Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Ash Wednesday

Well, I managed to pull Lent together after all....even though it really snuck up on me this year. Today we made our usual crown of thorns, as pictured above. It's a bit on the small side this year though. Instead of making the batch of salt dough, I decided to try some bread dough. I'd read about doing it this way, and since I'd procrastinated doing the salt dough until it was too late for the crown to dry, I gave it a shot. It turned out fine, but the batch was too small! It looks a bit like a porcupine up there.

We are trying something different this year though. I made a sacrifice jar for each of the big kids. There are slips of paper in each, one for each day of Lent. Each night they will pick their sacrifice for the following day. If they do their sacrifice, they will get to pull a thorn out of the crown. Here's the list I came up with. Excuse the doubled numbers...some were not appropriate for both kids and had to be tweaked a little.
1. Spend 20 minutes playing with Jack, doing whatever he wants to do.
2. Say 3 Our Father’s during reading and rest time for an end to abortion.
3. Say 3 Hail Mary’s and 3 Glory Be’s during reading and rest time for Father Mike.
4. Give up TV for today…without complaining.
5. Give up TV and computer games for today…without complaining.
6. Give up computer for today…without complaining.
7. Do your chores extra well and without having to be asked more than once.
8. Do your school work very neatly and with your best effort.
9. Find Aunt Mel or Uncle John when they are working and ask if you can help.
9. Find Mom or Dad when they are working and ask if you can help.
10. Pick some toys you don’t use anymore and clean them up nicely to donate to Helping Hands.
11. Find a mess someone else has left out and clean it up for them. See if you can do it secretly and tell no one what you did.
12. Donate some money for the food drive. If you don’t have any money, ask for a couple of extra chores you can do today to earn some. Then ask to go to the store to buy the food yourself.
13. Practice right away obedience today.
14. Put others first today. Let someone else pick what to watch, what to play, where to sit in the car, etc.
15. Make a card and mail it to Grandmom.
16. Say 5 Our Fathers while mediating on a crucifix and Jesus’ 5 wounds. Offer your prayers for the conversion of sinners.
17. Look for a chore that needs to be done…maybe the recycling needs to be taken out, or the entertainment center needs a good dusting, or the car has some things in it that need to be taken in, or whatever you can see that needs to be done. Do it secretly.
18. Take a walk outside and pick up a walmart sack of trash.
19. Give up seconds on something you really like to eat today. Offer it up for children in the world that will go to bed hungry tonight.
20. Only drink water between meals today.
21. Can you go a whole day without saying any unkind words and without an unkind tone to your voice? Try it and see how hard it is!
22. Can you go a whole day without yelling at anyone?
23. Be a servant today. Be the first one to volunteer to help out when help is needed. Look for small ways that you can be helpful to others.
24. Do a chore of Kain’s today.
24. Do a chore of Maria’s today.
25. Say a decade of the rosary for those that will be baptized as new Catholics at the Easter Vigil mass.
26. Say a decade for the intentions of Pope Benedict.
27. Make a small food sacrifice today, like eating toast without jelly, your eggs without salt, or your veggies without ranch dressing. Offer it for the holy souls in purgatory waiting to get into Heaven.
28. Write 5 things you like about Kain. Leave it on his pillow for him to find.
28. Have someone help you write 5 things you like about Maria. Leave it on her pillow for her to find.
29. Write 5 things you are thankful for and share them with everyone at dinner tonight.
30. Pick a saint story and read it.
30. Pick a saint story and have someone read it to you.
31. Read from the Bible for 15 minutes.
31. Pick a Bible story and have someone read it to you today.
32. Let Kain play with something of yours that he really likes but you don’t usually let him play with.
32. Let Jack play with something of yours that he really likes but you don’t usually let him play with.
33. Play with Kain today, and let him pick what to do.
33. Read a book to Jack today. Let him pick the book.
34. Ask Mom to pick a day to put on the calendar to take you to adoration, just the two of you.
35. Be the electricity police today. Keep close watch around the house for lights and other electricity not being used and turn it off. If you do a good job, Mom will put $3 saved in the poor jar.

I'm still 5 ideas short...any contributions appreciated!

Also, there's a new altar decoration I shamelessly stole from Dawn, who is always a font of great ideas. If you look again at the picture above, you'll see a small bowl of dirt on the left. It's mixed with ashes from last year's palm branches. There's a small votive in the middle of the bowl. Most days the bowl will stay unlit during prayer time, except on Sundays, a mini "feast" in the middle of Lent, when we will light the candle. On Palm Sunday, we will plant some grass seed in the dirt and start watering it, hoping for a bowl of greenery on Easter Sunday in which to set our Easter candle.

Other Lent plans include adding the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to our day, along with the scripture readings our parish provided, and the usual giving up of desserts and such. We will also try to start making it again to our parish's daily mass It's only available on Thursdays, surely we can do that much! Uh oh...tomorrow's Thursday...see, I almost forgot already!

I'm pleased with our plans. They have only jelled together in the last couple of days. We have mix of familiar traditions and some new things to try. Prayers for everyone for a fruitful Lenten season!


Terimisu said...

I think it is awesome you are teaching your children such valuable life lessons. Way to go MOM!!

Karen E. said...

I love the list! I have a list of daily choices, too, but yours is more extensive, and you've given me new ideas. Thank you!