Would You Like to See Us Shave Our Heads?

(Bad Photoshop Job...but at least my face looks OK on Brad Pitt's Head!)

All Joy and No Fun
Many people ask me, "Is it hard to take care of four kids?" I usually half jokingly answer them, saying, "it gets easier once you realize you no longer have your own life."  For those of you considering parenthood, I'm sorry... What they say is true...sleepless nights, dirty diapers, dinnertime nightmares, etc. Renee and I average about once every quarter when it comes to going on dates, most of which is to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries.  There's very little spontaneity as we need to plan ahead of time for most outings.  Luckily, my mom stays over on weeknights.  So, after the kids go to bed, we may sneak out to see a movie or grab a drink, but that only happens if neither of us have already collapsed into a coma after dinner.

But then again, for those considering parenthood, I'm also glad to tell you that yes, it's true too that having kids is perhaps the most meaningful and important thing you can do in your life.  A couple of years ago, I read a book by Jennifer Senior, called All Fun and No Joy (I recommend that all parents and parents-to-be pick up a copy).  Senior tells us that we can be pretty sure we're going to lose much happiness in our lives after we've had kids, but along with it also comes joy and a sense of meaning in life.  I think that's not a bad tradeoff.  One can really only enjoy so much fine dining, traveling, and other niceties that come with a childfree life.  Of course, this is coming from a guy who's got 4 kids... Maybe it's a bit of self consolation! ;)

Guiding Light Academy
As some of you know, we're sending Adele and Athan (and probably Audrey and Anne in the future) to Guiding Light Academy, a Catholic private school in Mississauga.  The name of the school was formerly Lumen Veritatis Academy.  It's somewhat a long story, but in short, the school was originally run by the Heralds of the Gospel (brothers in that religious order), but they are now partnering with Guiding Light Academy for a number of good reasons.  Lumen Veritatis is still very much alive, where the brothers are teaching religion and also helping establish a deeply Catholic culture at the school.

When Adele was three years old, we were deciding where to send her for daycare purposes.  We could have chosen a daycare centre, a Montessori, or even a home daycare, but it made the most sense for us to send her to Lumen Veritatis.  The tuition was very affordable and it was the environment we wanted her to be in.  I recall the first time we visited the school, Brother Gustavo, the principal at the time, brought us to the various classrooms.  When we went in, the class would stop whatever we were doing, turned to us, and said, "Salve Maria!" (literally "Hail Mary", but used as a form of greeting).  The students were so respectful and well behaved.  It brought back my childhood memories of schooling in Hong Kong, where respect was demonstrated by all at the school.  Renee and I were sold right there and then.

Picture of Guiding Light Academy students at Saviour of the World Church After Their Christmas A Performance

On the first day of school for Adele, she cried her head off (and did so for the rest of the week).  It sounded like she was pretty freaked out that day, but from what we learned that evening, many of the older students were trying to make her feel at home.  We received a few pictures and the one below was one of them.  I don't remember who the student was, but her act was the embodiment of the culture at the school, that of love for your neighbor, regardless of who they may be.  We knew we made the right decision putting her at the school and have never looked back.

Adele's First Day of School

Deep Roots
Putting Adele and Athan in a private school is one of the "No Fun" parts of "All Joy and No Fun".  I could quickly come up with many ways of spending the equivalent of the cost a compact car every year in tuition.  That compact car will grow into a midsize car pretty quickly when Audrey and eventually Anne enter school age.  However, this is one of the sacrifices that we've decided to make for the kids.  Some might think we've put them in the school for better academics, and sure, it is making a visible difference on many fronts (Adele just finished Little House on the Prairie in one sitting last weekend - I don't think I can even read that fast), but our main reason is that we want them to have a solid foundation in our faith.  In today's world, where the government is passing legislation that undermines traditional values every year, we believe that it is of utmost importance that they start developing deep roots from the beginning.

Help!  I Need a Reason to Shave My Legs!
Lumen Veritatis is helping out families by fundraising through various events.  On May 14, we'll be participating in a walk-a-thon along the Oakville lakeshore.  Our whole family will be participating in this 5 km walk.  We'll only bring 1 stroller, so there will be a lot of walking for the kids!  They're very psyched about this, because it's their first walk-a-thon.  This is where Renee and I humbly ask for your help.  Please help us reach our goal of $1500 by making whatever contribution you are able to make.  You will receive a tax receipt for any donation $20 or more, and you can be assured that all of the proceeds will go to helping us directly.

Donate here: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/lumen-veritatis-academy/Help-me-to-raise-money-for-Lumen-Veritatis-Walkathon-2016-Wong/

To raise the stakes, here's what we're going to do.  If we reach the goals below, we, as a family, will:
$1500 - Felix will shave his legs and post a video on Youtube
$2000 - Felix will shave his head and look something like the picture at the top.  He will also make a video of it and post it on Youtube.  Renee did ask that I do it after her sister Rachel's wedding? (Why?  I think I'd look pretty good with no hair in a suit, don't know?)
$2500 - Athan has agreed to shave his head
$3000 - Adele has agreed to cut off at least 8" of her hair and donate it to the Cancer Society
$4000 - Renee has agreed to cut off at least 8" of her hair and donate it to the Cancer Society

If you're not able to contribute, we understand!  Do consider "liking" my post on Facebook so more of our friends see this post on their activity feed!

We gratefully thank you in advance for your generosity!  God bless!

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