Tuesday, December 23, 2014

2014 Christmas Letter

Christmas Eve, 2014
Dear Family and Friends,

Christmas greetings! It’s been quite the year for us, especially beginning in late April when we closed on a house just outside the tiny town of Bunn, twenty miles east of Wake Forest. Called Kleinshire, it’s the beginning of a subsistence farming enterprise that we’ve long dreamed about. Rosemary was so excited that she purchased Nigerian dwarf goats even before we closed on the house. Thank God we did close, as there were some complications at the last minute! One little doeling spent its first few weeks in the dining room of our suburban rental.

The boys absolutely love the freedom of the large yard and the pastures of Kleinshire. One of Franz’s first projects was a play fort, complete with a large slide. Cyprian rides his bike up and down the driveway and has already taken to building things with hammer and nails. He is also progressing nicely with his reading and with math, most recently subtraction with the help of an abacus. A little more reluctant with Rosemary’s school lessons, Clement prefers to build forts out of laundry baskets and sheets and to do battle as a combination of Batman and St. George, with his costume paying homage to both: sword in holster, shield in hand, and cape tied round his neck. Cletus, for his part, is happy to join his brothers in whatever mischief they’re at. His favorite activities include tearing out all the toys in his room and singing lustily in church (and pretty much everywhere else, too).

Our biggest news, of course, is that number four will be arriving toward the end of next month. Rosemary’s pregnancy is going well, and she’s working w
ith a midwife to prepare for the birth. Boy or girl? Your guess is as good as ours. In fact, if you’d like to join the guessing pool, send us one dollar together with your guesses for the date and time of birth, the gender, and the weight. Besides homeschooling the boys, preparing for the new baby, and continuing with Tae Kwon Do, Rosemary is busy with her numerous homesteading activities. In addition to the goats, who provide us with milk, we now have a dog, a cat, two horses, three guineas, and a flock of egg layers. We’ve also been raising organic broiler chickens to sell through the parish and Franz’s school, processing a new batch every two or three months. Another big project this past fall was processing the two pigs that we raised, including learning to make everything from lard, to bacon, to headcheese. Finally, this spring we’ll complete the farm by breaking ground for a full-sized garden.

Besides all the house upkeep, the maintenance of fences, the construction of the chicken run, etc., Franz is busy with teaching and coaching at St. Thomas More Academy. He had a full load of philosophy and Latin classes this fall and is looking forward to adding a Southern Literature elective in the spring. He hasn’t made much progress on the dissertation recently but plans to get back on track over Christmas break.  So, it’s a busy time for us, and it’ll only be busier once the new baby arrives. But there’s so much for us to thank God for as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

Christmas blessings to you and your family from ours, with love,

Franz, Rosemary, Cyprian, Clement, Cletus, & baby on the way

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