The third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means rejoice. This is the day we light the third candle on our advent wreaths, the only pink candle. This is the Sunday where we rejoice that the savior is almost here. This is a day to lighten up a bit about Advent and rejoice a little.
In our family that meant that Mommy made Triple Chocolate Breakfast Muffins. This was the first time I'd made them and boy were they a hit! It probably helped that I bought a mix for these (well, I bought two mixes ... we're just saving one for either Christmas Eve or Christmas morning). The mix I bought was Duncan Hines Simple Mornings Triple Chocolate Chunk. This mix is great because it's just about as close to homemade as you can get without being homemade. There's no high fructose or preservatives. It does however contain soy (for those of you with soy allergies) and is prepared with eggs (again for those of you with allergies). There's obviously some missing from that plate, those girls dove right in the minute they were cool enough to eat (Ok, so did Mommy). ECJ was outside helping Daddy shovel the neighbor's snow and our own so they had theirs when they came inside.
The snow is still coming down and their calling for at least another inch of accumulation. Within minutes of the guys finishing the shoveling everything was covered again. ECJ had said that it was positively freezing outside when he walked through the door pulling off layers and changing socks that had ended up wet even though he'd warn boots. Daddy and I decided that tomorrow is supposed to be warmer and it would be more beneficial for the campers to head out to make the first snowmen of the year then.
Two of the family did play outside for several minutes today (I even stepped out without a coat to take a few quick pictures from the side deck). This is their favorite time of year to get outside and play. Probably because they don't get over heated while their doing it.
The girls spent their morning entertaining themselves in Peanut's room with her LeapPad Ultra. They're really getting a kick at how the colors of the room changed once we hung up the curtains. The ones hanging there I'd purchased and repurposed from the thrift shop. Daddy and I are still deciding if we'll be purchasing a new set, if I'll be making a new set when we buy our new sewing machine, or if I'll be crocheting a set. No matter what choice we make those are the colors we're sticking with.
The girls are now watching a movie together in Peanut's room while ECJ is spending some quality time with Dad watching Netflix in our bedroom. Later tonight we'll all watch Muppets Christmas together while eating dinner. Followed by our Advent lessons, "lighting" the pink candle, and adding another ornament to our Jesse Tree.
Holy Heroes is still a big hit around here and I'm sure we'll be taking advantage of their Lenten Adventure and their Summer Faith Adventure. There's also several "unique" gifts on their site that I'm eyeing for the Cracker Jack's as gifts once they make their First Communion this spring. I'm sure we'll also go back to them next Advent, especially for the girls.
My printer is still down, which means that we for sure will be purchasing a new one soon. It also means that there are no new coloring pages for Advent that I've been able to print off. Most of the campers are now caught up with all of their pages that they'd already had. This is OK, we'll print them off when we get the new printer or not. Either way it's something that I know I can put on next year's advent list to have ready, I'd really like for them to have these books made up that I'm thinking about. I'll be adding some of the word searches and crossword puzzles that Holy Heroes provides as well to keep ECJ busy as well.
Tomorrow night is the Children's Christmas Mass at our parish. It's pretty much mandatory for the catechism students (there was only one "real" catechism class this month). After they go back to their catechism classes Jan. 7th they won't have another break until the middle of February.
This week for Advent we'll be taking it easy. Our nightly Holy Heroes Advent Adventure "shows", our nightly Jesse Tree ornaments, and a reading done by either Mom or ECJ will just about cover it. Christmas is just around the corner and this is our last week of school before our one week break, we're taking a relaxed approach to just about everything this week.
The children are enjoying their first year celebrating Advent and so am I. I fully intend to make next year one to remember steeped in everything Advent related as I possibly can.