Revolution of Love

Revolution of Love

Do small things with great love.

Pinterest Party & Link-up (vol 35): The Lent Edition

Revolution of Love Blog - pinterest_lentWelcome to the RoL Pinterest Party. Normally we would link up and share how we made, cooked, baked, crafted, planned, organized, followed or created one of the pins on our Pinterest boards OR share something original that others can pin onto their boards.

This month we will be sharing our Lenten and Easter crafts, ideas, meatless recipes, posts and reflections.

Not on Pinterest? No problem. Link-up your own creation to inspire us so we can pin in to our own boards.

Don’t have a post ready? The link-up will be open until Easter Sunday so there’s plenty of time. Plus, feel free to link up a new post or an older post that hasn’t had much traffic lately. 🙂

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revolution of love blog - Lenten ideas for the home. lent_2015_a

It’s hard to believe that Lent starts in a couple weeks! I saved all my items from last year and I actually remember where I stored them so I’m ahead of the game. 😉

I have been wanting to incorporate learning about the saints with the kids and I thought Lent would be a good time to start.

happy_saints_1I purchased the Happy Saint flashcards and I thought they’d be perfect for a simple introduction.

revolution of love blog - happy_saint_2Each week we will take one saint, read about them, and ask for their intercession that week. Week 1 we will start with A for St. Agnes.

happy_saints_WayCoverI’d also like to order the Happy Saints Way of the  Cross.

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As for our other Lenten activities, we’ll be doing some of our usual family traditions. I am reposting them here for new readers.

I love putting wreaths and welcome signs on our door. For Lent, I made a simple Lenten wreath to mark the season.

***

We have our regular family altar in the entryway of the house and that stays pretty much the same all year. However, we have a shelf in the family room by the table where we eat that we decorate according to the season. Here is where we keep our Lenten things.

***

We set up a candle centerpiece using a long rectangular tray filled with six votive candles for the six weeks of Lent.

***

I purchased tiny wreaths from Michael’s that fit around the candle. We add a wreath to a candle on each Sunday of Lent.

***

We printed off Catholic Icing’s Lenten Calendar and I placed it in an inexpensive frame from Ikea. I use a dry erase pen to mark a cross on each day as it passes. It is great for the kids, who have no sense of time, to see how many more days until Easter.

***

One of the kids favorite activities for Lent is their Act of Love and Prayer jars. The Act of Love jar has different things they can do each day such as share a toy with your sibling or be extra nice to someone at school or do an extra chore. The Prayer Jar has a special intention for each day. With our evening schedules, we have found our best prayer time to be before dinner since we are already gathered together. Since the altar is right next to our table, we light our candle, Brian leads us in prayer and then we chose an act and prayer intention for the next day. (The morning of the following day I remind the kids what our act of love and prayer intention is for that day.)

* * *

This year we also added Kendra’s idea of using Sacrifice Beans. Every time the kids complete one of their Acts of Love or makes a sacrifice they put a dried kidney bean in the bowl. On Easter Sunday the dry beans are changed to jelly beans or some other treat. (I’m thinking a visit to the library or the Aquarium.)

UPDATE: Last year, this was the kids’ favorite activity. They loved collecting those beans!

* * *

In case you think we are a holy family with heads bent in prayer, let me also give you a dose of reality. I also had to add a “prayer helper” of the day sign. When it comes to who gets to offer their prayer intention first or who gets to blow out the candle or who gets to choose the Act of Love that day, we have had the boys literally come to blows and screaming, which ends in me yelling at them and Brian sending them to their rooms for misbehaving. (Aw, peaceful prayer time.) Since they are used to having a “Student of the Day” in school so we took that same concept with the “prayer helper of the day.” The name rotates and we have greatly reduced the yelling and body blows. (Now if we can just get John-Paul to stop praying for things like “more Star Wars toys” as his prayer intention. 😉

Lastly we added our Stations of the Cross pictures to the altar. If we say the Stations of the Cross as a family, we follow this book The Way of the Cross from Magnificat/Ignatius. (Reality check: we actually have yet to do the stations. We’ll try again this year to do it at least once…)

 

Here are some other Lenten activities we will be doing as a family.

  • Turn off the TV and the computer/iphone more. I have a basket of religious type books that the kids can look at or we can read together. I am also using the Lenten Adventure Activity Books from Holy Heroes, which are great! There are activity pages and coloring pages for the young ones for each day of Lent up until Divine Mercy Sunday.
  • Visit Jesus – Make more visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Let the kids light a candle before they kneel and pray.
  • Donate – Spring clean the toy box and donate toys they don’t use anymore to our local St. Vincent de Paul thrift store.
  • Crafts – Make Lenten crafts such as one of these Resurrection Crafts. (Reality check: Yeah, this never happened last year. I’m not sure if we’ll do it this year but I’ll leave the link for you more creative moms. 😉 )

For more ideas for your own family, check out these sites.

My final note – Don’t let the sheer number of activities available overwhelm you! Chose just one (or maybe two) things that your family can realistically do. It is better to do something simple and well, than to try to do too much and feel like a failure because you couldn’t possibly get it all done! (Believe me, I’ve learned that the hard way!)

Okay, that was my idea for the month. You can find me on Pinterest here – http://www.pinterest.com/rol_bobbi.

Does your family have a favorite Lenten tradition? A favorite meatless meal? Maybe you wrote a reflection about Lent. If you have a blog, link-up! If you don’t blog, share in the comments. We’d love to hear from you. 🙂

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Now it’s your turn!

1. Choose your creation, recipe or Lent/Easter related post and snap a photo if you can.

2. In your post, link back the original blogger/idea, rather than your Pinterest pin. That way credit goes to the proper person. 🙂 (But feel free to add your Pinterest profile link so we can follow you!)

3. Add a link back here so others can play along.

4. If you want to use it, here is the html code for the logo:

<a href=”http://www.revolutionoflove.com/blog/?p=2157″><img title=”Revolution of Love Blog – Pinterest Party & Link-up” src=”http://www.revolutionoflove.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/pinterest_2_medW32-300×240.jpg” alt=”” width=”300″ height=”240″ /></a>

5. Link up below. Make sure you’re sending us to your actual post, and not to your general blog address.

The link up will be active until Easter Sunday. Have fun!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads, Letterboxd or Instagram. 😉

PPS – This post may contain affiliate links.



Lenten Journey 2014: Part 1

Happy first Sunday of Lent! Since I shared with you what we are doing for Lent as a family, I thought I’d also share what I’m working on in my own Lenten journey.

I was reading Erring on the Side of Love/Amanda’s blog post Lent: My Little Fat Tuesday and I swear I could have copied word for word what she wrote and signed my name to it. Listen to this:

Joy. Somewhere between marriage and having babies I feel that I’ve lost the sense of joy in my little day-to-day happenings. Or, if I am in a joyful spirit it can go from laughs and fun to a lost temper real quick. I really want to work on that. I want to keep joy in our home not only for myself but also for my boys and husband.

Diligence. I know I desire it, but I struggle with it. It’s very easy for me to get caught up in my tendency to feel frazzled if things don’t go according to the little plans I have in my head. I want to try to overcome that and be more diligent in my daily duties as a wife, mother, and CEO of our little home. I want to be diligent in not only making our home a home, but also in readings and meeting with my Lord. I want to be diligent in making time for him daily. Even if it’s reading just one verse from scripture so that I can grow to know Him more. And, I pray that I am able to share this daily with my husband and the boys.

Omg, yes. I feel like Gru from Despicable Me when he was falling in love. He was so happy making the girls their meal and being playful with them. He walked down the street and his happiness was contagious. Then when his romance was thwarted he was a mean grouch. These days I am too much like that. I have a harder time holding onto my happiness. The slightest thing can just set me off and Mrs. Nasty is back. It’s not really a new fault. It’s been there as long as I can remember. Once, many years ago, I went to confession and told the priest that I get so bent out of shape when things don’t go how I want them. The kind priest asks me, “What makes you so special that you shouldn’t have little crosses pop up throughout your day.” Ouch. But it was just what I needed to hear. Two decades later, I am still thinking of that comment.”

So I want to work on getting that happiness back. I want to be a good mom but one that also knows how to be playful. It’s one of the things I love the most about my mom. She is wise and prayerful but she can be playful and laugh in life. That always brings joy to my heart. I want my kids to see that in me. Not the grumpy mom that blows up at the slightest mishap. I want to be a mom that is flexible enough to roll with the punches and find the humor in the inevitable craziness that comes with the territory.

This is going to be my Lenten soundtrack. 😉

There are a couple of things I am doing to help me achieve that.

1. Morning prayer and little talks with God. Lately, I have been doing my short prayer reflections at the end of the day but I don’t like the timing of it. I think I am better when I start the day off with my prayer time and get that grace I need to get me through the day. Since my saint of the year is St. Benedict, I found this book of Lenten reflections – Lent and Easter Wisdom From St. Benedict.

It has been good for me and helping me to keep my focus on Christ. I have also been trying to turn my mind to Our Lord and Our Lady throughout the day…to ask for their help…to guide me in my work. That way when I feel my temper rising or when I am about to get frazzled, I can turn to them to put out the fire before it starts.;-)

2. Spend more time doing fun things outside the house. We live in a ridiculously gorgeous part of the earth and there is no excuse not to go out and enjoy it. This afternoon we went hiking at Point Lobos Preserve and it was rejuvenating to get outside and be physical. We all had so much fun and I could taste that happiness once again. Sure when we got home there were some meltdowns and mishaps but I was able to keep my cool and just deal with it.

3. Remember that it’s more than just giving up treats. On Thursday the kids were off school so I took them to the library, which a a HUGE treat for them. They love the library! Then we came home and made smoothies and popcorn and watched one of the DVD’s they borrowed from the library. Afterwards we read books together. They asked me why they were allowed to have these treats during a Lenten day. I told them that although we got to do something special, we are also learning to love one another and to be kind to one another. I pointed out how Bella and Andrew helped the younger ones at the library, John-Paul shared his book with Matthew and each of them were speaking kindly to one another. Plus Mommy was spending time with them instead of being too busy in the kitchen or the laundry room or on the computer. I told them that is really what lent is about. Learning to love God more and to love one another more. That is what we had been practicing that day. They smiled and put a their beans in the sacrifice jar for the acts of kindness and love they displayed. (That bean jar has been a huge hit in the house!)

Frankly, I was a little shocked myself that they were acting so well. For one brief moment I felt like one of those holy mom bloggers that I envy that have the six kids in matching outfits as they sit quietly at the dinner table and do math problems for fun. That proud feeling was gone once Matthew hit John-Paul on the head with his light saber but it was nice to know than in between the chaos we can have moments of peace and harmony. 😉

4. Take better care of myself. When my mom was visiting us two weeks ago, I asked her, since she has been watching me interact with Brian and the kids, what would be the one thing she thinks I need to work on in my mommy life during Lent. I thought she would say something like – you need to discipline the kids more or don’t get so grouchy or be a little more patient with Brian and caring for him etc. Instead she said, “I think you need to get more sleep.” Ugh. I knew she was right. The problem is that I am a night owl. I HATE waking up early and I LOVE staying up late but with the kids’ school schedule I have to be up around 6:15 AM. That is fine but when I don’t get to bed until 11:30…12:00…12:30…that makes for one grouchy mama. She pointed out that I needed a good night’s rest in order to take care of my rambunctious boys and do all the things I need to do each day.

I told Brian what my mom said and he replied, “It’s true. You go to bed too late. And you know, I think you also need to drink more water… and eat more fruit… and be more consistent about taking your vitamins.” Whoa, whoa, whoa. What is this? Gang up on Bobbi Day? But, dang it,  he’s right. Then he hugged me and says, “I need you, love. I need you to be healthy to help me. I can’t get though this cancer without you by my side helping me and taking care of the kids. What would we do if you weren’t here?” OMG, hand me a kleenex (and my bottle of water and an apple and my multivitamin while you are at it.) Okay, God. I get your message loud and clear.

So, that is what I have been working on for Lent. I actually had a few other things on my mind that I was going to work on too but as I am typing here I feel like God is telling me not to make my plans too ambitious. There is already enough here to keep me busy. Besides, I know what my tendency is…I run strong and fast at the beginning but I have very poor follow through. I am not diligent. I am more of a “is it time for recess yet?” gal. Hopefully, blogging here about my progress will help me be accountable. (Cue my mom’s phone call saying, “So I read what you wrote on the blog…”)  😉

Have a good night. I’ll be in bed early. I promise.

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads or Instagram. 😉


Lenten Ideas 2014 – Bringing Lent Home

FOR THE UPDATED VERSION OF THIS POST, PLEASE GO TOPinterest Party & Link-up (vol 35): Lenten Activities for the Home (2015)

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It’s hard to believe that Lent starts tomorrow! The only good thing is that I’ve actually prepared for it now instead of two or three weeks into it. I know, right? Shocker. We are doing many of the same traditions we did last year. Here are the main ones.

I love putting wreaths and welcome signs on our door. For Lent, I made a simple Lenten wreath to mark the season.

***

We have our regular family altar in the entryway of the house and that stays pretty much the same all year. However, we have a shelf in the family room by the table where we eat that we decorate according to the season. Here is where we keep our Lenten things.

***

We set up a candle centerpiece using a long rectangular tray filled with six votive candles for the six weeks of Lent.

***

I purchased tiny wreaths from Michael’s that fit around the candle. We add a wreath to a candle on each Sunday of Lent.

***

We printed off Catholic Icing’s Lenten Calendar and I placed it in an inexpensive frame from Ikea. I use a dry erase pen to mark a cross on each day as it passes. It is great for the kids, who have no sense of time, to see how many more days until Easter.

***

One of the kids favorite activities for Lent is their Act of Love and Prayer jars. The Act of Love jar has different things they can do each day such as share a toy with your sibling or be extra nice to someone at school or do an extra chore. The Prayer Jar has a special intention for each day. With our evening schedules, we have found our best prayer time to be before dinner since we are already gathered together. Since the altar is right next to our table, we light our candle, Brian leads us in prayer and then we chose an act and prayer intention for the next day. (The morning of the following day I remind the kids what our act of love and prayer intention is for that day.)

* * *

This year we also added Kendra’s idea of using Sacrifice Beans. Every time the kids complete one of their Acts of Love or makes a sacrifice they put a dried kidney bean in the bowl. On Easter Sunday the dry beans are changed to jelly beans or some other treat. (I’m thinking a visit to the Aquarium unless I can swing a trip to Disneyland. I’m trying to work some Disney magic…) 😉

* * *

In case you think we are a holy family with heads bent in prayer, let me also give you a dose of reality. I also had to add a “prayer helper” of the day sign. When it comes to who gets to offer their prayer intention first or who gets to blow out the candle or who gets to choose the Act of Love that day, we have had the boys literally come to blows and screaming, which ends in me yelling at them and Brian sending them to their rooms for misbehaving. (Aw, peaceful prayer time.) Since they are used to having a “Student of the Day” in school so we took that same concept with the “prayer helper of the day.” The name rotates and we have greatly reduced the yelling and body blows.  (Now if we can just get John-Paul to stop praying for things like “more Star Wars toys” as his prayer intention. 😉

Lastly we added our Stations of the Cross pictures to the altar. When we say the Stations of the Cross as a family, we follow this book The Way of the Cross from Magnificat/Ignatius.

 

Here are some other Lenten activities we will be doing as a family.

  • Turn off the TV and the computer/iphone more. I have a basket of religious type books that the kids can look at or we can read together. I am also using the Lenten Adventure Activity Books from Holy Heroes, which are great! There are activity pages and coloring pages for the young ones for each day of Lent up until Divine Mercy Sunday.
  • Fasting from Eating Out. Instead of eating out we will eat whatever left overs we have in the house. We will use the money we saved to buy food to put into the food boxes at church for St. Vincent de Paul’s ministry. The kids get to pick out food and take it to the church. (My sacrifice is letting them “help” me.) 😉
  • Visit Jesus – Make more visits to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Let the kids light a candle before they kneel and pray.
  • Donate – Spring clean the toy box and donate toys they don’t use anymore to our local St. Vincent de Paul thrift store.

We can add more as we go but this is what is planned so far. For ideas for your own family, check out these sites.

Today I focused on things we do as a family. Next I’ll share what I’ll be working on myself this Lent. 🙂 In the meantime, share you favorite Lenten traditions in the comments. 🙂 If you have a blog, leave your link!

PS – You can follow RoL on Bloglovin, Feedly or another news feed. If you are a social media fan like me, we can stay in touch through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, GoodReads or Instagram. 😉


Lenten Ideas 2013

FOR THE UPDATED VERSION OF THIS POST, PLEASE GO TOPinterest Party & Link-up (vol 35): Lenten Activities for the Home

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Today is the second week of Lent. How has it been going? Are you making progress? Or were you too ambitious? Or maybe you still haven’t gotten your act together. The latter was probably closest to me. I was a little late in getting the kids Lenten projects together and barely finished our Lenten altar this week. (We have a regular family altar in the entry way of our home that stays the same year round but in the family room/eating area is our seasonal altar/shelf.)

Here are a few things we are doing this year.

I love putting wreaths and welcome signs on our door. For Lent, I made a simple Lenten wreath to mark the season.

We printed off Catholic Icing’s Lenten Calendar and I placed it in an inexpensive frame from Ikea. I use a dry erase pen to mark a cross on each day as it passes. The kids love using it to countdown the days even though Andrew says it will take “fooooooooooorever” to get to Easter. 😉

I adopted some of the ideas my sister posted in her  Lenten Ideas for Kids.  I particularly loved the jar idea so we made ones of our own. Each day we pick out one prayer intention and one act of love/ sacrifice we will work on that day. (ie. Share a toy with your sibling or be extra nice to someone at school or do an extra chore.)

I also loved her Lent wreath idea but I didn’t have a wreath so I used a rectangular candle tray I had instead. I purchase a pack of small dinner candles from Target and tiny wreaths from Michael’s that fit around the candle. We add a wreath to a candle on each Sunday of Lent.

Lastly we added our Stations of the Cross pictures and talk about one station each night. Our Lenten altar is right next to the table where we eat so we light our candles and say our prayers before dinner, when we’re guaranteed to all be together.

For our alms giving we are still supporting our sponsored child Abi from Mexico through CFCA but I’ll save that for another post. 🙂

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If you are part of the procrastinator club or just need to pump up your Lent a little bit, here are some links for inspiration.

40 Ways to Get the Most out of Lent – CatholicMom.com

Your Handy-Dandy List to Lenten Sacrifices – CatholicSistas.com

For the kiddos in your life, check out these links:

40 Simple Lenten Activities for Kids – CallHerHappy.com

Lenten Activities for Children – CatholicIcing.com

I hope you continue to have a blessed Lent!


Meatless Meals (Vol 1): Quesadillas & Low-Fat Broccoli Slaw

Lenten Fridays are always an exercise in culinary creativity, especially if you don’t want to hear, “Fishsticks again?” Brian usually works the late shift on Fridays so I keep the meals fairly simple. I’ll be sharing with you a few of our favorites and then linking up with Beth Anne’s Best and Tales from Astoria for Meatless Mondays.

Last Friday we ate Quesadillas & Low-Fat Broccoli Slaw. Do I really need to explain how to make a quesadilla? Just in case, here’s what I did.

I sautéed some onions, red peppers and green peppers in a little olive oil. You can also sprinkle them with a little Mexican seasoning or add your own spices like cumin, chili powder, garlic salt etc but keep it light. A little goes a long way.

Take your tortilla (I especially like Trader Joe’s Flame Cooked Tortillas) and fill half of it with the onions, peppers and grated pepper jack cheese. Fold in half. Warm on a griddle until toasty.

For the a veggie side, I made broccoli slaw using the recipe on the back of Trader Joe’s 12 oz pack of Organic Broccoli Slaw. (Can you tell I like shopping at Trader Joe’s?)

 

 You need:

  •  1 12 oz bag of slaw
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries (I added a bit more)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup diced apple
  • 1 cup of your favorite dressing. (I only used ½ a cup because my dressing was pretty creamy.)

For the dressing, I used Ellie Krieger’s recipe for lower-fat Creamy Broccoli Slaw as my base.

  •  1 cup lowfat Greek yogurt, or strained yogurt
  • ¼ cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

I mixed all the ingredients, using about 1/2 cup of the dressing. (I’ll make another batch of fresh slaw later in the week.) And there you have it. Voila! Or should I say, Ole!

 

Enjoy! And share your own meals here. 🙂

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See more Meatless Meals here.