Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Our Jesse Tree - Revisited

Things have been really busy here lately (hence the absence of posts,) but I did manage to put together a new plan for our Jesse Tree this year.

Last year we simply used our regular sized tree, strung it with purple lights, and hung our ornaments on it each night.  It was simple... in theory.  In actuality, the kids took down the ornaments over, and over, and over.  Every day.  I also noticed that since all the ornaments were the same size and shape with the same background color, they were too similar for any of them to be eye catching.  So my plans for this year were to address those two problems. 

I started by making a tree out of stiffened felt, using hot glue to attach the pieces together.  It's approximately 3 feet tall and will be hung on our oversized bulliten board in the playroom ... out of reach of tiny hands.

Next came the ornaments.  I couldn't use the same ones as last year so I set about looking for a new (printable) set.  I found some gorgeous printouts at Catholic Artworks, (though they don't seem to be offering free downloads anymore, you can still purchase a full set.)  I was able to download about 14 ornaments from their site, each with a front and back image and brief description.  I still had several days to fill in so I made some of my own ornaments simply using pictures from Google images and adding the reading at the bottom.  I also knew I wanted to have ornaments for the O Antiphons, but since I couldn't find anything ready to print, I designed some dual sided ones using these beautiful images.

I printed all the ornaments in color, laminated them, and used a hole punch at the top to be able to hang them.  (I will use rounded push pins on the felt tree but could easily pull some ribbon through if I wanted to hang them on a real tree.)

I snapped this image as I was making sure all of the ornaments would fit, making last minute adjustments to the tree pieces before gluing anything.  It's from my phone's camera so the quality isn't very good, but you can get the idea.  The star on top has the Chi Rho symbol in it, making it the final ornament hung on Christmas Day. 

I love that this layout will allow for easier viewing of all the ornaments.


December 1 ~ Creation: Gen. 1:1-31; 2:1-4 Symbol: earth
December 2 ~ Adam and Eve: Gen. 2:7-9, 18-24
December 3 ~ Fall of Man: Gen. 3:1-7 and 23-24 Symbol: apple
December 4 ~ Noah: Gen. 6:5-8, 13-22; 7:17, 23, 24; 8:1, 6-22
December 5 ~ Abraham: Gen. 12:1-3
December 6 ~ Isaac: Gen. 22:1-14
December 7 ~ Jacob: Gen. 25:1-34; 28:10-15
December 8 ~ Joseph: Gen. 37:23-28; 45:3-15
December 9 ~ Moses: Ex. 2:1-10
December 10 ~ Samuel: 1 Sam. 3:1-18 Symbol: lamp
December 11~ Jesse: 1 Sam. 16:1-13
December 12 ~ David: 1 Sam. 17:12-51
December 13 ~ Solomon: 1 Kings 3:5-14, 16-28 Symbol: scales of justice
December 14 ~ Joseph: Matt. 1:18-25
December 15 ~ Mary: Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38
December 16 ~ John the Baptist: Mark 1:1-8 Symbol: shell with water
December 17 ~ O Sapientia : O Wisdom
December 18 ~ O Adonai : O Lord
December 19 ~ O Radix Jesse : O Root of Jesse
December 20 ~ O Clavis David : O Key of David
December 21 ~ O Oriens : O Rising Dawn
December 22 ~ O Rex Gentium : O King of Nations
December 23 ~ O Emmanuel : O God-With-Us
December 24 ~ The Birth of Jesus (infant Jesus)…Luke 2:1-20
December 25 ~ Christ Our Lord (Chi Rho star)…John 1:1-18

Sunday, November 14, 2010

This Day God Gives Me

A beautiful way to begin our day! (lyrics below)

This day God gives me strength of high heaven,
sun and moon shining, flame in my hearth,
flashing of lightning, wind in its swiftness,
deeps of the ocean, firmness of earth.

This day God sends me strength as my guardian,
might to uphold me, wisdom as guide.
Your eyes are watchful, Your ears are listening,
Your lips are speaking, friend at my side.

God’s way is my way, God’s shield is round me,
God’s host defends me, saving from ill.
Angels of heaven, drive from me always
all that would harm me, stand by me still.

Rising, I thank Thee, mighty and strong One,
King of creation, Giver of rest.
Firmly confessing God in three Persons,
Oneness of Godhead, Trinity blest.

Firmly confessing God in three Persons,
Oneness of Godhead, Trinity blest.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

1.  Halloween went by quickly this year and without a working camera we weren't able to get many pictures.  But the kids had a great time (minus a minor meltdown before bedtime) and collected a serious amount of candy.  Addie (a Candy Corn Witch) was fearless, excitedly troting up to each house and saying Trick or Treat before the door was even opened.  Gabe (Thomas the Tank Engine) was more cautious, only venturing up when the bowl of goodies came out and all dogs were properly restrained. Juliana (a ladybug) came out for a bit with Gran, riding in the stroller for a while then tottering up to the houses to be awwed over.

2.  We are all finally kicking off the last shackles of illness.  I think it was 3 solid weeks of fevers, colds, coughs, and croupe.  We're ready to get back to visiting family and friends!

3. Every morning we end our Circle Time with a blessing for each of the kids. It took Gabe a few days to learn the proper response of, Amen. It used to be
Me: "May God bless you and your angel watch over you today."
Gabe: "Yeeeah"

4. Some of our best friends are going sky diving on Sunday.  Needless to say, we turned down the invitation.  (I barely like going flying as it is.  You couldn't pay me to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.)  But we will be going out to watch the jump and cheer them on.  It should be a memorable afternoon!

5. Gabe sat down at the latptop the other day and looked at the logo.  He then pointed to each letter in turn and said, quickly and confidently, "T-O-S-H-I-B-A." He is always surprising me with how quickly he's learning.

6. I have seriously fallen behind in some things around here, namely yoga (I did it for 2 solid weeks and felt wonderful! Then we all got sick and that went right out the window) and meal planning.  I've gotten better about figuring out dinner earlier in the day to avoid last minute panic, but I need to get back to pre-planning a whole week.  It takes away so much hassel.

7. We have been receiving wonderful feedback at our restaurant and are getting closer and closer to the break even point.  Quite a feat since we've only been open 5 months.  We change some of our menu seasonaly and are exicted to be introducing soups and hot pastas soon!  Ahhh, the ability to have an idea and implement it with no obstacles...  priceless!

*this posted linked to Conversion Diary*