Kevin J and Alex left for Christendom College this morning. Kevin is in his junior year and Alex is a freshman. We couldn't be happier with their college choice, it's a good place for both of them. Virginia isn't even that far away, about a nine hour drive. It is all an incredible and overwhelming blessing.
However, each time a child graduates and leaves our homeschool, it's a change. A new beginning. Even good transitions are hard. Launching our kids into the world, albeit a wonderfully Catholic and kind world like Christendom, hurts because these kids are our hearts. Our younger kids childhoods will be filled these changes and bigger kids coming and going. I must work harder than ever to create stability, joy and family unity for the remaining six. Then five, four....
It's all good. (She says smiling bravely through her tears.)
Originally Alex was going to take a gap year before heading off to Christendom College. Then he wasn't, then he was, now he isn't. A rather miraculous series of events fell into place last week and only this week, with three days to get him ready, it was decided , that he is going.
The college has been remarkably gracious and helpful with his last minute acceptance. They told us he wasn't the latest applicant ever to be accepted. However, I would not like to repeat this last minute scenario with any other kids.
Alex is excited, and I am frazzled with the mad, last minute scramble to prepare two of them to leave. Alex is tall, you can't just walk into a brick and mortar store to buy him clothes. Even online it's like searching for a needle in a haystack to find clothes for a tall, slim man. (Christendom requires business clothes for class and Mass, and my boys aren't known for their diligence in laundry.) Thank goodness that one can order online and ship to the college.
the school room is the packing room
And what is this child going to do when he is gone?! How will she go to bed at night?! He carries her up every night. On nights he is not home, she has been known to get up when she hears him return, and come back down so he can carry her up!
Our parish's youth group retreat was called Advent in June and appropriately included a snowball fight and green Christmas themed tee shirts. They were joined by several priests, seminarians, St. John the Baptist and the Three Wise Men. The goal was to grow deeper in knowledge of and in relationship with our Incarnate Lord. And they had fun. :)
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
the snowball fight (on the hottest day of the year)
Alex winds up
lets it fly
Monica in the middle of the action
My teens have a grand time, sleep little and come home spiritually refreshed. We have excellent retreats.
Alex turned 18. We all wanted to get out of the house but Lydia had been sick and we didn't want to expose anyone. We found a quiet picnic area at a metro park and had the whole area to ourselves.
the handsome birthday boy man
Dad came straight from work, hence the tie
brought a case of rootbeer, we all enjoyed that!
since we were alone, they might have let loose a little :)
Lydia imperiously called Blaise away from frisbee to push her on the swing because I wasn't pushing her high enough... she's feeling better
Dad demonstrating his frisbee throwing technique
the huge snapping turtle the kids found in the Huron River
We are very proud of you Alex, you are an excellent man. Always willing to help, a mind like a steel trap, my fix-it guy, and an excellent big brother. Congratulations on your graduation from St. Augustine's and your 18th birthday. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for you.
Our first day at St. Augustine's many years ago, Alex had a hard time. The whole classroom setting was a huge adjustment for him. I remember observing him and wondering if we had made a mistake. Alex continued to have struggles through his high school years but was thriving in many areas thanks to St. A's. He never struggled with the content. He loved what he was learning and could discuss the most complex topics from Logic to Philosophy. Alex was blessed through his St. A. years with fabulous tutors who cultivated his strengths and a group of the best kids anywhere as friends.
Today he graduated. We are very proud of Alex.
grads waiting for everyone to arrive
last minute instructions from the headmaster, Dr. Russell
walking to the church for Mass
St. Augustine's schola and some alumni sang for the Mass
St. Augustine Class of 2013
Pomp and Circumstance on harp and flute ~ beautiful
last day of classes at Saint Augustine's (often known as 'dress wacky'
day.) Some of the younger girls baked a cake for the seniors. Mr.
Newman had actually planned to, ya' know, teach that day. He very
charitably gave way to the inevitable senioritus that took hold.