|Joseph competes in the individual medley relay at the district finals meet|
1In an all out effort, Joseph nearly earned himself a spot on the state swim team at the culmination of his first year competing in the varsity sport. About one second distanced him from the opportunity to join his teammates at the state meet this weekend and defend his team's (four-year-running) state championship title in Washington AA swim and dive. As a small consolation, Joseph and Tim will travel to the state meet and volunteer as timers for the finals, so Joseph will be on site to witness the excitement. Though he would much rather be in the pool than on the deck, his final swims at the district meet were personal bests with a 1.11 breast 2.24 IM, and his team won the district title (again).
|Peter sports his new Star Rank patch|
2Peter earned his Star Rank this week, after successfully completing all the requirements, which include a Scoutmaster conference and a board of review. His next goal: Life Rank. Peter's new leadership position, Troop Guide, will give him an opportunity to mentor the incoming Boy Scouts this spring and summer. We lift up our prayers for the national leaders of the Boy Scouts of America, at this time when the organization faces a serious well-funded and skillfully launched attack as outside forces attempt to force their Pagan agenda upon it.
|A photo texted home by Zachary from his retreat|
3Zachary's second semester at Notre Dame well under way, he fled campus last weekend with a bus full of dorm-mates and a few clerics for a short retreat on the shores of a frozen Michigan lake. Talks, confession, Mass, and hours to explore the snowy wilderness gave this Knott Hall retreat its appeal. We received several messages with photos (a dream come true!) and brief texts relating the successful tracking of various wild animals to their dens and moon lit explorations of the countryside. Other funny text messages from Zac this week include:
- "I've spent probably over an hour explaining to people that I'm not afraid of bears."
- In response to my apology for 'dropping the news so suddenly' that an elderly parishioner died: "Is there a less sudden method? She half died... three quarters...okay she died. Thanks for the update."
- In response to my texted request to 'take pictures' after the elated students and fans stormed the floor following the recently televised 4OT win by the Notre Dame basketball team: "Of my TV? I didn't manage to get a ticket." I thought he was watching from the stands, not from his room.
- "Speechless" first thing in the morning on February 11th, alerting us to Pope Benedict's abdication.
- "I suddenly have realized why eating fish can be a penance."
|Raw expansion opportunity|
4Tim acquired a new location our next pawn shop, this one in a neighboring town about thirty minutes south. He will soon be outfitting, staffing and operating our fourth business, and the commute may require him to upgrade from the 1995 Toyota 4Runner he's driven the past decade and a half. His staff recently expressed regret at the new vehicle possibility, since the roaring engine gives away his impending arrival by about two blocks, giving them plenty of time to get back to work and look busy before he bursts through the door. No imminent plans for a stealth-mobile, but there's only so many miles his 4Runner can handle before it's mechanisms give up (car talk).
|Father Josh on high before Sister first vows|
5The most unexpected sight at St. Joseph's Passionist Monastery in Kentucky had to be the young priest perched atop a 15 foot ladder just inside the chapel entrance. Father Josh was pre-positioning a birds eye view camera soon-to-be stealthily operated during the Mass of Religious Profession for my friend, Sister Cecilia Maria. I met Father Josh in the receiving line in the nuns' parlor after Mass, and learned that he operates Lolek Productions, and is a missionary in evangelizing our culture and sharing the Gospel through the media. His team's efforts yielded a high quality vocation promotion video for the Passionist Nuns. Check it out!
|Peter, Father Joseph, and Joseph at Benediction|
Our Lenten prayers are joined with the worldwide Church for Pope Benedict XVI in these final weeks of his pontificate, and for his successor.
|'Luke' looks up to Peter in goal|
Our delightful former foster twins routinely beg to come and visit us, according to their mom. We schedule visits as often as we can, and love hearing their new words and funny expressions. She still begs for food, he's still ambivalent towards meals; he loves to zoom around the house on the plasma car and she prefers to be next to someone. They are in the potty training process, so they come with pull ups rather than diapers these days. Two two and a halfs guarantee entertaining visits, but the fact that these two ask to go to Church whenever we're riding in the car together gives me something even greater to smile about.
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