Friday, April 24, 2015

Easter And A Special Birthday

We are still in the Easter season.  So, that allows me to still be able to report on our happy Easter Sunday happenings, correct?

Love these peeps!!!

Most of my side of the family came to our house to celebrate with us.  I had lots of help preparing some of the food.  I am totally digging the idea of the kids each making their own food item for the meal.  We had lots of fun together. 

Ann made this adorable appetizer.

Tommy made punch.
Matthew made blueberry muffins.
Mary made carrot cake.

Because Billy was feeling a bit under the weather, he got out of making his famous deviled eggs.  I got stuck with that job and almost lost my mind peeling 18 hard cooked eggs.  Holy smokes!  That is an annoying task!  And, I'm pretty sure I tasted some shell in one of my finished eggs.  Sorry, family.

My sister in law Kathy and nephew Jimmy coordinated an egg hunt. The kids had lots of fun...even the teenagers ;)

My awesome sisters in law...Linda and Kathy.

My brother Jim played us some post-dessert tunes.

It was a really great time.

In other news, Bill's grandmother turned 95 years old and we celebrated in style.


Enjoying Shirley Temples and Roy Rodgers at the 19th hole

Bill's parents with 7 of their 8 children

Mom-Mom spoke a few words of wisdom, mostly about the importance of the four F's.

Faith...Family...Friends....and Fun!

I'd like to add a 5th....Food!

Our Matthew was the youngest great-grandchild in attendance that day, so he got the special job of presenting Mom-Mom with her cake.  Too cute!

Happy Birthday, Mom-Mom and thank you for starting this wonderful family I am proud to be a part of.

Thanks also to to Aunt April and Uncle Joe, our hosts!  You guys rock! 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fully Initiated

Mary received the sacrament of Confirmation!  It was a wonderful and special night.  Mary's godfather, Uncle Bob, and our friends John and Mary celebrated with us.  Mary chose Mary to be her sponsor. 

I'd like to share pictures of her day interspersed with some of the basic questions the children had to learn. 

1.) What are the sacraments?
The sacraments are an outward sign instituted by Christ to give grace.

2.) How many sacraments are there?
There are seven sacraments.

3.) What are the names of the seven sacraments?
Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders, and Matrimony.

4.)What is Confirmation?
Confirmation is the sacrament in which the Holy Spirit comes to us in a special way to join us more closely to Jesus and His church and to seal and strengthen us as Christ's witnesses.

5.)What is chrism?
Chrism is a blessed mixture of oil and balm used during the baptismal ceremony, for Confirmation, and ordination of priests and bishops, and in the consecration of churches, altars, and other things.

6.)What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Holy Fear.

7.)Who is the minister of Confirmation?
The bishop is the minister of Confirmation.

8.)How is Confirmation given?
The bishop extends his hands over the Confirmand and anoints in the form of a cross while saying:
Bishop:  "Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit."
Confirmand: "Amen"
Bishop: "Peace be with you."
Confirmand: "And with your spirit."

9.)What are the effects of Confirmation?
The effects of Confirmation are: an increase of sanctifying grace, the gift of a special sacramental grace, and the imprint of lasting character on the soul.

Mary choose Cecilia to be her Confirmation name.  St. Cecilia is the patron saint of musicians.

We are proud of our girl. Congratulations Mary Kathleen Cecilia.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Scenes From A Birthday

April 6, 2015, our Tommy turned 11.

He was a little bummed since he was originally supposed to be off from school on Easter Monday, but the district made it into a snow make-up day.

Morning doughnuts:

After school he quickly did his homework and then he had his first baseball game of the season.

He really wanted a train cake for his birthday so he could decorate it with candy.  As if the candy from his Easter basket wasn't enough!  It was a fun activity for all, though.

Happy Birthday to our Tom-Bomb.
You are so awesome to be around.  You are fun and goofy and you make us all laugh. 
You also have a gentle heart and always say "I'm sorry" when you need to.
You make me so proud when you hug me in the hallway at school, even when your classmates are watching. 
You're so talented.  We love how you try to figure out Star Wars, Avengers, and Indiana Jones theme music with the piano and trumpet.
We even like your adventurous the time you climbed a tree and walked on the roof.  Okay well, we didn't really like that part.  Don't do that again.

Happy Birthday, Tommy.  We love you!!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Pride and Joy

A few weeks ago a kind gentleman came up to our family after church.  He introduced himself and said he was looking for one of 12 volunteers to have their foot washed at the Holy Thursday mass.  He was looking at me as he spoke.

Needless to say, I was crafting my response before he was even done talking.

*I just did this not too long ago.  Surely they want to use someone new.

*When I did it before it was because I was the coordinator of Moms and Tots.  Let me give you Eileen and Emily's name and number since they're the coordinators now.

*Bill will do it!

When I did end up speaking I did say that I had done it not too long ago.  Then Bill threw me under the bus and said it was at least 7 years ago.  Shooting him a "look" I then suggested he do it.  Whereas he came up with his no-fail, always used, perfect excuse:  "I work in New York City and there's a chance I won't get home in time."

The man looked disappointed knowing his search had to continue elsewhere, but before we parted I made the generous offer that I would do it if he was stuck finding enough people.

I'm sure he was thinking, "Gee, thanks.....for nothing."

I wonder what God was thinking?  Wasn't the idea of Jesus washing the feet of the apostles meant to show us humility and service to others?  I was missing the whole point of the very act I was being asked to take part in. 

Maybe I was nervous?  It's hard to be in front of so many people. Our parish has over 3000 families.

Maybe I was embarrassed? It's hard to have your parish priest look at your naked foot.

Maybe I was scared I'd do something wrong? My friend Donna told me of the time she had her foot washed and accidentally wore pantyhose and the priest had to wash her stocking foot!

Maybe I was prideful?  Yes, that pretty much sums it up.

Pride.  Oh, how that sin gets me every time. I seriously think if I could get rid of all of my pride, I'd be the best darn person in the world.

Oops, there I go again.

What's the point of all of this, you ask?

*I needed something to write since I haven't posted in 13 days and I was thinking you all missed hearing from me. (Pride)

*It's Holy Thursday and I since I consider myself a Catholic Blogger I should definitely post today. (Pride)

*I am waiting for the Sears guy to come and fix my microwave and it's more fun to blog than clean and do laundry. (Pride)

*No point whatsoever.

I don't remember going to the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Holy Thursday when I was young.  It was not until I started dating Bill that I witnessed the washing of the feet for the first time.  At first I thought it was really weird.  As the past 20 years have shown me, it really is a beautiful sight to behold.  The sacrifice, the humility, the love.

I look forward to tonight's mass.  Billy has been asked to bring up the Holy Oils and Tommy will dress in his altar server cassock. (Me telling you this: Pride again...but the good kind).

I also look forward to another chance to quiet my soul, remember, and rid me of myself and belong to Him* during this Easter Triduum.  I pray that my heart and yours will be united with Jesus these next few days so we may have the fullness of Joy in His Resurrection.

Wishing you all a blessed and happy Easter!

*lyric taken from the song "Lead Me To The Cross" by Chris and Conrad.  Video with lyrics can be found by clicking here.