Thursday, December 31, 2009

Advent Banner

If I was going to put the effort into making an Advent Calendar, I wanted it to really do the job. A friend had wanted to make an advent wreath and bought all the felt, but didn't have time to do it. So I inherited the materials (THANK YOU!) and set to work -er- set to thinking about it.

I've never liked the numbers on top of the scene of a Advent calendar, but I love the idea. So I thought I'd make a calendar where we insert a leaf for each day we count down. I cut TONS of leaves. I made a leaf template that was 3"x2" and cut and cut and cut (that took a whole year).

The next year, I cut the candles for the wreath and sewed on leaves and candles. I used pins to put the leaves and candles where I wanted on the purple felt and shoved it through the sewing machine. I'm not very good with the sewing machine and some of the leaves didn't lay flat. I decided that it made it look cool that way rather than messy (and I wasn't about to tear it all out.) Then I put it away 'till the next year.

In 2009, I decided I wanted to celebrate special saint days in Advent...it turns out there are lots of saint days in Advent. So I plugged saints into their dates and then plugged personal saints for our family (the names of our kids, our favorites, etc.)

I found clipart online and added a textbox that stated the saint name and date Dec 6, etc. I used Iron On Printer Paper and then ironed the
picture onto a white fabric. I cut out
pictures and text boxes (which were
now backwards -- I didn't want to wait another year to figure out the new version of Publisher how to make the words backwards so they ironed-on forwards). I glued the text to the back of the leaf and the picture to the front of the leaf. I used adhesive backed velcro dots to affix the leaves to the banner.

Using silver and gold fabric paint we wrote the themes for the weeks of Advent on each candle. (The silver didn't look good on the lilac.)

I was THRILLED to find a tight tule in pink, orange and yellow to make the flames. I folded them until I was happy that it looked flame-like and sewed it into that shape at the bottom. Then I used the velocro dots.

Dave bought me a banner hanger (the black wrought-iron picture below) for $15 at Lowe's. I was thrilled with the price.

I sewed a casing in the top of the purple fabric so it would hang where I wanted on the fireplace.

  • felt in purple (backing)
  • felt in lavendar (3 candles)
  • felt in pink (1 candle - Gaudette Sunday)
  • Felt in green (leaves)
  • green thread
  • purple thread
  • fabric for the flames
  • adhesive backed velcro dots
  • Iron On Printer Paper
  • elmers glue

I meant to do an iron-on of the O Antiphons, but I didn't get that far this year. I did print off a booklet I made with each O Antiphon and reflections -- maybe next year I'll add them to the banner...

2009 Christmas Homeschool Band Concert

Soft on my toes

Grandma's blanket felt so soft on his toes, he couldn't help but dance!

A riddle by St. Augustine of Hippo

"The maker of man, he was made man, so that the director of the stars might be a babe at the breast;

that bread might be hungry,

and the fountain thirsty;

that the light might sleep,

and the way be weary from a journey;

that the truth might be accused by false witnesses,

and the judge of the living and the dead be judged by a mortal judge;

that justice might be convicted by the unjust,

and discipline be scourged with whips;

that the cluster of grapes might be crowned with thorns,

and the foundation be hung up on a tree;

that strength might grow weak,

eternal health be wounded,

life die.

It was in order to endure these and similar indignities for our sake;

in order to set free those who had forfeited all dignity;

though he deserved no evil but endured such terrible evils on our behalf,

and we deserved no good, but received such splendid goods through him;

so it was for these reasons that the one who was before all ages the Son of God, without beginning of days, was prepared in these last days to become a son of man;

and that the one who was born of the Father, not made by the Father,

was made in the Mother whom he had made;

so that he might exist here for a time, being born of her who could never and nowhere have existed except through him."

~St. Augustine of Hippo (+430)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Band Concert 2009

To hear a snippet Click on this
My saxaphone is my accessory!

A beautiful girl making beautiful music.

I LOOOOVVEE my saxaphone.
I'm liking my trumpet more, but it's still pretty hard.

I'm not in the band -- but I have a recorder!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Confession

We didn't decorate the tree this year. We have a pre-lit tree and just didn't bother to put up the ornaments. It's in a darker room (family room) so we just leave the lights on all the time and you can't really tell.

We didn't put up any other Christmas decorations. Just a lit, bare tree. Actually, the kids put it up while I was gone one day, so that means I didn't personally put up ANY Christmas decorations.

The big one:

We didn't even get the nativity scene out. It almost seems like a sin and weighs on me...but now that today is the first day I've got time to do something like that, it almost seems anti-climatic to do it after Christmas (although the Christmas season lasts for another 2-3 weeks.) I keep looking at the clean, bare mantle and feeling - bad. I just don't honestly think too little too late would help at this point. My kids all said they had a great Christmas...I still feel bad. False guilt? Reasonable guilt? I don't know...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Friends For Life Pro-Life Camp 2009

How confident are you when engaged in a discussion on abortion?

Have you heard the scientific and philosophical evidence for the humanity and personhood of the unborn?

Next June, Scott Klusendorf—nationally renown speaker/author/bio-ethicist and President of Life Training Institute—will once again train students in winning the debate for life.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to learn from the best, to meet other pro-life high school and college students, and to enjoy a retreat of FUN!

Click here to view the Pro-Life Boot Camp brochure.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy 2yrs old

"Happy Day to me" is how he sings the song....

Happy B-day

I left the camera at Ds#5's Godmother's house for a month, so this is a little cold off the press...

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for us

God, the Father, painting his portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Juan Diego showing the gift Our Lady gave him

Our Lady of the Americas protecting children from Satan

Monday, December 07, 2009

ROCKIN' Cool Nuns!

I just came back from the annual Mom's retreat in Ann Arbor with Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist and it was FABULOUS! Those are some seriously FUN nuns! You just don't expect the joy to exude from a group of nuns like that.

10 moms made the trek from Fort Wayne up to Ann Arbor. We had a van full of conversation up and back. It amazes me how much you can be social or completely set apart at this retreat -- your preference.

They invited us into their home to have Sunday morning Mass at their Motherhouse! The church was SOOO BEAUTIFUL (just like these rockin' cool nuns!) Sr. Joseph Andrew is such a unique and dynamic woman and the priest who gave the reflection Saturday and homily Sunday was GREAT with the moms! The Holy Spirit was DEFINATELY apart of this retreat and this community of WONDERFUL sisters. (And I LOVE their full habits!)

I'm still processing... Spending that much time in Adoration really opens you up to receive what God wants to tell a girl.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Quote of the Day

Dd#1 (holding her note cards she just wrote out for her research paper)
Some of the stuff in here is juicy. On a scale of 1-to-10, it's RAW.
Her report is about martyrs. Should I be worried? hmmm...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Quote of the day

What are the 5 steps to the Sacrament of Reconciliation?

  1. Greet the Priest and say how long it's been. But I'll say it's my first time.
  2. Confess your sins
  3. Say the Act of Contrition
  4. The Priest abandons me.
  5. Say or do my penance.


The priest doesn't abandon you, he absolves you.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Thank you to our servicemen and women!


If you go to this web site, www.LetsSayThanks.com you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq.

You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services. How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!! It is FREE and it only takes a second. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these? Whether you are for or against the war, our soldiers over there need to know we are behind them. This takes just 10 seconds and it's a wonderful way to say thank you. Please take the time and please take the time to pass it on for others to do. We can never say enough thank you's. Thanks for taking to time to support our military!