Sunday, November 30, 2008

It Is A New Liturgical Year!!

It is the First Sunday of Advent again!! So today we set up our nativity scene.

Below is a view of the whole scene. Disregard the mess that remains on the dining room table. This years scene is not as grand as last year's. And had to be baby proof and we will admit to a moment of feeling disconsolate about the whole endeavor, but we persevered! And here is the finished product...not too shabby :)

Starting from the left we the non-desert desert LOL...usually we make this totally desert, but we had smaller space and so now our desert is more of an oasis...complete with basket shop, wise men, and palm trees.

Here is our poultry shop.....we always assume/pretend/make-believe the owner of the poultry shop also owns the stable. Notice our signature waterfall....what is a nativty scene without a waterfall?!

Here is the stable. It is quite empty at the moment since Jane from Building the Ark gave us the idea to start Joseph and Mary off in the distance since they were travelling into Bethlehem...they will arrive to the stable on Christmas Eve.
BTW notice on the foot bridge the appearance of our two Bethlehemian turtles :)

Below is the pottery shop (ancient Pottery Barn?), the synagogue and the Roman soldiers announcing the census.

And at the end we have the rug shop and the kitchen.

Just a little peek over here...there is Joseph and Mary, starting out on their long journey.

And last but not least our very own little cherub.

Putting up the nativity has become part of our domestic liturgy. After we finshed setting it up, we then blessed the nativity using shortened versions of prayers from Helen McLoughlin's Family Advent Customs. You can find them here:
There are other blessings out there for nativities and Advent wreaths but we like the older "thee and thou" language.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Think I Need an Exterminator!!

Look what I found in the cabinet!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Benjamin Dressed as a T Square

The Sunday of a Thousand Pleasures!

Because we were at our church Saturday for an event we decided to stay and go to Saturday night mass. This left our Sunday open to stay home, lounge around, do some fun things, and have a nice breakfast! We named the day "The Sunday of a Thousand Pleasures!!"

I didn't takes pics of the whole day since it was mostly boring in a wonderfully relaxing way, but I thought Ben's first pancake breakfast was worthy of recording!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Financial Shape in 2008!

Crystal over at Money Saving Mom is hosting a Financial Shape in 2008 update. We haven't participated in this before, but I figured no time like the present to join in!

Earlier this Fall Claudio and I read The Total Money Makeover: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness by Dave Ramsey. We HIGHLY recommend it, even for those who are doing great financially. It is a fail proof, gimmick free way to live within your means and pay off your debts in a timely fashion.

So following Dave's plan we created a budget and other than a few tweaks of adjustment we have been keeping to it religiously. This enabled us to throw lots of extra money to our car payment and we are happy to announce that we payed off our car in just about a year!! With the economy how it is now we feel much more confident knowing that we can live below our means, we can make do with what we have, and we are well on our way to paying off all of our debt!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

All Saint's Day at Mater Ecclesiae

Today was the All Saint's Day party at our parish church. Since Ben is still a bit too young we decided to pick an easy saint with an easy costume. Ben dressed as St. Peter (as I am sure you could tell by the keys and fish net on his belt!)

His costume basically consisted of one of daddy's undershirts, a piece of red fabric, a belt, toy keys and a fish net, and a fake beard made from an old wool scarf. He was definitely a hit!

Here are all the little costumed children gathering to start the games. Each child gets a turn to give a little info about their saint and the rest of the children get to guess. One of the funniest guesses of the day was from a little boy who yelled out, "St. Hannah Montana?!" LOL

I just couldn't pass up a picture of this little cherub dressed up as Our Lady of Good Success. She is actually a distant cousin on the Salvucci side!!

And here is Ben having a grand ole time with all of the kids there to play with!

Daddy and Benjamin waiting their turn (with the Rotondi's to the left and Bob to the right)

And at last its Ben's turn!! (btw that is not Ben crying at the beginning of the video)