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 Takes

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

1.  School started around here last Thursday (an odd day to start to my way of thinking!)  But the cross country season has already started.  Noah has been in three cross country meets already and Rosie had her first one yesterday.

Noah is in the top 7 runners for the high school.   He is trying very hard to run the 5K in under 20 minutes and yesterday he came very close with a time of 20:02.
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2.  A funny story from last week's meet - apparently the high school boys sort of get a kick out of some of us older runners and walkers who make little grunting sounds while we're exerting so much effort.  They think it's funny  - of course they're in the peak physical conditions of their lives, so what do they know!  anyway...

Last week Noah and two of his team mates were battling it out for 4th place. They were all running at top speed and yet they couldn't break away from one another.  As they neared the finish line, one of them (I'm not saying who) started making that high pitched grunting sound - and all three of them cracked up.   It was really funny to watch these guys working so hard with grins on their faces!

and indeed they all finished with identical times in the 4th spot.

2.  Rosie finished as the 6th girl yesterday.  Her friend Olivia was 3rd.  For such a hot day (and racing around noon!) I thought they both did great!

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3. Friday we went to our annual homeschool group day at the beach. We took little Miss C. with us. As it turns out, my granddaughter will be spending most Friday's with us and will also be going to a lot of our activities. I think that will be so great for her, because she really is a social baby and always has been. She wants to watch and see and do! Especially DO!

Beach ballerina baby

She's so lucky to have her godfather/uncle to help take good care of her too!

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4. My oldest might be moving to Toledo, which is about three hours from here.  I always knew that was a possibility and I'm glad I guess that it's only a few hours a way.  Since this area is saturated with paramedic schools and paramedics, his best opportunities will be in a different part of the state.  I'm told that if he goes just over the state line to Michigan he might be able to make three times what he makes now and that makes me feel very content about his future - I know he will be able to take care of himself well.

5.  And he's a good big brother too - he took Noah to the football game the other night and they had a great time.   So grateful that they get times to bond like that.


6. I am really feeling so sad about Joan Rivers this weekend, maybe even worse than I felt about Robin Williams. I haven't always liked her comedy and I think sometimes she's been a bit to vulgar and hard on other people, but I have always admired her grit and her courage, especially as she got older.  She's 81 now- the same age my mom was when she passed away. I think this clip of Joan with Bristol Palin at about 2:28 is closer to how the real Joan is.

7. If you're here from my stalker's blog over at, I'd like to clarify what I said about "twerking."

My first brief mention if it was here, and here. 

Then out of curiosity, I searched for the words "high school" and twerking over at Youtube and found out that some places actually have "Twerk squads!" Check it Out!

It's the gift that keeps on giving- this dance off during a school assembly. Uh... wholesome fun right here ya'll. Aside from all the other provocative moves and inappropriate music the twerking commences at about 10:15.

You sure they aren't teaching this in gym class Jen?  Because it sure shows up a lot in actual gymnasiums on Youtube.