Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Evan's golf certification

Evan completed his first session of First Tee and passed his certification, which means he can golf free at the BlackHawk golf course with a paying adult. Since Darrell took three days of golf lessons last week, maybe we'll have two more golfers in the family. I golfed in high school and would love to get back into it eventually. It was a fun experience for Evan to learn a new sport.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Discovering Pymatuning

We really needed a family day so we went to church on Saturday night and headed north to Pymatuning State Park on Sunday. We packed lunch and a dinner BBQ and went to discover a new area. We were not disappointed......here's the description from the website:

"Almost everything about Pymatuning State Park is huge. At 21,122 acres, it is the largest state park in the Commonwealth. The 17,088-acre Pymatuning Reservoir is the largest lake in the Commonwealth. In its three campgrounds, Pymatuning has the most campsites in the Pa. state park system. More people visit Pymatuning than almost any other Pa. state park. But the biggest thing about Pymatuning is the fun you can have boating, fishing, swimming, camping and enjoying other recreational opportunities. In addition to the state park facilities, the Pa. Fish and Boat Commission operates a fish hatchery and visitor center, and the Pa. Game Commission has wildlife viewing areas, and learning center."

We loved the nature center....above, Ann-Marie matches animals to their tracks and Evan matches animals to their scat (that's poop, folks!) and below, Alec holds an animal pellet.
We had a man teach us about purple martins and we were able to watch him check the nests and see the baby chicks.
At the Linesville Spillway, we got to see fish so plentiful that the ducks look like they are walking on their backs fighting for food.

Lastly, we headed to one of the three beaches to swim and play frisbee. We found many freshwater jellyfish that had been swept to shore by a storm.

What a great day! We will go back to discover more another day!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The emergency room King

Here is how the day was supposed to go: Bible study at park, Evan to First Tee and Ann-Marie to gymnastics, lunch, then swimming with friends. The best laid plans......

We woke up to rain....which tapered off in time to go to the park for a 9 a.m. Bible Study. The kids normally love this but when we showed up, no one else had brought their children, so mine were the only ones. We had brought towels to dry up the slides so the kids did that and I told them we would be there only an hour before their activities. It wasn't 15 minutes later that Evan came running to me and said Alec was hurt. When I reached Alec, it wasn't the usually screaming, crying, then get on with life hurt........Alec wasn't making much noise at all because he was struggling to take a deep breath. I could see in his eyes he was hurt and scared, so I picked him up and help him close....I waited 5 minutes to make sure that he didn't just knock the wind out of himself.....but he didn't recover the way I expected so I took him straight to the ER. (Thank you to Ann, who rode with me, and Dana, who stayed with my older children until Darrell could get there).

When we got to the ER we were seen right away because Alec was grunting with every shallow breath he could take. X-rays and C-T scan were taken and eventually all came back clear. After a couple hours, Alec could breath normally, but still complained that his stomach hurt. Since everything checked out clear, the Dr. sent us home, but with strict orders to keep a close eye on him for the rest of the day and to have a follow-up appointment tomorrow. So we've been relaxing on this dreary day and thanking God that Alec is o.k. after a nasty fall.

For the record, this is Alec's fourth trip to the E.R. so he is officially our "E.R. king."

Monday, July 20, 2009

New Robot Exhibit

We decided Saturday would be a good day to go into Pittsburgh to see the new Robot exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center. We also decided that the trip would not be complete without stopping at the Strip to eat at Wholey's........above, one of the staff showing the kids a lobster....there's always something to discover at Wholey's!
Ann-Marie's half of a fish sandwich is bigger than her head......
and way too much chicken for the preschooler....but everyone left full and happy!
Then onto Roboworld.....welcomed by Andy, the robot.
Some of our favorite robots of the past......
and meeting some new ones; Evan playing air hockey against a robot (score 0 - 0), Evan and Ann-Marie learned how to program a robot, and then got to try out their programmed robots.

Monday, July 13, 2009

July days

Ahhhh....July. This is the month of true summer for our family. June is eaten up by the big Iowa trip and Camp Sonzone; while August we have two smaller trips and preparations for school. July typically is when we don't travel very far and we just enjoy. Now don't get me wrong, there's been plenty of "MOM I'M BORED!" and grocery shopping with all three kids still is not my favorite way to spend a morning, but for the most part we have been enjoying playdates, swimming, parks, picnics, and just being together. These pictures are from our Sunday afternoon...this is one of our favorite ways to spend a Sunday afternoon in the summer....pack up a BBQ and head to Moraine State Park for a late afternoon day on the lake.
The water was pretty cold yet, so there was a lot of digging holes in the sand with other kids.
Darrell bought a portable grill and it works like a charm! There's my personal chef!
And what a guy.....he even braved the cold water to take the kids out for a short swim.
So, not many July blog posts, but I've been trying to take this month and just spend time with Darrell and the kids. I guess we're on kind of a "staycation"....now if I only had one of those people to come in and cook and clean, I'd be set! Enjoy your July!!!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A peek inside.....

Ann-Marie's room with her new (or new to us) white bedroom furniture. One of Ann-Marie's girl cousins redid her room and decided to pass her furniture to us. In the process, we were able to pass furniture onto another family......what a great deal! We love how the white furniture looks in her pink room. Ann-Marie says she feels like a princess! Thanks Meghan!
The last two weeks of summer have been filled with one week of Camp Sonzone for Evan and Ann-Marie (held at our church), and one week of finding rainy day activities. Not much else to report here....just enjoying the lazy days of July...........