our holy week wrap-up

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Mediocrity is a hard word to apply to onself; yet I see myself so equal with it that it is impossible not to throw it at myself—realizing even as I do that I will be old & beaten before I accept it. I think to accept it would be to accept Despair. There must be some way for the naturally mediocre to escape it[.] The way must be Grace.

—Flannery O’Connor, A Prayer Journal

As I mentioned here, I might have been a smidge ambitious with my Lent reading list but I finished all the books on my list except one. I’ll consider that a win.

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.

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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.

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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).

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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!

  • I love hearing about your Holy Week! I love hearing what other families do, as I often spurs on my own ideas! I love the idea of a 7 mile pilgrimage. Sounds so interesting!

    We do different things different years. One thing we’ve done in the past is make a homemade dough and “sculpt” a tomb with a cross made from sticks on top and a rock in front of it. The kids paint it and then on Easter morning we move the rock away. We missed doing it this past year, as I was hosting dinner for 13 I had more on my plate (no pun intended) than past years.

    I think my favorite thing this year was Good Friday Service. I was very meaningful.ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Danielle, we’ve talked about doing something similar next year and maybe painting some wooden peg dolls to represent Jesus and the disciples for our table. And yes, Good Friday service was incredibly moving!ReplyCancel

  • I found the same thing with the St. Therese book for myself. It is still a little old for Marie-Therese so she didn’t get much out of it’s we stopped after about day 3 in favor of praying the St. Therese novena each night. Holy Week is my most favorite week of the liturgical calandra! Except this year we didn’t do all the extras I like to do…a cold for momma and a teething no sleep baby made it so we felt a little bit of the suffering of Christ. We did make it to holy Thursday Mass which I love….but Good Friday was spent quietly at home. I love your idea of hiding the quarters through the house! And your Seder meal….I am putting them both in my folder for next year. I love the hands on things like that for the little ones.ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Jen, I felt horrible not liking the book especially since I embrace her Little Way but sometimes I want something a bit meatier, ya know?ReplyCancel

  • Jessica

    Happy Easter, Amanda. Thanks for sharing! I know someone who loves those Wineatt books, but her children are younger.
    Our favorite Holy Week activities are doing a feet washin ceremony on Holy Thursday with our closest friends (although the elder was not up to it this year) and our viewing of Jesus of Nazareth. We watch it in small sections throughout Holy Week. This year, there were wonderful questions from the boys which extend into our lessons.ReplyCancel

  • My favorite part was going to the Easter Vigil starting at 7:30 pm at the mother house (convent) there are NO crowds, overpowering perfumes and parking is abundant. The service was 2 hours long but was reverent and beautiful :)

    Love how your week went and it sounds like it was successful. I like having plans and goals but you do have to be flexible and go with the flow which you did. I think the most important part of your lent week was that you were all together!ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Karen, I’m not sure I could attend service in the Mother House without surreptitiously humming “How do you solve a problem like Maria…” the entire time ;-) ReplyCancel

  • We don’t do Easter eggs/baskets either, but we make kind of a big deal over presents…over time it’s become bigger than Christmas for us in that regard.

    Our Big Deal on Holy Week is services and vigil on Friday…and then Pascha at 11:30pm on Saturday night. This year we made it home early, by 5:30am, delirious with excitement, meat, cheese, chocolate, and joy in the resurrection! :)

    Christ is Risen!ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Kyrie, I forgot about the long service you do on Saturday night. I do love the idea of breaking your fast with your community and plenty of good food!ReplyCancel

  • I’m so intrigued by your visitation of seven chapels, Amanda. What a beautiful idea.

    My daughter got confirmed at the Easter Vigil. I’m a lifelong Catholic, but had never been to an Easter Vigil! I suppose I associate Easter so much with *morning,* but the service was moving.

    Have you ever read Looking for Mary (Or the Blessed Mother and Me) by Beverly Donofrio? I loved it. A powerful story, and such good writing.ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Patricia!!! Thanks for the book recommendation! Your suggestions have never disappointed — I’ll be picking this one up based on your rec and on the fact that I loved her book, Riding In Cars with Boys ;-) ReplyCancel

  • Kirsten

    Gosh, what a week! It must have been exhausting, but also a wonderful bonding experience for you and your children. (With the wonderful added bonus that they were so well behaved – and that their behaviour was noticed! Double bonus!)

    As a religiously-tempted agnostic (if you know what I mean!), I’m always very interested to hear about different people’s ways of celebrating various religious events. I thought I’d read you once saying that you weren’t Catholic, but your week sounds like a very Catholic one! Maybe I’m misremembering, or maybe you’re moving towards it? Or maybe it’s just our different countries’ churches ways of doing things! I hope I’m not prying too much…

    In any case, sounds like a wonderful week! XReplyCancel


weekending. my favorite part of the week. a time to relax, live, love, just be. if you’d like to share your weekend either with words, photographs, or both, leave a link to your weekend post or flickr photo in the comments, or post it on the fb page.


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this weekend follows a week full of activity
i’ve enjoyed my time away from the interwebs and work-related stuff immensely
i’m contemplating how i might be able to pull back
considering priorities and my sanity and just how much is possible
this morning the mister and the boy are model building
the others are outside running wild and looking forward to a second day of
feasting — boiled crawfish, oyster po-boy (for me)
followed by a late afternoon walk
we’ve had a busy, busy week and this mama is tired but
my heart is full, my soul content

how was your weekend?



weekending. my favorite part of the week. a time to relax, live, love, just be. if you’d like to share your weekend either with words, photographs, or both, leave a link to your weekend post or flickr photo in the comments, or post it on the fb page.


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this weekend started with a trip to the park and a picnic
several hours in the sun, kids red faced and played out
milkshakes on the way home
then lazing under the shade of our magnolia reading
before a late afternoon nap, waking up bathed in the sweet light
the wee lass by my side
started season 5 and i’m unsure about this new doctor
(someone please tell me it gets better)
started socks with this yarn and it wasn’t love
it could’ve been a combo of pattern & the new doctor though
the rest of the weekend will involve me finding the just right pattern for those socks
enjoying the company of my little people and balancing
reading for clients and reading submissions for the upcoming issue
it’ll probably involve takeout and the red bean has asked to
bake something chocolate, pretty sure i’ll be well-fed, well-loved, and well-read

how was your weekend?

ps: i will most likely be quiet here in this space during holy week. wishing you a sweet week full of light!


Wednesday Random

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Sometimes when you’re stuck in what seems to be a never ending series of bad days, the only thing to do is wind yarn by hand while sipping your strawberry limeade. Yes, I have a swift and wool winder but by hand is still my preferred method.

The big granny afghan is done and before I could even finish it, the Frog Prince had put up quite an argument about why it should be his. I told him I’d think about it. I finished it one night and put it on him while he was sleeping. He came into the kitchen the next morning wrapped in it and beaming ear to ear.

Lent is almost over and I’m *this* close to reading the stack of books I chose for Lent reading. Three and a half more to go. I might have been a bit overly-ambitious. If I’m quiet online, it’s because I’m rushing to the finish line in between reading work stuff which is rolling in apace considering we have a rapidly approaching deadline.

I opened the mail yesterday and found invitations for my two older kids to join the Junior Cotillion. I was Skyping with my dad at the time and gawking over this very official invitation to a shindig at the country club and my dad said, You’re too much like Lorelai Gilbert for the country club crowd. And I could’ve hugged him a) for saying so and b) for knowing who Lorelai Gilbert was. Let it be known my dad is the best.

If you haven’t made this yet, what’s stopping you? Seriously so good. Trying to come up with a repertoire of salad-y type meals that don’t involve the oven for our spring/summer eating. I think I can get away with just about anything but lentils. While lentil soup was tolerated, there was a major boycott of a lentil salad last summer. So recipes for salads, meat or no meat, pasta is okay, too… Have one your family loves? Please share.

  • Thanks for the recipe, it looks delish, can’t wait to try it. The afghan looks awesome, and I can just imagine the smile on his face and the melting of your heart :) I love it when my little man loves mama handmades.ReplyCancel

  • It made me smile to think of your boy wrapped in his made with love afghan, so sweet.

    I sent you two pins that I had, I haven’t tried them yet, but they are on my list.ReplyCancel

  • Love the afghan story! So sweet!ReplyCancel

  • Oh I love the afghan story! And Gilmore Girls!!!! We are in the middle of bad days here too. I think a marathon viewing of Gilmore Girls may be just the thing I need. I haven’t watched them in a long time.ReplyCancel

    • admin

      hope some good days come your way, jen!ReplyCancel

  • I can’t even tell you how much I LOVE this salad. I’ve just been thinking about how excited I am to have it again!ReplyCancel

  • Did you know that your toenails are the same color as your afghan? ;D neat. mariReplyCancel

    • admin

      mari, my toenails are actually grey, might just be the lighting ;-) ReplyCancel

  • Beautiful afghan and lovely story. :) Our go to salads are fattoush (pita bread/feta/mint salad) or tuna and chickpea salad (with tomato, red onion, rocket – you can throw pretty much anything in so long as you make a nice dressing for it!). Good luck with your reading list and work juggle!ReplyCancel

    • admin

      thanks for the fattoush idea, becs. it’s one we haven’t tried to make at home yet!ReplyCancel

  • The afghan story is SO sweet. Yes, yarn can really help that endless string of bad days. And some peace and quiet. Which is hard to come by. Yarn AND peace and quiet at the same time is golden.:)ReplyCancel

  • I love that your dad knew Lorelai as well. When I was in High School, I wanted to be in Cotillion (a result of an all girls private schooling). I am very glad my parents had more sense for me. Good luck on your stack of books. And gorgeous job on the blanket. Any chance you want to come here and finish my sampler. All it needs is seaming – Blech.ReplyCancel

  • There is nothing like soothing nerves as handling yarn, be it winding or knitting :) I hope you have a better week ahead and the next and the next. No cotillions up here….Good luck finding new stuff to make the internet is endless with possibilities!ReplyCancel

  • Oh the afghan turned out great, I think I might have requested it too :)
    As for non-oven, salad-y meals, i’ll send you a few pins of things I’ve tried. We love Quinoa salad in many variations!ReplyCancel

  • I cannot wait to see what that yarn will becomeReplyCancel

  • jessica

    Afghan looks great and so nice for a boy. Will have to try that sandwich. We love avocado.ReplyCancel


weekending. my favorite part of the week. a time to relax, live, love, just be. if you’d like to share your weekend either with words, photographs, or both, leave a link to your weekend post or flickr photo in the comments, or post it on the fb page.


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this weekend was saturday morning mass (blessedly alone)
bringing home beignets to my hungry people
grey and rainy weather meant a quiet house with noses
buried in books
the laundry beast tamed and this
mama napping on the sofa while the poulette and wee lass
watched frozen (again)
a sunday morning lie in followed by
pancakes & bacon, an open day stretching in front of us
the plan is to go to our fave mexican dive
for a late lunch, nachos, queso, tamales
and seeing as it is grey and rainy again, i foresee
some quality reading time this afternoon
maybe even digging through some knitting patterns
i might go crazy and knit something for me (indulgence of all indulgences)
and tonight, starting season two of this silly guilty pleasure
all in all, the makings of a sunny side up kind of day

how was your weekend?
weaving words along with everyone else inspired by april prompt-a-day. join us and link up over here, on the write alm fb page, or on twitter or instagram using the hashtag #writealm

  • I finally got to watch Frozen, and American Hustle, loved them both.
    I vote for you knitting something for you!ReplyCancel

  • It has been lovely– time with a fun, life-giving friend yesterday, some thrifting victories, laundry on the line, happy boys, roast chicken and potatoes on the menu tonight for this suddenly blustery and chilly day. Reading on the couch with my sweetie, and a few steps forward on a home project or two. :-) ReplyCancel

  • Kirsten

    Hooray for grey and rainy weather that brings book reading time! And, speaking of grey, if you’re going to be doing some knitting for yourself, I hope you’ve got some lovely grey yarn at the ready? :-) ReplyCancel

  • If I recall correctly the last item you knit for yourself was a few years ago….I say throw caution to the wind and plan your present to you :) Vampires….I might have to dabble in that once dr. who is over (so sad I’m close). But haven’t watched Merlin yet. Love the possibilities. BTW the sun is OUT today!!!ReplyCancel

  • jessica

    Mexican dive? Yum!
    I do like the color of that yarn and hope you knit something sunshiny for yourself.
    We’ve enjoyed visits with friends and lots of time outdoors this weekend.ReplyCancel

  • All sounds lovely. Hope you do indulge yourself with some beautiful knitting. :) ReplyCancel

  • jessica

    p.s. Do you still do a read-aloud chapter book? And if I may ask..what do you have going on these days?ReplyCancel

  • We had the Saturday I longed for yesterday. Some yard work with sun on the face felt so good. The day finished up with homemade pizza and Frozen. It was a cute movie, although not quite as good as I expected, probably because of all the hype surrounding it. Today was church and an afternoon alone at a library book sale, scoring a stack books for a $1. Now time to pack lunches for homeschool co-op tomorrow and settle down to watch Call the Midwife and Mr. Selfridge on PBS.

    Your weekend sounds nice. I’ve always wanted beignets. ;)

    BTW, did you ever read The Art Forger yet? Just wondering about it.ReplyCancel

  • Weekending here with blue skies and fresh yarn.

  • Oh goodness, that yarn! What a perfectly springy color of yellow! Do indulge! I’m looking forward to seeing what it will be. Happy weekend!ReplyCancel

  • Linda

    Didn’t do a lot this weekend. Chores around the house – out for a walk today which was nice. Started some new knitting projects – which is always fun!

    My guilty pleasure – I love to watch Pawn Stars! There, I said it… LOL!

    Linda in VAReplyCancel

  • Oh the laundry beast! I have yet to truly tame him!! :) Sounds like a nice weekend. I especially like the nap and watching frozen again.


  • It was pretty quiet around here, but that was just fine : ) Glad your weekend was the sunny side up. Happy knitting!ReplyCancel

  • Manise

    Sun was OUT this weekend though the wind a bit bitey, but most of the snow has melted/ evaporated, and a few of the daffodils leaves are peeking through the soil. Robins are back staking their territory in the pines and pulling worms out of the lawn. Thinking that maybe spring is here to stay? I certainly hope so.

    Visited my 91 yr old aunt in rehab after a bad fall and hip surgery. Amazed how well she is doing. So happy to bring a smile to her face with a fresh bouquet of flowers.

    That is a delicious skein of yarn! Can’t wait to see what you knit up.ReplyCancel

  • attempted to recover from jetlag, woke up at 4am sunday morning and had sunday supper already made by noon. i need a vacation to recover from my vacation! but no complaints. sifting through all our photos and very much inclined to not do much with them, much less share…
    also. started a new baby blanket. that pale gold yellow yarn is lovely, where is it from?ReplyCancel

  • My eldest has only just reached the stage where he disappears of with his head in a book it makes me sigh a little contented sigh every time, I can’t wait for the others to join in (might take a few years though ;0). Ours was wet but outdoors, it’s still wet now so I think a weekend extension is in order.


  • oh, another blessed weekend. i would love to be able to knit like you do and i do hope you make something for yourself.


  • A work trip got me within a couple hours’ drive of my folks place, so after finishing up the job-related stuff on Saturday evening, I got to spend two lovely days with my family. I slept, I pet pussy willows, I chatted with my parents and grandmother, I watched baseball movies, I bought a yellow dress. All good things!ReplyCancel

  • I hope you indulge in knitting something for yourself. If so, enjoy!ReplyCancel