Amelia had her family birthday party today. She requested a pillow fight. It was terrifying but somehow everyone survived.
Spring has sprung. The flowers are out and we have started planting the garden.
Elizabeth had her first communion today. I tried to talk Matthew into staying home but he insisted he was fine and since none of us wanted to miss this special moment we let him come. He seemed pretty chipper at church but afterwards he went to lie down in bed and pretty much stayed there all afternoon.
Shout out to Michael who drove five and a half hours to come to bear witness with us. Amelia counted his presence as the top "highlight" of her week, despite the weird face she's making in the picture with him. She actually dragged him up to the altar so that she could have a photo with her godparent in the same place as Elizabeth did with hers!
She received her first communion from Creighton, which was pretty special. After the service the first communicants came forward to be blessed in front of the whole church. Then we had cake! Afterwards we came home for more cake and Elizabeth's baptism anniversary since we happened to have all the godparents in the same place at about the right time!
Matthew had stopped throwing up Saturday afternoon and insisted he was fine to run. Since Auntie Janice was being a medic that morning and it was such a short distance we decided to let him. He was very excited to run and explicitly told Elizabeth that she should run ahead. "I want to know what I can do on my own" She finished in 4:37, he finished in 6:33 (bettering Elizabeth's time at the same age, to his great satisfaction and her chagrin).
Elizabeth was so fast that Daddy didn't even notice her running by at the finish. I thought I saw the back of her head - twice.... Obviously I was wrong one of those times but it was hard to see as I was holding both Michael and Amelia up so they could see over the barrier. The race was NOT small child spectator friendly just there. Next year Elizabeth's planning to wear something more distinctive on her head so we can pick her out a little more easily.
They were very happy to get their medals and head back home to change for church.
Matthew was not feeling well and Brendan had to go to Home Depot, so although the girls really wanted to go check out the garage sale they had to content themselves with staying on our street. Although they complained bitterly about this restriction it didn't seem to stop them from buying a ton of random stuff, mostly various desserts from the pink ladies on our lawn and toys from our neighbours across the street.
Elizabeth bought Matthew a plastic cheetah and some lego which was very much appreciated by the pale, exhausted sickie who was so sad to be missing out. Amelia bought Michael a fire engine because she thought he ought to have it. She also got herself some books. Elizabeth found a random small elephant.
Auntie Janice soon was up and volunteered to take them to the community center. Amelia was very keen to go because her afternoon teacher was apparently painting faces and selling sno-cones and COTTON CANDY. She bought some cotton candy and Elizabeth got a sno-cone but I think they were too early for the face painting. They came back all sugared up with much chocolate and big smiles.
Race Weekend is hotly anticipated around here. Matthew was looking forward to getting TWO medals. Elizabeth and Erika were excited about running their first 5km with no adults to slow them down.
I had reluctantly concluded that I couldn't run this year. After breaking my toe twice this winter it has been slow to get back to normal and I can really feel it after too much standing or running. Matthew needed a running buddy for the two km race though, so Brendan was thinking about stepping up. He really wanted to take photos though, so when we discovered that Yukiko was willing to race he decided to be official photographer!
Unfortunately, after dance on Friday Matthew suddenly told me his tummy hurt. We went home quickly and ascertained that 1) he didn't want to go to sparring (hmm) 2) didn't want his cookie from dance ("too sugary") 3) didn't want supper.
He started throwing up not long after. We like to quarantine our pukers from the healthy kids (one drawback to sharing a room with siblings!) so we stuck him on the basement, where he did his thing apparently all night and without needing parental assistance! Elizabeth is such a deep sleeper she frequently vomits in her sleep so I am profoundly grateful Matthew has reached the stage of mostly using the toilet and washing out his own bucket.
In any case he continued to throw up regularly all morning while insisting he was going to race. Auntie Yukiko arrived around 1pm to find him dozing on the mat in the bathroom. He told her he was not able to race, but a few minutes later we were surprised when he came downstairs dressed in his race shirt all ready to go. Or as Elizabeth pointed out later - he kind of flopped on the couch real pale and lethargically announced he was racing - not at all his usual self. We all looked at each other and then I told him he could have unlimited screen time but he wasn't racing. He was very sad.
I dropped the girls and Brendan off downtown for their races and went back home. Elizabeth and Brendan escorted Yukiko to the start line and cheered her on! She finished in 14 minutes, which is the same pace as Matthew and I did last year! She is clearly a better runner than I because she felt after that 2km "wasn't so long" whereas I was tiiiired. We'll have to try running together sometime.
Erika and Chris showed up then and the lot of them saw Erika and Elizabeth off on their 5km race. Janice and Amelia meanwhile came to cheer too, while I looked after the boys at home. Brendan says he ran his own race getting photographs - his phone claimed about 8km worth of movement!
The girls ran an enjoyable but leisurely 5km in about 39 minutes, which was their target time that they trained for. I should add that the training was entirely self driven and they did it all by themselves since I wasn't able to run with them this year. They started and finished holding hands so that neither would be ahead and stopped at every water station. They were clearly not tired at the end!!!
They were greatly amused to discover that the 5km medals were bigger than the 2km medals. Everyone had fun despite the sprinkles of rain and are already plotting their next races.
Elizabeth has been taking catechism classes through the church for the last few weeks in order to prepare for her first Communion.
Creighton also asked that she memorize John 6:54-56 "Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him." and review the catechism Q's 110-115 pertaining to Holy Communion.
I took her out of school early today to come to church and do one last session with Creighton. First they talked a bit and then we got to go to the Sacristy for a field trip! After getting to see all the pieces used for Communion, Elizabeth practiced how to take the host and drink from the cup using water and unconsecrated bread.
It was pretty amazing preparation and we are very much looking forward to Sunday.
Matthew has two stripes on his orange belt! Maria also has two stripes on her orange green belt! Plus it was her birthday so she got a birthday belt!