Today is Ash Wednesday. For those of you non-Catholics, it is the start of lent when Catholics walk around with an ash cross on our foreheads and people say, "You got a little dirt on your forehead." Then we get to explain Ash Wednesday, yet another time. For Lent Catholics give up something, Candy, TV, Soda etc. It is a time to reflect on how much Jesus gave up for us and a time to strive to make ourselves better people. Being in Catholic school the kids have been drilled on "giving things up" for at least a week now. There have been many discussions on what to give up and why we have to do it at all. Technically the younger children are not required but it is always good to try to become a better person. This morning on the way to school, which is where many of our good conversations take place, we were having just such a discussion. Emma, of course, was the most concerned. She was asking everyone what they were giving up and trying to decide "If" she should do it at all. I guess when you are perfect you don't need as much work as others. Jack said he was giving up Pop-tarts. There was quite a commotion about this since mom doesn't often buy pop-tarts. Since he does enjoy them when they come into the house we decided it was OK. Mom said she was giving up cooking. When they all called my bluff I told them I was giving up dessert. Since SUGAR is one of my biggest vises it should be an grouchy and annoying lenten season. Mark decided he was going to stop biting his finger nails. Which I'll admit is admirable. Emma was asking each of us what we thought she should give up. We threw out suggestions, "30 minutes of TV? Dessert? Playing with her DS? Cookies? " All of which received a "NO" Finally I said, "Hey Emma? Why don't you give up whining?" To which she promptly replied, "I tried that once. And believe me it never works." Hey it was worth a shot.