Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Advent Post #4

Oh wow! It's not only the last week of Advent, but it's only TWO days from Christmas! How exciting! I'm linking up with Beth Anne again this week, and so excited, I think she's going to do a Lent link-up too. Lots of fun, with great ideas on what to write about.

I'm going to write about a couple of the prompts, because I couldn't decide. :)

Share your favorite Christmas foods and sweets: we don't have any real traditions regarding our dinner/lunch, I'd love to start some but it's hard with Christopher's strange tastes. I remember when my brother's ex-wife called my mom asking for a recipe for Blinna pancakes which are a German version of crepes, much thicker and with yeast. They are delicious. My brother apparently told his wife that it was a tradition that we always had those for Christmas morning, and he wanted to do the same for their kids. My mom, was like "um what? Who does that much work on Christmas?!" Ha! So, we didn't have any breakfast traditions, but I remember it was usually small. Our little Spano family does have a breakfast tradition for Christmas morning, I've made it at least the last three years and plan to make them this year. My homemade cinnamon rolls, with Jason making hand whipped buttercream frosting. This is something that everyone eats! We have done various things for Christmas dinner, but this year I'm making steak, with crescent rolls, and chocolate cobbler for dessert. I'm allowing myself to cheat on Christmas from my nutrisystem plan, but even though I've been planning on this cheat all month, I have finally settled on something not so bad.

Reflect on how prayerful your Advent was or wasn't: We actually did a great job as a family this Advent. We lit our Advent wreath nearly every evening and prayed one decade of the Rosary with the boys, then Jason and I would finish the Rosary and do the Advent reading from the Magnificat  Advent Companion. We didn't do it every night, but pretty close. That's impressive for us, as we often find it hard to keep that routine, hopefully this is something that we will can continue.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Advent Post #3

Here I am, linking up again with Beth Anne. It's been my best way to make sure I actually do a blog posts, I should link up every day with someone different!

I am going to share about some of the cool Christmas experiences we are doing this year. Christopher is a part of an agency in town that helped us get his medicaid up and running, and we attended the Christmas party a few weeks ago. The really great thing was that there were no "looks" when Christopher got upset; and actually, he handled it really well and didn't even get upset. There was food, Santa, presents, and Bingo. It was a fun night!

This past weekend we took the boys to our local "Enchanted Forest" which is a park in town that has Santa's workshop as well as a train that rides all around the park stopping at different games. It was extremely cold, but the boys loved it! Dominic participated in the games and saw Santa, and Christopher was happy to ride the train the whole time with daddy. The only down side is that now whenever we go by that area in town, Christopher points that way wanting to go ride the train again.

It's hard to keep these kinds of things fun, and still honor Advent and the waiting. So we talk a lot about how we are "waiting" for it to be Jesus' birthday. I made our own Advent calendar, where Dominic is moving the lamb each day until it gets to Jesus' birthday, which he seems to really be enjoying.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Advent Week #2

I'm linking up with Beth Anne again this week to talk about Advent. I love these writing prompts because then I don't have to think of anything myself. ;-)

I'm going to talk about our St. Nicholas traditions, or more accurately, what I hope to make our traditions into. This year was really the first year that anything made a connection for Dominic I think. We put their shoes out the night before, and checked them first thing in the morning. I know we did this last year as well, but I don't think anything made a connection. We tried to talk about Saint Nicholas, but he had a hard time differentiating between him and Santa Claus. He kept saying it's "Sainta claus's birthday!" Part of this is because I haven't been able to add saints into much of our religious education; I'd say that this is likely because I struggle to think of specific saints' feast days. I have tried to do something on the boys' name saints' feast days, but I find it hard to think of. Perhaps this is because I'm a convert, and while I totally understand and appreciate the celebration of saints' feast days, it's still a little foreign to me and is definitely not a big part of my faith. I also find it difficult, because most of what you see to do with kids is coloring pictures or something and our boys are not into coloring. I keep thinking that eventually I'll find the best way to introduce saints to the boys. Perhaps that is what Saint Nicholas' feast day can be for us. A small introduction.

This year I did chocolate coins for Dominic and daddy and a few Oreos for Christopher, along with a slinky for each boy. Nothing big, but something that will stand out as exciting. Well, I thought it would, but apparently it has been so long since Christopher had Oreos that he wasn't excited by them anymore. He did finally eat one part of a cookie a couple days later. That's a win! ;-)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

First Week of Advent Link Up

I'm linking up with Beth Anne this week, and hopefully will be able to remember to link up each week. She gives some writing prompts at the beginning of the week, and then you can link up later in the week. If you're struggling to get back into blogging (like I am!) then this is a great way to do it. 

What does Advent mean to you?

I know that a lot of converts feel a special closeness to Lent and Easter because that is often when converts are welcomed into the Church, and I feel like that makes sense, and love Lent and Easter. But, I was baptized in September, so I don't have that same connection. Instead, as a convert, I was able to witness Advent and Christmas in a special way my first year as a Catholic. I started coming to Mass during the Easter season prior, so I had yet to witness the taking away of the Gloria. I remember that it confused me and struck me particularly. Jason told me that Advent is a time for preparation for the coming of the Lord, and the Gloria would come back at the Midnight(ish) Mass on Christmas Eve. I went to my first penance service during that Advent, and was amazed to see so many people wanting to clean their souls before the coming of the Lord. I had a copy of the Magnificat's Advent Companion, and enjoyed the little reflections and the daily prayer that helped me reflect on what the waiting was all about.

To me Advent will always remind me of those times when we are quiet, where we wait in anticipation for the birth of the Christ Child, in full joy marveling at His Glory.