Thanksgiving Weekend
November 2004

This year is notable for being the smallest group we've had in years, the year we didn't have an art project, and the year that Mike Marois had a sex change operation and wound up looking like Judy. We did two turkeys, one on "The Barbie" and one in the oven. The group was evenly split over which was better. My favorite was the BBQ one but that's because I tended the fire, stoked the smoker and got to play with power tools. 

It turned out to be a weekend full of activity. There is almost more than one person can report but thankfully, you have me. I can report on anything and stretch the facts to fill the space. 

(as usual, click on the little picture to see the big picture)

Thanksgiving Day

We called for everybody to sit down to dinner at 4:30 but our crew has its own agenda. Next year we're going to invite everybody over the night before and start the day at 7:30 am with turkey sausage and turkey bacon and eggs. (Chicken eggs, not turkey eggs) We did two turkeys this year... one on the Barbie and one in the Oven. Remember, "Nothin' says lovin' like something from the oven!" 

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The last shall be first, or some such biblical stuff. This is our group shot minus me. I'm in the one at the bottom of the page.
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Diana and I make a great team. She does the design and I do the heavy lifting. This is the table arrangement for the "big people".
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Perry took this to prove that I was really here. Well, I'm not really here, but I'm someplace other than here. Body is here but the mind is, oh heck, you get it.
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Maria knows how to unscrew, I mean use a screw, I mean uncork a bottle, oh heck, you know what I, well, maybe you don't.

Oh, unscrew it... she serves the wine that Marc brought.

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Marc brought wine. He has to drink lots because he just found out the guy he was supposed to bring turned out to be a girl. 

That's not a bad thing for Marc since the girl is much prettier than the guy was. 

If Marc looks confused it is because he is. 

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Alex just did something typically Alex. I'm not sure what happened. I haven't had anything to drink yet so it is no wonder that I'm confused. 
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The dining room for the "big people".
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Matt Gates sure takes up a lot of real estate. I remember him when he was "thisssssss big" and he wasn't an Offensive Tackle that you'll see in the NFL in about six years. 

We calculated that he is over six times bigger than Alex (our Alex) but he doesn't let it get to him when Alex tries to beat him up. 

Our Alex has more guts than brains, sometimes.

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Maria gets a seat on the couch before Matt settles in. 
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Matt and Alex and Alex play with the trains. Neither of them had a chance. Our Alex just loves these two.
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I get to play with two of my four favorite girls. 
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Maria gets Ashley. Ashley and I have something in common... we both like girls better than boys. If Maria was holding me like that I'd smile too. She would grimace because unlike Ashley, I'm 230 and that's heavy.
This is the only photo I have of Perry that I can show. 

Wait a sec, I don't have a photo of Perry. Shoot. How can I prove he was here?

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Well, heck with it. I've got Jody and Tex. 

(Perry? What Perry? We don't need no stinkin' Perry.) 

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Alex arrives with a hug for Grandma.
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This is supposed to be Marc and Mike. Marc is with someone who looks suspiciously like Judy, but can't be because Judy is supposed to be in Texas. Therefore we can only assume that Mike had a sex change operation and plastic surgery to make himself look like Judy. He did a great job, dontchathink?
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Jody makes a mean pie. Heck, she makes five mean pies. She also wields a mean knife.
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Ashley looks cute and eats at the same time. I can't look cute and chew gum at the same time. Ashley is smarter than me.
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DJ and Neen relax on the couch.
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"I'm ready for my close up, Mr. Wisch."
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I'm not sure what Ashley is telling them. Well, to be fair, they are not sure what Ashley is telling them. She only has six words in her vocabulary and none of them are in recognizable English except "No".
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Marc and Judy gave Diana a present that she was trying to buy on eBay. It seems that they bought it first which is no mean trick since Marc doesn't have a computer and can't buy things on eBay. 
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Ashley has big shoes to fill.
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I don't remember what the joke was but Neen finally got it five minutes after the punch line. 
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"WOW"                 "MON"
It's a very Gates Thanksgiving when the Gates family jumps on the couch. 
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Alex took the kids to see the trains. His layout has been extensively modified and he is also allowed to run analog trains on my layout. He is proud of himself, as he should be. 
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Alex was asleep in 60 seconds when his head hit the pillow. It took me a minute and a half. 
Friday Morning

The day starts promptly at 6:35 am when Alex decides it should. He built a fort in the living room out of all the chairs, pillows and blankets he could find. When Rachael arrived with Ashley he decided to enlist the aid of Auntie Toes and Uncle Aaron. The girls went shopping. The guys went shooting. We all met up at JC Penny for the 2004 Family Holiday Card portraits. You'll see them here first. Next month. Wait for it. 

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Under construction.
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Engineer and Sidekick.
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Aaron's toes.
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The Rest of the Story.
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Dismantling the evidence.
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Proud Mother of the Chief Engineer of the Fort.
Saturday Morning

Aaron and Neen had to leave for LA and his family. Therefore, we started off with breakfast to make sure that they were on the road with food in them. I was up at my usual 6:30 am and the kids got here at 8:00.

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The kids decide that Grandma has had enough.

Sleep, that is.

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Uncle Aaron is considering the question of having children of his own just after the OPK's leave the room
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She thinks she looks stupid and I think she looks adorable. I own the website so my opinion is the operative one. 
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Normally I would be afraid to put a photo like this on the website but not today. I told her not to try to wiggle out of this.
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This is the Saturday Morning Group Shot with me in it. I'm the one who looks out of place in the back. Don't worry, you're not going crazy... it is bad Photoshop work in action. 
The Party's Over

Marc and I decided to end the weekend with scotch and cigars. He brought the scotch and I brought the cigars. We also had turkey soup. It is a fitting way to end the weekend... turkeys blasted on scotch. 

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