Writing a letter to your confirmation candidate

It seems that one of the biggest events in confirmation preparation in this country is the letters of support to be given to the confirmation candidates during their mandatory retreats.

I have three such letters saved on this blog:

Confirmation letter to my daughterConfirmation letter to my fourth sonConfirmation letter to to my third son
I've asked my children what they remember about the letter they got from me and their dad, and also what they remembered about the letters they received. 
The answer was not much, or at least nothing specific. In general they were happy to have gotten a bag full of letters and there was a sense of feeling loved and supported. I guess that's the main thing - for them to have a sense that this is an important step in their spiritual growth, and that people they know, love and respect have taken the time out of their lives to let them know that! So here are some tips on procuring and writing letters for young confirmation candidates. Start thinkin…

7-Quick Takes

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Join the other Quicktakers at This Ain't the Lyceum

1. It's funny the things you can learn on Facebook.

One of Mr. Pete's cousins posted a picture of her brother circa 1960 something, standing next to his principal, Sister Ellen Mary. Sister Ellen had been my principal too, so I clicked on the link to her name on Facebook and sent a friend request along with a little note asking if she perhaps remembered me or my family.  Turns out she did remember me and she accepted my friend request and we are now Facebook Friends.

So what do you do when you get a new Facebook friend?  Look at their pictures of course!  A very quick  look at Sister's pictures revealed that my former principal was one of the famous Nuns on The Bus!
Nuns on the Bus Voter Registration Project

Bob Simpson via Flickr licensed via cc

This helps to explain so much about my twisted Catholic Education...

2. Noah got admitted to his first college choice, and got a pretty good scholarship too. So for the nay  sayers  ... success is the best revenge, there ya go!

3. One way that Noah can get extra money for college is joining one of the music groups like choir or band!  Noah does not play a band instrument, but he does play piano, so I immediately thought, "Noah, you can join the band and play the glockenspiel!"

Mr. Pete thought that was hilarious.  "No body has glockenspiels in the band any more. I've got at least six of them in my shop!"

Which made me think... what would be the perfect gift for a little girl about to be 2?

Her own glockenspiel of course!

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And lest folks think it is cruel to give the parents of a toddler a musical instrument that makes noise, let me remind you of my living room a few years ago!

4. We all have a virus this week - sore throats, cough, itchy eyes.  But Mr. Pete got it the worst.  While everyone else was enjoying their Nyquil or Dimetapp induced sleep-filled nights, Mr. Pete thought he was swallowing razor blades.  I gave him Zicam, he gargled with salt water, he took Aleve and acetaminophin - I even gave him a left over narcotic from Noah's clavicle repair - nothing touched his sore throat.  On Wednesday he got up at 3 a.m. to go to the ER, only to be told he did not have strep.

We have a $5000 deductible per person, $10,000 per family. I know it kills him to have medical bills, so his throat must really be bothering him!

Mr. Pete doesn't really have a family doctor. I mean, we do have one but he never goes to see her because he usually toughs this stuff out. He has had multiple gout attacks, and even almost impaled himself a few weeks ago with a wooden plank that got away from his power saw - he really has a high pain tolerance, but none of that made him seek out medical help. So after suffering one more day, I finally got him in to see our family doctor.

Anyway, after re-establishing himself as a patient in her practice, she looked at his throat and said, "Well, it doesn't look too bad back here."  She left to get something and Mr. Pete sat there dejected.

"I feel like such a wimp" he said.

It could be that a sore throat is just his Achilles heel. Arthritic toes or a blow to the abdomen don't phase him, so I guess he's entitled to be sensitive about his sore throat.  She did give him a steroid though, so hopefully, that will do the trick and he can get some sleep tonight.

5. Having everyone be so sick this week is certainly a come down from a fantastic cross country season! Sports certainly reflects real life.  We had weeks where we were totally heady from cross country victories (like Noah breaking into the 17s in the 5K and Rosie finishing 3rd with a PR on a very, very hot autumn day) to defeat (Noah's team not making it on to regionals, and Rosie missing a medal at the state meet by one place). So now it's on to the next season of Christmas concerts and rehearsals.

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6. Homeschool moms have a reputation for being tough!  That is even more true for homeschool moms teaching a co-op.  My high schoolers are taking chemistry and economics at co-op this year, each taught be a homeschool mom,  and I think their schedule has been quite rigorous.  While I think this is great for Noah, who is college bound, it has been challenging for Izzy and I've had to work just as hard as she has in getting her work done.

I don't mind because this is an old family tradition. I really struggled with math when I was in school and my grandmother spent HOURS every night helping me with my homework.  So I'm just paying it forward to the next generation.

Anyway, the kids both had had papers to write and it had to be in APA style, which is something I never had to do before, but seems to be a big requirement at most universities. I was tempted to have them blow that part off, but their teacher told them that it was going to be 30% of the grade. So I made myself sit down and learn all about APA formatting myself, and then I taught Izzy and Noah. I feel more comfortable on Word 2003, but the kids computers have Word 2010, so I learned how to format in both!  The result? So far I have Izzy's paper back an she got 3/3 on the formatting; I guess we did it correctly.

Our challenge next week will be a take home final exam that consists solely of five essay questions - like I said, homeschool mom are tough.

7. Since it's been in the 70s all week here in Ohio, I took the girls with me to the zoo yesterday to try to get a little more mileage out of our zoo membership. Usually the zoo is pretty quiet.  Other than the penguins and the river otters, the other animals mostly sleep, so there's not much to see. But yesterday the bears were sitting in the water playing with each other, splashing the water and just having fun.  It was a real treat and made it a perfect ending to the zoo season! As soon as I retrieve my phone from the car- picture to follow!

And on a final note, a homeschooling family in my area are suffering the loss of their 11-year-old daughter last weekend.  She was playing at her piano recital, gave a bow and then collapsed. A sudden and unexpected ending to such a beautiful life.  The community is surrounding them with love and support. Please keep them in your prayers.