Tuesday, November 30, 2010

St. Nicholas Doll Giveaway!

I have been given the opportunity to host another giveaway, in honor of the upcoming feast of St. Nicholas! This giveaway is for a beautiful hand painted St. Nicholas Doll from St. Luke's Brush!

St. Nicholas is a 3.5 inch wooden peg doll hand painted with non-toxic acrylic paints and sealed to preserve this keepsake toy.

Head on over and check out the Etsy Shop, St. Luke's Brush, and then come back and leave a comment here at Shower of Roses for your chance to win this little hand painted doll!  All these beautiful little saints would make wonderful stocking stuffers!!

Comments will be open until Midnight on Monday, December 6th, the feast of St. Nicholas. The winner will be chosen with a random number generator and announced on Tuesday, December 7th. Be sure to leave your email address, or have it linked in your profile, so that I am able to contact you.

"God of joy and cheer, we thank you for your servant, the good bishop Nicholas. In loving the poor, he showed us your kindness; in caring for your children, he revealed your love. Make us thoughtful without need of reward so that we, too, may be good followers of Jesus."
~ From St. Nikola an der Donau, Austria

My Advent Daybook :: November 30, 2010

Outside my window... it is so COLD!! Such a difference from the wonderfully warm weather we were just enjoying for the past two weeks in Arizona! I am freeezzzzinngggg!!!

I am listening to... "Let it snow" from one of my favorite Christmas cd's!

I am thinking... that it is so nice to be able to use past crafts over and over each year.  I only had Friday and Saturday to prepare for Advent, and yet our plans/traditions have all fallen into place so nicely.  So, YES, it DOES get easier each year for those of you that were asking!

I am thankful for... the time we were able to spend with my Hubby's parents.   It was so great for our children to have some time with them to get to know them better and we were all so sad to leave.  How I wish they lived closer!  We will be praying for my Father-in-law as he prepares to have his prostate removed in a couple weeks due to cancer.   Could you please add this intention to your prayers?

I am praying... for Liz and her dear family and in thanksgiving for the time they were given to spend with their precious little saint, Jedidiah Joseph.  The anniversaries of my own little ones births into heaven both fell on Thanksgiving this year, and it is amazing that no matter how many years go by, I still miss them dearly.   We weren't able to visit the cemetery where they are buried since we were traveling, but we were able to stop by and say a few prayers for my Grandparents...  It was so sad to pass through their hometown for the first time without seeing either of them.

I am also praying for the souls of two my my Great-Aunts who died this month.  My Great Aunt Mary died on November 11th, and my Great Aunt Marlene died this week.   They both lived a long ways away, though I do have fond memories of them both from my childhood and they will be missed by so many!  

Saints of God, come to their aid! Hasten to meet them, angels of the Lord! Receive theirs soul and present them to God the Most High.

From the kitchen... TURKEY!!!!  Despite spending ALL day (and by all day I mean we got up at 4am and on the road by 5am and then didn't stop until 9:30pm - crossing over time zones so it was actually 17 1/2 hours driving time) on Wednesday and then a good part of Thursday traveling, I was still able to pull off a (very simple!) Thanksgiving Dinner thanks to Wal Mart and that very last frozen Turkey Breast in their freezer... It was barely enough and we were all craving more, so I picked up a 23 lb turkey on Friday and baked it after Mass yesterday... Yum!!!! Now we can have leftovers, Turkey Sandwiches and Turkey Soup all week! :-)

From the learning rooms... we usually take a winter break in December, but not this year.   With our summer remodel which caused us to start late this year and traveling for a couple weeks this month, we need to really work on developing a good schedule or we just might be schooling all next summer!  We did do a bit of schoolwork (math and english) on the road and we took our children on a number of great field trips, all of which were very educational... That counts, right?!?

Living the Liturgical Year at Home...  Our Advent wreath has been set up on our coffee table and Hubby blessed it Sunday night before we lit the first candle.  We have also hung the first couple ornaments on our Jesse Tree and colored coordinating coloring pages.

The baskets of books are a huge hit with my children and Snuggles unwrapped the first one Sunday night for Daddy to read before bedtime.  Our children are all taking turns, so Chiquita opened the second book last night.

I am creating... a grocery list for this year's Jesse "Tea!"  We weren't able to have it on the first Sunday of Advent, but this coming weekend should work out perfectly!

I am wearing... my wedding ring!   I had dropped it off for a repair at the beginning of November before I knew we were leaving town and it wasn't ready to pick up until a couple days after we were gone.  It is so nice to finally have it back on my finger!  ♥

I am reading... Meet Josefina to my girls and they LOVE it! I just ordered the whole set of books for Chiquita to go along with her Christmas present and she is going to be SO excited!

On my iTouch... wi-fi now that we are home again.  Oh how I was wishing I had an iPhone while we were traveling!   I had very limited access to all things online other than the occasional special trips to Starbucks or McDonalds.  :-)

Pondering these words... from Seek That Which Is Above: Meditations Through the Year.

"Advent is concerned with that very connection between memory and hope which is so necessary to man. Advent’s intention is to awaken the most profound and basic emotional memory within us, namely, the memory of the God who became a child. This is a healing memory; it brings hope. The purpose of the Church’s year is continually to rehearse her great history of memories, to awaken the heart’s memory so that it can discern the star of hope.… 

It is the beautiful task of Advent to awaken in all of us memories of goodness and thus to open doors of hope."

Our little Rose...
 did amazingly well on our road trip, thanks to lots of snacks, Almond Milk, and Signing Time on my iTouch!

Noticing that... I never did post this video I uploaded last month.

Towards personal care... I really need to figure out a way to fit exercise into my schedule.  My ankle is still healing which makes walking difficult.  Plus, all the fast and convenient food (Fat Food as my mil calls it!) during our trip did not help my waistline at all.   I always seem to have a hard time losing the extra "baby weight" until after my cycles return and the baby is finished nursing - neither of which has happened yet.    Though I am not in a hurry for either of those, I would like to start getting back into shape...  I am sure I would feel better and have more energy!

Around the house... Advent decorations!   Today I am hoping to pull out our children's nativity sets... Now where did we put that box?

On keeping home... I miss our brick fireplace and mantel!  I can't find anywhere to put "PREPARE" like we did last year.  Thankfully the cabinet maker called while we are gone.  He has the new mantel finished and will be coming out to install it on Wednesday.   It may be awhile before we can have the stonework done, but it's a start!!

One of my favorite things.. seeing how much our little Rose loves her Da-Da!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
  • Begin praying the St. Andrew Novena today
  • Fireplace Mantle installed on Thursday 
  • First Friday Mass
  • Doctor's Appointment for Rose Friday afternoon
  • Girls Night out with Aunt Bridget, Twinkle Toes and Chiquita

A Picture thought I am sharing:

While downloading photos from the camera I ran across these two pictures that Hubby took a few weeks ago when he and our three oldest took Father L.  hiking to the top of a nearby plateau.  :-)   It was Twinkle Toes first hike with Daddy and her older brothers, and she did wonderfully! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

11 1/2 Months

Our little Rose has been walking for awhile, but she just recently decided that she now prefers walking over crawling and is getting around quite well.  I still can't believe that she will be turning one in just a couple weeks...

Apparently she prefers the basket to all those carefully selected books! ;)

Jesse Tree Readings & Coloring Pages for 2010

Update: You can see close-up pictures of our tree and ornaments here.

Back in 2007 I started printing coloring pages for each day of Advent to coordinate with our Jesse Tree.  Since every year the number of days in Advent is different, it is necessary to adjust the reading list slightly each year.

This year I decided to rearrange our Jesse Tree ornaments to coordinate with the New Catholic Picture Bible - the one we use each year for our Jesus Tree.

I have also updated the links to the coloring pages we will be using this year.  (I noticed that many of my old links no longer are working, that's the problem with linking to artwork that is not my own...Links are often moved or deleted!)   My older children have opted to color selections from their copies of Stories from the Old Testament (Marty) and  Great Adventure Kids Bible Story Coloring Book (Great Adventures: Kids), as well as working on adding corresponding entries to their History Timelines!

For those of you that have been asking, I made the ornaments for our Jesse Tree by looking at the coloring pictures found in Advent and Christmas for the Christian Family which is part of the Celebrating the Faith in the Home Series from Emmanuel Books.   As for the tree/banner.  I just cut it out free hand, hot glued it the a blue felt background and then a couple weeks later attached jingle bells with safety pins to hang the ornaments from since my children kept knocking them off!  ;)   SUPER EASY!!  Plus the jingle bells look and sound so cheery and Christmasy! 

Anyhow, here is our list for this year:

November 28 ~ Creation
Symbol:  Earth
Readings: Gen .1:1-31; 2:1-4
NCPB: The Story of Creation, Pages 8-9
Coloring: Creator of Heaven and Earth

November 29 ~ Adam & Eve
Symbol:  Man & Woman / Apple
Readings: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24
NCPB: Adam & Eve in Paradise, Pages 10-11 (first half)
Coloring: Adam and Eve or Creation

November 30 ~ Fall of Man 
Symbol: Serpent
Readings: Gen. 3:1-7 and 23-24
NCPB: Adam & Eve in Paradise, Pages 10-11 (second half; optional pages 12-13)
Coloring: Expelled from Paradise (favorite) Adam & Eve Expelled from the Garden (younger children)

December 1 ~ Noah's Ark
Symbol: Ark
Readings: Gen. 6:5-8, 13-22; 7:17, 23, 24; 8:1, 6-22
NCPB: Noah's Ark, Pages 14-15
Coloring: Noah's Ark (My children love this collage)
This is another great option: Noah's Ark Coloring Page Two-by-two

December 2 ~ Abraham
Symbol: Stars
Readings: Gen. 12:1-3
NCPB: The Promise to Abram; Abraham's Sacrifice, Pages 16-17
Coloring: Abraham

December 3 ~ Isaac
Symbol:  Bundle of wood
Readings: Gen. 22:1-14 
NCPB: Abraham's Sacrifice, Pages 18-19

December 4 ~ Jacob's Ladder
Symbol:  Ladder
Readings: Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15
NCPB: Jacob and Esau, Pages 20-21

December 5 ~ Joseph
Symbol: Joseph's Coat of Many Colors
Readings: Gen. 37:23-28; 45:3-15
NCPB: Joseph and his Brothers, Joseph in Potiphar's House & Joseph's Greatness, Pages 22-27
Coloring:  Joseph and  Joseph Storing Food

December 6 ~ Moses
Symbol: Ten Commandments/Stone Tablets
Moses: Ex. 2:1-10
NCPB: The Ten Commandments and Miracles in the Dessert, Pages 39-41
Optional:  Moses, Prince and Leader, The Burning Bush, The Plagues of Egypt, The Crossing of the Red Sea and Manna in the Desert, Pages 28-37
Coloring: Moses and the Ten Commandments
Here is also a Moses Maze and our simple Ten Commandments Lapbook!

December 7 ~ Joshua
Symbol: Sword & Trumpet
Readings: Joshua 6:2-5; Jos. 1,3,6-11
NCPB: Rahab and the Two Spies; The Taking of Jericho; and Joshua Conquers the Land of Canaan, Pages 42-47

December 8 ~ Ruth

Symbol: Sheaths of Grain
Readings: Ruth 2:15-17
NCPB: The Devotion of Ruth, Pages 48-49
Coloring: Ruth gathering wheat or this version which we will use this year

December 9 ~ Samuel
Symbol: Oil Lamp
Readings: Sam. 3:1-18
NCPB: The Child Samuel; King Saul; Saul Disobeys God, Pages 52-57

December 10 ~ Jesse
Symbol: Shepherd's staff
Readings: 1 Sam. 16:1-13
NCPB: David and Saul, Pages 58-59
For Jesse we will color this Shepherd with Staff

December 11 ~ David
Symbol: Harp
Readings: 1 Sam. 17:12-51
NCPB: David and Goliath; David Loves Saul; Saul's Death; The City of David , Pages 60-67
Coloring Pages:David & the King and David and Goliath
Dot-to-Dot:  David and Goliath

December 12 ~ Solomon

Symbol: Scales of Justice
Readings: 1 Kings 3:5-14, 16-28
NCPB: King Solomon; The Temple of Solomon, Pages 70-73
Coloring Page: King Solomon

December 13 ~ Elijah
Symbol: Raven
Readings: 2 Kings 17:2-4, 6; 2 Kings 17-18:21-39
NCPB: The Prophet Elijah; The Prophet Elisha, Pages 76-79
Coloring: Elijah Praying

December 14 ~ Jonah

Symbol: Whale
Readings: Jonah 2:1-2, 11
NCPB: The Prophet Jonah, Pages 80-81

December 15 ~ Isaiah and Jeremiah
Symbol: Stone
Isaiah: Isaiah 7:14 or Ecclesiastes 48:25
Jeremiah: Jeremiah 30:21-22
NCPB: Isaiah and Jeremiah, Pages 82-83
Coloring: Bible and Scroll

December 16 ~ Raphael
Symbol: Fish
Readings: Tobit 11:7-8
NCPB: Tobiah and the Angel, Pages 84-85
Coloring: St. Raphael Coloring Page illustrated by Charlotte

December 17 ~ Judith
Symbol: Sword
Readings: Judith 13:7-10
NCPB: The Bravery of Judith, Pages 86-87
Coloring: Hummmm... I think I am going to look for a picture of just a sword for my little ones to color since the only other one I can find is a little too much for my kiddos!

December 18 ~ Daniel
Symbol: Lion
Readings: Daniel 6:1-29
NCPB: Daniel in the Lions' Den, Pages 90-91

Coloring:Daniel in the Lions Den 
A simpler version can be found here.

December 19 ~ Angel Gabriel
Symbol: Angel with lily
Readings: Luke 1:26-38
NCPB: The Annunciation, Pages 94-95
Coloring:  St. Gabriel by Charlotte; and The Annunciation; or this beautiful Conceived by the Holy Spirit

December 20 ~ Zachary and Elizabeth
Symbol: Angel
Reading: Luke 1:11-13
NCPB: The Visitation, Pages 96-97
Coloring: The Visitation (my favorite) or this version is another option

December 21 ~ St. John the Baptist
Symbol: Shell with water
John the Baptist: Mark 1:1-8
NCPB: The Visitation, Pages 96-97 (Optional: The Baptism of Jesus, pages 112-113)
Coloring Activities: The Baptism of Our Lord

December 22 ~ Joseph
Symbol: Carpenter's Saw
Joseph: Matt. 1:18-25
NCPB: The Birth of Jesus, Pages 98-99
Coloring: Here is one of St. JosephSt. Joseph the Worker (by Charlotte)

December 23 ~ Mary
Symbol: Lily
Reading: Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38
NCPB: The Birth of Jesus, Pages 98-99
Coloring Page:  Born of the Virgin Mary;  Mary, Mother of God (by Charlotte)
As an option, here is a coloring page with a lily

December 24 ~ Birth of Jesus
Symbol: Infant Messiah
Reading: John 1:1-14
NCPB: The Birth of Jesus, Pages 98-99
Coloring: I just LOVE this coloring page for The Birth of our Lord!

And here is one more coloring page link for the Feast of Epiphany.  I am hoping that I will have a chance to make additional ornaments this year for the Twelve Days of Christmas!

Additional Ornaments from our collection - I may squeeze these in here and there if I have the opportunity:

Symbol: Bread and Wine
Readings: Gen. 14:17-20; Ps. 110:4; Heb.20 
Coloring: High Priest for Melchisidek

Symbol: Teardrops
Readings: 2 Kings 20:1-6; 2 Kings 18-20 

Symbol: Walls of Jerusalem
Readings: Neh. 2:17; Neh. 1-7 
Coloring Activities: Here is a fun maze for the wall of Nehemiah.

Symbol: Queens Crown
Readings: Esther 2:17 
Coloring Activities: Esther or this one of Esther meeting the King

We will also add the following O Antiphon Ornaments (Dec 17-23):

O Wisdom (Jesus is Wisdom): Sirach 24:2; Symbol: Open book
O Lord (Jesus is Lord): Ex. 3:2; 20:1 Symbol: Burning bush
O Flower (Jesus is Flower of Jesse): Isaiah 11:1-3 Symbol: Flower
O Key (Jesus is Key of David): Isaiah 22:22 Symbol: Key
O Radiant Dawn (Jesus is the Radiant Dawn): Isaiah 41:25-26 Symbol: Sun rising
O King (Jesus is King of the Gentiles): Psalm 2:7-8; Ephesians 2:14-20 Symbol: Crown
O Emmanuel (Jesus is Emmanuel): Isaiah 7:14; 33:22 Symbol: Holy Eucharist

Sunday, November 28, 2010

This Year's Advent and Christmas Book Baskets

The problem with giving our children new Christmas picture books on the feast of St. Nicholas each year (in addition to the other books we've purchased or have been given) is that, after 11 years of marriage and 6 children, we have a ridiculous number wonderful collection of Christmas Picture Books!  ;)

Inspired by Charlotte, I'm wrapping up some of our christmas picture books this year:  One for each day of Advent and Christmas!   I've had the paper since last year (being full term with Rose I just didn't have the energy to use it) and am so glad I finally have a chance to try out this idea with our children this year!

I have quite a few of our Christmas books in my sidebar right now, but here is a peek at all of our books this year:

~ First Week of Advent :: November 28 - December 4 ~ 

Our additional "Preparation" themed books for the 1st Week of Advent:

A few favorites from the library:

~ Second Week of Advent :: December 5-11 ~ 
Theme:  St. Nicholas & Giving

A Gift from St. Nicholas

The Miracle of Saint Nicholas

The Christmas Candle

Good King Wenceslaus

Pablo's Christmas

The Three Gifts of Christmas

The Clown of God (Replaced with The Little Juggler)
(Pablo's Christmas is new to us and just arrived in our mailbox last week!  Thank you Dessi!!   I thought that the feast of St. Juan Diego would be a fun day to read it!) 

Our additional Feast Day books for the 2nd week of Advent:

Our additional "Giving" themed books for the 2nd Week of Advent:

~ Third Week of Advent :: December 12-18 ~ 
Theme:  Our Lady of Guadalupe, Santa Lucia, Los Posadas and Family
These are wrapped in purple paper with pink dots.

Our additional "Family" themed books for the 3rd Week of Advent:

A few favorites from the library:

~ Fourth Week of Advent :: December 19-24 ~ 
Theme : The Nativity and Angels

The Legend of the Poinsettia (Replaced with Miracle of the Poinsettia)

Christmas Bird

Mortimer's Christmas Manger

Bright Christmas: An Angel Remembers

The Donkey's Dream

There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve

Our additional "Nativity, Angel and Christmas Eve" themed books for the 4th week of Advent:

~ Christmas Day and the Twelve Days of Christmas ~
December 25 - January 6
These are wrapped in gold paper and will be placed in the empty basket on Christmas morning!
Our additional books for the Christmas Season: