Our school kick-off was moved off the feast of St. Augustine due to a scheduling conflict.  Then it was postponed because of sickness.  The kids got mighty nervous that we would skip over it all together, the way we did with our anniversary.

It’s fine.  I’m over it.

They were so relieved and excited when they saw me making crowns.  They double and triple checked that it really was okay that they wear whatever they wanted and didn’t need to match.  They planned and strategized their meals, drinks, and desserts. They were beside themselves.

We were, too, really.  This begins our eighth year.  There is some weight and seriousness to that number.  It feels like we should know what we’re doing.

It’s fine. I’m dealing with it.

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Max is an 8th grader this year.  He’s taller than I am, is ridiculously organized and fastidious and is currently only interested in WWII. He is serious about his work out regimen and his studies.


Philip is in 6th grade and sat us down to tell us all the things he wanted to learn this year.  The list includes things like work on programming skills, Physics and Newton’s Laws, improve sewing skills, memorize all of the prayers and mysteries of the rosary, and work on Parkor skills.  He is equal parts serious and silly and while he still can be utterly distracted by his own ideas, he is more and more attentive making enjoying the current moment really great.

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Tess is in 4th grade.  She dresses and accessorizes every day as if it were a special occasion.  She also thrives on switching things up and keeping things new and novel. She is learning that sh can do hard things and how delicious victory tastes when it is hard fought.

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Ellie is in second grade this year and that means she is preparing for first reconciliation and first communion.  She’s decided that green is her new favorite color and ravels back in forth between the big kids and the littles in all things.  She is thoughtful and imaginative.

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Oh, Gemma.  She has a few months left before she turns 5 but she acts “like a teenage!” according to her siblings.  She’s just starting in this school business, wanting to be at the table with her siblings and focusing on what she’s doing.  She also is “all about fashion which means the best stuff and looking the best,, which I’m really good at.” Hence her Tom’s on the wrong feet with her red dress.



Lu was so very excited about her crown this year and, along with Gem, thought she was BIG STUFF.  Her main job during school is to serve as a distraction. Or to wake up Penny. She takes seriously her role as Max’s weight during his workouts and ensures she gets read to every day.

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Penny doesn’t even look like this baby anymore!  That evening she smiled for her rapt audience/entertainers that are her siblings and then had her first ‘real’ food, eating baked potato and filet mignon.

Before we know it, she’ll be the one wearing the 8th grade crown.

It’s fine.  I’ll get over it.

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In the words of Papa Bill, Sally Ho and Tally Forth!