Monday, December 24, 2012

Slacker Catholic Family Advent

Someday, our Advent will be magical and holy and angelic.  For the forseeable future, I'm resigned to a houseful of fun and wild with a long wait for the 25th.  Oh well.

As far as decorations, we never can be spiritual and wait to put up/decorate/light the tree, so we do it as soon as possible, then call the children's agony of waiting a whole month for there to be actual presents under the thing, holy awaiting.

Yes, it's tipped.  And fake.  But it's UP.

Our other decorations are cheap and easy and transform the whole house: I waltz about, flinging rectangles of red calico and gingham on every horizontal surface, as well as behind glass.  I also wrap pictures and paintings to look like presents.  I do not sew, so the edges are cut with pinking shears (sorry, Mom) ~


This is a print of some chickadees and birch trees in real life.  And a thrift store, lysol-ed throw pillow.

This is an East coast beach painting in real life.

Mary Engelbreit card in real life. Towel, $1 at Target.

Sorry about the potty picture, but not even the bathroom is safe.

Tea cupboard with wrapping paper taped inside the glass because I don't have enough cloth.


These old Santa prints are thrift store treasures (See the missing bottom edging on the one on the right?) for a couple of dollars, as are the knick-knacks on the mantle.  I did purchase that wise men hinged nativity new a few weeks ago (Wal-mart.  $17.).



Our Advent devotions are so lame, I hesitate to write this down, but the hope of  uniting with another slacker friend spurs me on.  I only read this book for morning prayers and do not even have a Jesse tree for the meaningful ornaments.

We do pray the Saint Andrew's prayer five times each morning.  I have a kid type it out, make copies, then cut and glue onto construction paper.  We're fancy like that.


I never remember about the shoes or coins, chocolate or real, for Saint Nicholas' feast day on the 6th, but we watch this ~
And we eat Mexican food for Juan Diego on the 9th and Our Lady of Guadalupe
 on the 12th, so we're good there.

The Advent wreaths some of the kids made earlier in the month fell apart but one gets lit at church so that lets me off the hook.  It does.

Now, the worst and most wonderful thing we do (depends upon if one is a Howell child or adult) is to attend Mass Christmas morning before opening presents.  Yes we do.  We make them wait.  Barreling down the stairs, all morning-breathed and bathroom-needing-but-refusing-to-go is a sorry display and it's all over in half an hour.  So for the past seven years, now that we're Catholic and there's such a thing as a Holy Day of Obligation, we're all over that.  Stockings they dump out first thing, as they find some sort of breakfast in a foil wrapper and juice box.  Then it's back upstairs for decent dressing and washing up; church; and home again.  The mood is much better and it truly, tangibly puts Jesus first (whether they like it or not). 

Why do we give each other gifts when it's Jesus' birthday?  Because it makes Him happy when we love and give to others.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

It's almost here!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

CF Round Up: Prayers, Food, and PFTs


1.) The Saint Andrew prayer, during Advent, is very special to me; Rees' health is always one of my specific intentions.  But this year, I grew up a little more and have changed it to a cure for CF (Thank you, CF friends who live inside my computer!).  My other intentions are for Ken's job situation and my patience situation.

2.) Lots of reading on essential oils for managing CF.  Some seem magical.  I'm reminding myself that if something could kill pseudomonas without damaging delicate pulmonary tissue, our doctor would know about it.  But I like the word manage instead of miracle (well no, I love the word miracle...) and managing is how I'm using them: Breathe blend and tea tree oil for Rees; On Guard blend for Addie and everybody else.  Oh, and Whisper blend for me. If anything, we smell wonderful! They can be purchased here.  (Warning: it's very hard to choose!)

3.) Addie's weight for height ratio is less than 50%, so per the doctor's orders, I'm giving her something solid twice a day (Actually, he told me three or four times a day but the sassy little thing is not complying.).  Greek yogurt mixed with banana, sweet potato, or avocado is a hit; oatmeal and ice cream are not.  She still nurses 6-8 times in a 24 hour period and her lungs continue to be clear.

I bought an amber necklace, too.  Don't know if it works, but it's a lovely decoration!


4.) Rees' checkup yielded 20% declined PFT, so he's on ciprofloxacin for 10 days.  If there's no improvement, then a 2 week tune-up at Providence Hospital.  He'd been dancing around being sick for a few weeks (little extra cough, little extra congestion) but felt fine and thought he'd done great on the PFT.  Oh well.  Can't fool around; he begins college classes January 9!

5.) And, OUR CLINIC HAS BEEN ACCEPTED FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE VERTEX STUDY!  This, my friends, is magical stuff, as it corrects the basic defect in CF (a folded protein that messes up the chloride channel within the cells).  We, like everyone else, hope for the drug and not placebo.  God's will be done.

Time for more Christmas shopping; our lessons have been reduced to mathematics and reading stories . . .

Happy Advent!