Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Feeling more tired but less tangled

24 Weeks with Edward Joseph_thumb[1]Our Family Christmas 2011_thumb[4]

This is me (at 24 weeks), minus 8 inches of Hair (at 32 weeks)

Melissa Cut Her Hair 7-8in_thumb[1]

I held it up in the air as high as I could reach, and CHOP! And amazingly, I like it. At least while my hair is still pregnancy thick! No more old lady bun to my husband's delight. :) But now I have the detail curling and primping to do each day…. oh well.

 

Little baby Eddie isn't so little anymore.

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Feeling more and more pregnant at Christmas - we're taking it lighter on schoolwork for awhile. It's more fun to be crafty, bake cookies, and practice handwriting on cards [than do basic math and learn English lessons I've never used in my adulthood]. This week seems to be clean up and play with all the new toys week.

One of the highlights was our homeschool group's Christmas Party. We had quite a turn out and was super fun. They were so happy to be there, many didn't even stop to get in the picture, including our Jonathan.

NWMH Christmas Party

Oh, there he is!

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I had a Crocheting Christmas (you can read about here).

Crocheted Hats by Mommy_0009_thumb

Christmas time has been a real adventure. Now everyone is so excited for the new year and all the adventures it hold for us! Including Baby Eddie coming in February, parties, sledding, camping, building, and whatever we put our minds to!

Our Family Christmas 2011_0001_thumb[5] We love you all!

Our Family Christmas 2011_0002_thumb[5]

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Good Tidings in 2011

What Gift Will You Give Him?
3Kings and Jesus by Melissa 2011By Melissa Michalek 2011

Our lives here are for just a moment. How we spend that moment will determine where we will spend our eternity in the afterlife. Each year we write about our endeavors, our trials, and our triumphs. But we do not regard them as just memorable moments. Rather, we believe we are becoming worthy of an eternity in Heaven with each good decision we’ve made in those moments.
We are taking our New Year’s Resolution up a notch in 2012, and wish to write to you about our family’s new diet. It is a diet which you have nothing to lose, but much to gain. No counting calories or carbs, nor exercise required. If you decide to join us, you can begin anytime.
Most of our family and friends believe in life with a greater purpose. We also agree it is a daily struggle. Making our everyday life a prayer to God requires sacrifices of our desires, our time, and our human opinions. Trusting in God’s will for the purpose of salvation can often conflict with our own will…
         A New Year's Resolution: Nothing to Lose, But Much to Gain!
Click to open our full Christmas Card: A Soul Diet Plan
2012 New Years Resolution - Full Page12012 New Years Resolution - Full Page2

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Love, The Michalek Family @ St. Brigid's Academy 2011
image 2011-9-3 0001
Nativity by Mikayla 2011
By Mikayla Age 9
Nativity by Stanley 2011
By Stanley Age 7



Links about Epiphany and The Wisemen (Celebrated in January):

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Preparing for Jesus' Birthday

Joyfully participating in a linky party at
5-days of Christmas Linky[3]
Here is a checklist of what we do to prepare for Christmas Day, the Birthday of Jesus. And we're still a young family, adding new traditions every year!

DECORATIONS:
Right after Thanksgiving, we begin our advent preparation with the usual holiday decorating. Lights up, Christmas Tree out, and other fun decor. This year I gave up the ornament hanging to our kids, who did a wonderful job covering the entire tree, not just the bottom! Ever since I was a little girl, we decorated a ceramic tree with plastic lights that lit up from inside. Now we have our own for our kids to continue that tradition.
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We put out the Nativity Set with Jesus and Wise Men hidden until Christmas and Epiphany. Jesus is put in a red box under a tree near the set with a "Do not open until Christmas" tag. {Make your own Nativity ideas at Equipping Catholic Families}
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ADVENT CALENDAR AND WREATH:
The Advent Calendar changes year to year. But this is our favorite. We made it using neon green poster board, holiday foam stickers, and a moving piece. The Santa (St. Nick) of course was on day 6. Now I just need to find a Nativity Sticker to put at the top in place of the reindeer. Each day they can draw a good deed idea from the bucket and color something from Holy Heroes Advent Adventure.
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The Advent Wreath below is a collector piece I found at a Hallmark store. The children get so excited to light the candles at supper time. I put it on a lazy susan so the kids can get a new view at each meal.
Advent WreathAdvent Wreath

*Click here for a Jesus Tree printable that I found at JesusTreeDecorations.com

SAINT NICHOLAS TRADITIONS:
Stockings are hung for St. Nicholas to come Dec 6th:
100_5545Saint Nicholas Day
Saint Nicholas DayStockings Full
One year we had the kids make their own, which was also fun!
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There is always some place to visit St. Nick to say thanks!
PC060079Visit with St. Nicholas

BAKING & CRAFTS:
Everyone loves a good cookie exchange, or cookie eating frenzy! If you're a health conscious family, but still want the smell of baking in your home... I suggest putting those cookie cutters to making Cinnamon Ornaments  {or this one by Martha Stewart} or Salt Dough Ornaments.
Saint Nicholas Day
And while they bake, it's a perfect time to make other crafts such as snowflake paintings, beaded ornaments, and other winter fun activities. The pictures below are some we made this year using pipe cleaner and berry beads we had in our craft stash. Notice I bent the pipe cleaner to form a nativity scene.
Saint Nicholas DaySaint Nicholas Day

For a snack or meal, we had a great time a few years ago doing the Jesse Tea Party as inspired by Shower of Roses. Each food helps tell a story from the Bible. These were simple to make and fun to eat. I think they even enjoyed the bible stories. Our Meal Plan and Photos Here!
Jesse Tea PartyJesse Tea Party


CHRISTMAS DAY:
Jesus-Birthday-Party
Christmas Day gets filled with Mass and family gatherings. But when we squeeze in time for our little family Christmas, we try to have the following occur…
1. Add Baby Jesus to the nativity set and eat Birthday Cake for Jesus.
2. Opening gifts from under the tree.
3. [Gifts Given to Church Giving Tree a week before.]

OUT AND ABOUT:
Driving every back road to see outdoor lights! (a house we like to visit below)
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Snow play and sledding as soon as the snow decides to fall… :(
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Maybe you've thought about Caroling?
> The 12 Days of Christmas - according to the Bible
> Go caroling at the local nursing home - they love that!

Friday, December 2, 2011

St. Nicholas Day Traditions

December 6th marks the feast of Jolly Old Saint Nicholas. St. Nick visits our home the eve of Dec 6th and fills our stockings with goodies, chocolate coins, [and sometimes reindeer poop (chocolate covered raisins) or coal]. It's much more linked with the original story of St. Nick who filled the stockings of 3 girls with coins. We do this on his feast day rather than Santa on Christmas Eve - a day to celebrate Jesus' Birthday.

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In the past, we've had one special chair that we all take a picture in, holding our stockings. It's fun to watch the babies outgrow the stocking! We've also set up a Jesse Tea Party to read bible stories with themed food. And of course the Christmas Tree and Advent Wreath are all ready the weekend after Thanksgiving.

St. Nicholas Day 2009Jesse Tea Party100_5544

We will also enjoy a cup of hot cocoa and candy canes while we watch Veggie Tales' St. Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving. Amongst other winter and Christmas movies in our DVD collection and Netflix instant que! We may also color advent sheets from Holy Heroes Advent Adventure.

 

>>My other posts about St. Nick as well as Advent and Christmas

 

>>Catholic Icing's St. Nicholas Traditions

Snowflake Painting

As winter approaches (Dec 22nd), we have our first art pieces ready to display.

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1. Cut a snowflake from Con-tact clear laminate. Remove paper backing and stick to a canvas. Paint with grey, white and blue acrylic paints and sponge brushes.

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2. When slightly dry, peel back tape to expose white snowflake underneath! You can leave it as is, or touch up with white paint, or even glitter!

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3. Used dried laminate snowflakes for window decor or stick on aluminum foil for a table runner or wall banner.

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