Advent with Little Luther

A reformer, a bishop, and an angel gather under a Jesse Tree…sounds like the beginning of a very strange Advent joke…

We’ve had some fun with Little Luther this year, and I figured Advent should be no different:

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I got him a few seasonally appropriate Playmobil friends (I have to imagine Luther would have enjoyed spending time with a heretic-slapper!), and they’re all hanging out under our Jesse Tree. Just a little Lutheran fun in our Advent season!

2014-15 School Year–Week Fourteen

Last week was insanely busy, both in school, and at home in general. We worked really hard to get a lot of stuff done as we approach Christmas!

We skipped ahead in our religion lessons so that we could study some of the Christmas prophecies, as well as John the Baptist. We’ll keep up with that theme until we’ve made it through the Christmas story, and even Epiphany…after our vacation, of course. It’s always nice to read those old, familiar verses prophesying Jesus’ birth, and who He would be!

Math was mostly review for all three students, although Ladybug is working on learning more of the times tables. Thankfully, nobody had any real problems with any of their assignments, which makes me hopeful that our last tests before Christmas next week will be a rousing success!

Language arts was fairly standard. Everyone did an excellent job on their spelling tests this week, and the writing assignments didn’t involve too much complaining or rewriting. Ladybug has moved on to adjectives in grammar, which is always fun…students get a chance to be a little silly when describing nouns, and it’s good for a giggle to hear what they come up with!

We finished our stem study in botany. Our celery hung around until the middle of the week, and it was amazing to see just how dark the “veins” turned! We also watched some interesting time-lapse videos following both the life cycle of a sunflower, as well as how they follow the sun in just one day. The children really want to grow some sunflowers next summer now, so we’ll what I can come up with, given that I’m a known plant-killer.

We again abandoned our history lessons in favor of Christmas Around the World. This week we focused on Russia, and especially Sweden, since St. Lucia day was Saturday. We spent a lot of time reading about how Christmas is celebrated in those two countries and reading Christmas legends from both countries. We also worked on making St. Lucia crowns and Star Boy hats, which turned out really well, if I do say so myself!

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We sampled a lot of foods from around the world (well, from Greece, France, Italy, Sweden, and Russia, anyway!), in the last two weeks, some of which were new to us, and some of which were old favorites. I think this is one of my favorite parts of Christmas school, and now that the children are older, and more open to trying new things, I think they really enjoy it, as well!

Last week was our last full-ish week of school before Christmas. We’ll still be having school this week, including finishing A Christmas Carol, but I have some special things planned, and less actual work to do…stay tuned!

An Unusual Advent Wreath

We saw this Advent wreath at the Belleville Cathedral Sunday, and I think it’s the most unusual Advent wreath I’ve ever seen. It’s very pretty in its own unique way!

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Happy Santa Lucia Day!

As oldest daughter, Bunny took her job as Santa Lucia very seriously this morning.

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She generously allowed Ladybug to dress up with her, though.

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The Lussekattes were a big hit, for which I was grateful, because they’re an awful lot of work!

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Happy Santa Lucia Day!

Tasty Tuesday–Lussekattes

I thought I’d share this recipe since the commemoration for Santa Lucia is this week. I can’t verify the authenticity of the recipe, since I’m not Swedish, but I do know that the children love it when I make these, and Bunny loves getting to play Santa Lucia on December 13!

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  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup very warm water
  • 1/2 cup milk, scalded and then cooled
  • 1/4 cup sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
  • 1/4 cup softened butter (plus extra for brushing on top)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pinch saffron (or yellow food coloring)
  • 1/2 tsp. orange zest
  • 3-3 1/2 cups flour
  • raisins

Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Stir in milk, sugar, butter, 1 egg, cardamom, saffron or food coloring, salt, and orange zest.
Stir in 1 1/2 cups flour and beat until smooth.
Stir in enough remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 5-10 minutes.
Place in a greased bowl, turn, and cover. Let rise in warm place until doubled in size (about 1 1/2-2 hours).
Punch down the dough. Divide into two portions and cut each portion into six pieces.
Shape each piece into a smooth rope about 10-12 inches long.
Shape each rope into an “S” shape and curve both ends into a tight coil.

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Place one raisin in the center of each coil.

Place on greased cookie sheets. Brush the tops with butter.
Let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350. Brush the buns with the remaining egg beaten and mixed with water, and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.