—Flannery O’Connor, A Prayer Journal
First things first, the little people. We began with this but my four older kids did not enjoy it. I think it was a combination of them already knowing the stories and the style of writing, I felt like I was talking down to them whilst reading it aloud. We bailed on day four. We also tried this as a read aloud but found it disappointing. They know who St. Thérèse is, they know her story, and her Little Way but this book presents her as precocious and yet oh-so-annoying. Again, this would probably be better suited for younger children just learning of her. After a bit of discussion, they said they’d rather keep on doing what we’ve been doing and so we did just that. We have been using this for almost a year now and enjoy it. We don’t sing the song it suggests each day but we do the readings and prayer. We have a hardback copy and use it every day — it’s been money well spent.
Mama’s reading: Before Lent I purchased this and this. I began with the St. Thérèse booklet but found it a bit disappointing, so I switched to Mother Theresa. The rest of the reading was pretty straight forward: Rome Sweet Home, The Lamb’s Supper, Signs of Life, Hail, Holy Queen, The Faith of Our Fathers, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Flannery O’Connor’s A Prayer Journal.
We started our week by attending services on Palm Sunday, getting our palms (not a single one of my children used their palm as a sword or light saber!) and going out for Mexican food (priorities). Knowing I had a week full of plans ahead, I spent Monday of Holy Week cleaning the house and buying groceries. I like to be prepared.
Wednesday I hid 30 quarters in the house, we discussed Judas and his betrayal for 30 pieces of silver then I let them loose to battle each other for the silver.
Thursday we ventured out to do a visitation of seven chapels. We plotted out a route that followed the Mississippi and the levee which had us ending up in some tiny little towns with the sweetest little chapels. We did a few stations of the cross at each stop. After we made it home and mama had some quiet time, I prepared us an early dinner, a mini-Seder: roasted lamb chops, wine (when we do a Seder, even the kids get a little wine which makes them feel oh-so-important), boiled eggs, bitter herb salad, parsley, salt water, and applesauce rather than charoset because we are a nut-free house. Of course I managed to forget the matzo on Monday’s grocery run so a quick run to the Lebanese restaurant down the street and I came home with pita bread. The kids informed me they much prefer the pita bread to the matzo (noted for next year). We managed to get to Mass on time, too.
I was supposed to make Hot Cross Buns Friday morning but one of their friends mentioned a seven mile pilgrimage/stations of the cross. So one very tired mama said yes, abandoned the Hot Cross Buns, and fed them bagels and scrambled eggs and orange slices so they’d have plenty of energy. We made it back to town just in time to attend Good Friday service, pick up Mister from the airport after, and then gorge ourselves on crawfish (them) and an oyster po-boy (me).
The Red Bean had wanted to attend Easter Vigil and lobbied rather hard but I was exhausted from the week, Mister was exhausted from two weeks of travel, and I know the Poulette, Mighty Nacho, and Wee Lass would’ve never made it to 11pm without a complete meltdown. Instead we went with the saner option of 7am Easter Mass which I know might sound crazy but they’re usually waking up around 7am anyway, what’s an extra half hour? We made it successfully through the service, were complimented several times on how quiet our kids were (Does a mama ever get tired of hearing her children complimented? I think not.) and then, much to their chagrin, I took their photo since they were all dressed up, and we headed out for breakfast. I prepared an Easter dinner—ham, creamed vidalia onions, potatoes gratin, roasted asparagus, deviled eggs, and a lemon cake.
We don’t dye eggs or Easter baskets or Easter egg hunts. My kids are perfectly fine with this. We did take a nice long walk that afternoon while the ham was baking, and all in all had a very quiet afternoon.
Now you probably know more than you ever wanted to know about how we spent our Holy Week but much like my Christmastide wrap-up, I needed a reminder of what worked for us so we can build on it next year.
What was your favorite part of the week?
PS: The super fabulous cozy in the photo is a gift from this sweet lady!