A different kind of school day

We veered off our usual school schedule to do other things today.  The boys wrote letters to a friend who joined the Marines a few weeks ago and who needs some encouragement and prayer.

And we did some very important Thanksgiving prep —-

We listed all the Gaskins members expected to attend the festivities and quizzed the kids on Who was Who in the clan.  They do well on the 21 “cousins,” but sometimes get a little fuzzy on the aunts and uncles, specifically which aunts/uncles are the sons and daughters of Grandpa and Grandma and which aunts/uncles are sons- and daughers-in-law.

Over lunch, we played a little Gaskins trivia.

“Lincoln, who was the first child born to Grandpa Louis and Grandma Sandy?”


“No, but close.”


“No, Daddy is the fourth child.”

“Aunt Sandra?”

“Lincoln, Sandra is the sixth and last child born to Louis and Sandy Gaskins.  The first child is 20 years older than Sandra.”

They never guessed Aunt Rita as the oldest.

“Who is Aunt Rita’s husband?

“Uncle Jeff.”

“How many kids do Uncle Jeff and Aunt Rita have and what are their names?”

“Josh, Ben and Katie.”

“Sidney, who was the 3rd child born to Grandpa and Grandma?”

“Uncle Knocker.  Hey, Lincoln did you know that Knocker isn’t his real name?  His real name is Gary, his middle name is Adam and his initials spell GAG.”

Over supper, we reminisced over some family stories.

“Daddy, what does gourmet mean?”

“Gourmet refers to fancy food.  Caviar might be considered gourmet food.  Macaroni-and-cheese with hot dogs is NOT gourmet.  Uncle Jeff is a gourmet cook.  Aunt Rita is not.”

And because they have heard the story so many times, the kids instantly recalled the first meal Aunt Rita cooked for her new beau, Jeff.  Trying to impress him, she cooked her best —– macaroni-and cheese with cut-up hot dogs.  According to Sid, Jeff the gourmet was not impressed.

Now that I think about it.  I’ve never heard Uncle Jeff and Aunt Rita’s version of this story.  I wonder if it is different.

My kids definitely know that Uncle Knocker has a different version of the field-on-fire story.  According to him, Sid set that field on fire.  According to Sid, Knocker set it on fire.

Lincoln remembered that Cousin Sammy can burp anytime he wants to, which quite impressed him, until he realized that HE could pee anytime he wants to.  I could see the mental gears shifting in his brain has he quietly decided that HIS skill was definitely just as good as Sammy’s.

I’m sure the next few weeks will be filled with family stories as the anticipation of  THE RELATIVES COMING builds.

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