7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 119)

March 11, 2011 | 72 comments

— 1 —

In case you missed it, I’m doing a new series of posts looking at the Our Father word by word. I’m really excited about it — especially because I just found out that I’m going to have help from some great bloggers and writers. I’ve already gotten so much to think about after reading the comments to the post about “Our, ” I can’t wait to get to the other words. Be sure not to miss the comments on these posts!

— 2 —

I loved reading about your plans for Lent. Here’s what I decided on: a decade of the Rosary first thing each morning, and no adding sugar to my morning tea (a small but surprisingly noticeable sacrifice for me). And…well, umm…there’s one other thing that I couldn’t decide if I would admit or not…but I guess I’ll go ahead and say it:

I’m giving up cursing for Lent.

Now, before you form an image of me yelling at my kids to stop jumping on the $%^! couch or asking my husband to pass the $%&*!# salt at dinner, let me say that it’s not that bad. I don’t use bad words in front of the kids, and it’s not like I walk around spewing profanity when I’m around adults. It’s just that I’ve noticed lately that, well, sometimes I just can’t seem to express myself without pulling out a word from my pre-conversion lexicon. So I’m really working on that during Lent, hopefully adopting habits that will last for the long-term.

— 3 —

Giving up adding sugar to drinks was actually a last-minute addition to my Lenten plans. I’d always heard that you should give up something good, but I didn’t really get why, so I just went with giving up cursing for Lent. But then I heard people who had given up something good talking about their plans for Easter, and it all clicked.

For example, someone I know who gave up cheese talked about how she’s going to get a huge, lavish cheese tray for brunch on Easter. When I imagined her going that long 40 days with nary I bite of one of her favorite foods, I could see how the ecstatic joy of the Resurrection would hit her at an even deeper, visceral level as she bit into savory chunks of Camembert and felt the luscious Brie melt in her mouth after the long fast.

Then I pictured myself rising on Easter morn’, taking a deep breath, and shouting the f-word.ย Umm, yeah. That’s why giving up something that’s bad anyway doesn’t quite have the same effect. So no sugar in my tea for Lent.

— 4 —

Here’s a guy who’s doing something really interesting for Lent: he’s doing a beer fast. I don’t mean he’s not drinking beer; I mean he’s living on beer. Like, only beer. No food. And he’s not even breaking the fast on Sundays. (Evidently some old-school monks used to do this, so it’s a time-honored tradition.) You can read his Day 1 post here. You bet I’m going to be following his blog to see how that goes! (Thanks to the indispensable New Advent for the story.)

— 5 —

UPDATE: I received some feedback that my comment about By Sun and Candlelight seemed mocking. That is not AT ALL how I intended it, as Dawn’s blog is truly a huge source ofย inspirationย to me. Sorry if it came across that way!

One thing that has been slow to take shape since my husband and I became Catholic is celebrating the liturgical year (as you know if you saw my post about Advent in December). On Tuesday I actually remembered to buy a King’s Cake, and I was quite proud of myself. I figured that I pretty much had this liturgical year thing down, and was ready to go all By Sun and Candlelight and start posting pictures of my awesome liturgical celebrations to inspire other Catholic mothers. But it all kind of unraveled when people started asking questions. The conversation went something like this:

SON: Mommy, what is that squiggly thing on top of the cake?
ME: I think it’s a baby. The baby Jesus maybe? Anyway, it’s supposed to be hidden. Look away while I stuff it in the bread somewhere.
SON: Why do you hide it?
ME: Because it’s a special treat when someone finds it.
SON: What do they get?
ME: I think they get a prize.
SON: A prize, wow! Do we have a prize?
ME: No. We’re just going to try not to choke on it.
HUSBAND: Maybe you take the baby and put him in the manger. Wait…no…that’s Christmas…

From there it degenerated into a “blind leading the blind” situation where we were all just fumbling around, trying to figure out what theological riches we’re supposed to derive from a King’s Cake. I think I have a ways to go in terms of seamlessly incorporating the liturgical year into our lives.

— 6 —

FOUND: The recipe with the best yumminess-to-easiness ratio ever. Here it is (from food.com):

  • Put 4 -5 boneless, skinless frozen chicken breasts in a crock pot
  • Dump in drained cans of black beans and corn along with a 15-oz. jar of salsa
  • Cook on high for 4 – 5 hours
  • In the last 30 minutes, add an 8-oz. package of cream cheese

Easy! Delicious! Cheap! Healthy! What more can you ask for?

— 7 —

I hope everyone’s Lent is off to a good start. Have a nice weekend!


Below is a linky list if youโ€™d like to add a link to your own 7 Quick Takes post. (1) Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL. (2) Include a link back here.


  1. Caitie Rose

    Hahahaha! This might be my fav Quick Takes ever! Is it bad that I find the idea of waking up Easter morn to a long day or cursing hilarious? I’m going to be laughing at that all Lent! LOL

  2. Elizabeth

    I take the liturgical traditions for granted!! Who was the King of Mardi Gras?

    Wow, nothing but beer. And he can’t get drunk… so he’s going to be very hungry. Oy.

    • Anne

      Rex (the King of Mardi Gras) this year was Herschel Abbott, Jr.. We went to the parade, and the baby slept through most of it.

      I’m also a convert, and I’m finding that “living the liturgical year” is a matter of gradually establishing our household traditions.

  3. Leah @ Unequally Yoked

    My boyfriend also gave up cursing for Lent. It’s a struggle for him in the New Haven cold weather, and he compensates by making adorable frustrated faces and muttering “This is unpleasant. This is unpleasant.”

    I think the baby in the King Cake is similar to the tradition of the Lord of Misrule, usually also chosen by chance vie object embedded in foodstuff. My impression is that most of those celebrations are pretty pagan, so, when you do a bit more research, you may not be sorry you missed out!

  4. Lisa

    I loved “Our” and I’m looking forward to the rest of the words. The King’s Cake Conversation has me laughing out loud!

    I don’t know if I’ve ever introduced myself, but I am a fan of Conversion Diary and a relatively recent revert to the Church. My name is Lisa. This is the second ever 7 Quick Takes Friday at my blog! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Jennifer Fulwiler

      Thanks for introducing yourself, Lisa! Nice to “meet” you!

  5. Lisa @ Cheerfully Chaotic

    I’m with Caitie– I laughed out loud at the idea of you joyfully cursing throughout Easter Mass and as the kids hunt for eggs.

    One idea I’ve heard is that if you mess up with your Lenten plan, you could decide to put a dollar in your rice bowl.

    And I’m impressed you at least got a King cake. I planned to make one but realized we’d have so much left over that it would make my own Lenten plans nearly impossible from day 1. I can resist sweets around day 4 or 5, but a delicious, partially-eaten cake on Ash Wednesday would just be too much. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Kate

    King cake is eaten on Mardi Gras, but that’s only because Mardi Gras is the end of the season for King Cake – Carnival starts with Epiphany (‘cuz around here they like to keep on partying after the 12 days of Christmas come to an end) and King cake is traditional for Epiphany as well. For Epiphany, the Christian symbolism of the King Cake is something like this: the baby is the Christ child, whom we all seek, the three colors represent the gifts of the Magi and the attributes of Christ – yellow for his divinity, purple for his kingship, and green for his humanity.

    Or something like that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Julie

    Yeah, I’m trying to curb the cursing too. I was really good when my kids were wee and I was with them 24/7…now, not so much. I decided to, whenever a horrid word comes out of my mouth (or almost comes out), pray the Fatima prayer. It’s a great reminder of how much I need God’s mercy.

  8. Lisa @ Cheerfully Chaotic

    Um… Creepy iPhone auto correct changed my last blog address to “bloodspot.com”. Sounds like a horror movie title.

    Anyway, just wanted to add that whoever gets the baby (from the cake– not just a random child somewhere) is responsible for providing the cake the next year. From a capitalistic standpoint, it’s a great way to keep the economy moving… You can always count on king cakes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Jessica Snell

    Wow, the sugar/cursing thing is hilarious – but the insight is helpful too. I’ve been hearing over and over again this year that taking something on is as important than giving something up. This adds another layer to that . . . it makes me wonder if taking up the good thing again is related to continuing with the good thing you took on . . . oh dear, I’m tired and it’s coming out in a confused way. I hope it’s enough to say, thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚ You made me laugh AND gave me something to think about.

  10. Diane

    Loved this installment!

  11. Therese

    Lol I love this quick take too. The rest of my family was looking at me laughing at everything.

    I could imagine having a similar discussion about a kings cake here.

  12. Donna

    It’s amazing when we give up something small, like sugar in your drinks, how much we notice it. Just goes to show how important the little things are.

  13. Maria

    i am excited about your Our Father series … it’s just perfect for Lent and i even mentioned it on my 7 quick takes to get the word out.

    i loved the conversation surrounding the king’s cake … and i’m not sure about the beer thing … :)))

    have a blessed weekend!

  14. Kathleen@so much to say

    Hilarious! I don’t really get the king cake either. I’ve always thought it was kind of strange to end Ordinary Time headed into Lent with a baby Jesus. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Tom L

    Regarding the cussing, I’ve had the same experience with that and a few other bad habits that seemed to disappear after my conversion, only to creep back over the next few years. I think maybe God gives us an extra shot of grace to support us at first, maybe so we don’t lose heart, or to show us what’s possible with His help. Then at some point He takes off the training wheels, and we’re supposed to actually fix some the broken stuff. Just a theory.

    And I’ll definitely try the chicken recipe. By the way, the eclair cake was a HUGE hit at Christmas.

  16. Pam

    Great insight on the sugar/cursing thing… as so many others have noted, the image of you waking up on Easter morning hollering out a swear word is pretty funny.

    But when you noted the friend who gave up cheese and is planning a big cheese tray for Easter, I wasn’t sure what to think. It sounded a little like an addict fantasizing about their next fix (OK, I work with addicts, so I might be seeing something that’s not there), but when you put it in terms of celebrating the Resurrection… well, I’m still not sure what to think.

    Anyway, thanks for being brave enough to admit your struggle with swearing. “Pre-conversion lexicon” — great. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Anne

    Nice to have you back this week! “Pre-conversion lexicon,” I love it!

  18. Christie

    You are so right about slowly ramping up to the rhythms of the Liturgical Year when you are a Convert. That and the saints are a foreign but beautiful language. I’m with you, working out the kinks as we roll along. Anybody know when, exactly, all this become second nature?

  19. Nancy Piccione

    Great. I couldn’t stop laughing at “go all By Sun and Candlelight”.

  20. Kristen @ St Monica's Brdige

    Love, love, love this Quick Takes! Hmmm…living off beer…hmmm! And can’t wait to try that recipe (lucky us, I didn’t give up meat for Lent this year). I gave up facebook. It’s about to kill me, but I’m sticking to it! And I got an extra,thing to give up that I had not planned. On Tuesday (which this year, Mardi Gras happened to fall on my wedding anniversary) my son asked to watch something on tv. I discovered we no longer had satellite! My husband finally cancelled it (after saying we would go without as of Jan 1). I am missing EWTN, but this is working out rather well for a Lenten sacrifice, albeit, an accidental one!

  21. Young Mom

    I laughed at giving up cursing too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve given up yelling and I can already see the difference in my kids behavior. I wasn’t yelling that much, but yelling at hungry whiny kids before breakfast had a tendancy to make the rest of the day more yell=worthy. If I conquer that morning hour, it’s been easier to keep it together the rest of the day. And I’m hoping to make this change a habit, not revert on Easter morning!

  22. Jamie Shover

    I agree with so many others that I laughed at so many of these today. I think giving up cursing is a good one. I don’t have that bad of a mouth, but I do find myself reaching for a bad word in the rare event I am very hurt or angry (sins tend to pile up then, don’t they?) or when I am trying to be “cool” and “adult”, even with my own husband or close friends. It’s stupid, but I do it and I think you can understand that same motivation. It makes me feel/seem more human to speak like that now and then, lest anyone think I’m being “holier than thou”.
    Good luck with your sacrifices. I am giving up all sweets and for the most part it is not too difficult, but every now and then I literally have to pray for strength to get through the moment! Easter morning will indeed be delicious.

  23. Judy

    Ok, I had planned on this being my “last stop” for the morning, but now I MUST go and read about the beer guy…seriously???
    I had also planned on asking you if you met up with the controversy (in your Lenten research)about the “break-the-fast-on-Sundays” tradition. This is an ongoing question in our house. My husband is not participating this year as he feels that it makes his sacrifice “too easy”. Others have expressed to me that the whole purpose for it is because “Sunday” is not a day of penance and that when we allow ourselves to “break the Lenten fast” on Sunday, it actually makes it more difficult to continue along the journey. I am leaning more toward my husband’s thoughts, but have been unable to find any “official” Church writing on this topic. I must admit, if I join my husband…my own sacrifice (giving up wearing cosmetics) will be MUCH more difficult as the thought of attending Mass WITH NO MAKE-UP makes me cringe…YIKES.

  24. Barbara

    Do you mean getting the baby is not like getting a cherry pit — you get another piece? Haha. Just kidding. I really have no idea why there’s a baby in the king cake. Does anyone, really? We gave up eating Mardis Gras cake because I didn’t like the association with Mardis Gras, and now we eat Fastnachts — German donuts on the “Fast Nacht” — night before the fast. It’s more in line with our heritage.

    Happy Lent.

  25. Stephanie

    Love King Cake. Kate has a great description of the meaning up above, for anyone still wondering. My mom shipped me one from NOLA and we haven’t finished it yet. I feel a little guilty eating it after Mardi Gras (silly, I know, I guess it’s a Louisiana thing) but I’m not going to let it go to waste. It’s the best king cake ever.

    I’m going to read the beer fast blog right now!

  26. Jackie

    Your clarification of why you give up something good is exactly my thought process. I think that giving up a vice can be good, but it can just also turn into New Year’s Resolution Take 2. And giving up something good is a sacrifice, whereas giving up gossiping or something isn’t really a sacrifice.

    And I agree, best quick takes ever!

  27. Robyn

    I’m a homebrewer (okay, used to be; the last beer I made was like 2005), so I know the story of the monks who lived on beer during Lent, but I really did a double take when I saw some American is going to try it this year. Clicked the link, and thank goodness that (a) he’s using the “right” kind of beer, nutritious doppelbock; (b) he’s a homebrewer so he can produce his own, fresh and unfiltered, with all the nutritious yeasties and such still in it; and most of all (c) he’s under the supervision of a doctor and of a spiritual director. Still… it’s a major sacrifice and his health is going to suffer for it, no doubt about it. Even doppelbock doesn’t have a lot of protein. I hope he drinks it before it fully ferments so he doesn’t get as much alcohol, either. Doppelbock can get pretty high in alcohol if you let it go all the way (commercial doppelbocks have a reputation for being high in alcohol), and that could be a lot for a liver to handle.

  28. Kara

    Oh man, I’m working on cursing too. I never, ever use to cuss in front of my kids, and I will admit, for the sake of accountability, that I have a lot lately. I’m working on it HARD, because I do not want to be one of those moms. I hate swearing, and I need to get my frustrations under control.

    I’m bad at the liturgical year thing too. I actually mentioned it in my Quick Takes. I never observed any of this growing up so I have no clue what I’m doing. And then when I try to research traditions and all of that, I feel so overwhelmed that nothing gets done. Luckily, Amelia goes to Catholic school and that has helped a bit, otherwise, my kids probably wouldn’t have anything fun/interesting to do.

  29. Trista

    I come from a practicing Catholic family, but we’ve never celebrated liturgical traditions. Just don’t know ’em. I’m trying to learn and hopefully will have the chance to incorporate them into my future family’s life. Sounds fun!

  30. suburbancorrespondent

    I am definitely trying that recipe! Thanks…

    What confuses me about people giving up things for Lent is that, when they give up things that are bad for them, the whole thing starts to look like a self-improvement exercise – meaning, the focus is on the person instead of on God. In that sense, it probably hews closer to the meaning of Lent to give up something good, right?

    • Lisa @ Cheerfully Chaotic

      I totally know where you’re coming from, but I think it can work both for the person and for God. As an analogy, a person may realize that they’re heading toward becoming an alcoholic and stop drinking in order to remain healthy. Stopping drinking, however, will also likely help to improve their marriage, relationship with their children, and job performance. The alcohol took the time and place of the other positive things that came later.

      In college, one of our priests talked about giving something up in order to create a void, or a hole, within ourselves. Then, it becomes necessary to fill that hole with something positive that pleases God. Ex: Give up cursing, add kind words to family or strangers. Give up sweets, add making a meal for someone in need or donating food to soup kitchen. Give up television, add spending quality time with your family. Give up Facebook, add a rosary. Plus, I doubt it would ever displease God for us to give up things that are bad for us, no matter what our motive. He can work good things through the most selfish of motives!

      • Laura

        Plus Lent IS about conversion…

  31. Julie @ The Corner With A View

    That’s a great thing to give up for Lent… my little sister and I had a discussion this week on cursing. She asked if it was alright to do if she was alone and feeling upset. I had to explain intention and how it offends God, even if that is not the intent, but rather to relieve feelings. Good luck Jen! You can do it!! And I look forward to your Our Father series

  32. Lauren


    For anyone working on cursing- or speech of any kind- criticism, gossip, idle talk…check out the series on my blog running on Fridays during Lent!

    Thanks for pointing out the blogger fasting ON beer! Wow! His blog is so interesting!! And I, too, laughed out loud thinking of you waking up Easter morning and shouting the f-word! Glad you decided to go with sweets! I’m giving up sweets, too- even honey, syrup and anything sugar is in (like ketchup), in hopes that my WORDS will be sweeter!

  33. Christine the Soccer Mom

    For Lent, I picked up a new idea from CHC’s book about living the Liturgical Year. (You should check it out, what with all the little ones. It has some easy things and stuff to copy and print for projects!)

    We have baskets near the Crucifix in our living room and little foam crosses that I bought on sale at Michael’s. Every deed we do – an extra sacrifice of cleaning up without being asked, going to pray at 40 Days for Life, a kindness for another family member, etc. – we get to put a cross in a basket. The girls don’t know it yet, but after the Easter Vigil, the crosses will be gone, replaced with candy! (Don’t ask me how we’ll manage to do that, but I’ll figure something out as they get into the car that evening.)

    I’m going to Mass on Fridays this year, in addition to our usual Wednesday evening Masses. I told my priest, too, so I had to get my lazy butt outta bed and MOVE IT. So I’m trying to build a good habit. My give up something bad thing is Facebook and Twitter. But I promise you, I won’t be tweeting my kids’ Easter egg hunt blow-by-blow. I’ll probably wait until Monday or Tuesday before I start back in. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Blessed Lent to you, Jen!

  34. Jackie C

    OM Goodness, I can so relate to #2. I do have a habit when I get angry to curse, and the kids are earshot from my garbage bowl mouth. I laughed so hard at the computer just know that the kids thought I was losing my mind yet again. lol!

    I too can relate to the sugar in the tea/coffee in the morning. I have been making small realistic sacrifices.

    My main one is trying to be more patient, more understanding and also no yelling with assumptions already made of the crime of the child. Though proven difficult, it’s teaching me more about me and my blessed children.

    Thank you again for posting this idea of 7 quick takes of the week. It keeps me in check and in the moment of time for the week. God bless.

  35. Michelle

    These are great! So glad you added the sweet stuff, too. I love Easter morning because we typically don’t indulge in desserts, chocolates, candies, etc. all through lent at our house and then the kids get their Easter baskets and we all enjoy a little bit. I think it’s a great way to celebrate the Resurrection. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a wonderful weekend!

  36. Mariana

    haven’t read all the comments, but the beer guy drinks water, not just beer. The fast is on “liquid bread” and water.

  37. Jamie Jo

    Thanks for the recipe, I’m going to try it next week!

    Not so sure about that beer thing….just can’t be healthy, right?
    I’ve been Catholic all my life, and I’m not sold on the whole Mardi Gras thing as being “Catholic”!! There’s a lot more fun liturgical things you can do!!! Keep up the good work, all that matters is the kiddos learn something and remember the day!

    I’m planning on linking up when I write my post!

  38. Susan

    #2 and #3, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I love it! Yes, I can see your point about giving up something good!

  39. priest's wife

    I remember fumbling through the rosary with my mom before we became Catholic (I was 12- it is a great memory and I have a feeling God appreciated the effort a lot ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Dawn @ By Sun and Candlelight

    Well, my goodness ~ I noticed a whole lot of traffic coming from this site this morning and popped over to check it out! What a nice place you have here …

    Thank you for the link, and the laughs! I’ll have to try to join in on your “Friday 7” next week. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Best wishes!

    ~ Dawn (By Sun and Candlelight)

  41. Nicole

    I wish my family would eat beans. Or salsa. But I do have a recipe that rivals the yumminess-to-easiness ratio here. Also for the crockpot using frozen chicken breasts. One more ingredient, but it’s all added at the same time. I’ll try to remember to post it later…

  42. Katie @ Wellness Mama

    This was hilarious! Thanks for a laugh in the middle of a hectic morning… and a great point about giving up something good. I too, laughed a the image of you belting out the f-word on Easter morning!
    My husband found the guy fasting on beer last night, and it has led to him researching the monks who used to fast this way and the reason… fascinating actually.

  43. Kimberlie

    Living on beer? That is one I have not heard of before. Interesting. Won’t be trying it but cheers to him.

    I am looking forward to your next installment on the “Our Father!”

  44. Amanda

    I’m thoroughly enjoying the Our Father word-by-word series. At first I was a little doubtful there was enough there to take it word by word but it seems that won’t be a problem after the success with “Our”.

    And I love that you like By Sun and Candlelight too, it’s one of my all-time favorite blogs. I can only hope to aspire to Dawn’s seamless liturgical year eventually ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. 'Becca

    That’s an interesting point about fasting from something good! Now I understand why it isn’t hypocritical when people binge on the thing they’d been fasting from–I’ve always felt I shouldn’t be seeing it that way, but I couldn’t explain why.

    Something I’m doing for Lent is daily increments (small ones are okay) of tasks I’ve been avoiding: opening and sorting junk mail, filing things from the To Be Filed pile, and giving away unneeded stuff. I hope that by doing a little each day, prayerfully, instead of doing nothing and feeling guilty, I’ll make real progress!

  46. JoAnna

    Oooh, I’m definitely going to try the recipe in #6! I’m going to test out a similar easy-peasy recipe today (a meatless soup)… I’ll let you know how it goes. ๐Ÿ™‚

  47. M&Co.

    My guess is after he drinks nothing but beer for 40 days, he’ll never want to see another beer as long as he lives.

    This is my first 7 Quick Takes Friday.

  48. Jackie

    Thanks for the story of Jay Wilson the beer maker . He’s truly an inspiration and I hope a lot of good will come from his experience .

  49. Kristin

    Loved your list again this week. I too am laughing about your cursing on Easter morning!
    I have decided to add some things instead of depriving myself for Lent. I am adding more volunteering over Lent. So far I have managed to do something for someone else every day this week!
    I am also adding living with purpose. Doing good works for others in His name.

  50. Paula H.

    I gave up sugar in my tea too; I drink it all day long and can’t believe how much I miss it. I also am giving up cursing and it’s so ******* hard!!!!!!! I’m also supposed to be getting to bed by 11:30 every night but I’m not even close and we’re only 2 days in.
    I’m giving up my Opus Dei retreat because we can’t afford it so my friend told me to make it a Lenten sacrfice. Next year, I’d like to give up poverty for Lent.
    I’ve been Catholic for 2 years now and I’ve never even HEARD of a King’s Cake.

    I am SO making that easy recipe this weekend.

  51. Anne

    Love this!
    I love reading about what folks are doing for Lent. This liturgical-appreciating Protestant Baptist Canadian has decided to do evening prayer before bedtime, and if I’m wearing a necklace, it will be one of my cross necklaces…that is my first ever Lenten adventure.

  52. Shirley

    I laughed SOOOO hard when I read #3! I struggle with swearing too, so don’t feel like you’re the only one!

    Also, I can’t wait to try the recipe. Thanks!

  53. Koala Bear Writer

    I’m giving up sweets and coffee for Lent… and from looking at Facebook, it seems like most of my friends are giving that up! I like your explanation of something to look forward to on Easter after fasting from it for fourty days. Neat.

  54. Asthefamilygoes

    I wasn’t raised Catholic so I am bumbling my way through the liturgical year too! I love the Catholic moms blogging community and how I learn from other moms who know what they are doing. I am so grateful for blogs like Catholicicing.blogspot.com that explain how to celebrate with my little ones.

  55. Rebecca

    I, for real, laughed out loud at the end of #3. I see myself quietly giggling on Easter Sunday, having to explain to The Man what is so funny and winding up getting that ‘I think you’ve lost it’ look! Oh well, it was worth it to read this!

    And that recipe in #7 – on next week’s menu in our house for sure!!!

  56. Amy

    Ooh, I still need to read the suggestions for things to do this Lent, as I am still not sure what I am doing. And I need to go and read the start of your Our Father series. I don’t know what I have been up to these last few days, but apparently it was not keeping up with blogs!

  57. Sue

    Ha! Relating to the cursing part. I don’t think I made it formal, but for some reason, that has been bugging me for a few weeks:-). Enjoying reading your blog.

  58. Shannon

    King Cake is a wonderful custom, best discovered in its natural habitat.

    It is named for the Three Kings whose feast day we celebrate on Epiphany. They came in search of Jesus. We gather to end the Christmas season and celebrate with cake that has the child hidden inside. (Some places it’s a bean or a coin.)

    In New Orleans and the surrounding area, the idea is to have a King Cake to celebrate Epiphany. Whoever finds the baby, gets to bring the next cake–not the next YEAR–but the next time there’s a gathering. So it could be the very next DAY. Get it? Eventually, you have a chance to celebrate the great gift of Epiphany all the way up through Fat Tuesday.

    In Europe, Lent was a time for a meat-and-dairy fast, and, like our Jewish ancestors who cleared out all the leaven before Passover and the making of UNleavened bread, so Christians went through the cupboards on the day before Lent began, and threw a party with the food that would not be eaten during Lent. (Even the name “carnivale” comes from the Latin “goodbye, meat!”)

    There are terrific customs for almost everything in the church year, many of them from a particular history and practice. We don’t have to do everything, but having a nodding acquaintance with the many traditions can help us to shape what works for our own families and faith communities.

    A parish I worked for years ago had a gathering of families the weekend before Ash Wednesday. We had a simple soup supper (a bit of a preview for the weeks to come), a pretzel-making time (the shape of crossed arms over the chest for prayer), and a grand singing of songs that included lots of “Alleluia.” We decorated a banner with the Alleluia, ate our soup and pretzels, and processed out to the grotto where we buried the Alleluia. In the course of the evening, we’d talked about how that Sunday would be the last time we sang “Alleluia” until the Easter Vigil.

    Did the kids remember? You bet! (They’d check out the grotto from time to time to see if the Alleluia had risen yet.) And at the Easter Vigil, guess who sang the Alleluias the loudest? The parents! Because THEY remembered.

    • Nancy (n.o.e.)

      I used to decorate and bury an “Alleleuia” banner with my 5th grade Sunday School class. They loved it! We could never dig it up in a timely manner, though, because of Easter holiday and spring break class cancellations. How wonderful to do this as a parish. It could also be a great home activity.

  59. Dakotapam

    I’m Lutheran, not Catholic, but I’ve taken on praying the Litany daily for Lent. It has already been a blessing.

  60. NoraB

    I’m intrigued by the Beer Man – will be keeping track of that guy for the next 40 days for sure. On Easter Sunday does he drink milk? Or whiskey? I will be having dessert for breakfast. It will taste Yummo.

  61. Liesl

    I am so pumped for the our father series!!! I just love all the Lenten entries people are doing!

  62. Nancy (n.o.e.)

    I’ll be posting images of the Sorrowful Mysteries throughout Lent. This week is the Agony in the Garden for my 7 Quick Takes.

  63. Darlene

    I picked up quite the swearing habit in college and graduate school, and I had no children to keep my mouth in check, so a few years ago I started giving up cursing for Lent…and it worked! Well enough that I had to pick something new last year (I decided on alcohol, which I was then informed my grandfather always used to do.) I can’t say I never curse anymore, but it’s an infrequent occurrence, usually involving getting something dropped on my toe. I hope you have as much success!

  64. Catherine

    The word by word through the Our Father is great! Before you get to “daily” I want to share with you Brent Pitre’s amazing in-depth commentary on that one word in *Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist*. Apparently the word used in Greek is a neologism and there is still controversy about how to interpret it. Pitre makes a strong case for “supernatural” (which is approximately what St Jerome’s Vulgate has). A lot in that prayer all right!

  65. Cassie

    I gave up sugar in my coffee a couple years ago. I was so excited to har it on Easter. I poured myself some coffee, added sugar all to find out I didn’t like it in there anymore.

  66. Heather King

    Oh wow, who knew I was doing a “Lenten fast” by drinking ONLY beer (and Wild Turkey and tequila and scotch and rotgut vodka)–in my case for about 15 years straight?! I’m trying not to curse, too–with rather meager results. I comfort myself with “With God, all things are possible”…thanks, Jennifer! Glad to be aboard with the word-by-word Our Father…

Connect With Me On Social Media or Explore My Site



The "THIS IS JEN" podcast is on Facebook & all podcast apps


- Subscribeย on iTunes or Google Play (audio)

- Get weekly bonus episodes on Patreon

- Sign up for my email list to be the first
to know about new tour dates