one simple way to pray with your kids this lent

I barely get breakfast on the table before the two year old starts yelling, “PWAY-ER CHAIN! PWAYER-CHAIN!!”.

It took maybe a few days for this routine to set in. Sometimes her brother beats her to it. Either way, the yelling chanting gets louder and louder until Mommy or Daddy removes a chain link from the prayer chain to see who we are going to pray for today. We originally were doing the prayer chain as a dinner activity, the meal where we were most likely to be all together, but after only a couple days of listening to the kids ask for the prayer chain from morning until dinner, we decided to make it an all day activity. Which means the person or people we’re praying for gets prayed for at all meals and usually bedtimes too. The kids’ enthusiasm has not waned!

note: these were our strips for last year. I didn’t get any pics this year.

Instructions: We use purple (for Lent) and white (for Sundays) construction paper. We cut them into 1 inch strips down the long side of the paper (so 11 strips per sheet). I date each strip on one side and write a person or family (or a cause like “world peace”) on the back for each day. Then I glue the strip in a circle (using a glue stick), connecting each link to the previous link and build the chain as I go. Choose a time when you’re all together and remove a chain link each day and pray for that person. Maybe even text the person or send them a card to let them know they have been prayed for.



  • Let your kids pick the people for the chain. Last year, Matthan helped by suggesting people until he ran out of ideas. This year too, it has been a blast to hear who is on his brain. He came up with a significant portion of the list last year and this year. I also don’t write the people down in the order he gives them to me. They get SO excited about the mystery of who is going to be each day.
  • Let them cut the strips for fine motor skill practice. This year, Matthan cut the strips and he thought this was SO MUCH FUN. (Keep a close eye on them with scissors).
  • Let your kids write on the strips for handwriting practice. Since we squeaked the whole project in at the last minute by starting the night before Ash Wednesday and finishing up the day of, I ended up doing all the writing. We were just trying to get it done.
  • Date each strip. I do this because when we miss a day (which inevitably happens at least once), I don’t have to count chain links and guess where we’re suppose to be. Also, when we travel, we grab the dates we’ll be gone and take them with us. I also number my strips…if you’re dating them, you probably don’t have to number them as well. Just remember to start 1 on Ash Wednesday and don’t count the Sundays in your 40 days of Lent.

We love the visual of watching the chain get smaller and smaller as we get closer to Easter. We’ve found this to be cheap and simple and easy to execute with little kids. And best of all, it has increased our prayer together as a family.

Have a blessed Lent!

back to the basics

I devoured Wild by Cheryl Strayed last week. Yes, that is the movie with Reese Witherspoon, and yes, I’m late to the party. I checked out the e-book from the library.

I’m currently reading Lesage’s Petite Confessions, and it’s just kind of “meh”. I got it for free.

I’m working on a baby blanket that is going to be incredibly late because the baby has already made his entrance into the world, but I’m forging ahead anyway. I taught myself to continental knit using this website, and I’m using this blanket to hone my skills.

How does she find time to knit and read? you might ask. My “clean out and organize the pantry project” came to a screeching halt, because, priorities… or lack thereof.

I’m linking up with Ginny at Small Things for her weekly Yarn Along.

Happy knitting and reading!

discovering the bullet journal and its parts

This is part 1 of a 3 part series on bullet journaling. If you don’t know what bullet journaling is, go here.

I was perusing Pinterest and clicked on a pin about bullet journaling, and then followed the internet rabbit trail by clicking on the links under #6 on her list. I love discovering the origins of things so I was happy to find that on The Art of Simple, Tsh has the video of the guy who started it all. The cool thing about the bullet journal is that you can hone it to your personal style. Figuring out what worked for me led me down the YouTube rabbit trail where I found inspirations for the different parts of my journal. But then I added my own flare as I went, and to be honest, a good bit of my journal deviates from the minimalistic style of the original system. So here is my take on the bullet journal.

In the very front of my journal I have a letter to anyone who finds my journal, that will hopefully encourage said person to return it to me.


Next, I have the opening verse to the Liturgy of the Hours (more details on this in my next post) followed by my index.


My index is not in the traditional bullet journal style. I had this journal before I discovered bullet journaling, intending to use it as a commonplace book, and developed my index based on John Locke’s method of indexing commonplace books.


I have a list of signifiers that I’m still working out.


My collections include my gratefulness/prayer journal, reoccurring chore list, liturgical year notes, photography notes, and blog notes.


My monthly and weekly logs were inspired by YouTube videos. I would try to commit to one style for a week and then decide if it worked. I wish I kept track of the videos that were my inspirations so that I could give them credit. I just searched “bullet journal __(part of journal)__” and clicked through the videos.



Another way I added my style is how I decorate. I wanted to keep supplies to a minimum for simplicity sake. I usually just have my journal and a black pen hanging around. Sometimes I use a pencil because I have commitment issues when writing things down. I have a pouch of pens for doodling when I can take time for it. I really enjoy this part, but I don’t want to pressure myself into decorating each new page so I add decoration as I’m inspired. I did finally splurge for some washi tape because I wanted to know what the hype was all about.


I’m still figuring out what works and what doesn’t. I’m planning an update post, so stay tuned.

baptism blanket and bobby pins

I‘m new enough to knitting that I don’t know what tools and materials I like yet, so I have resigned to using bobby pins and small ponytail holders as stitch markers. So in case you’re cheap like me frugal, or in a pinch, you can use either of those.

I just finished My Antonia by Willa Cather. Suggestions for what to read next are welcome.

I picked up a crochet hook about four years ago and figured out just enough to make baby blankets and get myself into trouble because I have a habit of not wanting to follow patterns. I made my Goddaughter’s baptism blanket using this pattern. Except, I decided I wanted to use yarn instead of the recommended thread which required me to change all of the numbers in the pattern. Then I realized that I measured wrong and made the blanket too big because I did not account for the border. I think it turned out beautiful anyway and my Goddaughter was beautiful in it.


I’m linking up with Ginny at Small Things for her weekly Yarn Along. My Antonia was her recommendation.