Graduations and Good Times

 

To say our life has been a whirlwind of activity the last several weeks is an understatement.  I’ve long said that May is the new December between sacraments, graduations and end-of-school-year events.  This May was no different as we celebrated two separate sacraments – First Eucharist for our granddaughter and Holy Orders for two fellow parishioners/friends, a college graduation for our niece and a high school graduation for our son, Patrick.  Throw in several end-of-school/senior concerts and meals and our calendar was pretty packed.

Each event brought together family, friends, lots of food and many toasts for the happy occasions.

So many good times!

My biggest highlight was the high school graduation  of our son, Patrick.  Just like every other parent I know I am very proud of all that he accomplished and the bright future he has ahead of him.

The Graduate

The Graduate with family

His whole senior year brought ample time for reflection and a big ole’ mixed bag of emotions but, now that it’s officially ‘done’ I need to stop for just a moment and take-it-all-in.  After all, the older I get the truer it seems to be that life happens in the blink of an eye.  It feels like yesterday that I was despairing over getting him potty trained and then all of a sudden he was finished with classes and final exams.

But, for something that seemed to pass so quickly we accomplished an awful lot of living.  There were vacations both near and far, girlfriends and breakups, new friends and old friends, births, deaths, emotional distress, torn ligaments, band, sports and driving to name a very few.  Goodness….so much of life experienced and, yet, I also know he has only touched the tip of the iceberg.

As he leaves behind the high school life and prepares to step into the world of college – and all it brings – I will pray he continues to make good choices while  choosing to love and respect all those he meets along the way.    I will also pray that God will protect him in his stupidity because it wouldn’t be a complete life without mistakes, blunders and his share of what-was-I-thinking choices.  And, when those harder life-times happen, I hope he remembers that failure is most often just a step to better.  Finding the courage to face the difficulty and move forward – with whatever the circumstance is – makes the better that much sweeter.

However, if he forgets and begins to despair in the hard times – I trust he will remember that I am always just a phone call and/or text away.

Graduations and sacraments, family and friends – so many really good things to be thankful for.

Romans 12:9-12

Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.

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Meandering with Lucy

Maybe it is the time change, but my 14-year-old Westie, Lucy, woke up this afternoon and was feeling feisty.  Lucy, who is mostly deaf and partly blind and spends most of her days sleeping wanted to play so – taking advantage of a pretty afternoon and the extended daylight – we went for a walk.

Cool temperatures, budding trees, blooming grape hyacinths, and one of those amazing sunsets turned a quick walk into an opportunity to meander.

These moments are always good.  And appreciated.

Easter Joy

**The Strife is O’er

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The strife is o’er the battle done; now is the Victor’s triumph won; Now be the song of praise begun: Alleluia!

Death’s mightiest pow’rs have done their worst, and Jesus has his foes dispersed; Let shouts of praise and triumph tell: Alleluia!

He closed the yawning gates of hell; the bars from heav’n’s high portals fell; Let hymns of praise his triumph tell: Alleluia!

On the third morn he rose again, glorious in majesty to reign; O let us swell the joyful strain: Alleluia!

Feeling discouraged on Friday our hope is given new life when he overcomes death and the temple is raised on Sunday.  We thought he was destroyed but he conquers and triumphs.  Hope prevails!!

All Glory and Honor and Praise be to our KING!

HE IS RISEN!

ALLELUIA!!

Psalm 30: 5-6, 12-13

Sing praise to the LORD, you faithful;
give thanks to his holy memory.

For his anger lasts but a moment;
his favor a lifetime.
At dusk weeping comes for the night;
but at dawn there is rejoicing.

You changed my mourning into dancing;
you took off my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness.c

So that my glory may praise you
and not be silent.
O LORD, my God,
forever will I give you thanks.

*The Strife is O’er – Text by Francis Pott. Tune : VICTORY

WPC – It IS Easy Being Green When It’s Springtime in Texas

An ordinary Sunday afternoon spent enjoying my boys, my dogs and lots of sunshine. (The Hubster was out of town)

Luxurious Green-ness is abundant during springtime in this great state of Texas!

 

 

Countless Bluebonnets

Summer is around the corner and the countless bluebonnets of 2016 are past their peak.  Always a beautiful sight to see here is one more look before barbecues, beach parties and bug catching ( that is, lightning bugs) sets in.

Ennis, Tx Bluebonnets

See you next year Spring.  Hello Summer!

Eighth Gradeitis

Senioritis: that time of year when seniors in high school or college are so close to finishing but aren’t there quite yet. When time slows to a crawl, and it seems like graduation day will never arrive.

Eighth Gradeitis: Senioritis for 8th graders.

The next generation of 9th-12th graders are finishing their middle school years and are on the cusp of that great big new exciting world called high school.

My own 8th grader, Ben, said to me a couple of weeks ago, “I am soooo ready to be in high school.”

“I know you are – but you still have to get through these next few weeks of school.”

Saying that also prompted me to remind him to slow down and live in the moment.  Don’t forget about today because you’re so focused on starting high school.

After all – as an 8th grader he is doing many things for the last time.  Like the sports in which he participates.  High school will be much more competitive, and chances are he won’t be able to play volleyball, basketball, soccer AND baseball.

Also, for now, he and his classmates are the BIG kids on campus.  Next year….it’s back to the bottom of the heap.

I told him, “Be excited about your future but don’t live just for tomorrow.  Enjoy today and relish all the things you have going on right now.”

Isn’t that a good lesson/reminder for all of us?

The 8th grade class of 2016 – blink and it will be 2020.  Just like that they’ll be graduating high school.

May 6 8th grade class
copyright and photo credit to Don Chamblee Photography

Reminder to self – enjoy this remarkable young man now.  The next four years will go by way faster than I think they will.

Joshua 29:11 For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.

 

Solitude In The Middle Of Town

A beautiful and perfect spring day resulted in a 3 mile walk around town. And, even though Allen, Texas is a busy place there was no shortage of solitude found.

This dove looked a little lonely.

Dove

The turtle was having a little mid-morning adventure.

Turtle

And a duck found a water-filled ditch to have a little swim.

Duck

You would never guess the amount of traffic surrounding this little oasis of abandoned tracks.

Railroad Tracks Railroad tracks 1 Railroad sign

The tracks provided a treasure of wild blackberries.

Blackberries Wild Blackberries

And, that resulted in this delicious blackberry cobbler for dessert.

Blackberry Cobbler

I love my little town.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/solitude/

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Outdoor Seating

According to my TimeHop from six years ago the North Texas area received a lot of snow.  The ‘dusting’ our weather guru’s had forecasted overnight turned into a crazy 8 1/2  inches by the time we woke up.

Generally speaking, we do not get a lot of snow in this area.  Ice, yes.  Snow – not so much.  To say we were surprised would probably be  bit of an understatement.  Particularly, since just 3 days earlier we had been dining on the patio.

For this post I give you then and now views of outdoor seating on my patio.

Patio Dining Mar 2010March 18 – enjoying family time gathered around the patio table.

3 days later everything was covered in snow.  This year, though, winter skipped us completely.  Spring is definitely in full force.

The Bistro Table: snowy in 2010 but, today, just waiting to be enjoyed.

 

A Spring Sunday

Sunday morning brought blue skies, warm temperatures and a sprinkling of clouds.  It was a beautiful contrast to the week  just finished, which had been dreary, gray, cloudy and rainy.

Having enjoyed Mass followed by lunch with friends, the weather was too pretty to stay inside.  So, with hubby out of town and, looking to spend some time with my boys, I coaxed my teenagers into putting on their shoes – and putting down the game controllers – to go for a walk.

After loading dogs, baseball gloves and the camera into the car we headed off to explore a newly completed walking/biking trail in our town.

A relaxing, laid-back time was had by all as we wandered, played, explored and enjoyed each others company.  The mild temperatures and rain ‘greened’ everything up – seemingly overnight – and the natural beauty we experienced was fresh and new.  Flowers and trees in various stages of blooming along with green, green and more green everywhere we looked.

I managed to snap a few good pictures; capturing moments on this journey called The Teenage Years.  At 14 and 16, my boys, in the blink of an eye, will be heading off to begin the next chapters of their lives and  I’m grateful for these moments of togetherness.

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