Lent with the littles

I feel like every Lent for the last 31 years has been a bust.  I always give something up.  And I try to add some extra prayers in.  But most of that is internal preparation.  And I always feel like I could have done more.

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.  

But, I found so many good ideas on the Catholic Icing Lent Pinterest board that we are going to go ahead and add these to the Gale Family roundup for Lent 2014:

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...????
And I thought this was a cute idea to help us out if they need ideas for sacrifices they can make during Lent.  Our religion book through Kolbe Academy has a list of 20 sacrifices you can make during Lent.  I copied each one onto a popsicle stick, and if the kids want to, they can pick one out of the bag.

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.


and this:

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!!


  1. I LOVE the crown of thorns idea! I think I'm going to steal it for preschool co-op this Wednesday :)

  2. Sending my kids down for Lent and some of your awesome theology lessons. Also to give you more of a sacrifice since your kids are angelic :)

  3. You are a rock star, Lisa- putting us all to shame! But seriously, I am stealing both of those play dough ideas, so good!!

  4. Hey, I have a question I wanted to ask you regarding your blog. If you could send me an email when you get this, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!


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