Posts Tagged ‘Advent’

Wanna See Something Funny?

December 3, 2012

After yesterday’s parenting fiasco, this is great timing.

I decided to visit Busted Halo’s Advent Calendar.  This is from today’s entry:

Today’s word is patience … you have to wait in a calm way … you have to show patience. — Zac Efron & Elmo

MICROCHALLENGE: Today, start your practice in patience by taking a breath any time you find yourself having to wait.

 

Hmmm.  Has somebody been watching me?

Where is Advent?

December 3, 2012

My Pastor showed this really cool clip at Church yesterday.

 

Really cool Advent explanation for Busted Halo

 

I couldn’t help pondering this as I looked at our calendar this morning.  It is crazy, and we are having a fairly quiet Christmas.

Like I said to DH, I just don’t get it.  It is Advent.  Christmas does not start until the evening of the 24th.  Christmas goes until the 6th of January.  But not in our culture… oh no!  Christmas is over by Boxing Day here.  People think you are nuts if you have Christmas celebrations after that.

So what do we do to reassess and regroup?

I just don’t know.  It is so hard, living in the world we do.  Bandicoot has a Christmas concert tomorrow, even we do things like decorate in red and green during December.  The kids will even be hosting a craft party for their friends before Christmas.  How do we keep it all purple and pink?  *sigh*

I do try to celebrate the 12 days in some small way.  Remember our candles?  (Oh, um, I guess you don’t… I have just checked and it is one of the blog entries I lost in our travels across the country last December/January).  Well I will be doing them again.  And hopefully doing something with the song The Twelve Days of Christmas.  1+1+1=1 has some nice pages… (I will leave the Religious significance until the kids are a little older.)

One year I would really like to have a 12th Night Party.  The problem is that I am so wiped out with everything else that has happened by that stage that hosting a party is just too much for me at the moment.  Sad, isn’t it?

I guess all I can do is continue with our Advent devotions; try to carve some quiet, waiting time in the bustle of preparation and celebration, focus our eyes and our hearts on the true meaning of Christmas.

Advent 2012–Truth in the Tinsel

October 9, 2012

You may remember this post from last year <<link to a groovy post>>

Well, truth be told, I didn’t actually use this programme last year.  I had half planned my Advent before I found this.  I figured that sometime in the 10 months between the end of one Christmas and the start of the next Advent I would have some spare time to do that.  Hmm.  <<*embarrassed cough*>>

Well, Amanda has given me (and you) a heads up.  Yes, that’s right.  It is only 53 days until we start it again this year.

That means it is time for you to head over to Amanda’s Blog and sign up.  Come on and join me in a memorable Advent.

Second Week of Advent 2011 – Friday

December 9, 2011

Possum is 5 years and 7 months

Bandicoot is 3 years and 5 months

Little Princess is 11 months

 

And they grew some more…

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Today was largely taken up with other events, but you can’t expect a kid to start school without some sustenance, can you?

I was really touched.  I was in the shower this morning and Bandicoot came running in waving two of the large candy canes. 

“Look, look, Mumma!  They grew big ones!  Here’s one for me and one for you!” 

Say what you do about that boy (and we DO), but he loves his Mumma.

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I decided on a treat for Bandicoot this afternoon.  I thought that after his first (half) day at school, he might need some snuggle time with me, a little bit of extra loving.  Remember Polar Express?  Well he keeps asking for the train movie. (Did I mention how much he loves trains?  Second only to sharks.  And maybe his Mumma.)  I mentioned the movie to Possum, and, cool dude that he is now that he is so grown-up, he declared that he didn’t like the movie that much.  (After we bought it, you notice.  Grrr.)

So when Bandicoot came home at lunch time, he got to open the Countdown to Christmas Box and what did he find?

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And what did we do, Bandicoot, Little Princess and I?  We snuggled on the lounge and watched it.  We had a very enjoyable time.

Second Week of Advent – Wednesday

December 6, 2011

Possum is 5 years 7 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 5 months

Little Princess is 11 months

 

This is what we found in the Countdown to Christmas Box this morning.  Bandicoot wanted to eat the lollies, so it was a bit tricky convincing him that they were magic lollies and it would be better to let them do their stuff.  We got there in the end.

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Firstly we planted the tiny lollies in the cotton wool in the pots, then we placed them on the window-sill were they could get some sunlight (assuming there was a break in the rain).  Finally they were sprinkled with ***magic growing dust*** (teeny-tiny, itty-bitty star shaped foil glitter).

Then we waited.

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And waited.

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Poor Bandicoot!  His patience levels are even lower than those of his mother!  Several times during the day he checked the pots to see if there had been a change yet.  I am glad we ended up having such a busy day out of the house because I don’t think he would have coped otherwise.

I have suggested that perhaps they require moonlight as well as sunlight for the magic to really work.  We will have to see what happens in the morning…  

Second Week of Advent 2011 – Tuesday – Feast of St Nicholas

December 6, 2011

Possum is 5 years 7 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 5 months

Little Princess is 11 months

 

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Waking up to Gold Chocolate Coins!  Happy St Nicholas Day!

Today the Countdown to Christmas Box contained some unusual things.  Things that looked like they belonged in the kitchen.  A packet of Speculaas Biscuits and a packet of marzipan.  Strange, wasn’t it?

Well, being the feast of St Nicholas, we went for a few Dutch treats.

I know I probably could make the Speculaas Biscuits, but our supermarket sells some really yummy ones in the specialty foods section.  And they are even printed with Dutch-style pictures (think windmills and girls in clogs, not Rembrandt.)  I love these, so I was pleased to be able to treat us to a pack today.

Links: Speculaas Spice Mix                     A little about Speculaas

The marzipan was for Letterbanket.  These are very yummy, even if you make them the complete-cheat way that we do.  I am sure that in Holland they have a much more involved recipe than what we do, but this works for us.

I first heard about Letterbanket as a child reading this book:

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(My sister bought me this book one year so that I would finally return her book about Christmas around the World.  I have been fascinated about other cultures and celebrating events throughout the year for as long as I can remember.)

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And when searching for a link for “Letterbanket” I stumbled across this, which is scan of the page from the book!

 

 

 

Anyway, here are some of our endeavours.

IMG_2080 Two gorgeous little chefs, reporting for duty.  (This was a hard photo to take because they were both fighting to stand on the blue chair.  Notice the teddy bear and the shark in Bandicoot’s pocket?)

IMG_2092 Yes, okay, you noticed.  Unless all our names start with the letter “I” (they don’t – none of them do), this isn’t exactly Letterbanket.  Maybe we should have called them Sausagebanket instead!  Either way, they are delicious.

So, would you like to make some?  It is really very easy.

  • Firstly, take your marzipan and roll it into sausages about the width of your thumb.
  • Wrap this in puff pastry (also store-bought)
  • Seal and glaze with a beaten egg
  • Sprinkle with sugar
  • Bake at about 220oC until golden and puffy

Oh, so yummy, I might just sneak anothery.

And seeing as we were all in the kitchen, we tried another recipe.  I hadn’t made these before, but it was written on the same sheet as a favourite of mine.  I think they look lovely and festive.

(Bandicoot has his mouth full there, trying not to show he has been gobbling biscuits!)

Second Sunday of Advent

December 3, 2011

Possum is 5 years and 7 months

Bandicoot is 3 years and 5 months

Little Princess is 11 months

And I am, er, 25 and a bit

 

IMG_2050 Yes, the Countdown to Christmas box held the all important Second Candle this morning.  It is quite amazing, the boys are more excited about finding the candles and adding them to the Advent Wreath than they are about anything else that they find in the Box.

Have I told you about our little Advent song?  It was printed in our Church Bulletin a few years back, and we sing it each mealtime that we light the Advent Wreath (mostly dinners).  I am not sure of the credits, but if you know, you can let me know and I will update this entry.  It goes to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.

See the candles burning bright;

One by one each week we light.

Advent is a time to wait,

Then it’s time to celebrate.

When the waiting time is through

Christmas joy for me and you.

Pretty, huh?

 

The Box did contain something else as well.  It was another sticker book for each of them.  This one is a sticker and activity book and I don’t like it as well as last week’s, but they had some fun with it anyway.

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And just in case you were wondering…

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Can you make it out?  You don’t expect me to tell you, do you?

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Christmas Beetle Sighting

December 3, 2011

Possum is 5 years 7 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 4 months

Little Princess is 11 months

 

Yay!  At last!  DH has just walked in from the garage and said,

“You will be pleased to know that I have a Christmas Beetle in my hand.” 

I was feeding Little Princess, so there are no pics, but I am relieved.

Two years ago the Christmas Beetles arrived in October.  We had a bumper year of them.  The boys loved them, Bandicoot found out what their innards were like, and DH regularly gave Possum the horrors by telling him he would leave his bedroom window open so they could all come in.  We loved them, too.  (We also had lots of cicadas that year).

Last year, there were hardly any.

I was fearing this year would be another Beetle no-show.  Somehow, it just isn’t Advent without Christmas Beetles bumping about all night.

First Week of Advent 2011 – Friday and Saturday

December 2, 2011

Possum is 5 years 7 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 4 months

Little Princess is 11 months

Life has hit one of the more chaotic bits over the last couple of days.  Possum had his pre-school graduation on Thursday (*sniff*sniff*), then on Friday it was Bandicoot’s last session at Mainly Music.  He hasn’t really understood that he won’t be doing it anymore, and, even ‘though he mucks up terribly (he suffers from Can’t Sit Still Syndrome, amongst other things), he loves that there are special songs that only he and I know at home.  (Little Princess doesn’t count, yet.)

Possum has been wanting to find out what this music thing is that we do without him, so, being right at the end of year, he took the morning off preschool and came along on Friday.  Yes, that’s right, me trying to to parent-child action songs with three kids at once.  (Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of helpers at our group, it is just that all the kids wanted me.)

It was then a mad rush to get Possum back to school so that he could have some fun with his mates before the end of year disco.  Yup, you heard me right, end of year disco.  And I can tell you, the kids LOVE it!

In the meantime, Little Princess has continued clingy and demanding all week – still not herself, but has started to crawl again.  She made her first tentative moves about a week before she got sick, so it is still very new, very exciting and quite scary for her.

On the other hand, the reason Bandicoot has been so whingey and begging milk from me all day every day this week (yes, I still breastfeed him, but usually only before bed at night), has become apparent.  Crazy, super-high fevers, sore throat… sound familiar?  Yes, too familiar.  Fortunately, he didn’t need to go to hospital, but he has been a very sick little vegemite.

So with all these goings on, have we managed ANY Advent activity?  Well, apart from following Little Bear and keeping up with the calendars, barely.  I was grateful, ‘though, that those puzzles came in a box of six (3-double-sided, remember?), so guess what has made an appearance in the Countdown to Christmas Box the last two mornings?  You guessed it!

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Hopefully things will settle a little soon.

First Week of Advent 2011 – Thursday

November 30, 2011

Possum is 5 year 6 months

Bandicoot is 3 years 4 months

Little Princess is 11 months

Today is the 1st of December and for many the start of the Christmas Countdown.  This is certainly the day that most Advent Calendars start.

I have a lovely felt advent calendar.  Each day you add on another piece until you have a beautiful and busy Nativity Scene for Christmas.  Unfortunately, in the past few years, pieces seem to move, disappear and randomly re-appear somewhat quashing the build-up.

So this morning in the Countdown to Christmas Box

TA-DA!  A creche built with stickers, day by day.

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One for each of the boys (well, each of the little boys – not for DH!)  And they have certainly been a hit, if I do say so myself.