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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This week we found out that Google Plus was hacked. And now apparently it is going to be discontinued. I had a Google Plus account and my blog posts showed up there, but I wasn't really active on it. I think I had a little over 200 followers there. I also used Google Plus for my comments on this blog, but I discontinued that this week. 

But that got me to start thinking - Blogger is a free service. I don't really pay anything to use it although I do pay for the domain name every year. Who is to say that Google couldn't choose to discontinue this free service at any time? 

So I'm biting the bullet and moving over to Wordpress. It's been a long time coming. I might be one of the few bloggers in the homeschool blogging word that actually likes Blogger. But I'm taking my time starting with deleting old things out of my archives that are dated. I don't really have a hard goal - I just want to do it correctly. I'll keep you posted. The best way to keep up with the blog is to sign up for the e-mail. I'll be sure to move my RSS feed when I move the blog. 

Next week, my article is all about some of the problems I have with how we handle the sacrament of confirmation. It's not ranty, but I do have some strong feelings about confirming the older kids, telling them it's not a graduation, and then treating it like a prize to be won after completing service hours, filling out paperwork, mandatory retreat attendance, etc. We are very goal oriented in the West, certainly in the United States. So, of course, putting down requirements with a goal that ends in a big ceremony and celebration is going to feel like a graduation! 

I have a bunch of great kids in my science class this year. We have great discussions and all of them participate in the experiments. 

This week, we had four experiments to do for Chapter 4 of Apologia's Physical Science. I spent a good part of the week making sure I had all of the materials I would need. On co-op day I spent a good 45 minutes setting everything up and double checking each experiment. I was positive that I would need the entire hour of class time to get it all done.

To my surprise, we were done in 30 minutes!  

I told my class, "I can't believe how quick and easy that was! We got done a lot faster than I thought we would." 

One of my students quipped, "It's not like it was hard!"

Not like it was hard for whom?

This makes me think I'm going to stop babying them and find a way for THEM to start doing the setup. Maybe I should just bring the materials in a box and tell them to figure it out. I'll have to think about it. 

This week we remember St. Pope John XXIII on his feast day. I certainly have my issues with the legacy of John XXIII, but I still think that perhaps the outcome would have been different if he had lived to the close of Vatican II. Nonetheless, he became pope at age 76 and I think it's worthwhile to note that there is no reason that older people can't take on big projects. While you're here, you can serve, and that's what Pope John XXIII did. I admire that. 

In a few weeks, I am going to have to take a plane trip to visit relatives out of state. Or we're going to drive 15 hours. We haven't decided yet. My brother-in-law is very ill and his family is having a birthday party for him. Of course, I will be going with Mr. Pete. 

With that in mind, after blogging about my knee this week, I decided that I should go and get my knee injected with cortisone shot just one more time before we leave. I thought then I would be pain-free if we fly or if we drive and we have to stop to eat and bathroom breaks. 

So I went to my doctor's office to pay my bill and make an appointment. They offered me a time on November 1 that I gladly took. On the way back home I started thinking about that. 

"Something happens on November 1," I thought. Of course, it's All Saints Day. But it wasn't until I went to bed at night, I remembered this. It's been 16 years. 

Grief is a funny thing. Something so raw and painful at one time has given way to time and distance. Still there, but not as powerfully. I think that's a good thing. 


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