It only rained for about half of the day today, and we will see one other day this week without the wet stuff.  The best part about weather like this, though, is how much everything grows and glows when the sun comes out!

Picture
Picture
 
 
Picture

What a great day, from start to finish!  I got two hugs from graduating seniors in my AP macroeconomics class.  We started watching F.I.S.T. in economics class (now I can get some year-end averaging started).  We entered the 1990s in US history class. 

All the way home, Aidan went on and on about his basketball hoop.  GB gave this hoop to him yesterday and he has talked of nothing else since.  So as soon as we got home G had to fill the base with water.  Next the hoop has to be lowered so that Aidan can actually shoot at it, but right now he doesn't care how high it is.

Picture
As if that isn't enough, I've also got some great blooms outside the house.  I'm one of those growers who weeds occasionally, is afraid to move anything in case I should kill it, and loves nothing more than to watch the bees and hummingbirds and butterflies enjoying what I grow.  I'm also one of those people who goes outside every single day and checks out the plants-they really do grow overnight!  So here are some pics from today (chives, roses, and clematis).
Picture
Picture
Picture
 
 

Today we dedicated two new monuments outside our church.  We've had a large monument there for several years with the roll call of veterans who served in the Revolution, Civil War, World Wars I and II (that one includes my father).  Today two new monuments were christened for the veterans of the Korean and Viet Nam conflicts.  I have cousins on both of those.

Picture
Here is the original monument and people waiting for the ceremony to get started.

Picture
Aidan, amusing himself during the wait.

Picture
My great nephew getting in on the action.

PB has a beautiful voice so my cousin (our cemetery sextant and organizer of these new monuments) asked her to sing the National Anthem for the event and then to lead the crowd in singing America, The Beautiful afterwards.  We both lament over the fact that the anthem we have was chosen instead of Columbia when Congress made their decision between the two, since Columbia is so much prettier and easier to sing.  But here she is, anyway, with motorcycles and passing cars for background noise.
(Sound to be inserted if YouTube ever finishes uploading the file)
Picture
And then here is my little flag bearer.  He really is quite fascinated with flags-he points out every one he sees on the ride home in the afternoons-so he was excited to get one of his own.

Last, here is a story that just has to be shared.  G was mowing the lawn this week and Aidan plopped himself down on the picnic table to watch.  When I asked what was up, he said, "This is for baseball".  Since he goes to daycare at a high school, I figured he was referring to the mowing that they do on the athletic fields. 

A few minutes passed and he came into the house to get his ball and bat, returning to sit with them on the picnic table and continuing to watch G mow the lawn.  Apparently G had told him that they could practice after the grass was cut.

A few minutes passed and he again came into the house, this time telling me that he wanted to wear his baseball shirt.  I didn't know which one he meant-he has lots of shirts with balls-so I went and grabbed one that I know is a favorite and brought it out.  He gave me that big boy disdainful look and said, "Not that one.  I want to wear my  Bib Papi shirt!"  So he is, without a doubt, pretty well Americanized now.
 
 

It is so wonderful, here in northern New England, when it is finally warm enough to 1) Not wear boots, 2) Not wear coats, and 3) Gather outside!  Last weekend my nephew's wife graduated from college and here are some pics from her party:

Picture
Here is my great niece, who is the same age as Aidan, showing off her barnyard.

Picture
And here she is looking like a character out of Tom Sawyer, or a little English miss with her rubber boots.  She says that she is an adventurer like Diego!

Picture
Here is my youngest niece giving my other great niece a push on the swingset

Picture
And Aidan joined in.

 
 

When I was young, growing up with ten siblings, we did a lot of things for ourselves-we had chores, raised animals, tended gardens, and sewed.  I like sewing, but for years didn't have a working machine.  Then this past Christmas GB and PB bought a new one for me, and so far I have only used it to make things for LB.  This past week I worked every night on her prom dress and spent all day Saturday on the skirt.  She is a complicated child, so of course the dress had to be complicated as well.  I detest hemming second only to patching, so I thought I was being smart when I bought lace hem edging, only to realize later that the skirt had three tiers to it.  Since the top two tiers were not sewn down the sides, and since the satin frayed just about every time I touched or ironed it, that meant three regular hems plus four side "hems".  Fun, fun fun.  Anyway, here are the results:

Here she is with one of her friends-hopefully you can see some of the skirt detail.


And here is the choker that I made to go with the corset.


Then she needed a bag for small stuff


We followed that day with Mother's Day.  GB had a migraine, so I went to his house to get my card after church, did my grocery shopping, visited Mom, helped Aidan fly his new kite-both in the afternoon and again in the evening-and visited with PB and her boys.  MB had the good grace to get his first tooth on Saturday-his gift to his mother and something that has been long awaited!

 
 

First, the black flies are out in record numbers this year.  For some reason we had very warm weather at the end of April and all of the water levels are down, creating the perfect situation for these buggers.  And that's what they do to me-just bug me by swarming around.  They actually don't like my taste, so I never get bitten by them.  If I could explain it, I would, since PB is allergic to the pests.

Second, Aidan and I were home today because a student at my school is now a probable case of H1N1 flu, so as a precaution there were no classes.

Third, Aidan did attempt T-ball last Wednesday night but it isn't going to work.  He loves ball and plays just about every day, but he didn't know any of the kids and, of course, none of them were from our small town anyway-it's a district community center league-so we'll try again later.  His real love, I think, may be soccer anyway since he's such an awesome kicker (he kicks left, throws left, bats both).

Last, tomorrow we will be going to his kindergarten to take care of registration.  I made contact with another mother in town who has a child going into kindergarten, and we're going to get together this weekend at the park for the kids to meet.  I also found out that our mail carrier's son will be entering kindergarten, so I'll try to get them together as well.  It really helps to have such a large family, because I asked my siblings who had kids that age, and they immediately gave those names to me.  It doesn't hurt that my fourth brother is acting as postmaster in town following the retirement of our postmaster, so he sees and knows everyone.

And this is what Aidan likes to watch when he comes home in the afternoon:  That's right, the guy with square pants!


 
 

Today we celebrated Aidan's fifth birthday, though that date (estimated) is still three days away.  The party was early-10:30 to 12:30-to accomodate all of the guests' naptimes.  The kids played outside in our unseasonably beautiful weather, had lunch, played some more, opened presents, then had cake and ice cream.  Since it was time for our social worker to make her six month visit, she came to the party as well.  This gave her a chance to meet Aidan's friends, see him with his whole family (big brother and big sister and their families), and meet his daycare director (her daughter was a guest) as well as some of his playmates' parents.

After our nap, we did it all again.  LB turns eighteen tomorrow, so the evening party was a cook-out but I cooked in.  She doesn't like hot dogs or hamburgers so I roasted a pork loin and we had that with the usual salads, chips, watermelon, etc.

Some of the pictures are here, some are under LB's page (click on her name on the home page for that link), and some are under photos.

Here he is with his favorite playmates from daycare.  One highlight of the day for me, though, was when it was time to eat lunch and he insisted that he sit beside RB to eat.

Below he is sitting on "the bike" that he wanted.  He loves Diego, and wanted a bike, so fortunately they came together.  Then he is blowing out the candles on the cake I made-notice the Spider Man theme to everything.


Here is a short video of Aidan, between parties and before his nap, playing with the party favors from his sistr's party-we broke them out early.

 
 

I have been unable to post any pictures for a while, so here is a lot of stuff for lost time.  We've been busy with the dentist (Aidan managed one filling but couldn't sit for a novacaine shot so the second one will have to be done with laughing gas), planning a birthday party (his first at five years old and LB's big 18th), watching my brothers move and spread the cow manure now that it has melted, and celebrating Easter.

Eating cookies at the saphouse


I had trouble again after this picture loaded, so I just threw a bunch together here.  They are Aidan and LB at the Easter egg hunt, the boys checking out the manure pile, visiting the cow pastures with their cousins, my youngest sister's first child at her spring concert, random relatives at the Sunrise Service, cakes that my nephew's fiancee made, and the boys again at the Easter egg hunt.  I'm going to try to post some more pics under Photos and under GB and LB's pages.

 
 

Aidan was bored today and wanted to change his clothes so I let him wear a summer outfit, which he loved, but I told him that he could only wear it when the snow was all gone.  Here he is sporting the outfit and posing with his brother's 1,000th point ball, which is autographed by all of the previous 1000 point scorers at our high school.  To Aidan it is just another basketball.

 
 

Yesterday was beautiful, so Aidan and I went outside to fertilize the blueberries, grape vines, and assorted other things.  Here he is with his new rake: