The Eleventh Day of Advent

Bag 17 of Lego Hogwarts Castle involved paneling, which also provided some much-needed support:

Tonight’s wine was a Malbec from Argentina:

And I wore my very most special and sparkly Christmas brooch today!

Christmas Traditions 2019

On Saturday, we enjoyed one of our favorite Christmas traditions…the Christmas Traditions festival in St. Charles, MO!

It was so much easier to enjoy the event this year, without my ankle being broken. (Although the day was not without a foot injury…more on that later.) For example, we actually got to see the gingerbread houses this time, and they were spectacular…it was hard to choose a favorite!

We also enjoyed our walk down beautiful, historic Main Street, which always looks so nice at Christmastime!

We saw the entirety of the Santa Parade:

And the hoopla, in its new location behind the Tourism Center:

We also attended the Land of Sweets Gumball for the first time:

And caught up with some of our favorite characters, including the Master of Revels, who we missed last year:

And of course Jack Frost, who let Bunny sit in his cart…they even pretended to run down Susie Snowflake!

We also saw one of the Seaman dogs, all dressed up for the holidays!

We collected 25 of 39 character cards, plus two of the five bonus cards, which seemed a bit slim to us, but we still had a great time!

Anyway, the only downside to the day was me stepping on a thumb tack slightly before we left. It went through the sole of my boot and into my foot, which felt great. As I was due for a tetanus shot anyway, we hit the Minute Clinic on the way home so I could get that taken care of, just in case. What a dumb thing to have happen, but I’ll take it over a broken ankle any day!

The Tenth Day of Advent

Today the Fab Five started building the big tower of Lego Hogwarts Castle from bag 16, and I can’t believe how much bigger that addition has made the set look!

Tonight’s wine was kind of new to me…it was a Pinot Grigio Blush from Italy. I’ve had Pinot Grigio before, but never a blush variety, so it was fun to try something different!

Today’s brooch wasn’t specifically Christmas, but I think this adorable blue penguin from the Erstwilder/Pete Cromer collaboration fits right in!

The Ninth Day of Advent

Bag 15 of Lego Hogwarts Castle is complete!

Tonight’s wine was a Red Blend from Australia:

My brooch today was a very sparkly star from Erstwilder…it’s unbelievably beautiful!

The Eighth Day of Advent

The second week of Advent is here! Today the Fab Five built bags 13 & 14 of Lego Hogwarts Castle…it’s really starting to take shape!

My wine was a new one to me…a Chenin Blanc from South Africa:

My brooch for the day was a sprig of mistletoe from Erstwilder:

2019-20 School Year–Week Fifteen

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any busier, Advent started! That makes everything around here, including school, extra crazy! Turkey and Bunny finished their study of the Augsburg Confession…we’re going to wait until after Christmas break to start reading the Formula of Concord. They learned about double angle and half angle identities in pre-calculus. In American history, they read about the election of George Washington as the first president of the United States, and in world history, they focused on Sri Lanka. In health, they finished the chapter on the digestive and urinary systems. They applyed Newton’s Law to more than one object in physics.

Ladybug calculated mean, median, and mode in pre-algebra. We took a short break from Anne of Green Gables to read Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas, which is a lovely book. In history, she learned about Russia and Peter the Great. Her science lessons focused on the different types of unconformities. And here’s a look at the crystal she started growing a few weeks ago…she’s very happy with how it turned out!

Chickadee continued to work on multiplication…she added 10s to the 1s and 0s she was already learning. In science, she read about the phases of the moon. She’s also still working on verbs in language arts. The real theme for her last week, though, was stories. We’re continuing to read Alice in Wonderland, and she’s been listening in on Letters from Father Christmas. Ladybug has also been reading one of our favorite Advent stories, Jotham’s Journey to her, in addition to our daily Jesse Tree readings.

I still haven’t decided when our Christmas vacation is going to start, but I know we have at least six school days before then. I won’t lie…I’m looking forward to taking a break!

The Seventh Day of Advent

It’s hard to believe that today is the final day of the first week Advent…it always flies by so quickly! The Fab Five built bags 10-12 of Lego Hogwarts Castle. It’s nice to have extra time on the weekends to make up for the fact that there are more bags of parts than days of Advent!

Since it is the end of the first week of Advent, here’s a closer look at some of my favorite details from the set so far:

Tonight’s wine was a RosĂ© from ChilĂ©:

And I wore my holly brooch from Erstwilder to St. Charles, MO, where we attended the Christmas Traditions festival:

Sartorial Saturday–Have Yourself a Kitschy Little Christmas

A few years ago, I was thrilled to order the “Kitschy Christmas” skirt from The Oblong Box Shop, my first Christmas print piece. This year, when they previewed a new version of the skirt in green, I knew I needed to add it to my wardrobe, even though I normally wouldn’t buy a duplicate print, despite the colorway being vastly different.

In the time since I bought the red version of the skirt, the material has changed slightly. It’s still polyester (my least favorite thing about the skirt), but the weave is far superior, and the skirt flows much better.

Of course, accessories are important. I decided to run with the pink and green theme, which is perfect, because I have a lovely new Erstwilder brooch, that reminds me of Lucy’s request in A Charlie Brown Christmas: “A great, big, shiny, aluminum Christmas tree…maybe painted pink!” It’s even more beautiful than you can imagine, with lovely silver threads garlanding across it. As always, I added a stack of Splendette Duchess Bangles, this time in green and pink, plus pink earrings, a favorite necklace, and my new favorite belt, featuring a bow:

I love how perfectly my mint Sabrina top from Pinup Girl Clothing goes with the skirt!

This is definitely a new favorite Christmas look, and I’m going to wear it as often as possible in the coming weeks!

A Markel Family St. Nicholas Day

Time for another installment of “A Markel Family Holiday!” St. Nicholas Day has always been one of favorite days in Advent, so I thought I’d share what we do to make it special.

The day always begins with stockings. We keep it simple…chocolate coins, oranges, and a new ornament for each child to hang on the tree. They’ve each received an ornament every year since their births, so they will have a nice collection to start their own trees when they have homes of their own someday!

We always read Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend from CPH. It’s a fantastic book!

And of course we do our Jesse Tree reading for the day. This year, the commemoration for St. Nicholas fell on the day we read about Jacob:

In the afternoon, we decorate the tree. I put it up and hung the lights almost a month ago, but we always wait for St. Nicholas Day for the addition of the ornaments.

We enjoy hot wassail while we decorate:

Some years, I make a special dinner. This year, we tried a Turkish fish stew and flat bread, to honor the area of the world from which St. Nicholas comes.

And of course we have evening prayers by the light of the Advent wreath.

I really love this holiday, and the special ways we celebrate it!