthusiasm lasts until Epiphany, as it should. Just me?)
Speaking of Christmas music, my husband surprised me with a wireless speaker last week. We don't have a television or a stereo system, so we play everything on our laptop, and the sound is never quite clear enough or loud enough. With this speaker, I can blast our audiobook from the other side of the room rather than having us all huddled around the computer straining to listen! We can hear our Italian CDs even when my toddlers are in chaos mode! The kids can do their memory-work march through the house and still hear "Stars and Stripes Forever" well enough to sing along! I can lie on the sofa with a book and turn on Chopin in the other room to
drown out the tantrums encourage my kids in their love for classical music. A very useful addition to our homeschool.
If you don't already have a stereo dock or wireless speaker for your phone/tablet/laptop, I highly recommend adding one to mama's Christmas list.
Speaking of Christmas lists, I have a few more suggestions:
:: my two favorite education-related books of the year: Laurie Bestvater's The Living Page and Karen Glass' Consider This
:: the two-pack Moleskin Volant notebooks, which I have been using for my commonplace books this year (I like the "large plain," but they come in smaller sizes and ruled)
:: the Prismacolor illustration markers that we use for all our drawing and Keeping (you can buy singles of particular nib widths on Dick Blick--I like .005)
Some very sweet artwork around the house lately...
Gianna and Cate sent off their saint cards for Kimberlee's swap last week.
They can't wait to see which cards they get in return!
And I can't resist sharing Cate's most recent family portrait:
(FYI: Apparently my husband and I are not making lovey-dovey eyes at each other; we are "whispering things." Either way, it's going on the wall!)
Happy Monday, friends!