Put a few Christmas cards in the mail this week, more might yet go out.  For the rest of you, well, I have this lovely blog where you can find out what we’ve been up to lately . . .

Latin Watch: The boy understands case.  Oh is the mother happy.  She braced herself for puzzled looks — we are not, it should be noted, the type of homeschoolers who do voluminous ‘grammar’ exercises from an early age.  There was a little concern.  But, no worries, the child gets it.  And, fortunately, so does the mother.  SuperHusband meanwhile is still more in the pre-Latin phase (where Mr. Boy & I have also spent plenty of our time) — he has been shown the book and the website, and may yet start studying someday.  Meanwhile I am thankful for a program that provides useful vocabulary from the get-go.  For example in lesson 1 we learned: “Dinner is ready”.  (Cena parata est, fyi.)  There’s Latin you can use.

SCA: SuperHusband has really taken to this business of putting on armor and bashing people with sticks.  Can’t say I blame him.  St. Nick Grandpa came through with new arrows for all who needed them.  Headed to an event in January.  So far, this has been a good activity for us.  Easy to get carried away, but I think we’re doing alright in the business of benefiting from the leisure and educational opportunities, without getting our priorities out of order.  ‘Tis a concern when you discover something fun and entirely open-ended.

Real Priorities: SuperHusband and Mr. Boy are planning to spend the Saturday after Christmas helping out with a local group that does repairs on the homes of elderly and disabled.  Evangelization, too, and youth-adult mentoring all wrapped up in the package. Good activity for a guy who just likes to fix things, and we finally have a child ready to participate.  Yay.

Also ’tis the time of year for our annual Donation Madness.  Easier for us to keep track of charitable giving if we do it all at once, once a year.  We do it at year-end mostly so that it isn’t a very long time from when we make the donation and we we report it for tax purposes.  Plus there’s  the natural tax-year deadline, always helpful for us procastinating sorts.   (We do support our churches throughout the year, regular & special collections.  But this is all the things we do once-a-year, either because there is a annual-membership format to the organization, or because we just aren’t smart enough to keep track of smaller gifts given more frequently.)

Spiritual discernment around our house:

Aria: Mom, what’s that thing — not Advent — you know, where you give up something?

Me: Lent?

Aria: Yeah, Lent.  This year, please don’t give up coffee for Lent.

<<insert mother wondering why this could be — too grumpy without? too lazy without?>>

Me: Why not?

Aria: Because I like making coffee for you in the morning.

Okay darling, if you insist . . .

Ailment watch – Ignorance Really is Bliss.  After a peak of interesting-ness about a week ago, ailment subsides into a truly ho-hum state of ‘things-aren’t-quite-right-but-nothing-entertaining-to-show-for-it.  Very good.  Am directing my obsessive powers towards trying to follow the orders of the sadistic helpful new PT — be wary, very wary, of a healthcare provider who has just started a new exercise program himself.  It’s all good, but in an uncomfortably self-discovering kind of way.

But here’s the realization for the month: When you have an ailment of unknown prognosis, the tendency is to want to know what is going to happen.  How, exactly, is this thing going to turn out?  Especially if you are the type who stays up all night to finish a novel, or can’t turn off the PBS drama on Sunday night that you should not, should not have started watching at 9pm because it runs not one hour but two . . . If you are that type of person, well, you like to find out how the story ends.

But hey, new personality traits can be made to develop at any time.  Given an ailment that could be anything from curious-and-entirely-benign, or could one day grow to be Much Much Worse, *you don’t want to know what happens*.   Because as long as you are still in the phase of ‘is thing gonna get worse?’ it, er, hasn’t gotten worse.  Which is nice.  Call it a case of ‘The Suspense is Thrilling Me’.  I’m all for it.

December Holiday Observances:

Our Lady got the short end of the stick for Immaculate Conception — minimum required observance, I’m sorry to say.  And the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe was overshadowed a bit by an early observance of St. Lucy’s Day, on account of a slumber party that was going to take our little coffee-maker away from us on the real date.  The Blessed Mother made up for our lapses the following Sunday, a certain toddler being afflicted with a mild but tangibly-contagious cold, such that Mr. Boy & I ended up at the 2pm Spanish Mass due to parental-church-relay.  First time for both of us; I didn’t have any trouble following along — thanks to the handy bilingual missalette in the pews — though the boy did.  But just a fabulous event, as the church was observing the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in spectacular style.  Will plan to attend again next year, and stay for the party after.

In other holiday news: St. Nicolas got kind of glossed over as well.  But children decorated the tree and such this morning, and parents have a few gifts queued for tomorrow, as we gear up for twelve days of feasting and the endless supply of presents from our many generous relatives.   Festivities start tonight, and finish with the annual three-kings day pageantry — re-enactment with burning of frankincense, singing of popular carol on the topic, etc.  Christmas decorations will linger until the Feast of the Presentation.  Happy happy.

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That’s all the news for this installment.  Have a good Christmas yourself!

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