Happy 21st Birthday, Kyle!

Today is my oldest son’s 21st birthday, and as usual, I will be missing it because of work. It’s sobering to believe he is already twenty-one, because it seems like yesterday he was a preemie in the hospital with a monitor the size of a VCR.

Kyle has always been a good student, and his teachers – at least in grade school – loved him. Kyle never acted out, never gave them grief, and always did his work. He bitched about it, but he did it.

He was – and still is – a very good athlete, exceling in our neighborhood’s street hockey leagues (Kyle was a goalie), soccer (also a goalie) and lacrosse (midfield and face-off). Both his grades and his sports acumen got him noticed by three colleges, and he decided to attend the University of Dallas…

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Pope Francis Puts Out A Good Take

While I am a Catholic, I have never been a fan of Woke Pope Francis. Yes, I realize he is the Pope and yes I realize I should afford him some modicum of respect, but his wokeness really gets on my nerves. However, he did speak out about families deciding to not have children, and it was one of the first things he ever said where I was in agreement.

During a general audience at the Vatican, he said: “Today … we see a form of selfishness. We see that some people do not want to have a child. Sometimes they have one, and that’s it, but they have dogs and cats that take the place of children. This may make people laugh but it is a reality.”

Pet keeping was “a denial of fatherhood and motherhood and diminishes us, takes away our humanity”, he said. The consequence was that “civilisation grows old without humanity because we lose the richness of fatherhood and motherhood, and it is the country that suffers”.

I mentioned this story because Dennis Prager responded to some dolt CNN writer who claimed not having children will help the environment. Prager expanded on a great point. “I think leftists shouldn’t have children,” and suggested less leftists in America would be a good thing. I absolutely agree.

Acting! Genius! Thank You!

So we spent Christmas Eve Mass at our parish this year because my brother-in-law’s family was fighting off a cold. We usually go to their church in Abington, but this year the family and my mother-in-law went to BVM. Well, we were kind of forced to go because Princess P was performing in the Christmas Eve Tableau.

Julia was in inkeeper – holding the “No Vacancy” sign above – as the readers told the story of Christmas. She did a good job, but she was also stuck on the cold steps of the altar for a while, and said afterward it was really uncomfortable.

Our pastor is great with Mass – we’re usually in and out in thirty minutes or your communion is free. The mass began at 4pm and we were out before 5pm. How he pulled that off with the mass, the tableau, and everything else is beyond me, but it was a heartfelt, yet quick service.

The last time we went to our church for Christmas Eve, there was a brawl. Two idiot parents had a fistfight at the end of mass, with them both toppling over the pew. It was nice to see the lack of fisticuffs this year. It would have been impolite for me to shoot people in church.

Your Mission, Should You Accept It…

You may remember back in October when Erik and I went to his first college recruitment visit. Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, West Virginia came at Erik very early on, asking him to be a part of their lacrosse team.

The trip was a nice one, the campus is gorgeous, and there are less students at the university than there are at Erik’s high school. Erik enjoyed the trip and seemed to like the campus. The coach was great and the students seemed generally friendly.

As I was driving to work yesterday, Erik sent me a text that he was officially accepted to Alderson Broaddus!

Erik’s still not one hundred percent sure he wants to go to college, but he is very happy his top choice wants him there. I think the trepidation is from Kyle’s less-than-stellar year at Dallas, but I know Erik is certainly smart enough to well at AB.

We’re all very proud of him.

Happy Birthday Julia!

Today, Julia – also known as Princess P around these parts – is officially a teenager. Our only daughter is now thirteen, and while she experimented with teenage moods a while ago, she can officially be grumpy from today forward.

Julia is our youngest – ten months younger than Kevin – and she was a surprise. We didn’t think you could get knocked up after having a child, and apparently that’s the worst time to try. Mrs. Earp thought I would be furious at the news, and I responded with, “Great, another boy.” You see, after three boys, we didn’t think we could get a girl, and during the ultrasound, I told the tech that she was wrong, despite her pointing out the girl parts.

Her delivery was very quick, as Mrs. Earp kept telling the nurse that Princess P was COMING RIGHT NOW!

The following thirteen years were pretty awesome. It’s nice to have a girl amidst the boys, and she definitely has her tomboy moments. She is a junior black belt in Krav maga, but she also plays drums in the school band, takes dancing lessons for lyrical and tap, while teaching herself how to play guitar.

Julia is also wicked smart, right up there with Kevin. She always gets good grades, is enrolled in the Math Matters class.

Of course, being a girl, she always tells me she thinks she’s ugly, and she wishes she wasn’t as tall as she is. She’s probably 5’5″ or 5’6″. But beyond that, she is my special little girl who still has no problem telling me she loves me, still gives me hugs, and apparently got me a fabulous Christmas present.

At least according to her.

Happy birthday, Princess P! We love you very much.

Super Genius!

You may remember the post from October 28th, where I wrote about Kevin’s entrance exam for Archbishop Ryan High School. Kevin ended up earning a score of 97, and we were hoping that maybe, just maybe, he would get some extra financial aid for his efforts.

Kevin did better than we imagined…

Congratulations! It is with immense pleasure that I inform you that you’ve been selected to receive the President’s Award to attend Archbishop Ryan High School. Each year, students who have distinguished themselves through outstanding academic achievement, personal excellence, and stellar performance on our Presidential Scholarship & Placement Test are chosen from the entering class to receive this honor.

Kevin scored a 97 on the test. The highest score you can achieve is a 99. Slacker.

Your scholarship is $7,000 per year at Ryan for a total of $28,000

I have to congratulate you on your amazing performance on our entrance test. This is a great honor! You’ll receive an official letter in the mail within the next couple of days with the details of your scholarship and test results. This will give you more time to celebrate and do a happy dance.

Mrs. Earp forwarded me the email, and Kevin – being Kevin – sent me this text: “I JUST GOT A $7,000 SCHOLARSHIP TO RYAN, OH MY GOD!”

I am so totally and completely proud of him. The kid is a super genius.

P.S.Kevin is still in the running for the Neumann Scholarship, which is a free ride through high school.

Recruitment Visit #1 Was A Success

So Thursday afternoon Erik and I traveled to Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, West Virginia. The school has been recruiting him for their lacrosse team, so we took two days to visit the campus, talk to the coach and learn about the school.

The journey was 350 miles from Philadelphia, but amazingly, the ride was really nice. The PA Turnpike, then parts of Maryland, and right into West Virginia. We stayed in a hotel Thursday night because the meeting was not scheduled until Friday at 11am. I’ll say this, because everyone always makes fun of West Virginia; the state is truly gorgeous, especially as the leaves turn colors. It is also, from what we’ve seen, it is very, very red. We saw more Trump flags and banners than I would have imagined.

I’ll also say West Virginians, for the most part are incredibly nice. We stopped at a few gas stations, rest, stops, and stores, and everyone was genuinely nice. When we arrived on campus, we didn’t know the lay of the land, and a student came over, gave us directions, and said, “Have a nice day.”

We arrived on campus and headed to the building to meet the lacrosse coach. The guy was much larger than I thought – tall, not fat – and he was extraordinarily nice. Erik filled out the application, and received a folder of all the things he needed to do to apply. He also said 70% of the students there participate in athletics.

The coach gave us a tour of the campus and its facilities, and offered us a history lesson, to boot. At the top of the campus hill, there are concrete placements where cannons were installed. On June, 3, 1861, the Battle of Philippi was fought – the first organized land battle of the Civil War -although it was more of a skirmish…

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Genius!

Looking at this picture of Kevin, you would likely think he is just some teenage slacker who sits on his butt all day. You would ne sadly mistaken.

A week ago today, Kevin and I went to the Open House for my and Mrs. Earp’s Alma mater; Archbishop Ryan High School. Yes, he was accepted to the private prep school, but Kevin thinks like an adult. Kevin continually tells me the prep school is too much money so he wanted to look around for other options.

It was probably the first time I’ve been through the school since the late 80’s, but it still looks pretty much the same. Kevin asked why all the classroom wall clocks were square, to which I had no answer, except, “It’s always been like that.”

During the tour, he was enthralled by many things. The computer teacher really seemed to know his stuff, and Kevin is really into computers. They have classes which teach you Microsoft programs and a coding class. Kevin was really excited about those prospects. While walking around the gym, he stopped to look at a few of the sports teams and school clubs. Kevin now wants to join the wrestling team – if he decides to go to Ryan – and is interested in the choir and singing. No idea where that came from.

Anyway, it was a nice evening and he seemed to like the school.

On Saturday, Kevin took the entrance exam. When he came home, he said the test was similar to the Holy Ghost exam, and he thought he did okay.

Yesterday we received his scores. Kevin came out with a 97. NINETY-SEVEN!

All schools are different, but a 97 would earn a student a scholarship at Holy Ghost. Hopefully, Kevin will get something for his amazing score.

I say it often, and it bears repeating. Kevin is arguably one of the smartest kids I have ever known. We are all very proud of him and his giant brain.

Country Road, Take Me Home

Two years ago, Kyle and I took a few road trips to check out colleges who were interested in recruiting him for lacrosse. Georgian Court University (NJ), Heidelberg University (OH), and the University of Dallas (TX).

Later today, Erik and I will be making our first recruitment stop at Alderson Broaddus University, in Philippi, West Virginia.

The lacrosse coach there was interested in Erik almost immediately. After checking out Erik’s game films and his 74% faceoff win rate – 40% is considered good – he started sending Erik some messages to get him to check out the campus. We were sure Erik would want to stay close to home, so looking at West Virginia was a nice surprise.

The trip should last about six hours, but that’s nothing for a guy who drives down to the Outer Banks every year. Thanks to the Chinese Wuhan Virus, there are no longer overnight visits – where you can get a better feel for the school and the people – but we’ll see how everything goes. Hopefully, he’ll have a good time.

Erik has a few colleges to choose from – fifty-three college coaches followed him – and I learned a lot from Kyle’s experience. I still blame myself for pushing Dallas, especially after Kylee said he wanted to come home. I’ll let Erik make all the decisions, and support him in whatever he chooses.

P.S.I’ll try to have posts up today and tomorrow – the actual tour is set for tomorrow at 11am – but I’m not sure how often I’ll be online.

Confirmed!

Yesterday was a busy day. Kevin received his Holy Confirmation yesterday morning with his classmates, after the Archdiocese decided confirmation would not be given in sixth grade, but in eighth grade.

It took Kevin a bit to choose a sponsor, but he finally decided to ask Kyle, who immediately said no… because Kyle loves screwing with Kevin.

Kyle agreed moments later, and Kevin needed to choose a confirmation name, named after a saint. Kevin decided on Saint Luke.

The ceremony went off well, and the kids did a nice job before the Bishop. All the kids looked very nice, but some in the audience were, um, less so. A family came in, and one of the girls – likely a teen – wore a skin-tight dress whose hem was slightly below her pink parts. The high heels were a nice touch for church. /eyeroll

Afterward, we ordered out and had lunch at home with my mother-in-law and our friend Bill. It was a busy, but enjoyable day, and now the only ceremony left for Kevin this year is graduation in June.