Christmas, on the other hand, is over the top preparation on the exterior AND the interior. I think that having decorations and outward signs are a fantastic aid to keep us on the journey toward Easter. And now that I am a homeschooling mom, and Leo is getting so much older, it is up to me to observe the large plank lodged square in the center of my eye before I start throwing out advice to my children for Lenten practices. And I have lots of crafty things that I can do with the kids to help us all remember exactly what we are getting ready to celebrate!!
I am so excited to be waaaaay on top of the ball this lent. It took a little bit of planning, but no more than I do in a day for homeschool anyway. It was as easy as a quick google search "lent with kids". We are shooting big by trying lots of different things this Lent and anything that ends up a winner will be reinstated next year, and the losers will just phase out.
I'm a realist. I don't know if we'll get around to completing all of them this Lent.
They are small and messy. And exhausting.
Our Lenten Calendars up on the wall:
Up top is my 40 Bags in 40 Days calendar. I know if I didn't print the checklist out, I wouldn't do it. This way, it stares me in the face while we do school every morning. Below is the Catholic Icing Printable Lenten Calendar. I just drew it onto a huge posterboard so the kids could color in each day as we travel through Lent!
I am really excited about this one. I have never taken the kids through the Stations of the Cross. But now that they are older, I think this is a great year to start. I found this fantastic idea for a Montessori Stations of the Cross box on Three Sided Wheel. She offers a free printable, so I had Jason print them on cardstock and I wrapped them with contact paper. Now I just have to find a box and the items to put inside!
Look at what a creative idea she came up with!! One item to represent each station. Hopefully this will be hands-on enough that the kids won't lose interest and get all wild and crazy in the middle of the church...????
Lastly, I purchased a couple cheap supplies:
so that on Ash Wednesday, instead of our regular morning of school we will be making these: A bunch of purple salt dough crosses to hang up in the classroom. I think the kids will have blast making them and they will make the room a bit more Lent focused.
A playdough crown of thorns with toothpicks: each time a child does something great (a sacrifice, being obedient, sharing, etc.), they get to pull a toothpick out of the crown. So simple and sweet!
The only other thing I did was make this webpage my homepage for Lent: http://catholiccuisine.blogspot.com/2012/02/recipes-for-lent-from-archives.html. That way, I can prepare in advance our meat-free dishes rather than scrambling on Friday afternoon after I have already thawed a pound of ground meat!
Now I have to quickly finish the bag of chocolate bars I picked up yesterday so I don't have to stare at them for 40 days...
And now I leave you with photos of our iced over East Texas backyard today!!