big toy closet organization scheme helped. But the playroom is still a major source of heartache and tears and shouting in our home. We had a family meeting and the kids agreed that it would be a good experiment to get rid of the toys and see how we like life without them.
When my now big kids were all little, they were supposed to keep their toys cleaned up, but mostly I did it. We lived in a much smaller house, we had fewer people, and fewer toys. But now? I no longer have the time or the inclination to clean up the kids' toys and keep them organized. I have nine people to feed, and four people to educate, and thousands of people to regale with stories about horse baby food ('of' not 'for,' unfortunately). And books about confession don't write themselves, people.
And where we used to have one or two bins of toys, we now have . . . twelve. And that's AFTER the big Lent clean out last year AND a small Advent purge.
The big kids resent having to clean up messes they didn't make, and the new little kids aren't any better at cleaning up after themselves than the old little kids were. Something's got to give.
I haven't been able to get this post out of my head since I shared it with you a few weeks back. But I've been scared to pull the trigger. Enter . . . LENT. That's my favorite thing about Lent. It gives us a chance to try something for a set amount of time. If it makes our lives better, we'll stick with it. If it doesn't, the toys can come back.
We're not getting rid of EVERYTHING. We'll keep books and board games and Busytown for Frankie and the dress up box and art supplies and (some of the) Legos and dolls, which is already an unheard of amount of stuff for pretty much any era or place other than the one in which I live. And we'll see how it goes. I'll keep you posted.
And now for the rest of what Lent's going to look like around here . . .
Things the Whole Family is Giving Up
Toys. See above.
Sweets. We always do. I always hate it.
TV, Video Games, & Radio. I can't say screens, because I'll still blog, and the kids will still do some school things on the iPad. But we won't rely on screens to entertain us.
This is the reminder that lives on our kitchen door during Lent:
For more (including our Lenten Sacrifice Beans), see:
Things the Whole Family is Taking Up
Eating simple food: especially eating up what's in the pantry and freezer. I plan to use some of Haley's recipes!
A Family Game Night: because Lent doesn't have to mean no fun. Since we won't be watching TV or playing video games, and we're taking a break from the toys, I'm going to make sure we have some fun family time. I've always meant to have a game night.
Weekly letter writing: Grandparents and Great Grandmothers and Godparents and Godchildren around here are going to get some letters.
Daily family rosary: because we know how, but we keep not.
Things I am Giving Up
Yelling. Who else wants to join Micaela and I on this one? We are keeping our rules and our family culture and I'm still going to always mean what I say. I'm just going to mean what I say in a normal speaking voice. And I guess I'm going to have to get up and find people instead of bellowing orders from across the house.
Spending. Every Lent I limit spending to food and absolute necessities. Which reminds me of a couple of things I need to get before Wednesday.
Things I am Taking Up
ALWAYS getting to the things I always mean to get to (but sometimes don't) each day: Morning offering, Rosary, Mass, Angelus, Examination of Conscience.
Getting blog posts written at least 24 hours before posting them. Editing is good for all of us.
Keeping the car clean. I am as bad at this as keeping my purse clean. Probably you guys don't all want to clean out your minivans with me on the internet. Right?
Things We'll Do Once During Lent
Decorate for the season. To see what that looks like, see:
Do our Lent (Spring) Cleaning: Bonnie has some great ideas, have you seen the latest Knot Bad Video?
Clean out the closets and donate clothes we don't need.
Clean the chicken coop.
Aaaaaand . . . Some Thoughts About This:
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
Lulu and I are off to the Behold Conference! If you'll be there please come by and say hello. Happy weekend!