Wednesday, December 22, 2010

home stretch

Here we are in the fourth week of Advent.  Someone pointed out how fortunate we are to actually get the full four weeks of Advent this year!

We got out for the Christmas Break (yes, it is still called CHRISTMAS holidays here) on Friday.  Sixteen glorious school-free days stretched ahead.  But they are flying by.  They really are the shortest days of the year!

 A couple of pictures from last Saturday:


Our little group of Boy Scouts celebrated Christmas with a bonfire and gumbo.  It's become an annual tradition.  The weather was great for it this year - not too cold, but cool enough that the warmth of the fire was appreciated.  The company was good, and the food - as always - was delicious.  

One thing that we don't want to become an annual tradition is what happened on Monday.  The owners of the property where the fire was held had checked the fire on Sunday, wet it down, etc.  They were a little surprised to get a call on Monday saying that their pasture was on fire!  Took six fire trucks to put it out!  But only grass was burned, so that was fortunate.  Those trees to the right in the top picture - weed trees (Chinese Tallow; they call them "Chicken Trees" here) - anyway, the property owner wanted them to burn.  Naturally, the fire went around them!  They are still standing.

Went to daily Mass Monday morning.  It was so nice to get there early since I didn't have to worry about waking anyone up and getting them out the door and on a bus.  Time to enjoy the silent presence of God.  

As we left church, one of the Sisters commented about how beautiful this tree was:  
I'm glad she noticed it.  And I just happened to have my camera with I snapped a picture!  

Our priest heard confessions Monday night - first time he's ever added extra time to the confession schedule, so that was a nice treat!  I had one child who hadn't been in a few months, so we dropped by.  Other child and I had gone a couple of weeks ago.  I thought about going again - if for nothing else than the example thing - but it just wasn't calling my name.  I was glad to see that there were a handful of other sinners there.  Hopefully, our dear priest felt it was worth his while and will do it again.  Thirty minutes on Saturday afternoon and 3 mornings a week from 6:15 - 6:25 just isn't very much to pick from!

I have put together 2 photo books in the past week.  They came out nice (I hope), but I'm pretty certain that the one I finished today won't be here in time for Christmas Eve.  I have an idea of something simple I can put together so SIL will have something to open.  I also made a photo calendar for my parents.  Time consuming, but I'm always pleased with the results.  

This has been the least stressful before-Christmas period that I can ever remember.  I still have stuff to buy, and I have wrapped nothing, but it is still do-able, and I naturally wait until the last minute.  No tree has been put up yet.  We have down-sized our gift list (which has probably greatly contributed to lower stress) and I think we are going to down-size the tree, as well.  Bah-humbug? 

Stayed up late last night (partly for the eclipse).  Got up early for Mass.  Took a nap this afternoon.  Which will cause me to stay up late again.  Isn't vacation great?

Thursday, we (me and the boys) are helping with decorations at church.  We did that last year, as service for Boy Scouts, and it was fun!  Looking forward to it this year.  The boys had a great time climbing around in the attic at church, and they must not have stressed our pastor too much, because he readily accepted our offer to help this year.

Chances are I'll be blogging again between now and Christmas.  But if not - a very, Merry Christmas to you and yours.  O Come, O Come Emmanuel.  God-is-with-us!

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