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Because Lent starts on Wednesday.  I know, right?  I’ve been trying to prepare for it for the last two months (pretty much since right after Christmas) and it has still managed to sneak up on me.  So far, aside from pinning a whole bunch of awesome links to my Pinterest boards, I haven’t really done much to make ready.  I have so much to do today and tomorrow, like buying a purple table covering of some kind (preferably wrapping paper, for our bulletin tabletop), and hitting up the craft and dollar stores for the supplies for several of the projects I’d like to attempt with the kids.  Whew! That’s a lot to do in two days, not counting the schoolwork and library trip I’ve been promising them for about three weeks.  So, in case you are as far behind as I am this year, I thought I’d write a post sharing some of the ideas I’ve found thus far that are still very doable in the time left.  Hope they help!

1) This year, we plan on burying wrapping the Alleluia!  Since we live in an apartment, we don’t have a yard, but the idea is still the same.  On Tuesday, after reminding the kids what Alleluia means and why we sing it and more importantly why we don’t sing it during Lent, we’ll take out a prettily printed piece of paper with the word on it, place it in a nice box, and wrap it up.  We’ll leave it on display where the kids can see it, but not touch it.  Then, on Easter Sunday (or whenever we get home from Easter Mass) we’ll unwrap it and sing it up!  Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?  Maybe that’s why singing “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today!” has always been my favorite part of Easter morning.

2) This next idea I got from Lacy over at Catholic Icing.  We’re going to make up a sacrifice box.  Basically, each of us, mom and dad included, will pick one or two things that we will give up for Lent, and place them in some sort of box, which will then be put away until Easter.  In our family, we don’t count Sundays as part of Lent, so we may be letting the stuff out for Sunday afternoons.  I haven’t decided yet, but a good, small-space friendly idea, either way.

3) Our main Lenten daily activity will be the merciful cross I found on Pondered in My Heart.  With little more than a construction paper cross and some flower shaped Post-its, we’ll have a very visible reminder of how much (or how little) we’ve done for our fellow men in the way of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.  It’s a nice little lesson, and again, very easy to do in a small space.

4) In addition to those, we’ll also be using Lacy’s Lenten calendar for kids, as it will easily fit in to our Saxon math meeting book routine.

As for weekly ideas, we are already, thank God!, in the habit of saying a daily Rosary, so to add prayers into our Lenten routine, we’re going to try for at least weekly, if not (I hope) daily Stations of the Cross.  That apartment idea will be posted tomorrow, on How Tuesdays.

Speaking of Tuesday, tomorrow is Fat Tuesday!  How excited am I?  It’s the one day of the year when I really don’t mind if my kids eat as many treats as they want.  What is the point of the austerity of Lent if we have nothing to miss?  I’m hoping to actually start the day off with Nan’s potato pancakes, for the husband, and possibly doughnuts, as that is, apparently, some kind of German tradition, which the husband says we need to incorporate into our childrens’ lives because they are part German.

So now I want to know, do you have any special Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, Fastnacht Day, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day?  Anything special planned for Lent?

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