I am leaving on Friday at dawn.  For those of you who have adopted, you know that this is the stage at which you start to feel like the White Rabbit.  You even start talking like him, "Don't just do something, stand there... Uh... no no! Go go! Go get my gloves! I'm late".

If you understand that, you've been there :)

Fortunately for me, Grange Fair is tomorrow so I can relax-I spent the last few nights calling people for food donations for the ham & bean supper, went to Aidan's open house, had a church officers meeting  and a meeting of the social studies council executive board.  Have also been busy getting things ready for my sub, who is more than competent to take over for me, so that is a big relief.  He also just happens to have adopted from China using the same agency that we are using for Eva.  Amazingly small world, especially because he was living in Wisconsin at the time.  What were the chances of him then moving to New Hampshire just when I needed someone like him to come along?

So I'm sort of ready-you know how that goes.

I'll leave you now with some photos of those that I will leave behind:
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Aidan complained that I always have the camera and he never gets to use it, so this is his idea of a self-portrait (remember that he doesn't like having his photo taken, so of course he was being a goofball even for himself as the photographer).
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I don't like shopping.  Or bargaining.  Or yard sales.  I used to like grocery shopping before the prices went up so much.  I do like antique shopping but only if I am actually looking for something. 

But every now and then I get excited by something, and that happened this weekend when I went to a church fair in town (not our church, but another one).  Here is where Aidan keeps his "little things" in his room:
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I had been looking for something like this for Eva, and this is what I found at the fair for a whole five dollars!
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Our oldest grandson and Aidan sit on the porch in canvas lawn chairs so the little boys needed special seats of their own.  For $3 I came home with this:
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Now I'll leave you with the image of what our house looks like when all four grandchildren are over and all of the big kids are home (and Aidan retreats to his room; he still dislikes "crowds" and he also dislikes having his picture taken, in case you hadn't noticed, though I did manage to get one in here)
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Our first grandson graduated from preschool!  A big deal because he has gone to this daycare/preschool since he was six weeks old.  This summer he will attend five weeks of half day summer school at our local elementary school and get off the busy at our house to spend the rest of the day with me and Aidan.  Here he is with his best friend (they have both been together since they were infants) and then making some of the goofy and sweet faces that he has a talent for.
We had a birthday party on my mother's porch for her, even though she is gone.  She would have been 83 years old.  The eight of us living nearby gathered with her best friend and my cousin who is like a sibling.  Here is her cake, the view from her porch, and my two younger sisters.
Today my oldest kids and Aidan and the grandkids went to Storyland (Little Baby was working).  Here are some shots from our outing.
 
 
Just in the last two weeks we've gone from this-so warm that the kids were playing with squirt guns even while there was snow on the ground......
.....to this-two inches of snow mixed with sleet and hail that made driving Aidan's birthday guests to and from the party a dangerous proposition.....
...to one day later-Easter egg hunt....
....to a day of intense heat yesterday (and still 70 degrees at 10 at night)-with enough wind for kites...
...to balmy weather this morning that has now turned to rain.  In New Hampshire we always say, if you don't like the weather, wait a minute and it will change :-)
 
 
On April 1 we had a snow day; on April 9 we were all playing outside without coats and trying not to track mud into the house.  Here are some shots of the two weekends.
 
 
Some people with less than wonderful childhoods want a certain type of family-the one they never had.  Others have wonderful childhoods and want the same thing for their own family.  I'm in the second category.  I grew up with four sisters and six brothers, and four of those brothers were "in a row" between my sister 16 years older than me and myself.  So I always wanted boys-plural.  Didn't get them.  But with the grandsons and Aidan, I've got them now and I just love it!  Here are the boys playing outside on a spring day this week-just before a day of snow and freezing rain.
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This doesn't mean that I don't love my girls.  In fact, there are some people who make your day better, and brighter, simply by being in the world.  Our first daughter is like that.  She is quiet, and sweet, and a magnet for the rest of us.  Even her siblings go to her for "balance".
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I can't wait to see what the personality of our one granddaughter will be.  Already she is a super happy baby, smiling easily when you talk to her.  She looks a lot like her brother, but she also looks like our son in many ways.  
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(P.S.-I don't have that many pictures of Little Baby, since she's away at college)
 
 
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This has been a very good week- a gospel festival at our church, Chinese presents from my cousin's wife, our son's children for the afternoon, and skiing all day with Aidan.
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Our granddaughter is really starting to plump out and smile all the time.  She also loves it when I sing a certain song to her.  Our first grandson and I have a song, but the two year-olds don't like singing-one is too busy and one starts to cry the moment anyone sings, even his own mother, who has a beautiful voice.  So this is very sweet.

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Her brother is busy, busy, busy all the time

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And then there is Aidan, who tries to avoid photographs whenever possible

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We finally got snow.  After only having snow on December 26 and most of the state having a brown Christmas while the rest of the country got hit, we are making up for lost time.  We've had three snow days and a delayed opening in the past two weeks.  This coming week we will have either heavy snow and winds or a blizzard-depends whether or not the storm tracks along the coast or further out to sea.  And the temps?  They'll be frigid for at least the next week.
So what do you do with weather like this?  Yes, there is sledding and skiing and snowboarding, but there is also hanging out around the house playing games and going out for pizza with the whole family when Aidan's first badge ceremony for Tiger Scouts gets canceled due to heavy snow (how many of you learned to spell cancelled with two Ls and get frustrated that one of the rules that made sense in grammar has been changed?).  Here are some pictures from the last couple of weeks:
 
 
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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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?