We prepared all year for Andrea, Alexa and Joseph to be confirmed in the Catholic Church this year. I was their lucky teacher...or they were my lucky students depending on how you look at it. After the English mass at church we'd sit down somewhere comfortable and go through a book they provided that discussed what it meant to be a Catholic. Finally the day arrived. Because our English congregation is rather small and Confirmation needs to be done by the Bishop, we piggybacked on the Spanish Congregation's Confirmation mass. We had a quick practice last week that was given in Spanish. My friend Angela came along as she said she'd stand in for the sponsers and she translated for us. Then we were back Friday night for Confession...which was a mass, given by the Bishop, which we didn't know at the time. It was also all in Spanish although when they got to the part in the Gospel, " el muerte pues el viva." I said aha!...Prodigal Son and was able to follow a bit until the end...which was really a bit because those of you familiar with the story this line, "he was dead and is now alive." comes when the father is explaining his joy over his errant son's return. They arranged for an English speaking priest to help out with Confession, which was nice for my kids.
When Sunday morning dawned we were all a little bit nervous about what the day would bring. I have an example I use about what it's like to live here. I tell the story about how when we first got here I ordered a chicken dinner at a restaurant. And it came out with a fried egg on it. I thought I understood enough on the menu. I know the Spanish word for egg...and still wasn't expecting what I got. So, I say, living here, you think you understand what is going on and sometimes...you get egg. Not that it's always a bad thing. A fried egg can be delicious...just a bit of a surprise. So, we were all a bit worried about the egg.
Regardless, we took plenty of pictures for our family who we missed very much and who we know wishes they could have been here too.
Charlie's Angels...
Hamming it up for the camera

Joe joining in the pictures. Our three Confirmation Candidates..

All the kids

At the church...

The whole family..

One of my friends, Isabel, had never been Confirmed. Her daughter received First Holy Communion this year. We convinced her to join our classes.
I tried to get a picture inside the church but I didn't want to use my flash...The quality is a bit blurry. This is the Bishop as he prepares for the Confirmation. The kids were all holding their baptismal candles which we had lit and given to them. Our kids are on the right side of the Bishop so you can't see them.
Our friend Angela stood in for Aunt Mo as Alexa's sponser.

I stood in for Aunt Beverly as Andrea's sponser.

Nick stood in for...well, eventually Joe will ask his cousin Frankie to be his sponser. He still has to make the phone call and ask.
The kids picked Saint's names. I understand it's not something that is done much anymore but I remember the process of picking my name out pretty vividly, especially considering I don't remember much else from 6th grade. So, even though they weren't used in the ceremony they all have their Saint's names now. Andrea picked Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first female American Saint, and the namesake of Seton Hall University (which had nothing to do with her choice but made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside). Alexa picked Joan of Arc, because she listened to God and followed his word in spite of the cost to herself. Joseph picked Saint Nicholas, for a number of reasons among which is it's his father's name...and he's the patron saint of Slovakia and sailors.

It was a beautiful ceremony. The mass itself was in Spanish, Catalan, Latin and English. It lasted 2 hours, which was a bit on the long side if you ask the kids. I tried to follow along with the Spanish and understood some, but it impressed upon me the vastness of our church. The latin brought me back to my highschool latin class...but more importantly spoke to the timelessness of our church. The Catalan as usual just confused me. And the English was comforting. It was hard not having family there to share it with us. But I was moved to see members of our English congregation at the mass to support us. Joe's friend Ben came as well as Alexa's friend Gabby. The Mom who taught Isabel's daughter's first Communion class was there with her family. And the Lasso's were there, with Angela who agreed to stand up for our kids. So, while our Family was not present, we had a different kind of family there for us. And that made all the difference in the day. I expected to attend a Spanish mass with some token English parts for us for the kids Confirmation. I received something infinitely more beautiful. This time...the fried egg was perfect.
Afterwards, the Lasso's, Marino's and us all went out for dinner. I mistakenly ordered a 7th plate of pan con tomate as an appetizer...still not sure how that happened.lol But managed to order an amazing pork dish for my meal. They were kidding me after we ordered saying I ordered a suckling pig, one of those whole baby pigs, talk about getting an egg. But it wasn't. phew. And for dessert the kids enjoyed ice cream.

Our Confirmation class...

Fooling around as usual...

It was a great day.




BFIS Pre-prom pictures

Because the highschool is so small the invite the entire school to prom. Andrea and a few of her friends decided to go together. One of her best friends, Chantal is moving at the end of this school year so it became a little more important that Andrea attend. No prom is complete without the pre-prom photos...so I give you Daddy and daughter Mom and daughter
Andrea by the rose bushes (that have taken a bit of a punishment from mother nature with rain every day for the past two weeks)

Andrea and her friend Chantal...

Two girls ready to have fun.
There are times as the kids have grown that it hits me, their aging. Tonight was one of those days. When they were little I'd play a game with them as they'd sit on my lap and try to get up. I'd say, "wait wait wait...one more kiss." and pull them closer for another kiss. And we'd repeat the process over and over giggling as I pulled them in for one more kiss. Tonight as she stepped out of the car towards her friends. I had the urge to call after her..."wait wait wait...one more kiss." but she was out the door and off to join the fun. Tomorrow I think, I'll just have to hug her a little tighter...while I can.