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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Stubborn For the Win

When your school is small and it feels like – for a variety of reasons – the deck is consistently stacked against you – the temptation could be to throw in the towel and give up.  But, make no mistake when you overcome the odds – especially when it’s your 8th grade year – and win……It.Is.Sweet.

Basketball runner-up

In fifth grade they came so close – only to be denied the Big Win.

Their sixth and seventh grade years were hopeful seasons with disappointing eliminations in the play-offs.

 

Early on the boys decided eighth grade was going to be their year.  Working hard, they overcame the odds and prevailed. Stubborn? Persistent? Or, just highly motivated?  Probably a combination of all three. Whatever it was – these guys not only took the basketball championship but, made history for our little parochial school (named for St. Paul) and brought home the 1st place trophy for baseball too.

Basketball semi

Going to the Championship!

The semi-finals was a game against the #1 team.  Excited about their chances our fans packed the stands and cheered loudly.  It was close but with 1-second left before the buzzer #31, Eli, did a Hail Mary for a 3-pointer, made the shot and won the game.

The championship game brought even more St. Paul fans and another close score.  But, in the end, the Packers prevailed and took home the trophy.  It was one of the best nights of their young lives.

Basketball champsThey Won! They Won!

Basketball champs8th grade Dallas Parochial League 2016 Champions

Basketball champsBen with the basketball trophy and his medal

Basketball champsHappy Moms – we were loud and proud

Several of the boys also played baseball and, wanting to make the most of their last season as St. Paul Packers, formed a team. With the basketball season complete they set their eyes on the baseball prize.

Baseball champsAn undefeated season took them to the last game of both the year and middle-school.

Baseball champs

8th grade Dallas Parochial League 2016 Baseball Champs

Baseball champs

Ben with the baseball trophy and his medal

Baseball champsWearing our matching Packer Pride shirts we happily posed with our sons medals

 Two championships in one year – these young men made all of us – parents, coaches, friends, teachers and administrators – super duper proud. No question it was a pretty exciting spring semester.

A Whole Lotta Sauce

Spaghetti sauce, that is.

Nov 19 sauce

When you’re hosting lunch for a crowd you need to have a lot of whatever you are serving.  For Saturday’s feast I chose spaghetti and today I made this huge pan of sauce.

Yum.

I won’t have time to make it on Saturday so I’ve stayed ahead of the game by getting it ready early.  My house smelled delicious as the ingredients came together and it simmered on the cooktop.

Why am I hosting a big crowd for Saturday lunch?  To celebrate Ben’s Confirmation and Gianna’s 3rd birthday.

Three years ago today my beautiful granddaughter arrived and she has been keeping us on our toes ever since.  My daughter said it best on Instagram when she stated, “She brings laughter, joy and many moments to practice holiness everyday!”

That’s my girl and I sure do love her. 🙂

Ben is being confirmed on Saturday.  He is growing up so fast and he has grown into a wonderful and handsome young man.  I am so proud of him.

Nov 14 Ben

It’s going to be a great big celebratory, happy, family weekend.

I love these moments.

Romans 12:10

Love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor.