Advent Activities Going On NOW!

I have joined in the Advent festivities! From photo challenges, reflections by email  and downloadable activities it is all happening now! Here are a few I am participating in.


BustedHalo.com Advent photo contest going on now on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook using #bhAdvent.  
Be sure to visit BustedHalo.com website for their Advent surprise calendar with a daily microchallenge as we prepare for the birth of Jesus.  
While you are there be sure to also enter daily into their Advent contest.  An Ipad mini is up for grabs as the grand prize. 

CatholicSistas.com  has their Advent photo a day challenge going on now using #csAdvent. CatholicSistas is on all major social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. Click the link above to visit their website for more details. The theme for each day of advent is shown on the right. Capture a moment that portrays that theme to you and post it! Don't forget to use #csAdvent on your post.
This is my first time participating in a Catholicsistas photo challenge. I am excited about their themes and looking forward to seeing what I can come up with.  One more outlet for me to share my passion!


Over at one of my favorite blogs of inspiration and insight CatholicMom.com, they are hosting an Advent wreath link up on December 7th. If you have a blog and would like to participate be sure to follow the link for more details. A fun way to highlight this tradition of the Advent wreath. Unpacked and spruced up, my wreath is photo ready! Have you unpacked your Advent wreath?
Be sure to visit me back here on December 7th for a quick gander at my Advent wreath.


For the kids, there is HolyHeroes.com with there Advent Adventure conveniently sent to you in a daily email. My daughter will be participating this year. She likes to take advantage of the activities and inevitably persuades her brothers (younger and older) to get in on the fun. The conversations that take place while they sort out and solve the various activities together are proud momma moments.


I am in Advent social engagement bliss! What Advent social media campaigns are you participating in?

#Grateful for Today

 
In the wee hours of the morn
A look of distress
My child dost adorn

There in the door way
She begins to weep
I sleep no more,
to my dismay

The bug that plagued her brethren
Has claimed it's next victim

I can not take the pain away
My presence is my only gift
For this,
I am grateful for today

The Family That Says YES Together Witness Grace Together


As a family we have committed ourselves to helping our local Knights of Columbus chapter deliver Christmas baskets to the needy of our community in recent years. This is such a great time for us as we all load up in our pick-up truck and venture out to the back woods of our community.  These are  areas of our town we would never otherwise explore simply because they are a good distance away from anything. Having a mission to accomplish; we venture out far and wide making these deliveries. 

Regardless of our attitudes (as in I'd rather be sleeping in right now) the morning of deliveries, once we get rolling making deliveries our attention is immediately refocused on the mission at hand. With the kids running in and out like busy little ants loading and unloading I imagine to be a comical sight. We each have designated duties to help speed the process along. Dad checks the tags and verifies we have everything in order to complete the delivery. I am the navigator in charge of the GPS and keeping a sharp eye out for street signs. Older boys are responsible for the heavy boxes. Little ones get to Knock on the door

Our pursuit of the gifts and graces of gifting ourselves for the benefit of others has become a family affair I look forward to each year. The #GraceofYes with this line of action comes to us in many forms, but the most immediate is in spending time as a family not bickering but serving. A family "Yes" that is rewarding and fulfilling to us and we prayerfully hope it is equally so to those we serve.

What is your #GraceofYes?

The Grace of Yes To My First Book Club!

I have committed to my first book club! I can't think of a better book to be introduced into this world of companion reading than that of 'The Grace of Yes, Eight virtues of generous
living' by Lisa Hendey. 
The richness of Lisa's reflective writing style promotes an intimate bonding amongst the reading club as we share how her words have touched our hearts. 
I must admit that my curiosity has gotten the better of me and I have ventured ahead of the group in my reading. I was most intrigued by the title of Chapter 7, 'The grace of no'.  A pivotal chapter I will savor. The graces stemming from a no response, for me anyway, all too often have been overshadowed by disappointment in myself and lingering guilt. 
The graces found within this book reach well beyond the pages and into the depths of readers. I eagerly embrace the opportunities to grow and exercise these eight virtues Lisa so eloquently shares. 
Interested in joining the Grace of Yes book club? You can find it at CatholicMom.com  
How have you said Yes to God today?

Small Success Thursday: Typing Class = BLEH!!

Oh so many years ago when typing was an actual course in school I despised it. Typing tests consisted of a piece of cardboard over your hands while you typed out a series of toggled case characters and spaces. I don't remember how well I performed in that class however I remember not liking it at all!

And there was my first job as a clerk in an Ag office.  I had the grand responsibility of typing (on a typewriter) file labels and (get this) Rolodex cards. HA! While typing class did help me to be familiar with the set up of a keyboard I was not at all interested in all that proper mumbo-jumbo of form and placement of hands/ fingers over the keyboard. My peck and hunt typing got the job done.

Fast forward a couple of years in yet another clerical position that required typed form letters and memorandums. My mentor was a proficient typist and I marveled at the sound of her typing away. It was then that I chose to implement those propers of typing class. Silly as it is I wanted to type away just as my mentor did.  I forced myself to adhere to proper hand placement and practiced typing the alphabet or my name over and over and over again without lifting my fingers and without looking at the keys. I was a bit slower, but I was quite a bit more accurate. That little bout of self discipline paid off when I landed a position as a medical transcriptionist where proficient typing skills are essential.

These days I am thankful for the instruction I received all those years ago and opportunities to exercise those skills. Typing, jut as my typing teacher said, is an invaluable skill. Becoming proficient at it allowed me to contribute to the financial stability of my young family and it has since become second nature. This little skill doesn't exactly make me to stand out in today's world, however it has greatly benefited me in conquering day to day tasks as mother, student, and volunteer.  
 
Current course work has me typing up a frenzy and I am again reminded of the sentiments of my typing teacher. As tedious and monotonous of a task as typing can be, I am ever so thankful that I effortlessly accomplish this portion of assignments and my mind is free to process the nuances of the current course of study. 
 
Heck, I don't even think twice about spewing my unimportant ramblings about nothing with all of you...you're welcome. :)
 
Small Success Thursdays at CatholicMom.com 
In a nutshell my small success is perseverance and self-discipline.  I persevered through typing class and that first job only to decide that typing was important enough to practice and become proficient at.
 
Do any of you have a similar experience in loathing a grade-school course that has become a foundational skill? How did you come around to embracing it?