We woke up on Ash Wednesday and there were caterpillars in our Easter tree!! B was really interested in them, and we mused aloud about why they were there, and what they ate. B finally asked me, a little apprehensively, if they were the kind of caterpillar "that crawls". I was able to assure him that this was not the kind that crawls. And I sighed a sigh of relief that I had indeed decided to make pipe cleaner caterpillars instead of having real ones. I had debated because there is something in me that always wants the real thing. But, I decided on pipe cleaners because I want to be the one who chooses when these caterpillars build their cocoons and when they emerge. And now I am really glad I did! No need to traumatize my children with creepy crawlies!
Below the caterpillars we have a crown of thorns. This is a tradition I have seen many places on ye olde internet, so I am not sure where it comes from originally. (These two places + + may be the first two places I saw the idea.) The crown is made of a grapevine wreath from the craft store. The thorns are tooth picks that I dyed with instant coffee. The idea is every time one denies oneself, one can remove a thorn to symbolize the desire to lessen Christ's suffering. We haven't actually done the active part of that tradition; B seems a bit young for it. I wanted the crown there though, to set the mood of the season.
St. Joseph is still out, although we have not yet successfully said the St. Joseph litany. We have a few Sundays left, so there is still hope! I was super jazzed to find a holy card of St. Joseph where he is wearing same purple and goldy brown as our figurine!