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

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1. I suppose it is a blessing in disguise that I had no clue how demanding this school year would be.  Maybe I was just in a state of denial or repressing reality, but the truth is, this year with my two high school students is going to be very hard - especially without a math tutor!

Izzy is doing Algebra 2, so I spent two hours this week watching Kahn Academy lessons on exponents.   Noah hasn't even started Pre-Calc yet.

And they're both doing chemistry which also starts out with a lot of math.

I am not a math person, never have been. So I find this to be a little intimidating.  On the positive side though, there are so many resources on line now to explain these concepts in ways that make them understandable, that we might actually make it through okay. I find that I can work the problems an explain them - so maybe it's just a confidence thing on my part.

2. We are witnessing the demise of the Labor Day weekend.  With cross country and soccer games scheduled this weekend, there really isn't an opportunity for families to get away for one last big weekend in the summer.

cross country 2015 Noah 103
gabe reffing
I enjoy the sports - but it's kind of a shame.

3. Longtime readers will know that I have a thing about vaccinations.  I am not anti-vaccinations.  I am 100% informed consent and 100% for parents being the ones to make medical decisions for their children in partnership with their doctors after receiving ALL of the risks, benefits, options and potential complications.

With that in mind, I did not get the chicken pox vaccination for my kids for a couple of reasons:

Izzy and Noah never got chicken pox and they are in the last two years of high school, so I was planning to get them the immunization before they left home 

My plan changed drastically Friday when I got the e-mail that a child at co-op had just come down with chicken pox and that all three of my children had been exposed.  ugh.

Remembering that Noah couldn't finish his track season last year,  I felt that I needed to do all in power to try and protect his cross country season. I also knew that these childhood diseases are a lot worse on adults and older teens.  On line I read that if the chicken pox vaccination is given within 5 days of exposure, there is a 62% chance that they won't get the disease at all,  or that it will be a mild case. So after speaking to my pediatrician we ended up going to nearby Walgreens for chicken pox vaccines and all three kids got them.  If we can make it to the end of the month, we should be fine. 

Oh, and the kid that got the chicken pox and exposed the co-op - was vaccinated against them!

4. Noah had quite the week! Besides running every single day, he also had his first ever soccer game to work as an assistant. He also started chemistry and economics this week, and passed his CLEP test in Biology!

5. This year our co-op is also tackling Economics for the high schoolers. I didn't think that Izzy would like it very much, but she actually talked about it quite a bit- especially the part about appealing to customers and trying to find her niche market.  And it's a good thing too because next week she will be selling some of her creations at a local art fair.  That will be her first taste of capitalism as a vendor.  She's already made a lot of product and has her wares bagged and priced.  It will be interesting to see how she does with it her first time out!
izzy art 001
6. I have one more wedding to facilitate at church this year.  It's been quite a ride.

One of my more notable moments of the year came again from a mother of the groom.  That lady chastised me just before she went down the aisle for not making sure that she had her flower .

I am not the florist. It is not my job to figure out what flowers were ordered and who gets what corsage or bouquet, although I am happy to help pin the boutonnieres and corsages if I have to.  The key word there is "help."

This is the second time in my 13 years of doing this that I have been chewed out by the mother of the groom.  I don't get it.  I've recently been the groom's mom; it's not a high pressure position!!

Pinning the Corsage
Jose and Rosanne via Flickr  licensed cc

One wedding pays for three art lessons for my two daughters. I usually just bite my tongue and try to think of that.
Izzy art

7. I really enjoy listening to the Michael Medved show in the afternoon. I find him to be entertaining and informative, but I don't always trust his judgement. In fact, I have profoundly disagreed with him now three times:

  • When he endorsed John McCain for president.
  • When he trashed the Time Travelers Wife in a review
  • and now when he opined that Clerk of courts, Kim Davis just resign her position because she says that she cannot issue same sex marriage licenses.
Matt Walsh had a great article on his blog this week that discussed this and it made me start to wonder, if all of the conservative Christians leave government at all levels, will this country really be better off?  I some how doubt it.  

The abolitionists didn't give up after the Dred Scott Decision, and pro-lifers didn't give up after Roe v. Wade?  so I think supporters of traditional, natural marriage have to continue to fight this unjust law as well. 

Besides, weren't we all told that if same sex marriage became legal, it wouldn't affect our lives at all? Apparently, That's. Not.  True.  Instead it seems we have to not only accept the law, but agree to participate as well - or else. 


  1. Anonymous7:51 PM

    Elena, would you mind sharing a copy of the soccer pic? Thanks!

    1. I think I put it on the shutterfly site, but it's also on Flickr, so help yourself!


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