21 May 2007

504490780_51004f49cfA full weekend. Full of friends and celebrations. Eating gorgeous cakes and french pastries, made by the beautiful Argentinian, whose birthday we celebrated. Eating biscuits and drinking tea at the parish centre after watching many friends make their communion. Drinking coffee (me) and jumping on bouncy castles (Lauren) at communion parties that afternoon. Having Ciara over on the Sunday to shop and then go to the birthday gathering. And as always on the weekend, spending the Sunday morning with those we love most here in Ireland, our church family. A weekend of friends and celebrations.

Lauren hugely enjoyed the communion day on Saturday. Not only did she get to be involved in the mass, but she got to do parties afterwards as well. Every child had a party in the afternoon, and since Lauren didn't make her communion and we weren't throwing a party, she was free to just go play! Perfect... (pictures)

At the end of the mass, before the kids got up to sing their final song, the parish priest began to speak about how people may have noticed that there was a girl there that day who had brought up a gift and would sing in the choir, but wasn't all in white, etc. He said her name was Lauren and that she wasn't Catholic, but that she wanted to support her friends and be involved with them and how she was such an integral part of their class. So he was welcoming her and her family on this day. You can imagine how surprised we were. All her classmates were grinning hugely at her... and i think she just sat there in shock. We were so proud of her at that moment. Knowing, on so many different levels, how significant that statement was. Many a conversation was had after the mass and at the parties that stemmed from Father Hurley's words. It was a rich day.

And now the weekend is over. And in three days time, my husband and I are getting on another oh, so comfy, Ryan Air flight and flying (sans children) to Italia!!!!! I'm assuming that most of you taking time to read my words, know how hugely excited I am about this trip. The one place I've really wanted to go before we leave Europe. And that is an understatement. This holiday is a gift to me from my husband. He is good to me. And many of you as well, have been a part of the journey in freeing me to go. Thank you.

And when we return, we will then go about living our final month here in Ireland, full of people and parties and packing and percipitation (mainly from my eyes...). Again, most of you know that leaving this country and the people that I love here is deeply painful to me. And yet, most of you know... my God. And that there is a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. And that He delights in bringing beauty to all things. And so, even now I can say with certainty that before I leave and when I am gone, for all of us, there will be much more laughing and dancing and also weeping and mourning, because this is life and it will continue on. And He longs for us to experience it in all it's fullness. For that is one of His many gifts to us. And this time in my life is nothing, if it is not full... in all it's simplicity and complexity. It is full. And it is good. Because He is.

18 May 2007

Tomorrow my daughter's class is making their communion. This is quite the big deal for her whole class, they have been preparing for this day for ages. All her friends are talking about what they're going to wear. And what they are going to wear is white. White dresses, white shoes, white gloves, white bags, white things in their hair, etc. White. As Lauren is the only one not making her communion, she gets to choose something different. So yesterday we went shopping. We had much fun, mother and daughter, searching for a dress with colour. Just for her.

Now those of you who know my daughter know that dresses wouldn't be her attire of choice. However, she most definitely loves to twirl (like her mom...) once she's in one. Or should I say, dance (again, like her mom...). It was quite the delight watching her finger the fabric and hunt for that perfect dress. I must say she has good taste (again, like her... ahha!).

So the short story is, we found a colourful, fun dress plus sandals and she loves them. Tonight as she was holding the dress while twirling around, she had a conversation with her dad about how beautiful the dress was, how beautiful she was and how beautiful it was when the former was on the latter. I can't recount this word for word, but the bit that made me laugh was her question. Her dad had said, that with the dress on, she was absolutely stunning. He had also said, when she asked, that without the dress on, she was totally beautiful.

So her logic led her to ask ~ "So which is better? Absolutely stunning or totally beautiful??"

She is.

04 May 2007

Tomorrow Ryan will be twelve. Wow. And tomorrow we will all be on a plane flying to Germany, so today was the party. Perfect party, as it was open day for Spiderman 3. So we took 16 kids and an extra adult friend and went to the movies! Ryan has made some great friends over these past years. They are good kids. And they are part of answered prayer for our boy. Of which we are so grateful.


I would be more prolific about the night, the film, the kids, etc., but we are leaving on a jet plane way too early in the morning. And, no news here, but we're not fully packed. Thinking it will be another late night. Auf Wiedersehen...

P.S. Is a post script proper blog ettiquette?

P.S.S. I've been wanting to write about our church's weekend away. So I will real quick... Every year our church (Dublin West) goes out to the country for a weekend. Hence the title 'weekend away'. A couple of weeks ago, the kids and I (Rod was in the States) journeyed to Ovoca Manor in Avoca and had a few wonderful days away with our church family. These weekends are always a special time with one another. God meets us in significant ways every year. Plus there is always a massive amount of laughter with this group! We love them deeply. And have been blessed much through them. I have recently posted our weekend away photos on flickr. I hope they will give you just a small glimpse into our family here. Enjoy!

P.S.S.S. I guess now I should finish packing?