Pre-Holiday Links and Resources -Advent 2018 and Christmas

With Thanksgiving this week, Advent is following quickly behind it!

But besides the busy preparation for Christmas, there are a lot of things we can do to really observe the season of Advent! Over the years I have collected links and resources for the holidays that I thought would help me and my family prepare our hearts and spirits to celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus.  I haven't done everything on this list.  Some of it is a wish list, but there was something in every link that I thought was worthwhile.

Perhaps first on the list is actually getting our homes ready for the holidays:
Holiday Grand Plan or join their Yahoo Group E-mail List Declutter and Clean!
Also DeClutter and Organize on Facebook. 

and get your planner ready~  Advent and Christmas Planner from Catholic Icing or Advent Planner from Wildflower and Marbles. 

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7-Quick Steps

Join Jen and the other Quicktakers over at the Conversion Diary.

1. The The Redheaded Skeptic had a lot to say about Michelle Duggar protesting a liquor license at her local gas station. I've opined on the thread twice if you care to have a look.

2. One of the more ridiculous things I've read in the blogosphere of late is the strange idea that because it's hard for a mom to finish a thought it makes her somewhat less spiritually.

... well I guess that's as good an excuse as any, but it sounds like more of a cop out to me. Motherhood is challenging because it forces us out of our comfort zone and encourages us to grow in ways we never thought of before. But as in all things, we can only grow and learn new things with a teachable spirit.  New motherhood is the time to see the new things God wants to show us, provided we're open to it. The book Holiness for Housewives: And Other Working Women gives lots of ideas for ways moms and other busy women to enjoy and keep spirituality as a living vibrant part of their lives.  The prerequisite for spirituality isn't always a quiet, simple, life.

Besides, childhood isn't a permanent state and if moms wring their hands and worry about how life isn't what it was, they'll miss what it is and then wish they had it back again - the cycle of life is funny that way.

3. Speaking of life cycles, Calvin is getting ready to move out. I have somewhat mixed feelings about it.I figured that he could save at least $3000 a year by living at home, but that doesn't seem to sway his decision. Actually I kind of figured out I'm jumping through his hoops to get him to stay. He complained about the food- I changed the menu.  He complained about school books in the dining room, I cleaned up the classroom and moved all the books down there. He didn't want me to call him on his cell phone when he's out late at night - so I haven't.  But I think he was just yanking my chains and trying to find reasons to go.  Sam has big plans for his room anyway.

4.  Calvin did get a little comeuppance this week.  His girlfriend Sarah didn't meet him the way they had planned.  She didn't call and she didn't answer her cell phone either.  Calvin was panicked.  He called me twice to see if she was here. He also called her mom and got us both into a panic!  Then he went down to the university to drive around and see if he could find her car.  She turned up safe and sound, and annoyed that Calvin had panicked her mother!  But Mr. Pete drove the point home, "Remember all those times Calvin that you didn't come home? You didn't call us and you turned your cell phone off.  We had no idea where you were?  You just got a little taste of what we have felt over the last couple of years."   According to Mr. Pete, Calvin's face betrayed a gentle flush.

5. A few years ago my sister gave mom The Story of a Lifetime : A Keepsake of Personal Memoirs.  Mom only filled out the first page of it. I just found it in mom's things and  I am considering sending it (with sis's okay of course ) to my great Aunt Dot. She can finish the story that Mom started to tell and she certainly has a lot of first hand knowledge of it. Of course, the book will take on her voice but I think that will be very interesting to read.  It's a big volume though.  I wonder what she'll think if I send it to her?

6.  I am reviving our social life. We have dinner plans with another couple that we've known for years. It will be fun to get out for a few hours without the kids.  I'm going to invite some other couples to get together this spring as well. It's time.  

7.  Izzy watched a few episodes of Bridezillas, Say Yes to the Dress, and My Fair Wedding.  I consider it PreCana prep to the talk Mr. Pete and I will give in a few weeks. I was very pleased when Izzy said that she would NEVER spend that much money for a wedding dress, "I'll just wear yours mom?"  She's so sweet but we'll see how she feels in another 10 years - although Izzy is so creative I'll bet she could come up with her own dress design and it would be beautiful. Along the same lines, Calvin's girl mentioned that her idea of a fun reception is a backyard barbecue!  I wish I had thought of that!  Practical and fun!

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