Things here are insane, but it is a good thing. We are packing, and repacking, and shifting our crap from one end of the house to the other to prepare for our Thanksgiving vacation. Most people just pack, but Corey lives to pack, repack, shift and organize, typically several days in advance. The man likes to have a job to do, so I usually sit back and let him go. There's no point in trying to reign him in.
We leave tomorrow and will spend the weekend north of Cincinnati. We haven't told the girls that they will be seeing their little girlfriends yet, for fear that their heads will explode. From there, we will head to Deep Creek Maryland. We are renting a house with a bunch of our friends from Pittsburgh and New Jersey. I have been obsessively checking Weather.com by the hour to ensure that it will be cold and snowy the entire week. It is looking good for that. It will be a week of eating, drinking, hiking, tubing, sledding, playing Wii and celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary. It doesn't get much better than that. That's the advantage of not spending Thanksgiving with family. There is no drama, there are no shenanigans.
We recently joined a co-op farm to get 4 boxes of winter produce over the next 2 months. I was so excited after we sent the check and decided that we will be
learning to cook with interesting vegetables and will be forced to eat it because we are paying quite a bit to do it. We decided a little over a year ago to eat a mostly organic diet, so we thought that joining a co-op was a natural extension of that. I was practically giddy with anticipation when I drove to pick up our first box two weeks ago with Ella. The vegetables were beautiful and overflowing from the box:
Corey just picked up our second box yesterday. Here's the reality: I haven't a fucking clue as to what to do with the mammoth red turnips they keep giving us (those are those big red things in the photo above), I hate radishes, and kale is most foul. I still cannot swallow celery (I never have been able to) and it is cut up in the freezer to take with us to Deep Creek for someone else to deal with. I still dislike eggplant and will only eat it when it is in baba ganousch,so I have a freezer full of that.
Ella has been quite busy at school, what with the Thanksgiving Program the kindergartners put on yesterday during the school assembly. I thought that it would just be a skit with the parents there taking pictures. I had no idea that the entire school would be there. No wonder she was so nervous! The kiddos did a really great job and if I can figure out how to put video on my blog, I will do so. Here are a couple of still shots:
With all of Ella's schoolwork, dance classes, dress-up play and tv watching, it is amazing that she has found the time to take part in another venture. Ella is teaming up with Hallmark to create a new line of personalized birthday cards. Here is her first one that is going out today to her friend Jordan:
Ella's talent for personalizing the card really comes through. It just doesn't get any more personal than confessing that you like your friend's hair. For the record, Jordan's hair IS to die for.
Speaking of birthdays, I am in the middle of birthday party angst over here. Our girls' birthday parties have always been casual get togethers with OUR friends and family. The girls' friends were the friends we made for them. Since we are new here and Ella is now starting to make friends on her own, I thought that maybe the party should be different now and maybe invite some of her new school friends. Ella doesn't know it yet, but we are having a birthday party for her on Saturday, December 6. I thought it would be fun if she had a tea party. I agonized over the invite list because she only talks about a couple of girls at school. I decided to invite all of the girls in her class (8) and then invite her friend from down the street and her little sister. I figured that only a couple of girls would show up since she doesn't appear to be friends with many of them. So far, all but one has RSVP'd yes.
Here's where I need help with birthday party etiquette: do kids open presents at parties when they are held at home? I have been to parties at Chuckie Cheese where presents were opened if it was a small party, not opened if it was a large party. I have been to parties at home, but I don't remember if the presents were opened or not. I could sure use some guidance in this arena.
Well, I am off to the dentist to pick up my retainer. That's right, you heard me. A retainer. Some people turn 40 and buy corvettes. Me? I get a freaking retainer because my teeth are shifting to the right side of my face.