Wednesday, February 20, 2008


We did School. 
I worked out.

I made 4.5 gallons of spaghetti sauce. I'll freeze most of it, and we'll have it for all sorts of yummy meals....spaghetti, baked penne, manicotti, lasagna... Ok that one line, "I made spaghetti sauce" doesn't do this justice....I chopped and diced 12 onions, I opened 16 cans of tomato paste....::snort::

We went on a HUNT - a walk, but we had to find THORNS and a STONE for our Lenten wreath. I was drawing blanks at the store...when I remembered we LIVE in WEST TEXAS.


Ah Thorns....
Nolan thorns

And a Stone!
Arielle stone

We should have skipped the stores and gone for a walk earlier in the day!
I bought Stacia a few dresses for $5.94 at Walmart.

That's about all we did today.

A Protesatant/Low Church Family Does Lent....

I have learned a lot in the past weeks.  I assumed that I would find lots of fun, Protestant resources to build excitement as we lead up to Resurrection Sunday/Passover....but such has not been the case as of yet. I received an email from Arnold Ytreeide saying that Mystery of the Temple Court will be available NEXT year. 
I assumed that since Michelle makes Lenten Wreaths  and she is Catholic that this is a wide-spread practice. It's not. ::snort:: I also assumed the cross with candles (see that also at Michelle's link above) and/or wreath with candles were common, but I'm learning they are difficult to find, too, and evidently not well-known.
Several have also voiced concern that we are putting ourselves into bondage or legalism by celebrating Lent and Passover. We are a busy chaplain's family. Busy, busy, busy. It is incredibly easy for meaningful training of our children to get lost in the schedule if we are not intentional in our focus. We want our children to UNDERSTAND the services they attend, the season that we celebrate. We LOVED the anticipation of Advent. We began celebrating Advent about 10 - 15 years ago. Over the years our focus has totally changed, and the season is totally Christ-centered now. We've never done the whole bunny, egg, candy, basket scene. We've rarely done the Easter Outfit scenario. We've tried to focus on the MEANING of the season, but we've always sort of done the Resurrection Eggs, read the right chapters, thrown in Easter Story Cookies or Resurrection Rolls, and rushed to the many services we have this time of year expecting the kids to catch the AWE of it all at the services. In other words, we had slowly quit doing even the bit we had done as the older kids "aged." The younger ones were missing out on those traditions.
We began to think that Passover would help our family to reclaim the focus of the season. We believe the Biblical feasts are full of amazing object lessons for children. All the feasts celebrate Jesus (at least the ones I've studied so far - and we don't plan to do the ones that aren't mentioned by God). We decided to add Passover this year.
It seems that if we had those nightly readings that focused on the season (like Jotham's Journey did), if we focused on the Resurrection for longer than the week or 12 days before Easter, the same sense of awe and worship may result. I began to crave a way to slow down and focus on Christ. We CELEBRATE CHRIST year-round in our home. It began to perplex me that we spent 4 - 5 weeks building up to Christ's birth, but only one hectic week building up to His sacrifice and Resurrection. I prayed about this and began to think. I began to question others; I noticed friends who were doing more than we did, and I wrote that infamous Lent /Resurrection Celebration post. We've decided to celebreate Lent/Passover for many of the reasons that we celebrate Christmas.
Several have emailed me to ask what we decided to do this year as a family.
We're reading nightly devotionals out of "A Family Journey with Jesus Through Lent". It's a wonderful book and we are loving the focus, we've edited a few sentences on the fly (as many Catholic homeschoolers do with Protestant curriculum they like). The devotionals are told from a child's point of view. They follow the life of Jesus...the gospels..  This week we've done The Widow and Her Gift, The Healing of the 10 Lepers, the Transfiguration.  You get the idea. We could also have simply read through the gospels.  We're also using Family Celebrations at Easter by Ann Hibbard. I got this one off Paperback Swap. We are going to use their haggadah for Passover - I think - unless I find something else that is messianic and that I think the children can sit through. I did find a Jewish 30 minute seder - but I'm not sure about it. LOL
Yes, we are going to celebrate Passover this year. We are going to do this on April 19/20, and I think it will be a great way to extend our focus and illuminate the meaning of the Resurrection for our children. I'm reading A Family Guide to Biblical Holidays for ideas for Passover, meanings, and background.
I'm making a Lenten Wreath though I'm quite sure ours won't look like Michelle's. We've decided to work on it tomorrow. I will post photos and such tomorrow - or you can click Michelle's name at the beginning of this long post to see HER wreath.
We're going to do weekly candles during our nightly readings as many do with an Advent Wreath.
We're going to read Benjamin's Box in conjunction with the Resurrection Eggs. I think we'll have a "holy treasure hunt".
I also received The Very First Easter by Paul L. Maier from PBS. We'll do either the Easter Story Cookies or Resurrection Rolls ( linked above). We may also do soft pretzels with the story (gotta find it online first).
We're going to make a Jesus Tree. I am hoping these symbols will correlate well with the devotionals we are reading about Jesus in A Family Journey with Jesus....
This will all merge right in to our celebration of Passover. I know we'll have a seder meal. I'm not sure if we'll decorate the "right" way, and I'm not sure what things we NEED to buy and look for - I'll save those questions for another post. As a chaplain's family, we are never going to skip Easter in favor of Passover - we are looking to enchance our celebration of Christ, and I believe both holidays will serve that focus.
What about fasting and giving up stuff for Lent? Several of us fast weekly at our home. I've not been led to fast more....I'm not sure if others have...that is between God and them. I've not been led to give anything up per se - but I've been convicted to ADD in my 90-day reading...which takes a good 45 - 60 minutes a day to complete...and involves my giving up all sorts of things daily. ::snort:: Hey - I'm nearing the end of Isaiah, I think I'm going to make it this year.
And that's how this Protestant/Low Church family is celebrating Lent.

A Monday Holiday

 Monday was a federal holiday. This means that it was a day off for Mike. Strangely enough - both boys also had the day off from Chick Fil A. Rodeo/Stock Show begins tomorrow and they will be working a lot then so they had a slow schedule early in the week. We took advantage of having everyone home.
Boys will always be boys!
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Almost a good picture.
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Stacia's Spare.
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DQ after bowling....
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