Wednesday, May 30, 2012

First First Communion

Gracie has celebrated her First Communion.  It was two Sundays ago, May 20th.  Mom and Carolyn ventured over (at a ridiculous hour in the morning!) from Dallas to be at mass at St. Ann's at 8am.  Since this is the mass we usually attend, it was nice to be able to have Gracie make her First communion at that time.  And we're so lucky that Gracie's godmother (Mom) and Aunt (Carolyn) were willing to get up so early!

Here's a picture of the young lady in all her finery just before mass:

Mom was a big help in finding the right dress for her (although we didn't know we had found it the first time she tried it on - I ordered it later, at a savings of half the price!) and bravely making her veil (per Gracie's specifications!

Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for the money and note - Gracie was excited to buy a purse and a special prayer book (it has a space to record all of her sacrament information & has all of the traditional prayers and order of the mass, with the new wording).

At our church they celebrate First Holy Communion at all of the masses during May, and you get to pick your date.  Gracie picked well - she was the only one at this Sunday mass!  I'm sure that might have made some kids nervous, but not Gracie.  I think she actually loved having the front pew all to herself (free of pestering siblings, right?) and we were all right behind her.
The really nerve-wracking moment for me came at the beginning of the consecration.  JM leaned over and said "Potty!:"  And you know there is no time for delay, especially with a four-year old!  So out we went, and while I was worried for a few minutes that we might miss the big event, we were back in plenty of time.

Father Mel did a great job making it a special day - Gracie got to receive the Body and Blood by herself, before anyone else in the congregation came forward.  First the Body of Christ from Father Mel and then the Blood of Christ from Mr. Scot, the director of religious ed.  Mr. Scot did a great job practicing with the kids, and it was really nice that he served at all of the masses (3 every weekend) throughout May to help make the kids more comfortable. 

Now when I was a kid, pictures were a big no-no in church, but I guess times are a-changin'.  Father Mel took the time to make sure we were ready to take pictures.  I thought I was, but clearly, I'm not the best photographer!  It's really nice to have the photos though and I am glad we could take them.

At the end of mass, Father Mel called Gracie up for a certificate and then to have her help bless the items we brought to be blessed.  Oh ... ooops - we forgot about that & hadn't actually opened any of her gifts that could have been blessed.  Well, her prayer book got blessed and Father said it was a "full-service" blessing and would be good for any items that we had at home as well.  He also got her to commit to being an altar server (which she is excited about).  And then she walked out at the end of mass with Father Mel

After mass, Mom, Carolyn, Mike's Aunt Cathy and his cousin Anne were all able to come back to our house and we had a big brunch.  And then lots of nice gifts from so many people (a First Communion banner made by Aunt Carolyn, a necklace from Jerusalem from Uncle Scott, a St. Grace medal from Mike's cousin Janice, just to name a few).  It was a great celebration of such an important day for Gracie.

And it seems like it was just a short while ago that we were celebrating her baptism...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Muppet Show

So what a great show for fun family (or otherwise) entertainment.  I picked up a part of a season's discs at the library today, thinking Gracie might like it. 

Well, after a late meeting after school today (no one is in trouble, just capital campaign stuff), the kids were wiped out and I knew we need something calming before bedtime.  Mike was at his first weeknight bike ride of the summer, so I was on my own and decided to take the easy route.

We fancy it up at our house and call it "dinner theatre"  (check out that spelling - fancy, too, right?). 

So we got to eat our chicken and rice with a side of the Muppet Show.  It was the episode with Harry Belafonte (just in case any of you are a big fan or have super memories -- ahem, sisters!) and it was fun for all of us to watch.  I was worried JM might not like much of it.  But I didn't need to worry - lots of laughs, especially at the scene where Harry and Animal are having a drumming competition.  Everytime Animal gave his "Arrrrr"  JM was full of laughter. 

Gracie got more of the subtle humor, while Clara enjoyed the jazz scene where the saxophonist had a bee buzzing around that kept getting stuck in the saxophone. 

Anyhow, there were only sad faces when I told them only one episode a night.  They are looking forward to another "dinner theatre" tomorrow night.  (Friday night is when we usually allow these treats.)

And just because I love my family so much, here's a picture after the girls' school musical (which was excellent - a musical tribute to the Armed Forces at the beginning and then American history).