Thoughts for the last evening of Advent


I really should be wrapping presents tonight but just had to share this beauty.


When I suggested to the kids that we take a swing by this old favorite of a park a couple days ago, William said, “Oh, I really want to go there!  It has a lot of sweetgum trees and they are so pretty right now!” 

I didn’t even know what a sweetgum tree was, but he was right.


Christmas is the best time in Houston to make a leaf pile.  Maybe we’ll get to rake one up over the break.

We have had a really happy, busy Advent,


although I admit I was totally overwhelmed by the end of this day–on which I broke my rule of not baking until Nathaniel comes home for Christmas break! 

Something new we did this year, and will hopefully continue, was that Marie and I joined her American Heritage Girls troop in laying wreaths on the graves of our local military cemetery, which is where my dad is buried.

Marie was able to lay her wreath right on Dad’s grave, in the middle of this section. 


I hope we can keep that up as an annual tradition. 

The older boys are singing in the Christmas Eve choir tomorrow, and they seem really excited, especially about being up in the choir loft, which requires climbing up a very narrow spiral stone staircase that looks straight out of a medieval castle.  Our parish is celebrating its 100th birthday this year and it has retained the beautiful style of churches a century ago.  I can’t wait to see it decorated for Christmas. 

My hopes for the holiday are, first, celebrating the holiday, resting and feasting with family and friends. 

If/when I get some time for reflection, I hope to make some goals for the new year…reading, homeschooling, and personal (no more Christmas cookies!!!!).  I asked the kids what changes they would like to see next semester.  They answered, unanimously, “More science experiments, more field trips, and more glitter glue.”

What did I expect them to say?  “Please, Mom, would you please find some more picture books perfectly aligned with the liturgical season???”

Well, had they asked, I’d have brought out these four Tomie dePaola winners for the 12 Days of Christmas and Epiphany:

Strega Nona's Gift

Strega Nona’s Gift

Hark! A Christmas Sampler

Hark!  A Christmas Sampler

The Story of the Three Wise Kings

The Story of the Three Wise Kings

The Legend of Old Befana

Have a Merry Christmas!





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