Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tobin's Confirmation

Tobin made his confirmation on Tuesday April 12. 

This day was crazy.  I worked and both Tobin and Sarai had track meets.  I rushed to Northboro to get Sarai from her meet early to find out her event was starting late.  I did not make it to Shrewsbury High to get Tobin from his meet until 5:45.  Tobin was to be at our church no later than 6:10.  Somehow he ate, showered and we got to the parish by 6:15.  Angels were with us!

Nettie and Russ met us at the church.  Tobin chose Russ, his godfather, to be his sponsor.  One of the suggestions given to the confirmandees was to connect your baptism with Confirmation.  Tobin chose to do so.

Here Sarai is pinning Russ with a sponsor pin we gave him.  While Nettie is pinning Tobin with a dove pin.
Sarai was sitting at the end of the pew and was able to get some great shots of the sacrament.  Tobin chose the name Oswald.  St. Oswald was a bishop who created many local parishes in his area.  He was simple, but had a great effect on many people's lives and faith.  Tobin felt that this saint was someone he could relate to and they both have distinguished names.
The bishop took a minute with each confirmed to ask what they liked in school and to offer some advice.  He told Tobin he saw him going to WPI and that his smile will heal others.  It is obvious from this photo that the interaction between the bishop and Tobin was joyful.
Since the bishop did take time for each candidate, and there were 55 of them, Confirmation mass was two hours long.  Even though this made the evening long I do believe that Tobin will remember his confirmation with fond memories.  The bishop did make a great impression on him. 
We were able to take a picture of the family that could make it for Tobin's Confirmation. 
Great Grandpa Arcifa wanted to meet the bishop.  The bishop was kind enough to take several pictures with us.  Here are Tobin, Great Grandpa, the bishop, Great Grandma and Russ.

Now for just Tobin, the bishop and Russ.
This is Father Houston, the pastor of our church.
Here are my three silly girls.  Carmen was an altar serve during Confirmation.  She was lucky to hold the Bishop's hat during mass.
Aidan was tired after mass, but managed to have a bit of fun afterwards with Abram.
Having a Confirmation during the week makes it difficult for relatives to come to mass, but it was wonderful for all those who did come.  Thank you.  I had a celebration for him on Sunday April 17th to which different relatives came and celebrated with us. 

Here is the group photo from that celebration.  We were blessed with my mom, Lawrence, Marie, Chip, Max and Mira, Jesse and Jacinta and Marita.

Tobin with his cakes made by Carmen and Rachel.

What a blessed day.  We also found out that Mira and Max are having a baby in October!  Another cousin, yeah!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rachel's Injured Foot

Rachel sprained her foot six weeks ago. She was playing basketball at half time. She was competing for a ball with a teammate, landed oddly and had her foot kicked at the same time. These actions caused her toes to touch her shin, in her words. I cannot imagine how that happens, but since that point in time she was unable to put any weight on it.

We took her to the ER that afternoon. Here she is sitting in a wheelchair at the UMASS pediatric ER. She and Carmen had so much fun trying to maneuver the wheel chair in and out of the room. The nurses were surprised at how well Carmen and she got along.

At the time of initial injury 6 x-rays were taken. Rachel did not break any bones, thankfully. The ER doctor thought she would be walking within a few days of using the crutches. Not the case, Rachel had to use crutches for 3 weeks. Still unable to put much weight on her left foot. I contacted a friend who is an orthopedic surgeon. We had more x-rays taken.

Here is her beautiful long foot.  They looked to see if there were any signs of breaks.  Sometimes a break cannot be seen until healing has occurred.  But again, no signs of bone breaks.  We were told of a few anomalies in her foot.

First, she is missing a joint in her pinkie toe.  If you look at her toes there should be three joints, but the top bone of her pinkie toe is solid without the joint.  No issues with this, just an interesting fact.  She is also missing a bone in her foot that the metatarsals attach to. 
Really cool photo of her foot. 
The only possible explanation the surgeon gave for her continued pain and inability to place weight on it is that she may have cracked a growth plate between her third and fourth toe.  That is where most of her pain has been.

After seeing the surgeon she was given an air cast. It took her a day or two to be able to walk with out the crutches and just the boot.  Two weeks after getting the boot on she would play soccer and basketball in it.  We went back for a final check up, 8 days ago and was told to ween her off of the boot within the week of vacation.

Here is Rachel using the boot to walk around Boston.  That was Marathon Monday, April 18th.  After that day she barely used the boot and now is boot free.  She has started wearing two shoes for the first time in over 6 weeks! 
When we would tell people she sprained her foot they always wondered why she was taking so long to recover.  I learned that sprains happen in levels:  1st, 2nd and 3rd degree sprains.  The more severe the sprain the longer it takes to heal.  She didn't break a bone, but tore her ligaments and injured a growth plate so her recovery time was similar to a break.  It took Abram's elbow 3 months to fully heal. 

 Now the question is:  when will she be OK to play soccer.  She stopped all sports once this injury happened.  She missed multiple play-off games for basketball and soccer.  I'm sure she will be playing soon; my tough cookie.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

More flights with Abram as Pilot

Since my last blog about flying with Abram, we have flown with him several times. 
Here are some of the pictures from Feb 6th; a flight to Windham, CT.

Carmen and Rachel came on this flight.

I gave Carmen the camera to use during the flight.  She took over a hundred pictures!  Here is the view from the back seats.  Each seat has their own headset jack.  One great feature a plane has is that you can press the cockpit button so you can hear the people in the backseats.  If they are too loud, which Carmen and Rachel can be, we can turn them off from us in the front.  They can speak to each other, but we don't have to listen to their giggly banter.   This is a feature I want for the car!
This is what a majority of the pictures were:  Eyes, noses and mouth close ups! 
This is Rachel:
Here's Carmen:
This is a nice picture of the levee surrounding the airport we landed in.
The highlight of the flight for Carmen and Rachel was getting free Fruit Snacks at the airport in Windham, CT. 
Carmen did capture some good photos of the sunset.

On some runways there are four lights on the right side to guide you in.  They are arranged to show a white light when you are high, and a red light when you are low.  When you are on the desired 'glideslope', you will see two red lights and two white lights.  In this photo you can see three red lights and the runway number.  You can also see the runway edge lights, which go from white and then orange and red as you get to the end of the runway.  Abram had been asked to make a short landing so he could be off the runway for a jet who was next to land.  He was successful with the short landing, we got off the runway with plenty of time for the jet to come in behind us!  It is nice when the tower controller compliments you on your landing as they did after this landing.

On March 20th, Abram and I flew to Springfield, VT.  This is the airport that is near the Inn at Weathersfield that we stayed at in February. 

As we traveled we passed a hill covered with windmills.  I thought this picture was neat.

This was one of the only signs I saw that winter was disappearing - melting ice on the river. 

After we landed the airport was much more alive and I captured someone taking helicopter lessons near the area where we park the planes.

The following weekend, we traveled to Lebanon, NH to see Leah.  We flew by the same windmills we saw the previous weekend from the opposite side.  I think this photo is better.
 Carmen took this group photo of us. 
 Here's the budding photographer approaching the plane.

  Rachel had crutches, which added difficulty getting into the plane.  I will tell her foot injury story in my next blog. 

Abram is enjoying flying to many places, some of which we get to join him in.  On April 17 he flew to Provincetown, then to Nantucket, to Martha's Vineyard and back to Bedford, MA. He did this flight with his instructor.  This was good because he had to negotiate >50 mile an hour winds at Nantucket.