Sunday, November 30, 2014

Advent Begins





Today we lit the prophecy candle, a purple candle representing the royalty of Christ (Isaiah 9:2,6). 

As we enjoy the light of the prophets, they will help us wait 
as we move along the road toward the manger. 

~Living in God's Time, Margaret McMillan Persky

We did this ritual before breakfast and then headed off to Rincon to go to church. We've been attending an English speaking church there that has a nice Sunday School for the kids. While the church is very casual and without any kind of liturgy, I did expect some kind of nod towards Advent with a wreath. But none was to be seen, so I'm very glad we are doing this at home so we don't miss out. 

I've been meaning to take a few pictures at church so our friends in the north can see what our Sunday mornings have been looking like. You don't need walls on your church when your view looks like this!




{picking periwinkle flowers with a new friend} 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Preparing for Advent













{the finished Advent wreath and the Christ candle waiting at the side for Christmas}


{the three kings}
During our time in South Dakota we really enjoyed the Episcopal church, All Angels, that we attended and formed many special friendships. We were truly immersed in the liturgy of the Holy Eucharist and the church year for the first time. We attended the 10AM service and Bunker, our priest, would always lead the Holy Eucharist, Rite II during that service. Just looking up that link and reading it makes me homesick. There is something special in saying important words so often that they are like your favorite sweater that hugs you on a cold day. For the past year I've been researching more about the church year so that we might celebrate these seasons and special days with greater insight. I decided to begin celebrating in earnest at the start of the Christian year, which begins tomorrow with Advent. 

My prior experience of Advent was seeing an advent wreath being used at church and that is about it. This fall I've been reading about it and learning that it is similar to Lent, a time to prepare oneself for something great that is coming. So, rather than putting all the Christmas decorations up now, we are quietly waiting for that special baby to be born. We'll be using our Advent Calendar to count down the days, lighting the Advent Wreath once a week and decorating a Jesse Tree every day. Then on Christmas Eve, we pull out everything else and the partying starts on Christmas day. And keeps going... for twelve days until Three Kings! Who knew? I never really understood the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas. Now it makes sense. And living in Puerto Rico is a great place to finally understand this, especially with the Three Kings being such an important holiday.

So, today we prepared for Advent by making our wreath with some amazing candles from Toadily Handmade Beeswax Candles. The kids loved rolling them up and got them pretty excited about lighting them during this time of anticipation. We are using Living in God's Time for the liturgy. It should be a fun month!

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Day after Thanksgiving






{will Ben's cairn on the left survive high tide?}


{the kids first experience burying someone}



{Britton digging a tunnel under Cassie}

What to do on the day after Thanksgiving? Go to the beach, of course! We stopped by the Kauffman's place to see if they wanted to do a beach day with us. Cassie and Britton are hard workers, always sweating it out, clearing their jungle. But, on this lazy, beautiful day, it wasn't too hard to convince them to come along. We drove just beyond Domes Beach, that was full of surfers, to a quiet beach. The waves crashed on a rocky beach and the kids had great time playing in the sand. Cassie has to be the most patient person in the world to be buried by this group. Ben tried a little kite flying, but it just wasn't windy enough.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Saturday at the Beach






{rain over the ocean}

{egret}

{Papa finding beach glass by the handfuls}

{there is always a rooster around}

We realized that somehow we hadn't been to the beach in weeks, so we headed off this morning to Almendros Beach. The kids had a great time digging and Ben and I sifted through lots of shells in the water to find beach glass. A relaxing time all in all.

Friday, November 21, 2014

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Building



There is some serious building going on around here!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sunday Afternoon


{Cassie catching an iguana from the fence}





{our favorite crazy chicken being curious}










{feeling the soft, corky bark of the Eucalyptus tree}


After church on Sundays we like to visit our friends Cassie and Britton to see their turkeys and chickens and buy some wonderful free-range eggs. On this Sunday we got to see Cassie the Iguana Hunter in action! She caught a small one that was hanging out on the fence near the house. Then we walked at the lighthouse in Rincon (El Faro de Punta Higuero). Surprisingly, the waves were almost nonexistent. We didn't pack our swimsuits thinking the waves would still be rough from the recent hard rains, but it was beautiful!
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