Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer Adventures

Ross Lake adventure 2008

View from our Cross to Ross 50 mile hike 2008
Tim, Joseph and Peter (and a few friends) have gone backpacking near Ross Lake, one of our all time favorite camping & hiking destinations.  They should be returning about now, ready for hot showers and comfy beds (and perhaps a bug-free area in which to recover!).

Meanwhile, Zachary and I are on retreat at Steubenville NW in Spokane with a few 
car-loads from youth group.

How's your weekend so far?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Flashback Friday

 A family photo taken in about 2004 at our new pawn shop.

T, AJ, Zac & Ryan on a ride as Webelos.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mission Week

Luke, Peter, Jonah, Joseph, Kevin, Cathy, and Zachary at the memorial for the unborn at St. Mary's.

Father Pinto signs Zachary's Christian Prayer book, joining the many other priests 
& bishops whose signatures are collected there.
Joseph, Peter, Father Pinto, and Zachary at the close of the mission at St. Mary's.

We had the awesome opportunity to attend a 4-day mission held at St. Mary's in Anacortes, led by Father Pinto.  Father Pinto's talks were so inspiring, covering topics such as: prayer, discipleship, healing and       discernment.

Each day began with Mass at 9AM, followed by a short break (with snacks and sweets) before the talk.
Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and confession followed each day's session.

Our family benefited greatly from attending this mission together, such a gift to take time away from the world and get grounded spiritually.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Testing, Testing, 123

Today Zachary took his knowledge test at the DOL: 
Step 1 toward achieving a driver's license!
He passed!
He spent his time waiting to take the test studying...Greek!

After passing the knowledge test, he took a ticket to get in line again.
The wait ended, and he set an appointment to take his driving test... on his 16th birthday!
The countdown is truly on now...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Scout is Brave

Zachary announces his Eagle Project Fundraiser at church.

Zac counts the money...

Zachary's Eagle Project fundraiser is in full swing.
He made announcements at 6 Masses, and
Joseph made the announcement for Zachary when two Masses overlapped.
Joseph, Peter, and a bunch of helpful Scouts collected donations & sold movie night tickets after all the Masses for two weekends.
Of note:
Zachary gave the announcement in Spanish!
He's never spoken Spanish, but his Latin studies helped him.  Our friend, Wyatt, provided the translation of the announcement for Zachary to read at the Hispanic Mass.
These are brave young men, speaking for crowds, collecting for the cause.

On another note:
I invite you to join me as I pray a Novena In Honor Of 

Saint John Marie Vianney, which starts today and ends on the Feast of Saint John Vianney, August 4th, which is Zachary's 16th birthday!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Flashback Friday

Looking back at April 2007...
Zac, Joseph and Peter served as color guard at a district Friends of Scouting event.

On a pack conservation project at Whatcom Falls Park, we had a surprise visit by Uncle Peter (Zac & Joseph's Godfather), who was in town for business that day.

Joseph, Peter, Henry, Kaleb and Zachary on top of Galbraith with Bellingham Bay in the background.

Now flashing WAY back to 1303-1373... 
St. Bridget of Sweden,
whom we remember on this day, pray for us!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

NERF WARS, Of Course!

The foam, and the cutting implement...

The table saw that broke...
Duct tape
The project:
Shields for Nerf Wars... nearly complete.
Planning another trip to the hardware store for straps and more paint...

Good guess, Molly (skateboard/bike ramp)! 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Crab King

Tim taught our friends how to prepare fresh crab for dinner...
with lots of help!
Joseph (white) and Jonah got in on the gutting & cleaning action.

Gabriel (pointing) and Joseph thought the cooking crab resembled monster hands. 
It was delicious... especially with melted butter!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
We celebrated by attending daily Mass together as a family and witnessing many new investments into the brown scapular.  Father Pinto was visiting, and concelebrated Mass.  He gave a great homily about the power of the rosary, and on the need for mercy.  
Inspiring, very inspiring!

Anyone can wear the brown scapular; being enrolled in the 
Confraternity of the Scapular is for baptized Catholics.  
Enrolling in the Confraternity of the Scapular encourages us to live 
as authentic Christians in line with the 
teaching of the Gospel, 
to receive the sacraments, 
to profess our special devotion to the Blessed Virgin, 
    which should be expressed each day, 
    at least by saying the Hail Mary.

    Q. Why do we wear the Scapular?
    A. "The Brown Scapular identifies us, like a habit identifies 
    a religious, or a uniform identifies a 
    person. The Scapular represents a life of prayer."
                                  - Fr. John Corapi.
    The Scapular also represents the sweet yoke of Jesus Christ 
    which Mary helps us to bear.
    The Brown Scapular is not:
    a magical charm to protect you
    an automatic guarantee of salvation
    an excuse for not living up to the demands 
    of the Christian life
    It is a sign which stands for the decision to:
    -follow Jesus like Mary
    -be open to God and to His Will
    -be guided by faith, hope and love
    -to pray at all times
    -to discover God's presence in all that
     happens around us

Father gives a short homily about the scapular.

Father invests Tim with the scapular.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Joys of Camp

Peter's joy at camp is evident in his whole being...
Hanging out with friends (like Nolan)...
Camo arts & crafts...
Waterfront activities...
Providing for the family...
Taking aim...
Living the life of luxury... with the bugs!
Eating the amazing camp food (seen being served by our friend, Ezra and his boss, Patrick)...

Climbing around the bouldering wall...
It's ALL good!  We love Scout Camp!

Except, perhaps, the lack of sleep or the number of bug bites.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Tonight Joseph completed his Scoutmaster Conference and Board of Review to earn his Star rank!
He completed several of the required Eagle Merit Badges at summer camp, including Camping, Citizenship in the World and Swimming  (& he completed First Aid and Communications prior to camp).
According to Joseph, his Scoutmaster conference was "kinda long, but it wasn't too hard."
"I had a hard time trying to figure out when I had been loyal, because 
I hadn't really thought about it for a while."  
"The hardest part of my Board of Review was, well, let's see.... probably while I was waiting to see what they had decided about if I earned the rank or now, I had to watch David eating a Popsicle."
(The troop had Popsicles to celebrate Judah's 13th birthday today!)

"I'm a Star!"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer Camp Finale

Joseph's home away from home at Camp Easton
Tim (Scoutmaster) with the troop on the dock at Camp Easton
This was probably taken by mistake, as the camera settings are sometimes bumped by accident... but I love the yawn!  Must have been morning flags before heading to breakfast.
The gear has been unloaded, showers have been had, unpacking can wait!
Welcome home boys!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Flashback Friday

Tim and Bridget
July 14, 1994

This was taken about 3 weeks before Zachary was born!
One of my very favorite pregnancy photos.  
Thanks, Mom, for taking it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

And then there was one

An update on the pigeon births:
There is one remaining baby pigeon.
This is a look from behind, he was facing away from the lens.
Looks like the other baby pigeon was... well... perhaps eaten?
We'll keep looking in on this one to watch his development.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Quo Vadis '10

Many thanks to Father Qui Thac for these photos from the 2010 Quo Vadis retreat.
“Quo Vadis” is the Latin phrase for “Where are you going?” 
Quo Vadis Days is a 3-day camp for young Catholic men to learn more about the priesthood, to deepen their faith, and to better discern God’s call in their lives.
What a blessing to be able to see Zachary (in cassock and surplice), 
as a candle bearer in the solemn Eucharistic procession.
This is Zachary's 3rd year attending this discernment retreat, which is always a highlight of his entire year.
What could be more fun than spending 4 days with over 200 young men 
who are open to and discerning a vocation to the priesthood, and who are seeking to 
deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ?
The retreat is generously sponsored (and the participants are fed) by the Serra Clubs the Knights of Columbus, and private donors, so anyone can go, regardless of financial situations.  
This year's theme: Zeal for God and Zeal for Souls certainly shined through 
in the many photos and stories from the retreat.  

I will never forget Zac's answer when I asked him what his favorite part of the Quo Vadis experience was after his first year attending (at age 13):
"The silent time for reflection."
How long was it?
"About 2 hours one day, and about an hour and a half the next."

Our heartfelt gratitude to the many priests, our bishops, and our seminarians who led and participated in the retreat; celebrated the Masses and heard confessions.  
Thank you for your leadership, your devotion, and your example of holiness.

"There are not one hundred people in this world who dislike Catholicism, but there are millions who dislike what they mistakenly believe Catholicism to be." - Archbishop Fulton Sheen+

"If we really understood the Mass, we would die of joy." -St. John Vianney+

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A boy, a blowtorch, and an audience

With both of his older brothers away at Boy Scout Camp, Peter had his first opportunity to be the lead pyrotechnician on the 4th of July (otherwise known as Violet's birthday)!
His Uncle Craig outfitted him with a blowtorch and a bag of explosives for the affair.
Who needs matches, a simple lighter or punk when you can go straight for the blowtorch?
In the audience, Sawyer liked the looks of the fireworks display, but not the noise.
His favorite place from which to watch was right inside the front door, out the little window.
From there he told me, "When I'm five I won't be scared."
Later he said, "When I'm big like Peter I will like fireworks." (Or something to that effect.)
He also told us that when he was older and lighting fireworks, 
Peter would be watching him from the window!

Somehow I think Peter's going to be remain a fixture in the center of the explosive action.
I did suggest eye protection, for the record.
Next time I'll make sure he's prepared with a safety kit. (Remind me!)

Poor little penguin!