Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Retreat pics

Last weekend, I was refreshed and encouraged at a women's retreat. Pics are available at - including some re-creations of national monuments out of non-standard materials and the ever popular play-dough pictionary.

It was a beautiful weekend to be away and set aside time to reconnect with God and with friends. Special thanks to Kristy for all her energies and efforts towards making it a great event.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Vacation pics

In case you are interested, pics from the past week are at...

Lots of them have the quality of your average family vacation pics, so feel free to fast-forward. They are a taste of the week.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Niagara Trip, Day 7

This morning, some friends drove in to meet us for breakfast in Gettysburg. What a fun fringe benefit of being "out east." :-) Before they took off, they escorted us through town (giving historical commentary as we went) to the Boyd's Bears store. Mom had a great time touring the store and selecting a memento of her visit - Ginger G Autumntyme, for those of you who might be collectors.

We then went south to Frederick, MD, and began the trek west... I-70 to I-68 through MD and WV, I-79 north through PA to rejoin I-70. It's an incredibly beautiful drive through the mountains - heights up to 2900' with a number of ups and downs. We stopped this evening in London, OH, after a 40-minute traffic delay for an accident. We are thankful it was the only real delay we experienced all week.

It has been a great week, enjoying the sights and enjoying each other's company. Tomorrow we head to Indianapolis - after all, we have to be home in time for the Colts' game!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Niagara Trip, Day 6

Today was spent wandering around Lancaster County, PA - finding small pumpkins and gourds, black raspberry jelly, looking at quilts and other crafts, visiting a pretzel factory [Mom has her "official pretzel twister"sticker], a stop at Kaufman's Market, dinner at Miller's, and then Psalms of David at the Living Waters Theater. It was a full but relaxing day. We are officially headed towards Indiana - spending the night in Gettysburg to catch a few things here tomorrow morning before really heading home.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Niagara Trip, Day 5

How can these gals not make you smile? :-) Today, we traveled to Hershey, PA, and did the Chocolate World tour and trolley ride. Pretty amazing place, particularly the Milton Hershey School ( and the impact it has had on so many students over the last 98 years.
We also have gathered a few mementos of the trip... stones from along the roadside, that will end up around Mom's gardens in Bburg. It is pretty amazing, the differences in colors and textures along the way. We do have an assortment from NY and PA - didn't really have a place to pick them up in CA.
Tonight, we are in Lancaster, PA. More fun tomorrow!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Niagara Trip, Day 4

Today we took a brief tour of the American side of the Falls, but didn't stop for any length of time. We decided to drive south through New York and part of Pennsylvania on U.S. 219. It was a very rural and pleasant drive. Lunch was at the Apple Dumplin' Restaurant in Springville, New York - a great little local place that is worth the stop if you are ever in the area. :-)

We are spending the night in New Columbia, PA. Tomorrow, on to Hershey. I know, I know, it's a tough week! :-)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Niagara Trip, Day 3

This morning, we wandered around as our own tour guides, utilizing the Niagara Parks PeopleMover system. Our guide last night had given us a great tip on where to park and catch the bus.

There's really no way to describe the Maid of the Mist ride. It just won't make sense until you have done it. Pics we took are on a waterproof camera so haven't been developed yet. Not sure any of them will come out, but they were fun to take.

The boat takes you past the American and Bridal Falls... and the mist rises some and you think, "Ok, that's why they gave us a little blue raincoat." Then the boat cruises towards the Horseshoe/Canadian Falls. From the shore, the mist can be seen as it rises near the front of the Falls basin. As the boat enters that area, it is exactly like running into a rain storm. :-) There is another section deeper in the horseshoe that is even more intense - the spray totally envelopes the boat. It's such a crazy thing - makes you laugh and giggle because you feel like a kid and yet stand in awe of the power and might of our creative God.

From there, we PeopleMoved to the other end of Niagara Park to the Butterfly Conservatory - another look at the creative majesty of God - this time in the little details. Mom's shirt was a floral print, and they seemed to love it. She had three light on her for extended periods of time.

We ended the day with a drive up to Niagara on the Lake, which is in the valley north of the Falls area. Lovely resort-type area with great views of the water. A thunderstorm blew in as we headed back south. Winds kicked up to about 100km... 60 mph... but it wasn't too long of a storm. Rain started as we made one last stop for the evening. SO, our day began and ended much the same - lots of water in our faces! I loved it!

Niagara Trip, Day 2

Day 1 was spent at Jared's game and driving to Mansfield, OH. Spent an excellent night in a Hampton Inn (thanks to Marcus' Buckingham's recommendation).

Day 2, breakfast in Mansfield, lunch in Erie, PA. Dinner from 2-4-1- Pizza in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

We took a tour and saw the Whirlpool Basin, the Brock Monument overlooking the Niagara Valley and the Skylon Tower night view of the Falls. Stopped at the Floral Clock as well. It was a gorgeous day. Having a blast!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sack Man!!!

Look at that face! Can you imagine him ever brutalizing ANYone? :-) Well, yesterday, he got his first ever SACK of an opposing quarterback. I think he got a taste for something he may truly enjoy.

Look out QBs everywhere!! Way to go, Red!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Piney Run

Piney Run Park is about 20 minutes from Baldwins' home. They have rental kayaks - the kind you can sit on top of and are really stable, so you don't have to worry about dumping yourself. I also like them because the one-man kayaks are "self determining." In other words, it is my own fault if I end up going in circles or running into things - I am the only one paddling and steering.
You always end up a little wet as water drips off the paddle as you go from side to side. That is half of the fun! It was also cool to sneak up on the ducks or the turtles sunning on logs and to see the water lilies which are so beautiful. What better way to spend an afternoon -- sitting on top of the water, catching some sun and just enjoying the peaceful surroundings. A truly refreshing Labor Day!