We have some things planned for the family during this season of Lent. Today, an old standby of many years-Lenten Dolls. 

   
    
    
   

We’ve been finding small pieces like this since before Christmas. No idea where they are from, but it becoming frustrating. We have 3 of the small black and 1 each of the white and larger black. Any ideas??

  
We’ve looked on the bottom of everything we can think of to see if they are from something. No luck. 

I am pretty sure I’m stalling. I just sat down to start the taxes. I have piles of paperwork and documents all around me. A warm blanket wrapped about my legs. Laptop ready to go. I guess I should start. The IRS accepted the first returns today. I should get to it!

The children were sure that Lucia was missing her pillow. I had taken it out of her bed a few days ago and just hadn’t put it back. For the longest time she had been sleeping on it-she seemed to appreciate the angle it provided for sleeping. But when I was finding her rolling over I had taken it out. The older children were sure that she was missing it-so they gave it back. Seems like she really appreciates it. ;)

   
 

We mounted it today!  He did a great job of cleaning it off after I boiled it. It looks splendid!

  

We had our friends, Lisa and Kurt, over for dinner tonight. Their five children and and ours all got along very nicely and enjoyed playing Katie’s new board game that we got for Christmas. Jerry had spent most of the day building shelters for our orange trees for the freeze that is expected tomorrow night. So, it was nice to have a quiet, simple evening of two families coming together to just enjoy one another’s company. :)

Katie brought some parts of her turkey home (more than the yummy meat that we had for Christmas lunch) to preserve. :)

We also have one wing (because they wanted the feathers of the other wing for different projects). 

The beard is around 9.25″ long, the spurs are 1.25″ long. The feathers are beautiful!  The purple legs are beautiful as well. It was well over 3 years old!

   

   
  

Merry Christmas!!

We had a beautiful Christmas Day!  Here are a couple of shots of the children with gifts from relatives. :)

   
    
    
    
    
    
 

Jerry, Katie, and Tony made it home just in time to head to Church!  The choir did a beautiful job singing the Mass!  It was beautiful!  Carli was able to join us for Mass too!  It was really wonderful to have all 9 of our children with us and here for dinner too!  

A little info on why they barely made it in time. Jerry had gone to put the guts from the deer and turkey where our friend likes it to be kept (so his poodle doesn’t find and roll in it) and the van got stuck. So, they had to get the tractor. 

 
Katie helped drive Jerry to freedom. Oh, the things this “city Mom” never thought she’d see. It took a while to get the van free and then clean all of the mud off. But, they did eventually get on the road and safely home!

While they’d been gone I had gone out to get Tony’s antlers. The squirrels had found them and been chewing on them. :(. They still had quite a bit of flesh and brain matter and fur on them, so I boiled them for a few hours so we could clean them off. 

  
Yet one more thing I never envisioned myself doing. Soap, salt, and some “On Guard” kept it from getting stinky. :)

So, after Mass we came home and took the Advent things off of the tree and put the Christmas decorations on.    

 
  
Then, the children made finger paintings of the manger scene. 

  

I just got a message from Jerry!  Katie got a deer and a turkey!  She said she is bringing home Christmas  dinner!  😀

   
   
She took each with a single shot. 100 yards away on each too!  Now, hopefully all will go well and they will be home in time for us to make it to Mass so the children are able to sing in the Children’s choir!

Merry Christmas Eve!  May today you be able to really understand and appreciate “Tis a gift to be Simple.”  That has been my focus this year. Keep things simple. What good is fancy if everyone is frustrated and upset. Simple, calm, quiet, relaxed. Tis truly a gift!

Today we celebrate O Emmanuel. We celebrate our Savior!

We also continue to prepare for Christmas as we quickly approach this most joyous day!!

  
Jerry took Katie and Tony out today so they could go hunting again tomorrow morning. :)

Today, we celebrate Jesus as King, O Rex. We also had some good discussions about the history of the O Antiphons and the reasonings behind why the only go through the 23 instead of the 24. 

Everyone is beginning to really be excited about Christmas!  It’s so near!  :). Days like today, where we can celebrate our King, are beautiful reminders of what his life is all about!

  

Jerry surprised Katie, Tony, and Meghan with tickets to see Star Wars this morning. :). Meghan said she was so happy that she thought she might cry!  They loved it. I’ve asked for no further details to be shared. 

While they were gone the little girls and I had lots of fun. :)

The first couple of shots are from this morning. Lucia woke up as Jerry was leaving early for work, so he got her from her bed and handed her to me. She’s so sweet!

   
    
    
    
    
    
 

With only a tiny bit of help from me, Katie made the Buckeyes herself today!  From mixing, to rolling, to refrigerating and then dipping, cooling, and boxing up–she did it all!  I’m loving the growing bakers around here!  :)

Today, O Oriens, O Radiant Dawn. Today may be one of my favorites. Our Dayspring-Jesus is our source of light. I’m excited for this evening. We will make hot chocolate (from scratch because it’s so yummy that way!) and pour everyone a travel cup with lid. Then, we load into the van and go see Christmas lights. :). Quite the fun adventure!  As Jerry loads up kiddos, I will quickly set up a small Christmas tree in each of their bedrooms. Once home, they then have the little trees to find (although I’m sure the older ones will remember, but they’re still good at being surprised and being excited for the little ones!). Let the light of Jesus shine forth!

Today’s ornament is courtesy of Josephine. :)

  

So far today we have made toffee and peanut brittle. :). I’ve had great helpers!  We also made peanut blossom cookies. There is still much to be made, but we are making great progress!

 Josephine and Penelope have the perfect skills for helping with the cookies. They didn’t eat a single one!  Such good helpers!!  
   

Today is O Clavis, O Key of David.  We celebrated with Key Lime Pie and Sparkling Cider. The pie turned out extra delicious this year!  :)  

   

We went to Church this afternoon for the telling of the Christmas Story. Katherine, Tony, Meghan, Lillian, and Sarah were all singing in the choir. Josephine and Penelope fell asleep part way through. Lucia was wide awake though and enjoying seeing all of the Angels, shepherds, and kings. Towards the end, we added one more to our pew (well, we started with one extra as Tony’s friend, Patrick, was with us), Tarah, whose dad and our friend, Larry, was reading the story. :). She wanted to play with the baby. 

   
    
    
    
 

After having their Root beer to celebrate the O Antiphon of the day, while watching a movie together, several of the girls found pillows and crashed. Josephine took herself up to her bed before falling asleep. So sweet. :)

   
 

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