Advent : preparing our hearts, preparing our homes {Week Two}

We're continuing on our Advent journey of preparing our hearts as we prepare our homes.

This season can be so focused on making sure everything gets done, and when our to do lists take precedence over everything else, our souls suffer and we burn out quickly. I want to spend this Advent building up my relationships with other people, being intentional about preparing my home for the holidays, treasuring the gift of Jesus come to us, and preparing my heart to receive him once again this Christmas.

So here's the plan for week two!


Advent : preparing our hearts, preparing our homes {Week One}

December is often a very, very full month. Between preparing for Christmas, all the celebrations and parties, keeping everyone fed and clean, and trying to keep up with just the regular things that keep my house running, I feel like things fall through the cracks.

Like preparation.

There's usually a huge (often not very cheerful) rush to clean all the things when we have company coming. I never feel like my house is really all that prepared. And honestly, my heart is even less so. I often find myself with a bad attitude, or unconfessed sin, or relationship conflicts that really stem from my own heart issues. I need to get my heart prepared so that I can fully engage, fully experience, and fully worship during this very special season. That's really what Advent is all about- preparing our hearts.

So this year, I came up with a little "Advent calendar" to help me prepare my heart as well as my home. I figured I'd share what I'm planning! Here's the first week!


Bubbles! a toddler invitation to play

We started exploring the letter "B" this week with our first "B" theme-- Bubbles!!

Of course, the weather didn't cooperate with my planning (whoops) and we started our Bubbles invitation to play riiiiiight as the weather turned cold and dreary. Ah well. I was kind of hoping to spend more of our time outside with these activities, but they ended up being great ways to keep my two year old busy indoors, as well.

Here's how we played with bubbles this week!!


Seven Delayed Quick Takes : IBW, voiceless parenting tips, and a big bruise

Well, it certainly has been a couple busy weeks.... although I could have done without some of it.

I got sick. I picked up Evert's cold. And the truly unfair thing is that he got over it quick, but I'm still (still!) coughing up a storm. And he's got all the energy again, but me? Not so much. And the most unfair thing of all?? I lost my voice. Completely gone for two full days. Evert has been making monster truck noises and asking "What's that?" nine million times a day, and his voice is totally fine. What.

So my first three "takes" this week? The three things I would bring with me on a desert island, if that desert island was actually two days with two children under two and no voice.


Their Eyes Were Watching Mama

It was nearly the end of the church service.

I spent most of it standing. Well, standing and bouncing and rocking. Because my little one is getting to that age where he really doesn't nap well in a wrap, anymore, and the more I can move, the more likely he is to fall asleep. So I stood by the stained glass window, the light carrying the colors and painting them across my back, and swayed and rocked and rocked and swayed.

And finally the baby did fall asleep, and I cautiously sat back down next to my husband while the pastor finished his message with the baby's soft breath on my collarbone.


Apples! a toddler invitation to play

I love early Autumn, before the leaves start to fall, when the days are still warm and the mornings have just the smallest hint of the crisp, cool weather that's to come. Makes me want apple crisp along with my coffee for breakfast.

Fortunately for me, my in-laws have a couple apple trees that have been busy producing tons of apples, so apple crisp (and lots of it!) is definitely in my future!

With all the apples starting to ripen, it was the perfect time to explore and experience apples with my two year old!

While this isn't a formal "unit," and this definitely isn't "school," I have found that having themed invitations to play helps me to come up with creative activities to help my toddler learn through play and hands on experiences.

Here's what we did!


Seven Quick Takes : two year old woes, apple crisp, slide rafts, and a house plant

Just seven little things about our week!
...   .1.   ...

We've been getting to the little public library in town about once a week or so lately, and this week was no exception.