1. Recently I bravely took all four kids to the local Catholic bookstore. Usually I ask Kansas Dad to stop there for me because there store is full of fascinating fragile things. The ladies who work there are very nice, but I always feel like they look upon my family with bated breath, even when we're just in the children's section. Anyway, I needed to go myself because I wanted to look at a few things myself before selecting a book for my sister's birthday. While we were there, they behaved quite well. Except for Second Son who wanted to pull all the books off the shelf and was angry when I held him instead. First Son happened to see a little biography of St. Francis of Assisi (still a favorite saint), Saint Francis of Assisi: Gentle Revolutionary, and asked if he could buy it with his own money. At first I tried to talk him out of it, unsure it's what he really wanted. Then I thought to myself, "That's crazy! He wants to buy a book about a saint! Let the boy buy it!" So I did. I'm remarkably proud that he wanted it.
2. In the same visit to the Catholic bookstore, I found the perfect gift for my sister. She's just turned 15 but isn't really at a point where she can read much. I wanted something on Mary, her chosen confirmation saint, and I wanted something with beautiful pictures because I thought she might actually look at a book with beautiful pictures. I discarded lots of options that might have been good but specifically said they were for children because I knew she'd know enough to think she doesn't need a children's book anymore. I think Mary helped guide me, because I found this little hardcover book, just perfect for my sister: Illustrated Book of Mary. It's full of lovely illustrations, prayers, the mysteries of the Rosary, information on many Marian apparitions....really, it's perfect. Now I pray St. Mary will intercede so my sister actually looks at it.
3. I asked the children to draw some pictures to send to my sister and my mother (who have birthdays within a few days of each other). First Son spent at least an hour on his picture, featuring his new obsession. Then he was too tired to make another one, so his aunt and his grandmother will have to share it.
Second Daughter also made a noteworthy gift. For some reason, her three year old brain decided she would make this pig for my sister. It's really cute, but I'm not quite sure why she chose a pig.
4. We started Lent this week. So far, the children have been responding really well to the sacrifice beans. I'm so pleased! They even seemed happy to exchange them for pennies for the alms jar on Saturday night.
5. I made it to Ash Wednesday mass for the first time in three years. It's not a Holy Day of Obligation, so it always seemed I was staying home with sick kids or putting them to bed or something. This year, First Son, First Daughter and I went together and it was very quiet and peaceful.
6. On Saturday, Kansas Dad and I began the great reorganization of the laundry room. We now have a cabinet and shelves ready to go with another large shelf to be installed above the washing machine and dryer. Kansas Dad was very busy. The kids and I went through the Legos on Sunday, dividing them up a little but mainly emptying the set of plastic drawers they were occupying (no longer in my kitchen, yay! and now holding Second Daughter's clothes, yay again!) into one large bin. They each have a smaller bin for the favorite Legos of the moment. There is much yet to be done but it is so excited to be starting this organizing we've been planning for a long time.
7. First Son's First Communion is now in less than three weeks. We bought him some nice black shoes to wear. Hopefully this week we'll get a suit. I can hardly believe it's nearly upon us!