Happy Easter – He is Risen

Lent is over and we now celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus. After forty days of self-denial, prayer, fasting, and alms-giving, we now rejoice and celebrate the empty tomb.

Happy Easter, friends and family. May God truly bless you.

On the first day of the week,
Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
“They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don’t know where they put him.”
So Peter and the other disciple went out and came to the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple ran faster than Peter
and arrived at the tomb first;
he bent down and saw the burial cloths there, but did not go in.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there,
and the cloth that had covered his head,
not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
Then the other disciple also went in,
the one who had arrived at the tomb first,
and he saw and believed.
For they did not yet understand the Scripture
that he had to rise from the dead. (John 20:1-9)

Sally keeps watch

Both of the girls practice piano daily (imagine that!). While they are practicing, one can usually find Sally sitting just to their side watching out the front window. It’s as is she’s keeping watch. Frankly, I wish I could see her from the outside to see just how pretty she is sitting there with ears perked and eyes open wide.

Spring Break in Puerto Vallarte

The cold and snow often drive us away from Kansas at spring break – we’ve had enough. This year, we headed south to Puerto Vallarte, Mexico. This west coast city of 200,000 is full of hotels, resorts, and old architecture. It’s also the area where humpback whales head each winter (maybe they’re sick of the cold and snow too). We went there 3 years ago along with Linda’s parents and had a wonderful time doing tours of the city and whale watching out on a boat.

This year, we went with the plan to just relax. And that is just what we did. We stayed at an all-inclusive resort – Barcelo – about 30 minutes south of town near the Los Arcos beach and rock formations.

We mostly sat around the pool and ventured out to the beach for fun in the waves. Although the waves were so fun that, while smiling so big, a large wave blasted Emily and her retainer fell out into the ocean. What luck!

We had plenty to eat with buffet meals at breakfast, lunch at a poolside cafe each afternoon, and a different formal restaurant each evening. For dinner we had Italian, Spanish, and Mexican themed dinners – all wonderful. We had a gorgeous view of the sunset at dinner time.

What did we do through the day? Mostly a lot of this:

and of course, I had plenty of this:

Our last full day there was the day that the Kansas State Wildcats mens basketball team played in the NCAA tournament. Although televised on a channel that we could get in our room and in the bar downstairs, the channel cut away to the Mexico-Honduras soccer game during that time. The basketball game before ours and the one afterwards were shown, but ours was not. How frustrating. So, we did the next best thing – Linda found a radio broadcast over the internet that we were able to stream with our WiFi connection. This is how we tried to enjoy the game (that we ended up losing):

In all, we had a great time – and really preferred where we were over the 6 inches of snow that arrived as we got home to Kansas. Already looking forward to next spring break…

HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM

Today we have a new pope – Pope Francis I – formerly Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio from Buenes Aires, Argentina.

I had just emerged from a car wash when my phone went crazy with Twitter updates that white smoke was emerging from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel. Just prior to entering the car wash, I had tweeted myself Anxiously awaiting white smoke.

I hurried home so I could sit in front of the TV to watch the live feed from the Vatican. Amazingly, it was an anxious-filled 45 minutes or so before the new pope emerged on the balcony.

It was wonderful to seen Facebook and Twitter jump alive with all of the news. It’s good to see that the Catholic Church is still alive and very relevant.

Viva Pope Francis!

Deep Snow With Good Neighbors

This is a bit late, but I’ve been meaning to tell everyone about this one awesome morning. After receiving just over 13 inches of snow just 4 days before, the Kansas City area received an additional 12 or so inches of snow on Tuesday, February 24. This gave us a total of about 2 feet of snow. The snow was heavy and wet; it was causing limbs to come down everywhere.

Reluctantly, at about 9:00 am, I bundled up (along with my brother-in-law) and attacked the driveway with as much enthusiasm as I could muster. Within the next 30 minutes, neighbors of about 5 houses were also out doing the same. Linda was out there with us, too. Eventually, we congregated together and completed each others driveway as a team. By the end of our time together, we had 10 people wielding snow shovels. We went up and down our block cleaning driveways, front steps, and sidewalks. It was a wonderful feeling of community.

At some point, one of the neighbors announced Beer at Bill’s house when we’re done. There were chuckles all around, but I quieted the snickers when I replied that I had plenty for all and would welcome having such good friends over for drinks after such hard work.

After we finished the heavy work, each person returned to their home to shower. The following hour found all of my good neighbors in my living room in front of the fireplace and enjoying good craft beer. The following picture was taken by Linda, therefore she is not in it!