The big kids decided that they want to have breakfast together at least once a month, so we began this past Sunday.  Normally  Sunday is out for me due to church, but Mom and I both skipped it.  I did so because of my company; Mom did so because she was sick, again.  She is currently awaiting a date for a liver tumor biopsy. 

Since early March she has been sick with vomitting, to the point two weeks ago that she lost four pounds in four days, and she only weighs about 85 to begin with.  So they put her into the hospital for a couple of days, ran some tests, did some more tests this week, and now she's waiting for the next step.  I will never understand cancer.  This is a woman who has never smoked, never drank alcohol, never drank carbonated beverages, ate all of her vegetables daily, and every day gets fresh air and exercise.  Her favorite sandwich is wheat bread with cottage cheese, lettuce and raisins, for pete's sake!  I am hopeful that this is isolated and can be treated locally.  But we just have to wait and see.
 
 
Went to the doc twice yesterday.  Aidan had his physical in the morning-he is now 49-1/2" tall and 67 pounds and healthy-and I had a sinus/ear infection follow-up.  Thank goodness!  I got some Nasonex and a different antibiotic and already today is better than most of the week has been.

Today the brothers are spending the day with LB, Aidan and me.  Here are some pics of the two of them making themselves at home at Grammie's house:
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This week is our April break-Aidan and I.  Here are some photos from the beginning of the week.  We spent Monday at an arcade with LB and RB, went on a picnic Tuesday at the park with LB and BB, spent yesterday in MD's offices-Aidan had a regular appointment but also has an ear infection, I think-they can't see his ear for all the wax.  He has been sick for a few weeks, though, so I'm hoping that they can see it today.  I, myself, am already on antibiotics for an ear and sinus infection, and it took a few weeks for that to show up.  So hopefully he'll get some real relief soon.
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An online friend is leaving soon to adopt her child from Anshun City, which is where our daughter is, in Guizhou Province.  She is packing pictures of our daughter to take with her in the hope that she may see her and be able to take some photos for us.  It's a long shot-but it would be really awesome if it worked out!

So I was looking up information on Anshun City, above, and Guizhou in general.  The description is so very Chinese in nature, I just had to share it:

Guizhou is not one thing or another, it's near the border with Vietnam but not on the border and in the mountains but not the high mountains, it has a somewhat transitional climate too, between the tropical and the continental types. It has a great diversity of ethnic minorities which leads to a rich mix of local festivals. It is not really on the tourist trail but has great natural beauty particularly in its rivers and lakes. The famous Huangguoshu Falls are some of China's biggest and finest waterfalls.

The name means mountain region.
There are a little over 37-1/2 million people in the province and the minority population makes up 38% of that-so unlike Aidan's home of Beijing where everyone looked alike (Han) and more like Guangzhou, where we saw a lot of ethnic variety not to mention variety in clothing, hairstyles, food, etc.

Here is a picture of the falls that they mention in the description:
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My carpool buddy, a gal from a hog farm in southern Illinois, is also a Roman Catholic and was telling me not long ago-before the earthquake in Haiti-about a couple in her church newsletter, The Parable, who had been working as missionaries in Haiti for 30 years and were finally putting an end to their trips due to age.  She loaned the article to me and I thought, gee, this guy looks familiar.  It turns out that I used to teach with him!  Anyway, after the earthquake they began collecting shoes and socks for little kids and are going to send them to their contacts there-Mother Teresa's nuns, whose buildings remained intact.  So here are the shoes and socks I'll be dropping off this weekend to add to the others they collected.
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This was an up and down week.  Kids at school were great, but school was rough-we had a two hour professional development thing after school on Wednesday, which means for us who teach high school, it's really three hours of staying after (we start and end earlier than the other schools).  Then, on Thursday we had four hours of parent-teacher conferences (until 9:00, which is already past bedtime).  I woke at 3:30 on Wednesday morning with a backache, at 3:00 on Thursday morning with a migraine, and again at 3:30 on Friday morning with that same migraine.  So I took Friday off.  It was a seven hour speaker in the auditorium thing, and I can't breathe within an hour of being shut in the auditorium with no air, no light, and old carpet.  I was unable to go back to sleep on any of those days, but on Friday I finally realized it didn't matter-I could call in; so I did.  Spent the day sleeping for the most part once I got my migraine prescription filled.

On Thursday night, since we had to work, some colleagues and I met in my room before the parents came, lit a candle and passed it around while we read the Old Testament promise of salvation and then several passages from Matthew.  It was really quite nice.

Today my daughters went to see Clash of the Titans together, so I had the boys.  Here are a couple of shots of them playing outside on an unseasonably warm afternoon for NH.  When I published the photos, I was amazed at how much the little one, MB, looks like my fourth brother/our middle sibling. 
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