Advent at The Riley's

So we are pretty much just blowing right by Thanksgiving on this blog.  I have one picture..and two words. Stomach Bug.  Blah.

This guy baked, cooked, roasted, and hosted while I was sick for 5 days 
But enough about that.. let's move to the fun stuff!  Preparing for Christmas.  Advent.  A season of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the coming of Jesus.  Preparing of our home and our hearts.  I loved this advent devotional from Naptime Diaries.  Something so incredibly reverent and holy spending time in the morning in the morning with the Lord by the fire and Christmas tree lights.

O come, O come Emmanuel.  Reading in Isaiah.  "Fear not, says the Lord, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name, you are mine." 

Day 3 Advent.  What is the song of your heart today? Generations and generations away from the birth of Your son on earth - you are still faithful.  

Beckett joined me for quiet time 

Can you imagine the faith of Mary? "Blessed is she who believed that there would be fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord." 
We did a lot of fun decorating too.. and I had the BEST helpers.  

attic buddies

big conversation about the probability of rats in the attic 

in Houston we decorate in our undies 

always put the star on twice!

our magical new ornament.  squeals and giggles over this new addition to the tree!
And who wasn't a big help decorating?? This guy. 

On December 1st we had our annual North Pole breakfast.  Dee Dee sent us a North Pole communicator and the boys loved talking on it each morning.   We also did a new devotional and got a new nativity scene.  I saw an idea of Pinterest called the Wondering Wise Men.  We don't do the elf but we did this fun game this year.  We start at the beginning of the story and every night we take out a piece to the nativity.  The wise men however, do not like to stay at the nativity.. because Jesus isn't born yet.  So the "wonder" all over the house.  Closets, bathrooms, and even in the pantry to get a little snack because their journey is so long.   The boys have told everyone about the crazy wise men :-)

This is the first year we took the boys to the Little Town of Bethlehem at another local church.  Even I was impressed!  They played dreidel in the temple, made candles, brooms, and so many other authentic aspects of life in Bethlehem.  We skipped camel ride though.. the lines were too long!

For lights this year, we went to the Festival of Lights in Galveston at Moody Gardens with our best friends, the Galloway family.  It was awesome!  We splurged and bought the extra tickets to the Ice display.  900 tons of ice.  9 degrees.  Huge ice sculptures and slides.  One problem - I wore flip flops!  I thought I was going to lose a toe.  No kidding.  Galloway kids weren't a huge fan of the cold but my boys LOVED the ice.  They haven't stopped talking about it.  What a fun experience!

Oh just hanging with my favorite Christmas girl  

Love. This. Family 

2nd not smart move? Shorts for Justin 
Art, ornaments, pizza's, crafts, cookie making, ice skating, movie watching and tons of silliness.. makes this the most fun season around The Riley home.

snowman pizza 

building a snowman

wacky tacky Christmas day 
look mom.. I'm like Mary riding the donkey 

Christmas tree by Beckett 

Snowman by Eli 

A little festive Jamberry 

blasting folks with the wrapping paper in Walmart 

Sand ornaments

Whew.  I'm exhausted too!

Somewhere in all of this, we managed to celebrate our 10 year anniversary too!  

Justin didn't approve his picture for social media so Eli jumped in for on e

Cheers to 10 years!! 

our edible arrangement celebration from Poppy & Dee Dee 

Sweet message.  10 years ago a beautiful wedding and reception at my parents house!
The boys were in their school's annual Christmas show.  The Jingle Jam.  And it's their last year. And yes I cried.  Eli's class sang Little Drummer boy and Beckett's class sang Christmas Cookies.  Both adorable.  

After the Jingle Jam we hit Market Street in The Woodlands for our annual Santa Visit.  Texas Christmas weather was so nice that we had a great lunch on the patio while we worked on our list for one very important person.

cheers to Christmas!

Beckett's list 

Eli's list 

Eli the photog

And finally giving the list to the big man in red!

This month I was blessed to serve those around me in so many ways.  One of my favorite days was going with some of our amazing staff and serving at the Bread of Life at St. John.  

Our small group served at a Christmas party at one of the local Title 1 schools that we support.  I got to be Santa's helper and the PURE JOY on the kids faces would melt any heart.

And I got the honor of delivering gifts & groceries to a mom in need and spend some time getting to know her.   

"Life is a constant Advent season: we are continually waiting to become, to discover, to complete, to fulfill. Hope, struggle, fear, expectation and fulfillment are all part of our Advent experience.

   "The world is not as just, not as loving, not as whole as we know it can and should be. But the coming of Christ and his presence among us—as one of us—give us reason to live in hope: that light will shatter the darkness, that we can be liberated from our fears and prejudices, that we are never alone or abandoned.

   "May this Advent season be a time for bringing hope, transformation and fulfillment into the Advent of our lives."

We wait to celebrate the Good News!

The Riley's 

The Riley FamilyComment