Friday, January 3, 2014

The Past Seven Days of Christmas...

We're still very much in Christmas here.  It's so very tempting to want to skip ahead to the next event, sweep up Christmas and move right along but we try to make the effort to stay and steep in the season.  To gaze a little longer at the Babe and follow the promptings of our Church and the example of the magi spending these twelve days of Christmas seeking Him.

It feels quieter than most Christmases.  We haven't gone to as many places or planned as many things and have been just taking each day and deciding that morning what the day will look like.  Which can be hard for me.  But I think it's good for the moment.  We've had hours of time together.  We've played lots of games and done puzzles.  We've had visits from friends and family.  Cooking and chores have been at a bare minimum.  It's a nice break.  I'll certainly be ready to pick the routines and plans up again but I'm trying to ignore the itches and just stay here at the manger a bit longer and soak in the Newborn.  They'll be time enough for all that other stuff.

Some highlights from the last seven days of Christmas:

1.
A day to relax and recover...


2.
We came home from Mass on the feast of the Holy Innocents and the boys were shocked to find more gifts under the tree.  Their expressions were priceless.  These were the ones from Grandma and Grandpa that we had saved til then.  We like to space out the gifts a bit so it's not such a deluge on Christmas day.  It works well, I think, and the boys seem to appreciate them more this way.


The favorite, I think, has been Ticket to Ride and it has been given many many hours this past week:

Brian and I have been playing at night and the boys have been joining us for a few nap time games.  How fun is it that both Michael and John Paul are old enough to play with us?!  

That evening we had a family Christmas party at the fire station where I failed at taking any good pictures...


See?  Best I got.

3.
One morning we decided to treat our hens and birds to some Christmas feasts...


They appreciated it.  

4.
The feast of the Holy Family also happened to be David's feast day (yes, there really is one!!) so the boys spent some time that morning after Mass coloring pages of King David.  

And then, then...don't be jealous...we had the chance to go to a real square dance put on by our local homeschool group.  It was as fabulously corny and awesome as you're probably thinking.  The few pictures I got are purposely grainy and awful so that you don't feel too bad about not being there.  Also of note:  King David danced before the Lord and we went as a family.  So please do be impressed by our complete stretch of liturgical observance right there.  




It seriously was really fun.  I got the excuse to put my boys in overalls and got to skip down tunnels of people while holding a giggling toddler all while remembering how much more I should be exercising.  What more could you ask for?  

5.
Watching The Nativity Story.  We watch it every year and we do fast forward through some of the scarier parts.  The movie is so well done and I cry every time.

6.
On New Year's Eve we ventured out into the frigidness to the solemnity vigil Mass at the basilica which is breathtakingly beautiful and also happens to be the place where Brian and I tied the ole knot.  




The boys were so excited to see the creche and explore the beauty.  Watching their faces take it all in was such a gift.

Where Servant of God Nelson Baker is entombed.

Coming home to our annual ice cream dinner...


Normally we go out to an ice cream parlor but funny enough, not many ice cream places are open in the middle of winter in Western New York late in the evening on New Year's Eve.  

This silly one insisted on having one of those totally unremarkable popsicles that I made way back when (and yes, were still in the freezer...)

7.
And then I was so incredibly blessed to spend one of the most beautiful solemnities of the year and the first day of the year helping a client welcome their long awaited and precious baby girl into the world.  She is beautiful.

Hope your Christmas has been blessed and filled with Him.

  
Linking on up with Jen and the other quick takers...



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12 comments:

  1. It all sounds wonderful! We like to space out gifts as well, but we do it through out the day, I've never considered saving them for the other Feast Days immediately following Christmas - I get so many great inspirations from you!
    Wishing you all a blessed 2014.

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  2. You've had a great Christmas, from this reader's view. What a great place to go to Mass for a great feast day. I was so sad to be sick for her big day. I can't remember ever missing Mass that day. We're all going through a cough and sleep bug, so spending quite a quiet twelve days as well. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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    1. Oh, I'm so sorry you're sick! Hope you're all feeling better very soon!

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  3. I just loved all of this, Mary!! Merry Christmas - still!

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  4. We got Ticket to Ride and have enjoyed playing it as a family this past week! We spent our past few days holed up in a cabin in Sunriver - away from work, away from internet and away from the demands of regular life. It was a wonderful way to start a new year.

    Also...our homeschool group had a square dance event in November. Kevin wasn't thrilled with the idea of going, but he did - and he even did some do-si-do's!

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    1. Oh, now THAT deserves some pictures :) The vacation sounds so nice. Glad you were able to go!

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  5. So beautiful - all of it. I especially loved no. 1

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  6. What a truly beautiful week you all had! Ours was a bit rougher (sickness) with lovely bits here and there but not too many to photograph. I'm going to check out that game... been looking for a new one! And yes, I agree that it is so special when the kids are old enough to participate in adult games and conversations. There is a really nice feeling that comes with it along with the most excellent relationships (never mind the occasional teenage brain freezes). I know we're not supposed to be our kids "buddies" but I can't help sensing a number of amazing and deep friendships developing anyway!

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    1. Oh boy, I hope you guys are all better soon. I definitely was not taking as many pictures as I have in other years! And it's so nice to hear you say that. I'm really looking forward to those kind of relationships with my kids!

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  7. I am of the same mindset and we are still fully celebrating Christmas until the very last minute. Your boys are adorable!

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  8. Looks like a great vacation and very similar to ours. it's so nice to have hubbies home and be able to just spend time playing games and enjoying each other. Sorry we missed the square dance! I bet you were the best dressed family there!

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