Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Cheer: Day 18 and 19

{Good morning! I hope you had a blessed day yesterday, the first day of Advent and a new liturgical year! If you are new to the 45 Days of Faith, Family, and Fun, or to this blog, welcome!}

Today is the first Monday in advent! {Please bear with the extra long post just for this intro to the new season!} We usually start our homeschool days with an hour of working all together, so this season of advent we will use that hour for daily advent time. Each day we will:

--  Watch the Holy Heroes Advent Adventure video of the day (this is free! click to sign up!)

--  Light our advent wreath. This first week of advent we light one purple candle. If you haven't done so already, you can find an advent wreath blessing here. We will read the liturgy for the day, or discuss it if we have been to mass.

Photo: Flickr/ Brad Nowack

--  Make and hang the day's Jesse tree ornament, and eat a related snack. One of the videos with the Advent Adventure is for the Jesse tree ornament of the day, so that is very helpful. If you're not familiar with the Jesse tree, you can read about it here. There is a chart there with days, symbols, and corresponding Bible verses. 

You can use a little pine tree, some branches in a vase, or even construction paper for your tree. If you'd like to buy ornaments, there's a great kit at Illuminated Ink for $7.50 but it is still a kit. To print your own ornaments to color and put together, try:

Photo: Flickr/ Lynnita W

Today's Jesse tree ornament is for creation, which of course you find at the very beginning of the Bible. If you want a snack to go with this day, I found the cutest idea for creation snack mix at Children's Ministry. You'll need a bag of M&M's, raisins, oreo cookies (preferably mini), animal crackers, frosted mini wheats, stick pretzels, goldfish crackers, and mini marshmallows. You could probably do without a few of these if you have some items on hand. Click and check it out.

--  Say a rosary decade. There is also a video for this with the Holy Heroes Advent Adventure, for the joyful mysteries.

-- Make a holiday craft or bake holiday goodies as time allows! Oh and eat a chocolate from our store-bought nativity advent calendar!

-- For moms: You can download and print out an Advent booklet from Pope Benedict with daily readings and reflections. This is a great way to start your days!

Getting things done - Today's to-do list includes addressing Christmas cards. Include the kids! We'll also be checking for wardrobe needs for the holiday, for parties, Christmas Day, etc. Does Jill need black tights without a tear? Do Bill's dress shoes still fit properly? Etc. 

Food - I published the last post talking about stir-fry, but never went back to say what I did! My kids are so so about stir-fry. They'll eat it but they're not gung ho about it. I love it because it is fast and easy, and it is basically a plate of heaping vegetables! Go nutrition! Once in a pinch, I didn't want to wait 45 minutes for the brown rice I usually serve it with to cook. So I looked around and found ramen noodles, which the kids are gung ho for. I cooked the noodles and drained the liquid, then added the flavoring. I served the stir fry over the ramen noodles, and it was a huge hit! By the way, I use sliced bell peppers, chopped onion, sliced mushrooms, broccoli florets, chopped swiss chard, and shrimp in my stir fry. I sprinkle it with powdered ginger, splash it with soy sauce, and viola. Oh, and I throw either peanuts or those crunchy chinese noodles on top because then the kids really get excited.

I also neglected to link the advent cookies. You can find lots of recipes for the cookies that rest for 4 weeks by typing "advent cookies" into your search engine!

Photo: Flickr/ David Robert Wright

Today's Gospel:

"When he entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully." He said to him, "I will come and cure him." The centurion said in reply,"Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come here,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the kingdom of heaven" ~ Matthew 8: 5-11 NAB

P.S. I have been using stock-type photos because I am so busy doing this stuff and posting it every single day, in addition to homeschooling and cooking and cleaning and oh, my little boy does need clean undies. Please bear with me until I can start using my own photos again!

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