The Reality of Lent with Special Needs Children

*This is going to be a bit of a lengthy post. The first half was written last night, as a reflection on what we’ve done so far this lent. The second half was written this morning, after I realized just how difficult this season can be with special needs children. If you’d rather just skip to the honest truth about the reality of celebrating Lent with special needs children, scroll down. – Tammy*

I have to admit, I am enjoying Lent. I have observed over 40 Lenten Seasons in my life, but this year, things are finally making sense.

I am finally understanding how wonderful it feels to make more room for God, and less room for me.

I want the family to live simply and austerely for the next forty days; to grow closer to God and truly appreciate how much He has blessed our family. I already mentioned how we are abstaining from all unnecessary, material purchase.  I also want each family member to step out of his comfortable (okay, call it what it really is: disrespectful or rude) interactions with the family and take these 40 days to make conscious efforts to grow and change they way we communicate and engage with each other. [Read more...]

Ready or Not, Here Lent Comes! Little HolyDays Link Up

This year we are ready for Lent! Well, maybe.  At least we’ve talked about it more than once before Lent, instead of the day after Ash Wednesday.  So that’s a good start!  We had our usual impromptu family meeting as lunch was wrapping up this Sunday, explaining the how and why of Lent. We gave a brilliant exhortation on a call for an increase in prayer, fasting and almsgiving, which was immediately followed by (or should I say interrupted) by the myriad of ridiculous questions like “can we give up brushing our teeth?” or “can we fast on only chocolate?’

In year’s past, our Lenten journey has been of a more personal or individual nature, but this year we are creating a Family Lenten Plan. Everyone has added ways they hope to grow in faith during this season. They also offered ways the family can incorporate more prayer into our lives.

These are some of the ideas we will using in our Lenten Plan to incorporate Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving: [Read more...]

Celebrating Saint Thomas Aquinas

Just as it is better to illuminate than merely to shine, so to pass on what one has contemplated is better than merely to contemplate.

- Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Source

 

God has granted us so many gifts, yet the one gift that is oft forgotten is the gift of the Communion of Saints. This wonderful group of saints is just like us – funny, quirky, and even cranky. They made mistakes like us and had plenty of trials and tribulations. They have walked the road before and are our cheerleaders, cheering us on to cross the finish line into heaven to join them.  Celebrating life each day with the saints is celebrating life with the family God gave us; perfect patrons for every occasion and every vocation. We will never be lonely or lost with the help of our intercessors!

In our family, we turn to the saints on many occasions for help, guidance, or just a friend to cry with.  Of course, Jesus is there too, but one true and good friend never detracts from another.  Oh, you good saints of God, thank you for your help! [Read more...]

Learning How to Celebrate Advent: The Post Game Review

Before Advent even began, we wrote about how we were learning what it meant to celebrate Advent. We had our pretty Advent calendar, stocked with 24 wonderful ideas that would help us celebrate Advent meaningfully. We planned on keeping things simple, but making it meaningful by explaining the history and reasoning behind some of our new traditions. We also planned on saving the Christmas stuff for Christmas. No Christmas music, no Christmas cookies, no Christmas movies, no Christmas tree during Advent, no Christmas decorations. We also wanted to keep this season ‘green’ by making sustainable choices with our food, presents, and other traditions. Finally, we wanted to begin celebrating the Little HolyDays throughout the liturgical year, and picked Advent as the time to start. For us, this included celebrating many different Feast Days that we never had before.

So how did we do?

I am extremely proud of our efforts, and I think we truly learned what it means to celebrate Advent meaningfully. Success! Now there’s just one problem… [Read more...]

Merry Christmas: Little HolyDays Link Up

Merry Christmas, everyone! We hope you’ve enjoyed all the wonderful link ups so far, because we certainly have! This week’s link up is being hosted by Haley of Carrots for Michaelmas, so head on over there to see last week’s posts that she’s featuring. [Read more...]

Loving the Little Things: Little HolyDays Link Up

Friday’s tragedy left me speechless. I cannot even begin to process my thoughts right now. All I know is that I feel such incredible sorrow, and such incredible hope, at the same time. How? The sorrow part is easy to explain. I know we’re all feeling that way for everyone that was affected by this. The hope part is still a little confusing, even to me. I know it was sparked by Haley’s article. Somehow, deep down, even in the darkest of times, there is always hope. There is always a reason to keep trying. There is always goodness. Twenty-eight people lost their lives, but it was not in vain. [Read more...]

Little HolyDays Link Up: Second Week of Advent

Second Week of Advent

Happy Second Week of Advent! Did you check out last week’s link ups? Click here to check out all the great posts from the First Week of Advent! For more info, you can also check out our new Little HolyDays page!

This week, the Link Up is being “hosted” by Molly of Molly Makes Do. Be sure to head over there to check out the great post Molly has written (A Call to Tremble Or What Scrooge Can Teach Us About “Keeping Christ in Christmas”). This link up will be open until Thursday night, so there’s plenty of time to share how you are celebrating this second week of Advent! [Read more...]

Little HolyDays Link Up: First Week of Advent

Second Week of Advent

Happy First Week of Advent! Welcome to our very first Little HolyDays Link Up! We’re so glad you’re here, and we can’t wait to hear all about your different traditions and ways for celebrating the season!

This week, the Link Up is being “hosted” by Haley of Carrots for Michaelmas. Be sure to head over there to check out the great post Haley has written, or the cool links she has curated. This link up will be open until Thursday night, so there’s plenty of time to share how you are celebrating this first week of Advent! [Read more...]

Learning How to Celebrate Advent

CelebrateAdvent

For as long as I can remember, my family has been Catholic. My dad was raised Catholic, and my mom converted with her parents when she was in high school. However, it wasn’t until I started 1st grade in a Catholic school that they really recommitted themselves to the faith. As our family has grown and changed, so have our Advent traditions. It seems each year we celebrate Advent in just a slightly different way. Keeping traditions with seven kids running around, especially when those kids are young, can be difficult. This year, we’re all old enough to understand the significance of celebrating Advent, and we want to start some new traditions that will really make this season more meaningful.

[Read more...]

Little HolyDays: Coming soon!

As we mentioned at the beginning of Haley’s guest post the other day, we will soon be hosting our first link up. We couldn’t be more excited to share how we will be celebrating feast days, fasts, holidays (HolyDays!) and everyday!

Second Week of Advent

The link up is called Little HolyDays: Redeeming Time with Feasts, Fasts, Holidays, and Everyday. It’s being hosted by Haley of Carrots for Michaelmas, Tammy and Hannah of Dualing Moms, and Molly of Molly Makes Do. With this link up, we hope to celebrate the Little Holydays throughout the year; the ones that we tend to overlook in favor of the bigger, more commercialized ones.

[Read more...]