My daughter and I went to my sister's for Thanksgiving. I'm so appreciative that my sister and brother-in-law stepped up to the plate after our grandmother died and took on the job of hosting Thanksgiving. I get to see my family, and my kids get the memories of going to New Jersey for a traditional Thanksgiving with family. (Except we don't really do the whole football thing. Wasn't it Erma Bombeck who said, “Thanksgiving dinners ... are consumed in 12 minutes. Football halftime takes 12 minutes, too. This is not coincidence.”) And nobody has to gripe about coming to Southern Maryland -- a beautiful place to be, but on a peninsula to nowhere. (The office mate of a friend of mine asked my friend where I was living soon after I had moved away from Philly. My friend told her that I was about two hours south of Baltimore. The office mate, originally from Baltimore herself, stated quite emphatically that there was nothing two hours south of Baltimore. Beg to differ. Just. Two hours and fifteen minutes south of Baltimore is nothing but water.)
My daughter has been plotting and planning with her friend just what exactly they were going to do for Black Friday. She and her friend saved up their money, made lists of the things they wanted to buy, checked out the stores they wanted to go to, and decided that they would each get the other something. Then they told each other what they were getting. We started our Black Friday at Toys R Us and ended it at Cherry Hill Mall. I've got to tell you that while I wish my daughter had Executive Functioning skills commensurate with her cognitive abilities, I appreciated the discrepancy when she went on overload and asked to go home before we made a complete circuit of the mall!
On Saturday, we went to my husband's sister's for our second Thanksgiving with his side of the family. My in-laws have passed away, but the families of all six surviving children were there. That hasn't happened in a long time, and I'm glad we got the chance to see everyone.
My son finished his Science Fair project, including the data book, research paper, abstract, and display board, Sunday afternoon of Thanksgiving weekend. He gave his presentation in class yesterday and said it went fine. While the project itself is mandatory, participation in the school's Science Fair competition (called Brain Battles) is optional for STEM8 students. I'm a little disappointed that he opted out of the competition, which is next week, but I think that's because in the mandatory STEM6 and STEM7 competitions, he did really well, going on to the county level Science Fair both years and then to the regional competition last year. I think that was a good confidence booster for him, and it certainly didn't hurt my "mama's pride" any as I look at it as support for his belonging in the STEM program. This year, we won't know.
On the other hand, I'm relieved he's not participating in Brain Battles next week. He's got an 8th-grade field trip that day, and students are expected to return a scant 45 minutes prior to the start of Brain Battles. If he participated, he'd have to go straight from the field trip bus into school -- I'm sure I'd have to supply dinner in there somewhere -- for a couple more hours of "good behavior" in an overwhelming atmosphere.
So for us, Science Fair 2010-2011 is effectively over.
I've mentioned before that my mother's three children are hosting a 75th Birthday "Open House" party for her. It'll be in Pennsylvania in just a handful of days. My sister and I have been doing the planning, buying, ordering, and making. (My brother will do the errand-running on the day of the party. Suits me -- I don't know the area, and he used to live there.) We firmed up a bunch of stuff over Thanksgiving weekend, and praise the powers that be, we made a centerpiece for under $15. I've also badgered my siblings, children, nieces and nephew to give me a "memory" of her for inclusion in her scrapbook. To date, I have only my nephew left to nag.
Putting together the scrapbook has been a bit of a nightmare. I don't have the scrapbooking supplies and knowledge that I need to do the job I want to do; I've had to settle for something that's nice but wouldn't cut it among the scrapbooking crowd. That's OK. I've done the best I can do with what I have. But I can wish.
That's also true of the photos I took over Thanksgiving weekend of the three of us with our mom. When did we get so old? (And in my case, so wide?) My mom was so hunched over she was practically kissing the camera, caught most of the flash, and was 12 shades whiter than the rest of us -- which is saying something as I would be the winner if Crayola ever ran a contest for the color "pasty." I had a chin thing going on, and my brother had a big ol' bandage on his cheek from a procedure the day before. My sister looks reasonably decent, but we all caught the glare on our glasses. Really, there just aren't enough "special effect" features in my photo software package to tidy us up. (The "elongate like Barbie" button was conspicuously missing. Maybe they charge extra for that.) Fortunately, the usable space in the scrapbook is 7x7 inches, so if I print us really, really small and make the "Memories of Mom" write-up really, really big, we might have a winner.
Anyway, here's the first page:
I've got all this other flotsam and jetsam to get out of my head, but this'll do for now.