Monday, April 27, 2009

Outgoing Senior Patrol Leader
Zachary's term as senior patrol leader for his Boy Scout troop is coming to a close at the end of April. His final responsibility was to coordinate and facilitate a junior leader training for the incoming leaders and younger Scouts. Rather than the typical one-day classroom lecture style training, Zachary planned a camp-out and held the training outdoors.
The JLT took place at a private property along the river. Zachary recruited teachers from among the older Scouts, delegating which subjects each would teach the younger Scouts, using various techniques and including games like capture the flag and blindfolded tent set-up races.
At the close of the JLT, Zachary gave out the leadership patches to the incoming boy leaders. Zac gave the patch he wore as patrol leader to Joseph, who was elected as his patrol's very first patrol leader. Afterwards, he gave the formal pass of the leadership baton, or in this case Frisbee, to the next senior patrol leader. Although watching him step down from his position was a big relief in some ways, it was also bittersweet. Time flies!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Badminton reigns

This week has been the week of badminton. Kids quietly sneaking out of the house after breakfast, kids challenging each other to games over dinner... Having a stretch of beautiful sunny days makes backyard play so much more enjoyable (and barefeet easier to clean!).
Dad (Tim) and Dr. Dude have given their best efforts to show adult domination.

The racquets are the same racquets my grandparents used to let us play with at their house when we visited on sunny days.
Come on over and challenge the champions!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You're playing at the lake, getting really hot & sweaty on several 3 mile loops of the lake on your bike... basketball, soccer and kickball games with your brother and 5 buddies.
What better way to cool off than to dip in the cool water?
Of course you didn't pack for swimming, so mom says not to get your clothes wet. In which case you must come up with creative ways to stay cool, and mostly dry so you'll be allowed in the car for the ride home!

This works! Try it sometime!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Did you know Zachary is in Washington, DC?
He's keeping a blog of his trip...

I hope he'll add photos later, sounds like they have taken quite a few!

Shotgun Scouts
Shots from our beautiful Saturday morning spent at the range, aiming for the flying clay pigeons... and hitting quite a few!
The Scouts and quite a few dads took aim, taking turns calling "pull!" for the launching clay. One of the small shotguns gave such a kick that the younger Scouts went home with a few war wounds (bruises).
Safety was the #1 concern, and the pre-trip training as well as the on-site enforcement were top notch.
More shooting on Tuesday, rifles this time.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Lacrosse on the road
Joseph's 5/6 lacrosse team travelled to an away game yesterday afternoon.
The team was well matched, and although the other team came out strong & scored twice in the first few minutes, Joseph's team held their own.
The final score was 6-2, but the team came away with the satisfaction of a game well played.
Joseph plays "middie" which means he's running constantly up & down the field. He had a few great carries, and gave his all.

(photos by J.A., dad of one of the players)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Somebody loves soccer
Thank goodness Peter's ankle is finally recovered from his torn ligament to play soccer. He is wearing a brace to prevent any further damage during the (long) healing process.
He scored his first goal this season, and is really happy to be back out on the field, rather than cheering from the sidelines.
Unfortunately, his coach injured himself and is in a cast recovering from reconstructive surgery. He coaches quite well from his lawn chair, and the boys respect his authority even when it comes without mobility.
(photos taken by a dad of Peter's teammate)

Easter Arrives!

1~After processing in from the Easter Vigil bonfire by candlelight, and after 7 Old Testament covenant readings, MC Zachary gives light from the Pascal Candle (lit at the fire) to Joseph and Peter who then lit the altar candles before the proclamation of the Epistle reading and the Gospel reading.
2~Ready for the recessional (going out at the end of the 3 hour Easter Vigil Mass), Zachary grins with a job well done. He served as the MC for the Easter Vigil, Good Friday and Holy Thursday liturgies. Quite an honor for any young man, but especially for one his age (14). We are proud parents and feel humbled and very blessed by his willingness to serve and share his time and talents at church.

3~Zachary prepares the altar for the Eucharistic celebration at Mass on Easter morning. He recently completed training to become an acolyte (a step above altar server, with more responsibilities) and began on Easter day.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Holy Saturday
Today we had a traditional blessing of the food. We bring our baskets full of all the good things on which we will feast after our lenten fast ends at Easter.

Each of the food items in the baskets is linked to an element of Christian faith. The tradition is Slovakian, but at our church it's kept alive primarily by our Polish community (and Nona Rosa, a token Italian!). The boys are Polish from Grandpa Cliff's side, so they enjoy the opportunity to connect with their ancestral roots.

I guess I was the token Scottish/Irish/Canadian in the group! Our basket (not photographed) needs a bit of work before next year.

Good Friday

Friday, April 10, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday of Holy Week

Jn 12:1-11

Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served, while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him. Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples, and the one who would betray him, said, "Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days' wages and given to the poor?" He said this not because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief and held the money bag and used to steal the contributions. So Jesus said, "Leave her alone. Let her keep this for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me." The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came, not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too, because many of the Jews were turning away and believing in Jesus because of him.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Palm Sunday
Today we begin the special journey of Holy Week as we wave our palms, joyfully acclaiming Jesus our Messiah and King!
Our Palm Sunday procession, commemorating Jesus' journey into Jerusalem, marks the beginning of a solemn celebration in union with the whole Church throughout the world.
As we participated in today's Gospel reading (Mark, Chapters 14 & 15) reading aloud with the congregation, "Crucify him!" I remembered how painful it was to read/hear this gospel as a child. I didn't want to crucify Jesus! And I didn't want to participate in the reading of the passion... it didn't seem fair!

Yet as a Christian community we enter fully into Christ's passion and death, leading us through His suffering and sacrifice toward His resurrection at Easter. Our own suffering, or sacrifices have the power to bring us closer to Christ and unite us with His suffering... if we let them.

Father encouraged us to take time this week to slow down and allow our hearts and minds to be transformed. While we can read obituaries of strangers and simply turn the page and go on to the next item, Father reminded us that reading Jesus' obituary should be a much different experience for us... if we let it.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Mr. 800 for Pie

Zac ran his first competitive 800 this week at a local track meet. He ran a 2.43 in the pouring rain.

He's visibly happy in this shot... his brother had just shouted out a promise of a pumpkin pie if he passed someone in the second lap. (Which he did.)

I didn't know what he was talking about on the ride home when he asked me about the pumpkin pie, but the picture tells the story, doesn't it?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Age of Ruffie
Peter visited his cousins Violet and Sawyer last week on a
5-day trip with Grandma Billie and Grandpa Cliff.
The visit coincided with the grand opening of Uncle Dr. Craig and Aunt Dr. Bethany's vet clinic.
Peter spent lots of time reading to his cousins and playing with them, enjoying the role of oldest. Unfortunately, someone forgot how old he really is, and let him stay up past 10:30 one night! Somehow he survived.
His only hesitation in going away on the long trip was that he didn't want to miss Stations of the Cross on Friday night. His Godmother, my Aunt Sue (also my Godmother, who lives near the cousins) was able to solve that problem. She and Peter went together to Stations, while Cliff and Billie were putting the younger cousins to bed.
A highlight of Peter's time with Sawyer was teaching him the traditional guys' game (made up at our house) called ruffie. All boys love ruffie! Running, chasing, getting caught, carried, and thrown down... on a soft landing... What's not to love? There's even some chanting and (clean) trash talking involved when ruffie's on.
When the boys play ruffie at our house, I hide out.