My next sister up would have been 63 on Thanksgiving Day but we lost her to a stroke in 2004.  She loved Thanksgiving. She was also an artist-talented in many mediums.  This is our first Thanksgiving without Mom, and she was an expert seamstress.  So this post is about arts and crafts and the holiday all rolled into one.

Still, it was a day of celebration.  We met at our daughter's house and our grandsons had made these adorable placemats.  MB broke his left arm so the turkey print is his right hand and then his brother, RB, wrote our names on each card.
After the meal we came home and after a nap for me (I'm sick with a cold) the kids and I made new Christmas stockings for them.  I bought blanket material years ago and cut out several, making each one unique, but once sewn they were too small.  These two will have plenty of room!

Here are the before photos:
Here are the finished products:
So the kids helped with cutting the pieces out, pinning them, and ripping out the basting.  Each chose the ribbon they wanted, both wanted jingle bells, and Aidan really wanted his name painted on, but I have no paint for cloth so I surprised him with the A, which made him just as happy.
 
 
Sorry, time has just run away from me.  I went back to work this week and it was a good week.  I have really nice students this year-I genuinely like all of them, and that's a rare and special thing when you teach juniors and seniors and see about 120 students a day.

Today is my birthday.  Taught Sunday School.  Went to see our middle daughter get two awards at her college-one for straight As in the spring and one for contributions to the division of arts & sciences (she is a dual major-English and history).  Friday night my oldest daughter took me to see Breaking Dawn; we had a table reserved for a party and everything so that was nice.

Have been very busy attending School Board and Budget Committee meetings for our district (not the one I work in) as my kids' elementary school could possibly close if people just take a nap and taxes are up significantly.  The problem can be fixed, the school can be saved, but of course it's like our national economy-someone will not be happy about it.

Anyway, enough of all of that.  Eva is doing wonderfully.  Aidan is starting to be a little bit jealous even though he still loves her company. 

Here are a few pictures of recent family happenings to enjoy.
 
 
Eva and I met with the surgeon a couple of weeks ago and nothing will be done to her feet until at least next summer.  They are much worse than anticipated and the soft tissue surgery (Ponseti method) will not work on them; it was tried in China already. 

So her options are pins that are turned four time a day with a "rack" around her legs, high chance of infection, no guarantee that it would work, and she would be unable to walk for a year.  I think the doctor said that the feet could be done separately, so six months for each if I heard him correctly.  Pretty Baby had surgery like this done to one leg when she was 13, but she managed the care herself-keeping the pins turned and cleaned is crucial.

She could have a bone removed from each ankle and then her heel bone could be stood up to act as two bones.  Her feet would look normal but of course they would not be able to move the way that other people can move their feet.

She could have a partial or full amputation.  The partial amputation would cut into the current ankle from the top; the full would cut off the foot.

The doctor said that she is essentially a "peg leg" right now and that is why she has trouble standing in a tub or on wide stairs-she has no feet or toes to grip with.  I think that's why she loves her winter boots so much more than her shoes, although she loved her shoes.  Boots are flat on the bottom and conform on the side while shoes have ridges for the natural placement of feet-hers aren't natural.  Thank you to Pretty Baby for suggesting that this was the case; I'm sure you're right and I will start looking for those long slipper socks for Eva to wear indoors.

So we will meet with the surgeon again at the end of April, after Eva has become comfortable and verbal, etc., and talk again.

We got the foot of snow that was expected but it's all gone now, much to Eva's disappointment.  Aidan was thrilled to have someone to go sledding with.  Here she is in her long johns just before he crashed his sled into the rocks and took a chunk out of the front of it.  They had a great time, though.

I had to run right out and get new winter wear for them.  She needed snow pants and he needed new everything.  This picture is not very flattering of him because it's close up and the coat is large enough for him to grow into plus it's one of those double coats, but they both were happy with them.
On the day that I returned from China I got an email from a publisher accepting a manuscript I sent to them in September.  I can't say more right now, this work will be published under a pseudonym, but I have been very busy writing revisions to make my December 1 deadline and get the work done before I return to school next Monday.  I have been writing since I was a child, but this is the first big piece of work that I've sold, so I'm beyond excited!  There is never a dull moment in our house.