Idea for Jesse Tree ornaments (Wood burning)

December 2, 2014

Anyone in your family into wood burning?  Here’s a really nice set of Jesse Tree ornaments that could be a good craft activity for an older child…

Jesse Tree resources are always EXTREMELY popular at Lent & Beyond.  Our “All About Jesee Trees” post has nearly 40,000 page views!

You can find all our Jesse Tree resources using the Jesse Tree tag

 


More Good Advent 2014 Resources for Children and Families

December 2, 2014

From the Diocese of Bath & Wells in the UK– A number of good resources for Advent.  I particularly like the “A is for Advent” poem and the Advent Alphabet ideas

They also have a very good Jesse Tree page – each day of Advent there is a new symbol and accompanying short devotional (including a Scripture verse and prayer) that is posted.


Good list of Advent resources / ideas for preschool & primary age children

November 20, 2014

I’ve linked these two pages of Advent ideas, resources and activities for children in the past, but the links have changed, so I need to link them again:

Weebly.Com – Advent and Christmas resources – early years

Weebly.Com – Advent and Christmas resources – middle – primary

Here’s what I wrote when I first linked them in 2012 (I’ve updated the links)

I just discovered two wonderful compilations of Advent Resources for Children – either for use at home, or especially, in Sunday School Classes.

For very young children, there is this compilation of craft & activity ideas:

Weebly.Com – Advent and Christmas resources – early years

For middle primary aged children, there is this compilation:

Weebly.Com – Advent and Christmas resources – middle – primary

[Update:  I was quite concerned to see that this second compilation included instructions for creating Tibetan prayer mandalas, originating from a Catholic website in Australia.  I would steer clear of that personally, but all of the other linked resources look to be quite solid, and I don’t want to avoid this very valuable compilation because of the one worrisome link.  I try to be careful in what I link, but please use prayerful discernment in evaluating and using resources which we link from other blogs or websites, and please know that a link to a given site does not mean that we at Lent & Beyond endorse everything posted at that site.]

For tonight, I’ll leave it at that.  But as I explore more, I may post more about individual craft or activity ideas listed at the “Ways to Teach” site.

As always, I’d be thrilled to get reader comments and recommendations about Advent crafts, activity ideas, family traditions, etc.


“My Jesse Tree – the Ultimate Guide” and “Bible Characters for Advent” storybook

November 12, 2014

One of our commenters, Theresa, has created a fantastic site all about Jesse Trees:

 MyJesseTree.com

This is a fantastic guide for making a Jesse tree with your family. It is clear, beautifully laid out with wonderful pictures and organized into 5 sections.  The readings and the pictures that accompany each day’s story are AWESOME.

  1. What is a Jesse Tree
  2. How to Choose Your Tree
  3. Jesse Tree Symbols
  4. Jesse Tree Ornaments
  5. Jesse Tree Readings

 

The authors (husband and wife) are Franciscans.  The site includes several levels / types of ornaments  (crafts & printables & coloring sheets), awesome pictures and instructions, and readings with full color pictures go along with each ornament.

Note: the readings can be used for free, but they are excerpted from a longer children’s story book:  Bible Characters for Advent, which has a 5-star rating at Amazon!  (There are 20 5-star reviews as of the time I’m writing this.)

ABSOLUTELY WORTH CHECKING OUT the Jesse Tree site and the eBook Bible Characters for Advent

Here are a few of the ornaments:

 

In case you need MORE Jesse tree info (e.g. for an older age group), here is our Jesse Tree Category with lots more helpful resources.  See especially our All About Jesse Trees entry.


Excellent roundup of Advent activities for Families and Children

November 11, 2014

Christine Sine at Godspace has done a really nice job in her roundup post of suggestions for family Advent Activities.

Need I say more than, go check it out?!?!?

Still neeed more ideas for Family & Children’s Advent activities and crafts?? Here’s the link to all we’ve posted over the years in our Advent: Family & Children category

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Update:  Our commenter Theresa has created a site MyJesseTree.com which has a fantastic guide for making a Jesse tree with your family.  Several types of ornaments  (crafts & printables), awesome pictures and instructions, and readings to go along with each ornament.  ABSOLUTELY WORTH CHECKING OUT!!

 


Most popular Advent posts at Lent and Beyond

November 3, 2014

With the turn of the calendar to November, it doesn’t seem too early now to be thinking about Advent.  I’m hopeful that we will be able to do a significant amount of Advent blogging at L&B this year.  I thought it might be helpful to post a round up of our most popular Advent entries from years’ past.   I’ve already updated some of the entries below with some new links for 2014.  I’ve also begun work on a new compilation of Advent resources, and an updated and comprehensive index of past years’ Advent entries.  Those should be appearing within the coming 7 – 10 days… stay tuned.

And, as always, please leave any recommendations or feedback in the comments.  Thanks!

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Most popular Advent entries of all time: (all of these have received 3000+ views!)

Advent Links & Resources: All About Jesse Trees

More Jesse Tree links!

What the Advent Candles Symbolize

Advent Favorites — Henri Nouwen – An Advent Prayer

A Cool Family Advent Idea: An Advent Chain

Advent Links: the Lent & Beyond Advent Resources Compilation

Advent Quotes — Mother Theresa: keeping our lamps burning

Advent Quotes — Frederick Buechner: “First Sunday of Advent”

Creative Advent Calendars

Another creative homemade Advent calendar

 

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Most popular Advent 2013 entries (our most popular new Advent posts from Advent 2013)

100 Songs for Advent! – An Advent Worship playlist (Contemporary – Blended worship)

Advent quotes: Henri Nouwen – Waiting in order to learn

Advent Quotes: Henri Nouwen – The difference between optimism and hope

Advent 2013 Index: Resources, Prayers, Devotionals

An Advent Devotional from John Piper: Good News of Great Joy

Anglican Advent resources for 2013 – blogs, devotionals, etc.

A meditation for Advent: Waiting in Hope

A song for Advent: In the Waiting, by Matt Redman (a rare bonus track)

Advent Worship Music 2013, part 1

The Advent Project – an Online Advent Calendar from Biola University

Advent quotes: we need time to prepare!

Advent history & liturgy – The Octave of Christmas and the O Antiphons


Advent Index: 2008

November 1, 2014

November 2014: We’ll be working this year on creating a comprehensive index of all the most significant Advent entries we’ve posted since we first began blogging in 2004.   We posted extensively during  5 of the last 10 Advent seasons:

  • Advent 2004, Advent 2005 and Advent 2006 (these three years were at our old CANN.net blogsite),
  • Advent 2008, and
  • Advent 2013. 

(Little was posted during Advent in 2007, and 2009 – 2012.) 

To aid in compiling our complete Lent & Beyond Advent index, I needed to compile an index for 2008, one of our biggest years of Advent blogging (60+ Advent entries). 

Most notable among our Advent 2008 blog entries was the Advent Favorites series, and a number of posts offering round ups of links about celebrating Advent as a family (Jesse Trees, homemade Advent Calendars, Advent Chains, Advent Wreaths).

Note there is some overlap of posts among the various categories listed below.  For the most part, entries are listed in chronological order (most recent first) by category, NOT in order of importance or popularity.

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L&B Originals – Advent Devotionals:

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L&B Resource and Link Compilations:

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Advent Devotionals

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Advent: Family & Children

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Advent Favorites

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Advent Prayers

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Advent Quotes

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Advent Resources


New Advent Resource for 2014: Ann Voskamp’s “Unwrapping the Greatest Gift”

October 31, 2014

Note:  This book is Currently ON SALE at Christian Book Distributors (save 40%)

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Looking to start a new Advent family tradition?

Ann Voskamp’s newly updated Advent devotional book may be just what you need.  It teaches about how to make Jesse Trees, provides ornaments and daily devotionals for each day, as well as suggestions for family activities. It’s only available in hardcover, so it’s an investment, but this could easily become a yearly family Advent tradition, so I think it’s worth the investment – less than $1 per day of Advent…

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! CHECK IT OUT!

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift

Unwrapping Greatest Gift

Ann Voskamp is the author of two NY Times Bestselling devotional books, a popular speaker, and blogger. (Her blog is A Holy Experience).  Her bestselling books are:

  • 1000 Gifts, focusing on the importance of gratitude
  • The Greatest Gift, an encouraging Advent devotional (for adults) – I read it last Advent and really enjoyed it.  It was spiritually refreshing and helped me find moments of quiet and rest to keep Advent holy.

 

 


Free Kindle eBook: Celebrating Advent & Christmas with Children

October 2, 2014

UPDATE:  Since downloading this book a month ago, I’ve had a chance to browse through it, so let me give a few more details. The primary focus and strength of this book is its recipes.  It gives more than 50 recipes drawn from Advent and Christmas traditions around the world: cookies, candies and breads, bread dough Advent wreaths, centerpieces, etc.  There’s information about celebrating St. Nicholas Day, St. Lucy (Lucia) Day, Epiphany…

Recipes come from Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico, Germany, Sweden, the Philippines, Greece, England (and maybe a few countries I’ve missed…!)

The readings and text are from a Roman Catholic perspective, but I think even many Protestants will appreciate this book in terms of the glimpse it gives into how Christmas is celebrated around the world, and the wonderful diversity of recipes it includes.  (Note:  I’ve not yet had a chance to TEST any of the recipes personally, but I’ve bookmarked several to try soon!)

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[note this book is no longer free, but is currently priced at $4.49 on Amazon in the U.S.]

I confess I don’t know this book.  I’m about to download it and check it out…. but Hey, it’s Free!  So definitely worth checking out if you have a Kindle or have access to the free Kindle App.  I have no idea how long it will be free.

Celebrating Advent & Christmas with Children (Amazon link)


Advent resources for Children and Families

December 1, 2013

I’m not a mom, but I’ve heard very good things about this book:

Truth in the Tinsel: Daily Scripture readings and ornaments to create.  For children from preschool – elementary.  What the author says about how she began celebrating Advent with her 1 year old daughter – the readings and activities that became this book:  “Every day we read a passage of Scripture, made a simple ornament and then talked about the story. As we talked and created, God’s Word was sinking deep into her heart. This ebook will lead you and your children on your own experience through the Christmas Story. You’ll take a few minutes each day in reading the Christmas Story directly from the Bible, making a fun ornament craft and talking about it together.”

(we’ll add more links to this post tomorrow… no more time to blog tonight.)


Advent is coming… A GREAT resource to recommend!

November 12, 2013

This post is sticky. Look below for new entries.

As any regular reader of Lent & Beyond will know, over the years we’ve done a lot of blog entries linking to favorite Advent & Lent devotional resources, and are always particularly excited to find good resources to help families celebrate the Liturgical year in the home.

Jessica Snell’s blog, Homemaking through the Church Year is a site we’ve linked and enthusiastically recommended many times.  Jessica has been the editor for a brand new book compiling resources to help families celebrate Advent.  The book is Let Us Keep the Feast: Christmas and Advent.  It’s available for purchase as a print copy, or as a digital download.

Here’s what Jessica writes about the book:

I’m so excited about this book; it’s the book I wish I had ten years ago, as Adam and I were starting our lives together as adults, setting up the rhythms of our household. Our hope was (and is) to always hold in our hearts and minds the truth that our family’s life is a part of the life of the church, that our worship of God on Sunday should naturally flow into our work-a-day lives, showing itself in our love for each other, for our children, for our neighbors.

That’s why I love the church year: it constantly reminds me of God’s love. Its feasts and fasts keep the gospel story constantly before my eyes. In my cooking and housekeeping, in my reading and my correspondence, in so many small customs and traditions, the church year is always pointing my eyes back towards Jesus.

The authors in this book have done such a splendid job of laying out those customs and traditions – and the reasons behind them – to the reader.

Go check it out! (Also available at Amazon)


Advent 1 (2012) – MORE Great Links!

December 4, 2012

In addition to the links I just posted a few hours ago, I dug a bit more deeply and checked a few more sites I’ve linked in past years, or other liturgical seasons, and came up with MORE GREAT ADVENT LINKS.  But it’s so late in my time zone, no time to pull them together into a nice neat post.  For now, let me just do a “Raw Links Dump” here. I’ll try to share more information on some of these links and resources tomorrow…

Angliverse:  http://angliverse.wordpress.com/category/liturgical-calendar/advent/

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Give Us this Day (Daily Anglican Devotionals): http://www.giveusthisdaydevotional.com/

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TSM: Advent Devotional: http://www.tsm.edu/content/advent_devotional_2012

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Cradle of Prayer:

http://cradleofprayer.org/free-daily-prayer-services/

http://cradleofprayer.org/advent-week-one/

http://cradleofprayer.org/first-week-of-advent-meditation/

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Mark D. Roberts

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markdroberts/2012/12/03/growing-closer-to-god-in-advent-some-practical-suggestions/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markdroberts/2012/12/02/reflection-for-the-first-sunday-of-advent-waiting-for-the-shepherd/

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/markdroberts/category/advent/

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Truth in the Tinsel  (This looks to be a really excellent eBook with 24 days of Advent crafts and ornaments for children)

http://truthinthetinsel.com/buy-the-book/

http://truthinthetinsel.com/

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The Rector’s Corner: 

http://blessedtimothy.blogspot.com/2012/12/restoring-right-faith-in-advent.html

http://blessedtimothy.blogspot.com/search/label/Through%20the%20Church%20Year

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Interrupting the Silence:  http://interruptingthesilence.com/tag/advent/

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You’ll find ALL of Lent & Beyond’s Advent Posts here.


Newly Discovered Advent Resources for Children (great for Sunday School)

November 15, 2012

Given my infrequent blogging these days, I don’t check our site stats too often, but tonight I happened to look at incoming links to Lent & Beyond, and I’m glad I did.  I just discovered two wonderful compilations of Advent Resources for Children – either for use at home, or especially, in Sunday School Classes.

For very young children, there is this compilation of craft & activity ideas:

http://waystoteach.weebly.com/early-years-resources.html

For middle primary aged children, there is this compilation:

http://waystoteach.weebly.com/middle-primary-resources.html

[Update:  I was concerned to see that this second compilation included instructions for creating Tibetan prayer mandalas, originating from a Catholic website in Australia.  I would steer clear of that personally, but all of the other linked resources look to be quite solid, and I don’t want to avoid this very valuable compilation because of the one worrisome link.  I try to be careful in what I link, but please use prayerful discernment in evaluating and using resources which we link from other blogs or websites, and please know that a link to a given site does not mean that we at Lent & Beyond endorse everything posted at that site.]

For tonight, I’ll leave it at that.  But as I explore more, I may post more about individual craft or activity ideas listed at the “Ways to Teach” site.

As always, I’d be thrilled to get reader comments and recommendations about Advent crafts, activity ideas, family traditions, etc.  Also, please share your advent blogging requests and suggestions on the thread I posted earlier this week.  Thanks!

-Karen


A nice online Advent Calendar with lots of family activities

December 1, 2008

One of the Advent Resources I’ve been most highly recommending is the awesome and incredibly comprehensive online Advent calendar at the Teaching Mom website.  Unfortunately, that’s not been updated for 2008 and some of the links are outdated making it a bit cumbersome to use.

One of the links at Teaching Mom’s site gives a nice alternative that has been updated for 2008.  It’s the “Christian Christmas Advent Calendar“.  Each day includes a Bible Reading, an Activity, a craft, various recipes, and a hymn.

Here are a few other of the best online Advent calendars I’ve found (all updated for 2008)

EWTN

Annie’s Advent Calendar (this was Teaching Mom’s inspiration…)


More Jesse Tree links!

December 1, 2008

jesse-treeOur “All About Jesse Trees” compilation of links to various resources has been a huge hit and has been far and away the most popular of all our Advent entries and resources so far this year.

I’ve just found another similar list of Jesse Tree resources, (they kindly link to Lent & Beyond, thanks!) which includes some beautiful pictures of Jesse Trees.

Take a look

I especially love the felt Jesse Tree banner pictured here.

You can find out how to make one like it at Festal Celebrations, which has to be one of the best Advent craft sites on the web!

I’ve updated our Jesse Tree resource post, but both these links deserved a separate top level entry.

A blessed Advent to all!


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