The Loveliness of Candlemas
Looking Ahead ...

Such a Big Day!

Today was a very big day for our family - Crackerjack made his First Reconciliation!

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And you will not believe it, but I do not have even one picture from church this afternoon! The funny - well not funny, but ironic - thing is, I specifically said to Bill on the drive over: "Do not let me forget to get a picture of Crackerjack at church today, maybe even one with Father before we leave." And what did we both promptly forget to do? Right, take any pictures. Rats!

Well, here is our little man, just after we got home (already changed into his "comfortable" pants).

To tell the tale fully, I must backtrack a bit to this morning at Mass. (You know, you're just never going to get the "Cliff Notes" version from me, lol!) Just before the final blessing, Father asked that any second graders present stand and raise their hands. As we attend the earliest Mass, there was only CJ and one other little girl from his class standing up. Father talked abut how these children were making their Sacrament of First Reconciliation today, and how hard they have worked preparing for this special moment. And then everyone clapped! CJ was beaming, but quite pink-cheeked! All the folks who sit around us each week made of him on the way out, congratulating him and shaking his hand ...

Well, on with the story. :) We all (the 75 second grade families) gathered at church this afternoon where Sister organized the masses and Father introduced us to the three additional priests who were in attendance to hear confessions. As we began, Father read from the Gospel of Luke, the story of the prodigal son. He then gave a very lively and meaningful homily for the kids - talking about forgiveness, about how Our Father always forgives us when we are sorry. He explained that we sometimes get lost, but we can always come home. He even had scuba gear as part of his illustrations!

Then it was on to the sacrament. We moved like clockwork through the pews; some children went to any priest who was free, some preferred seeing our pastor (as CJ did). After each child was done, he was given a nice little cross as a gift and then, with his family, went downstairs for cookies and juice. We were back home in just over an hour, where Nana and Papa were waiting with Earlybird. So it all went very smoothy, and truth be told, I think I was more nervous than CJ, lol! (And that might explain why I completely spaced on taking any pictures!)

So fresh from confession, CJ was ready to kick back and relax! His request? Cupcakes and punch - easy enough! His favorites are orange cupcakes with vanilla buttercream frosting and he also requested an "orange" punch. Duncan Hines makes a yummy Orange Supreme cake mix and I made up some homemade frosting. For the punch, I just winged it (I feel like I should say wung it for some reason) - blending an orange-pineapple drink with cream soda and scoops of orange sherbet. It was a bit different but pretty tasty! Here is how the table looked when set:

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It's hard to tell from the picture, but I used gold cupcake liners and a church sticker (Jolee's True Faith) on a toothpick for the top cupcake. This was such a little thing, but CJ thought it was neat. As we ate, he opened cards and received not one but two First Penance lapel pins.

So, this big day is coming to an end, and it's starting to feel like an every day kind of Sunday night. But here is a peek at our mantle just now - a little remembrance from a very big day!

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