Friday, October 28, 2011

7 Quick Takes, The Hodgepodge Edition

1. October has been a crazy month. We've had almost no time to sit down and relax--but we don't mind because it's all been good. Larry has been involved in two plays--one children's production called Still Life with Iris, and a one-act radio-style version of The Thirty-nine Steps for school. The performances of Iris were last weekend, and next weekend he'll be performing in 39 Steps both at school and for a one-act play competition three counties away. Some days he's literally had to go straight from one rehearsal to the next while wolfing down a Big Mac in the car. But he loves it; do you know what he said the other night? "Acting is the most fun thing to do, EVER. Except for skiing."

2. After Saturday's performance, Larry took the girl who played the lead to their school's Homecoming dance. They had missed about half of the dance; after the show they quickly changed into their nice clothes, and I snapped a quick photo of the two of them before I whisked them off to their school. I was very proud of Larry for remembering to open the car door for her. The next day I asked him if he pulled the chair out for her once they got there, and he replied, "Mom, we didn't sit down." I think they had a good time.

3. A couple of weeks ago our parish introduced the Gloria and Holy, Holy, Holy from the new translation, and do you know what? I LOVE them. The music our pastor and music director chose for them is fabulous. I'm looking forward to Advent, when it goes into full swing.

4. I know I promised to share with you some things I've been doing with my third grade Religious Education class, so here's a brief summary of some of the things we've done so far. We're using the Christ Our Life series from Loyola Press, and this year I've been trying to use the textbook more as a resource and guide, rather than having the kids take turns reading it word-for-word during class. Most days this has worked out great, and it gives me time to use other resources and plan other activities (although this past week I felt like I was rushing through the material, and wished we had taken the time to read more of the text). The kids particularly enjoy acting out the Bible stories as we read them. In the coming weeks I hope to share more details with you, including some photos; as well as some NEAT things I'm learning about Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in the new Montessori preschool where I work.

5. I was surprised in the week or so that followed the death of Indy Car driver Dan Wheldon at how much I really grieved for him and his family. I can only imagine the anguish his wife Susie must be going through right now. Seeing the photos of his brothers and fellow drivers carrying his casket, and parts of the heartbreaking letter Susie Wheldon wrote to her husband in the days following his death, as well as the fond memories and photos that his friends have shared have touched me more than I thought they would. I almost feel as though I've lost a friend, even though he wasn't someone I really thought much about except when he was racing. (Click here for the thoughts I shared the night after he was killed.) I changed my Facebook and Twitter avatars to a photo of Dan, and for a few days last week I wore the Dan Wheldon hat that Larry got at a race in Richmond a few years back (which, ironically, was signed by two other drivers--Will Power and Graham Rahal--but not by Dan). Little things have made me think of him; like the orange, yellow, and white flowers I bought because they reminded me of the colors he--and his car--were sporting the day he won the 2011 Indianapolis 500, or the young man I saw last weekend who looked a little bit like him.

Some say that people will quit watching Indy Car Racing because of the horrible crash that killed Dan (which had been struggling already, and was only just starting to make a comeback) but not me. Next year the cars will be safer; they've got a brand-new model they've been testing (Dan Wheldon spent quite a lot of time driving them and was very excited about them), and rumor has it that they're going to name the new car after him.

6. My next few blog posts--hopefully I can pound out a couple this week--will be for my other blog, Cooking Nick's Books. For that one I've made beef stew, jalapeno burgers, and shrimp kebobs, and have not had a chance to share them yet. I even picked up a copy of Nicholas Sparks' new book, The Best of Me, but I haven't had a chance to read much of it. I hear it's getting good reviews, and it's number one on several different bestseller lists. And I can't wait to see what we'll be cooking!

7. We're blessed to have my parents are for the weekend. Curly and Moe had a day off from school today, and they took a trip to Washington's Birthplace National Monument. Tomorrow my brother and his wife will be here to celebrate Bro's fortieth birthday, and on Sunday we're having Moe's eleventh birthday party. My house isn't very clean; I'm sure the mostly fifth-grade boys who are here won't care, or even notice. I'll try and make sure it gets a good scrubbing before Christmas...hopefully.

Have a great weekend, and be sure to check out Jen's Conversion Diary blog for more Quick Takes!

Oh, and I almost forgot: There is just over a week left of this fall's 40 Days for Life campaign! I've been so busy lately that I haven't had time to think about planning a trip to Richmond to pray at the Planned Parenthood clinic there. My friend J. and I were talking the other day about it, and we're hoping to go one afternoon next week. Click here to find a 40 Days for Life campaign near you!

Have fun trick-or-treating--if you do that sort of thing; we do--and don't forget to go to Mass on Tuesday!

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