Sunday, November 30, 2014

We light one candle shining bright

Advent - K's painting from 2nd grade

...upon this holy Advent night, Fill our hearts with loving might, Lead us to Christmas day's brilliant light!

preparing an outdoor Advent wreath preparing an outdoor Advent wreath outdoor Advent wreath outdoor Advent wreath outdoor Advent wreath this year's Advent calendar

This year's Advent calendar

013 021 1st Sunday in Advent - stable is up waiting for it's guests Mary begins her journey Mass on Advent Sunday

"Who likes Advent cleaning?" a rosy cheeked K asked as she was pulling weeds out of the ground in front of our house last week. Then she raised her hand high in the air and said, "I do!" This was quickly followed by two more little hands going up in the air along with shouts of "I do, too!"  I looked at all three of their smiling faces and joined in with an "I do!" of my own.

Like clockwork, the week before Advent I start feeling the need to give our house a good deep cleaning. I like to not only prepare a worthy dwelling within my heart, but my home as well. This is the first year my children caught on and initiated cleaning of their own. I told K I planned on making an Advent wreath to hang outside by our front door so I wanted to dust the cobwebs away and clean the moth poo from the moth apocalypse this summer. *shudder* She took it upon herself to weed. I think she needed that physical work and fresh air. Her siblings quickly jumped in (because if one child is doing something, the rest usually want to jump in, too, no matter what it is.)

I actually really enjoyed cleaning for once, and trust me I normally try to avoid it at all costs, thanks to my friend Tricia who brought Norwex cleaning cloths to my attention. I admit I was skeptical of these cloths that only need water to clean your whole house but after this deep cleaning I am hooked and couldn't imagine cleaning any other way. My windows have never been so clean and I barely had to use any elbow grease at all, unlike my normal cleaning routine. That is a huge plus for this Mama without any arm muscles. I literally couldn't stop cleaning, I was just so excited over the results!

Now that the house is clean and my mind is at ease, we have begun slowly pulling out our Advent items. This year's Advent calendar is out, Mary has begun her journey to the stable which is empty and waiting, and our Jesse Tree has it's first ornament. We do it all very gradually over the four weeks of Advent, as it is a time of waiting. I am sad to say that we did not finish our family Advent wreath, though. We spent most of our day in Boise getting groceries after Mass today. But I tried not to dwell on it and remember the words our priest said today about how easy it is to get lost in busyness this time of year and to forget what this time is truly about.

I have a more detailed post of our first week of Advent traditions here.

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