Little Baby moved to college this week.  This is the view from her dorm:
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This is the view of her dorm:
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This is the most important room in any college-the library-and Little Baby is a library dweller, so she feels that way too!  She is an English major who hopes to be an editor, preferably of videogames, but an editor for sure.
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Brody turned two this week but had his birthday last weekend; Ricky turned four this week and had his birthday this weekend.  Here are all four boys playing on the trampoline before the party began:
After the party I took Brody and Aidan to a farm days celebration since Brody loves animals, but it was mostly tractors and tools and demonstrations about old-time methods and crafts.  So we stopped on the way back at a farm in town where he saw a rabbit and chickens, then stopped at my mother's field to see her cows.  And the best part?  Before we left, he and Aidan got to drive the tractor with my fifth brother, who was haying in the meadow.  Sometimes you just don't have to leave town to have a good time.

Waiting for the Tractor; Are You Sure There's a Tractor out There?  Trust Me, There's a Tractor

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Two Year Old and Six Year Old Drivers

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Yesterday I got an email from our agency director that said a photo of Eva had been attached and exclaiming about how cute she was.  Except the photo wasn't attached!  I told the director she was mean, and today she sent the actual photo.  So here is our little girl now at almost 6-1/2 years old.  And, in case you've forgotten, here she is in the same spot about 1-1/2 years ago.
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For my praying friends, please pray that this week and next are smooth for Aidan.  As you know if you've adopted an older child, once they get comfortable and feel loved, they get scared.  Over the past month he has shown many signs of fear that this could all be taken away from him tomorrow.  So he will need blessings and reassurances as his big sister moves away to college and he returns to school after a summer at home with me and his nephews.
 
 
I took the week off before returning to my regular job as a high school social studies teacher-in the summer I watch the grandsons to both save my big kids money and to spend time with them.  Here is what we did with our week:
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Monday-the ocean with Aidan.  Four hours of boogie boarding and on the two hour ride home, he kept saying, "that was cool, Mommy" and "when can we go to the ocean again?"
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Tuesday-I'm not really clear on this day, though I think we did some school shopping. 

Wednesday-I just couldn't spend a week without the little ones, and Matthew and Aidan get along so well that I asked my daughter if he could spend the day with us.
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Thursday-Brody hung out with Aidan and me fand since he cannot stand to be next door to "the farm" (Great Grammie's house) and not go there, we went.  We saw the cows, the piggies, and even picked some of my tomatoes on the way.  Aidan eats them like apples, so Brody tried that as well, only to say, "It's not very tasty, Grammie," and give it back to me.
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Ricky and I had two summers alone together before Aidan was adopted and I know that sometimes he and I both miss that alone time.  So I asked my daughter if I could take him out on Thursday afternoon.  He was so excited that he didn't nap at daycare.  We went first to mini golfing (see the Pirate booty he got, above) and then to a farm where he chased a rooster and wanted my help.  I told him that I have chased enough chickens in my time and asked if he knew what that rooster was going to do to him if he caught it?  We then had a big cup of chocolate milk before leaving the farm.  But do you know what he really wanted to do with our afternoon together?  Just come to my house.  So we came home and he and Aidan played and he was happy.
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So on Friday Little Baby, Aidan and I went back for more mini-golfing.

Saturday was the annual fundraiser for my nephew's memorial scholarship.
Sunday was Brody's second birthday party.

It is raining-Hallelujah!  The well has been dry for almost two months.  I'm sick of doing one load of dishes a week and two loads of laundry a week and only one or two of....everything else!
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Now I have five days of in-service training, meetings, a little bit of time allowed for me to actually work in my room and get ready (my room is used all summer and then at the very end, maintenance on that end of the building is done, so there is no way to get in and get ready ahead of time).  Wednesday I'll be skipping the day, though; Little Baby will be off to Vermont for college.  So Golden Baby went to Maine and Pretty Baby went to Massachusetts, and Little Baby will go to Vermont.  When you are accepted there, at least at her school, the governor sends a letter to you and your parents along with a Vermont guide, travel map, and information about the state.  I think it's really nice.  Maybe Aidan will go to college in Quebec? 
 
 
This week I will actually be on vacation.  The grandsons will return to daycare full-time and Aidan and I will have five days, more or less, for the two of us, before I go back to work next Monday.
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I will miss the brothers, of course, especially since the younger one has just learned to enjoy coming to our house and being away from his mumma.  He is a true outdoor guy and would spend every minute, except for lunch and freeze-pop breaks, outside.  Outside, outside, outside is, in fact, his favorite refrain.
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He and Aidan really enjoyed one another's company on the days that it was just the two of them.  Here they are, just like grown men, hanging out in their comfy chairs in the garage, having a drink and listening to music.
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Ricky and Aidan, meanwhile, are just like brothers/cousins/uncles and nephews are when they are close in age.  Every day they have an argument and a crying jag.  Then every day they are the best of buddies for the remainder of the day.
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And then there is their handsome little cousin, who comes once a week.  He and Ricky are actually great playmates.  They are alike in most of the ways that count-smart, quiet, sweet-and different enough that they usually don't pose a threat to one another in terms of affection or toys.
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This past week Mom went to the oncologist to say that she does not want any more chemotherapy.  She did two rounds of 21 days at 50% dose and didn't like it.  She felt that it stole some summer days from her because of the restrictions on exposure and activities and this just after she had recovered some strength following the placement of a stint in her intestine.  She had never wanted chemo anyway; she only tried it because some of us asked her to give it a try.  So she won't be doing it any longer.  Seven of us siblings and a nephew went to her appointment with her so that the doctor would know that we support whatever she chooses and so that we could ask questions.  The time left to her is uncertain, as it always is with cancer, but she probably won't be enjoying next summer with us.  Here is a picture of her enjoying her annual birthday hike to the top of the mountain, back in 1987:
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There is no news on the adoption front.  G's medical has been sent to China to have them pre-approve it and we are waiting for the response to that.  We have been waiting three weeks; I contact the agency each Monday to ask if there is any word yet, so I will ask again tomorrow.
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