Sunday, February 19, 2017

Matthew's First Reconciliation

I mentioned in my last post how Matthew was thrilled that his First Penance had been postponed last week due to the snow.  However, that feeling of excitement wore off the night before the scheduled snow date.  At bedtime he was in tears and filled with fear.  Some of us piled onto his bed to try to talk him off the ledge.  Nothing really sunk in until Dad pulled up this picture on his phone.


We all had a good laugh at the look on Matt's face as he was talking with one of our parish priests.  For some reason, that's all it took.  His fear went away and off to sleep he went.  I think confession is a scary thing, especially your first time.

The following night at the Penance service the gospel was the story of Jesus, The Good Shepherd.  Ironically, just two hours earlier I had taught this lesson to my first grade CCD students.  In class, we talked about what a shepherd is and what a shepherd does.  The responses I got made me smile.  The children reported that a shepherd takes care of his sheep.  They used words such as protects, and guides, and loves, and feeds.  Making the connection between a shepherd and Jesus was easy after that! Then I read to them the Parable of the Lost Sheep when Jesus leaves his 99 to go look for the one lost.

The homily that night kept the kids' attention.  The priest had the church's lost and found box up front so the kids could see it.  One by one he pulled things out of it. There was an umbrella, a pair of sunglasses, and even a set of keys, just to name a few.  No one has come back to retrieve them.  It was almost as if the owners of the items didn't know they were left behind.  They didn't know they were lost.

He challenged the congregation:  How does this relate to us?  Are we lost?  Do we take the time to seek out the shepherd who is always waiting to bring us back into the fold?  This kind of discernment is critical, I believe.  If we don't admit to being lost, we won't be found.  And in turn, we won't have the opportunity to be protected, and guided, and loved, and fed.

The Sacrament of Reconciliation is our opportunity to be found.  To lay it all out there, to hear His voice, and be forgiven.   Oh! And let's not forget....to receive grace.  What a gift!

Matthew did a great job.  We stopped at the grocery store and picked up a gallon of ice cream to celebrate when we got home.  It seemed only right.







Thursday, February 9, 2017

Radio Silence

Well folks, it's been a while since I've written anything here.  As I sit down to break my dry spell I'm noticing some things.

~ My internet connection is acting s-l-o-w and I'm wondering if I can be patient enough to continue this post while the letters on the screen catch up to my typing.

~Next to me is a book that seemed to show up out of no where.  Jane Eyre.  Then I remembered that I read that about 4 years ago.  I also remember breathing a sigh of relief at a PTA meeting when we went around the room and had to answer the question, "Did you read any good books this summer?" I was so glad I didn't have to respond with Bear Snores On.

~I'm sitting in my living room feeling blessed as I look at our "new" piano, given to us by my mother in law.  Oh, the history behind this 100+ year old grand.  She reminded me that it was on my second date with Bill on Christmas Eve that I first "met" this piano, along with his entire family as they sang carols around it.

~We had a snow day today.  Matthew was supposed to make his First Reconciliation tonight but early in the day the phone rang.  It was an automated call from the Director of Religious Education cancelling.  I was upstairs when the voicemail came across the machine.  As the call ended, all I could hear was Matthew running around downstairs wooo-hoooing his way from room to room. To say he was thrilled is an understatement.

~Two things I think should be banned.  Twitter and 24 hour news channels.  No one wants to hear anyone talk so much.  Yet, I'm addicted to both. The devil is real, people*.  And yes, if you're on Twitter, I've probably stalked you.

~Regarding the above, I don't tweet much or email CNN, but in my mind I come up with plenty of retorts that do nothing but increase my blood pressure---probably good that there's been radio silence here on the blog.  That may end soon because I do have some titles that you may see in future posts.

Such as:

The Devil Is Real, People* 

A Letter To My Girls About Their Worth

God Is Bigger Than Your Fear

Make America Holy Again

~Maybe this post should have been titled Random Thoughts or Just Letting You Know I'm Alive.

xoxo
  

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year's Eve In Times Square

Wait, what?

Oh, yeah.  You read that right. 

Times Square. NYC on NYE. We had a blast.

There was so much goodness to the night.  We saw Bill's new office, had dinner with our close friends Mike and Mary Alice and their kids, and were treated to a special place to hang out, up close to all the excitement.







Here's a countdown at 11:59pm.


It was such a treat to experience this in person.  I've never been a big fan of NYE, and really dislike watching all the hub-bub on TV.  It felt completely different being there, but that is probably because we weren't with the general population and had bathroom access at all times.  AND, the weather was WARM!!  All pluses.

So, what say you?  Have you ever been to Times Square on NYE?  Would you ever want to go?

I wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2017.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 Happenings

Oh, what a year it's been!

Time for my annual end-of-year video.




Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Innocence and Blessings

I snapped this picture last week.


It's a picture of Matthew in the backseat of my van.  Every weekday morning I have to drag him out of his warm bed at 6:30a.m. so we can drive his siblings to school for early band and orchestra rehearsal.  If not for them, he wouldn't have to wake up until 8a.m.  But he never complains.  He just grabs his pillow, runs barefoot to the car, and snuggles under a blanket I've left in there for him.

Most days the ride to and from the school is quiet.  We're all in the "still-waking-up" stages and I think our voice boxes are the last to come-to.  Today was no different.  Except towards the end of our ride.  As we neared our house I heard him from the back shout so incredibly joyfully,

"Hey! We're going on a field trip today!"

The thought had just occurred to him. 
Oh.my.word.
To hear his words come out with such excitement about something so simple was nothing short of a real blessing. 

It made me stop and think.

-Of how sweet and innocent his enthusiasm was. 

-Of how blessed he is that he's able to enjoy such simple things, without any heavy cares in the world.

-Of how blessed I am to witness the joys of my kids.

Sometimes these types of things hit you like a ton of bricks, like it did for me this morning.

Don't you love it when that happens?






Monday, October 31, 2016

October Weekend Review

Our October weekends are kind of a blur in my memory.  So here I sit with my calendar beside me and pictures that I snapped to hopefully capture some special moments, for goodness sake!

*The first weekend started off with special guests.  Our nephews, 3 year old twins Eric and Jason, and their big brother, 5 year old Michael came for a visit.  We visited the nearby river for some pebble-throwing, did some pizza-making, and shared our yearly tradition of pumpkin hunting!




*The big guy celebrated a birthday this month and it fell on a weekend.  The two of us went out to dinner and then came back for cake with the kids who were patiently waiting for dessert.

Awesome Dad with his awesome kids. (special thanks to Ann who baked the cake)

*Parade Season in full swing.  Ann's very first parade.  Isn't she cute?


Tommy and Ann
 Some people are at the parades for the goodies, not necessarily to see their siblings perform.


*Soccer Season

This guy.  Boy, is he fun to watch play.  You could even say he's a Hat Trick King.



*Our last parade of the season was yesterday and both our high school and middle school march in it.  My brother, sister in law, and nephew all came to see the kids perform and then came back to our house for dinner.

 They even brought a fun, interactive dessert.  Ghosts in the graveyard.  Make your own tombstone and dig in. Yum! 

 I may or may not have had some for breakfast this morning.
My big brother, Jim.
*We had trick or treating Friday night. (our township does that for some reason). Without boring you with the details, I neglected to get a picture of Matt and Ann dressed in their costumes!!  Maybe I can coerce them into putting them on after school today.
However, the high school kids do dress up for school.  This was our sweet Mary Kate this morning, inspired by Kate Beckinsale from the Pearl Harbor movie.


So, there is some of our happenings this month.  A good one, indeed.

Happy Halloween.