As we sat eating breakfast this morning, I just had to go outside! We got about a half-inch of snow, the sun was shining, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bluer sky! By myself, I went for a nature walk. I’m resurrecting this blog to put up a photo essay of the first snow, February 13, 2014.
Archive for the ‘Winter days’ Category
Editor’s Note… Here is another unfinished post from February 2012….
Well, it is quite a day out today! The calendar says February 23, but it feels more like May! How are little children suppose to learn that one should not wear short sleeve shirts in the middle of Winter?
We took a nice little walk with the new puppy. At first it was Charlotte, Vincent, MaryEllen and I. A short time later James and Veronica found us. Veronica at 3 is so busy. The girls found an old turtle shell that their brothers had found years ago and put up. Veronica took it with her and kept stopping to wash it in the side creek, which is running quite well today. On top of being unseasonably warm today (if there is such a thing in southern middle Tennessee), it is very windy. We were standing a while just to hear the wind blow. It sounded like sticks breaking, but nothing fell. Upon looking up to the tree tops you could see what was making all that racket. All of the young trees were clanging together since there are no leaves. As we were crossing a little part of the creek Veronica looked very carefully to see just where she would cross. She took one step and stopped. “Oh!” She exclaimed. “I think I’ll take this with me,” she said as she took one of the bigger rocks from the creek.
Joe and John attended the men’s conference again this year. Last year the speakers were Deacon Alex Jones and Philip Rivers. This year the speakers were Ambassador Alan Keys and Apologist Tim Staples. John met and talked to both gentleman. He didn’t get a picture with Alan Keys, but got up close and Joe snapped one…
Here is John with Bishop Baker and Tim Staples:
Well, we did not send out Christmas cards, figuring that we would wish every one Merry & Blessed Greetings when the new baby arrived. Well, the new baby did indeed arrive and has been here over a week now. Yesterday before Mass we took some family pictures and NOT ONE came out!!! We would have had a few possibilities, but I did not see Veronica’s tongue out in time. Ugh!!
Also, the weather has been crazy. It was raining for a few days with highs in the 70s. We had our pond back and the kids were boating on the pond. Here it is January and it was warm enough for that. They were “ponding” yesterday because it was nice and warm and then we went to 4 pm Mass. When we came out after Mass and it was freezing!!!! As we left for Mass there was a thunder storm going on with a lot more rain. Today winter was back with a fury. It was sleeting a lot today. MaryEllen commented on how strange it was that yesterday they were in the pond and today they are in snow suits. Oh, the weather in Tennessee!
We hope you all had a Merry and Blessed Christmas and have a wonderful 2013. One of these days you may get a greeting from us, but at this rate, who knows!
Do you remember Bob Ross, the painter, and his happy little trees? This Christmas brought a Bob Ross DVD. The children had never seen him or really heard of him. We spent New Year’s Eve day watching the DVD. On New Year’s Day we found ourselves at Hobby Lobby and Kevin bought a knife. He came home and worked on a painting. Here it is…
Also, the other day we were leaving to go to Mass. On the way out I could not help but to stop and take a photo of our Rosey Toes kitty cat…
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. And have a blessed New Year 2013! God bless!
We recently took advantage of the beautiful weather to take a field trip. The plan was to go to the Headquarters of the Sons of Confederate Veterans called Elm Springs and then to go hiking at Stones River National Park. We left a little later than I had hoped, but that is normal for us. It does take a while to get everyone ready. We headed out to Elm Springs. We got there, found out how to enter the place and asked if tours were available. We were told, “Not today.” There was a big event that week and the house was filled up with tables and chairs. We will have to come back. We did go to the shop and it was quite nice. On our way to the shop we passed through the library. After a little shopping, we asked if we could check out the displays in the library. They had a model of the iron clad ship CSS Tennessee. It was impressive. There were a lot of details in that little model. There were a lot of other things as well. The little children’s’ favorite part by far was the bathroom. They had an old toilet with the tank up on a pole and you needed to pull the chain th flush. Veronica nearly fell over because the flush was thunderous! Sadly, I did not get a single picture. But, I’m sure we’ll go back there again.
We went on to Stones River National park. In a past life, one of my favorite hobbies was hiking. The last several years that has been difficult with so many littles. We attempted it again. We did one of the “scout hikes” that was about 3 1/2 miles. Along the way, Kevin found a honey tree which was a cedar with a hole. There were a lot of bees in and out of it. There are also some neat gorges in places that were found. Before we hiked, we went in the museum, picked up some Junior Ranger books and watched the 8 minute movie. We need to go back just to see that again now that we have walked around. We ran out of time. It amazed me that everyone made the hike well. Vincent slept most of the time in my back back. Veronica did have to be bribed to do that last quarter or so with a reward of a granola bar. It was quite encouraging, as it looks like we’ll be hiking more this spring. However, Veronica was a bit traumatized. She says that she does not want to go back and told me, “Actually, you can leave me home next time.” We went to the cemetery. The children noticed that all the federal were buried there. They forgot to ask about the Confederates. We know that at Shiloh great pains were taken to bury the Federals in individual graves while Confederate bodies were disposed of in mass pit graves. But, I digress!
It was a beautiful day, so please enjoy the pictures!
At the start of our hike…
Kevin on a rock!
At the “Slaughter Pen”
While her siblings were working on their Junior Ranger books, Veronica was ready to play there for the rest of our visit. Unfortunately, we had little less than half the hike left.
Being sworn in as Junior Rangers at Stones River.
In preparation for Advent this year, I started looking through all of the notes that have been collected over the years. Wow! Talk about overwhelming! After 10 years of homeschooling the stuff can really pile up. What I finally reached for was some gentle plans that my friend Jennifer had given me last year. She was even kind enough to give me the updated for 2011 version this year. She has also generously put them up on her blog, Wildflowers and Marbles. While writing this post I found that Jennifer has a few more advent posts there. I can’t wait to read them. My husband printed out Jennifer’s plans in color for me (I only have black and white) and made a sort of scrap-book out of them. There were some older sketching books lying around just begging to be used! First the pages with Advent customs were glued in. After that, all the little boxes for each day were cut out and given two pages. This allows me to add notes and other things that we might want to add (for example pictures if I can ever remember to take any). Several saint stickers were added to their corresponding pages.
This year I updated an older St. Nicholas Unit Study and we are using that as well, so the St. Nicholas is titled in red with the readings listed below it.
A tradition we have kept here for several years now is putting out a manger for the Baby Jesus. It starts out empty and then the children fill it with straw or little pieces of tan-colored yarn whenever they do a good deed (usually secretly.) We let them include Masses and other prayers to help build the spiritual crib as well. On Christmas morning we bring our baby Jesus statue out and put Him in the crib. (Yes, it has been dropped on the tile floor in the past and has been glued. But that makes it all the more special.)
One Advent resource that I am so happy to see survived is O Night Divine started by my friend Mary Ellen. It is a blog that has had wonderful contributors and has a wealth of activities, recipes, and more to follow along with Advent.
One other activity that has been calling me for the past several years is an O Antiphon house. There was a parade of them a few years ago. We bought all the materials we need, but have never completed it. Hopefully this is the year! Motivation is not lacking this year, not that it has been in years past, either, but this year planning has been done early and I feel ready! Deo Gratius! Here is a link to Catholic Culture’s page of instruction for the houses. I’m hoping some of the artists in our household will do the art work on them. Here, here, and here are some snapshots from around the internet.
This year we will also pray a novena to St. Andrew with an intention for the parish of Our Lady Help of Christians. We’ve been in a temporary church for over 3 years now and it would be so nice to be in a permanent place. Please say a little prayer for that intention if you would. Thank you.
Hopefully there will be some Advent pictures from our family here in the very near future. The children have already made paper St. Nicholas’s that stand up and done a few coloring sheets. We have done many St. Nicholas readings and a few others as well.
The big addition to our Advent this year is the tradition of the Christkindl. As written in Jennifer’s plans…
‘Christkindl — All the names of the family members are written on small pieces of paper and placed in a hat or a large bowl. Secretly, each member of the family chooses a name. The name drawn will be in someone’s special care for the entire season. This new relationship is called “Christkindl” (Christ Child). From Around the Year With the Trapp Family:
From this day until Christmas, one has to do as many little favors for him or her as one can. One has to provide at least one surprise every single day – but without ever being found out. This creates a wonderful atmosphere of joyful suspense, kindness, and thoughtfulness. Perhaps you will find that somebody has made your bed or shined your shoes or has informed you, in a disguised handwriting on a holy card, that “a rosary has been said for you today” or a number of sacrifices have been offered up. ~ The person whose name I have drawn and who is under my care becomes for me the helpless little Christ Child in the manger; and as I am performing these many little acts of love and consideration for someone in the family I am really doing them for the Infant of Bethlehem, according to the word, “And he that shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me.” ‘
As the family sat around the table one night after dinner, we discussed this tradition and the children were very excited about it. I don’t even know who has who. We left it to the older 5 children figuring that the 3-year-old might not get it quite yet. I’m sure she’ll join in next year.
How are you celebrating Advent this year?
We had a pretty cold winter for Tennessee. An ice storm came and hit us. We were very blessed that we did not lose power and we stayed quite warm thanks to Daddy’s wonderful fires. The land was absolutely beautiful and I wanted to share the pictures. You may click on the photos to enlarge them. Enjoy!