Tuesday, December 04, 2007

More Advent preparations

I has been such a pleasure to witness the ways that other families in the blogosphere have been readying their homes for Advent, so I thought it would be fun to share here a little of what we ourselves have been doing to celebrate this special season.

Pictured first is our Advent wreath, which received an impromptu makeover this year and a new place of honor in our dining area. In years past we've displayed it in the center of our dining room table, but this year I decided to decorate the cabinet at the end of our table and make it a place of honor for our wreath. Displayed along side it are our bible, a gem of a book that I was recently reminded of by a dear friend, and a pretty basket in which all of the necessary supplies for our Jesse tree ornaments are being stored.

Next is this year's Jesse tree. Last year I always had the feeling that I was just sort of improvising as we went along and as such, we were not very consistent in making our ornaments. This year we're using the suggested symbols and bible passages from the above mentioned book to make our own ornaments with card stock and colored pencils. Our ornaments are in duplicate, however, because Caitlyn and Dylan are each making their own to decorate the tree. So although there are four ornaments pictured here, they actually represent only two days of Advent. :) Our plan is to leave the Advent wreath burning after dinner each night while we work on our Jesse tree, first reading from the bible and then coloring our ornaments, and so far, I'm very pleased with how well this is working for us.

We've created a beautiful Christmas corner in the school room and I think that it just might be my favorite spot in our house right now. The Christmas tree is the one so generously given to us by our neighbors last year, and I think it's perfect in the school room! On the bookshelf is the nativity set crafted lovingly by my sweet boys last year, and I'm so happy to have it out once again. On the first shelf below it are all of our Tomie DePaola Christmas books. They had been interspersed with all of our other Tomie DePaola's, rather than being kept with all of our Christmas books (which are still on a separate bookshelf), but I love having these out for easy reading. Below them are our chunky Christmas board books which I like to have available for Meghan to look at whenever she wants (or either of the older kids, too, of course!). There are also a couple of musical Christmas toys on that shelf that my kids just love. On the bottom shelf is our Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set, which all of my kids have been enjoying. In the window is a craft project I did with my kids yesterday, made to resemble stained glass panels. I cut each letter from a square of card stock, and then gave them a pile of tissue paper scraps to decorate the sticky side of self-adhesive laminating sheet. When they were done, we smoothed another sheet over the top of their tissue paper, trimmed them to the same size as our squares, and glued them behind our letter cutouts. Easy, and beautiful! They had so much fun working on them.


I really am trying to keep JOY truly present in our home this Advent. But...why does it feel like such work some days? ;)

7 comments:

Crafty Mom said...

I love those letters, and the house looks so festive and beautiful. You really do an awesome job with your kids!!

Stephanie said...

Thanks for posting pics of your Advent activities. This wasn't done in my home as a child, but as my kids get older (they're 3 and 21 months old with one on the way) I want to incorporate more Advent crafts. I really like the stained glass letters too!

Jen said...

Because, if we try to do every single thing there is to do for Advent, it can be a lot of work. It seems like you've picked some great stuff to do, and the results are just lovely. I'm jealous of your Jesse tree! I have attempted, and failed for the second year now, to do our felt Jesse tree. I should have joined up for our homeschool group ornament exchange. It's too big of a project right now. And don't forget, you are pregnant! You are preparing for Advent in the best way possible right now by nurturing the life within you! :-)

Jane Ramsey said...

I love the letter craft--awesome idea!
And Jen above is right---you are doing an awesome job. Don't feel like you have to do everything!

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Looks lovely...

Cheryl said...

Everything looks lovely. The Joy craft is great.

Laura W. said...

Everything looks beautiful and festive!! You are very organized!
Your home looks very JOY filled!!