Bits, Bobs & Mitten Strings ... ❀
Wonder Wednesday 🌟

Our Lenten Cross Countdown ❀

Lent 1

Hello my friends and Happy Monday!

Today I am popping in to share what we're doing for Lent this year - because good grief! Ash Wednesday is THIS Wednesday! It catches me off-guard every year - even though I've had "work on Lent plans" in my planner since Epiphany! πŸ˜œ  Well, I'm keeping things pretty simple this year, though I am scanning back through my post-it notes with a purpose for some inspiration. I also shopped Pinterest for ideas and saw a couple of things I liked - a hanging paper-chain (because we are always up for a paper-chain in this house!) as well as a fingerprint-filled cross. I combined the two projects and this is what I came up with ...

Lent 1

The paper chain is filled with all the colors of Lent - as well as the last two days of Winter Ordinary Time, since my younger boys did *not* want to wait for Wednesday once they saw those links hanging on the kitchen door! So there are purple links for regular Lenten days, white links for Sundays, a pink link for Gaudete (Rose) Sunday, and three red links for the Paschal Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday). At the very bottom you also see - two green links for today and tomorrow! πŸ’š

It's probably pretty obvious what we'll do with this chain, but the plan is to allow one of the younger boys to remove one link for each day throughout Lent. But since they both LOVE to do this they will have to take alternating days and patiently wait their turn. Showing patience does not always come easy around here - going by Little Bear's tearful reaction this morning as EB won the "first link" coin toss - so this little sacrifice will work in nicely with the overall Lent theme. πŸ˜‰

Next I affixed the chain to the bottom of a plain white (posterboard) cross, and then added simple black stickers to spell out - PRAY FAST GIVE - the three main pillars of Lent. Now here's what I plan to do with that ...

Lent 1

I bought this multi-color ink pad at the craft store, and it has enough colors for each person in our family, if Mom and Dad share a color. Each evening at suppertime we will press our fingers on that pad and then add our own unique fingerprint to the plain cross on our door. (Little Bear will need to be lifted, natch!) These prints will represent our daily Lenten offerings, whatever they may be. (The boys will be welcome to share with the family or keep their actions between them and God.) In theory, we will do this each night but I know how "daily activities" tend to slide as time goes on ... so I'm prepared to do a weekend "catch up" if needs be. :) I also checked that the ink is washable since Earlybird is so sensitive to dyes and fragrance. I tried each of the colors on my own fingers and they all washed off readily.

I also made up a Lenten binder for myself (since I'm the designated cruise director on this here family ship!) and inside I have a page for each day throughout Lent with an idea of something easy to do or suggest to the boys.

Lent 9

Here are a few sample pages ...

Lent 7

Lent 9

Lent 9

There are so many wonderful Lent activity charts and lists readily available online and off, but in order to keep things as manageable and meaningful for my family as possible, I find it works best if I design our own unique plan. Basically I try to keep things simple, easily adjustable, and compatible with our interests and limitations. (Something that might work for us might seem silly to someone else, whereas an idea that makes sense for another family might be impossible for us to do with our special needs child.)

I've also been adding some small post-it notes when I get an additional idea for a certain day. For example, I remembered a book we had about Pope Francis that would be nice to read on the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter (Feb. 22nd). Also, I remembered the Full Sap Moon is rising on March 1st, St. David's Day, so I added a "family moon walk" for listening to spring sounds and feeling blessed by the turn of the seasons. 

I could have added these sheets to my main planning/home & family binder but since they are quite bulky and because I had an extra PURPLE binder on hand, I decided to make it a special book of its own. πŸ’œ  Filed in the remainder of the sheet protectors I have printouts from the library of all the books I want to request over the next several weeks, as well as a list of seasonal books we already own. (I spent the weekend unearthing those books from the basement!) I MAY also add coloring pages and/or craft projects/recipes as I have time to print them out ... but that seems a little ambitious at the moment, so we'll see how it goes!

(By the way, I originally thought to have our fingerprints kept in the binder, right on the daily pages, but then saw the cross craft on Pinterest and decided I liked that better. I think it will be nice for the boys to watch this rather plain cross "bloom" with our actions and be bursting with bright colors come Easter Sunday.)

The last part of our Lenten prep is to re-do our winter mantle ...

Winter mantle

But I have not gotten that done yet! I hope to work on this project tomorrow and will probably post "after" pictures at Facebook and/or Instagram. :)

Well, everyone, thanks so much for stopping by and if you have a moment, I hope you'll say hi! I will be back again later this week with our next Mitten Strings for God Tea and chapter discussion. (We are up to chapter 12 now, "One on One Time.") You can read more about that upcoming post here ... but either way, I hope you might join me! In the meantime ...

Take care of yourselves and your loved ones, my friends ... See you here again very soon!

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