Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Porch Swinging

This is a great way to spend time. Ollie is listening to the birds sing and a possessive squirrel chatter, and G is doing his homework (third grade division). I am just enjoying the fresh air.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Such A Special Day For Chip, Part II

First the first time since we have been part of the YMCA Striker Soccer program, they had a tournament at the end of the season.  It was a beautiful day, and we really enjoyed watching Team Switzerland win all three games and thus the championship.  Gabriel is a star defender and goalie, and he certainly had a large fan section, with Jack, Jen, my parents, Matt's mom, Laura, and the little kids all there cheering him on.

He has really learned to be aggressive this year, and yes, they all had red and white stripes in their hair - an end-of-season tradition.

Ready to take the ball.

He placed that ball in exactly the right spot every time.

When he passed the ball forward, it always went exactly where he wanted it.

J helped put in the big shade umbrella.

The babies kept cool under the shade of the umbrella.

G gets his championship trophy.

We are the champions!

Cute proud boys.
After the tournament, we went to Buca di Beppo, the fun restaurant that Chip chose for his celebration. We brought the cake that he designed at Gabriel's bakery, and he opened his gifts there.

The awesome Children's Bible from Great-Grandpa Kranz.

The cake he designed himself.  We think he did a stupendous job!

So much to celebrate!  Notice the soccer rosary from Bun and Papa around his neck.

Our sweet baby boy and his happy parents on such an important day.
Buca di Beppo was a really fun place to celebrate his first Holy Communion, because it is an Italian-themed restaurant with lots of Vatican decorations.  The food is family-style, so we all shared entrees.  We sat in the Cardinal Room, next to the cabinet with a cardinal's biretta and other clothing, including - yes - red socks.  We could not have chosen a more Catholic place to have dinner, don't you think?

We have heard that parents of a second baby need to make an effort to make the older child feel important.  G has made it so easy to celebrate him in the past few months that we don't even have to worry about it.  He has really worked hard in school, in his Catholic school classes, and in soccer - in everything he does.  He has also become more loving, more thoughtful, and more responsible.  For example, last night (Thursday), I told him he could go play with a friend for 15 minutes.  Even though he said he can't tell how long that is, I told him just to come back when he thought it would be appropriate.  He came home exactly when I would have wanted him to.  He is building our trust in him every day.  So it was the perfect time for him to be ready for his first communion.  No more crossing his arms when he goes up to the altar each Sunday!  As we missed mass the next day (to get ready for Ryan's baptism), we are looking forward to getting communion with him for the first time this weekend.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Little Music Lover

I almost never watch music videos, but I thought it might be fun to see what's playing these days. The first video on a channel called Fuse was Coldplay's Charlie Brown. Ollie is entranced!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Such A Special Day For Chip, Part I

Saturday was really about two things:  First Communion and soccer.  Because we have so many great photos, let's split today's post into two parts.

G woke up so excited for his First Holy Communion.  He has been diligently preparing for this all year and was so ready for it.  He knew he looked great in his suit but wasn't so sure about the shoes.  He thought they would make him a laughingstock.  Little did he know that everyone would rave about them!

Our boy wears a suit!  The cross tie pin looked great on him.

Before the mass, I videotaped him processing into the sanctuary.  During mass, no videotaping was allowed, but flashless photography was.

G was chosen to carry the gifts.  It was an enormous honor.

Here he is pondering the water he is carrying.  He has never seen it up close before!

Gabriel's very first Holy Communion.  Father Jose is administering it.

Here he is consuming the host.  He shook his head when the deacon offered the chalice of wine.

After mass, the children surprised us all with a lovely song, Take Our Bread, led by Deacon Stephen.

In case you couldn't see G well in the above photo, here is a closer shot.  Since he sat in front, he ended up at the top of the altar.

Here is all of our family, taking up the entire long pew.

Here is the recessional.  G wanted to look at the swords as he passed underneath.  It was special to have the Knights of Columbus there.

One grandpa, two grandbabies.

G just gained the permission to carry his little brother, supervised of course.  Here they are by Saint Francis of Assisi.

G is overjoyed that his godparents were there for him on his First Holy Communion.

Here is our happy family, so happy for our little first communicant.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


If we could create our perfect son in a lab, we would have him wearing University of Michigan and Detroit Tigers logos, holding his little brother's hand, and reading the New York Times. I just turned around in the car, and that is exactly what I saw. Insert my sigh of contentment here.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Epic Adventure Time!

The theme for G's annual Boosterthon fundraiser this year was Epic Adventure.  The goal is for the kids to learn character education while raising money for their Spanish teacher and crossing guard, as well as for Project Playground (playground equipment for schools in need in Guatemala).  Chip set himself a very high fundraising goal and worked extremely hard from the very first day of the fundraiser to reach his goal.  We are so very proud to report that he reached his goal last night!  He looked up phone numbers, called people, was polite and professional in his spiel, verified information, and thanked the donors.  He did this all completely independent of us.  We were impressed with his ambition, motivation, dedication, and phone manners.

Today was the day that he ran to earn the "per lap" money.  He ran all thirty-five laps, which was the maximum for donation, and then an extra two.  It was a cloudy but pleasant day, and with a few stops at the water station (or Mommy's water bottle), the kids seemed to be able to keep themselves comfortable enough.  Here are a few photos from today:

G walking during the warm-up lap.

Each time he passed the line of teachers, one of them would mark a lap on his shirt with marker.

Here he is with all of the laps marked.  His teacher later marked the two extra laps and signed his shirt.

After the last lap in which Bunnut, Ollie, and I joined him, we all posed for a photo.
G did a great job raising money this year and has earned a bunch of cool prizes along the way, the last being his AFO flyer - a helicopter-like disk that can act as a boomerang.  He is very grateful to all of the people who pledged to help his school and schools in Guatemala.  Today was a fun day.