Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Sweet Baby Patch

I realized that I probably should post about Patch's junior-year activities before I begin thinking about his senior year.  As an added benefit, reliving his junior allows me to pretend I have more time before he heads to college!  So, this is the story of Patch's junior year.

Traditional back to school photo.  For the first time, it's only Patch in the picture.
Spirit Week and Homecoming
Patrick was Quail Man for charater day and Lord knows what for decade day!  We had some of his friends over for dinner before the dance.  We are blessed that our kids have such great friends.

In December, Patrick got his junior ring.  It was a wonderful celebration and they all had a great time at the dance!


In February, Patrick was inducted into Tri-M, the National Music Honor Society.  All three of the kids are members of this honor society.

Patrick's junior year ended with their annual band trip.  See this for that story!

Life Happens

Life moves really fast. Just a short time ago Ryan finished her freshman year in college and was home for the summer; well, at least for a couple of days before her side trip to Greece.  While she was gone, Meghan finished her junior year in college and came home for the summer.  Shortly after, Patrick finished his junior year in high school.  Ryan came home from Greece and all five of us were finally together again.  Together and ready for a stress-free, relaxing summer; anxious for time to regroup as a family.

And, then life happened.  The kids had jobs, friends to visit, trips planned, a college search, concerts to attend, family to hang out with, and all with one car to share.  In a desparate attempt to keep track of their different work schedules and social calendars, and coordinate that within our schedules, I learned to parent via text message and bbm.  It worked.  They worked it out.  They made it to work and fun.  And, in the midst of the chaos, there was plenty of laughter, some tears, and tons of love. 

And, then, I woke up one day last week and realized it's over.  Time to book flights to Miami.  Time to plan a return to trip to Charleston.  Time to schedule Patrick's senior pictures and buy his books for senior year. Time to make sure his uniforms are in good shape (Lord knows I don't want to buy any of that for one year). 

Life is happening.  Our summer craziness has evolved into a chaotic frenzy of back-to-school activity.  The kids are stressed.  I'm stressed.  Life is happening.

And, deep down, I know the magic is in the journey.  So, I will stop, take a deep breath, and force myself to focus on the laughter and the love.  And, if that doesn't work, while the girls are gone, I have these to remind me how truly blessed I am!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Opportunities and Experiences

I will forwarn you ... there are a ton of pictures in this post.  Brian and Patrick are safely home from their mission trip to Gallup, New Mexico.  They helped some folks who needed it, bonded with people they might otherwise never have known, experienced different cultures, got a little spiritual enrichment, and came home changed for the better.  Enjoy the pictures.  And, thanks Dave, for being a better photographer!

The Great Southwest

Brian and Patrick outside of the mission where they stayed

The Catholic High School where they worked tiling the floors (see below), updating bathrooms, and setting up computers.

The Navajo reservation where they served food and helped the needy with the Sisters of Mercy, Mother Theresa's order.

Contemplating life ... love this shot!

These two pictures (above) are from a side trip to Red Rocks.

The Grand Canyon.  The Colorado River (above) seems small in this picture.  Below are some kids enjoying the view and I am sure making some of the adults a little nervous with how close they were to the edge.

Sweet Baby Patch!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Brian and Patrick spent Sunday at the Grand Canyon.  After several days of mission work, they were ready for a break.  This is the photo Brian sent at the end of their day.  Amazing. 

Brian said this trip has been so powerful for him, more so than the mission trips to Mississippi the last two summers.  The damage from Katrina was every where.  It was clear what work needed to be done and there was a sense of accomplishment at the end of every day. 

In New Mexico, their work focuses on meeting the needs of the poor and the elderly.  The needs are equally as great, just subtle. 

Whether they are hanging drywall in Mississippi or setting up classrooms for a new school on an indian reservation, they have made a difference in the lives of those in need.  Pretty powerful experiences.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Away they go ...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 4:45 a.m. 

Me:  "What the ..."

Brian:  In a sweet, I want something voice.  "Here's some coffee.  I know it's early but we've really go to get moving."

Me:  "okay.  Okay.  OKAY."

Brian is off to get Patrick up and I'm downing the coffee like I'm in college again.

Patrick stumbles into the bathroom grunting responses to Brian's incessant questions.

Me:  "He's got everything.  I stayed up helping him finish his packing last night."

Brian:  Clearly iritated at my iritiation at his incessant questions.  "I am just checking.  I don't want him to forget anything."

Okay, time to regroup.   Check my iritability.  Forget that's its entirely too early in the morning after entirely too little sleep. Remember why were up and having these conversations.

Brian and Patrick and about 30 other people from our church left for Gallup, New Mexico for a week of service activities on an Indian Reservation and with the Little Sisters of the Poor.  As part of this trip, they will have mass at the Grand Canyon!

I am so excited for all the opportunities awaiting them.  Here's the safe arrival pic of Patch and his friend Rob.