Sunday, November 30, 2008


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration here, and I hope to share about that soon. For now I'm thinking about Advent, though. Today is officially the first Sunday of Advent. We'll start with our family observation of Advent tomorrow. This year I have two ideas going. Both are simple, and I don't think it will be too much. Of course, if it is, we can just step back a little.

I want to repeat what we did two years ago. This year Raia and Asya are the ages that Jaan and Raia were then. (Well, Asya is a little younger, of course, just because her birthday is later in the year.) I remember that Jaan really started to understand who Jesus is that year, while Raia just enjoyed the overall idea. It will be fun to see their different responses this year. I'm sure Raia will understand! I wonder what new insight Jaan will gain, and what Asya will pick up?

Also, a while ago I read about an idea in Noel Piper's book, Treasuring God in our Traditions:

(page 116)
I liked the idea, and when I was searching for it this year, I came across another adaptation of it. I wrote to Desiring God ministry, and they kindly sent me their Advent story. I'm adapting that and even adapting the adaptation that I mentioned to get something similar that works for us. I printed out the letter circles and glued little pictures from the Christmas story on the back of each one. (I found almost all that I needed here.) I think I'm going backwards from what I read, because we have all the little circles taped up, picture side out.  Each day we'll flip one. As the pictures disappear, we'll bring out the matching figures in our nativity scene, and by Christmas Day, we'll have our whole scene set up with the entire message of the little circles visible.

For those of you who are as visual as I am, here's what we have so far:

(We need to add some bows or something to make that look less sparse!)


Anonymous said...

With the simplest of materials and the application of loving brilliance, you have begun an observation of deep meaning and beauty.

We look forward to continued updates.


Allie said...

Could you send me Desiring God's advent story? I'm working on how best to do it this year - we have four purple and one white candles for lighting every Sunday, but I like doing something every day, too. Now you've got me thinking. :)

Baba Julie said...

Hi, Phyllis! Wonderful! We will be praying for our little ones as they take in the beautiful story of Christ's coming and birth. Has the "advent" pkg arrived yet? I was hoping it would be there by now. Love you all! Julie

Gretchen said...


Wonderful to meet you, friend! It's so great to hear from likeminded sisters through the blogosphere. :) I hope you enjoy focusing on the Christ child this Advent season! I'm planning a new simple Advent countdown for my story group this year -- an Advent chain! My theme is the book "Little One, We Knew You'd Come" by Sally Lloyd-Jones. I'll try to put a post up about it later this week.


Baba Julie said...

I like the new background!! Very Christmas-y! Love, Julie

Unknown said...

Hello, I found your page searching for the story to Noel's advent calendar. We purchased the calendar from DGM a few years ago and last year when we put it away, didn't put the story back into the box. Now it has disappeared. I emailed DGM but am afraid it may take longer for them to get back to us...and my memory will fail by the time we reach day 6 of the story(since it gets a little longer here!) Could you email it to me? Thank you so much! This is a tradition with our family and would so much appreciate your help!

Anonymous said...

Awesome idea!!! I started to work on my advent calendar. :-) I used the letters and clipart pics you posted. So simple and yet something kids can relate to so well. Can't wait to show it to my girls. Too bad we're a little behind. :-(


Unknown said...

Hi, thanks for sharing this, awesome idea. My request is like some previous comments - any way you could share the DGM advent story? I found your blog through your comment in the AmbleSide_Year0 group. My email is maggie[at]joshandmaggie[dot]com

Anonymous said...

Thanks also for sharing these advent ideas ... I have been searching and searching for Noel Piper's advent story. I notice that you've starting putting up the story for each day on the blog and I hope you continue! I too (like a few others I see) would love to get a copy of the story to use with my kids if you're willing to share ...

God bless!

Anonymous said...

Phyllis, I spent hours searching for ideas on how to make my own advent calendar, and did not find anything (I knew about the DG Noel calendar. I really wanted something that would take us to the story every day. Anyway, I did not! I wish I could have looked at your blog before! Now I just plan for every day to do something and read about the christmas story, and give candy...

Anonymous said...

I hope you wouldn't mind emailing me the story from Desiring God as well. I am so excited about this project! My email is Blessings! Jen

Alisa said...

Hi , I found your blog from Ann's over at Holy Experience. I also just wrote a note to Desiring God to see if they would send me the story....but noticed that you have it, would you mind emailing it to me as well. Not sure how long it will take for them to get back to me.

Love you blog...blessings! Alisa

Anonymous said...

Hi Phyllis,

I just 'found' you from Ann's and 'sent' a dear friend who would very much relate to your current life (what little I've seen from the past 1/2 hour reading/looking at your site) to do her own browsing here. :)

Thank you for all of these (lovely & workable) ideas!

grateful for the 'small graces mounding into a heap of good cheer in my

HveHope *-:¦:-
(Sarah Clarkson, "Yesterday")

Denver, CO

Anonymous said...

Yet another gal gets in line to ask for a copy of the Advent story. I love the idea of daily repetition, and am constantly seeking ways to keep Jesus as the focus of this waiting time.
Thanks and blessings

Rachael in New Zealand

Leah said...

can i please have a copy of the Advent story, also??? Thank you!!!
winter springs, FL

Anonymous said...

Hi, not sure if you got my email... could I please have a copy of the Noel Calendar text too?


Michelle said...

Yet another in line for the story! lol Do you know that your blog comes up on the first search page wehn looking for this story? Did you ever imagine that? If the advent story is available would you mind emailing it to me as well.
God bless you,
vikingzfan at yahoo dot com

Jacquelyne said...

Hi Phyllis, Can you please send me a copy of the Noel's Advent Story?

Thank you,