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Showing posts from December, 2011

A Christmas Tradition - Oplatki

Most Polish will know this one, this thin wafer symbolizing a long standing, tradition done at Christmastime: Oplatki.  Ever since the very first Christmas that I spent with my dear HH's family, I have lived this familial tradition, and with it, stages of my own emotional reaction to it.

For those of you interested in incorporating something new into your Christmas, this tradition begins with a rectangle shaped wafer, usually having some image of the Nativity on the surface.  Each person breaks off a small piece of another's while at the same time wishing or praying for some grace or virtue for God to bestow upon them. 

My husband's family has always included some additional feature to this process, just prior to a prayer or wish, is the recognition of some gift the other has....something admirable.  In teaching my children how to participate each year, we remind them, "Say something you love about them, then what you wish for them, and then break a piece off and eat…

Small Successes Friday

Yes, it's almost Christmas....two days away, and so much has been done in preparation, but I still need Small Successes as they remind me the why and how.  With each small victory, it all adds up, one at a time, small chunks into one huge WIN!

1.)  Made Christmas candies and goodies.

2.)  Taught budgeting lesson to four oldest children and helped them wrap.

3.)  Did laundry.

In Progress:

4.)  Christmas outfit discernment.

Have some to share.  Go here!  And Merry Christmas to you!

Best Line of the Week - Christmas Edition

After teaching a budgeting lesson to my oldest four children.....

Mom:  So, after you all spent your piggy bank money to buy some gifts, what have you learned about Christmas shopping?

Knight: IT'S EXPENSIVE!

Mom:  Yes, good point.  Anyone else?

Thinker:  You have to be smart in what you are buying.

Entertainer:  That it's hard to spend the money!

Mom:  Yes, that's right too.  Anyone else?

Serious:  That I love my family more than I love money.

A Soft Place to Land

A recent conversation with a fellow school Mom had me thinking....

She said, while she may be stressed out, overwhelmed at the Christmas season and all that she must do to be prepared, she insisted that her goal is and has always been, to be a "soft place to land".

I nodded in agreement as I understand how this month can get a tad crazy, and it IS overwhelming to ensure all in the home, not only understand the miracle of Christmas, but to bring to life all the nuances that create those special Christmas memories.

She said, even in the craziness, she knows what her family still needs, and it's a place to come home to that is love, that is acceptance, that is comfort.  Her "soft place to land" was her home, was her own softer demeanor, her own love and willing arms to comfort.

I sat and thought about that for a while. 

Am I a "soft place to land" for my family to come home to?  Am I accepting of who they are, willing to embrace even the weaknesses that…

A Birthday Trifecta

Oh, how my mind imagines such a joyful Advent, such a time of waiting, anticipating and hearing the carols to bring my mind into the Christmas Season.  I can picture leisurely afternoons of decorating Christmas cookies and enjoying every minute of the painstakingly long process of decorating the house, each tinsel thread so delicately hung with care.  I imagine the excitement building as my husband and I sit by the fire, telling stories to our children of the coming Baby Jesus. 

I see it all, so perfectly calculated in my mind's eye, and yet, I am always surprised when it doesn't happen just so.  The past three weeks of Advent, have been rushed, crossing things off a to-do list, and one by one, realizing there just isn't enough hours in the day to accomplish it all.

It is a busy month, there is no doubt.  The long lines in the stores prove the point, that we all scurry here and there to accomplish all our set out goals for Christmas.  This month for us, we celebrate two o…

Small Successes Thursday

So, I typed up three different blog posts and haven't been back to insert a pic or hit that darn 'publish' button.  I think I'll stick to Small Successes, today:  it's short and sweet and perfect for the craziness that December always brings.  Count them up folks, our small wins do add up.

1.)  Found "Guest At The Inn" costume for Thinker and three "Shepherd" costumes for my kiddos Christmas production.  Filtering through Halloween goul to find a guest and shepherds was depressing to say the least....but done in time.  Woo - hoo!

2.)  After gaining a few for Thanksgiving treats, lost them again with a disciplined diet, no time for exercise as of late.  All set for Christmas candies and cookies!

3.) Suffered through a series of migraines, couldn't sleep, eat or think.  So what's the success?  I figured out the problem and am working to fix it.  A debilitated Mom  =  A debilitated Family.

In Progress:
4.)  Finding quiet time to prepare mys…

First Sacrament Emboldens

My Little Serious just had her First Reconciliation Tuesday night, and while we've been through this before with two older children, something new hit me this time as we waited for her turn to reconcile herself and her soul with God.

This Sacrament, so beautifully timed in a child's life, is probably going to be the first they remember, as Baptism usually happens while they are still babies.  Reconciliation, timed in the 2nd grade, not only has the spiritual dimension of the cleansing of the soul, which I in no means am minimizing...it also brings the children closer into the Church, closer into the community of Faith as well as face to face with the reality of their mistakes.  It affects the whole Church, and while they might not see it, this Sacrament starts the steps of children taking the charge over their own soul. 

Parents will guard the innocence and dignity of this little person for so long, for my Serious almost 8 years now, and while I fully understand my job is not…