We are anxiously awaiting the first day of Christmas, and thoroughly enjoying our Advent with all of its feasts that punctuate the quiet preparation. We are, once again, utterly failing at keeping up the Christmas Novena. But this year, I have it printed, framed and displayed on a side table in the dining room (where we spend most of our time). So if we walk past and say the prayer a few times a day, that is a vast improvement.
How are you preparing for the coming of the Christ Child?
Within our family branches
rests a little nest
a reminder of what’s important
for we are truly blessed.
Children grow and leave
relatives move away
but our home is a haven
where love will always stay.
– Sue Pitchfork
Two of our little birdies have flown the nest. Next year we will be blessed with a new birdy when our oldest daughter marries. Christmases are very different now, but I hope that Christmas here at home will always be full of happy memories. It is where love lives.
A couple of weeks ago, Brian had his monthly weekend off from serving Mass – and we didn’t have Religious Education classes, so we went home to church. This is more than the parish for the town we grew up in, it is also my spiritual home, and the place where my conversion happened at age 10.
It felt warm and welcoming, familiar, and comfortable. Everything was just as it was when we were last there except that the choir was in the transept rather than the loft. And this time around, my beautiful family filled a pew to brimming. It did my heart good. So, so much good.
The altar where Brian and I exchanged vows 25 years ago, during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, 133 years to the day after Ss. Louis and Zélie Martin.
The side altar dedicated to Our Blessed Mother. I was baptized at this font, and nearly a decade later, so was our oldest daughter.
- 2 T ground ginger
- 2 T ground cardamom
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 1/2 tsp ground white or black pepper
- 3 T ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp saffron (optional)
- pinch salt
- 1/4 c organic brown sugar
- 2 c milk
- 2 c hot coffee
- Orange slices (optional)
- If you have whole spices, so much the better. Lightly toast them, and then grind fresh when they've cooled a bit.
- Combine spices, brown sugar, and milk.
- Bring to the boil, turn off the heat and allow to steep for 3-5minutes.
- Add the hot coffee and garnish with a slice of orange.
- Check out the many varieties of coffee we have available on our shop at http://shop.renaissance-farms.com