Monday, November 28, 2011

"Can you go down to the storage closet and find the Advent wreath? And I think some candles are in the sideboard drawer."

10 minutes later.

"Are the candles in here? These ones? What color should they be?"

"Purple and pink. Three purple and one pink. I've only been Catholic for six years. You've been Catholic for your whole life. Why do I know these things and you don't?"

"Because it never mattered."

"Oh. Could you also find the nativity set?"

"Already did."

"Hey, what's that? Can I play with that?"

"After you finish your dinner."

Advent to us is a good time to teach. It is a good time to find quiet. It is a good time to seek peace. It is a wonderful time to start family traditions. It is a great time to remember and give thanks. It is a good time to recognize that life isn't about instant gratification. And it is the right time to put Christmas giving and receiving in perspective.

The kids are young. 5 years, 3 years and only 6 months old. I feel like they are little people to shape, form, and help grow into conscious Catholics. How do you tell a 3 year old about waiting. They wait for everything. And they don't usually like waiting for anything. At 3 years old, I don't think delayed gratification makes the end not sweeter.

How do you really help a 5 year old understand that there are others among us who will receive nothing this Christmas but the light of Jesus? How do you show him that the commercialism that surrounds him is just a facade? And how do you address his wonderment that a Saint can actually give us presents and he leaves them under a tree?

How do you keep the 6 month old from army crawling up to the tree and helping himself to those shiny low-hanging ornaments? How do you keep those keen little grabbing fingers away from the pine needles and out of the tinsel? How do you concentrate on his first solid foods when the party/gift-giving/school holiday cheer event calendar is growing wings and taking flight?

This holiday season I hope to bring it all back down to earth. I plan to bring it back to our family. Bring it back to our spirits. Bring it back to the lights on our advent wreath we dine by each Sunday night. Bring it back to family prayer before bed-time and upon waking up in the morning. Bring it back to wonderful stories about the birth of our Saviour. And bring it back to the love Jesus shows us each day.

"Peace be with you."
"And also with your spirit."

knitting for Christmas

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Yesterday, Black Friday, instead of going to the stores, I stayed home. Hubby brought the two kids, who can walk and use the potty now, to their grandparent's home for a day-long visit. And it was a day-long break for mama. Pie-pie stayed home for a little R&R and nursing in peace and quiet. It was GLORIOUS.

I managed to get some Christmas crafting accopmlished, without interruption. I also just sat and knit, and knit, and knit while Pie-Pie did some pre-knitting-exploration. Quite. Baby coos. Hot tea. Soft knitting. A bit of time, taken amidst such flurry, chaos, and movement in prepration of the holiday season. Like, I said, it was GLORIOUS.

Artistic freedom

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

When you let small hands go, you never know where they will take you. Just a few sea shells (admittedly from a store and not the shore) glass pieces and some sand. All tucked together in a pie pan. Add a little imagination and off they go. Color. Texture. Sound even. Bits of real learning, and self expression in a quiet afternoon at home.

Artistic phases

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Artists go through phases. They think through their medium. They express their feelings about the world and their lives in it as they know it at that moment. I believe this is what Little Miss is doing right now.

Each time we talk about her art, I find out a little bit more about her perspective and how her eyes see what surrounds her each moment of each day.

This figure is her "piggy," her "self-portrait," and her "friends." (And has been used to represent Santa, Ammy and Gramps, and a couple of other people.) This is her phase. This is her feelings about life.

Features have changed over time. The mouth used to be drawn below the chin. The mouth was always flat. No expression. Sometimes arms come out of the head, and there seems to be no body. And those long antennas, they are "pig-tails." And they kind of do look like the kind we put in her hair every morning.

How keen is that 3 year-old, almost 4 year-old artistic eye. I wonder what expression she will adopt next.


Monday, November 21, 2011

Sometimes there is a situation that warrants a new start. I had decided to stop blogging. It is a lot of time and energy to organize your life around posts. "What can I do today that can be written up as an interesting blog post?" "Did I get that shot?" Too much time, not enough flow. Not enough of me.

It seemed contrived. It seemed like trying. It seemed like stress.

Here I hope to start new. Start again without expectations. Start with humility. Start with the hope that I can put down on virtual paper that which strikes me, that which makes me pause, and that which I love. So that I can remember, reflect, and give thanks.

I am a veteran blogger. I am a wife to a wonderful husband truly is a partner. I am a mother to three wonderful children. I am a contributor to our school communities, to our church community and our mom's group community. I am a daughter, a sister, a neice, and a friend. I am a knitter, a cook, a baker, a housekeeper, a sewer, a crafter, a creator, and a planner. I am living life, my life.
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