It is quiet and peaceful here. Two of the children are in bed, and two are at Mass with Kevin to celebrate Holy Thursday and commemorate the Last Supper, Institution of the Eucharist, and prepare for Good Friday. Kevin is to have his feet washed by one of the Priests. I am missing a meaningful night, but not too disappointed in these still moments.
Tomorrow is Good Friday, and going to Mass will be emotional and profound. So much happens differently on Good Friday, and it all seems well-designed to remind us of Jesus' sacrifice. I only found out last night that the Church recommends a fast of sorts for the next few days until Easter. Not food necessarily, but anything that might distract from focusing on Jesus: T.V., shopping, whatever.
Many events, activities, and family prayers during the past few years have led us to this Easter. Joseph will receive three sacraments Saturday night. We'll celebrate his Baptism, First Communion, and Confirmation. A triple-doozy. We can't wait to participate in the Mass as a whole family, not one of us missing.
We have photos of Cayna, Bethanie, and John's baptisms - but because of the nature of the Easter Vigil Mass, no photography is allowed. So I'll just have to illustrate it in words later.
For now, recent photos of Spring Break:
Joseph, his Pinewood Derby car, an award ribbon, and a goofy expression.
Kevin and Bethanie on their "date" night. Kevin has established a precedent for the Dad-and-daughter dates now that includes corsages.
These may look like a few hastily-made "tickets" and envelopes to you, but they are actually the sheer genius that saved our Spring Break. I gave each kid a certain number of "bucks" good for Wii time, computer time, and one movie choice. Thanks to some corresponding usage rules, there has been no whining, no begging, no overuse of the games, and peace and sanity for me. Once we're all home full-time, I see implementing these in a more formal, fun form.
I don't like the feeling I OFTEN had before developing our family schedule at the start of this calendar year. It's a feeling of floundering. When there was a holiday or track break from school or even sometimes when things were "as usual" I felt like I frequently floundered through the day attempting to make it through long hours or burdensome chores and responsibilities. Ninety percent of that was wiped out with my schedule. So with Spring Break upon me, I made an even MORE detailed week-long plan including lunches and dinners (I struggle to get lunch served nearly as much as dinner.) This thing worked miraculously. Seriously. I had a lot to get done to plan for a fairly full Easter weekend, and this has helped me accomplish all I needed to with time for fun and rest as well. Don't you dare make fun of my meals!
Finally, three of our four kids in our trash can. Lovely. Kevin was having one of them help stomp down the weeds and leaves we had just cleaned up, and then the others wanted to get in on the fun. Ew. I tried not to think of the gross stuff that goes in there when I took the photo. Our yard does look nice, two-thousand weed-pulls later. All ready for some Easter egg hunting!