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.  We took a trip that I have dreamed of for quite a while now. All six of my kids, plus Miss C., my daughter-in-law, and a long-time girlfriend were at the same place, at the same time for 3 days. It was amazing.
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We chipped in and rented a house for the long weekend that had enough beds for all of us to sleep, a kitchen to prepare food, and deck plus a fire pit. It was just great to relax and catch up together. We all drove 8 hours to get there,  (Calvin and Sarah drove 16 hours) but it was totally worth all of the time and effort to make this happen. I don't think we'll be together like that again until next summer when some of the first cousins get married!



2.  From time to time Mr. Pete has to be "The Garbage Fairy." 

We have one very large garbage bin provided to us by the City of Akron. We also have a second one that cost us an extra $50 a few years ago. Before we had the second one though, from time to time we had more garbage than would actually fit into the bin. When that happened, Mr. Pete would wait until nightfall and then go around the neighborhood finding trash bins that were only partially full and put one of our garbage bags in them.

This skill came in very helpful last weekend. We had put a large deposit down on our rental house and we wanted to make sure that we left the place in good shape so that we could get our deposit back. But as you can imagine, 11 people can generate quite a bit of garbage. Even though we took advantage of trash day by placing our trash at the curb, we still had three bags of garbage after the pickup. We didn't want to leave it for our hosts to dispose of, so Mr. Pete decided to do his Garbage Fairy routine and I decided to go with him.

We loaded three hefty bags full of garbage into the van and started scouring the streets for some garbage bins. At a nearby ball field, we saw several empty garbage containers. Mr. Pete drove up to one and got rid of one bag of garbage, careful to make sure that there would be room for other people to throw their trash away.

When we got to the third can I felt relief as Mr. Pete picked up our last garbage bag and headed towards it. But after he left, I saw that some of the trash and fallen out of the bag into the car. I picked that up and started to walk towards the closest garbage can.

At that moment, two municipal workers on riding lawnmowers came around the corner. Longtime readers will remember my knee issue. Although my knee feels great, I do not have a grateful stride yet. It's more like a hopping gallop. I wasn't altogether sure that these guys from the city would appreciate my effort to keep my car and rental house clean by using their facilities so I tried to hurry back to the car as best I could. Mr. Pete was already there urging me frantically to go faster.

When I got there he said, "You can't limp when you're the garbage fairy. You have to be able to 
Flip, flop and fly."

I didn't know there was a technique to that!

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Neal Jennings via Flickr, licensed cc. 



3. I got to see Aunt Dot at the family reunion. Mr. Pete and I went to see her again a few days later.

Here she is with Rosie and Sarah.
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At 99 years old, her body is failing her and her vision is almost gone, but her mind is still sharp and her memory is vast. She told me the sweetest story of how she met her husband, Uncle Al.

Uncle Al was the new kid in school. He and the preacher's son came to the first day of school together.

Dot was a spunky 9-year-old. One of her favorite things to do was to swing as high as she could on the swing and then jump off at the highest point and fly through the air.

When she saw these two 14-year-old boys standing in the schoolyard, she decided to show off a little bit. She got her swing going as high as she could and then she flung herself out of the seat, hoping to impress them with her skill and courage.

But it was not to be.

Her coat caught in one of the links of the swing chain and instead of shooting gracefully up in the air, she was tethered short. The swing grabbed her and pulled her quickly to earth and then dragged her in the dirt.

The preacher's son laughed out loud and Dot felt anger rising up inside of her. She thought to herself,
"If that new kid laughs, he's gonna really get it."

And he did. For the next 64 years!
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4.  I always thought that when my sons got married, I wanted to be a good mother-in-law like Naomi!
What I didn't count on, was getting a daughter-in-law like Ruth. My Daughter-in-law truly honors me and I am so blessed to have her.




5.  Yesterday was my 39-th wedding anniversary but we are celebrating later this weekend. We spent yesterday helping Miss C. use her tricycle and playing Barbier. She insisted that Mr. Pete be the voice of her Barbie and they had a lovely conversation. So lovely in fact, that the rest of the family sort of scattered throughout the house and left Mr. Pete to be with his granddaughter alone! After her dad picked her up, Mr. Pete trudged upstairs to bed.

"Playing Barbie for an hour is exhausting. I'd rather drywall a house or work on the car! I'm going to bed," he said.

Miss C. proclaimed him best grandpa ever! So he must really put some work into it!




6.   Speaking of the old testament, here's something that might make bible study a little easier.






I met Ana Willis in a Facebook Group for Homeschoolers. Her enthusiasm for homeschooling and supporting homeschool moms is so contagious that I reviewed her first online course and became an affiliate. 
She is currently offering an online course for 10 weeks this fall. Ana is uniquely qualified to teach this course. She lived in Jerusalem for 5 years. She studied at the Hebrew University for two years and graduated from the Isreal College of the Bible with a Bachelors of Arts in Bible and Judaic Studies. 

Hebrew letters always have the same sounds, unlike the English language that has many different sounds to many letters and confusing exceptions. 


The course covers 
- The Alef-Bet (Hebrew alphabet)
- Numbers
- Colors
- Shapes
- Greetings
- Basic vocabulary
- Biblical vocabulary
- Hebrew songs

In only 10 weeks students will be able to read, write and speak Hebrew for beginners and have basic conversations.
Although the class is for homeschooled children, she has had several adult students as well. 






7.  I am going to be having Miss C. five days a week this fall to homeschool along with Rosie. I really want us to get more into a  Bravewriter Lifestyle, particularly movie day and tea time! I found a lovely tea set for me and Rosie to use and I want to find a few more cups for Miss C. (just in case she accidentally breaks one.)

Rosie has become a prolific writer by following a Bravewriter philosophy and I want to pass that on to Miss C who also writes prolifically, although only she knows what she is writing!


Then lastly, I want to brush up on my high school record keeping skills since Rosie is now in 8th grade. This will be a good year to get all of that locked down because next year, it really starts to count! This free Webinar will be my first stop!



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