Monday, April 8, 2024

Weekending Whirlwind: Puzzle Completion, Piano Competition, Plenary Indulgence and Pretend Farmers

On Friday night, I completed a puzzle...finally.  

While Andrew was home for Spring Break, he worked on a puzzle at the kitchen table, and then I didn't want to just pack it away, so I placed it under a clear tablecloth.  Then Phil said these would make cute "placemats" and so I will continue working on more puzzles until I have eight puzzle placemats.  At my current rate, this project will most likely finish next fall ;)

One piece missing and two pieces with the picture scratched off after being vacuumed up

Related: Friday nights have changed sooooo much through the years, but I must say that I really enjoy the whole "put on pajamas, eat pizza or something else easy, watch a movie and stay home".  Now I guess I need to add puzzling to the Friday night roster.  I am adulting so hard.

On Saturday, after taking the little kids on a scooter ride around town, we headed up north of Boston for Alexander's annual piano competition, the New England Music Festival.  

Every year, he gets a little older and better but so does the rest of the competition.  He competed twice, first in a group of 12 kids, then in a group of 10 kids.  

The competition was fierce, and during a break I reminded him that everybody is playing so well, and that "somebody has to come in 8th and 9th and 10th place" so maybe don't expect to win in the top two like usual.  He understood and completely agreed with the talent and song choices he was facing.  As soon as he had finished, he wanted to drive home and not wait for the awards.  His piano teacher was going to be at the awards ceremony and said he would let us know.  

The Student and the Teacher

When his teacher called him, we were unbelievably surprised to find out that he won 1st place in the first group and 2nd place in the second group.  What?!?!?  I wish I had captured Xander's face when he heard the news because it was priceless.  

I had recorded his competition song a week ago because I knew once he had finished the competition, he wouldn't want to keep playing it, so please enjoy "Magic" by the 12 year old Alexander Blaise:


On Sunday, we went to Mass in the morning, and then Phil had to give a talk to the parents of the religious education kids, so I went home and made Divine Mercy pancakes:

I did not plan on making these, but we just happened to have strawberries and whipped cream in the fridge, so liturgical living for the win!  Sacrilicious!

We took the kids to scooter again, this time in the hilly cemetery and they had a blast.  Gosh little kids are so fun!  Later on, Phil and I went out on a lunch date to a mexican restaurant and then came home and I took a nap while he took the kids to the park.  I know I married way up.

Because we all wanted to obtain the Divine Mercy plenary indulgence, we went to Confession at a nearby church in the evening and then out for ice cream after.  Eamon and Maggie went in a separate car to meet up with Andrew's girlfriend so that she wouldn't have to go no photos of those good kiddos.  My college boys also went to Confession and I am so grateful for the gift of our faith and kids who choose to live it.

Confession Confections

Cheers to Clean Souls

JP took a road trip with some friends this weekend out to a friend's farm in Illinois and sent me the photos and videos to prove it.  I am so happy that he has made wonderful friends out at Franciscan and got to celebrate a little with them before they graduate in a month...

We all woke up very tired this morning, so hopefully the week will be calm and relaxing.  Hahahahahahaha, a girl can dream!!


  1. Xander is a fabulous piano player! WOW!!!! That kid is talented! And Sacrilicious? You are hilarious!

    1. Liturgical living is sacrilicious :) And thank you re: Xander's talent!

  2. Hello, my friend! Your Friday nights are perfect. I love spending mine much the same. Congratulations to your boy! What an accomplishment!

    1. I can't believe I'm at the stage in life where I do puzzles, but I'll take it :)

  3. !!!! Xander is so incredibly talented -- I say as someone who played in piano competitions through the end of high school and never took first place. He plays that jazz piece effortlessly (I kept thinking I was just listening to Apple Music and forgetting I was listening to a 12-year-old!) but those syncopated rhythms and runs are technically challenging. Amazing!! I'm just curious, what did he play for the non-classical division?

    Divine Mercy pancakes... you are my liturgical living hero! My ultimate liturgical living coup is when I remember to serve nachos on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe ;)

    1. Thanks Kate! He played the same song for both - he basically learns and plays the one song all year and then competes, so let's just say that we get a little sick of it ;) Mexican food on Dec. 12 is always an easy way to celebrate, I'm all about it!

  4. Xander is awesome. How great that he scored so well in tough competition. Well done. The 4 wheeler race on video looked so fun and carefree. Ah, youth. Your pancake thing cracked me up. Enjoy the week.

    1. So fun and carefree - he even lost his hat on the ride. I'm glad they enjoy their youth and don't waste it :)


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