The second week of Advent is like a grand slam of saints’ days and feasts. We can’t celebrate them all, but this is the week of Advent where I try to get over my aversion to hands-on activities and do some memorable crafts or baking. This year I bought a set of printable ornaments for saints in Advent, which got a lot of use this week.
I wanted to make a big deal of today’s feast, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The last couple years this feast was swallowed up by the weekend, and we didn’t focus much on it.
Also, I was startled a few weeks ago at my Bible study when all the ladies present who had grown up Catholic said that when they were children they believed the Immaculate Conception referred to the conception of Jesus, aka the Annunciation.
So, I wanted to be sure to clear up any confusion in my kids’ minds. We started with Mass, where the Gospel reading was the Annunciation. I can see why people get confused! At home over hot chocolate and marshmallows, we talked about exactly what the Immaculate Conception means. Because I think it’s totally fascinating.
The Immaculate Conception is the conception of Mary in the womb of her mother, St. Anne. And the significance of that goes back to the Old Testament and the Ark of the Covenant.
This is what we’ve been reading about in the Bible, and between the four of them they remembered that the Ark contained the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments (the Word of God) and a jar of manna (the Bread from Heaven). The very next story in our children’s Bible was when King David brought the ark into Jerusalem. We looked at the parallels between that passage and the journey of Mary to visit Elizabeth.
What the kids didn’t know is that the Ark is now lost (they don’t know about Indiana Jones yet!), although the Book of Revelation says it is in heaven. Because Mary carried both the Word made flesh and the Bread from heaven (Jesus!), we believe she is the Ark of the New Covenant. So the beginning of her existence is a pretty huge milestone for salvation history.
Thankfully Mary is a lot more accessible than the old Ark, which could kill you if you touched it!
No desk work today, just “holiday school”–fun stuff. Ben and Marie did some artwork,
and William and Louis baked a white cake.
We played and did some nature drawing at the bayou and then iced the cake. That’s where things got a little hairy, as they always do with kids in the kitchen, but we all survived.
We went to Mass and then their classes and my Bible study.
In the afternoon, William read his library books and Louis started listening to Little House in the Big Woods and following along in the book.
Oh, I was not feeling well that morning. And it was hard getting everyone back into desk work after two days off. By lunch I was utterly convinced that homeschooling & pregnancy just don’t mix and never will.
Things did get better, and we read some more about King David and a picture book about maple trees after Teddy went to sleep. Everyone did their reading, and we took a walk.
We had a better start to the day. I was car-less, but our neighbors who attend daily Mass took William and Louis so they could still serve. That was very nice. While they were gone, I read the gospel with Ben and Marie, and then they read the Christmas story to me from the Beginner’s Bible.
Desk work went much better, and I remembered to give all the kids a copy of the Latin hymn I wanted us to learn during Advent, which is half over. It’s Adeste Fidelis, and they sang it well.
We read about King David and caught up a bit in Elin’s Amerika. This book is about Swedish immigrants to America, and it’s Advent, and they are about to celebrate St. Lucy’s Day, which is such a big feast for Swedes that they call it “Little Christmas.” I was hoping we’d get to that part by actual St. Lucy’s Day, which is Saturday, but I don’t think it’s gonna happen.
Las Posadas party and potluck at church in the evening.
Ugh, sick again this morning. It was a real bug, not pregnancy, this time. The big kids fed Teddy breakfast, which may or may not have included candy from last night’s party, and entertained him until he could do without Mama no longer.
They also did their schoolwork independently and brought it to me to check and to listen to their memory work and reading aloud. Good kids.
In the afternoon I got up enough to sing Adeste Fidelis with them and read about Our Lady of Guadalupe for the feast day today.
Marie also made a St. Juan Diego ornament from the Advent saints set and got out the pattern for the St. Lucy one to make tomorrow.
That was our week, and I am linking up with Melanie for Guilt-Free Learning Notes vol. 14.