Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fun Advent Week at the Anthony's

(This is Teresa here, being a guest blogger today.)

This has been a busy Advent week for us - much of it made quite enjoyable because of yummy foods! It started with last Sunday's feast of St. Nicholas's day. That's the exciting day that we hang up our stockings and St. Nicholas brings us cookies from around the world. Then on Wednesday of this week I volunteered to bring in the cupcakes for the Cecilia's 7th grade class and Mary Kate's 9th grade class. Cecilia made whimsical snowmen which were a big hit, and Mary Kate pulled up on the internet plans for adorable ornament cupcakes, which were also a big hit.

This year, Grandma Anthony got a brilliant idea a few weeks ago to have an Anthony celebration for Our Lady of Guadalupe, on her feast day, December 12th. She planned a Mexican themed Las Posadas party. We started the evening with all the kids and some adults outside knocking at three of our doors (Grammy's front door, our front door and back door), and asking for entrance. We decided not to tackle singing the traditional back and forth parts of the Las Posadas song, but we said them together, begging the ones on the inside to let us in for our beloved Mary who was about to give birth. Rose and Emily led the way as the angels - and Cecilia played Mary, while Tyler was St. Joseph. Fortunately at the third door (a slight abbreviation from the nine they do in Mexico), we were given a small corner of a stable with which to rest our weary, cold bodies and enjoy a delicious meal of tacos.

After our procession, we prayed a rosary together, with grandchildren doing a wonderful job leading our decades.

We ended our fun evening with homemade fried ice cream - super yummy!! And of course, it wouldn't be a proper fiesta without a pinata.

Rose did a fabulous job knocking the pinata down!

Grammy enjoyed pinata watching from her warm apartment.

Even though Rose had knocked it down - it needed a few more intense whacks until it was open. John Paul, Max, Tyler and Nathan cooperated with that job nicely.

Thank you Grandma Anthony for planning a fun, new Anthony tradition. May we do this every year!

And finally, one of the best Advent traditions of all (at least for us parents :) was this morning.


The kids all got up early this morning (Sunday, December 13th) and prepared a beautiful breakfast for us, and then led by St. Lucy herself - this year it was Rosie who donned the white robe and candlelit crown while the other kids each held a candle - they came into our room where we were still blissfully sleeping, singing "Christ Be Our Light", (a favorite advent song in our household). After singing us awake, they processed on to Grammy's apartment and sang to her as well.

Coming downstairs we beheld their beautifully decorated table, and the wonderful coffee cake that is the St. Lucy tradition.

Last year we actually bought the ingredients for St. Lucia buns, including saffron - the most expensive spice I've ever bought before. Turns out, saffron really isn't our cup of tea, it must be an acquired taste, so this year we returned to the Anthony family St. Lucy day tradition of Entenmann's Crumb Coffee Cake - yummy!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

First Snow!

Last week we got our first snowfall of this winter. Usually if it snows at all in December, it's only a light flurry, but this time we got a few inches! With our own sledding hill and the super packy snow, we had a blast. Plus it was a gorgeous white winter wonderland.
While we were all getting ready to go outside Ben kept trying to get dressed. He put on my Dad's gloves and pulled this had over his face, he looked very funny:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Advent 2009

I can't believe it's already Advent again. With our own pine trees in our backyard we just used those pine branches for our Advent wreath instead of going out and buying a garland of pine. With Advent has also come baking - a lot of baking. We've made a huge batch of pumpkin-chocolate-chip cookies, Molasses cookies, pumpkin bread, cupcakes for school, and spritz cookies. Of course each time something was made, it was gone in a few days. With a big family, cookies just don't last very long!

When my mom has to be at the academy all day Ben and Rose get to stay in the nursery. All the kids eating lunch:

Happy Birthday Max!

On Nov. 25th Max turned 7! Happy Birthday Max! He had really really wanted a full knight costume and between his grandparents and Aunt and Uncle, he came away from his birthday with a knight costume complete with a shield and sword. He also wanted a confetti cake with confetti frosting. His birthday theme was......Scooby-Doo.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Is it really already the end of Nov.?!?

October and November have flown by and I've been so busy that I've barely posted anything at all! So I put up a collection of pictures from October and November.

One day I found Ben in my room on my bed and he was "reading" my book. He was very cute:

John Paul is a great big brother to Ben:

On Halloween we carved two jack-o-lanterns:

The boys, the carver, and the boys' jack-o-lantern:

The boys' jack-o-lantern:

The girls' jack-o-lantern:

John Paul and Max in their costumes:

We went trick-or-treating at a friends house, all the "older" girls:

Ben and Rose:

The next four pictures are from my 14th birthday party:

One Saturday a few weeks ago, we spent all morning outside cleaning up the yard. Dad and John Paul raked up all the leaves by hand in the back yard, leaving "beaver dams". They then raked the "beaver dams" onto tarp and hauled out to the road. The yard looked very funny: