"For thus says the Lord: Lo, I will spread prosperity over her like a river, and the wealth of the nations like an overflowing torrent. As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in her lap; As a mother comforts her son, so will I comfort you..." Isaiah 66:12-13

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Dropping the Ball...

Ha! I bet you think this post is going to be about a certain ball-dropping tradition that will take place soon. Not so. Instead, I have a question for all of you, my loyal readers (however few of you there are). In the Volpe household this year, I think we did a pretty good job of celebrating Advent. We had nightly family prayer, complete with candle lighting, special reading (a children's Advent book), and an Advent calender. We celebrated St. Nicholas' day, and decorated in preparation for Christmas. Maria very much enjoyed her "candle book" and the special prayers that we said. In fact she's been asking for it ever since we stopped on Christmas Eve.

This is where the ball dropping comes in. Now granted that I have been sick, and feeling rather like I'm observing the family goings on from Pluto, I still feel that we should be doing something more to celebrate Christmas. I tried, briefly, to find prayers to use with children for the Christmas season, but with no luck. So really, we haven't been praying to together as a family, and I don't feel like we adequately explained what Christmas is really about to Maria. I fear the large mound of new presents is doing the talking for us.

Now that I'm feeling somewhat better, I want to return to some nightly prayer, appropriate to the season and to Maria's age, so that we can do a better job of explaining Christmas to her. I realized we probably have a few more years before she's ruined for life and only thinks of Christmas in terms of presents, but I don't want to wait that long to try to teach her the truth.

This is where you come in. What are you doing in your homes to celebrate the Christmas season? Are there specific prayers you use, and if so where did you find them? Am I crazy to try incorporating the liturgical year into our family prayer, with children so young?

It's one of my goals for the new year to more faithfully pray together as a family. So before the ball drops tonight, I'm hoping you can help me avoid 'dropping the ball' in our prayer time.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

More Volpe Christmas...

Here are a few more pictures of our Christmas Eve/Day Celebrations this year. Unfortunately, we took very few stills due to the fact that I had a pretty nasty cold which started on Christmas Eve eve and is still hanging around. Fortunately, thanks to a Mom-mom and Pop Volpe we have a new digital camcorder so we have video of the Christmas morning present opening. If I figure out how to, I may post some of the video here in the coming week. For now this will have to do:

A first taste of Mom-mom's pasta with anchovies....mmmmmm-yummy!

First look at the tree with presents underneath.

Hey! Where'd those candles go!

Amelia also enjoyed her first Christmas morning.

Friday, December 29, 2006

A Volpe Christmas...

For now this is all I can manage... one picture of the tree on Christmas day, after Grammy and Pappy Simcisko arrived bringing their load of gifts to add to our pile... Hope to post more later.

Monday, December 18, 2006

White Elephant Party

As promised here are a few pics from our bible study white elephant party. For some reason all the good shots were of the kids...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Liar, Liar....

As usual, I spoke too soon when I said at the party that "once we gave money to them, we stopped receiving the chant CDs." As it turns out, when Jim got the mail yesterday there was a mailing from the good monks at the Clear Creek Monastery, complete with a new Gregorian Chant CD. Call it a case of "open mouth, insert CD."

Sorry to all for the misinformation.

(here's a link to another blog with more info on the monks)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Christmas Novena

Thanks to Danielle Bean, my favorite blogger/author/mom, who had a link to this site for a Christmas Novena. All you BSers at who attended the party now have no excuse not to continue the prayers. Blessed Advent!

note: I will try to post party pics soon, maybe tonight if the little ones allow.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

You know you're a parent when...

You go to adoration for some quiet prayer and meditation, and instead spend the time: thinking of the many things you need to do in the next few weeks to get ready for Christmas, wondering what makes daughter number one squirm like that, and finally hoping that daughter number two's intestinal noises and smells are not loud enough or smelly enough to disturb anyone else, while desparately stiffling your laughter.

In the end all you can do is pray that God made prayer happen somewhere in there without you noticing.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Easing in...

Trying to catch a smile from a six week old, you get alot of shots like this:
You may finally get a shot like this:

At which point you may enlist the reluctant assistance of big sister...
who finally gives in, thinking: "If Ican't be the center of attention, I can at least entertain her."