Continuing Advent


I failed quite a bit with documenting our continued advent celebration. I kept getting so caught up in the moment and would realize later that I meant to take pictures! Oh well, bear with me. I’ll work on getting better!

Day 6: Make (and Enjoy) Mulled Wine. My first attempt wasn’t too shabby. We had friends over to enjoy and it seemed to be a hit! The perfect beverage to warm up with!

Day 7 & Day 8: We were on the road over the weekend to visit our cousins in Portland. So to make things easier I made these days “treat” days. Paul got a Bag o’ Sunflower seeds (which is one of his favorite things about road trips) and a Theo Chocolate bar for us to enjoy. The best part though was playing with this handsome fellow! He is going to be a heart breaker!

Day 9: Scripture Reading & Candle Lighting.

Day 10: Game Night & Christmas Music. I wanted to zone out to  some Zombie Dice, but Paul talked me into playing a mellower card game called Pitch. It was a delightful evening!

Day 11: Have a Candlelit Dinner. An easy way to have a relaxing evening!

Day 12: Make a Holiday Treat. We made Dark Chocolate Peppermint truffles which were amazing!! Typically I never share the kitchen with Paul.  This was an easy way for us to get our hands dirty (literally) and share in the food making experience.
PS - How cute are those plates! My Secret Santa aka dear friend Christianna got those for me! I've been using them a lot!
Day 13: Kissing under the mistletoe (no explanation needed).
Day 14: Watch a Holiday Movie. We were too busy this weekend to make this happen. But I still hope we get around to it!

Day 15: Gather with Community. This was awesome! We had a group of friends over for a breakfast potluck. We also collected coats and blankets to donate to the homeless youth. I do not have any pics of the nearly 20 adults and 7 kids that packed our house! But here is a picture of the great stuff we donated!

Creating Traditions


Tradition has been on my mind lately. I often think about traditions in the context of “when we have children we will…” and then fill in the blank. Recently I have been struck by the idea that Team O needs to begin building our traditions as a family before we have children. The idea is that children will naturally become a part of those traditions.
I thought this year would be an excellent time to begin an advent tradition. However, I wasn’t sure where to start. I only knew of Advent done two ways: 1) chocolates in a calendar and 2) the family tradition our dear friends the Kaetzel’s passed down to us where a candle is lit each Sunday leading up to Christmas, scripture is read, songs are sung and the nativity scene is built each week.

During the advent season I want us to keep Jesus as focus, I want to do activities that promote ‘us’ time,  I want fun and silly little things to get us into the holiday spirit, and I wanted to build memories. So from December 1st to the 25th we are doing a plethora of small and inexpensive things to achieve those goals. I say small because the last thing I would want to do is build up a tradition that only stresses us out. The idea is this is a joyful time, Christ IS coming! We are also going to use the devotionals from this online advent book from Desiring God.
Before we started I had to acquire a calendar of some sort. Speaking of stress, google "advent calendars" and you will find many variations that you can make. Sometimes seeing other people's insane creativity flat out stresses me out. One night after work I found myself at JoAnn's meandering the aisles looking for inspiration. And then I stumbled across this beauty and realized - heck no, I'm not making a calendar. I'm buying! I am beyond thrilled with this unexpected (and on sale) purchase!
Our Calendar for many years to come.
I will document our celebration as the month goes on. For now I'll share Days 1-5.
Day 1: Acquire & Decorate a Christmas Tree. Paul hauled this tree over his shoulder the three blocks from the fruit stand to our house!
Day 2: Light the "Gospel" candle, read Scripture and set up our nativity set. In the future we'll set the nativity up week by week.

Day 3: Hang our stockings by the faux fire. Well I guess I could have lit the faux fire, but I honestly don't remember how! Charlie needs a little stocking love too!

Day 4: Write out Christmas cards. Since they're not done I'm not showing our awesome 2012 photo card just yet! I will also say that on Tuesday evening we were exhausted. So we tabled writing out our Christmas cards. Flexibility is key!

Day 5: Share a favorite Christmas memory. Paul telling me about the year he got ALL the video games he asked for made me laugh so hard last night! I remember Christmas PJ's and waking up way too early and eating toaster strudels waiting for my parents to get up. Mmmm Toaster Strudels!!