Last month it was Bip’s turn to receive his First Holy Communion. Our sweet, funny little guy was a bit nervous and excited – just like his mama! He seems so much smaller than Boo was at his first communion, but Bip wore Boo’s old suit, so apparently they are the same size.
He didn’t really want to wear a suit at all. But after much glaring and threatening…er, sympathetic nods and patient understanding…he agreed. He felt better when he saw that some of the other boys in his class wore suits, too.
It was Pentecost Sunday, so the church was still bedecked in red from Confirmation two days before. Funny enough, I made my first communion on Pentecost, too, all those years ago.
Here we are at the Our Lady of Lourdes grotto at our church. Let us focus on how nice we all look, and not on the fact that Pumpkin is taller than me.
More fires, more homes lost. But this time we are not in danger.
Black Forest Fire as seen from our house.
Now, before I tell you about Bip’s First Communion, I should show you his First Communion Banner.
We showed Bip many examples of banners from all over the internet. He chose the elements he liked best, those things that he felt most expressed his faith.
Now here’s a little story of how God takes care of all the little details. Bip’s banner is significantly smaller than Boo’s and Pumpkin Girl’s, due to the fact that at our current church the banners are hung from the side of the pews instead on the walls. That means that the big bucket o’ foam letters that we have were too big to fit Bip’s real, very long first name onto the banner. So when I went to the craft store for the felt, I was also keeping my eye out for something, anything, that I could use for his name that wouldn’t require me to cut out 8 teeny, tiny letters. And whatever it was would preferably be green, Bip’s favorite color. And I found one lone package of pre-cut (!), one inch (!!), felt letters in green(!!!). Not one other package of those letters were left on the shelf. I think I actually said, “Thank you, God!” aloud, right there in the store. It was Hobby Lobby though, so if anyone had heard me I probably would have gotten an “amen”!
Ok, where were we? Oh yes, making the banner.
So I drew the figures that Bip wanted onto the felt and cut them out. He glued them down.
And here it is!
Our Big Sacrament Weekend was a success. Nobody else got sick, the weather was nice, nobody melted down.
Boo was Confirmed on Friday evening. My feelings on this matter are a mixture of pride and nostalgia as that little boy who seemed to be in a constant time-out is growing into fine young man with a mature faith. We even made him shave the four hairs on his chin for the event.
Earlier in the year he was one of four Confirmation candidates chosen to speak at our parish renewal weekend. His assigned topic was “What the Eucharist Means to Me” and he needed to fill 10 minutes. Ten minutes is a long time when one is 14 years old and this is your first public speaking event. He came up with a good solid 5 minutes worth of material and then turned to his constant companion, Pumpkin Girl. Those two have such a funny relationship. I can’t even scratch the surface here, but I think it would be fair to say that they are best friends.
So Pumpkin Girl did a little research on the history of the Eucharist which Boo used as a lead in to his main topic and the whole thing turned out rather nicely. He gave his speech in March and even now, someone will come up to him and ask if he was the young man who had given the talk.
Boo chose King David as his Confirmation saint. David was a man who struggled in many ways but always had a heart for the Lord. Boo came up with him on his own and his choice surprised me since most kids chose more recent saints. But King David is an excellent choice and suits Boo well. Did make it hard to get him a statue or holy medal, though.
And so the time came and Boo got himself all spiffy for the event. His sponsor, one of our fellow Catholic homeschoolers from when we were stationed in DC, was able to be here for the day. I got the moment on camera.
In typical Boo fashion, as he returned to the pew after being Confirmed, he flashed a big grin and gave us a thumbs up. I wasn’t expecting that, so I don’t have a picture. We couldn’t help but laugh. It was just so very Boo. I hope his enthusiasm for God stays with him for the rest of his life.
(Great oogly moogly, I just noticed that he wore his survival bracelet. Sigh.)
So. I had the worst Mother’s Day ever. Well, the one worst one for me,at least.
To put it bluntly, I got a new toothbrush.
There’s a story here, of course. I got a new toothbrush because that’s what I do every time I get so sick that I find myself moaning over my aching stomach. And when my stomach hurts that much, there’s pretty much only one way out of it. Oh yes. On my knees in the wee hours of the morning, thanking the Good Lord above that the drop-in toilet thingy is doing its job because my face is about to up close and personal with the porcelain throne.
Stomach properly emptied, I returned to bed and slept pretty much most of the rest of the day.
Less than twenty-four hours later I felt much better, keeping food down and my fever was gone. Poor Phil went down about that time, though he didn’t get it nearly as bad.
But what, what, WHAT does this have to do with the title of this post?
I’ll tell you. Two of my boys are receiving sacraments this weekend. We’ve got houseguests coming. The boys can NOT get sick.
It’s been two days since Phil got sick and all the kids seem fine.
But if you could spare a prayer, could you say one that my kids stay healthy?
Thanks, I owe you one!
Boo, to Pipsqueak: Did you make a poopie?
Pipsqueak, in his halting, toddler speech: Made you present!
Pipsqueak: ‘ welcome!
Guess who is playing the Artful Dodger?
(Please excuse my blurry phone photo. She had just finished with her fitting and I was standing mostly in the hallway, trying to be quick.)
Pumpkin Girl was asked to be the Artful Dodger in the beginning Broadway class (she is actually in the intermediate level) when they do “Consider Yourself” from the musical “Oliver”. Very cool to be asked to come in just for that role, especially when it is the lead.
Can I say I’m just a little bit proud of her? Ok, a whole lot proud of her? And doesn’t she make the cutest darn Artful Dodger out there?
I have a new crafting buddy – Bip! Last summer I found some crafting kits and I offered them to the kids. Bip jumped on them and we had a ton of fun together with them. They were these sand art kits that where you peel off the protective covering to reveal sticker paper, then you pour colored sand over it and when you’re done, you have a fun little picture.
As a side note, we did these on the day we evacuated from the fire. We had to move quickly to pack the car and make hard to decisions about what to take with us and what to leave behind and potentially lose. Those little art projects stayed on the kitchen table where they had been waiting so we could show Philip when we got home. My heart ached, remembering the special time Bip and I’d had together, that last afternoon of peace and safety.
Anyway…that afternoon when I realized how much Bip likes crafting with me, I made myself a promise to find more things for him and I to do together. Best laid plans and all, it has taken until now to get around to it. He had a Cub Scout project to make a gift and with his dad’s help, he decided to make a Super Mario pencil holder for his buddy who is moving away. Phil borrowed my idea for the decoupaged candle and with some input from me, this is what they came up with. BTW, that last link goes to an article I wrote for The Homeschool Classroom blog.
Bip’s original idea was to use Super Mario stickers he had in his stash, but he couldn’t find them. But he remembered a magazine with some great Mario pictures, so he cut them out and used them. My idea was to use tissue paper on the glass jar in order to ground the pictures and make them more visible. Phil and Bip decided to use green for grass and blue for the sky. They did that together with Mod Podge and sponge brushes, then let it dry overnight. The next day, Bip and I decoupaged the pictures onto the tissue paper background and let it dry.
I really like how this turned out! I especially like that most of it was Bip’s own idea and that we only needed to provide a little guidance. He’s very happy with it, we all had fun putting it together and I think his Mario-loving friend is going to like it, too!
I have a knitting injury. A knitting.injury. Do you know how much talent that takes, injuring myself while just sitting there, all cozy in my jammies, hardly moving at all?
No, I did not poke myself in the eye.
I have trigger finger. Or at least that’s what the google tells me.
At first I thought it was a repetitive motion injury from knitting my watermelon socks non-stop and then moving on to a new pair of socks. I gave my poor hand a rest for a few days and then picked up the socks again. This pair is cabled which I have been working without the use of a cable needle. Non-knitters, stick with me here! Knitting cables without using a cable needle requires pinching the stitches at the critical moment when they want to unravel on you. I’ve used this technique before with success and without pain. But that was with thicker yarn which is easy to hold on to. Sock yarn is much thinner and I think I was pinching quite hard so it wouldn’t escape.
So there I was, all cozy in my jammies, knitting and pinching, when I realized that it was the pinching that was causing the pain. All the rest of the knitting was fine. So I got out a cable needle and the pain was significantly less.
I have broken my leg skiing. I have broken my wrist playing soccer. And now I have injured my thumb knitting.
Don’t envy me my glamorous life.
Ah, just were things were going so well.
Or were they?
We’ve been living with the shadow of a furlough hanging over our heads. Philip may or may not be forced to take one unpaid day a week until October. We should know for sure by the end of the month. But then again, thats what they said last month. It’s sure going to put a crimp in the finances.
Meanwhile, there is some work we’d like done on the house. Quite a bit, actually, but it is all cosmetic. We were discussing our options for the kitchen, which has new granite counters but the original boring, stock cabinets. The previous owners did that. I don’t know why they didn’t upgrade the cabinets, too. I’d like to remove the soffit and extend the cabinets up. Just as I was discussing this and looking up, I noticed it. The Bulge of Doom. Directly under a bathroom.
I pointed to it and said, “We have water damage.”
You could almost see years of life draining away from poor Philip.
Ever the optimistic and helpful one (stop laughing!) I suggested that since we’ll be tearing up the ceiling, it would be a good time to put in pot lights or a sun tube. Somehow that didn’t cheer him up.
I guess I shouldn’t mention that if we’ll be tearing up the bathroom floor, we should really get new bathroom cabinets and counter tops. And for continuity, we should probably do the other bathrooms, too.