30 March 2007

Three gorgeous girls. Two Irish, one American. Which equal three classmates and friends. One of the things I have grown to appreciate about Irish schools, is that in the primary (elementary) years, you stay with the same class through all eight years. There is a growing together in their classes that is unique to the way that I grew up through school. I have watched relationships develop, bullies become friends and so much more. It has been a joy to watch these kids journey together.

For Lauren we are in part of the journey that is 2nd class (3rd grade). And since Scoil Eoin Phoil is a Catholic School, this is the year they take their first penance and first communion. Ryan was the only one in his 2nd class who didn't take first communion and in Lauren's class there are two others. But something that has been important to us from the very beginning, is an entering in to all that goes on with their class. And so, we have been involved as fully as possible in these important events in the lives of their friends. The principal and teachers know our family and our desire to take part, so Ryan and Lauren have sung in the ensembles and have been given various other small supportive roles during the mass. Many conversations have been started and friendships furthered through our continued involvement, for which I am grateful.

The above picture was taken on Wednesday night at the local parish church where Lauren's friends gave their first penance. One thing I must say about my daughter (of course, I'm not biased in the least!), is that she has been given a joyful heart which overflows to those around her. It delights me to see her give of herself, to see her encourage her friends as they nervously wait their turn to see the priest, to see her give them a thumbs up and a huge smile when they return to their seats. It delights me to sit next to her and have a quiet running conversation throughout the whole event, during which I hear her communicate her understanding of Jesus' role in her forgiveness. It delights me hearing her sing next to me with such fervor. It mostly delights me to be with my daughter in her world. With the privilege of watching how she interacts with those around her, impacting just by her presence. It was a sweet night.

And for the record, she herself has stated that she wants to wear a dress for her friend's coming first communion. Amazing, but true. Hannah (the girl in the middle of above picture) said in astonishment, "And I've never seen Lauren in a dress!".

17 March 2007

It's Saint Patrick's Day!

My dear friend, Lori, is here with us from California. And being that it's a big day in Ireland, we had to take her into the city to experience the parade and all the colour and craic that go along with the Irish and their celebrations. Of course, there are also tourists here from all over the world, which only add to the colour. It was a grand day! Perfect in every way... the rain even held off, mostly. Took tons of pics, and will post them on flickr, but for now, just wanted to say, La Fheile Padraig Shona Duit!

01 March 2007

Dickens, Charles & Fleming, Ian

It was World Book Day today. And world book day at Scoil Eoin Phoil means a day of costume. A day looked forward to for weeks ahead of time. On this day, if one chooses, one can put together and wear a homemade costume of a favourite book character. Which not only means wearing something fun, it also means not wearing a uniform. And that's something to get excited about! I won't go into all the details and the discussions that ensued prior to the day, but this morning they went out looking grand and came home having had a great day. Lauren even won first prize, second year running, in her class. Last year she was a blond hair Oliver (twist) and this year she was a dark haired Dodger (of same Dickens fame). And Ryan? Well he was none other than Bond, James Bond.

World Book Day
More pics here...

And now in the kitchen, while I'm typing, James is playing the trumpet and Dodger is dancing to Louis's 'When The Saints Go Marching In'. They not only crack me up, but they create their own craic all by themselves. Which brings a smile to my face.