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Robert and Denise Boothby from Livermore brought fresh picked apples to the Governor and First Lady.  Two of their four children were able to make the visit with them, Adney and baby Ruth.  Robert is a 6th generation farmer and hoping his children will carry on the family tradition.  Thanks for the apples and come back to visit again sometime.

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Hi folks, Baxter here again with another update from the Blaine House.  Today we hosted a group of students and parents from  the Helen Thompson Elementary PTA and West Gardner – MSAD II.  First Lady of the house read a proclamation, signed by the Governor, declaring every fourth Monday of every September as Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children.  Seems funny to have a proclamation for something so natural as eating meals with your family, but there are lots of kids who seldom have meals with their parents or other family members. 

The proclamation says that after 14 years of studies (conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University) it’s been found that the more often children and teens eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink and use drugs!  I’m glad I get a chance to eat my meals with my family.

Meet my new friends from the West Gardner Elementary School!!

Can you see the little mouse created from a grape in his hand?  We had a table full of fun food like this!!

Here is am – First Dog of Maine – in the naughty chair taking a time out for leaving the yard.  I can’t believe they won’t let me cross the highway!  Everyone was in a stir worried I was going to get hit by a car.  Well I guess I’ll just have to sit here and think about another way to have fun without going under the fence.  This is not the glamorous side of my job here but it is what it is.

I’ve tried my darndest to remind the gang here at the Blaine House that I AM the First Dog and should not be sent to the time out chair.  They just don’t listen to me.

Coastal Clovers 4-H Club visited the Blaine House today as part of their tour of Augusta.

They are in their third year of planting a large garden at a local farm in Sanford area and have raised over 13,000 pounds of fresh produce for food pantries in their area.  The project is developed and run by a group of kids ranging from 6-15 and they learn not only how to garden and grow their own food but about community service and helping those in need.

Members of the Kennebec Valley Garden Club in Augusta gathered to weed and plant flowers in the English Garden behind the Blaine House.  I was kept inside because it is so tempting for me to dig in the flower beds.  They didn’t think that was a good idea.  Everyone loves these gardens and goes on and on about the colors and  design.  You should stop by sometime and take a look.  The Blaine House is open to the public!

On Thursday, June 9th the Blaine House, and me, myself and I, Baxter, hosted a Tea for a group known as Keeping Maine’s Children Connected.  They honored young people ages 16-23 who have stayed in school despite challenges such as homelessness, inpatient psychiatric placement, foster care placement, correctional facility placement, or just experienced lots of different schools because of economic hardships.  Listening to these young people makes me realize how good I’ve got it around here!  They are great, and I mean great.

For many of these young people, it’s the first time someone has honored their spunk and determination to achieve an education and go on past high school.  Their stories were unbelievable!

Joshua Spencer is describes as hard-working, determined, and optimistic.  He moved frequently when growing up which meant adapting to different homes, neighborhoods and sometimes schools.  Circumstances that might have made others give up only fueled Josh’s determination to succeed.  While working three part time jobs – three, you read that  right –  Josh has kept his grades up earning a 4.0 his junior year at the University of Maine Machias.

Front Row – left to right – Roe Gonzalez, First Lady LePage, Keegan Chase, Jessica Henderson

Back Row – left to right – Max Jennings, Sergeant Jonathan Shapiro – ME State Police, Doug Daigel – Social Worker RSU 14, Josh Spencer

Wow, what a great crowd of young artists, their parents and some grandparents!  I helped greet people at the door and milled around a bit during the award ceremony.  As usual the crumbs on the floor were first class – did I mention we have a great chef at the Blaine House?  Here are pictures of some of the artists and their families.

Never one to miss a good belly rub, I took full advantage of these young artists.  They loved me!!

 

Author of three children’s books, Angeli Perrow of Hampden, Maine , gave the First Lady a copy of her latest book, Many Hands, A Penobscot Indian Story, for her grandchildren.  I’m going to make sure I am in the room with Nick and Olivia when the First Lady reads the book to them!

 

 

This is William Zidel with his family in front of his artwork at the Blaine House.  Does his dad look familiar to you?  Yep, his dad is Matt Zidel, the meteorologist for Channel 8 News!  BTW – great art work William!!