No detailed pictures this year.  I intended to get another set made up this year (again) to replace the images that I had lost from the original post, but life is so busy.  But I think you can work out what you need to do from the written instructions from 2007:

This is a wonderful craft project to do with your children or grandchildren. I like that the boxes are large enough for more than one little treat or trinket. With six children, my choices were to either let one child have a treat each day, or to get six calendars… Neither of those options appealed, so I decided to make a calendar that the whole family could enjoy.

First, gather your materials. You’ll need:

25 Angel Images (or whatever images you’d like.)
25 matchboxes (I’m using white, but you could use black or gold – remove and save matches)
1 1/2 yd 1″ wide ribbon (violet is a good choice, but you could use red, or any other ou like)
Mod Podge
Paint Brush
X-acto knife
25 small round (or any shape you like) adhesive backed tags from the scrapbook supply
Scrapbooking Pen (I’m using “le Plume” in black)
String (I’m using linen cord)
Sharp darning needle or drill fitted with small drill bit
25 Decorative brads (I used antique furniture style ones)
beads, flat-back sparkles, glitter (optional)
Thumb tacks or sticky dots for hanging (should be able to hold weight)
Fillers (we used smarties and some other goodies – see end of tutorial)

Step One: Cut out your angels with the X-acto knife:

Step Two: Mod Podge each angel to her own box and let dry.

Step Three: With your pen, marker, or paints (you could even use pre-numbered stickers!), write the numbers 1 through 25 on your tags. Place them on your dry angel boxes in an arrangement that pleases you.

Step Four: Remove inner boxes and poke or drill two holes, about 1/4″ apart. Insert string and tie a square knot on the inside. Be sure to trim the tails before pulling up through the top.

Step Five: Re-insert inner boxes and set aside.



Step Six: Mark your ribbon in the centre, then every 7cm. You should have 12 marks either side of the centre mark.

Step Seven: Carefully make a tiny snip in the ribbon at each mark for a brad to pass through.

Step Eight: Insert Brads.

Step Nine: Fill Boxes! For most of the days, we filled the boxes with smarties – one for each child. We didn’t want anything that could melt.

We have several significant feast days during Advent, so we tucked in appropriate surprises for those days, just to add to the excitement!

Silver Coins for St. Nicholas Day (dimes), Honeybee Stickers for St. Ambrose, Tiny silver medals of Our Blessed Mother for Immaculate Conception,

Tiny Silver “Precious Feet” pins for Our Lady of Guadalupe, Tiny Hand-dipped candles for St. Lucia,

We doubled up candies for Christmas Eve, and Papa will put a surprise (as yet unknown to even me!) for Christmas Day!

Step Eleven: Fix your ribbon in a window or along a wall and hang the boxes on the brads. You can go in order left to right, or mix it all up to make searching a bit more adventurous.  You could also hang your matchboxes from a tension rod, or dowel style curtain rod.



Have a blessed Advent!


Images – Dover Publications CD

Matchboxes – click link above for online ordering.  Also available at party supply stores, Michael’s or Hobby Lobby (wedding section)




“Upon which they set apart a solemn day of humiliation, to seek the Lord by humble and fervent prayer, in this great distress.” That same evening it began “to rain with such sweet and gentle showers as gave them cause of rejoicing and blessing God… For which mercy, in time convenient, they also set apart a day of thanksgiving.” – William Bradford, Governor of Massachusetts

Thanksgiving has taken on an extra special meaning for our family since discovering that we are descended directly from John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley, both passengers aboard the Mayflower, and present at that First Thanksgiving.  Without the mercy of God, our family, quite literally, would not exist – from saving John from drowning in the Atlantic after having fallen overboard, to preserving our ancestors from starvation and death from illness.  At one point, our future hung, truly, from a rope.

We wish your family a blessed and beautiful Thanksgiving.


Who comes bearing donuts (and munchkins), and who spends hours  playing Apples to Apples with a crowd of rowdy children, and who takes a tour of the barn with the same….




For he shall be most beloved.

Our dear friend Sean, Jack’s godfather, came to visit yesterday.  It is a rare treat because he now lives right on the other side of the country.  And he would have been every bit as beloved if he had just sat in a chair like a bump on a log for two hours.  Because he is one of those magical people that lights up a room.  He always brings joy.  And that is the very best gift of all.



Love is the Flower

by Nissa on 24 November, 2014

in Adoption,Children,Family Centered Living

“How can there be too many children? That is like saying

there are too many flowers.” - Bl. Teresa of Calcutta




As we heard in the Gospel reading on Sunday, there are many ways to serve God through service to others.  Some of us work in homeless shelters or soup kitchens, some of us minister to the sick at home or in hospice or hospital settings, some of us minister to prisoners.

Some are called to care for children. 

Brian and I have been involved with adoption in various ways over the last 12 years, mostly as advocates, but also as hosts, always knowing that God had particular children chosen to be part of our family from before they were formed in the womb.

We have reached out to adopt several children – mainly sibling groups – over those years.  It was never the right time for us.  Every time we had been disappointed for one reason or another, we were heartbroken.  But we have kept each and every one of those children in our hearts.  Many are now grown, and some may even be parents now.

This spring, we were surprised by two children.  We weren’t actively pursuing adoption because life was full with having just moved, and our farm business just taking hold.  We prayed long and hard about them, talked a lot.  We discerned that never before had a situation had all the marks of grace that this one did. 

And so we have completed our home study interviews, and our dossier is nearly complete.  Just before Christmas, that dossier will be sent to Bulgaria and we will anxiously await an invitation from the court.  With the added delay from Christmas holidays overseas (a government that shuts down for several weeks to honour the King of Kings!), we expect that invitation will come somewhere around the end of February, possibly into March.  And, God willing, the children may be home around Mother’s Day, but could be as late as August.

You see a Reece’s Rainbow link there in our blog sidebar.  That is a grant fund that has been established for us.  Contributions are tax deductible.  Right now we are issuing a St. Nicholas Purse challenge: collect up all of your change from now until December 6th (St. Nicholas Day), and donate what you collect to our Reece’s Rainbow page.  You can do that by using the online link, or by sending a check (no fees taken!) to:

Reece’s Rainbow

RE: Gadbois Family

PO Box 277

Monrovia, MD 21770

We have several other fundraisers coming up, including two auctions, and a family fun walk here on the farm!

“A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love.” – Max Müller


Life With Boys

by Nissa on 23 November, 2014

in Children,Family Centered Living





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