I've been planning a post on how our Lenten plans went this year and some changes I'll be making next year, but wanted to wait until I had a chance to take a picture of our prayer garden covered with flowers...only I forgot that I hadn't taken it yet and threw the paper away! Oh dear. So you'll have to survive this post without a picture of our prayer garden. Just imagine it covered with flowers.
our complete Lenten plans for 2012 here.
Our fasting, prayer and alms calender worked very well...on the days we were home in time for extended morning prayers or evening prayers. We sometimes found ourselves making up the alms part especially on later days. I think next year, I'll make a jar with alms ideas in it. On school days, after morning prayer, we'll draw a paper, count the items and add the money to the alms jar. For the prayers, I might put our intentions on a calendar or I might do a similar jar, but either way, we'll pray a single prayer throughout Lent rather than use the die. (The kids kept losing it or throwing it. Or both. Sigh.) I'll choose one we haven't memorized and we'll say it each night for the intentions of our friends or family members.
I thought the bean sacrifice jars worked wonderfully. First Daughter especially loved putting beans in her jar and would often ask if she could make a little sacrifice and then get a bean for herself. At first I wasn't sure that was the point - to ask ahead of time - but then I thought it's really no different than anyone making a sacrifice and offering it up to God for the benefit of another. In the end, it was good when they asked or reminded me; otherwise, I would often forget to give them a bean for their sacrifices. Each week, we put the beans back in the main jar and added a penny for each bean the children had earned to the alms jar.
When we counted all the money in the alms jar, the children had gathered $13.00. (I added a dime to make it even.) They voted to send it to an organization in a nearby city that helps babies and their mothers. (First Son is anxious to send money to help feed the poor now. His personal charity jar is slowly growing by $0.50 each week and we've told him we'll write a check for him when it's $20.00.)
Prayer Garden - Originally we were going to put a flower on the prayer garden for each person for whom we prayed during evening prayer. I quickly tired of this part of the plans. Some children wanted to do it, some didn't. Second Son loved the prayer garden. He would grabs a fistful of flowers and try to smash them on the prayer garden without tape. Cute but messy. Next year, I'm going to put up the prayer garden, set out the flowers, and encourage the children to put up a flower when they say a prayer, kind of like lighting a candle at church but without the danger of burning the house down.
I'm thinking we'll add the Lent faith folder and hopefully we'll remember to start our Divine Mercy novena.
For anyone interested, you can follow my Pinterest board for ideas on celebrating Lent.