Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Lent--Shaking off the Bonds of Stuff!!

Lent this year, I wasn't really planning on giving anything up.
  I gave up Diet Coke recently--that's always a good one
 I am in one of those feel sorry for myself modes right now.
You know, I don't get enough sleep, I am constantly sacrificing for the baby 
and the kiddos,
 having no time to do any extras
 with the extra time, I'm pumping milk for Simeon.
You know, feeling sorry for myself, or maybe it's 
a pride thing,
 (tongue in cheek here) maybe I am feeling too great about myself and all I do
(ha ha! See bottom of this post for that comment!)
Seriously though, I am finding it hard to even get good meals on the table still.

We have plans to do all this stuff

Besides the thought of giving up things, I also think it is good to do extra things.
I suppose the extra things are things we should already be doing.
Praying a rosary (every day)
Praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet (every day)
Going to daily Mass as often as we can
(the more you go, the more you yearn for it)
Giving to the poor
Going to Adoration
Do the Stations of the Cross daily
Go to Stations at Church
Read the Bible (every day)

Our local Catholic newspaper had this pullout in it last week.
It's a calendar to follow and each day there is a question or something to do.
I really like this idea. 
One little thing at a time.
One day says "What can I do today to bring out the good in someone else?"

Another thing I found was at Gardenia's blog 
She posted this post and it got my attention!
"Shaking Off the Bonds of Stuff for Lent"
I like that
Mostly because of the catalog thing to do on day 4

"Day 4:  Throw out every old catalog.  They will send you new ones."

Hmmmm....I have quite a few...you know just because I might need them someday.
Do you think I need these?

I'm always trying to declutter
I think maybe deep down, I'm afraid of becoming a hoarder.
No actually, I think "stuff" makes me crazy.
It's disorganization
I like to be organized.
See?  God is teaching me to be humble, 
because with 6 kiddos and a man in the house, 
there is lots of  "stuff"
 "Day 12:  Dispose of all the recipes you cut out and haven't used."
I have a ton of recipes, not only cut out, but printed off!!
I've already started (I couldn't wait)
and I have about 6 or 7 cookbooks make that 11 or 12 (I just counted)
 to give to Goodwill 
and got rid of that pile up there in the right hand corner of the picture, 
and the 2 folders on the top left of the picture.
I have to keep some cookbooks
You know, the cake and dessert ones especially, 
so the kiddos can pick their birthday cakes and desserts 
It's always hard to know which ones to keep and which ones to get rid of.

I'm weird.
I like to clean
I like to organize
I like this plan for lent!

Go to Gardenia's if you are weird too want to try this too!

I think my baby needs me to be "Gluten Free"
I am experimenting with it this week.
I'm on day 2 today
Can't really say I reallly knew what gluten was til now.
It's in just about everything.
Simeon has been a pretty fussy baby, barely having any happy times
he's been happy for like 5 minutes at a time.
Since I've given up gluten...
He's been pretty content.
Finally got a picture of him smiling, even though, his head is turned!
he played and laughed and smiled for 1/2 hour 
then went downstairs and played and was happy for another 1/2 hour!

I think God is telling me that I'm not that great and I don't do that much.
My lent and beyond might be no gluten...
more on that later...
(this post is long enough)


  1. If you're having to give up gluten, and doing all for your family and Simeon, I think you are good. Add in the prayers and Mass, good to go! If you're dying for something gluten-free, you can always ask me. We've been living the GF life over 2 years (my kids are the GF ones but I need to cook it!).

    Stuff drives me nuts too. Having a baby seems to bring all that stuff to the forefront. I like Gardenia's idea as well but I'm staying generic and just doing a bag a day kind of thing. I think I'd fail if I had to keep to a specific plan!

    Blessings to you. Enjoy the smiles!

  2. Jamie, your Simeon looks so happy and content in that video -- I know nada about gluten free. i should look into it. you've done a great job weeding out the recipes already!! and at least you've got your catalogs all in one place, all organized ;)
    Your Lent 2010 post was full of great activities. I always try to do do do during Advent, and then during Lent, (maybe because I lack the energy) I do far less. I tell myself it is so I'm more present to the One, so I'll listen to Him more. It's fun doing this project with you.

  3. If you need gf recipes, I have lots. We have been gluten free for about 4 years and grain free for almost two. What we won't do for our babies, eh? I went grain free for Patrick. His smiles and gas free, acid reflux free days were so worth it.

    I want to declutter, too. I think I am in panic mode. I am only 15 weeks preggers, but I am freaking out and am nesting. I am not getting things ready for baby yet, but I am desperately trying to declutter and make room. Our house is tiny. I am so two years ago, though. I was planning on doing the 40 bags in 40 days. I saw Gardenia's post, too and that got me thinking. I think I am going to stick to the 40 bags though. We got rid of two yesterday and it felt so good.

    Simeon looks so sweet and content. God bless your family. You are in our prayers.

  4. Sometimes keeping things simple is the key to success isn't it? We feel pressure to have "big plans." I don't know about you but I'm not convinced that more is better? Maybe just different is better...pressing the reset button, clearing the slate and getting back to basics of prayer and eye-on-the-prize. You are truly being sanctifyied with each passing day, my friend!

    Praying your little guy likes his new diet, resulting in a peaceful tummy and spirit:)

  5. Ladies--Gluten free recipes scare me...I'm so far, going to keep it simple, (think rice and potatoes) I can tell I'm going to soon be sick of corn tortillas. I like flour. In everything. I like noodles and bread. it's ok....Thank you, I'll ask when I am tired of the simple. I'm cooking normal for my family and just making quick stuff for me.

    Can I have oatmeal? I want oatmeal....Everything "gluten free" is too expensive too. Can't I just have Quaker?

    We donate at least monthly, clean out toys and clothes all the time. SO I can't do the 40 bags, but I can do these little things in the bonds of stuff thing.

    Gardenia--I like what you said about being more present to the One. That's nice.

  6. Tiffany--I know!! I always want to do EVERYTHING for lent...like my list. But balance, we need balance and keeping it simple brings us that balance!

    Thank you for your prayers!!

  7. I love that picture of little Simeon! You know, I think you so have something with the gluten free thing there. I had to do that with my youngest, and it made the world of difference. Now that she's older, she tolerates it better, but it sure didn't sit well when she was a baby.

    I have the two cookbooks in the front of your picture! Great minds think alike, you know!

  8. Oh gosh I hear you Jamie! I think when you have a newborn during Lent and adjusting to all of the demads a household needs from a mom, it feels like enough. At least that's how I'm feeling right now. However, I do know I've got a few things I need to work on this lent or extra things that need tending to here at home and aim for just balancing some of them.

    May you be blessed with a fruitful lenten season!

  9. Jamie, I'm so with you! I'll have to check out Gardenia's post because I've been looking for more ways to cut clutter. The couple you've mentioned haven't been on my radar.

    As for gluten free, read Wheat Belly (not sure you have much time for reading at this point). Very interesting read; I'm not quite done, yet. I bought the e-book, but am now wishing I'd bought the book so I could share it with my MIL and others who don't 'e-read'.

    Lastly, sounds like you've got quite a bit of sacrificing on your plate. Going GF is a big deal and takes a lot of time initially, IMHO, because gluten is in so many products.

    BTW, I don't think you are weird!

  10. For oats, if you had to be GF I would say spring for the certified GF oats. However, you may be able to do regular ("cheaper") oats. Wait a few weeks though to let Simeon clear up and do better so that you can see if it bothers him or not. This is what I would do.

    I feel for you. Even though I make nearly all lunch/dinners GF I still haven't worked up the nerve to be 100% myself. Though Zoe may be pushing me that way (similar symptoms to my other daughter who I had to go dairy/soy free for and which I still don't consume). Perhaps Lent is a good time to start that. Hmm... You're in my prayers!

  11. Deo gratias! you are right where God wants you -- completely dependent on Him.

    do what you can this lent. be realistic. do it with complete charity.

    prayers for a blessed and fruitful Lent.

    Ad Jesum per Mariam,

    p.s. my family has been GF for five months. it's tuff but the benefits we've been experiencing make it all worth it. the transition doesn't have to be overnight. however, i will say that i think overnight is the best way to go so you limit the temptations and cravings. -- do what you can!

  12. Awesome post Jamie!

    We had to put our daughter on a gluten/dairy free diet last spring. I couldn't believe how 'everything' had gluten in it. Even Red Vines and soy sauce. It was a challenge and took some creativity on my part. I'm Mexican and I cook with gluten ALL THE TIME.

    It worked though. And she is much better today because of it. She is back on a regular diet today. It seems like her body needed some 'time off' from gluten and dairy.

    Praying for you and yours! Don't worry about 'doing it all'. God needs us to focus on the little changes each day that brings us fully to Him. You're already doing that!

  13. I know that Bob's Red Mill brand has GF oatmeal. I will be going dairy free the last trimester to make sure I don't have any dairy in my system when this new baby arrives. My weakness is cream in my coffee.

  14. Wow, well....I now know what "gf" means!

    Shelly--so your daughter had to do it for quite a while? I was hoping this was just a nursing thing and that maybe it would get better soon, like in a few months....wishful thinking, huh?

    Sarah--yes, so very true, but I thought by 2 months...he will be 2 months tomorrow, I'd be in the swing of things!! Ahhhhhh!! SO not. Your sweet babe is only a couple weeks, you're excused!!

    Suzie--Great minds think alike (on the weirdness anyway--you know, the cleaning thing) I'll have to check out that Wheat Belly book, I think I remember Margaret talking about it....

    Nicole--Thanks...Those special oats are so expensive, compared to good old Quaker...hmmmmmm....might have to splurge on oatmeal!

    Lena--I did do it overnight...I'm an all or nothing kind of person, no easing into things!! It's so nice to know others doing the same thing!

    Elizabeth--Soy Sauce? What? I know a friend told me it's in vinegars too, and vinegar is in salsas....homemade on everything, or spend a special foods.

    Oh Jenny--Dairy free is hard too..I need some cheese and yogurt in my diet!!

  15. Look at that sweet baby smile. He sure doesnt look fussy..he looks like a sweet little babe.

    Thankful here that we all can handle gluten, dairy, meat, fiber, eggs, fruit, old gross leftovers in the fridge...

    Your dr.(ya know..who has the 5 kids) he also has that GF thingamajig. Gina says it is a nightmare making food just for him...like PIZZA...we eat pizza all the time. Our grocery bill is huge already. I lub oatmeal too. I eat mine with blueberries.

    Sure hope all goes well with this food thing. Especially for the babe.

  16. It seems like it was just a concern with her for the first 8- 10 months, and then it tapered off. I hope it tapers off quickly with Simeon!

  17. You're fine with vinegar. In the U.S. it's derived from corn, not wheat. My boys consume it with no problem.

    Soy sauce is wheat-based. However, La Choy soy sauce is wheat-free. There is another but I can't remember the name. I do soy-free so when I'm in the mood, I use coconut aminos or molasses.

    And personally, I think dairy-free is so much easier than gluten-free. Keeps me from eating most kinds of junk food. I'm thankful for what we can eat here and so, so thankful that corn is still on the table. If we ever had to give that up, I think then, that will be my snapping point.

    You'll be fine and he should outgrow it. Much better than worrying about it for life. My daughter who had the dairy problem was able to start having it close to 2 years of age.

  18. I love my catalogs and recipe books! Of course, I don't NEED them...like the Family Fun issues from 2005. Why did I need to keep them? Well I looked through and couldn't remember. That made it easier to send them to the library!

    The cookbooks, well, they're well hidden so I will deal with that slight hoarding issue another day. (I won't even talk about the files I have on the computer of recipes...or the hundreds I've pinned on Pinterest...)

    You have very sweet looking children, Jamie! Thank you for your prayers for my boy...we'll add your little one to our prayers.

    And I think I "found" your blog through a Lenten search on Pinterest....

  19. Nice to "meet" you Chris--thank you for the prayers! Pinterest? Wow, haven't even done it yet, not sure I am going to...maybe someone pinned me?

    How's that for Pint talking?

  20. You seem well organized and pretty creative already--Pinterest is a time sucker, that's your warning! ;) (Catholic Icing, that's where I found your blog!)

  21. Jamie,

    I have been GF and DF since Advent. I admit that I have cheated on occasion, but overall, I've been pretty disciplined. There are A LOT of recipes you can make for your family that are GF. Quinoa pasta is pretty good with meat sauce, tacos, meatloaf & mashed potatoes, soups and chili ... I've made a completely GF and DF chicken pot pie that my family really likes. To start out, you can find ways to substitute, without going crazy on different flours, etc. Oatmeal does have gluten, but there is GF oatmeal out there. (Do you have a Trader Joe's close by? They have a nice GF selection, but so do most big grocery stores.)

    IMHO, if you focus on your dietary needs, offering them up for your sweet boy who is benefitting from them, and the clutter ... and prayer, you will have a very blessed Lent. Be gentle with yourself. You are still adjusting to a newborn. My adjustment to 6 children has been more challenging than I expected. So, like Lena said, do it all with love!

    God bless your Lent!

  22. Decluttering and smiles... my kind of post!

  23. Thanks for sharing the shake off the junk! And I will say an extra prayer for the going gluten free:)

  24. First off... your little Simeon just makes my heart break into this great big smile every time I look at his precious face.

    Second... here's an idea. Maybe take all the "ideas" you have for Lent and put them into a big bowl, container, thing and then each day say a prayer and pull out a paper. That way Jesus can choose what you give up each day instead of you?

    Lent is always a good time for me to get "back on track". If I try to do TOO much, though... I just fail. So, our pastor encouraged us to be realistically challenging in our goals and maybe choose something in particular that we can keep going after Lent.

    This was my time to get back to daily Mass. Also, our family gave up TV every day (but Sunday when we hang out together) so that we can read more or talk to each other more and honestly, I thought I'd go crazy, but I don't really miss it. Might cancel cable all together!


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