Category Archives: Family

Staycation!

I love my kids, don’t get me wrong. I love them bunches. I feel like something is truly missing from my life if they are not in tow at every moment.

They went to Grandma’s house for a week.

Now I admit, I had heart pangs. I was sad to drop them off, and knew I would miss them every night they were gone. I knew I would look forward to my nightly call to hear about their day with baited breath and eager anticipation. This was all true.

At the same time, a week without kids is a foretaste of heaven. ( So is a week with kids, but I digress…) They get a week with Grandma and tea parties galore. I get a week of quiet. Win for both teams!

My lovely bride and I had the time of our lives. We went out to dinner nearly every night, I even took her to that fancy seafood place downtown. We went for walks and went to the local spa for an evening.

The best thing of all though, was just sitting around in the evening, talking about nothing at all while she did her cross stitching, and I played my video games or read a book.

Ahh.

I don’t even have to feel guilty. My kids are having the time of their life, even jumping in Great Grandma’s plane. (Yes, my grandmother flies experimental planes, but that’s another story)

So I haven’t been around for a bit. Yes, I love this blog, and I love connecting with other like minded folks around the world, but sometimes one just needs to take a break and spend some time being lovey dovey with the missus.

The kids are back though, and so am I. It was wonderful while it lasted.

Frisbee Golf

Last year, I decided that the girls needed a sport. Now i should warn you, that I’m way too overprotective. I wouldn’t let my kids do gymnastics because I was worried about their knees. I don’t let them walk around the block unless they have my Great Dane in tow. I have to personally interview the parents of any child they want to visit. I admit, I’m a bit ridiculous, but I just love those girls so much, and I want to send them off to college in one piece.

So they needed more exercise, and it had to be fun.
Dancing? Yea right, so I can blow an extra 200 bucks for a costume they will get to use once every time their teacher wants to put on a show. No way. (You ever notice how they like to plan those shows right in the middle of the busiest times of year?)
Maybe I could get them into a team sport like softball or soccer. Not a chance. I’m not giving up every evening for the next decade. Not going to happen. Especially when they have games on Sunday. No way.
So I was thinking golf. Golf is fun, you get to walk around outside. There is plenty of time to blabber about the weather. I like golf. Not to mention there is no injury as long as you don’t get mad enough to start throwing your clubs. Not only that, but it’s a sport you can do all of your life. It seemed like a great choice.
Then I went to see how much it would cost. Ouch. Nope, not going there.
Then we found disc golf.
Holy cow, this is some serious fun.
We got ourselves completely set up for under $100, and the courses around here are fun, public, and FREE.
I really, really like free.
So we go a whole lot, and to be honest, the girls seem to enjoy it, and do ask to go. I however have become a fanatic. It’s a bit silly, but I’ve got my little notepad, and I’m measuring my improvement with spreadsheets and graphs by the week, month and year. I’m totally crazy about it.
It’s just so darn relaxing, and at the same time a real challenge.
However, it all changed one day about six months ago.
I got a hole in one.
It was so beautiful. It was like the world just was turning at the right speed.
I screamed like a little girl at a Justin Bieber concert.
I’m thinking I should go professional.

Homework

Argh. My kids drive me crazy. Every day, I assign them work to do on their own, an opportunity for them to learn some responsibility, some diligence, and a chance for me to get some of my work done without standing over them, actively teaching them.

Guess what? My kids aren’t all that great at getting their homework done. The second I leave them, they start to hem and haw, fiddling with their pencils or the cats, suddenly getting hungry and wanting a snack, and going to the bathroom every five to ten minutes. It’s so dang aggravating.

Well, I want to get mad, I really do. There is a problem though.

I was never any better. I got in so much trouble for not doing my homework, that they almost flunked me out of school. I’d do great on tests, I just hated homework.

I’m still going to school. In fact, I have formation classes tomorrow. Our subjects for tomorrow are psychology, theology, and New Testament studies. Guess what?

I’m cramming all my homework today.

Yup, that’s right, I’ve been procrastinating. I’ve been hemming and hawing, trying to get some work done, and fiddling with this blog. Heck, I’m procrastinating right this second.

Ugh. What goes around comes around.

I suppose it’s time for me to stop writing, and get to work.

My theology homework was a breeze and already done, the New Testament stuff is all complete and wrapped up in a bow, but Psychology? Haven’t touched it. Haven’t even cracked the book.

You can tell how excited I am. It is so easy to finish what interests me, but the other stuff is just such a pain.

Dangit, I need to just wrap this post up and plop down and start reading.

You never guess what happened to me the other day. I was out walking the dog, heading downtown in hopes of getting some ice cream or maybe a coffee, and I saw this guy jumping on a…….

NO! It must be done now! I’m leaving!

iPods Have Destroyed My Home

I don’t care if they are listening to Danielle Rose or Andrea Bocelli. If I’m calling my daughters, and they don’t answer, I’m not happy.

When I was a kid, I was no better of course. I would hide in my room with my little radio listening to my music as loud as it would go. My mother was one smart lady, and would only let me have a radio so small it could never really get loud enough to bother anyone anyway.

But then, I didn’t have an iPod.

When my mom called me, you bet I heard her. If I didn’t hear her, the pain to my backside would be so severe that you bet I would hear her next time. Oh no, I made sure to answer when my mother called.

But my kids? They have iPods, and even I have to admit, they probably really actually didn’t hear me.

Oh man does that tick me off.

Now right from the start I should say that I don’t think iPods are a bad idea. My kids will listen to theirs every chance they get, whether walking the dog, or doing chores, and this is a great thing. I know how much they love their music, I most certainly enjoy mine, but the great part is, I don’t have to listen to it.

This is good!

It’s not that they choose bad music that I don’t want to listen to, oh no, quite the opposite. My kids have great taste in music, they do after all, get it from me. They like the oldies, they like jazz. They like bluegrass, a bit of opera, and they just love religious music like Danielle Rose. Most of the time, it’s like they have a Catholic mp3 player. I’m all for it. I love to listen to that stuff too, and when in the car, we will all rock out together like any raging fan at a rock concert.

No, the real problem is one of repetition. They like to hear the same songs over and over again. When I say over and over again, I mean like 20 times in a row.

No kidding.

Once? Great, that’s awesome. Twice? sure, if you like it that much. At twenty, my brain goes numb.

Well, I like my brain, so letting them listen to the same thing over and over on their iPods works great for me. They get their music, and I don’t have to listen to it. Great deal all around.

I am however, not fond of walking around the house yelling out their names, only to find they are sitting on the couch reading a book.

Yesterday, I was looking for my eldest. I had walked in every room in the house and yelled out her name.

No Answer.

Walked around outside yelling.

No Answer.

Oh man, am I getting pissed. Where the heck did she go? Did she dare take the dog for a walk without letting me know? Did she get kidnapped from the back yard? I of course ask the only one who really should know, my other daughter, and she too is lost in confusion.

I finally decided to carefully walk through every room in the house, and there, in the last place I expected to find her, she finally appears. She was in the other daughter’s room. Yes, it had gotten too messy, and she wanted to surprise her by cleaning it up a bit when she wasn’t looking.

Dangit, now I don’t even get the satisfaction of getting mad at her.

Altar Girls

I’m not going to lie. At first I had real trouble with this. It is my great desire to remain faithful to the Church in every way I can, and I knew the subject of altar girls was a hot topic, but to be honest I wasn’t sure why.

At first, I had the same response that I think many traditional Catholics have, and saw the possibility of allowing altar girls serve at Mass as being a possible detriment to vocations. For every altar girl that serves, that is an altar boy that is not, right? For every altar boy that doesn’t serve, that is an opportunity to explore the priesthood missed, correct?

Not only that, but I see a decline in the number of Catholics actually in the pews, and I admit, I attribute much of that decline to a lack of holy otherworldness lacking in the Mass since Vatican II. I’m not saying that Vatican II was a bad thing, or the beginning of a great evil or anything like that. I merely am stating the obvious. Since we changed the way we celebrate Mass, more have left the Church than have joined, and the result is empty churches.

So I am leery of new things. I can’t help it. I’m not trying to advocate going back to the Tridentine Mass, I’m just seeing that change is not always such a good thing.

There is the added issue of abuse. Here in America, we seem to have a “forgiveness is easier to obtain than permission” mentality. For example, somewhere along the line, we decided to start receiving Christ in the hand, instead of the normal way, on the tongue, on our knees. We then have to ask permission for that which we are already doing. I just feel this is way off base, and that permission should come first.

I was simply not informed on altar girls. Was this an abuse gone awry?

Then my daughters asked if they could serve.

Le sigh. Of course they want to, most of the servers in our parish are girls, and they want to serve the Lord in any way they can.

So I had to do my homework. I wasn’t fond of homework in school by the way, but I admit, it’s grown on me. I love finding out what is really going on with these issues, getting to the heart of the mind of the Church is just plain exciting to me. Yea, I know, I’m easily amused. My wife tells me that all the time.

What it comes down to is this. If both the bishop and the priest allow girls to serve at the altar, then they may, but there is a caveat. I’m going to do my best to explain this, wish me luck.

No particular boy or particular girl has the right to serve at the altar. It is always a privilege, never a right. This is not a question of equality of rights. That being said, the Church has an obligation to promote male altar servers, and it does not have the same obligation to promote female altar servers. Being allowed, and being encouraged simply are not the same thing.

This is tough, as it seems to have an undercurrent of disapproval, or at the least, a mild acceptance of girl altar servers, not an outright “go for it”.

So for me, this is really a bit of a no. I just wasn’t inclined. But can I in good conscience tell them that the girls serving at the altar are okay, but they aren’t? Could I really tell them no for something that was officially allowed?

So here is what I did, for better or worse.

I let them serve at daily Mass. Heck they are the only kids that are there anyway. I also allow them to be on the weekend schedule, but with a word of warning.

If there is a boy that would serve, you can’t. Then I explained all that I just explained to you, and they are pretty smart girls, so they were totally cool with that. Truth is, they get to serve now more then most due to daily Mass. I also let them know that if the priest or bishop was uncomfortable with girl servers, that they should offer to step down out of humility. (Of course our pastor would be livid if any priest actually did that, but I felt they needed to understand the principle.)

My girls are awesome. Not only were they cool with that, now they seek out boys on their own, and see if they would like to be altar servers.

Didn’t see that one coming, not sure if I like my daughters seeking out boys.

Due to several emails on this topic, 
I wanted to post my primary source.
Please look to paragraph 47 for information on altar servers.
Also feel free to read the letter that officially allowed female servers.
Vatican Communication on Female Altar Servers