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The deliciousness of meatless Fridays, a child’s innovation, a Shamrock shake, and signs of Lent (7 Quick Takes)


I love Lenten Fridays so much that I always think I should give up something else besides meat those days. Bring on the canned tuna and salmon and frozen pizza and fish sticks! Ah, fish sticks! So underappreciated. And tuna casserole in any form is sheer joy on the plate.

I can’t always persuade my family to share my opinion, though. No one here wants to try tuna casserole with diced tomatoes and croutons and American cheese on top. And, I could be wrong, but my understanding is that Lent isn’t about forcing your family to eat what you want to eat on Friday.

So, this Friday the grownups had homemade pizza on those little crusts you can buy, and I baked some salmon for the boys. Many families might do that the opposite way, with the seafood for the adults, and pizza for the kids. But we are not many families, and that’s what works for us.


Before I became a parent, I had no idea how many times I would hear myself say things like, ‘Stay in the bathroom when you’re brushing your teeth!’” I never even considered brushing my teeth somewhere else. Children can be so innovative.


Speaking of innovation, our younger son took Pokemon cards he didn’t need and taped them inside his bicycle wheel so it would sound like a motorcycle when he rides. It’s amazing how loud it is.

I can’t wait for spring to arrive for real so we can be outside bicycle riding every night.

I just wish we didn’t have to lose an hour of sleep this weekend on our way to spring.


While I was cleaning the room after our Pre-K faith formation class on Sunday morning, my boys sat at a table and built a whole domino structure. It was spectacular! When they tilted the first domino and it began the cascade of falling dominoes across the table, I was mesmerized.

Even though they were playing dominoes in the most old-school way, the boys decided to make a slow-motion video using my iPhone. I love the blend of old and new.


St. Patrick’s Day is sneaking up on me. When I was growing up, my mother would play Irish music all of March as we counted down to the big day—and then afterward, too. For me, the season kicks off when I have my first Shamrock shake from McDonald’s.

And I pulled that off, though I’m not sure how Lenten a Shamrock shake is.

But St. Patrick would probably be on my side.


Our younger son used playdoh and toothpicks to make a crown of thorns in his fourth grade faith formation class, and it sits on our kitchen counter. He’s supposed to take a “thorn” out when he does something good, and so far we haven’t taken many out—only because we forget.

There’s something to that…the fact that we often do acts of kindness without thinking. But I am sure we’ll pull many out before Easter, even if we do it in a mad dash on Holy Saturday.


This is one of the prayer cards I created for our parish’s Lenten service projects, and you can see all of them here on Instagram. I’m really pleased because my friend who asked me to create them says the people she’s shared them with have liked them.

It’s really important to me that Lent is not a solo journey, even though, of course, the focus is on our individual, personal relationships with Jesus. And I love the idea of being part of nurturing others’ prayer lives during these 40-some days.

Find more quick takes at Kelly’s blog, This Ain’t the Lyceum, and have a wonderful weekend. Please join me in continuing to pray for an end to the coronavirus, for the recovery of those who are ill, and for strength and peace for all those who are worried about it.

This prayer on America seems just right to me.