Saturday, October 31, 2009


We don't always mind the rain. Amelia loves an excuse to get out the umbrella.Peter took these pictures of her when the boys were getting ready to go outside.

Here is Will, flying by on his bicycle.
A certain someone has really enjoyed playing on the porch a lot lately.She loved to pull her hood off (not a hat or hairbow type).
Amelia was sure that Cecily did indeed need the hood on.
Cecily is putting her head down in anguish and in an attempt to thwart her sister.
Giving up and crawling away, down the driveway...
...until I pick her up before she gets to the gravel.
Back to the porch.
She loves the pumpkins, so she's distracted, for now.
Five little pumpkins!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Benjamin is moving along in his pursuit of reading. He's at the meager beginnnings, but it is very exciting to see him progress. He's making a silly pose for my picture, but here he is hammering out some fun exercises to reenforce his knowledge of the 'B' sound.
What he loved most was making butter as a project related to the 'B' sound. We put whipping cream into a pint jar and he shook it and shook it until a lovely, yellow lump was formed.
He scooped it into a dish and we served it for dinner with our bread. He was so excited over it. I love that about our curriculum. So much fun for them!

Monday, October 19, 2009


Had a fun time today taking just my littlest girl out to get her picture taken. I like to get a good portrait of them while still in the baby stage to put in their memory books.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


A couple of weeks ago Samuel made himself a bow and two arrows. He's fashioned some for himself in the past, but this time was a little different because he had found some instructions in a book and he followed them carefully. The result was remarkably improved. He used some feathers that he had found previously and fletched these himself.
It was funny. After Samuel had worked on this project for days, when it was finally done, it was very rainy outside and he couldn't test it out. I think it made the testing all the more gratifying when he finally got to do it. It worked beautifully. Hurray! So nice when our efforts are rewarded!
From start to finish, his own idea and his own skill. Amazing how capable he's becoming.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


There are two zoos that are within about 1 1/2 hours of us. We really like the Good Zoo in Wheeling, WV. It's small and pleasant. The advantage of the Pittsburgh Zoo is mainly the Aquarium. Last October we got a year's membership at the Good Zoo which got us free entrance for the year to BOTH of the zoos, a very good deal for our family. (It costs over $70 for our family to get into the Pittsburgh Zoo). We've tried to take advantage of it. We hit the Aquarium in February as a special trip for William's birthday. The rest of the zoo was basically empty at that time, as it was freezing cold. We returned to see the animals in September since we missed them back then. Here are some highlight photos. We plan to go to the Good Zoo one last time, next week, while Peter is gone to the Presbytery meeting in North Carolina. It seemed like a good day trip for us while he was away and then our membership will expire and the year of the zoos will be over!!A lovely snow leopard eyeing us lazily.
There was a tiger busy pacing up and down a path that we watched for a few minutes before realizing that there was a viewing window to our right, much closer to where he/she was walking.

Coming around to the window, here comes our tiger-friend straight towards us. A much better view.

He/she took a good look at the kids.

Wow. That was neat for them.

Pittsburgh Zoo has an impressive Komodo Dragon. We stood here and stared for a good while.

He looks heavy. I wonder how fast he can go.

Look at those nails.

We next stood, watched and exclaimed over the delightful sea lions.

It may seem like it's a little soon for lunch, but we actually got to the zoo fairly late. We were ready to eat pretty fast.

Sam, the sandwich maker. We were grateful for his work. :-)

Cecily is taking it all in. She thought lunch was a good idea too, though.

After our little wasp-harassed picnic, we noticed an underwater viewing area for the sea lions that we had missed.

Truly, they are the most amazing things. They literally "flew" around their pool, soaring and rolling and leaping out of the water. We could have stayed there much longer.

Tearing ourselves away, we next came to an American Alligator.

His name was Otis.

Turtle Racers for children to enjoy in the Kid's Kingdom.

Sam, the Spider.

The Naked Mole-Rat tunnels.

Millie peeking out of the tunnel maze that I spent a good while trying to get her back out of.

A suspended bridge in the treetops.

Seemed like a good group photo opportunity.

Random turkeys.

OK, yes, believe it or not, we saw the Sea Lions again. As we were exiting the Kid's Kingdom, we couldn't help but notice that some zookeepers had come out to feed them and they were doing tricks and putting on a wonderful show.

This sea lion is rolling over on command and will be rewarded with a fish.

Here is one of the two critters out on the rock in the middle of the pool, catching a fish in his mouth.

Even better, here he is about to catch a squid or something. My kids were loving it.

Heading over to the Aquarium, we went in some underwater tunnels that had been closed when we there in winter.

This shark swam right over my head and I got this great shot of his teeth. Again, some very thrilled kids.

The other thing that could be seen from under water was the polar bears and we just really enjoyed those too. They were in high spirits and romping and swimming all over the place. Our first time to see Polar Bears.

You can see the Bear's float-toy in this picture. He/she would push it into the water, swim around, climb out onto the rocks, out of view from under water, and then...

...suddenly plunge in on top of it. Do you think that these bears are up there in the arctic playing around with chunks of floating ice like this? I didn't picture that Polar Bears would be so playful.

We followed the path out of the tunnels and around to the above-water viewing.

One of the bear-friends came to say hello, nose-to-nose, to Calvin.

We briefly went into the main Aquarium and saw the fish. It was getting late and we had seen them in February, so we just kind of looked for anything new. The above picture is of the boys crawling through a stingray tunnel.

Last is a funny blue lobster that we we were curious about. That is the end. If you feel tired, you really are right there with us. We were wiped and just had to get through Pittsburgh rush-hour traffic and an hour beyond to home. A full day. :)