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    _RAMONA   43,094
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This is the day the Lord has made...


Thursday, June 07, 2012



...let us rejoice and be glad in it!

As requested, here is a glimpse of last evening... my Divine Miss O's First Communion and Confirmation!

I apologise in advance for the rather poor picture quality... photography is NOT my strong suit! I didn't try terribly hard to get super great pictures as there was a professional videographer taping the proceedings. All the children will get a copy, and included will be closeups of the moments when they actually received each Sacrament.... Truthfully, my heart was too full, and my eyes occasionally overflowing with joy, to even remember to take pictures, LOL! I took pictures in the moments when no one else was really watching, and I was pondering what may be in my little girl's heart. She's been longing for this day for at least four years now! I pray her sweet sincerity, and longing to get ever closer to God, never wanes.



We begin... "In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit!" "Through Him, with Him and in Him... in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honour is yours, almighty Father, forever and ever!"




The children lined up at the back of the church waiting for the proceedings to begin... My Miss O is the little veiled head on the right.




The procession heralding the start of Mass begins...




...and continues... again, Miss O in the veil, on the right.




My girl's sweet head bowed in prayer (I hope... or listening with attention?)... truth be known, it was one of the few moments she was actually sitting still, LOL! Oh she was giving me FITS... she had to sneak back to me no less than four times to have her veil put back on because she had fidgeted/pulled it off! By the end of Mass I just had to laugh... I trust God understands and even appreciates the childlike excitement and exuberance so many children displayed last night. Despite all of the talk of 'reverence' it wasn't the most obvious demeanor or expression of faith on display last night. I'm pretty sure the little holy ducklings had our Heavenly Father in stiches on His throne (or perhaps our mom/dad concerns did), LOL!

I also have to admit, in situations such as these, I am continuously frustrated by my little hooligan girl, LOL... while I'm equally captivated by her vivaciousness and exuberance! I vowed that 'scolding' would not be on the agenda last evening no matter what, and I believe we're all the better for it. I didn't want any part of her evening to be marred with unhappiness or censure... though I struggle so with my expectations. I was SO much better behaved (and unhappy) when I was her age (and she was SO much better behaved than her peers... she sang and responded joyously and was obviously caught up in the importance of it all)... but I have to remember my mother beat it into me (I just had to glance at my mom's face last night to be reminded). SIGH. I wish I could be as oblivious to censure as is my daughter, and just be my own exuberant vivacious self, LOL! I did, however, feel the seeds of grace and freedom germinating last night.




The children being quizzed on their readiness just prior to being Confirmed. With the Sign of the Cross in oil of Chrism on her forehead, "Olivia be sealed with the Holy Spirit." "Amen!" ""Peace be with you." "And with your spirit."




Three of our priests (we have four active and three retired in our parish) calling down the Holy Spirit to reign in the hearts of our beloved children! Our parish priest (the priest who oversaw their instruction and journeyed with them this past year) was commisioned by the Bishop to confirm last night... the Bishop wasn't able to attend due to a death among our Diocesan priests... the funeral was last night.




Miss O reading one of the prayer intentions... for this, and all of the needs in our hearts, we pray to the Lord! Lord hear our prayer!




All of the children gathered around the altar for the Offeratory, and Eucharistic prayer. That is a huge space and they fill it thoroughly!




Jesus in the tabernacle... "Olivia! The body and blood of Christ!" "Amen!" Miss O was in awe of the fact that she touched 'real gold' when receiving from the cup! Ah... it's so hard to weed the worldliness out of our hearts, isn't it? I pray Jesus continues to transform her heart and draw her closer to Him!




The whole group, once Mass was over! Miss O, is on the left near the front.




Miss O with her chosen sponsors, my youngest (and ever skinny) sister and her husband.




My family! The lavender pearl necklace Miss O is wearing is our gift to her so she has a keepsake to grow into (it has matching drop earings, which she won't wear for some time)... because she is a jewel in God's crown... more precious than that gold of which she is in such awe! She is delighted with her pearls, and touchingly awed that we would buy her 'real jewels', LOL! It seems it really made an impression that we value her enough to bestow such 'riches' upon her... I pray that she grows in the truth and understanding of our belief in her, and especially in the real treasures this day has bestowed upon her.

It seems lousy picture-taking runs in my genes, LOL! My other sister took this for us... she snapped two... in this one my DH has his eyes closed, and in the other mine are. Since this is my blog, I get to put my better face forward (rockin' *I think* my regular sizes pantyhose and my regular sizes XL dress)! If we look a little wilted, it's because we ARE... it was so hot in the church by then (warm evening, oldest church in our diocese, no air conditioning). Also, if my husband looks like he is swimming in his jacket, it's because he really is (and not because he melted)! We bought it 18 months after we were married. He doesn't wear it very often, and we were both shocked when he put it on last night. Sure, we knew he's eliminated 35 lbs since January, but somehow, in the day to day doings of daily life, it didn't seem that dramatic. Last night someone asked after his health, noting he was so much thinner. STILL no one seems to notice I've lost weight (maybe I have go around in my 'start' clothes?). SIGH. It's not that I want everyone to make a fuss about it, it's just that it's hard to listen to people compliment him, and not even tell me I look well, or nice, or different... my hair, perhaps? You know what I mean, yes?




Afterward in the much cooler hall with Father... working the dress and glad to be rid of the veil!




My personal victory last night... my shoes... it's been at least five years since I wore these (and I've worn nothing other than a 'functional' shoe since I fell and concussed myself nearly into oblivian four years ago)... and last night I wore 2.5 inch heels for six hours... no sore feet, knees, hips or back! WHOO HOO! One of the reasons we stopped dancing is that I could no longer wear dance shoes (and DH's back couldn't handle his being on his feet for a whole evening). Ballroom dancing this Fall here we come!



We pretended we were movie stars, and crowned the evening with a late second supper after the festivities at the church were over, LOL! We had our first supper at 4:30 pm, With all the excitement, by 10:30 pm we were all hungry (DH and I chose to forego cake at the hall, and Miss O only had a tiny piece... she's never been a big sweet eater). My girl delighted in being out and about so late and seeing only grown-ups everywhere, sashaying the charm out of her dress... she, in turn, got a few startled looks, followed by smiles at her delight.

DH and I each had a surf and turf appetizer sampler (jumbo shrimp and lobster in a coconut milk and ginger sauce and pork tenderloin, with blanched julienned carrots and asparagus tips... about three bites each of each item)... I so wish I had had the presence of mind to take a picture - the presentation was breath-taking! DH shared a meal-size caesar salad with Miss O, and I had a starter spinach salad, while Miss O rounded out her repast with a large bowl of avgolemono soup (her favourite). We all shared a bowl of baklava ice cream for dessert! We share most elements of any meals 'out' these days.

What a sense of freedom to go out and eat without guilt and with gusto! Eating like this gives us such a sense of celebration and family... sharing (tasting each other's food), laughing, critiquing, exclaiming over the goodness. As a family we've learned the art of enjoying food without making it all about the food!





...But since this is SparkPeople, and food is part of the picture, here's my Divine Miss O's (and my) breakfast of champions after a late night out on the town: 2 fried in butter, sunny-side-up eggs, on a bed of lettuce, sprinkled with Tex-Mex cheese and chives with a whole tomatoe and a half-cup of blueberries on the side, chased by a glass of milk (I forego the milk)... oh! And the ever-present olives... she goes through a jar a week all by herself. YUMMY!

My girl stayed home with me today so she could sleep in and recover from all of the excitement, and to reinforce the specialness of what has occurred in her life. I'm glad I did keep her home, as she had tons of questions and so much to say about it all. I wanted to solidify the teaching and experience in her mind before she moved on to ordinary life. We've spent a sweet day revelling in grace!



So there you have it... a peek into my 3-D and ever-faithful existance!

May your heart be blessed in the sharing!

May today and every day bring to you a ridiculous abundance of whatever you need. May all your concerns, struggles, anxieties and fears fall like ashes as you rise on eagle's wings, SOARING above all that would hinder you along this tremendous adventure of being and becoming all you are created to be. May the grace of God simply "overtake" you moment by moment. May the joy and victory of the risen Lord be yours in a very personal way... may you always be overwhelmed by the grace of God, rather than by the cares of life!

{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}
Ramona






(quote by CHRISTINE MASON MILLER)



...Because YOU deserve life in abundance and filled with grace!

JUST DO IT.

UNTIL.



'BEFORE' Pictures (May 31, 2009 - September, 2011) & Continuing PROGRESS (February 2012)! Next pictures July 1, 2012!
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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(I'm now keeping these right under my nose... in addition to being part of every blog I post, they are printed off and taped to my bedroom mirror)


Measurements, Musings & Motivation to MOVE!
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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(UPDATED/rewritten: JUNE, 2012)


I've Reached My Goal Weight!!!!!!!
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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NOTE: My weight tracker is NOT a truthful representation of my weight. Instead, I am using it as a tool to help me visualize my goal as though it's already been achieved!
(Tom Venuto)


UNTIL. (My 'Just Do It' blog)
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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DONE Girl Love...
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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(the footsteps into which I place my own feet)


Leaving NORMAL
www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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Why I'm STILL here... my SparkJourney Saga www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
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Words CAN Be Enough... page 2
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SPARKYCARLEY 6/14/2012 12:20PM

    Wow! What a wonderful evening you had! Thank you so much for sharing this occasion with us. It felt a little bit like I was there. Thanks. HUGS.

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LIBELULITA 6/11/2012 1:50AM

    What a wonderful and moving day. Miss O looks beautiful in her communion dress and it is lovely to see a child being brought up to have such faith and trust in a hghee power.....a precious gift to give her indeed. She will never feel alone or abandoned with this level of faith and this makes her a very lucky little girl indeed. You are also bringing her up to enjoy such wonderfully healthy foods....those eggs look yummyilicious and I'll have to try it....you are setting her up for a strong future nuturing her health and her spirit.

Thankyou for sharing your photos of such an important day, and yayyyy for the shoes!! emoticon emoticon

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CATHOLICCORGI 6/10/2012 3:46PM

    emoticon for sharing such a wonderful day with us on SP! emoticon to Divine Miss O!
I enjoy your writing so much! My spirit rejoices in the beauty of the Liturgy as you photographed it, and how it is such a great gift to have a parish like you have! So many priests! WOW!
The breakfast was right up my alley! I love olives!
May the memories O has gathered over the past week be wrapped in her soul forever! May God grant her many Graces, and may she continue to grow in her Faith by leaps and bounds!
What a wonderful job you and your DH have done in sharing your Faith with your "Divine Gift" from God!
May He grant the two of you, and O's sponsors, discernment and great wisdom as you continue to guide her along in her Faith journey!
Peace be with you!
emoticon emoticon

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IAM_HIS2 6/10/2012 4:58AM

    What a beautiful blog--love the you write! Congratulations to your daughter...how very special this day was for her and you. I feel so honored to be able to share in your joy.



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JAZZID 6/8/2012 11:32PM

    emoticon to Ms. "O"... That breakfast looks delicious, I will have to try that combination. emoticon emoticon

PS:... you have a lovely photo, and that is a beautiful pic of you, hubby and daughter!

Comment edited on: 6/8/2012 11:33:14 PM

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MRSKATEDUVALL 6/8/2012 10:01PM

    Thank you for sharing. This week my oldest was confirmed. I cried, tears of joy, relief, thankfulness and pride. Thank you so much for pointing out the center needs to be Christ.

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BERRY4 6/8/2012 1:40PM

    Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
(Matthew 19:14)

At that time the discipes came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
He called a little child and had him stand among them. And He said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:1-4, ff)

May the "seeds" of grace and freedom continue to grow up in you, Ramona. I pray God's blessings for YOU. You are seen by your heavenly Father, and you are precious to Him!
emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/8/2012 1:41:31 PM

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KNH771 6/8/2012 12:12PM

    How beautiful and blessed an occasion! Congrats to you and Miss O!

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MISSDIANE1 6/8/2012 8:11AM

    Ramona, your family is beautiful! As I sat at my son's first communion last year my eyes overflowed also. He was so excited that he would be consuming the body of Christ he could hardly contain himself. He was not nervous, but excited. I remember my First Communion as being a terrifying experience. I am so very glad his was not! I love the way you always put your faith first. We do the same and I sincerely believe it makes a big difference in our children's lives. My Nicholas like your Diving Miss O may fidget in church, but he replies to every responce with vim and vigor and sings loudly all the hymns. It makes my heart very glad.

Thank you for sharing your daughter's special day with us.

Love,
Diane

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NEW-CAZ 6/8/2012 3:18AM

    emoticon to the divine Miss O. She looks so beautiful and you look justifiably proud.
Thank you so much for sharing such a special occasion Ramona emoticon

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TINATC26 6/7/2012 9:11PM

    beautiful!! beautiful!! She looks so beautiful, and so do her proud parents!! I have so much more to say, but I am on my way to bed..but I could not not comment! Thanks so much for the pictures and the narrative!!

And I am more than certain that our God enjoys seeing the shenanigans of the young...with pleasure and amusement!!

Love to all of you!



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BLUE42DOWN 6/7/2012 8:02PM

    emoticon to her.

emoticon on the shoes!

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LESLIEJEAN43 6/7/2012 6:44PM

    Wonderful - what a glorious occasion!

Hugs, Leslie emoticon

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 6/7/2012 5:32PM

    Very sweet! She looks so cute. Congrats on the shoe victory. Nothin' like celebrating the seemingly little things that end up meaning the most!

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