|happy, non-sick children on Christmas Day!|
So how is your Christmas going? We had a really nice break. I didn't get everything done; there were squabbles and time-outs; we planned to make a beach day trip, but it was too cold and rainy (especially with an infant). I hit New Year's pretty tired from lots of time with family and little time to recharge.
But I felt so aware of my blessings too. I mean, is there anything as wonderful as a baby at Christmas?
Maybe a toddler at Christmas?
Or a full house of wonder-filled children?
Or a Traditional Latin Mass at a beautiful church?
We always place for our centerpiece at Christmas breakfast all the Baby Jesus figures from the various nativities we have collected over the years. Then after breakfast we have a procession through the house placing them in their mangers. We have enough for each child to carry one and it is such a special start to our day. It's my favorite family tradition for Christmas!
Even though we're back to school and Daddy's back to work, we've still got a day of Christmas proper left, and then Epiphany too--so I hope you're still celebrating like we are! On Epiphany, we always do our traditional house blessing, a special meal, and a family gift. (I have Mother Loyola's With the Church: Advent to Ascension put aside for is this year.)
The kids' art teacher happens to be a lady from our parish, which is nice because she encourages the kids to do religious drawings during lessons. These are the ones they worked on through Advent:
The girls selected images from Christmas picture books to copy: Cate's is from Eloise Wilkins' The Christmas ABC and Gianna's is from the Petershams' The Christ Child. Vincent really wanted to draw St. Nicholas, so I helped him find a picture online to copy.
And bonus: these drawings made the perfect cover art for this year's Christmas cards! We always handmake our cards, but I wasn't up for any major art projects, so this worked out great.
Some good reads recently:
My Book of the Church's Year--a charming illustrative depiction of the liturgical year.
They're right: you'll never look at seeds the same way again. (A Seed is Sleepy is a pretty great introduction too.)
Keeping the Christmas Season: a Christmas Prayer Companion, compiled by Jennifer at Family in Feast and Feria. We always appreciate Jennifer's liturgical resources!
This made the Facebook rounds a couple weeks ago, but I got to thinking about it again in the context of our recent holiday celebrations: In Defense of Domesticity.
It's too late for me, but just in case it's not too late for you: How to Avoid Converting to Catholicism, in Eight Easy Steps. (Obviously, sarcasm warning. Ha! But this pretty much sums up my own conversion, so I just had to share. Certainly gave me a giggle!)
Is there anything better than breaking open a fresh planner to start a new year? I bought this planner a few weeks ago and have been itching to pull it out, but of course, I had to wait until January. I've already got my old one in the garage hidden away and this new one all filled up with appointments and to-dos. I am loving the layout and the larger size (I have done a 5x8 in the past but did the full 8x11 this year.) I'll have to write some time about my personal planner system because after years of tweaking and trial, I have finally found a combination of electronic and paper that works really well for me.
On the blog in 2016...
I have been thinking about what I'd like to blog about this year. I have so many potential topics but have to narrow them down just based on time and energy. As always, my main consideration is what I feel like writing about--this is a hobby after all! But I always welcome reader feedback too, and I like to know in what ways I might be helpful to the homeschooling community.
In that vein, I've been keeping a list of post requests that I have gotten over the past few months so I can work on answers to some of those to share here. For example, I have had several emails to discuss my Italian plans, post a Day in the Life and what a week looks like here, make suggestions on how to teach kids about the Traditional Latin Mass, share favorite toddler products, and more. Want to add anything to the list? Now's your chance! ;) What do you like reading about most here? Any questions you have been itching to ask?
I'll be back tomorrow to post this year's first Keeping Company link-up. This year, I'm going to merge my "Invitation" and "Link-Up" and just post on the first Tuesday of each month. On that day, I'll post the linky tool as well as some chat--sometimes a formal prompt, sometimes a spotlight, sometimes an Instagram wrap-up, sometimes a combination of those things. Basically, I'll be making it a little less organized and a little more conversational. ;)
I'd love it if you'd join me here tomorrow (or any time this month!) to post about your notebooking. See you then!