Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ashley's birthday pics and hey, only a month late!

{Are you sure it's ok to order off that kids menu there?? We went to The Oasis to celebrate Ashley's birthday.}
{Paige burns a few calories before having a piece of cake}
{The wind proved to be so much of a challenge that...}
{...Ashley pretended to blow out the candles.}{Jamie and Miss Anya}{yes, I *did* enjoy a piece of yummy cake - I took one for the team since Neil didn't have any - he had just started p90x}

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

I thought I'd better sneak in a post before the day is over and share this nice picture Neil took of us on the swing.

I hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day.

Additionally, if you'd like to see the award I won for MOTHER OF THE YEAR, click away!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Happy First Holy Communion, Jonathan!

In our Church, First Holy Communion is an amazing event, a coming of age if you will. It's more than some milestone that you may or may not remember in years to come. As we progress in our Faith, we get to experience going to our Lord's table each Sunday, and as often as daily if we choose.

Let me just take a few moments to really share why we love our Faith. When children enter the age of reason (typically at age seven), they start studying about both Reconciliation and receiving Communion thereafter.

Let's look at it from a secular point of view for a minute. Most people think that it is a moment that the child is able to make that decision for themselves. I think of it as far more important than just that. Why? Because as parents we are called to make decisions in the best interest of our children. This explains the need (in part) for infant baptism. We wouldn't put our kids on a bike and expect them to know how to ride it without some kind of parental involvement.

The same logic follows when we decide we want to run a marathon. We don't just wake up and run a marathon - especially if you are out of practice or out of shape. There is a certain amount of logical and reasonable steps you must take in order to make crossing that goal line a success. Train hard, persistence, eating right. These are all healthy and necessary steps to eventually getting that medal of accomplishment for running 26.2 miles, right?

The same goes with the sacrament of Holy Communion. The communicants must first be properly educated in what exactly it means. We should never expect to receive Holy Communion unworthily - as St. Paul admonishes those who do in 1 Corinthians. So, before Holy Communion can occur, the children must prepare for and learn the steps to making a good First Reconciliation (or confession). A good examination of conscience is necessary using the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes as ways to check our behavior against God's laws. Breaking commandments isn't simply breaking a rule for Catholics (and I heavily suspect our non-Catholic Christian brethren feel the same way), it is breaking us away from God - who is all good.

A really great priest (Fr. Jerome Fasano) explained in simple terms - my favorite kind with my simple brain - that you wouldn't wait until you were filthy dirty to wash your hands or bathe. Going to confession is like washing your soul. Going frequently will help keep you on the straight and narrow. Absolution is something every soul craves - just ask the convict in jail who couldn't keep his involvement in that murder from his cell mate. We crave making ourselves right with God, our fellow brothers (and sisters) and of course ourselves. And a priest is the only person who is bound not to share your sins with anyone else. Pretty cool, huh?

So, let me share a few pictures from Jonathan's First Holy Communion. It was such a cool day, Father Joel was in such a great mood, his homily rocked - as always - and the lunch at Mesa Rosa was awesome too.

{on our way out the door}

{because it was the non-celebratory mass, there were only three Communicants there and they got to bring up the gifts which is a big treat for kids}
{Father Joel dispensing Communion to Jonathan}

{Father Joel with Jonathan after mass - Jonathan was stoked when they announced Father Joel would be the celebrant and we were even more excited when he gave the homily and a special speech to the young boys about receiving the Eucharist. He said it was worth more than all the gold in the world.}

{My friend, Cindi, was kind enough to snap this shot of us together. Looks good to me!}