Thursday, 22 December 2016

Advent: Waiting for Christmas

Advent: waiting and preparing for Christmas

Autumn has passed.  Advent is almost ended and we are preparing to celebrate the Christ Mass. All the beautiful coloured maple leaves have long fallen to the ground and we now we running in snow and spending many minutes a day dressing and undressing the young ones as they head outside to play.

This Advent has seen increased prayer among our children. We are preparing, with a couple other families, to stage the production of 'Our Lady of Fatima.'  My whole family has come away inspired by the story to pray more.  Our Lady asked the three children, (Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco) to pray the rosary every day and to sacrifice for three specific intentions:
a.  for the love of God
b.  for the conversion of sinners
c.  for reparation for the offences made agains the Immaculate Heart.

We have made these our daily intentions and are praying the rosary every day and trying to do small sacrifices daily.  I'm moved by my own children's desire to do so.  God is good!

Here is our family story in photos since the Fall:

Kate turns 5!

A Bright Night on the Farm:

In our homeschooling, we are just starting to learn Astronomy.  So, on clear nights we head out and try to find the various star constellations.  

 Christ the King Feast Day:

For this last Feast Day of the year we have a formal dinner.  Our children arrive at the door, knock, and are invited in.  They are served a drink and appetizers and we engage in dialogue.  Then we sit down to a King's feast.

 It is amazing how a simple idea, like a formal dinner, increases the manners of the children.  I was quite impressed with their ability to carry on quality conversation around the table and showcase manners.

Preparing for Winter:

It takes a lot to prepare the farm for winter.  This includes raking tons of leaves!

 We had too many roosters.  So a couple became our dinner.  Here is how to prepare a chicken:

1.  Catch the chicken

 2.  Put him upside-down in a bucket.  This will prevent him from jerking all over the place and spraying blood when the head is cut off.

3.  Cut off the head.

 4.  Swish around the dead chicken in hot water.  This will make easy for the all the feathers to come off.

5.  Pluck. Pluck. Pluck.

6.  Gut and clean.

Burning the rubble!

Last bike ride before the snow:

We have an old train trail running beside our house.  We keep trying to reach it's end point.  This day we rode about 16 total, but alas, still didn't reach the end.

 and Benedict was exhausted at the end ...

 Friday afternoon excursion:

We've trying to head out to see some different parts of Ottawa.  This day we headed down to Nepean to the Andrew Hayden Park right on the Ottawa river.

The children practiced their 'wave boarding' and loved it!


Maybe we are a bit too excited to have snow, but after living in Austria where our region only received 2 days of snow per year - this is quite exciting!

 My Boys are Getting Big! 

 Field Trip to the National Agriculture Museum:

Here in Ottawa, the libraries have passes to the National Museums.  If you can get one, it is a great field trip for the children.

 Crafts with Momma!

 Friday afternoon excursion to Brewer Park:

 Daddy turns 42:

Another year closer to retirement!  Which, I plan on never doing.

 Ladies and Knights of St. Jean de Bereuf

 Our parish runs a scouts type program, which I have found to be excellent.  They are passionate, authentic Catholics running the program.  There is much memorization they have to do regarding the precepts of the Church, and every promise is made before and to a priest.  The process in the Mass on major feasts as well and are exemplary of examples of reverence and respect.  We are definitely blessed to be able to have our children in such a rich program.

 Homeschooling: Tracking Animals

As part of our homeschooling journey, we are learning about the environment we are living in, namely, what types of trees, insects, amphibians, mammals, wild flowers, mushrooms and so forth. We had a great snow day and headed out to track animals.  We tracked mice to their holes, squirrels to their burrows, a coyote and a deer for long time.

St. Nicholas' Feast Day: Dec. 6th

St. Nick found us with our boots waiting and much snow!

Katie's Baptism Day: Dec. 11th

Celebrating the day of my daughter's rebirth!

Here she is lighting her baptism candle and then we prayed a special blessing over her.

St. Lucy's Feast Day: Dec. 13th

As per the tradition: Winter made the family breakfast and Kate and Winter made cookies and delivered them to friends and family.

Christmas Baking:

Becca has been making Christmas goodies all Advent and we all can hardly wait to try them out on Christmas Eve!

Here are the 12 rum and port Christmas cakes she made: she over purchased ingredients so we get more Christmas cake!

Gaudet Sunday and the Rorate Mass:

 We drove the three oldest to the Rorate Mass for 5:45am for the Knights and Ladies (Catholic scouts program) were processing in with the priest.  The entire sanctuary was lit with candles, our Bishop joined us and there was about 200 parishioners!  Beautiful.

Advent Ember Days:

To celebrate Ember days we went outside and discussed how the winter season represents our faith journey.  Then we made a crib to place baby Jesus and made snow forts!

Cutting down the Christmas Tree with Papa and Nanna!

Now we await the coming of our King!

and baby Thomas is excited too!

We wish all of you, at the end of this Advent Season, a blessed Christmas with much mirth, largess, and frivolity.

God bless.


The Bifferts:  Kenton, Rebecca, Winter, Tristan, Benedict, Kate, Tavi, Thomas

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful update! We wish you guys a blessed Christmas! Love, the Garcias