August 29, 2008


This morning, Little Man made the journey that children have been making for generation after generation. He started kindergarten. It went well. I didn't cry or anything (then) but now it is sinking in... I told Handsome that as long as I look at it as just kindergarten, I am fine. But when I think about kindergarten leading to first grade and then second grade and so on, I crumble. One day at a time, one day at a time... The world is a mean place sometimes and I just wish I could shelter him from it forever. I keep reminding myself that he is God's first and therefore God will be with him (and me) today. By the way, he's the one waving in the picture below. :)

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Dear Little Man,

I just can't believe you are starting kindergarten today. I am so sad but at the same time I am so happy for you. I'm sorry that the days of Mommy and Ryan, Mommy and Ryan are coming to a close. I know that you will meet many new friends and learn all kinds of neat stuff. You are so ready to be there and broaden your horizons. I just miss that precious little face here at home, as I sit here, watching the hands of the clock make their slow travel around and around. Two and a half times around and I get to see you again! I can make it!

Always try your best, little man. Be the boy that God means for you to be and you'll be just fine. Daddy and I love you very much. We are very proud of you.


August 24, 2008

the ultimate ballpark

And what started the planning of this whole trip - Yankee Stadium. The Cincinnati Reds never play the Yankees. But they did this year. And a whole lot of fans showed up. Including my two favorite fans.

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And that does it. Of course we have tons more pictures but this hits the highlights.

Finished just in time for school to start. Whew!

August 23, 2008

an overview of sorts

Somehow Handsome had heard about the observation deck at Rockefeller Plaza. We went in to check on the price and it was $20 for each adult and $13 for kids (well, Little Man was young enough to be free). But for more than $50, we were prepared to skip it. This kind lady came up and asked if we were planning on going up. We said no. She said that was too bad because she had two tickets to go up but didn't want to go. We quickly amended our story and told her we would be really happy to use her tickets. So we did. I love a good deal. :) Here is the view from the top. Look how big Central Park is. In the middle of major city streets. I have seen it on the map but looking at it like this is crazy. Do you see how big that lake is out there? There are even boats on it!

Of course, Little Man was hardly impressed. How could he be with new cars from the movie Cars that he got at Toys R Us? I got quite a few comments about his lack of interest. Thank goodness his admission was free!

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I am drawing a blank on the name of this church. It's really famous and I'll edit it later after I ask Handsome (he remembers everything!). What I wanted to tell you about this place though is what happened when we went inside. There were two guards in the back, checking bags and asking people to remove their hats. A service was getting ready to start. It was weird because there were tourists milling around in the back and people up front getting ready for the worship service. Little Man couldn't see anything because there were so many people. The man at the front began the service by saying hello. I looked at Handsome and gestured to leave because I didn't want to be disrespectful to the service. Just at the moment, Little Man grabbed Handsome's hand and pulled him down to tell him something. And this is what Handsome heard - "Pick me up so I can see God." I don't know what he actually said, it wasn't that, but I really got a laugh out of that one. Because from his little spot on the floor and the booming voice through the microphone, I'm sure it did sound a bit like God might. :)

Are you hanging in there with me? Only a few more, I promise.

August 22, 2008

baby girl's favorite place

Infamous Times Square. Baby Girl LOVED it. She said it was her kind of people. Funny thing is, she is right. Busy, busy meet busy, busy. I love this picture of two of my favorite tourists. Baby girl and I came back to Times Square the next day to go see Mary Poppins on Broadway while the boys went to Yankee Stadium. She was SO glad to come back!

This is the carousel at Toys R Us in Times Square. It is three stories tall inside the store. The kids LOVED it.

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And here we are in our "car" on the carousel.

August 21, 2008

out and about

We were walking down the street, headed to Wall Street, when we saw this contraption and had to take a picture. This is a parking garage. The big metal tower in the middle is an elevator of sorts. Each side of the parking garage was almost exactly two car lengths wide. They would send a car up and just put it in one of the spots. When you needed your car, they would go up and put it on the elevator and bring it down. We stood there and watched them do one of the cars. It was crazy!

Wall Street

This building was really neat. It was called Federal Hall. FULL of history! It was the first capitol of the United States and the site of George Washington's first inauguration. It also served as a Federal Reserve Bank at one time and there are still vaults in the rotunda. Very cool.

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This is Trinity Church, just down from Wall Street. Another really cool historic building.

August 20, 2008

let the sightseeing begin!

There was a path not far from our hotel that ran along the water. I think it was called the promenade. If you followed it all the way around, you got to see the Statue of Liberty and ended up in Battery Park, which is what we did.

This picture was taken by a policeman on horseback. He was patrolling the park and offered to take our picture. His horse was really tall. That's why we look like we are standing in a hole. We were also staring directly into the bright sun - we couldn't even see him as he took the picture. And behind Handsome's right shoulder, far in the distance, by the boat, is the Statue of Liberty. It really is there, I promise. :)

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The Brooklyn Bridge, with the waterfall feature that they put on for the summer. Don't let this picture fool you - this bridge is LONG! Oh, and I took this from the South Street Seaport. Kindof a neat place too.

At this point, we had walked a LOT. We were tired. I hope you aren't tired of seeing more pictures...there are more to come! :)

August 19, 2008

welcome to nyc!

This is the Holland Tunnel. It goes beneath the river? to get to New York City. Because the city is an island. How did I not manage to remember that? I'm so ignorant about geography! And the last time I was in New York City, I flew in, which should have made it all the more obvious but I guess not.

The tunnel was LONG. I took a gazillion pictures in the tunnel to take my mind off of the fact that, you know, we were UNDERWATER!
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Welcome to Manhattan!

August 18, 2008

crayola factory

Next stop was the Crayola Factory in Easton, Pennsylvania. Easton is a neat little town. At the Crayola Factory, there was a demonstration about how they make crayons and markers. The kids really liked that. There were many, many stations set up that the kids could use to make different craft type things.

Nice photo opportunity. :)

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The top floor of the Crayola Factory was the National Canal Museum. They had a very large water table thing that had locks and canals. The kids were able to work the locks and take their boat from one end to the other. They really liked that too.

I think we actually make it to the New York City pictures tomorrow! :)

August 17, 2008

lehigh valley ironpigs

The Lehigh Valley Ironpigs are a minor league baseball team located in Allentown, Pennsylvania. They have a brand new ballpark called Coca-Cola Park. Handsome was still really excited about ballparks at this point but the rest of the family, including Baseball Addict Jr. (aka Little Man), were pretty much over it. Just for the record, this is ballpark #3 so far in the trip.

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hershey's chocolate world

We stopped in Hershey, Pennsylvania at Hershey's Chocolate World. In the town of Hershey, all the streetlights along the main road where Hershey kisses. Some were silver like this one and some were brown. Sorry this picture is not so good - we were in the car.

The entrance to um, Hershey's Chocolate World. :)

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The Hershey factory has a free tour with a sample of chocolate at the end. The kids thought it was neat. We ate dinner in the food court and wandered around the store. The parking was free for a certain amount of time (I can't remember but it was plenty). This was very family friendly, cheap outing. Of course there were PLENTY of places to spend money but it wasn't a necessity. Which was a good thing, because New York City was expensive! :)

August 16, 2008

what's the capitol of pennsylvania?

The capitol of Pennsylvania is Harrisburg. Here is a picture of the State Capitol Building. I find State Capital Buildings interesting. We have quite a collection of pictures started.

And of course, there is a baseball park in downtown Harrisburg. I believe this is the one that is on and island in the middle of the river. Really neat. Commerce Bank Park is the home of the minor league team, the Harrisburg Senators. I promise that tomorrow we will move on to something other than ballparks (briefly).

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August 15, 2008

vacation pics - finally!

Lots of pictures to share so I'll share a few a day for the next week or so...Feel free to skip them if they are boring. :) We went to New York City for a few days but we took our time so the first few sets of pictures are places we stopped along the way.

This is Consol Energy Park, home of the Washington Wildthings, in Washington, Pennsylvania. Beware - there are a few more minor league parks coming your way! The Wildthings are part of the Frontier League (and that hopefully means something to someone, because I have no idea!).

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August 6, 2008

common ground

I've been waiting patiently for the magic day when I would just feel better and back to normal. I would be able to jump back into the swing of things and ta-da! it would all be smooth sailing.

Not so much. That magic day has been elusive. I do feel stronger every day and I ditched the heavy pain medicine a couple of days ago. Still have pain, but would rather know what day of the week it is and that kind of thing, if you know what I mean. And the pain isn't all that bad, really, considering the scheme of things. Have I been vague enough for you?

If so, you'll enjoy this story. The kids started soccer practice this week. Little Man was practicing in the front yard with his dad, Handsome. With one well aimed shot (or not so well aimed, you decide), Handsome was out of the game for a while. He came slowly walking into the house with Little Man trailing after him. Little Man kept asking him why he was leaving the game, it wasn't over yet! Handsome kept saying that he just needed to sit down for a minute. Little Man was clueless. I figured it out just by looking at them and in order for the game to continue, I offered to just stand in the goal (because I'm sure not running these days). As I went out the door, I asked Handsome to rescue me as soon as possible. He said that I just didn't understand. I looked at him pointedly and reassured him that I was still recovering from a surgery that clearly made me understand - if not trump - his momentary handicap.

He acquiesced. (Wow. Big word for me. It really just came to mind like that. The meds must really be gone! I surprised myself!) We were amused by the irony of his injury. By the way, he's fine. Thanks for asking. :)

Anyway, the schedule got all messed up and I have Baby Girl here with me for a few days and we've been trying to get school supplies and the like. I can only handle being gone a few hours at a time so it's been hard to accomplish much. We did get her school supplies. We also were able to get her physical so she can run cross country. But that's a whole different story for another day...

Glad to be back among the blogging...I've missed it. And yes, I promise for the second or third time, the vacation post is coming, as is one on the book I've been reading...soon...

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