Happy New Year All!
Socrates tells us that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” In this era of YouTube exhibitionism, one could extend his maxim to be “the life unexamined by other people is not worth banner ads.” So, in the spirit of the age, welcome to our annual unsolicited “What the Clan McMains is up to letter”!
First up is Margaret. The smallest of the clan is now 7 years old, as inconceivable as that seems. She’s enjoying her first grade year in school, is doing well academically, and is looking forward to her rebuilt school reopening down the street from us in a week or so. She lost her first tooth this year, and continues to joyfully bounce around wherever she goes, evincing a joie de vivre that is a delight to be around.
Liam, now in 3rd grade, continues to do very well academically without too much apparent effort. He’s got more energy than he sometimes knows what to do with, and is endlessly fascinated by the world around him and trying to figure out how it all works. He’s enjoying both computer and tabletop games quite a lot, and created his first computer game earlier this year. By dint of endless experimentation and repetition, he has also learned some songs on piano and guitar this year.
11 year old Abigail is alternately quietly contemplative and outrageously silly. She’s plugging away at school, and has developed a fondness for oriental gardens and bonsai. She has also decided to eat vegetarian, and has done remarkably well sticking to that plan. School has allowed her to develop a larger social circle than she has had before, which has been a treat for her. She has begun working in earnest on French Horn and Violin this year.
Emily is now in her Freshman year at San Marcos High School, and has found a group of friends there who she enjoys immensely. She continues to attend Youth Service Bureau regularly, and to create some really terrific drawing and other artwork. This year she became the chief toad herder in our family, gathering up to a dozen at a time in the kitchen sink when their cries came ringing in from our neglected pool. She seems to have worked her way through the most difficult part of adolescence at this point, and is generally at a happy place in her life.
Kathy returned to University this year to finish out an undergraduate degree. She’s settled into the field of Therapeutic Recreation, and has been putting a lot into and getting a lot out of the program at Texas State University. She has pinned down a couple of scholarships, and maintained a 4.0 GPA through both the spring and fall semesters. (She took a break during the summer to be with the kids.) It has been grueling at times, but she’s done an admirable job with it and earned considerable praise from professors and serious-minded classmates. She’s currently in Australia for a conference one of her professors asked her to help with.
Sean continued work at Texas State University where he’s splitting his time between programming and management responsibilities and enjoying a tightly-knit team of sharp and fun people. He also attended his first Sacred Harp sing, visited Portland for the first time, caught up with some long lost friends from high school, went to Boston with old friends, visited Los Angeles for a dear friend’s wedding, built a hovercraft, went to Waco for the All University Sing, hiked the recently formed Canyon Lake Gorge, and continues to play bass with The Patio Boys (formerly the Grant Mazak Band). (Shenanigans are chronicled at https://www.mcmains.net/.)
A few of our family travel highlights this year included Ink’s Lake State park for Spring Break and a visit to Mo Ranch for a Father’s Day weekend church retreat. Kathy and Sean also enjoyed a weekend in Fredericksburg for their 12th anniversary and Crawfish Festival.
As a group, we continue to find our physical needs met and count ourselves extraordinarily rich in the other things that are important in our lives: vital friendships, loving and supportive family, and ample opportunities to love God and other people. Thanks to all of you who are a part of that! For those who haven’t been recently, we hope you’ll come and see us if you happen to be in the area!
Grace, peace, and hope for a rich and wonderful 2008 to you all!