John Paul was so sad he didn't have anything purple to wear for Ash Wednesday (except his purple chasuble). Cecilia decided that it was the right day to pair pink zebra print with pink polka dots (and rejected the purple jumper I had chosen for her). But these babies had no choice! So I dressed them in liturgically correct colors, and Elizabeth found a rogue hair tie on the floor and demanded that I allow my baldest baby to trounce everyone else in the "willing to have hair done" category.
It's a good thing the only color Elizabeth recognizes as valid is "puh-pow" - she's gonna be seeing a lot of it!
We've done a prayer chain for the past couple of years but this is the first year the kids had any input on whom we were praying for. I think my favorites were:
John Paul: Um, a person in Japan.
Andrew: Do you mean... The conversion of Japan?
John Paul: Yeah! The conversion of Japan!
Then he also wanted to pray for the conversion of China, the conversion of Sochi, and the conversion of Virginia.
Cecilia, on the other hand, really wanted us to pray for kitty cats. So we compromised with "People who have kitty cats."
The bean jar is a huge hit! At least with John Paul... Cecilia keeps asking me to suggest things that she can do to put a bean in the jar and then keeps complaining that "That's too hard for me!"
Pick up those four books on the floor? Too hard.
So we're getting used to what sacrifice is and what acts of kindness are... Which worked really well yesterday morning when I got them to play with the babies long enough for me to eat my cereal without having to cave to the demands of "Bite! Bite!" from the under-2 crowd. And then they each got to put a bean in the jar!
Little do they know, I will be eating most of the jellybeans that those are swapped with come Easter...
So many Lent resources! Rather than point you to all the links, I'm just going to send you to Abbey's blog so you can peruse them there! It's not too late to start something else :)
Well, I will share ONE link with you, just because I know it's Friday and everybody is brainstorming meatless meals for today (if you're not a meal planning fiend!) - I compiled a list of 25 ideas and recipes that will hopefully inspire you! Almost all of them are big hits around here, although my husband is kind of a veggie hater so obviously ratatouille is not his favorite...
We're having gnocchi with garlic and sage butter sauce tonight AND I already minced the garlic and chopped the sage and am feeling so on the ball! I think we're going to try Wednesday and Friday TV fasts so I'll plan really easy meals on those days - we did no TV on Wednesday and it wasn't *totally* insane (because I convinced the big kids to play in their room with the babies and "accidentally" locked the door).
What's for dinner at your house tonight?
Really it was comical that on my first day of trying not to be so angry, I found myself kneeling on the cold wood floor trying console a sobbing 4.5-year-old while the 15-month-old twins also sobbed and snotted all over me because they wanted me to pick them up and nurse them IMMEDIATELY, and Cecilia comes over with her pink plastic rosary and just starts praying Hail Mary's very calmly.
Then and there I thought she may have cemented her status as favorite child, but her post-nap behavior today made up for it...
Little Miss Grumpy Pants was SO COLD, so I gave her a blanket which was TOO LUMPY, and when I asked which blanket she wanted she screamed, "I'M NOT GOING TO TELL YOU!!!"
She showed me. So then she lay next to me, blanketless, on the futon in the playroom (which is almost entirely windows). She kept closing her eyes so I offered to take her back to her room so she could keep napping. No. Maybe have a sleepover in the babies' room? NO! Maybe the living room? NO! THE SUN IS COMING IN TOO MANY WINDOWS!!! IT'S TOO BRIGHT!!!
While this was going on, I heard John Paul dragging chairs around and he told me he was setting up for a party... This is apparently how we party:
Chairs and dining bench VERY close together, no access to couches or front door.
Unplugged white noise machine for ambiance?
And a single high chair angled to entertain the guests. Apparently Mary Claire is invited to the party and Elizabeth is not.
When I told him we don't really have parties during Lent, he told me it was just a Lent occasion.
So there you have it.
We just finished reading a biography of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton (written specifically for kids) and John Paul and Cecilia LOVED it. Like, begged for early bedtime so that we could read it together. Yeah. John Paul requested Saint Maximilian Kolbe (LOVE HIM!) for their next book, which is a welcome break from The Magic Tree House because I actually find these books really interesting! Have you tried any in the Encounter the Saints Series? Which are your favorites?
I have a feeling we'll be working our way through them - there are SO many available (quite a few on kindle, too), and the chapters are short enough and simple enough to read aloud to kids who are just getting used to sitting still to listen to longer stories with fewer pictures, but the subject matter is actually appealing to parents, too!
And as a bonus, it's maybe the funniest thing ever to see them reenacting all the deaths (and there are a LOT) in the book - John Paul collapsed on the floor moaning, "My Jesus!" or Cecilia falls down wherever she is to gasp, "Jesus! Mary! Joseph!" Amazing.
The links above are affiliate links, which means I get a percentage of whatever you buy from Amazon if you click through my links. I LOVE it when you do that, because that's how I got that Maximilian Kolbe book, with credit from Amazon Affiliates!
I hope you all are having a blessed Lent so far! Check out more Quick Takes at Jen's.