Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Marriage part 2

I went to St. David this morning to pick up the paperwork to start the process for getting married in the church. The last I spoke with the coordinator she said that we had to make an appt with Fr O'Reilly and we had to do it in the chapel. I said that was fine. She mentioned to me that since Fr O'Reilly goes away for July that we might want to do it in June so that we get him before he leaves. I said that was fine with me. I told her I would make any date available so whatever date was best for him would be good with me. I reiterated this today when I went into the office to file the paperwork. She then informs me that she was referring to June 2008! I must have had a surprised look on my face because I wasn't asking for a ceremony or mass. What I wanted was what they call a "convalidation of an existing union." Fancy words for "marriage without the ceremony."

***Side bar*** Prior to me taking these steps I had asked the coordinator of weddings if it was possible to have something simple in Fr O'Reilly's office. We would have two witnesses and only our children would need to be there. She told me no that was not possible.

So back to today. When she mentioned 2008, she then looked back in the calendar and glanced over June (2007!) calendar for Fr.O'Reilly and notices that he has June 23 wide open. No weddings, no baptisms. Just at that time he walks by her office and she calls him in. (By the way I have never seen him out of collar so when I saw him with a golf shirt, shorts and boat shoes I giggled inside). She tells him that I want a convalidation of existing union and would June 23 be a good day for him. He says in a hefty Irish voice "Let's do it now...where is the lad? (referring to Greg)" I let out a big laugh. Of course Greg wasn't there. I didn't bring him because the coordinator told me I couldn't do it the easy way in his office like I originally asked!

Anyway to make a long story short Fr O'Reilly says to me (in his Irish tone once again) "Come on the 23rd, whatever time you want and let's get this done and then you can have a nice lunch afterward".

So June 23rd is the official date of convalidation.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

You can learn a lot from a yearbook

Yearbooks are here and it is hilarious reading for me and Greg. All of those handwritings in Kevin and Ryan's books remind me of when I was in high school and all of the shortened words such as B.F.F. (best friends forever) or 2 nice 2 be 4 gotten. All of the girls dotted their i's with a heart.

I have to say that the kids still write like that but the words and the abbreviations are very different. They call each other skanky, shrimpy, wierdo, creepo, dork, and some other names that I can't remember and can't pronounce. The girls all sign their names by saying I heart U (heart being the symbol of a heart). When I asked Kevin why three girls love him, he told me that all the girls write "I heart U". Who knew? I certainly didn't. When I was in school, "I heart U" meant you were going to get married one day.

It's still fun watching them grow up and mix with girls and it's good to see them finding friendships with the opposite sex. Although I am not ready for anything more than that it's a strange feeling that these are my sons growing up. It's bittersweet for sure.

Baseball Tournament Weekend

This Memorial Day Weekend was also the same weekend that Kevin had a baseball tournament in Coral Springs. On Saturday during one of the games I noticed church bells ringing behind the park. I realized that there was a church nearby. After the last game was over we drove over to the church and I walked inside to see what times they held Sunday mass. They seemed to have masses that coincided with the baseball schedule on Sunday. Kevin's first game was going to be 9 am - 11 am and then if they won that game they would have a 2nd game starting at 1 pm. That was perfect because there was a mass at 11:30 we could go to and then be back in time for the second game.

Imagine the surprise on Kevin's face when after the first game I told him that we are going to church. You would have thought I just fed him poison! His face quickly turned sour and then he proceeded to show me that he cannot go to church with his uniform on, cleats and clay all over his face and pants. I told him that was nonsense and that Jesus welcomes anyone into his church and that perhaps he would admire Kevin for being so committed! (Well remember he is a teenager after all so he wasn't buying it). Anyway he didn't have a say in the matter. We were going!

I am really glad I went because it was a change of scenery, a different church and different style of mass that goes on a lot longer than the masses that we are used to attending but I liked the priest and most importantly I liked the cry room! Not only did I also like the fact that I was able to teach my kids a good lesson but I loved the look on the baseball parents faces when they asked me if we wanted to go to lunch with them and I replied "We can't. We are going to church!"

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Pursuit of Happyness

This movie is one of the best movies I have ever seen. Will Smith does an outstanding job of portraying the real life story of Chris Gardner, a real rags to riches story. The story is so much more than that. It's about a man who dares to search for his dream and he gets it. He takes huge risks along the way some of which lead him to poverty and homelessness with his young son. They find themselves sometimes sleeping in subway stations and homeless shelters. Yet he manages to never give up hope that he will make it one day and he does.

I am a big fan of Will Smith for many reasons mainly because I think he is a really good actor. I am glad he got nominated for an Academy Award for this role because I think he deserved it. His portrayal in this movie brought me to tears in the end and inspired me to pursue my own dreams. It's a great movie to show to your kids. There are many life lessons in this movie.

It is out on DVD and PPV and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Finding Passion

This is a hard concept for me but something I have been exploring for awhile now. I often find myself checking many books out from the library regarding finding your passion. I don't really seem to know what mine is. It's an area that I have yet to define and really explore. Some people I know have definitive passions. You can't miss them. They are so obvious whether it's in the work they do or the hobbies they have. Some people are obsessive with their passions. They do them every day or talk about them incessantly. I don't do any of that.

I definitely like certain things and have certain hobbies but none of which I would define as my passion. What is hard about it is that I really desire to find mine and define it and live it. But I don't know what it is.

What is your passion?

It's getting hard to get married

I made a phone call to our church yesterday to find out what it will take for me and Greg to be married by our priest. I was forced to talk to the lady who coordinates the marriages/weddings. I had no idea where to start since I don't want a wedding. I just want a priest to marry us. We had a wedding 5 years ago. I want to close this open loop in my life.

As soon as I got on the phone with her she seemed so impatient with me. I explained to her my situation and that I didn't really want a wedding ceremony but rather an appt with the priest so that he could marry us officially. After all, it's not about the ceremony is it...rather about the marriage. So I thought.

She told me that I had to have some type of ceremony. Why, I thought. I listened further and she said that if it was going to be just us and witnesses that we can do something in the small chapel inside the church. Fine was how I responded. She told me all the paperwork that I needed....copy of annulment certficate, baptism certificates, and other paperwork that I have to fill out. My plan is to set a date sometime in June because Fr. O'Reilly will be in Ireland for most of July. I also prefer Fr O'Reilly because Greg really likes him and that pleases me.

This piece of unfinished business will finally be closed.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I must be doing something right

Yesterday Ryan was telling me about how he is not hanging around in school so much with one of his best friends. I asked him what happened to make him decide that and he told me that this friend "Jimmy" is starting to hang around bad kids and lying to his parents. I told him that was fine with me and probably a pretty good decision on his part. I thought about that later on (I can be slow at the wheel so it took me a while to digest just what he was telling me). I realized that actually he made a really good decision about his own well being. He didn't want to get involved in someone who was making bad decisions so he has decided to hang around only the good kids who are serious students. That made me feel proud and I told him so.

Sometimes I wonder if they are learning the things I am trying to teach them. So many times it seems like they are not paying attention or are distracted or that they think they know it all. I keep teaching them and sometimes I wonder.....do they really hear me. Then when they do something like Ryan's decision with his friend I feel reassured that they are actually listening. They are really listening to me!

Jack loves to eat dirt

I am not sure why Jack loves to eat dirt. Maybe he is in touch with our earth and the environment. Maybe it's because when he first started doing it we laughed and got grossed out. I realized that he is the only one of my children who has ever done this. Come to think of it there are many things that Jack does that my other kids have never done. Take cuddling for example. He loves to snuggle his head in your neck and cuddle. None of the others particularly liked to do this. They all preferred to kiss and run. Jack loves to stand on tables too. I think he is part child, part cat. It's a trait I have never gotten used to. He is definitely unique.

The funny part about having 4 kids is that while none of them are exactly alike, they each resemble each other in slightly different ways. Although when it comes to Kevin and Ryan, I think the only commonality between them is that they both like to fight and pick on each other. DREAD!

Oh I thought of one definite thing they all do have in common. They all have a mom who loves them with all of her heart.

Stage Mom

The other day I signed up to be a stage mom at Kelly's dance recital. I am not sure what my duties will be but I am excited no matter what they are. They will probably be something along the lines of making sure the girls are where they need to be and don't mess up their costumes or trip and fall. Maybe I will have to be there to fix their hair if it gets messed up or maybe hand out a juicy juice. Whatever it is that I will have to do I will make sure that I make Kelly proud that I am her mom. Because I am really proud that she is my little girl.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Schooling thoughts - Monday

I have been thinking about how I can contribute more to my children's education especially for Kelly and Jack. So today I am starting something new and I hope I can stick to it. This morning I laid out a plan to school them after work. I want to call it Dual School. Kelly goes to school and gets a really good education there. When she comes home we will do a few things that will provide her with a more home education. For example, here is what we will do today.

4-4:30 she will help me make mini muffins for tomorrow morning breakfast.
4:30 - 5:30 she will work on some selected pages of her Kumon math workbook, addition skills.
5:30 - 9:00 - she will be with my at the baseball field. Ryan has a baseball game and Kevin has practice. I will bring leggos so she and Jack can build and play together. I will also bring a soccer ball so she can work on her soccer skills. At the park we are also going to work on tying her shoes. She has mastered the first part of the shoe tying. We are going to work on the second part (loops) but it's been difficult for her because her fingers just don't go where I want them to. I am going to attempt to shoe Jack how to put his sandals on as well.

Jack's schedule will be similar. I will have him watch us make muffins and give him a snack to eat while he watches us. I will also read one of his Dora books while Kelly does her math. Ditto with Jack for the baseball game.

I will also need to help Ryan with his math so I will do that while making muffins. He has a math final exam this week.

I have decided to be more restrictive on the basics that I expect from Kevin and Ryan. They are expected to shower once a day at least and brush teeth at least twice a day (hey they are teenagers so they not always have these things on their to-do list). They are expected to put their clothes away and make their beds. They have to turn off all the lights in their room as well as the TV. They also need to hang up the bathroom towels. They have not quite mastered those habits so once they have mastered them I can start handing out other chores such as table setting, table clearing, dishwashing, and others I am sure I will think of.
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