Note: I love my kids and I'm proud of them. This "alternative" Christmas letter is a spoof. Or maybe not. Maybe it's life as we live it instead of just the high points.
Another year has come and almost gone. As I look back over my year, I wanted to share the ups and downs with my family and friends. So fasten your seat belts; it's going to be a bumpy ride.
Hannah will graduate May 10 from North Carolina State University with a bachelor's degree in history. On May 17th she will marry Erik, and spend a week long honeymoon in Charleston, SC. When she returns she will put into practice all the practical knowledge she's gained in school. She only needs to learn, "Do you want fries with that?" in Spanish and she'll be set for life!
The wedding will be a simple affair, not only because the happy couple doesn't want a large to-do, but also because they haven't made any wedding plans yet. All we know for sure is the date and the presider (and the participants). I figure they'll be married when they leave for their honeymoon, and I choose not to worry about the rest.
Luke is now attending the local community college working toward an Associates Degree in computer networking. So far, so good. He's not driving yet, and he still doesn't have a job, but, hey, he's got a nice girlfriend!
Thomas has broken the home school mode and is now enrolled in a public charter school for 11th grade. He's making friends, making good grades, and generally being productive. What a guy!
Both boys are active in Youth Group and volunteering at church. They also spend something like 40 hours a week playing video games. Physical exercise consists of walking up the stairs to get another soda. Along with my future son-in-law, Erik, they are what I affectionately call my cave dwellers. My "family room" consists of 3 desk top computers, a widescreen HD TV, a smaller 27" TV, a PS, a PS2, two xBoxes, and an avalanche of video games. I toss food down there occasionally on weekends.
I still home school the girls, Rebekah 14, and Lydia 10, although I have to admit I outsource a lot. Rebekah takes writing, science, geography, and Spanish with other teachers/classes. Lydia does art, literature, and science in enrichment classes.
The theme of this year with the girls is music. The sing in two groups each, plus take piano lessons. I still have some control over their schedules, so they probably only play video games 20 hours a week. Less for Lydia since she still actually likes to play with friends.
So how do we spend Quality Time??? MMORPGing! (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) Or playing Halo III together! A family that parties together, lives longer... at least in the virtual realm of World of Warcraft! We used to eat dinner together, but that was before two computers showed up on my dining room table and never left. No room for food, only computers and school books. Now if we want to talk to one another we use email, or perhaps voice chat if we're playing the same game. I used to IM, but I couldn't keep up, so I still yell down the steps when I need to talk to someone. They think I'm a dinosaur.
When I do find myself in the same room with one or more of the kids, they are still free with the hugs. Plus, now that they are all virtuoso's on Guitar Hero, they are in-the-know about classic rock music! Any 10 year old that recognizes Heart and knows who Eric Clapton is okay in my book!! ;-)
Oh yeah, and did I mention Will joined the Catholic Church this year??
Merry Christmas to all you "alternative" families out there. Families with real live kids and lots to celebrate even if no one won a Nobel Prize this year. :-)