Friday, January 2, 2009

More looking back: April -- December 2008

In April, J took his first class where he was left alone for a couple of hours -- and, pottery was a hit! On the same day, April 3, we had our home enthroned to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. JB acted the role of Alice in TORCH's Alice in Wonderland. The girls and I enjoyed, for the first time, the Pure Fashion Show. Grandparents returned for a visit while Mom went on a CRHP retreat and more juggling of lots of weekly activities. Maggie acted in TORCH's Tom Sawyer. In May, we finally went on a TORCH field trip to awesome Amicalola Falls, celebrated Maggie's b-day, took standardized tests at Homeschool Hangout, went to a Challenge Youth Rally at St. Brigids, Mom coordinated a fun ladies nite out at Greenwood's Restaurant, and, we headed to the beach on the 31st with our dear friends the Mercados. In June, we enjoyed having our first week-long vacation at the beach, kept up Monday Adoration and Tuesday guitar lessons, had an adventure at the Atlanta airport and JB did swim team. Jerry drove all the kiddos up to BGKY so that we could have a our (third?) annual vacation at home alone for a few days. I stirred up trouble when I asked Rachel to come look at new home construction with me up in Cumming. She and I had a yummy Cuban meal at a quaint family place that has since gone out of business. It is rare for me to have a half-day getaway with a friend without young people to serve and love. It is good with them and good to have a little break now and then. In July, we kept up Monday Adoration and Tuesday guitar and caught up with our cousins at the lake and later poolside. We signed our contract on the house we are building in Cumming on July 14th! I had done lots of research when J and JB were at Hannah's Horse Camp and M was still in KY working in the office; in fact, this desire to reside in Forsyth county (...we really like Dawson Co. too...) began back when M was in Kindergarten at Pinecrest Academy. In August, we changed our Holy Hour to Thursdays, worked at our TORCH yard sale, took a spontaneous trip to the beach with Linda, Hannah, Savannah and Maddie, celebrated Dad's b-day with grandparents here, officially started homeschooling on the 18th and began Coop classes on Marine Biology on the 29th. In September, got in the groove at home, JB started private math lessons, had a ball at our parish picnic, J went on a Challenge retreat, began a weekly art class for JB and J, M began weekly youth group classes, heard a most genuine political speech, Challenge Kick-Off, Mom's b-day, was taught by JB why I do what I do, had fun parties with Rosses and Mercados and spent two nights camping at the lake with our annual TORCH Camporee. In October, Mom re-joined Familia apostolate to study authentic feminism and deepen my prayer life, took kids to Mayfield Dairy Farms with TORCH, all of us got the live, attenuated flu nasal mist, M went to the Holy Spirit Monastery with St. Andrew's Youth Group. I wrote something good inspired by my dear friend, and killer good writer, Sara B. We were so grateful for successful emergency surgery for TR, and, we ended the month by Dad and I hosting fun family dinner with Clarks here on All Hallows Eve. Somewhere in all this we were de-cluttering and packing boxes -- notice the lack of pictures of our mess here. In November, the Presidential Election was big. A special Rite of Welcoming for J at a Saturday Family Mass as part of his preparation for First Eucharist. A very big and fruitful girls retreat for our M, and a lovely family meal at the Gallamores. Presentation Day to end our Coop; and, November 23rd, the Feast of Christ the King, goes down as highpoint in Mom's life as she became a part of Regnum Christi with all her family, and many dear friends, present. We went to BGKY for Thanksgiving for some needed r & r. Advent 2008 began and we greeted the liturgical new year with hope and happiness, as our Faith allows, no matter what the circumstances. In December, the house really took shape. Dad went to Mass with us on Monday the 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the 10th was TORCH Advent night, and the 13th was an evening marriage retreat hosted by Familia. Gaudete Sunday was even more joyful than usual. Mom went on a women's evening retreat at Pinecrest on the 16th, the 17th we had our last Challenge --look at these girls go -- and, the 18th were auditions for upcoming TORCH spring drama productions. The 20-23 we went back to BGKY and had the blessing to see all the grandparents. The children insisted that we be here in this house for Christmas. It was quiet and lovely and playful. The 31st we spent with friends new and old.

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