O Antiphons

They’re here!! I love the O Antiphons of Advent. These ancient prayers are what make up the text to my favorite Advent hymn O Come O Come Emmanuel. I never get tired of it. The O Antiphons are used as part of Evening Prayer the last 7 days before Christmas Eve. So today is the first day:

O Wisdom of our God Most High,

guiding creation with power and love:

come to teach us the path of knowledge!

Each of these 7 days I’m going to be posting on the Daily Graces Facebook page which Antiphon is for their day as well as a short prayer that echoes the idea of that antiphon.

If you haven’t already, check out the page and be sure to “like” it so you get all the Antiphons. I’m purposefully not posting these daily in the blog in an effort to decrease email traffic during these last days of Advent. I don’t know about you but my email has been exploding the last two weeks with sales, promotions and gift guides. While one or two were genuinely helpful, it’s been a chore to go through and delete delete delete.

If you’re trying to spend time away from your computer or phone to help you better prepare your heart for Jesus’ birth, be sure to check out the USCCB page which has all the Antiphons listed. You can copy them down and pray them each day without needing any technology besides pen and paper! Or if you have access to Evening Prayer the Antiphons are listed there as well.

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Well I’m not used to posting from my phone and accidentally published this before it was finished! I wanted to wish you all a blessed Gaudete Sunday, a Happy Advent and a very Merry (early) Christmas!

May peace and joy always reign in your hearts and your homes

Review: Scripture Stackers

There is something wonderful about the ability to build, to create. Day after day I listen my children craft wondrous stories, tales of adventure and rescue, of Batman, the Joker and Rapunzel all rolled into one. They create castles, tunnels, airports and now, even the Nativity scene! Our family was so blessed by the generous people at Our Picnic Tree with a set of Scripture Stackers.

Scripture Stackers are a work of genius. In their words:

Scripture Stackers are building block sets (compatible with all major brands, by the way) that bring your favorite Scripture Heroes and stories to life! Engage, play and teach your family about their lives, their triumphs and their faith! Our Premier Collection includes assorted Mini-Figures from the Bible & a 140 Piece Nativity Set!

These stackers are great! The kids jumped on them as soon as they came out of the box. The stackers are the same size and scale to Legos, of which we have many. Though the individual mini-figures (like Moses and the burning bush, King Solomon and his throne, Noah and his sheep etc.) do not come with specific directions, there are only a few pieces for each figure and their completed pictures are on the bags they come in. It was a nice challenge for John. He saw the finished product and had to figure out how to build it with the pieces available to him. The Nativity scene, which is much larger, has step-by-step instructions.

It has been fun to have the kids recreate the Bible stories of the figures, and even expand upon them. Since Goliath is on his own, frequently Joseph is standing in for David when they tell the story. Then, Goliath serves as Potiphar and Pharaoh when they tell Joseph’s story. All the animals from the Nativity always end up surrounding Noah and King Solomon is typically found at the foot of the manger.

With Advent fast approaching (yikes!) what better way to celebrate the season but with a new Nativity scene that the kids can build, customize and and create. The Nativity scene is constructed in 23 steps, plus constructing the people. You could build the Nativity one day at a time starting Dec. 1 so that come Christmas everything is ready for Jesus!

As I said, Betsy and Melissa at Our Picnic Tree are so generous with their Scripture Stackers. They have even provided a coupon code just for my blog readers.

Be sure to use FAITH25 when you checkout to receive a 25% discount on your whole order!

We love our set. Here are some pictures of the kids when we first got them.

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Catholicmom.com September Post

Here is the start to my Catholicmom.com post for September. I would love it if you clicked over and checked out the whole thing. Enjoy!

Bring Your Senses With You

“Sharron, things need to be stirred!” So said my husband’s grandfather to his wife when she queried him regarding the state of their crockpot meal. Grandpa Joe was legendary for not leaving those crock pots alone. In his mind, food shouldn’t be left to sit, as a crockpot requires. He always had to stir things up, checking what was what and I suspect trying to discover what was for dinner that evening.

I was thinking about this the other day while cleaning the bathroom of all places. We inherited a fancy touchless toilet from the previous owners of our house. There is a little button that isn’t really a button that indicates where you should wave your hand to make the toilet flush. No matter how many times I explain to the kids, they insist on pushing the non-button. Just like in the grocery store, museums, park or yes, even the bathroom, things just need to be touched — at least according to kids.

Things need to be touched, stirred, smelled, tasted and seen. God made us tactile people, sensual people. Jesus, God who became human in all things except sin, experienced this. He ate bread made by his mother. He carved wood with his foster father. Jesus walked miles with his friends, perhaps even barefoot at times. He knew the fatigue of the hot sun at noon and he felt the refreshment of the cool breezes of twilight. In all of Jesus’ ministry, he engaged in the daily activities of life. Jesus didn’t talk at people, he worked with them. This is why, in my mind and in the eyes of the Church, the practices Jesus left us are just as much physical as spiritual.

Continue at Catholicmom.com