Tag Archives: ash wednesday

Preparing for Lent…Let’s clean house…..

I need Lent….no…seriously….no laughing… I NEED lent….


like a runner needs water….

like a tired momma needs her wine at the end of the day….

This momma gets worn out…

After the excitement of the holidays, I start to drag and evidentially end up in survival mode….

I go from “I should wake up early to workout” to “How long can I sit here until I NEED to make dinner?” I love my family but the daily grind of being a mom, housewife, and homeschooling mom can really wear on me during the cold winter days…..

IMG_7509  IMG_7326 IMG_7319

The Church, in her wisdom, knows that around February…this momma needs to work on her “inner house”.  At this point, it’s hardly liveable……It’s kinda like that junk drawer that you know you need to clear out, or the basement you think about as you just close the door behind you. The Church is like that dear friend that comes over to help you “clear out your closet”…..you complain and stress about her coming over, but then you feel so good as you tackle stuff together. It’s that love/hate relationship that we have with growth…..we procrastinate starting it…..cry and struggle through it….and at the end, we ask ourselves what took us so long to get started.

So….I’ve done the “procrastinating thing” all year or the “kicking and screaming thing” like the photo above with DDD. But…now momma’s ready to “clean house”. (Got my rag on it…let’s do this…haha)


Very similar to the cleaning of my physical house, I gotta work on the same things. The dust, and crumbs are replaced by….yelling and procrastinating. Scrubbing toliets and mopping floors….with being quick to anger, and lacking in kindness….and just writing them makes me feel terrible. However, like I tell the kids, you have to “own” your mistakes, be truly sorry, and ask for forgiveness. I’m not the mom that I should be. I’m not the mom God has called me to be.  And…..let’s be honest, I can read a billion blogs that will tell me that “I work hard enough” and that “being a mom is tough”, or that I “shouldn’t be so hard on myself, because we all fall short”. And those words, and those “voices”, stunt my growth. They are lies, that our society feeds off of……so that none of us “feel bad”.

But this morning, I also sat learning from myself…..somebody that I knows “gets me”. haha. I re-read some of my old Lenten blogs….You can delve into them yourself here and here. It’s somewhat humbling to read the blogs that I wrote last year or two years ago and I am still struggling with the same stuff. However, isn’t that what sin is? Struggling with the same vices over the over? As much as I would love to just “fast” from chocolate or wine, I know that the Church is calling me to a greater “fast” that only I can pinpoint.

This Lent I’m not running from my vices…I’m owning them. I desire change. Now whether or not I completely conquer my vices is not important…it is the daily effort that will change me. I desire to be a walking example of the mom I want to be and the person that others, who love me, deem that I am. So my 40 days begins, and the evolution starts.

My” tomorrow” starts today.

And just as the walk to Calvary was long and painful, I know this Lent will be too. I will need to increase my prayer time, and “arm” myself for the various situations that will present themselves this Lent.

May your embrace your vices this Lent and seek real change. My prayers are with you!


Ash Wednesday!!

Let’s talk Lent……

A time of penance…..

a time to reflect on your life and where your priorities are…..

As adults….it’s tough.

We are under the scrutiny of our children.

How we observe Lent in our lives….is how important they will see Lent.

Here are a few ways to enter Lent today on Ash Wednesday:

Begin your day with receiving ashes. The ashes remind us that “we are from dust. And to dust, we shall return.” It is to remind us that we are nothing without God. Make sure you teach your children to wear their ashes proudly…whether it be at home, at the grocery store, or at school.

Splash purple around your home. Purple is a sign of penance and forgiveness. Change out candles for purple ones. Add a purple tablecloth or place mats. Purple napkins tossed over your crucifixes is a great way to enter Lent as we observe this time without the crucified Christ.


Lenten Coloring pages. I will be using a coloring page about Ash Wednesday from this book. It is full of great pages to use throughout lent. I like to photocopy a page and put it out on the breakfast table with some watercolors and a breakfast muffin. The kids love it! You can also color these yourself and laminate to hang around your home.

lent book

Make a visit to a local pretzel factory. Pretzel factories are a staple here in the Philly area so we will be hitting one up after Mass. They have also come to be a symbol of Lent. Wikapedia states, ” There are numerous accounts on the origin of pretzels, as well as the origin of the name; most agree that they have Christian backgrounds and were invented by German monks. According to The History of Science and Technology, by Bryan Bunch and Alexander Hellemans, in 610 AD “…an Italian monk invents pretzels as a reward to children who learn their prayers. He calls the strips of baked dough, folded to resemble arms crossing the chest, ‘pretiola’ (“little rewards”)”.

Practice getting and giving ashes. I told my children that I would let them practice giving their baby dolls “ashes” using my eyeshadow. This is a great way to remind them of the focus of the ashes and to remind them of the significance of the day.

ash wednesday with kids

Finish your planning. Decide what you are “giving up” or “taking on” for Lent. Make a list of things you want to accomplish and tackle your calendar to make it happen. Help your children to “count down” the days of lent with a lenten calendar. Lacey over at Catholic Icing has put together this great Lenten calendar that we use. Click on the picture for the link to Lacey’s web page to download.

kids schedules

So I encourage you this Lent….to dig deeper.

My Uncle used to have this sign up in his home:

If you were on trial for being a Christian….would there be enough evidence to convict you??!!!”

Wow…..I know, right????!!!

Stew on that one for a while….I did…..EVERY TIME I visited…

This Lent……..dig deeper than you ever  have before…..

Don’t give up something like chocolate….give up something like complaining.

Don’t give up Facebook….give up complaining on FB…..and be a positive “light” to your friends and family.

Don’t give up bread….deliver several loaves of bread a week to a soup kitchen or make bread and deliver it to older “shut ins”.

Find that one person who is the biggest “stress” in your life…..and try to make them feel special.

Do you have a clothes budget for March?….blow it!!!!….. on clothes for a homeless shelter or buy diapers for a crisis pregnancy center. (this picture was from my daughter’s birthday party. In leu of gifts, her friends bought canned goods for our local food pantry and diapers for the women’s pregnancy center)


Find out what is holding you back from being a true Christian,  and remove it from your life….. and if you are in your own way….move aside…

So that when Christ “moves” the stone ” aside” on Easter….you will truly experience Easter joy!!!

If you want to read some more of our Lenten traditions, you can read about them here. 

Dig deeper…..(I’m praying for you!)

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Happy Mardi Gras!!!!

Mardi Gras is french for Fat Tuesday!!!

Fat Tuesday celebrates the day before Ash Wednesday when Christians will celebrate one last “hurray” indulging in sweets, meats, etc. before “giving up” something for Lent.

How funny is this banner???!!!!

Well today was ALL ABOUT indulging in some meat and goodies and chatting up the meaning of Lent with the children.

We had fastnacht doughnuts for breakfast.

... yeast raised potato doughnuts, which are lovingly known as Fastnachts

Yummo!! These little “tastes of heaven” are a family tradition on Fat Tuesday. I’m not a huge fan of donuts….but I can’t resist these!!! They are made with a potato flour and are simply delicious. Our local Giant sells them and the minute we see them….warm thoughts!!!!

We had cheeseburgers for lunch. (Bring on the red meat!!!) While we talked about preparing our minds and hearts to enter the season of Lent.

We made chocolate chip cookies for an all- girl tea party. ( Another guilt-free treat for Fat Tuesday!!)

tea party!

tea party!

 For dinner, I surprised the hubs with his favorite childhood dinner:  Roasted pork tenderloin, candied lima beans (no joke….take butter beans and cook them on 350 in a combination of brown sugar and karo syrup for about two hours…..finish them for 20 minutes in a 450 oven until sticky…..sugar coma!!!), mashed potatoes, and steamed broccoli. I figured….we would go out with a bang. haha.

and then dessert……

photo 3mint chocolate chip ice cream !!

So gangsta!....gotta love DDD.

So gangsta!….gotta love DDD.

The hubs and I indulged in a little vino as well. Gotta love these masks from the local Dollar tree!

photo 1

We love to make sure that we are living up the holidays with the kiddos…especially the Liturgical Seasons!

Don’t forget to get your ashes tomorrow!!!!

Happy Lent!

God Bless,