Our Advent So Far

Our Advent So Far

Nativity Scene by Bella. I don’t know if you can read the text at the bottom. She wrote it herself, her first invented spelling: NUTVDE SEN

Advent Wreath

On the first Sunday of Advent I totally forgot about the advent wreath until dinner was on the table and everyone sitting down to eat. But I found the box on the shelf in the office where I thoughtfully stashed the wreath and found some old stubs of candles from previous Advents in the drawer in the hutch. So we had an advent wreath of sorts—a little brass circle with a bit of plastic holly garland draped around it in a circle. Good enough. Three weeks later I still haven’t bought candles. Still using stubs. But I have put the wreath on a platter and added some pine cones to make it look a bit more festive. We say a prayer every night at dinner and sing O Come, O Come Emmanuel. The children love it. It is enough.



St Nicholas Day

Bella gets some candy while Sophie opens a St Therese Christmas ornament.

St Nicks day Bella with ornament
Bella with Our Lady of Guadalupe ornament.

This was definitely a low key day. I bought some Reese’s peanut butter cups at the pharmacy when I went to pick up my prescription one evening. Those went into everyone’s shoes. I bought some Christmas ornaments from Aquinas and More’s after-Christmas sale last year. Each kid got one—including one for Lucia and a St Francis ornament for our Baby Francis who we lost to miscarriage. I also got the kids a St Lucia book because, after all we had three St Nicholas books and we will be celebrating Lucia’s name day from now on. Everyone was thrilled.

St Lucia book

St Nicks Day Ben and Anthony



St Lucy’s day


I made Karen Edmisten’s St Lucia bread for the second year. It was yummy. We read our St Lucia book and watched a couple of St Lucia videos. That’s all I accomplished that day. No school work, nothing else. But it was a nice holiday.

You can see our advent wreath behind the bread.



Anthony as Baby Jesus


We’ve been trying to figure out why Anthony wakes up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. Toddler insomnia. One day I decided to see what happened when we just skipped his nap. As I was cooking dinner he came into the kitchen and burrowed his face into my legs, sobbing. I picked him up and in a minute he was sound asleep. I put him down on the chair in the living room and went back to cooking. While I was making my stir fry, I heard the other kids dressing him up as Baby Jesus and having a nativity play. I couldn’t leave my stir fry but I was very curious. When Dom walked in, he snapped a picture of sleeping Anthony adorned by his loving siblings.



Trimming the Tree

Me at 36 weeks. Can you spot the Christmas tree behind my belly? Anthony is so excited about having a tree in the house: “Look! Look!”

Today we bought a tree and began decorating it.

Bella was a huge help, hanging ornaments and helping the other kids too.

Even though the kids did most of the work, when it was time to make dinner, I needed to sit down and put my feet up. But Dom made dinner for me and it was a lovely day altogether.

I’m not sure I’m going to be doing much at all between now and Christmas. Or really now and New Year’s Eve. But we’ve been reading piles of books and oh the excitement of four children when we got the tree: it is most definitely enough.



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  • And when you think of how very young Mary was when she was pregnant, it makes it even more thought provoking.

    I have to disagree with you on the Mary Did You Know? song, though.  I love the melody and find the words to be so apropros.  Did Mary even have an inkling of what her baby boy would do and who He would grow up to be?  Two of the cantors at our church do an amazing duet of this on Christmas Eve.

  • Made perfect sense to me…. or as perfect sense as this phrase could.

    I mean, the phrase really speaks, or attempts to speak of the trinity. By definition the trinity is a great mystery so it stands to reason just about anything anyone could say about it would be limited, paradoxically.

    Personally I don’t think Mary could have comprehended completely… I mean, to understand is to grasp the Trinity and the Incarnation all in one shot and that is a lot for anyone to get even a slight handle on. That is why she had a lot to “ponder in her heart” given what she knew and what is beyond human comprehension.

    Definitely not an easy phrase.

  • Merry Christmas to you and your whole beautiful family and know that you and Lucy are being prayed for now and during delivery and afterward.  May you all be well and may this be your first pain-free delivery.

  • Jocelyn, the 29th is a big birthday day in our family. My father-in-law and nephew were both born on Dec 29. Happy birthday to your son and thank you very much for the prayers.

  • Yes, Melanie, I am thinking and praying for you all as well. Last year at this time I was anxiously awaiting the birth of our third child. (He was born on the 29th.) Merry Christmas!

  • That is so neat, especially as my littlest brother was born on the 29th as well. He received some exciting news last year for his 5th birthday!

    Thank-you for the birthday wishes for our little guy – hopefully his teeth will not be bothering him so much in a few days.

    Your Christmas pictures are wonderful smileSuch beautiful children smile Glad you are feeling a bit better and had a better night.

    All the best, dear Melanie, and may Peace be with you.
    Jesus, I trust in You.

  • […] Hooray! This year we’re going all out to celebrate our little baby girl’s feast day. Well, not really. But we made Lucia bread for the third year in a row. (Some dissenting voices wanted to make the Lucia buns in this book, but I didn’t think I had saffron. And others think that two years makes a tradition and we shouldn’t shun our beloved Lucia bread. Though the recipe could easily be repurposed as a Christmas cake or King cake. (Here are picture’s of last year’s Lucia bread.) […]