Saturday, December 20, 2014

Fall Festival at St. Anthony's Shrine

The Shrine of St. Anthony had a Fall festival that was basically a "prelude to Christmas" event. The monastery had several things going on, including music and treats in one room (where we were too busy listening and eating to take pictures), a gingerbread house room, a wreath making room, a popcorn stand, and hay rides.

L and J gladly joined in making gingerbread houses, though technically they were graham cracker houses. They still worked quite well. Icing was used for glue and a variety of candies (including M&Ms, gum drops, and even Chex cereal as windows or doors) for decorations. It was hard to just decorate and not eat.

Graham cracker houses

L does a quality check on the materials

We enjoyed fresh-popped popcorn from the hall cart several times. Luckily, each time we got a fresh bag there was a fresh monk working the machine, so we didn't have any awkward questions about just how much popcorn we did eat.

J and L collaborated on making a wreath, partially encouraged by us parents who were encouraged by the $20 donation asked for the wreath-making supplies. The supplies included candles, a metal ring with candle holders, and a nice gold-colored plate to hold the wreath. Boxes lining the room had evergreen limbs, pine cones, holly twigs, and ribbons for decorating. We were also given some garden clippers to make the foliage the proper length. Working on the wreath was tricky but rewarding.

Working on their wreath

J adds some finishing touches

The most impressive part to me was the library of the monastery, which is two floors tall with a walkway around the upper floor. I'm not so sure about the advisability of having a fireplace in your library but it makes for a cozy reading atmosphere. I want one in our next home!

Library with fire place and comfy seating

More of the library

We went outside for the hay ride but the line was rather long and the temperature was rather low, so we decided to take our wreath and houses home. A great time was had by all!

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