Sunday, December 23, 2018

{This and That} :: Fourth Sunday of Advent

We are finally on break! We did a light week this week and finished up everything on Thursday -- except for our nature journaling, which we spent some time on Friday morning in honor of the Winter Solstice. I was nursing a bit of a cold, so we explored our backyard for a bit, then came inside for tea.

We also cut out snowflakes, which we always do on Winter Solstice.

They are our first decorations up every year since we wait to decorate our home until Christmas Eve. When we hang our snowflakes in the windows, it really starts to feel like Christmas is on the way! It was a great start to our holiday break.

I have been doing some pre-Christmas baking. We save our feasting for Christmas too, so I don't do our baking too far in advance, but there are a couple things I make the freeze well. So I have shortbread, peppermint squares, and gingersnaps freezing and the rest will wait for a big baking day on Monday: sour cream apple pie, homemade nutter butters, lemon crinkle cookies, and another batch of cranberry bliss bars. I have been pregnant or in a newborn fog for the past couple Christmases, so this is the first year in a long while I have felt up to doing a good amount of baking!

A great way to celebrate the 4th Sunday of Advent: CM West just sold out this week! (Psst: there's still the opportunity to add your name to the waitlist.) The main thing on my list for this break besides spending time with my children and husband is to get an outline together for my talk. I am looking forward for some uninterrupted time over the holidays to do that!

(I saw a personality quiz that listed favorite Christmas gifts by type, and it predicted that the best thing to get a person like me is "More time to get stuff done." Yup. So thanks to my husband for already promising me to make that happen. :))

I have other things on the list too: Term 3 planning, a bit of catch up in my Book of Centuries, and sewing lessons for my middles. Among other things. But mostly, my plan is just to rest and to do a lot of thinking. And I am so happy for that!

I will be away from this space for the next couple weeks. But before I go, I wanted to catch up on some recent happenings...

One of the teens in our Charlotte Mason group put on a handicraft fair. It was a blast!

We rolled beeswax candles for St. Lucy's day. It was our first time and will certainly be a new tradition!

St. Nicholas brought his usual oranges, candy canes, and chocolate...

...and a book for each of the kids!

Rocking Horse Land and Other Classic Tales of Dolls and Toys

The Fairy Stories of Oscar Wilde, illustrated by Adrizzone
Oscar Wilde Stories for Children, illustrated by Lynch
Miracle on 34th Street, illustrated by Tomie de Paola
Mother Goose, a classic reprint
The Message of the Bells, by Van Loon (haven't read this yet!)
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Tooney (but in a smaller size for one of my little boys)


Last but not least, here is a peek at our Christmas card this year, painted by Gianna:

Thank you for your support this year -- I am grateful for your encouragement and fellowship. It is a blessing to be in community with you, and I wish you and your families a restful and joyous Christmas.

I'm hoping to give a few peeks at our festivities over on Instagram if you'd like to follow along. Otherwise, I will see you here in the New Year!


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  2. I looked at a personality quiz/ gift guide and it recommended time alone, books, notebooks and pens, and handwritten/heartfelt letters for me. Spot on! Of course ideally time alone is not for getting things done but just wasting my days away without any touching me 😂😂😂

  3. I have a question for you! What book shelves do you have? The ones I got a couple years ago are sagging from the weight of all the books we have, and are a little too dark for our house, so I'm in the market for some new ones. You're the only person I "know" who packs your bookshelves with BOOKS instead of decorative items. :)


    1. Hi Jessica! They are all from Ikea. :) We have six full-size Billys and four Expedits (now called Kallax) in various sizes. No problems with any of them so far. Some are 10 years old, some are only a couple.

  4. I just love reading your blog, I get so many ideas and so much inspiration. Thank you for sharing! I'm wondering...when you give your children books do they just go on the family shelf or do you somehow mark them so that the book actually belongs to that child? I typically add new (thrifted :)) books onto our shelves as I find them, but I like the idea of making it more of an event. Just wondering how you do that... Thanks!

    1. Hi there! They go onto the family shelves, but they still remain the property of that child. Everyone knows whose books are whose -- they are pretty good about remembering. LOL But they do have to let siblings read them also, and if a sibling damages a book, they have to replace it and get borrowing privileges revoked. ;) It has worked for us so far!