We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. ~Isaiah 64:8

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Third Annual Advent Carnival

Welcome to the Third Annual Advent Carnival!

This little carnival began in 2007 as a way to connect with other liturgically-minded bloggers (and blog readers). You can enjoy those carnivals, too: 2007 and 2008.

We all hope you find some inspiration for starting or continuing your family's Advent tradition!

History of Advent
Advent is the first season of the Church Year, starting four Sundays before Christmas (the Sunday nearest November 30th) and ends on Dec. 24th, Christmas Eve. The Advent season was formally established by the church at the Council of Tours in 567 as a period of fasting and preparation for the 12-day feast of Christmas. Our Eastern Christian friends (Eastern Orthodox) begin their Advent or Nativity Fast much earlier, the middle of November (40 days before Christmas).

:-: Deb, a long-time blogging friend and convert to Eastern Orthodoxy, has some lovely and simple Advent ideas for Easter OR Western Christians at her blog Deb on the Run. Don't miss her lovely Jesse Tree!

Learning about Advent
The word Advent comes from the latin "adventus", which means "coming", which was a translation of the Greek "parousia" a term that is often used for the Second Coming. Thus Advent is a season of looking forward to the immediate coming (of Christmas) and the future return of Christ.

Learning about Advent . . .
:-: Papa Bear from Goldilocks and the Three Bears shares a series of posts describing their journey to discovering Advent: How a Simple Tradition Led from Commercialism to Christ.
Learning during Advent. . .
:-: Elizabeth
In the Heart of My Home has a load of Advent and Christmas links, including a few of her fantastic lesson plans for homeschoolers. BUT after you read those, don't miss her post about doing Advent "Right": Advent and the Generous Person

Preparation of the heart
Advent is a season of fasting, reflection, and preparation of hearts and homes, much like Lent, but with a decidedly festive undercurrent.

:-: Ann from Learning As We Go has written a series of devotions to use with your family during Advent all on the theme of PREPARATION. She has offered to email the full curriculum (with crafts and full children's church routines) to anyone interested.

Exploring symbols and meaning
Many families enjoy making and using an Advent wreath made of evergreens. You may use any type of greenery you like or have on hand. We have huge rosemary bushes which need cutting back, so we often use some rosemary mixed in with other greenery. Here are some of the types of evergreens and their symbolic meanings:
  • Pine , the most common evergreen, points to Everlasting Life,
  • Laurel (Bay), which was used to crown those who won in the games, signifies victory.
  • Cedar , because it is long lasting and aromatic, is symbolic of strength and healing.
  • Juniper , Holly, and Rosemary By legend these plants provided shelter and help for the Holy Family when they fled from Bethlehem to Egypt. The fragrance of rosemary, it has been said, began when the Virgin Mary laid out the Infant Jesus’ clothes to dry on this plant. The rosemary bush responded by perfuming the Christ Child’s clothing.
    Holly . Its prickly leaves remind us of the Crown of Thorns. Its red berries remind us of the Blood of Jesus shed for us upon the Cross.
  • Ivy , since it is frequently used as a decoration, has always been a symbol of joy and festivity.

:-: Amy from Splendor in the Ordinary challenges us to enjoy new and different traditions and ideas, but not to miss the depth and richness of the ones we might already enjoy. Don't miss her further links on Advent Wreaths and Christmas Traditions, The Jesse Tree, Favorite Christmas Books, and an Advent music playlist!

Each week's candle also has a symbolic meaning

First Week of Advent - Hope
Arise, shine; For you light has come! And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people But the Lord will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you. Isaiah 60: 1-3

:-: My friend at Two Square Meals shares a winsome and touching post about last year's Advent when she not only awaited the birth of Christ, but the birth of her third child: God Made Flesh.

Second Week of Advent - Love
Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 40:4-5

:-: Amy, from Frankly Journaling, an "in-real-life" friend, shares how she came to appreciate and love the liturgical form of worship and how she is teaching her children to love it, too, in her family's Advent celebrations. If you are new to Advent or liturgy, don't miss her Journey to Advent!

Third Week of Advent - Joy
. . . and the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 35: 10

:-: The Olive Grove tells us about her Advent as a "baptist with liturgical longings" and how simplifying in Advent has made Christmas more meaningful. She has discovered that by giving up some things (or really postponing them) she has gained much more. She also promises more posts about Advent in Keeping Advent: What's Missing?

Fourth Week of Advent - Peace
For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given. And the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6-7

:-: Amy, a dear and gracious blogging friend, who has mercifully forgiven me for my oversight, is Escaping into Advent on her blog On a Joyful Journey. I adore that phrase. I'm going to meditate on that. ~~~ She also has posted a great list of meaningful and fun movies for Advent and Christmas. Anyone who loves White Christmas, A Christmas Carol (from 1951) and Elf definitely has my kind of movie taste!

:-: And finally, my post from last year: The Advent That Almost Wasn't. I was always (and still am) a fan of "The Year Without A Santa Claus", well last year was almost the year without an Advent, and just like that story, in the end I realized what I might be missing. And a link to a collection of my previous Advent posts, including a 5 part series on our family's many Advent traditions!

Just as I posted the carnival I got a sweet email with another post. Some how a late-comerseems appropriate for Advent, so I'm adding it in . . .

:-: Lindsey from Reading Red Letters has a few ideas for Advent, too!

We hope you enjoyed the carnival! Please tell your friends about, and feel free to borrow the image to do so. If you post about Advent, please leave a link in the comments, so we can come visit!

O Lord, stir up our hearts that we may prepare for Thy only begotten Son that through His coming we may be made worthy to serve Thee with pure minds through Christ our Lord.

Looking for Advent?

Are you looking for Advent ideas or resources: Advent wreath, Advent calendar, Jesse Tree, St. Nicholas, St. Lucy or others?

:-: Advent books for families and individuals

:-: Saints for Advent: Saint Nicholas and Saint Lucia

:-: The Advent That Almost Wasn't - be sure to scroll down for links to simple Advent ideas.

:-: Rethinking the Christmas Craze - my rant, or not.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Advent Carnival Tomorrow

Only 2 more days until Advent!
Are you:
  • new to celebrating Advent?
  • looking for some new ideas for Advent?
  • just love to read what other people are up to during Advent?
Then you don't want to miss the Advent Carnival!

On Saturday, November 28th, this blog, A Ten O'Clock Scholar, will host the Third Annual Anglican Advent Traditions Carnival. It will feature posts from Anglican and other liturgical-minded bloggers with ideas, links, resources, thoughts, and more for Advent. Want to see what we did in 2007 and 2008?

Like to contribute? Today is the last day for submissions! Here are the guidelines:
  1. Write a post (or posts, you may submit as many as you like) about how your family celebrates Advent, resources you use, link collections - anything you like, really, but stick to the topic of Advent. Remember it is not Christmas, yet! You do not have to be Anglican to contribute!

  2. Email a link to your post to me at kerrysblogs (at) gmail (dot) com TODAY, Friday, Nov. 27th. Please include the post title and your name (or the name you'd like me to use).

  3. Update your post with a link to the Advent Carnival's main page once the Carnival is published on the 28th.

  4. Help us get the word out! Email friends, announce it on your blog, twitter, facebook - whatever!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Daybook - Monday, November 23rd

outside my window . . . solid gray sky reflected in charcoal puddles. My front beds looking a bit bedraggled.

in the kitchen . . . making ahead lots of food today and tomorrow and the next day for our Thanksgiving celebration. Oh, and last night I made a REALLY easy pot of soup. Literally, open, pour, stir, serve: 2 boxes of Trader Joe's Creamy Corn and Roasted Pepper soup, 2 cans of corn, 2 cans of black beans (rinsed well), and a 7oz jar of pimentos. I added a little shredded cheese when I served it. You could make it a bit heartier by adding some browned ground or shredded chicken/turkey/beef. It is really SO delicious!

around the house . . . lots of cleaning and decluttering to get ready for Thanksgiving and the holiday season. The kids have all gotten their cleaning assignments. I'm polishing silver today - among other things.


on my iPod . . . adding some Advent music to my iPod this week.

from our studies . . . the next few days are all about "Home Ec"!

thinking about . . . the upcoming Advent Carnival. I can't wait to see the posts!

listening to. . . my dog, who sounds like she is trying to hack up a hairball. The kids discussing a Pink Panther movie my middle daughter is making up.

thankful for. . . our cash budget. It is such a relief to go spend money I have in my hand and not worry about "going over".

creating . . . I might start on that crochet Christmas star garland this week.


to foster rhythm and beauty . . . some fresh flowers for our Thanksgiving table. Reviewing previous year's Advent traditions and adding a new one: a Jesse Tree.

to live the liturgy . . . gathering for our family altar-space: a purple cloth, a new candle and making upcoming feast day icons for Advent.

to educate faithfully . . . gathering resources for an Advent lesson plan based mostly on Jan Brett's Christmas Treasury and our new Jesse Tree.


one of my favorite things . . . my little secretary desk in the corner of my dining room. It is a tiny little corner, but it is MY corner.

a few plans for the upcoming week . . . meetings for me tonight and tomorrow night, my mom arrives Tuesday, Thanksgiving dinner of course on Thursday, maybe shopping on Black Friday, maybe a trip downtown to see the sights on Saturday.

a picture thought I'm sharing . . .

This is my tiny corner.

Enjoy more Daybooks at Peggy's!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Advent Music on YouTube

Two of my blog friends, Juanita and Amy, have created YouTube playlists for Advent music. How wonderful is that? Check it out:

:: Amy at Splendor in the Ordinary - Advent Music Playlist

:: Juanita at The Olive Grove - Advent Music videos and Playlist

I might make one, too. If you make a playlist, leave a comment with the link!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One year ago today. . .

One year ago today, we received and accepted, the referral of our fourth child and second daughter, Baby L. Here is the first photo we saw of her. . .

And here she is a year later. . .

We are celebrating today with a homemade cake and Jollof Rice - my first attempt at some good Ghanaian cooking. (Aimee - if you are reading this - Jollof Rice!! - and a vegetarian version!)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Daybook - Tuesday, November 3rd

Daybook, or perhaps Nightbook, for November 3rd, 2009

outside my window . . .
The night has fallen suddenly. It will take a few days for me to get used to the earlier sunsets.

in the kitchen . . .
Cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot yesterday, broth made in said crockpot overnight, and chicken and rice soup tonight. Super easy and delicious!

around the house . . .
My laundry is seriously starting to pile up.

from our studies . . .
We finished House of the Sixty Fathers today. Such a sad, sweet story. The last word: The heart understands without words. Proud of eldest son (DS 13) who made a great effort with his Logic this week . . . my brain hurts, though. Middle son (DS 10) loves perimeter - I'm thinking I can sneak in some addition practice with perimeter problems. Middle daughter (DD7) is making great strides in reading!

thinking about . . .
introverts and the church - how modern evangelicalism's extroversion tends to look on introverts as less spiritual.


listening to. . .
my kids experimenting with a tin can "phone" - although I think they've given up on the phone part and are just knocking it around the house.

thankful for. . .
that crockpot chicken - I was under the weather today and not having to cook was a lifesaver.

pondering the words . . .
You do not realize the value of the good you are doing. Think of how the farmer sows without seeing his crop in front of him. He trusts in the land to deliver his harvest. So why don't you put your trust in God? The day of the harvest will surely come.Imagine yourself in the middle of the planting season. The more we sow today, the more we can reap tomorrow. Remember those words of Holy scripture: "He that goes forth weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him" (Ps 125:6).
St Augustine, Sermon 102,5 - HT The Happy Catholic

reading . . .
Flannery O'Connor: The Complete Stories, Lost to the West, and still the Divine Comedy

kids are reading: Wind in the Willows, Children's Homer, Pocahontas and the Strangers, The Dawn Treader, The Lord of the Rings, and just finished H
ouse of the Sixty Fathers.

creating . . .
trying to finish up some hats . . . just haven't found the time, yet! But at least now I have a wonderful yarn tote from my friend, Julie, to carry my project around with me.


one of my favorite things . . .
My mini rolling oil heater. It takes the chill off our bathroom on these early fall and winter mornings...it is so toasty warm!

milestones in the past week . . .
Baby L has 4 teeth coming in, that is a total of 6 teeth!

a few plans for the upcoming week . . .
Going to see a show at our Children's Theatre on Thursday, and African music and dance show!

a picture thought. . .

Youngest daughter (DD1), aka Baby L, and I enjoying a giggle and a box of dots.

Did you enjoy this post? Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS to receive my blog updates.