We are headed into the ninth week of school. Midterm exams are Thursday & Friday and then the new quarter starts next week. As always, time is flying by and I am grasping to hold onto some of the memories.
The fall season feels like it begins with the Franklin Fall Festival. The Key Clubbers paint faces and play games to raise funds for Children's Miracle Network. For the first time this year, there were many other face painters- several for free. So, we are going to have to create some new fundraising ideas for the venue next year.
Benjamin visited the Fall Festival for a while. He redefined the game of corn hole (played as a bean bag toss) by taking the bags out after they had been thrown in; as if by looking through the hole he had discovered these bags that no one could see otherwise.
We also visited the Boykins Pumpkinfest this year, where the Key Clubbers ran the Kid's Corral of games & activities. It was definitely more kid-friendly than the Franklin event, but overall, I'm rather disappointed by the image of "fall festivals" around here. It serves as a venue for at-home businesses more than anything else. At least Boykins had hay rides and a few goats in a pen called a Petting Zoo. I guess I just want the brass band playing in the park while everyone eats apple pie kind of event that movies are made of.
Homecoming was early this year. The theme was "Inspired." For "Throwback Tuesday" I wore the purple poodle skirt from last year's Relay. For "Celebrity" Day I went as... (wait for it)... Van Gogh. Yeah, the kids didn't get it either. I covered a black apron with paint splatters and wore a bandage over one ear and paint brushes stuck in my pony tail. Even co-teachers asked what happened to my ear. The kids, even after I explained to them who I was, still didn't get it. I just should have resurrected Cruella D'Ville, as planned, but I couldn't find any white hair paint in the stores.
Cameron went to Homecoming with his friend, Elizabeth. It was a very different Homecoming experience than my many years with Justin (and not just because it lacked girlfriend drama). He went with a group of friends. So, I left him at the park after pictures and they shuttled him from dinner to the dance. Also, I could not volunteer to chaperon the dance this year because being amidst college football season, I was home with Benjamin. I still think he managed to have a good time without me ;)
Most different around the McHenry household though is the advent of fall decorations around the house. Once upon a time I used to get really involved in all the holidays, but kids grow up, life gets busy, and at some point my festooning fell back to be only the Christmas schwag I begrudgingly put out late into the season. I want to embrace the holidays more. All of them- even Groundhog's Day. Last year, I promoted the idea of "Cancer Takes No Holiday" for a Relay theme, thinking it would encourage me to be more holiday-oriented. It didn't. So, I don't know what spurned me to break out the holiday color-coordinated tubs of decor this year- maybe knowing I could post pictures of them to my blog? Ha!
Oddly, we don't have many surfaces around the house, so most of the pumpkin & scarecrow tchotchkes landed on the mantle and the key table. There are are surprises nestled here & there. Like the two scarecrows in the foyer's window that Benjamin says are "holding hands" or the skulls on the living room table that he chases us around the house with as he "ooOooOOohhhhs" with them. (Yeah, that whole scare the toddler game we tried backfired. "Scary" is his favorite word right now rather than a plea for help.)
It used to be that I would have a distinct memory of when and where I bought each holiday item. That is no longer the case. Perhaps it's because of age, ha, or perhaps it's from years of buying the stuff for "next season" and it took MANY "next seasons" to finally get to the season to set it out. Maybe too it's having a youngun around again... and it makes you kind of a jerk if you don't celebrate all the pre-school construction-paper-homaged holidays. Or it makes you a Jehovah Witness, and well, my Saturdays are already too busy for that.