Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Crazy-Busy but Beautiful

The "Ack! Advent's passing!" Edition

I.

So we tried to take a Christmas card photo after Mass last Sunday.

Outtake I

I am, if nothing else, ambivalent about the results.

And what about poor little Baby Francis Waldo?

Outtake II

Typical Number Seven, fighting for his place in the sun.


II.

Speaking of "Baby" Francis...


On His Toes

The kid is keeping me on my toes by being, um, on his toes.

It's all good, though. He didn't crash head first onto the ceramic tiles or anything, and I'm getting my money's worth out of those boxes of hair color.

III. 

We have a handful of Advent traditions that my family really loves. The first one is our Advent wreath, that we light {almost} nightly during evening prayer. The kids take turns lighting the candles and "titzing" them out with their fingers when we're done. Oddly, they fight over the privilege of scorching themselves.

Oh, and we always sing a couple verses of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel." 

(On a side note, this was the opening hymn on Gaudete Sunday. When he heard the familiar first strains, George leaned over and whispered, "They copied us.")

("Who did?" I responded.)

("The Church," he said. )

A second, beloved tradition is our Jesse Tree and its numerous symbols. Admittedly, I say this with a touch of irony, because no Advent activity generates as much bickering and near-bloodshed as the placing of those "beloved" symbols. The choice that one child makes is never good enough for the other child, who insists, for example, that "The sun looks better at the top of the tree, not on the black background with all the stars!" or "He can't put the frog on Adam and Eve! That's sacrilegious!"

Yesterday I had had enough. "That's it," I said, taking down the felt banner and rolling it up. "Christmas is cancelled."

(This was kinda mean, I know, but their gasp was very satisfying.)

IV. 

Big BIG news! Come back for an Advent give-away tomorrow! Hint: it involves the magic elixir that fuels my days--three beautiful fresh-roasted bags' worth.


17 comments:

  1. The Advent wreath and Jesse Tree are big one's here in our home, too. We *try* to cut down the bickering by going in a sequential order. Youngest to oldest or oldest to youngest. It works about 70% of the time. ;)

    Crazy-busy here, too, (not sure when the last time I blogged) but you've been in my thoughts lately. Seriously. I don't say it if it isn't true. I'm glad I had a moment to pop in here. Love the family pic, even if the little squirt is only half visible. It's his most adorable side that is showing, I'm sure. :)

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    1. I'm glad you had a moment to pop in too, Kelly! Sometimes all we've got is those fleeting thoughts that (by grace) become prayers--I'm offering one for your family right now, and hoping one day that our online conversations become real ones. <3

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    2. PS. Loved the line about Francis' adorable side. : )

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  2. I have that same "Ack! Advent's passing!" feeling, Margaret! Doesn't help that I'm STILL sick and feeling even more behind! It was SO nice to see you Sunday night. Glad we are in book club together :-)

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    1. You're not behind, Sarah; Christmas is a season! And that season has not even arrived yet.

      It was great to see you too. You wear being sick well! This book club has blessed me in so many ways and I pray it's been the same for you. We're busy but we're committed to reading great books! For me that's a formidable start. ; )

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  3. My oldest daughter has suddenly outgrown all we do and hates it all...yet she is fighting with the others to be the one to open or place things on, etc....

    I threatened the 2 medium little girls with taking away one present each to donate, if they did not be quiet and go to sleep. I'm meaner than you. Wait, I didn't cancel Christmas though, OK, you are meaner.

    Oh, we can only hope they only remember why it's done and the happy parts...

    Our Christmas card pictures is a settling...I'm not that happy with it...Oh, well...they are also not done yet, they are not even done at the photo place...

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    1. Sometime, Jamie, all we got is threats. When you figure out a better system, let me know!

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  4. Your little Francis is so dang cute! Your whole family is. :)

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    1. Thank you, Patty. God made Francis cute for a reason: self-preservation! ; )

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  5. Oh! I love George! He seems to be turning out as quick witted and forthright as his dear mother! (and Francis is very clearly taking copious notes on all the life around him - he's going to be awesome too) (and can I say you must be really something if you can still get them all to gasp)
    :)

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    1. It's getting harder and harder to surprise them, Kimberlee...

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  6. I think your card picture looks great! And you could always print up a card that has two pictures on it...a larger one of the family and then a smaller one of just Francis! That way everyone can see his precious face!

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    1. That's a good idea, Beth. We do a newsletter (albeit a mostly satirical publication) so there will be lots of photo opportunities. Blessings to you!

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  7. I can hear them now, "Didn't they have a baby last year? I was sure there were seven of them." Looks like Francis knows exactly how his place in the line-up works.

    You canceled Christmas, I canceled Christmas break. And most of them believed me. And then they cleaned my house for me. Sometimes having a "mommy meltdown" works after all. :-)

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    1. Hey, if the "mommy meltdown" gets the house cleaned, I'm all for it.

      Hang in there with hubby's pneumonia! I know--have FAITH that--the end is in sight.

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  8. Very happy to read that there was no blood shed in your home ;) My granddaughter is a month older than Francis. she us currently fascinated by the cats litter box :0 ewwwwwwwwwwww

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    1. she is.....need more coffee

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