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Lenten Plans

As I have said in a previous post, I have been very anxious for Lent to start. It is my favorite Liturgical Season. I enjoy really looking at my life and my relationship with Jesus and to see how I can grow closer to Him and in what ways I can die more to myself, so that He may live more in me. Homeschooling has helped me enter more into Lent this year too. I feel a greater responsibility to truly "Live the Liturgy" in our house. I want my Catholic Faith to come alive to my boys.

I do not have anything extraordinary planned for Lent. It will be simple, as a family we will follow the Lenten tradition of Fasting, Praying and Alms Giving. The boys and I have been praying a decade of the Rosary in the morning before school and we will continue to do that through Lent. We are using some of the material from Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure during our school day for lessons. They have some nice coloring pages for younger children. For fasting, J decided that he wanted to give up TV. He may only watch educational/documentary videos. He has also decided to give up "special treats" (a.k.a.: sweets). And finally, for the boys, for alms giving, I have planned a day where they will clean out their toys and give some to the poor. I am going to have them physically take them somewhere to donate them, so that they have the experience of giving. J is a very generous soul (most of the time), and so he also wants to give money to the poor. He will donate money to our church's poor box.

I have made a "Lenten Calendar" on in our kitchen for the boys to follow each day. It is our "Path to the Cross." Each "stone" is a day in Lent and there is a "foot" that we will move from stone to stone each day. The feast days are marked on the stones. St Patrick gets a little extra around his . . . a field of shamrocks surrounds March 17th. The stones with the icthus on it are Fridays and the yellow stones are Sundays. The path that leads to the cross ends on Palm Sunday. Then, we will do something special for Holy Week.

For me, I have decided to do the Days of Deepening Friendship: A Lenten Retreat. I found this through the Faith and Family Live blog and have decided to do this. I have the widget for this retreat on my right side bar. Go check it out. I have also added a widget for another Lenten Journey blog. It is really nice with good resources for adults . . . check that one out too!! We, as a family, gave up sweets. I also am planning on attending mass on Wednesdays and Fridays. I miss going to daily mass and really want to add it back into my days. I want to take the boys, so we will head to a local parish for the 9 AM mass. Also, I am going to continue to wake up before the boys. I am an introvert and crave that alone time . . . it is the best way for me to start the day. My goal is to, by the end of Lent, get up early enough so that I have time to exercise, as well as pray and get ready for the day.

Finally, FOOD. My family did not have many Lenten traditions, except for those involving food. My memories of Lent usually were of eating special foods that you only made during Lent. My German grandparents would always get Bockwurst (a sausage) from the local butcher. My grandmother and mom would also make Fastnacht Kuchen (basically a German donut or fried dough, but with a rich flavor . . . they are soooooooo good) during Lent (It was not until a few years ago that my mom actually told me you are only supposed to eat them on Shrove Tuesday (fastnacht is German for "fast night"). Ah, well, we still eat them during Lent, but just on Sundays!!). My Polish grandmother would supply us with the best cheese perogi you could ever have (She is pretty much blind now and still make the best perogi!!).

Since these foods are so ingrained in my memories, I wanted to be able to share them with my kids. I started to search for the Bockwurst . . . . I knew I could not get it at a local store, but I was sure I could find it on the Internet. Thanks to my mom, I found the website called Buffalofoods.com . This is the ultimate website to find any food that is made in WNY that you cannot get anywhere else. I was able to find the Bockwurst, Perogis that are made by a local deli (they are so much better than the ones you get at the grocery store) and the cheese you need to make perogi. So, I splurged and bought these items. They will be here today, so I cannot wait to get a taste of home delivered to my door. Needless to say, these will be some of the foods that will become tradition in our house too.

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