Sunday, May 21, 2017

Four years ago I wrote that I had a "reason to blog." Apparently I had more reasons not to! Ah well, no biggie. We'll just pick back up here. I've have another baby since then. Gloria, Glo, Glo-stick or Stick for short. She has been a total pain in the butt and joy to the heart. She is now three and sleeping in her own bed and going potty on the toilet and so I don't really know what to say except that I am still in process of accepting that she's not really a baby. But she's still my baby and no one can tell me otherwise.
So, the reason for the resurrection of blogging is that we are about to have a LOT of adventures that we don't want to forget and that we want to share with our family and friends and stalkers. Note the side bar for full explanation.
We leave the very end of July for OXFORD! We are roadtripping around the Continent for six weeks first however and are in deep planning for both of these distinctly different types of adventures. The primary purpose of this post is to catch the blog up to this point. I think I'm just going to post my Christmas Letter from this past year and fill in a couple gaps.

December, 14, 2016

Dear friends and family,
Merry Christmas from all the Loves! If the length of this letter wears you out upon first glance then feel free to toss it in the trash. It is not my fault that John brought me a gin and tonic as I sat down to write it and that gin increases my verbosity. If you continue to read then I hope this missive is finding you happy, healthy and safe. If it doesn't then I sincerely hope that you receive comfort and consolation this Christmas season. We are doing well here in The Burg with life being very busy and full all the time. Busy with great activities and opportunities for growth and full of friends and community. That is our general info that more or less stays the same year to year (Thanks Be To God).
John - John’s update for the year includes the rest of the family. In November of this year he received an invitation from the Dominicans at Oxford to come next year as a visiting scholar. With the approval of his University and the financial generosity of family and institutions we are all heading over to Oxford next year from August to June. While we are in Oxford, John will be writing a commentary on St. Thomas Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae (the second part). In between that epic writing project we hope to shuttle the kids hither and yon on the continent and Great Britain. Words fail to express the gratitude and excitement this opportunity
inspires in us. Once in a lifetime for all eight of us! (WHO GETS TO DO THIS?! Gratitude, thy name is Love Family).
Alexis - Less jaw-dropping updates from this quarter. I am still reaping the benefits of the kids being in a Homeschool Academy (a hybrid homeschool/classical school that meets two days a week and assigns work the other three days). I have Mondays at home with my littles when I can read Good Night Moon and Pajama Time and prepare soups for the dark winter days and consolidate calendars and grocery shop. Sometimes I jog and sometimes I read. It’s a lovely day of the week. It feel like I get to be a person, a mom and a homemaker in addition to a home-educator (my full-time occupation the other 4 days of the week) since we are in this co-op. However, next year’s role of full-time tour guide and traveling-with-six-kids-expert-in-the-making is looking very inviting as I peruse DK travel guides all night, every night. Unless I’m watching BBC’s Pride and Prejudice or Brideshead Revisited (also considered “research” into British culture). 
Anthony (12) - Anthony loves the Co-op. He enjoys the both the academic rigor, the structure and the social aspects that it affords him. When not parsing English or Latin grammar (at which he far surpasses my own abilities and often John’s…in fact, I’ll have to have him proofread this parenthetical statement, I’m quite certain there’s something wrong with it…) he enjoys being on the soccer field more then anything else. He’s coming along as quite a defender and he is rarely surpassed by another player in the level of engagement he has in the game. He and Gloria are chummy and she adores, “my big brudder, Antio.” This is a limerick he composed about her: 
“We call our Little One, Glo.
She likes to exclaim, “No, no!”
She loves reading books
And hiding in nooks
I wish I could not let her grow.”
Rosemary (9) - Our sweet little artist. Rosie has been in 2 different weekly art classes this year and really impresses me with her ability to get what she envisions out of a pencil. She also works really hard in school, is deliberate and rarely requires my help. In fact, she regularly runs “Tot time” which is her version of preschool with Catherine and Gloria. She’s much craftier then I am so they appreciate her intervention into their early education almost as much as I do. She is also emotionally a (relatively) stable element in the house. We Loves, are none of us super even-keeled, but she is our version of such a person. I love her and cherish her.
Thomas (8) - Oh Thomas! Thomas has been described to me by his tutors as: energetic, enthusiastic, extroverted, excitable, eager, exhilarated and engaged. I will break the trend by using an “i” word. This child is intense. He is one of those kids who raises the level of energy in the room significantly by his entrance…before he's done a thing. He is never bored, he is never uninterested. The difficulty with him is finding enough things to channel the enthusiasm into. For example, all the children began a new math program this year and they all love it (because it is computer-based and who doesn’t love a screen?). After 5 days of school Rosie had completed 9 lessons, Anthony has completed 13 lessons. Thomas had completed 31 lessons. He is always running at about triple the enthusiasm of other kids. 
Cecilia (7) - Cece is such a great “smack-dabber”. Smack-dab in the middle of the family and always wanting to be a part of the team. She is inclusive and positive. We had a epic-fail procuring a Christmas Tree this year. We tried to switch tree farms to save a few bucks. Even John and I had trouble mustering enthusiasm for the experience compared to our regular annual tradition that costs more than twice as much but is infinity more fun, and there was more then one child alternating between weeping loudly and raging furious accusations about our pecuniarious “ruining of Christmas.” Cece however looked at each Charlie-Brown-Worthy tree and a smilingly shouted, “I LOVE that tree! And that tree LOVES ME!” And I love her. We call moment’s like that, “The Power of Positive-Ce”. 
Catherine (4) - Catherine is totally normal when it comes to wanting to run with the big kids and “do it myself” and other such developmental standards. What sets her apart in our family is that she is so tuned into how other people are feeling and how her actions effect them. She still has her toddler/preschooler moments, certainly. But she’s our only kid who regularly apologizes for her outbursts unprompted. It’s amazing. I often wish that some of her innate sense of perspective, sensitivity and maturity would rub off on me. 
Gloria (2) - She’s very two. She completely adores her older siblings and runs with the pack. Except when she’s snuggling with John. Or me, in a pinch. She’s our only kid to follow her Uncle James’s method of replacing the “f”-sound with the “p” sound. My favorite phrase being how she describes a burp, “Oh! I parted!…in my mouf.” Again, sometimes I wish for Catherine’s maturity.
In conclusion, we are happy and we wish you happiness. We are healthy and we hope for your health. We are safe and we pray for your safety. We are blessed and we are grateful for this Christ-child and for this life that he has given us. Merry, merry Christmas!

Love, the Loves

1 comment: