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Reading lots of seasonal library books with the girls (we’ve discovered so many great Tomie dePaolo ones), thanks to all the great picture book list recommendations out there! The library request system is a thing of beauty. :) We finished Little House in the Big Woods a few weeks ago, so the older girls are also enjoying all the pictures the My First Little House Books have to offer.

I started Kitchens of the Great Midwest but it’s not quite what I thought so I think I’ll return it unfinished. I’m also getting into Me Before You which I’ve heard lots of positive chatter about on the blogosphere…so far I’d say it’s okay but I’m hoping it’ll get better?1214151844-2

Enjoying all the little Advent traditions and ways we’ve been observing feast days. I love seeing how the girls’ excitement and anticipation for Christmas grows more and more each year! They especially loved our attending the local Christmas parade and the visit from St. Nicholas. It’s funny to see how things like Advent calendars don’t quite jive with young kids (only open/ add ONE each day?) but it’s fun to have the traditions anyway.

However I have to say, with all the lights, candles, liturgy, and decorations that brighten the days this time of year I’m kinda dreading the time when everything has to come down and get put away- that to me is the bleak mid-winter! :-/

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Everyone crowd in!

Channeling the dad on A Christmas Story (his on-going hate-hate relationship with the Bumpus hounds)…in our neighborhood there are several dogs that just roam around freely and two times in the past two weeks I’ve stepped in dog droppings on OUR front stoop. I would really rather not open our yard as a free-for-all space for pets to relieve themselves and it is so frustrating that there’s nothing we can do about it!

BUMPUSES!

Feeling various emotions about my grandpa who passed away on the 1st. He suffered a lot in the past three years, so I’m grateful he’s now at rest, has the fullness of truth, and is hopefully reunited with God in heaven but there are still pangs of sadness knowing he’s no longer on this earth. There’s also an awareness of a gaping hole- something missing in our extended family circle. I feel I’m clutching at anything- memories, cards, photos, paper clippings- anything tangible that imparts something about my grandparents so I can tell my children more about them. And as sappy as this might sound, it was my grandparents who provided a certain element of centrality to our extended family and now that they’ve both passed away I can see it’s up to all of us to make the effort to keep the family ties together.1212151641b

Listening to People Look East station on Pandora. I randomly typed that in to see what would come up and I’m loving listening to it this Advent.1214151837a-2

Making these sweet spiced nuts- yum! (I halved the cayenne pepper and the heat is still too much for my girls, but I guess more for me;)

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