Giving thanks and Advent links

We celebrated Thanksgiving at Nana and Pop’s this year and on the way, I set my phone’s timer for five minutes and asked the kids to blurt out anything and everything they were thankful for and I then listed them in the exact order they were shouted out and also did not edit their contributions (e.g., Mary Elizabeth’s blessing of “roasted beef” was jotted down just as she said it).  Here’s what they came up with:

1. apple pie

2. life

3. love

4. family and friends

5. Thomas

6. our house

7. fall

8. toys

9. turkey

10. seasons

11. the sun

12. the moon

13. roasted beef

14. ice cream

15. exercise

16. cozy boots

17. Toms

18. our health

19. animals

20. jeans

21. clothes

22. water

23. Layla (our dog)

24. trees

25. Clue (the game)

26. books

27. colors

27. Monopoly

28. beans

29. food

30. music

31. school

32. my mind

33. flowers

34. mail

35. the world

36. a warm bed

37. the way Thomas says, “Oh,” when you tell him something

38. hope

39. new beginnings

40. plays

41. shopping

42. windows

43. eyes

44. our bodies

45. signs

46. doors

47. beaches

48. cars

49. pumpkins

50. Knuffle Bunny Giving thanks and Advent links (Rachel’s lovey)

51. Raja (Madeline’s tiger stuffed animal lovey)

52. people

53. Cubbie (my parents’ puppy)

54. Christmas trees

55. Nana (my grandma who passed away)

56. Nana and Pop

57. Gaba and Papa

58. Ivy (my parents’ dog who recently died)

59. Uncle Rich (my uncle/my mom’s brother who died of pancreatic cancer last February)

60. Michelle (my cousin who died recently as well from cystic fibrosis and lissencephaly complications)

61. Mr. Thomas (our neighbor who also passed away; yes, there’s a theme here)

62. Katelyn (our babysitter who is alive and well)

63. Marlo (our babysitter’s dog)

64. scones

65. chocolate

66. Waffle House

67. The Grit  (my contribution)

68. wine (obviously another one of my contributions)

69. lattes (me again)

70. Aerolatte Milk Frother (me again, although Thomas likes to use this gadget to torture her sisters. I’ve caught him twice now turning it on and putting it in their hair.)

71. firemen

72. policemen

73. police dogs

74. fire dogs

75. ambulances

76. doctors

77. radiologists

78. Smoothie King

79. braces

80. Baby Jane’s

81. movies

Time’s up!

Once at Nana and Pop’s we were not only treated to the feast of feasts, but Madeline had written a Thanksgiving play and the kids performed it for us. The red wagon is the Mayflower. Madeline is Squanto. Thomas and Mary Elizabeth are pilgrims, and Rachel served as the narrator.

Thanksgiving play 1024x768 Giving thanks and Advent links

Thanksgiving play 2 1024x768 Giving thanks and Advent links

 

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Obligatory funny faces shot

Now it’s time to start thinking about Advent. I have a speech at a parish not too far from my home on Sunday where I’ll talk a bit about cultivating a peaceful, joyful heart during a season that can easily become a path to burnout for a multitasking control freak like myself. Your life this Advent and always should be full, not just busy. Just because our culture hypes jam-packed schedules as the norm doesn’t mean we have to subscribe to it. My running injury (still not anywhere close to running again) has forced me to slow down not just on the pavement and treadmill but in life as well. I’m getting more sleep these days and really focused on embracing simplicity. At its heart, simplicity really means less of us and more of Him. It can also mean staying in your PJs all day (I’m typing this in my pajamas; no Black Friday madness for me.)

We don’t need to over-schedule our kids now or ever. Madeline really wanted to try basketball this winter, but we have a brief respite from soccer and I didn’t want to fill it with more practices. If she’s meant to be in the WNBA someday, she’ll discover that talent soon enough. For now, I am drawing my family near, pulling out our favorite Advent books, and trying to decide what Advent traditions we will embrace this year. I’ve included a few links from the archives that include all sorts of ideas for bringing this season alive for little ones. BONUS: You’ll get to see the kids when they were wee ones. Happy clicking!

An Advent Tea
Preparing Our Hearts and Homes (Advent Traditions)
Advent crafts (shell angels, felt napkin holders, poinsettia princesses, etc.)
Advent Smörgåsbord
Recipe for Baby Jesus Birthday Cake (more for the Christmas season obviously)
Handprint angels
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe traditions
Christmas card placemats
Tips for hosting a cookie swap
Cookie Swap recipes
Feast of St. Nicholas traditions
Explaining the symbolism of the Advent wreath to children

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One Response to “Giving thanks and Advent links”
  1. The Funster says:

    Kate,
    What a great, heart warming post! You are so right, we really should take time to focus on what we have to be thankful for. Someone once told me that if you’re not thankful for what you have, pretty soon you won’t have anything to be thankful for! Great post, thanks for sharing!
    The Funster recently posted..Angry Birds Air Swimmers Review!

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