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.
 
 
I am behind on visiting your blogs and posting to my own-sorry.  Twice a week I sleep at my mother's house so two nights a week I don't sleep.  Most of the time I'm operating in a foggy state.  So I'll just show you what we've been up to in pictures.
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Tiger Scout visit to my sister's bakery as part of their healthy eating unit.  She makes all organic products and everything comes in gluten-free as well.  She shares the business with a woman who owns a health food store.

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Pinewood Derby race for Cub Scouts

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Aidan was excited, but his car came in last in each heat.  My husband said a lighter car is a faster car.  He used to drive stock cars, so he does know something about it, but stock cars have one thing pinewood derby cars don't have-an engine :-)

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Visit to Chutter's store in Littleton.  They have the longest continuous candy counter in the world and are in the Guiness Book of World Records.  Pretty Baby used to go there every couple of months with her best friend in high school.  Aidan loves to pick up tourist brochures and when he got one of theirs and asked if he could go there, I called Pretty Baby and we made a trip today.

 
 
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? 
 
 
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First it was the beach with LB, PB, her sons, Aidan and me. 
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Then it was Storyland with all four of our children, our daughter in-law, and three grandsons. 
G wasn't there this time, though he does like that kind of thing.  He's busy getting an antique stock car ready for a show next weekend.
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I got up early and it was another beautiful day, so I woke G and Aidan, then we picked up LB (she babysat for Brody last night, so she spent the night), and then we went hiking.  When I was young, hiking was my favorite pasttime.  I still love it, despite having lost a decade to lyme disease, but boy, do my feet hurt!  Carrying laundry down stairs after we got home was an ouch! procedure each time my feet touched a new tread.  Sort of like when I practice skating backwards, and remember muscles that I never knew I had!

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of G and Aidan:
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I showed Aidan all the acorn tops without nuts and after that he filled his pockets with acorns when he found them, to feed to the squirrels.  We also saw fish, salamanders getting "close" with one another, a snake eating a frog, and a lot of mosquitoes.
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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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Our annual family retreat is one of those great times unless you are the planner and money collector-I was both-and get to listen to everyone complain ahead of time and for the next couple of years about what was wrong with the place.

However, here is what was good about it this year:
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Watching a hydroplane landing with my fifth brother

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On the riverboat cruise with my third brother, to the right, and with my sister's husband, above

 
 
Aidan has been bugging me to measure him, so I finally hung up his tractor/big truck/digger measurement chart and he is now 48-1/2" tall.  That means he's 10" shorter than I am and 12" taller than RB.  Definitely a good sized boy.  When we received his medical information in his referral, using growth charts, I estimated his eventual height at being between 6'1" and 6'2"-right where his big brother and his brother in-law stand.  So far he's staying on that track.
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Unfortunately for him, that also means that he could only ride some of the rides at the fair-he was actually too tall for some of the rides that other five year olds were riding on!
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Today ends vacation week for both PB and myself.  I actually ended up watching the grandsons on and off, but it was still a good week.  PB and I took all four boys (BB was with me that day) to the beach for one afternoon.  We played in the dirt a lot.  And on Friday, despite the constant pouring rain, Aidan and I went to Santa's Village, which he loved.  On Saturday we went to an Asian families gathering (adoptive families) hosted by the biology teacher at my school, who has two Korean children.  Their son, also named Aidan, is eight, and their daughter is four.  The other family that came has a 15 year old Chinese daughter.  The fourth family had to cancel last minute.  Then today we spent the early afternoon at Mom's house where I had MB and GB was there with his son, BB.  Here are shots from the whole week:
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You can see that I was thrilled to take this plunge but that Aidan was not so much so.  He asked, as we ascended, if he could get off.  He also insisted that I keep my arms around his waist the whole time, even when the ride was gentle.

Guide to these shots:
1st row left-BB (grandson #2); right-Brandy (dog), Aidan, BB, & RB (grandson #1)
2nd row left-PB & boys after beach; Aidan after beach, w/black cherry ice cream
3rd row left-Aidan; right-PB (our first daughter)
4th row left-Brother #2 with Aidan and my niece (from sister #4) in the workshop (my brother makes furniture); right-BB & MB (grandsons #2 and #3)
5th row left and right-the boys again, with cabbage
(other rows identified below)
6th row left-the boys and me; right-GB (our 1st son) and his son, BB
7th row left-sister #4 with MB; GB and BB again
8th row left-my sister's girls and MB; right-brother #5 and BB
9th row left-Mom and kids; right-my 2nd brother's girlfriend, doing a crossword puzzle in the shop
10th row left-Aidan; right-my 5th brother's wife and BB
 
 

Aidan's most recent words have been "excuse me" after burping, "you're welcome" (he used to say thank you, too after hearing thank you) and then with his usual humor, "no hug daddy" or "no hug mommy" which means that he wants to get a hug.  His vocabulary is really very extensive, so the list is long.  It includes whole sentences like, "Mommy, come here, sit next to Aidan", and "I want to go work with Daddy", and then it includes short sentences and negatives like "no go night-night".

We went to visit our travel mate (the grandmother, not the mother and child) at the fire station where she works, he got all excited about having ham for lunch, he checked out every tool in my brother's furniture making shop, he went to his aunt and uncle's 25th wedding anniversary party, visited my brother's garage where one of the caterpillars was inside being worked on (he calls every yellow earth mover a caterpillar), and has generally been very busy.