Saturday, December 6, 2008

Advent-Week 1

I have often heard this word, "advent", referred to at Christmas time, but never really understood what it meant. I figured I would eventually find a really good article in a magazine or perhaps it would come up in a conversation with a friend and someone could give me a great explanation of it. This never happened. Nevertheless, this year I decided to jump in head first and muddle my way through it regardless.

From what I can gather, "Advent" starts the fourth Sunday before Christmas and is simply a setting aside of time to focus on the "Coming of Christ"-both the first and the second. You may use an advent wreath with five candles. Light the first candle on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, letting it burn during your devotional time. And each subsequent Sunday light another candle until the fifth (in the middle) is lit on Christmas Day.

Now as you can see from my picture above, I have no wreath and my candles were candles that I just so happened to have stuffed in the pantry (and adorning my mantle). I know that the candles are supposed to be specific colors, but I didn't have those colors. And since it was actually the Tuesday after Advent began that I was finally getting around to gathering them, I decided I couldn't wait for a trip to the store. So these will have to do. As far as the wreath goes, I have a little confession to make...all of my Christmas stuff is still in boxes in the basement. I know its horrible, but Christmas decorating is really not one of my favorite things, so I procrastinate...I blame my mother. She doesn't like to decorate for Christmas either.

Anyway, my point is as my friend, Carrie, reminded me, things don't have to be perfect to enjoy advent. And you're not to late even now. Here's what we're doing...

I am so happy that I purchased this gem of a book last Wednesday night. Jotham's Journey is a story for advent. Here is what the back of the book says:

"Over and over Jotham screamed for his family, but there was no one to hear him. They had vanished. He was alone. Where had they gone? How long did they leave? Through quick, stabbing sobs Jotham told himself, "I must find my family. I must search until I find them." And so his journey began.

The instructions are to read a chapter aloud each day starting the first Sunday of Advent and ending on Christmas Day. But don't let that stop you from getting this book now...the chapters are short and you'll want to read ahead anyway. We are SO enjoying this exciting story and the short devotions that follow each story that encourage us to seek Christ with earnest as Jotham is seeking his family.

I also purchased the Christmas Unit Study by Amanda Bennett. It's very simple to do this with the kids each day. Basically, we discuss a different part of the Christmas story and the oldest two have some copywork and vocab words, while younger two color. They are putting all their work in Christmas journals.

Here is E5's Title page. I'm not sure if that's suppose to be him or Santa. I've seen his self portraits...they look alike. ;-)

Here is G8's copywork and vocab for the day.

This is H3's coloring page. I really like this one. I think she was getting tired of coloring at the end which is the reason for all the scribbles in the sky, but it still made a pretty effect. (The red scribble at the top of the page is her name...and don't try to convince her otherwise.)

This is a coloring page out of A6's journal. I let the older ones put the coloring pages in with their copywork. I am so drawn to this simple picture of Mary. I guess I just think pictures of pregnant women are so beautiful. You can get these coloring pages and one for each day of advent free here.
Merry Christmas!
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  1. I just a comment for the Advent post under your Inferiority Complex entry...HA! That's HOW exited I was :D

  2. Ugh...I meant to say:
    I just LEFT you a comment .....

    I really need to sign off now!

  3. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Shanna! It sounds like Christmas and Advent are shaping up at your home, and Jotham's Journey was always one of our favorites. Enjoy this special time, and thanks for sharing. I hope you all enjoy the Christmas Unit Study as you move through this holiday season.

    Amanda B.

  4. We are also doing Jotham's Journey this year, so far the children are loving it. I never knew what Advent was about, but I think we're going to put this in our Christmas tradition list, though this year we aren't doing the candles.

  5. Hi Shanna,

    I am new to your blog arriving after receiving word about the giveaway. I have posted the button on my blog and look forward to your reviews this week.

    This book sounds amazing for Advent. The girls & I have just been doing a scriptural advent calendar for our 3rd year now. It will be wonderful to get some more ideas!

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway.


  6. My family LOVES the book Jotham's Journey - we first read it during Advent last year and it was such a blessing - my girls are 8 and 10.
    Your blog is a blessing - so glad to find it via Knowledge Quest's e-mail newsletter!




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