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 the other Quicktakers at This Ain't the Lyceum.



1. 
My brother-in-law, Paul, was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was given a grim prognosis; the family was stunned. So the older brothers arranged for an early birthday party to be held in Paul's honor. The family drove from near and far to attend the festivities last weekend. 

Mr. Pete and I set out last Thursday morning leaving Izzy and Noah to keep up the home front and take care of their little sister! From all reports, they did a great job doing both (although I did come home to a sink full of pots and pans. They got their sister to her choir rehearsals and to the big 90th Anniversary Mass for our parish so that she could sing with the choir. They also managed to get Rosie and Miss C. to Sunday school the next day. She even got in a run. 


2. 
It's a  15-hour drive from Akron OH to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We drove 11 hours the first day and stayed overnight in Missouri. We only had a 5-hour drive the next day, so we took some time to drive to Branson, MO to visit the Titanic Museum.

That was well worth the drive. On the outside, the museum looks a little touristy (as does much of Branson). The facade of the building is a replica of the ship crashing into the iceberg. When you enter the museum after purchasing your tickets they give you a boarding pass with the name of an actual person from the Titanic. If you are with a group, the very impressive and knowledgeable tour guides take you through the museum and give points of interest. If you are alone, like Mr. Pete and me, they give you something to wear around your neck so that you can do the self-guided tour. We did a little bit of both because we were sandwiched between two tour groups. I'll blog more on that next week. 

Titanic Museum Branson MO





3.  
When we finally made it to OKC, we got to spend a lot of time with Paul and his family. There wasn't a sense of sadness really, more of acceptance. They also shared their story and Paul explained the symptoms that let him know that something was going on. All of their children were there, taking breaks from their lives in other places to spend important time with their family. 

I loved getting a chance to chat and spend time with my fellow sister-in-laws, two of which are godmothers to my kids. It was also great to see my nieces and nephews who have grown up to be very kind adults. 






Lavictoire brothers

Maybe the best part was having all of the brothers together for pictures and storytelling. The spirits of Mumma and Daddy had to be there too because the brothers shared stories from their childhood and how their parents taught them a strong work ethic. Isn't that what all parents want? For their kids to grow up to be self-sufficient, kind adults, who love each other, and think kindly of their parents?  It was a night to remember. 

4. This is "Bikes in a Tree." It stands outside Paul's home. He made it over time and it's kind of a landmark now. It's beautiful and this picture does NOT do it justice. 

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5. 
 We went to mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help which is just blocks away from my brother-in-law's home. It is a beautiful church with lovely stained glass windows depicting the lives of Mary and Jesus. 




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We also managed to visit the Oklahoma City Memorial before we left town. It is one of the loveliest, well-thought-out memorials that I have ever seen.

6.  
When we were traveling to OKC, we stopped at the Will Rogers rest stop just inside the Oklahoma border from Missouri.  These wonderful Western-style purses were for sale there. They are big and roomy and also have a place for a concealed carry weapon. I don't have my concealed carry license yet but I thought this might be handy to have for when I finally get that accomplished. But I didn't get it because it was a little extravagant for me at $50. 

On the way out of state, I asked Mr. Pete to stop again and I vowed that if the purse was still there, I was going to get it. It was, and I did. 

The next night, I made an unexpected $50 at a rehearsal - so I guess it was meant to be!


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7.  
Friday Freebie - How to Homeschool Through a Financial Storm!!  I have totally been there. In fact, I homeschooled 6 kids with Mr. Pete working at his business and me working part-time from home. It was tough but we did it and raised successful adult children with full-time jobs and even on the honor roll at his college. 






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