I went to visit the potter at the Craftsmen's Fair and replaced our sugar bowl.  The old one had a crescent in the lid for the spoon and it had broken, plus the other side had broken as well.  So we'll keep the bowl but here are the old (on the right) and the new (on the left):
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We also needed a table lamp for the living room and last year I saw a metal worker giving a demonstration and really liked his stuff so here is the lamp-still looking for the right shade:
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For as long as I can remember, my family has gone to the League of NH Craftsmen's Fair, held for 10 days in early August.  Our first three kids worked there as a first job and used 1/2 their earnings to pay for driver's education.  Every year we take the chair lift to the top and hike to Lake Solitude, which is a lake on top of the mountain.
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Back down at the base they have exhibits, demonstrations, tents for kids to practice arts and crafts:
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Each year I get a piece from a particular potter.  This year I'll be getting a replacement sugar bowl since our lid is broken in two spots.  We will also be going to the Living With Crafts exhibit because that's where my second brother's work is shown.  Here is a sample of his stuff:
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We had the big kids and their kids over for supper tonight and it is just so much fun to watch them together.  So much fun that I didn't even think of getting the camera out as Aidan and the first two grandsons played swords, using kickboards as shields, or as the youngest grandson lined up the trains inside the barn and then locked them in, or as the baby clutched a Shetland pony and wouldn't let it go.  Then the younger boys were playing on the lawn while Aidan, RB and I went on "the trail".  It's really just an arc into the woods behind the lawn, but we love it-Aidan blazes the way through the branches and brush, usually walking with a stick that he uses to slash obstacles out of the way or to mount the heights of our boulders.  I have to teach him to be imaginative at times, and he really picked up on the adventurer/explorer theme and has a great time with it.  On our walks we encounter pine needles galore, horse mushrooms, and yards and yards of teaberries.  If you're not from this part of the country or you've just never seen the last two, here are a couple of pictures:
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These aren't my pictures (yes, I scoffed them from someone else) but the next three are.  Once a year I make sure that we get to the ocean, which is a couple of hours away, because I had lived all my life in New Hampshire and not seen it until I was 19 years old.  That's what happens when you have 10 siblings, live on a farm, and have a swimming hole across the road as well as the 4th cleanest lake in the world just a few miles away.  But I love it and so did these guys:
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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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I was with my sister when her daughter was born.  She has always been a special girl.  In high school I had her in both economics and AP US history class as a student.  Sometimes we would ride to school together.  Recently she graduated from college and this fall she will be married.  Sunday her brothers' wives threw her a bridal shower.  Here are a few pictures of Angela (who I call Angie-babe) at her big event:
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The good for you side of the food tables
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Being greeted by her college friend from New York
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Her high school friends (the first three were my students as well)
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Youngest female at the party-CB, our granddaughter
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Digging in.  This was an adorable basket from her friends where all of the gifts were numbered and had to be opened in order.  They had things like gas relief, earplugs for snoring, etc.
Contest to dress the best bride with toilet paper.  Our group won when we dressed my sister-above-though the desert look on Emmeline was good and Savannah added big balls to her bosom-outrageous!
 
 
We have had some pretty warm (hot) days lately, and I've tried to make the most of them.  I asked the boys last week if they wanted to go to the beach after their field trip, but they wanted instead to go to the gravel pit and play while I picked raspberries.
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I told the boys that every other Friday (I get paid every other week) we could do something special so on Friday we went here:
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....but it was just okay to them.  What did they REALLY get excited about?  That I was going to take them to McDonald's-not because of the food-but because I was going to take them to the PlayPlace and actually let them use it!

On the next day, my husband and I took Aidan to three special places.  The first was one of our state fish hatcheries where you can buy 25 cents worth of fish food from bubble gum type dispensers and throw it into the ponds.  We had a lot of fun with that.  If you've never been to New Hampshire, please check out this link to the NH Fish and Game:  http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/

We have a beautiful state and I just read a novel this weekend by an author that I really like but she had a sentence or two in the novel about her characters passing through NH into Maine and I was so disappointed in her description that I wrote to her.  I said that anyone who had ever spent time in Portsmouth, Hampton or Rye would NOT remember them for lottery tickets and liquor stores.  She wrote back and said she had never been here; she was relying on a friend's description of what he remembered of billboards from the Interstate as he passed through on his way to Maine (the "Massachusetts corridor").  So I have to advertise its beauty.

We left the fish hatchery and went to see the rocket in Warren.  16,000 pounds brought here by a NH resident in the military who thought that the rocket would interest kids in our part of the country in the space program and make it "real" to them.  Aidan thought it was pretty cool. (This is a winter picture, but you get the idea)
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Pretty Baby and I took all three boys shopping on Saturday for back to school layaways.  That was actually quite stressful.  But Sunday was wonderful, because we had a picnic after church and it was too hot to eat outside so we actually enjoyed a meal inside the parsonage dining room and it was just....restful.

P.S.  Today is our 30th wedding anniversary
 
 
We finally got the Internet problem solved-it was a drop line issue and the point of disconnect was under the porch-not checked on the first or second tech visits so it was fixed today with three techs and about 3-1/2 hours of work by them.

Our first grandson is going to kindergarten in the fall.  Since he has sensory processing disorder, our daughter is sending him to the five weeks of summer school offered at our elementary school.  He just loves it!  Here he is getting off the bus on that first day:
Then, I interviewed him about his day so that our daughter could see his very first comments about it:
Did you hear all the kids in the first video, calling out greetings to Aidan?  It made him decide to go to summer school as well.  Today was his first day.  He was very nervous even though this is his school and he knows the kids and staff; he said that his belly hurt and he was cold-the kind of cold that comes with a belly ache.  Tomorrow is his first field trip-they have one each Thursday.  He is very nervous about that.  He asked me if I could chaperone but I already made an appointment for the youngest dog to get his second Lepto shot while Aidan was away because he hates to go with me if that dog is going to be hurt-he doesn't care about the other two.  So we'll see how tomorrow goes.

I told the boys that when they got home from the field trip shortly after lunch we could go to the beach, but they would rather go to my brother's gravel pit, so there we'll be.
 
 
We do have a new modem but the modem was fine.  There is a lot of noise on the line every afternoon and evening.  The tech who was here can't climb the telephone pole because the pole is marked condemned-to be replaced-so no one can climb it.  He is sending the line tech to check it out to see how much spillage he can detect and what else they can do.  So I'm not spending much time online-sorry to those I follow for my sporadic posts.

I'll keep my posts short and limited since I have a bunch of pictures to share of recent happenings but too many for one post.  Here are some lake shots from yesterday:
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I didn't get any shots of our first grandson in the water since I was in the water with him, but his transformation from a year ago has been amazing!  Last year he screamed, cried, bucked, and totally broke down at the thought of water.  After a year of occupational therapy for his sensory processing disorder, he has discovered a love a water!  (I've added a July 4 picture of him at the bottom to show just how much he loves it now.)
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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.
 
 
Our son's wife is a college student, finishing a nursing degree.  So two days a week this summer their children will come to our house.  Today was the first day.  I got no pictures of my grandson because he was too busy playing to sit still, but here is his sister trying hard not to take a nap.
We played, walked up to see my brother's new piglets, and then when the little ones went home, Aidan and I took the youngest dog to the vet.  Aidan insists that the dog, Mangus, is not his, but he couldn't stay in the exam room when he found out that Mangus needed blood drawn and three shots.  He also sleeps with this dog every night.  They're both sleeping on the couch right now; Aidan is still recovering from strep throat.