Friday, May 01, 2015

Seven Quick Takes Friday

Sports and Ballet

The baseball season has been extended due to all the games that were rained out, which totaled about SIX! This week alone, Steven Joseph has four games scheduled! Thomas just has two. Steven's team is having a hard time after quite a winning streak at the beginning of the season. They don't do scores or outs for Thomas' age group, but he played first base for the first time this week and got TWO "outs!" The girls have their ballet exam on Friday, which is kind of a big deal, but I know they'll both do great and it'll be nice to not have Saturday exam classes to manage in the midst of baseball games and other events (lots of sacraments for family and friends this season!). We'll have a little break before the dance recital prep begins. Swim team practice has begun, but we haven't been able to make many of them due to weather, baseball, and sickness.

Adding a photo from before their ballet exam, since I'm still writing this post on Friday night! They did great today!

Sacraments and Church

We attended the beautiful baptism of a friend's new baby last weekend. It was a lovely afternoon in fellowship with many amazing families. I haven't shared much here about our parish change, but we've moved to a church that is part of the Anglican Ordinariate of the Catholic Church. It was created for former Anglicans who become Catholic and those who choose to worship in that tradition. Our pastor was formerly an Anglican priest and is also married with young children! There is definitely a different dynamic to the parish, a different style of worship (Old English wordage and some different prayers), and music that isn't quite as familiar to me. That said, it is still beautiful and reverent and a very prayerful, holy, and vibrant church. We felt the community life it offers is great for our family right now and we already knew quite a few families who are members.

Although it wasn't our reason for changing parishes, I do also like that this parish tends to be much more willing to confer the sacraments at younger ages (1st/2nd grade for First Holy Communion and middle school for Confirmation). This will allow our girls to receive confirmation in the next few years rather than in high school like the local parishes, and our boys to receive Holy Communion earlier if we so choose. There are several dioceses in the U.S. which are returning the Sacraments of Initiation to their original order of Baptism, Confirmation, and then First Holy Communion. The Bishop of Honolulu has just issued a letter that his diocese will return to this original order. He explains that, "Confirmation is often experienced more as a graduation from the Church than as a free gift of God’s grace." Sadly, I've felt like this is the attitude of many Catholic parishes these days, asking so many years of classes and retreats before one is "allowed" to receive these sacraments.

Some of my non-Catholic readers might wonder why this would be so important? What does it matter the age a person receives a Sacrament? As Catholics, we believe that the Sacraments are one of the primary means that we receive God's grace. Grace helps us to live as good Christians, follow God's laws, and hopefully help us reach Heaven (salvation only by God's grace through faith manifested in good works). This is why Sunday Mass and receiving Holy Communion are so important to us. Baptism for young babies (ours are usually 1-2 weeks old) is vital for us as we want them to be filled with grace, belong to Christ, be members of the Church, and be free from Original Sin as soon as possible. So as a parent, I want my children to have every opportunity to receive God's grace, to grow close to Him, and to live holy Christian lives. I believe that receiving these sacraments as early as the Church allows can help them to do so.

I love this antiphon that is sung during the Holy Water distribution at the beginning of mass during the Easter season: "I saw water coming forth from the temple, on the right side alleluia: and all those to whom this water came were saved, and shall say alleluia, alleluia."

Daddy and St. Joseph

Steven has been working so hard. He's often traveling or working very late 1-2 nights each week and is usually gone from about 7am-7pm on normal days. Our late evenings and weekends are treasured times as we soak in Daddy Time, especially the boys. A couple weeks ago, Steven was able to go on a little fishing excursion during one of his business trips where he had his best catch ever (besides me, he says!), a 29.5-inch speckled trout.

Today is the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, and I am just so grateful to St. Joseph for always leading Steven and our family. Steven got his first adult job on this feast 14 years ago, and we got engaged on that day. Steven's middle name was given to him as he was born on Labor Day, which apparently used to be St. Joseph the Worker day.  I'm so proud of our family's "St. Joseph" who has worked very hard day after day for so many years.  He has been blessed with an amazing job that he so deserves, and today we are especially reminded of how thankful we are for it.

Fun with Friends and Family

We don't see Daddy as much during the weekdays, but we are thankful that we get to see my parents once or twice a week for outings, and we also have wonderful neighbors and friends to hang out with. The T family two doors down often takes my boys once or twice during the week, and sometimes we play outside in the evenings when we don't have activities. The dad made this really cool giant bubble maker, and this week the mom had my boys over for a "mud fest" in the backyard! So fun! We've also been having park days with our homeschool friends, and we try to attend the new noon mass on Wednesdays at the local parish. Last week though, I had such a hard time with Thomas that I decided to let a friend take the oldest three this week while I stayed home with the two youngest. Thomas and I had a nice time playing together and although he "hates" mass right now, he wanted to "play" mass in the living room with me using the little mass kit I made.  It was nice to have our own little prayer time even though we weren't at church that day. I just feel so blessed to have these loving friends who are willing to make the extra effort to allow both the children and adults to share in these little opportunities of fellowship and joy!

Busy mama

I just can't seem to pull it together with my eating and exercise! I started the Couch to 5K program but didn't finish the second week last week and can't find the time to exercise this week. The baby was sick, the baseball games were many, the schoolwork must get done, the children must eat, the knee is really hurting, and the mama is just so tired. I can't even find the time to sit at the computer and blog but every week or so. I'm hoping I can get into a better routine this summer. Maybe I'll jump back into the C25K next week. We will see.  And's a serious problem that Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers is right down the street. We just haven't been home for very many family meals recently with all the evening activities and late work nights. A good goal for summertime! (Everything will be better in summer, right?)

Projects: Saint Pegs and Dog Grooming

Although I'm not exercising much, I do feel like I'm running my own little races all week long...holding the fort down, schooling, dealing with sick kids, shuttling to three sports, and then doing crafts like the saint peg dolls! We had an exchange last weekend, and I plan to do a whole blog post about it, but aren't these just adorable! I had so much fun painting these, and the girls were a big help with it too.

A little sneak peak of the saint table!

I even had another fun project this week of trying to groom the dog! That is not an easy task. He freaked out when I tried the clippers so I had to use scissors. Leo is enjoying the sunshine-y days like the rest of us! I really do love having a dog again. Once we curb his dashing-out-the-front-door, and his other puppy-type behaviors, he will be an even better dog! He's pretty cute, isn't he?

Other little moments.
My posts tend to be a mix of all the big things going on with us right now, and little snapshots into our daily life. Here are a few more of them...

Steven reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" to Katie

Sweet baby girl at the park last week.

Ellie's big birthday gift was this desk she had been wanting from IKEA. It was a labor of love assembled by Daddy, and she's now able to use it for crafts and schoolwork.

Those moments that make you so grateful for this incredible life. Three happy kids being silly in the bathtub. I hope these children will grow up to be friends and remain close long after I'm gone. 

Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend!
Read more quick takes over at Kelly's: This Ain't the Lyceum!

1 comment:

Veronicita77 said...

Your dolls are beautiful! Just came upon your site. Could you tell me how you paint the eyes on your dolls? So lovely. God bless!

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