Life is Worth Living

Moving, again?!?

Yes, it’s true.  We’re moving again.

This time, however, we’re not just hopping across a river and strolling down the road a few miles.  Nope, we’re trekking across the state, skipping over Minnesota, and landing in La Crosse, Wisconsin, where my husband will begin a new job at the end of January.

We’re very excited about this move for a few reasons:

  1. La Crosse puts us within about 70 miles of Rochester, MN, where our son doctors.  This will be a tremendous relief for us, should we need to race to the Emergency Room in the middle of the night again.  (God forbid.)
  2. La Crosse, as you perceptive readers may have noticed, has gorgeous churches, complete with Traditional Latin Masses every single Sunday.  As this is what our hearts long for, we are truly delighted and grateful for this opportunity.
  3. My husband is very pleased too with his new job.  It looks to be just what we need.
  4. And…it’s warmer in Wisconsin!  And the sun shines more.  Not kidding.  My husband looked it up.  Any move closer to the equator is a Serious Plus.

There are a few downsides to moving south (and east), however.

  1. We will be leaving behind family and friends.  This will not be easy, and it does tear our hearts.  We have been so blessed over the years with devoted grandparents and caring friends.  We thank God for them every day.
  2. It will also be terrible to leave the prairie for a forest.  How does one see the weather coming in Wisconsin?  My goodness, I’ll have to actually look at a Weather App.
  3. My husband has frequently commented that he’ll miss his boss and coworkers.  His boss in particular is a good man–a man he looks up to.  He will be awfully hard to replace.

In any case, though, God has clearly made His will known to us, and we are happy to move.  Wisconsin, here we come!

And we did the unthinkable…

Due to the impending move, we did the unthinkable and put the Christmas tree up early.  Yes, we are still observing our Advent rituals.  For example, here are the little girls joyfully watching the Advent candles burn:

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Yes, those candles are crooked; it’s the best we can do around here.

But we did it; we committed Liturgical Sin and bought a huge, 9-foot Fraser Fir right smack in the middle of Advent.*

Oh, what a tree!  Just for fun, here are some photos of the children decorating it.

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All said and done:

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If you look closely at the foot of the fireplace, you’ll see our Nativity Stable and Inn.  (You know, the Inn that rejected Joseph and Mary.)  Of course Joseph and Mary aren’t there yet, in fact, they wandering around in the kitchen cupboards right now, and the children are having a jolly, good time playing with all the shepherds, sheep, and inn keepers.

Favorite Christmas Ornament?

All my birds.  One cannot have enough birds in a Christmas tree.

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Isn’t he cute?

Ok, I really like this ornament too.  It’s my husband in 1987.  He made this ornament for his mother, and she graciously gave it to us.

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Isn’t he cute too?
*Next year, however, we do plan on waiting until the last possible moment for buying and putting up a Christmas tree.  Truly, there is something really special about that.  See HERE for it.
Life is Worth Living

Almost There! Photopost

It’s almost Christmas, and we’re getting ready!

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We hope you’re eating lots of cookies and chugging the sprinkles like this gal.
  1. A few weeks ago, here’s how I worked on my Christmas cards:

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    I love Asiago and red wine.
  2. And here is how I scrubbed onesies full of poop.  (Laundry doesn’t go away during the holidays.)  It just so happens that a dear friend stopped by and gave me the coffee.  May God bless her thoughtfulness!

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    Cheers!
  3. Here is my son traveling to his doctor appointment wherein we didn’t discover much of anything.

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    He says thank you for all the prayers!
  4. Here is our sweet Christmas tree.  It has a gaping hole in the back.  But that’s what you get when you wait until two days before Christmas Eve to buy one.  (As of last year, we decided to wait until the last possible moment to get one.  Oh the excitement!)  Then we decorate it on Christmas Eve.  Click HERE for last year’s Sweet Thang.

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    For the record, this tree was $11.25.
  5. And, here are the rest of the children helping with the cookies.
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I’m not sure if you can see it, but those cookies on the left are supposed to be Spritz.  They’re the worst ones I’ve ever made for two reasons.  1.  We had no almond extract.  2.  We also had no cookie press.  However, they are still edible.

In any case, I pray that your Christmas may be holy and jolly!  Come, Lord Jesus!

 

Call Me Catholic

Christmas Trees

Well, this year we decided to do something we’ve never, ever done before – wait until the last possible minute to buy and put up a Christmas tree, which was Saturday, December 23rd, as we didn’t want to shop on Sunday, Christmas Eve.

Now normally we drive to the local tree nursery and pick out a big, beautiful 7-8 foot Frasier Fir the first or second weekend of Advent.  Twice we even bought a potted tree, which we planted in our yard in the Spring.  Of course potted trees are a bit more expensive, like $200 compared to the $100 for a cut tree, but then you have the benefit of a lifelong tree in the yard.

Anyway, it is then our tradition to let the tree sit until Christmas Eve, when we all decorate it together before Midnight Mass.  This year, however, we wanted to enter more fully into the season of Advent and not be bothered with a tree, until necessary.  The result?

I have never been so excited to get a Christmas tree!  It was so hard to see all those beautifully decorated trees in the windows of everyone’s houses!  Let’s face it – Christmas trees are so festive and cheering.  Who wouldn’t want one up all year round?  (Well, maybe the dead pine needles would deter some…)  And the children were positively giddy when we drove to Menards to buy one.  (The local nursery was not open.)

The selection, however, was as one might expect.  There were about 15 absolutely dead trees.  So, we picked out the least looking dead one and drove home, still very happy with our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.  After all, this tree just needed a little love – like Linus’s blanket wrapped around its base or some sparkling lights and shiny ornaments.  And it turned out all right, as you can see by the picture.

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Our $2.13 Christmas Tree

But there was another reward for waiting.  We only spent $2.13!  Unbelievable.

And there is even one more, unlooked for advantage to purchasing a really dead tree.  You see, we need not concern ourselves with watering it.  I mean, we do have it sitting in water, but it hasn’t soaked up any yet.

Now, let’s just hope this tree makes it until Epiphany without completely falling apart.  (Oh that we lived near a Christmas Tree Farm, so that we could get a fresh one, which might last until the Feast of the Presentation on February 2.)

But will we do this again next year?  Yes.  The wait was worth it, even if only for the sheer excitement of the thing.

And while we’re talking about Christmas trees, everyone knows that the best song to listen to while decorating your tree is Brenda Lee’s Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.  Well, unless you’re German, then maybe you’d prefer Nat King Cole’s O Tannenbaum?

Merry Christmas!