This year has flown by!  It is hard for me to believe that Thanksgiving is next week and then Christmas in less than a month after that.  November is always a count-down month for me.  My son's birthday is exactly 7 weeks before Christmas and my younger daughter's birthday is 6 weeks before.  After those two events, I feel like it is the home stretch for the year.

Blake turned 16 earlier this month and passed his driving exam last Saturday.  He can now legally drive by himself.  Last Saturday evening, he took his first venture alone, down to the pizza shop to get a snack for his dad.  Today he drove himself to school.  He was a bit nervous because it was raining this morning.  He sent me a text after he got to school to let me know he made it OK.

Trisha's was also a milestone birthday.  She turned 18.  She exercised her right of being a legal adult and went out and got a couple more piercings in her ear.  As long as she doesn't get any (many) more, I'll be alright with this.  

The Buttonbox vest is coming along.  I'm at the waist shaping section.  I decided not to do the pockets.  The color below is accurate.

I'm spinning more wool for the vest.  From my estimation, I'm not going to have enough with what I spun over the summer.  My goal is to get enough spun by December 1.  If I don't make that goal, it will be a struggle to get the vest completed by Christmas.

In the middle of this, I got a bit of a distraction.  Last Saturday night, Blake found a crocheted hat on the internet that he asked me to reproduce.  The hat looks like a Roman Gladiator helmet.  I'm making it up as I go.  He's hoping I can have this done by tomorrow night's football game.  That goal is going to be tough to meet unless I do nothing else.  The hat part is moving along quickly, but I need to figure out how to do the face mask and the horse hair ridge thingy.

On top of all this I have Christmas gifts to make.  I'm actually quite proud of myself for thinking of something this early and getting a jump on it.  I have all of the supplies purchased and some of the prep work finished.  Now I just need to sit down and do some assembly line style work.  Since I have a month for these gifts, I'm not pressured yet to get them completed.

Next week is Thanksgiving here in the US.  Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday.  Growing up is was all about family.  Most years it was at my family's house. My dad's side of the family would come over.  It was one of the few times each year that we would have a meal with cousins, aunts and uncles.  The kids were relegated to the kitchen table while the adults ate in the dining room. It always felt special to me.  Some of the most fun times with my cousins happened around the Thanksgiving table.  At Christmas and Easter, we wouldn't have a meal with our cousins but we would gather together afterwards.  Those holidays were special also, but it was more about the gathering together in the evening rather than the meal.  The concept with Thanksgiving is simple.  The minimal build-up adds to the holiday's charm.  It is a simple philosophy:  gather with those you love, celebrate life's bounty and show gratitude for the blessings in your life.  As I get older, this philosophy is most comfortable for me.  The challenge is to celebrate Thanksgiving all year round.