Saturday, December 17, 2011

Hope In Advent

Joseph, Peter, Father Santan Pinto, and Zachary; St. Mary Catholic Church, Anacortes, WA 
July 2010

Our family was blessed to sit at the feet of Father Santan Pinto+, SOLT, when we attended his mission week in the summer of 2010 at St. Mary's in Anacortes.  We were shocked to learn that Father Pinto died suddenly this week in a car accident in  India.  His beautiful Christmas message, distributed before he departed the US for India, inspires the faithful to grow in humility, poverty and silence.  Father Pinto has entered eternity, may he rest in peace with our Lord and our Blessed Mother, whom he loved dearly, followed closely, and served faithfully.

Andi, Hope and Bridget on the steps of Sacred Heart Catholic Church
 #1 early Christmas present: Our Goddaughter HOPE came back to Bellingham from her new home in San Diego for a visit.  We attended Mass together, and Hope and her daddy, Tim (aka Dr. Dude), brought up the gifts.  Our time together included eating satsumas and playing with the twins, as well as lots of wrestling, chasing and laughing.  Hope has an awesome sense of humor, and loves to say, "Just joking!" after answering simple questions with puzzling replies.

No, Zac's not pulling his hair out, but he's sure feeling the weight of his Eagle Project these days.  Scattered work parties accumulating hundreds of volunteer hours have occurred, and the carport is still on paper.  The good news is that Zac still has over six months before his eighteenth birthday, and his Eagle Project should be completed before he's ineligible for Eagle Rank.  The great news is Zac has help from some outstanding men (including his dad/my dear husband) who give generously of their free time to assist with the difficult construction tasks.  The resident priests and parish staff have shown Zac their support, encouragement and been very patient as the project winds its way toward completion.  
Zachary, Joseph and Peter at Mt. Baker Ski Area
With only one disastrous catapult down the face of the mountain, today's ski trip for the boys and Tim could be counted as a great success....except for the rain.  ARGH.  When it rains at the daily rate, that's one thing, but when the rain falls on weekend prices, now that's a crying shame!  They didn't let the heavy snow slow them down, and their enthusiasm for the sport carried them on from opening 'til closing.  Due to high school swimming season conflicting with ski season these past few years, the chances to ski with Zachary mid-week simply don't exist; the extra cost of skiing on a Saturday is well worth it to have Zac along.  Now if only Zac would learn to drive the 4Runner, Tim could enjoy a nice nap on the ride down the mountain!
Two victories down, and a dozen or so to go for Zac's high school swim team.  His role as captain involves leading cheers before, during and after the meets, and it's not as easy as it might seem sometimes.  How loud should your team cheer if you are destroying the other team in every heat?  A few of his teammates have already qualified for the state meet.  They will face some tough challenges ahead, and the hard work at practice (and the cheering and team spirit) will pay off.  Most of them (including Captain Zac) are traveling to California for a week of training and a little sight-seeing over Christmas Break.  Spending New Year's Eve at Disneyland ought to boost team spirit, though the red-eye flight home the following day won't be a real crowd-pleaser.

If there's one thing Ezra's not, it's a cheer-leader.   Despite the fact that leading and encouraging cheering at the meets is part of Ezra's job description as the dive team captain, he just can't bring himself to let out one little hoot or hollar.  For those who know Ezra, this goes without saying, and the thought of Ezra letting loose with loud, emotional outbursts in the presence of *gasp* adults and strangers is absurd.  His diving has improved significantly over the past two seasons, and he scored a PR of 144 points at the home dual meet this week.

What to do when you find yourself near a pool with a few minutes to spare and no bathing suit....

Happy Birthdays this weekend to my dear friends, Nicole of the sun and Renee of the woods!  You are both treasures and incredible role models as mothers, wives and Christian witnesses.  You co-create pretty amazing kids, too.  May God bless you both!

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