In an effort to get caught up, here’s the link to a few of our Fall Break photos. We had a wonderful time at Disney World and also during our visit with Erin, Matt and Hunter in Alabama. I’ll find time to narrate all these pictures later, but I know I’ve been a horrible blogger lately!
Several weeks ago, we held our Secular Franciscan meeting at Patoka Lake on one of the member’s houseboats. It’s one the things we look forward each summer. I didn’t take any pictures myself, but Gary shared some with us and I wanted to pass them on as well. It’s such a great event of prayer, fellowship, food, family, and fun!
The boys enjoyed tubing:
And taking the slide off the back of the boat:
Sophie wanted nothing to do with getting in the water where she couldn’t touch (surprise, surprise) and instead made herself the monitor and dog watcher. She enjoyed throwing the tennis ball off the back of the boat and watching the dog swim to retrieve it.
We are so grateful for the Boice’s hospitality and the friendship of the entire group of Franciscans!
On Labor Day weekend, we celebrated with a parade in Clarksville. Sophie and her friend were not fans of the sirens!
The Scouts participated by carrying the “ginormous” flag.
Speaking of Scouts, today was a very special day. Our former preschool building was dedicated as the new Scout Lodge. When the preschool moved into their new facility, there was question of what to do with the “little apple building”. I’m so glad the Scouts will be occupying the little house where I went to Kindergarten! We were very blessed today because Bishop Gettlefinger, retired bishop of Evansville and retired National Liason to the National Catholic Committee on scouting. What an honor to have him dedicated our little lodge.
I’m so glad our family has been involved in Scouting and I’m thrilled for the troop to have a new home!
On another exciting note, I applied to graduate in December!!!!!
Of course, there’s still the minor matter of editing and defending my dissertation – but who’s counting?
On Tuesday afternoon, the world lost one of the most beautiful souls I have ever known. Our precious friend Bryce lost his battle with brain cancer. I know many of you already know his story, but I cope with emotions through writing so I feel compelled to put my feelings into words.
Aidan and I first met Bryce almost five years ago. The YMCA was starting a new Arts program, including children’s theatre, and Bryce was in charge. He was only 21 when I met him. Aidan was one of only four kids who auditioned for “Lullaby for a Lonely Child”, so Bryce put out a plea looking for adults to help fill the roles. Since I was going to be at practice with Aidan anyway, I volunteered to be in it as well and the rest is history.
Bryce convinced our entire family to get involved in theatre again. The boys and I did “Wizard of Oz” with Bryce, and Tony ran the lights. Then, Tony and I had the amazing experience of being cast as two of ten people in the production of “Godspell” that Bryce was directing. Last summer, all five of us were on stage for “Cinderella”. Our family was brought together in a way we might not have otherwise been, and we have amazing memories together. We’ve made friendships that will last a lifetime. This summer, Bryce got sick a week before our rehearsals for “Seussical” were supposed to start.
Anyone who has been in theatre can tell you that your fellow cast members and crew quickly become your family. You spend late nights and weekends together. In our case, it was three entire summers and one winter. We were lucky enough to spend time with Bryce outside of the YMCA productions, too. When we were trying to share memories with Aidan on Tuesday evening, it struck me that I had lots of occasions of laughter with Bryce that were maybe not “child appropriate”.
We sent Bryce flowers when he first went into the hospital. This is the last time I “spoke” with him – it’s one text I’ll never delete because it makes me smile.
Bryce was so many things to so many people, and his life was cut much, much too short. I still can’t wrap my brain around what his loss means to me or to my kids. Aidan loved Bryce with his whole heart and he slept with me on Tuesday evening – we cried ourselves to sleep. We will both miss Bryce’s hugs. Bryce was always ready with a word of encouragement or joke to keep you from taking yourself too seriously. He encouraged me to sing solo – loud and proud – and always told me that my voice was just fine (even though we ALL know that’s not true!) I selfishly wonder how I will stay close to my newest theatre friends without a summer performance – and how Aidan and I will manage to step on to a stage again without crying.
Bryce was an amazing person with a huge heart. I know that I will carry his courage and spirit with me every time I step on a stage – whether it’s in front of a committee, my students, or an audience. I hope that I can channel his love, patience, and humor when I work with kids on the stage and off. I hope that Aidan (and Andrew and Sophie) carry a little piece of Bryce with them as they grow up.
Bryce leaves behind a legacy of friends and children whose lives he touched and didn’t even know it. At his memorial this evening, it was standing room only in the theatre. As I struggle with losing my friend, I know his family and those who have loved him far longer than I are struggling even more. Say some prayers for heaven’s newest angel – and for those of us mourning him. He leaves behind big shoes to fill, but many people to help fill them.
“When words fail, music speaks”
This has been an emotional, crazy, busy week. I’m saving the emotional part for it’s own post, but here’s the crazy busy part:Tony starts law school this week at UofL. On Thursday, he signed his oath. On Friday, we attended a couple of parties hosted by the law school. I was old enough to have taught the majority of the first year students in junior high. I felt like the chaperone. We were home before 11:00. I’m old.
Saturday night, we took the kids to the drive-in. Besides the arguing about who was going to sit where in the back of the van, we had a pretty good time.
Today marked the first football game of the fall. The 3rd and 4th graders got new uniforms this year (loving the Notre Dame look!) Andrew played a great game and had the first four tackles.
And, I’m caught up again for a day or two.
We’re off to a great start! 4th grade, 3rd grade, and preschool – and 3rd grade for me this year, as well! I’ll try to be a better blogger now that our schedule is a little more “normal”. We are looking forward to lots of wonderful things this year – Tony starting law school, my graduation (fingers crossed), a trip to Disney…all in all a busy year. Hope your “back to school” is great, too!
Last weekend, the boys went camping and Sophie had her dance recital. On Sunday morning, Tony gave me a call while they were breaking camp and had a crazy suggestion. He wanted to take the kids to Holiday World for the day. It was a totally insane idea, but at the same time it wasn’t, because we don’t have any more free weekends for a long time. We didn’t tell the kids where we were going until we got there. The weather was cool and cloudy, so we only lasted long enough in the water park to do our favorite things. However, the park was practically empty and we walked on to every ride. Tony even rode the Raven twice without getting off.
Tony sprained his ankle in our backyard while unloading camp gear. I suggested we stay home, but he insisted he was fine. Of course, the walking made it swell. Thank goodness for first aid! They wrapped him up and he was (almost) as good as new.
Poor Santa was just sitting all alone when we stopped for a snack. We got to spend uninterrupted time with him, and each of the kids got a stuffed mouse. Sophie was afraid (she was afraid of everything at Holiday World), but she got lured in by the idea of a free “pet” that she could only get if she went up to take it from Santa. When she got close, Santa grabbed her up for a hug before she could protest and I got my picture! Her eyes show a mixture of terror and happiness. Poor kid.
This is probably the last year Aidan “fish face” will be short enough to ride the kiddie rides.
On Thursday, we took the kids to meet an Honor Flight at the airport. If you don’t know, an Honor Flight flies World War II veterans to D.C. to see the World War II memorial and then brings them back again in the same day. We knew someone from church taking the Honor Flight, but the Cub Scouts had been planning to go anyway.
Looking forward to more exciting things this summer!