Fun in the chaos

Oh my,my! Well, it’s definitely past time for an update. I love coming back to this space and being able to think about and remember what has gone on in our lives. And to think about new things as well. So, on to the update.

Ditty got her driver’s license April 2nd. Yeah, I’m sorry you weren’t warned sooner too, but you survived up to this point so I think you’ll be okay. 🙂

We have marching band and soccer in our lives again this summer and it has been a blast. I’ve actually been to 2 of the parades this year (as opposed to none of them last summer). BooBoo’s soccer team is actually in first place, so far, in their standings (as opposed to 3rd or dead last in the 4 team age bracket in years past).

Ditty has been nominated for the Ambassadors of Music program in our state. She will have the opportunity to practice with other band students from around the state in the coming year and then will be heading off for a European tour in July 2016. If you’re reading this Shoe, she’ll be playing (with the rest of the band) in or near London early in the tour but location is still “To Be Determined”.

This has been a great honor because students are nominated not just for musicianship but also for character. Gosh, it’s nice that someone else thinks she’s a character too! Oh, not that kind of character? You’re right. It’s because she is a fine, respectable and respectful person. As I have said before, she is becoming a true role model, a wonderful young woman.

The past year at work has been wonderful. I am now enjoying part of our summer break before my co-worker and I delve into a computer program to organize the lunch menus and basically will make all the paperwork (state reporting, etc.) that goes with being a “lunch lady” go much smoother and more quickly. I say more quickly, but really at the present time it doesn’t go quickly at all and my co-worker is the one dealing with all of it. So I will do my best to help her out as much as I am allowed to or can.

Our family trip this summer will be to the Boston area. We’re shadowing the marching band (Ditty calls us “the stalker families”) but we will have our own sights (and sites) to see and our own things to do. DH, BooBoo and I will be going to a Blue Man Group concert. This will be BooBoo’s first actual concert. I think he will enjoy it. We’re also doing the Boston Harbor boat ride over to the USS Constitution, Plimoth Plantation and a whale watching cruise. I’m hoping that since both DH & BooBoo enjoy fish, that we will be able to hit mainly seafood restaurants while we’re there. The “Friday Catholic” in me is SO excited!!! After all, it’s almost a full week of seafood! Laugh if you will, I’ll enjoy it tremendously.

I’ve updated the praises, prayers, calendar & blog links. Enjoy your summer!

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She lives! The electric edition

Well, I’m no better at getting back to this blog now than I have been at any time in the past year. I’m sorry.

It’s been a year of change and upheaval for me. With the job search in August/September, I had heard about a postion in a nearby town from a friend. That didn’t pan out. Then we went to Mass in another nearby town and the priest mentioned a job opening at their parish school. That lead to a 1st & 2nd interview and a “shadow day”. And while that situation progressed, I learned about an opening with my son’s school. That was the lead that finally lead to the actual job. So as of October 1st, I am the assistant cook at my son’s Catholic school. It has been a hectic, wonderful learning experience for me. I love being there and helping our head cook create the delicious, healthy meals for these children. I have learned so much and when we get back from Christmas break, I’ll be learning even more. We are a good team and have great help from a number of volunteers who come in to help serve the food, assist the kids with condiments and wipe down tables. It has been an incredible blessing to be able to do the work I enjoy with people I enjoy spending time alongside.

Ditty went as far a sections with her swim team this year. She was hoping that she wouldn’t need to go as her shoulder has been bothering her. We have been working with our chiropractor and that brought some relief. Now that swim season is over, that has brought even more relief, so I just need to encourage her to keep doing the exercises so that she doesn’t re-injure it next year. She is also preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation. It’s hard to believe that she’s old enough to do this. And trying to get her behind the wheel time finished so that she can get her driver’s license. My little girl is becoming a very poised and practical young woman. We also purchased a new step-up flute for her. She has needed one for a long time (about the last 2 years), but we didn’t just snap one up. We took our time and had her play several different flutes to see which one she liked best. I’m pleased that she decided on an Azumi. Some people might get down on me for that since the Azumis are a Japanese flute, but seriously if you haven’t heard one-don’t judge me. The American school of flutes are very light and bright sounding. The Japanese school of flutes are darker and deeper in tone. Frankly, they just sound so amazingly full and rich. These aren’t words I can use with the American school of flutes, although they are pretty. While we were flute shopping, the flute specialist who was helping us also let Ditty try out a $13,000 model. If you think there is no difference except for the price tag, you would be very wrong. That flute sounded so amazingly rich and, dare I say it, delicious that if money was not an object, I would have entertained serious thoughts about getting that one. Maybe she’ll consider becoming a concert flautist so we can get that one.

BooBoo is still taking guitar. Why, I’m not sure since he hates to practice. Apparently, he just likes playing – but not an electric guitar. He chose a new accoustic guitar, made by Fender and shaped like their Stratocaster model with the cutaway body and the inline head. I seriously wanted to ask ” So, who is this girl that you’re trying to impress?”, but I didn’t. I know you’re probably amazed, so am I. He also wants to try out for track and field this spring. He had a lot of fun at the Track & Field day that the High School boys’ track team held through community ed last spring. Hopefully, he will find his sport. I’m sure there will be something out there for him to enjoy. BooBoo will also be participating in our school musical this year, but not backstage as he usually does. This year, he has chosen to be one of the actors and will be an Apostle in our school production of Godspell Jr. It should be an interesting show. I remember singing some of the music when I was in grade school at my Catholic school. Of course, we also sang some of the music from Jesus Christ Superstar. Very 1970’s indeed! 🙂

So, you may be wondering why this is “the electric edition”. Well, early this past Saturday morning, I experienced chest pains and DH brought me in to our local hospital emergency room. While I didn’t need defibrilation, they did hook up quite a few electrodes to me to monitor my heart. And because the enzyme that gets released if there is a problem with the heart takes 4-6 hours to occur in the bloodstream, they had me admitted to a hospital room for observation. In that room, they attached even more electrodes because their heart monitor uses different ones from the monitor in the E.R. I think I seriously had about a dozen of the little stickers on my chest & abdomen. If they had needed to defribrilate, I possibly would have lit up like a Christmas tree. Electro-Woman. Hmm, glad that didn’t happen. I’m 50, I don’t look good in spandex.

Prayer request

Dear readers, I have received a prayer request from a friend and I hope you’ll join me in praying for Harlan who is undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer.  Harlan is one of those people whose calm, quiet ways perfectly balance those of us whose lives are not calm.  Please join me in praying for his return to good health so that my friend and her family can enjoy his special gifts for many years to come.

Thank you

Introducing . . .

Our new pets, Molly & Buck.

Buck is on the left and Molly is the one on the right.

Buck is on the left and Molly is the one on the right.

We got the goldfish on Friday.  They were a prize for the kids from VBS.  Unfortunately, Buck passed away the next morning.  He was BooBoo’s fish and it made BooBoo very sad.  We’ll be getting another fish on Monday so that Molly has a little friend in the tank.  Even she seems to miss having another fish around.

We gave Buck a burial with a prayer service.  The book, “The Blessing Candles” has a nice prayer service for when a pet dies.  So we dug a hole in the backyard (trust me, this is much less traumatic than trying to flush a dead, bloated fish and I know this from personal experience as a mom.) and placed Buck in a small milk carton lined with white paper towels.  We lit candles, placed Buck’s homemade casket in the ground, sprinkled water on it and prayed the prayer service.  It was a pretty solemn affair and BooBoo was a reluctant participant.  Mainly because he didn’t want to cry anymore, poor little guy.  But I requested his participation because I believe that each life should be honored and remembered no matter how short.  He did cry some more, but in the immortal words of Shrek:  “Better out than in I always say”. 

DH & I explained to BooBoo that it is okay to cry when we’re sad and when a pet dies, it is a sad time.  We also explained that it’s okay to grieve for our loss, whether it’s a person we loved or a pet.  It broke my heart to watch him cry for the loss of his first ever real pet.  But I know he’ll be fine.  Tonight, he was able to look at the picture I posted above.  And even though it brought back a little of the pain, after I said that we would always have a picture of Buck to remember him by, BooBoo was able to smile at that thought.

Here’s hoping that all your goldfish are always hale and hearty.

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In other news,  we went to my friend’s pig roast on Saturday.  We had a blast reconnecting with people we haven’t seen in awhile.  And sure, it rained, but the kids had a blast running around in it and playing all those wet, sloppy games they make up for fun.  And nobody got sick. 

That was very good as we went to brunch with my in-laws this morning(yes, all of them!  ever try to get a table for twenty?). 

We were a bit bleary eyed at mass this morning.  We needed to go to the 7:30am service instead of our usual 9am mass as the in-laws wanted to do brunch at 10am.  It took me until the first reading to realize that there was only one altar server.  So I asked DH how many servers were up there, just to double check my sneaker count and he confirmed only one.  So I motioned Ditty over to me and told her that she should go into the sacristy, get a robe on and just sit in the seat next to the other kid so that there would be two servers to help Father.  She’s an obedient child yet and doesn’t mind helping out, so the two of them were up there for the work of table setting, receiving the gifts, ringing the bells, etc.

Then after mass, we stopped back at home to pick up swimsuits, towels and pictures to bring along.  The swimsuits and towels for after brunch and the pics to distribute at brunch.  Well, we remembered the swimsuits and towels!  We’re just gonna have to mail the pics out.  After brunch, we went to my SIL’s house.  The kids went tubing on the lake (for my readers who have never been on an inner tube hooked via tow rope to the back of a speed boat, tubing {long U} is quite fun. . . according to my kids-yes, they are required to wear personal floatation devices known here as life jackets).  Her husband and mine went in the boat.  We’re kind of particular up here in that only adults get to drive the boat.  She and I stayed in the house and she taught me how to play Gin.  I know what you’re thinking:  “How did she ever get to forty-four and a half without learning how to play gin?”  Well, my parents enjoyed playing 500 rummy, so I never learned how to play Gin rummy.  Oh well, now I can and it was quite fun in spite of the fact that I got completely trounced (3 games to nought) and had absolutely zero beginner’s luck.  I also don’t have a poker face worth a darn and tend to move my cards around to get my groups together.

A nice weekend all in all and things are now drying out again so hopefully we won’t have as humid a week this week as last.

Perfectly Preserved In Perpetuity

Friends, Romans, Countrymen

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Quotes:

"If you are what you should be you will set the whole world on fire."
St. Catherine of Sienna

I finally understand

"Among those around you, apostolic soul, you are the stone fallen into the lake. With your word and your example, you produce a first circle, and it another, and another, and another, wider each time. Now do you understand the greatness of your mission?" St. Josemarie Escriva: The Way