Monday, December 1, 2014

Advent 2014... Preparing for Christmas

I honestly think that this is our favorite time of the year. We love all holidays, but this time of the year is truly our favorite.  While most people are rushing around getting presents, and attending parties, we have the pleasure of celebrating Advent. 

Unlike most holidays , we get to slow down, pray, focus and prepare. Not for presents, not for snow , but for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Of course while we prepare , we have fun baking cookies ,  making bread, decorating our Christmas tree, and setting up our Advent wreath. 
                                      The girls decorated this year.
I made our wreath back in 2012. So we've had it for a couple of years. It managed to survive our move a year ago though I did have to add new poinsettias to it as we lost one, and get new candles. Over all it still looks as wonderful as the day I made it. Though I do have to invest in some taper holders because the candles I had when I made it were larger at the bottom than the ones I have in it now. 
                                       Yes, as you can see the purple candles seem to be leaning a bit.

The one thing we've added this year is the Holy Heroes Advent Adventure.  I've known about it for a while but have never had the chance to use it until this year. Every year we worked on our own thing , but this year was different . So I am happy to give it over to my girls and not have to do the planning this year. ( Yes, this is  my poor attempt to put a plug in for something fun we've found.) 

I'll admit, I don't mind at all not having to figure out what we are going to do to prepare for Advent this year. Just the thought of not having to Google tons of activities to put together to make Advent meaningful, or having to try and figure out how to explain Advent in a way my children can understand honestly is a great gift in itself.  

 Even though we are getting ready to do Day 3.  I find Holy Heroes  gives me time to enjoy Advent right along with my girls.  Its all right there for me.  What more could I ask for? 
Each day starting on Day 1 they send an email to my inbox. I open it, go to the link and check out the activities, and print anything out we need. They also made it easier this year to buy the workbooks that go along with it to save your poor printer from dying a slow painful ink death. Or if your like me your still going to kill your printer because money is tight, and you wish you could order the workbook  That's alright  though, maybe next year we'll be able to order the workbook to go along with it. 
 Here Maggie is working on her Day 2 work page on Creation.  We watch the videos that go along with it and then do the work pages together. I like how they are set up in levels for various ages. Honestly , she loves to do them all whether they are easy or challenging. The nice part is we get to spend quality time together. 
        Here Maggie is showing her first ornament she is getting ready to hang on her Jesse Tree.

They also have included the Jesse Tree videos and activities with the Advent videos as well.   I have decided to have each of the girls color one of the ornaments each day we watch the videos. That way everyone has had a chance to color a few ornaments for the tree. The nice part is they include an ornament for everyday during Advent.  

Another nice feature  of Holy Heroes are the cute videos they have that explain everything. The actors are children and I think that's what makes it very appealing to my girls. Seeing young children explain the faith in a way they can understand. Its not over their heads and its not beneath them either.  The videos include either an explanation by the Holy Heroes kids ,a cute skit, or even having a Bible verse explained using a visual like  a Lego castle. You just never know what is going to come next each day in your inbox. The videos are not very long at all. So computer time is limited to maybe a maximum of 5 minutes,tops. The videos help them see what it is they are learning about.  

The best part about Holy Heroes is that its available to all for FREE.  The videos are free, the work pages to go along with the videos are free, the activities are free, yes, did I mention its all free? They do offer items you can purchase of your own free will should you decide you'd like to own them, but its NOT necessary to do so to participate in the program. 
   So if you haven't had a chance to try out Holy Heroes, never fear!  You can still join in the fun. A nice feature they have is a calendar where you can click back to the days that have already gone by and you can start from the very beginning. So it will be as if you never missed a thing. 
All and all we are happy to be able to include this program in our Advent season to help us draw closer to God while we wait for Christmas Day. 

We were not paid, nor given anything by Holy Heroes for my little review there. Just stating my own opinion of something that can benefit others during this Christmas Season.


Ken Davison said...

Thank you so much for spreading the word! Glad your family is really enjoying this--and that you are getting a chance to relax and enjoy it, too. Hope you liked the St Francis Xavier video today! God bless--The Adventure Guides

Tracy said...

Your welcome Ken. My daughters enjoyed the St. Francis Xavier video very much. They watched it twice today. --Tracy