Saturday, December 10, 2011

Second week of Advent

This first photo has nothing to do with the topic, but I liked it. :-) On the Saturday before the first Sunday in Advent, while Jörn, Mom, and the boys were at the art workshop, Dad and the little girls and I went for a long walk in the Salt Lake park. We were looking for flamingos, and did see them, but so far away that I didn't bother taking a photograph of them.

Later in the afternoon, just my dad and Helen and Elisabeth and I went over to the Salt Lake park to get pine cones for the Advent wreath. As I was starting to drill holes in them (the Advent wreath has four spikes on it, on which Jörn's family used to put apples, but I prefer pine cones and have a feeling that apples would get eaten anyway...), a waytoobigandscary spider came crawling out of one. So I ended up taking all the pinecones outside and spraying them with Biokill (an insecticide that is supposed to be harmless to mammals, and yes, I know that spiders are not insects, but it also kills spiders, and no, I don't ususally kill spiders, but I also don't willingly provide homes for them in the middle of my eating table), leaving them to dry.

On Sunday, my parents and all the girls and I went to Larnaca Community Church (where they did have an Advent wreath and lit the first two candles), then went home and played a game until Jörn called from the house church to say that it was time for lunch, then the three younger girls and my parents and I joined them for lunch there. In the afternoon/evening we were at Sue's and Richard's house to play games and have a meal, so we never did have a meal together at home, so the fact that we didn't have any candles yet wasn't really that relevant. I did drill holes in the pinecones and put them on the wreath either Saturday night or Sunday morning, though.

Monday morning Jörn had to work and Marie didn't want to go out, so the other eight of us squeezed into our seven-seater car and tried to go see a free museum that had been closed on Friday, and turned out to be closed on Monday, too. It was just across the road from Rizoelia National Park, though, so we went with plan B and drove up there, playing on the playground for awhile.

We did have my dad on the see-saw too. In fact, at one point all eight of us were on it at once. :-)

After the park we stopped at home to let Jacob out, then went to see the mosque across the Salt Lake from where we live, but the only photos I took were blurry.

When we got home, we realized that we didn't have much in the house for lunch, so Jacob rode his bike to the grocery store. While he was there I called him and asked him to look for candles, so along with lunch supplies, he brought home four gold-colored candles, which we added to our still-not-green Advent wreath. In the center I put our wedding candle, being a large white candle. That's something that my German husband still finds a bit strange. In fact, in German there's even a rhyme that says "In Advent first the first candle burns, then the second, then the third, then the fourth. If the fifth candle is burning, you slept through Christmas." We call the fifth candle the Christ candle, and we light it on Christmas Day.

Although not the most flattering photo of any of the people involved, here's a photo of our Advent wreath, finally with candles and two of them lit, on the second Monday in Advent:

My parents left Monday afternoon. They wouldn't have minded at all joining us in an Advent study, I'm sure, but their visit was so short and we were so busy, that I never got organized for it. So it was on the second Tuesday in Advent that we finally started a family Bible study, something we've thought of doing during Advent for many years and never had. In that respect, I guess starting over a week late is better than we've done before! There were pictures to color in, which most of the children helped with, and we hung them up on the kitchen door:

The top left is the cover page, then comes the theme verse for the entire study, John 8:12: "Jesus said to the people, 'I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't be sumbling through the darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.' ". Underneath is the cover page for the first week, about the prophecies around Jesus' birth, as well as a drawing of Samuel annointing David, and some sheep to go along with David, I guess. We took two days to do week one, and on Thursday started week two, about angels. Katie and Helen did color in some pictures, but I'm not exactly sure where they disappeared to. We'll finish week two today, putting us on track for week three, which we'll probably start on Monday, as we again won't have any meals at home together tomorrow.

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