Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, May 30, 2008

El Rastro

When I arrived in on Sunday morning, the hotel did not yet have a room ready. I could check in at 11 a.m., two hours from now. No hay problema. I’ll just walk about for a bit. I quickly realized that none of the local shops were open. Not only that, but no one was on the street or sidewalk. I was for the most part, alone. I took a few pics of the local shops along the way as I walked with no real direction or care for where I was going. Then I hit it. El Rastro. Suddenly and without warning I was face to face with what seemed like the entire population of Madrid. It appeared to be an impromptu flea market that was set up in the street that had obviously been closed down for this weekly event known as "el Rastro". I hit it right at 10:00 when it apparently starts, and already the place was packed with tents of people selling all variations of useful and not so useful items, both new and “not quite” new.

The photo below unfortunately doesn't capture the energy of the moment. In it is a table piled high with used clothing marked, as you can see, 1 euro each. around it was this gaggle of people frantically grabing an item, giving it a brief look and either cramming it under their arm or throwing it back onto the center of the table where the process started over again. This mountain of clothes was literally disappearing before my eyes.
There were also tents selling fruits and vegetables.
And, of course, there were spanish olives.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Vacation in Cali

Well, we got to Ontario late Saturday night...it was a bit cold, and stayed that way through Monday. Wayland and the boys did not have to be back to school until Tuesday, so we got to spend some good time with them. The kids have gotten along great with their cousins, and can't wait each day for them to get home from school.

We've been working on the last units in Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory with Hailey and Logan (Logan is done with his curriculum for this year). We're learning a bit about the Revolutionary War, and we're reading a biography about Helen Keller. The kids and I are really enjoying this. Well, I know I am...we don't do school outside when we're home, though we probably could. We get up each morning and eat breakfast at the little four-seater camp table Melissa put out for us. Then, I let the kids play until about 9:00 a.m. We then get them started on independent work, at the same table. Sometimes they move into the shade, because it has warmed up and the sun gets a little too hot...and they've gotten slightly pink already. By about 11:30 or so, I begin to make lunch, and they're usually finished with their 'book' work. After lunch I let them play some more, then we do our reading portion for History, Bible, Poetry, any art or science activities, and our story time around 1:00 p.m. We've been finishing up at about 2 o'clock each day, then the boys come home around 2:30. It's working out well, so far.

We've gone to Marshall's baseball game once...he played great! And the two older kids went to his swim meet last night. Tonight, Marshall had another game, but we stayed home this time. I think Dustin plays tomorrow, so we'll probably go see his game then. I believe they have school until the end of June, and the month of July off. I'm not sure how long we'll be staying, but I plan to try and enjoy every bit of time with our family.

Annie is about 18 months old now, and is walking well. She's so cute...she has a beautiful smile! I kept her last night while Wayland and Melissa were at the swim meet with the boys, and my older two. It was fun...it's been a few years since I've had a baby on my hip. I miss it! Of course, I only had her for an hour or two, which is obviously different from having the responsibility full-time. :)

Well, that's about it for now. I'm sure Karl will be on again soon with more of his adventures. We've been talking a couple of times a day in an effort to stay connected. He's really working very hard, as much fun as he seems to be having. Prayers for 2 more days of stamina would be appreciated. I think he's running on fumes! The plan is for him to leave for home on Saturday, mid-day I think...then hopefully he can get to bed early on Sunday and catch up on sleep. We'll see. I'll be on to post again when I get the chance!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Getting there is half the fun.

First time in Philadelphia airport was easier that I had expected. No problems switching terminals despite the relatively large distance between them Shortly after the flight was to leave the pilot made an announcement that we would be delayed slightly (10 minutes) while some paperwork was being completed for the replacement of some non critical piece of aircraft equipment. 10 minutes turned into 20 and 20 became 40, during which time the pilot came on speaker twice more to apologize for the delay and explain that FAA regulations that require a logbook to be filled out and maintained on the plane detailing all repairs that have occurred. After the repairs the book then had to go to some central area in the airport for stamps and signatures (presumably by an FAA official) and then be returned to the plane before we could pull away from the gate. While I did not need a background in Government contracting to suspect that this last step of stamps and signatures, not the repairs, was the major cause of the delay, the pilot’s last admission confirmed it. The replaced equipment? A coffee pot that had been cracked while washing it after the previous flight.

Not the actual coffee pot. just a funny picture. Don't try this at home... or on a plane

Time to catch up

So I have been pretty busy the last couple days. They are on a much different schedule here in Spain than anywhere else in the world that I have been to this point (more on that later) which makes for some very long days. Each day since I arrived I have woken up at around 7 a.m. and gone to bed at around 2:30 the following morning. So you will understand If I have not been diligently posting. My trip to Romania a few months ago was similarly busy, and my strategy was to post upon my return to the states. As it turns out I never got around to it and now those pages in my diary may have been lost forever. It just comes out so much better when the events are fresh in my mind. It looks like I may have some time today to catch up on the posts, so I will do so, treating each one as if I were just copying notes that had been taken down on paper along the way.

On Wendy's front, she arrived in Cali on schedule and in good spirits. The trip seemed to be an easiy one for her. either that or she was just trying to put on a happy face for me so that I wouldn't be worried about her. we actually arrive at our respective destinations within 30 minutes of each other... that's kinda cool considering the distances we traveled in opposite directions. we have been in contact at least once daily since our departures. we hope to continue that for the duration of the trips.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Time to Fly

So Today's the day. We seem to be packed for the most part, but there is a little bit of last minute running around going on. Wendy's flight leaves just before 3 and mine is just after, which works out kindof nice because normally I wouldn't be able to pass security to see them off. Well I guess normally I would be on the plane with them, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do right?

I'm told that I some of you have asked if I can post again like I did on the last trip. I don't expect to have as much free time as I did in London, but I'll try my best. It's really a fun way to communicate with wendy while I'm gone anyway. If it's anything like the Bucharest trip it will have to wait until I return. It should be pretty interesting, if busy. I get into Madrid mid-morning on Sunday, so I should have most of the day to explore before the rest of the contingent arrives. Monday we set up a simple demo in town before securing for the night and travel to a town called Zaragoza about 3.5 hours to the north east by car. Tuesday will be our most full day as we set up the most complicated system in Zaragoza before tearing down again and driving back to Madrid for a meeting on Wednesday morning. Details get a little fuzzy after that, but the plan is to head back to the states on the following Saturday.

Wendy and the kids figure to be gone a little longer. A flight to California for a week or so with the extended family before taking a leisurely RV drive back to NY with the grandparents. Wendy is hoping that her mom and dad are up for some adventure on the way back. I have suggested Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, a dip in the Great salt lake in Utah, and a visit with some old friends in Iowa. Beyond that I'm drawing a blank. They will be driving through several states to which I have never been, so I'm not much help. I-80 will probably be their primary route home, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Wendy figures to have limited Internet access one she leaves CA, so she may not post until her return, but if you leave suggestions before next weekend she should be able to see them and put them in place before they leave.

We pray for safety during our brief separation and will appreciate your prayers as well.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Logan is starting a Blog of his own

Logan has a great interest in writing stories. He has started some on my computer...but since I am very often using my computer, or Karl is, it is difficult for him to get time to write. Also, we can't add Word to his computer because we don't know where the disc is! So, in an effort to allow him his time and let family and friends view his work, we are starting a Blog for him. Here is his URL: http://www.logansfirstblog.blogspot.com/. There is nothing there as of now, but I'm sure he will want to add something very soon; so add his link to your list of links to visit. I also have a link to it on this blog, so feel free to visit it that way too. Any comments you want to make are welcome, but they will come to me at my email address before showing up on his blog. Of course, anything inappropriate will be deleted! Thanks, and happy reading... :) Hailey decided to start her own blog, too. Here is the link: http://www.haileysfirstblog.blogspot.com/. Both sites are a work in progress...if you notice a problem you can send me a quick email. Right now their posts are showing up with my name as the author...we're working on getting that corrected. :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

They do say the darndest things

One of the simple joys Wendy and I find together in raising our children is the funny little things that they say from time to time while they are just going about their daily activities, whether it be questions to us, instructions to each other, or just comments that come out of their mouths as some random thought occurs to them. (Most people that know us have heard more than once about 4 year old Logan wondering if I was a fossie.) I was fortunate to get 2 such comments as I left for work this morning.

The kids are now old enough that they can amuse themselves for periods by playing various board or card games with each other, and decided to take on monopoly this morning after breakfast. Logan was quite exited when he told me that they were going to play. I wondered out loud if they would have time to even set up the board before they had to get on with the business of the day, but Logan insured me that it would be fine because they were going to set up on the coffee table and could just leave it there and come back to it later. I said again, well it is a pretty long game. Logan isn’t the most competitive child, so I was amused when he answered, “not that long” he said. “We’re only playing ‘till we’re all out of money. “till everybody’s broke… Everybody but me.” He’s old enough to realize how that sounded and began to backtrack, stumbling over his words while I just laughed and told him it was ok. I knew what he meant.

Still smiling about that, I told the kids goodbye as I headed out the door. Corbin came running to give me a good bye hug and I told him to be good for mom today. He replied, “ok Dad. Don’t have coffee breath.”

Saturday, May 17, 2008

For Narnia!

Okay, some of you who read this blog know that several weeks ago I posted about our goal of reading The Magician's Nephew, The Horse and His Boy, and Prince Caspian, before the movie Prince Caspian came out May 16, 2008. Well, we did it! This week we finished up The Horse and His boy, and Thursday night and Friday we sped through the entire book Prince Caspian. It was a lot to read in that short period of time, and my voice was hoarse by the time I finished on Friday evening, but I'm so glad we did it. The kids really didn't care beforehand if we read them or not...they just wanted to see the movie. But now, I think they are glad to have had the background information that you don't have if you didn't read the book ahead of time. I think they appreciate that; I know I do! It was so much more enjoyable for me. It's a great movie, and I recommend it to anyone...but you should read the book FIRST.

We also attended the Lilac Festival today. It was enjoyable...we saw some very neat jewelry, among other interesting things. And Karl bought me some pretty earrings, with dried Queen Anne's Lace inside. The flowers were pretty and smelled divine. However, the rides and games portion (for the kiddies) was ridiculously overpriced and our kids did not really get to do much. Logan and Corbin did ride the slide for $1.00 each, and they had fun with that. It was a rainy morning too, we were leaving just as it started raining more heavily. I'm glad we went, though, because now we know what it's all about. We actually met an older couple there who are from Alabama; he works for BellSouth, traveling a lot. He's here in Rochester for work. So that was fun; it's been a while since we've heard true southern voices, our families not included. :)

Well, I have to check on dinner. Everyone have a nice weekend!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mother's Day and other news

We're closing in on the end of our school year here. Both kids have something less than 6 weeks worth of work left; much less in some subjects, like Math. In that case, we will just move right into our next text. I'm glad we're almost done. We've had fun, but I'm ready to switch gears for next school year and our new curriculum.

Yesterday was a nice Mother's Day for me. I was greeted by the kids first thing in the morning with gifts and hugs. I now have a great collection of shells, rocks, and clay sculptures, along with beautiful homemade cards! :) We went to church, then Karl took us all out to one of my favorite restaurants, The Cheesecake Factory. The food was good...and the cake we all shared for dessert was delicious! The kids had never been, so they really enjoyed the new place. We went to Barnes & Noble and shopped a bit, then came home. When dinner-time rolled around we ate in the living room and watched a family movie. After the kids were snugly tucked in, Karl and I enjoyed sharing another piece of cheesecake while watching the Survivor finale. We always like to have a nice snack while we watch all those folks hunt and gather...

Karl's gift to me was on a grander scale. He is paying for me and the kids to fly out to California in two weeks to visit my brother and his family. My parents are out there now in their RV, and will still be there when we arrive. After the kids and I have had several days to visit, we will pack into the RV with my parents and drive across the country to New York. They were planning to travel here after their visit in CA anyway, and they said we could come along. I'm very excited about this! We plan to stop along the way and see some sights...I'm not sure what yet. I've never traveled this way before, nor have the kids. We do plan to bring school work with us because, even though we'll have some days of adventure, many days will be spent in the RV driving. This will give us the opportunity to move ahead in some things, I'm sure, which is very appealing to me. It will be nice to spend some more time with my parents, too. I hope they can still stand us by the time we arrive back in New York. They may have to hide in their RV a few days before communicating with us again! :)

In other news, Karl will be ending his rotation in this particular department a bit early. His schedule has been changed, and he will spend 5 weeks working in the International Sales department, which may possibly involve some travel to Europe again. We're not sure about that yet, but he's excited at the prospect. He would be gone during the time that we are in CA, so it won't affect us much, except for working out phone calls with him! We'd be missing him anyway since we're gonna be gone...now he'll have something extra to keep him busy, too.

That's all I really have for today. I'll try to get back in a few days and share some more.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Learn How to Take Care of Yourselves, Moms!

Please see the below article for some great ideas!

50+ Ideas for Taking Care of Mom!
By Cindy Rushton


Tired? Weary? Need some fresh ideas for taking care of mom? Feeling that push and pull on you as you balance all of the many demands in your life? Are you great about taking care of others, yet not quite so good about taking care of YOU? Has it been a long, long time since you have done the little things to just fill your cup back up? How about a few fresh ideas for filling your cup and ministering to your heart! I promise that these will be easy for you to do! Here goes:
--> Grab Your iPod and go for a long, long walk! I LOVE my iPod. I have it filled with great Praise and Worship music, teachings and workshops, podcasts, tutorials, etc. My iPod has become my “pocket pal” when I work on my chores, take care of business duties, or even get out for my walk. Talk about my best investment of 2006!
--> Laugh! Just sit there right now...laugh! Start small...just a little giggle! Then...laugh about laughing! Roll on the floor laughing! Feel better?
--> Begin a new Bible Study. Either find a Bible Study guide...or dig out Words to study on your own! For Word Studies, I LOVE my Strong’s Concordance. It helps to find all of the references of a certain word of interest. I also love my Vine’s Dictionary. I use it to look up the meanings of the words AND it also has other references for uses in Scripture. Another great help for Word Studies is my good old faithful Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. I LOVE it as a reference to deepen the studies. Usually it helps me to also find OTHER great studies to dig into also! Dig into the Word! It will feed your heart and soul during this tough time!
--> Meet a friend at the park and let the kids play while you visit.
--> Go for a drive around the city—look at the lights! Look at flowers. Look at the seasonal changes.
--> Look at photo albums. Remember the silly stories!
--> Watch the sunrise! Or, not an early bird? Watch the sunset!
--> Collect jokes and funnies! Barb Johnson...Chonda Pierce...Becky Freeman are just a few of my PERSONAL favorites! Get one of their books or videos. Then, snag some mom-time to just kick back and enjoy!
--> Chocolate! Chocolate Candy...Chocolate Bars...Chocolate Shakes...Chocolate Latte’s...CHOCOLATE! REALLY! Chocolate helps to release endorphins in the brain—plus! It tastes great to boot! So, why not grab a bit for mom-time!
--> Watch an old movie! Curl up under a great big quilt—even if you have to turn the air down COLD! Don’t forget to turn down the lights and turn off the phone!
--> Look at your old school albums! Your HAIR! Ha! Enough said.
--> Got a grassy hill nearby? Go to the top and just roll down it! Like a child! (Snowy? Get a sled! And SLIDE!)
--> Take the kids to the park—just WATCH them! They are adorable!
--> Begin a “Quote Book.” Collect quotes that encourage you to keep on, keeping on! Keep them in a special journal dedicated only to keeping your special quotes.
--> Memorize your favorite Psalm. Try out Psalm 91...or Psalm 61...or Psalm 35...or Psalm 37...Oh! Enjoy!
--> Begin a Tea Ministry. Doing for others ALWAYS lifts even the heaviest spirit. Get a tea basket to keep your goodies in...visit a shut-in...bless them. Then! Watch the blessing boomerang! You won’t be able to leave without a blessing.
--> Take the kids to a candy store—sample the Jelly Bellies...or Sweet Tarts...or Sour Gummy Worms.
--> Fly a kite!
--> Take a ride in the country. Turn up your praise music...roll the windows down...sing to the top of your lungs!
--> Watch a funny video! Elisabeth and I LOVE to watch old movies like If a Man Answers. It is one of our “chick flicks” that we always watch together. We love it! SO FUNNY! Chonda Pierce is another one of my picks. She is just totally hilarious. My children LOVE old comedy shows like I Love Lucy or The Three Stooges. Oh, you may want to watch anything! Just find something that will make you laugh hard!
--> Scrapbook! Pick photos that you MUST tell the story behind! Kick up your favorite music...spread out your goodies...and Scrap till you drop!
--> Read a biography of a GIANT in the faith! My favorites are Corrie ten Boom...Hudson Taylor...George Mueller...Amy Carmichael...Jim and Elisabeth Elliott...etc!
--> Get today’s newspaper and read the comics!
--> Get a yo-yo! PLAY!
--> Make Chocolate Chip Cookies with the kids! On a diet? Take them to someone who blesses you! Include a note of thanks and encouragement for all they do to bless you!
--> Go out and sit on your boat—watch the stars! (Oh, watch the sunset or sunrise, if you can too!)
--> Dig into the Bible and study what God says about trials...suffering...faith...death...depression...oppression...warfare...battle…
--> Read a new book! Normally read non-fiction/how-to’s? Get a fiction book for a change! Normally read fiction? Get a humorous book! Renew your weary heart and mind!
--> Take a break and go for a long ride on a motorcycle! Don’t forget your headset and praise music!
--> Take a hike! Really! Find a nice nature trail OR go for the tough stuff!!
--> Go to the mall with your teenager! ENJOY!
--> Buy a Mp3 Player and some great praise music—turn it up! I LOVE my iPod! I have my iPod loaded with all of my favorite CDs. My favorites are Michael W. Smith’s Worship CD’s AND Hillsong’s Praise and Worship! The moment you enter into worship, you will enter into the very presence of God—so, turn it up and devour the presence of our precious Lord!
--> Pull out that old sewing machine and make some of those goodies that you have been wanting—new purse/tote...outfit...home decorations...doll clothes...etc!
--> Buy a “whoopee” Cushion...or “Bubba” teeth... At least your family will laugh!
--> Write out the funny family stories! Reminisce! Enjoy!
--> Go skating!
--> Try an afternoon of “Laser-Tag” with your teens! Get um!
--> Make Homemade Bread—KNEAD yourself!
--> Plan a regular Mommy Getaway. This is not an extra! It is essential! I plan getaways for different purposes: to just get alone with God to hear Him, to plan, to work on my homeschool and business projects, to just fill my cup back up. Decide what will fill you up. What do you need right now? Decide what will help meet that need. Gather your goodies: Bible, journal, iPod, camera (I love taking pictures of little treasures along the way), your planner, your computer/Idea Notebook, etc. Pull aside and take that time to just get-away and fill your cup back up!
--> Get a pet! My bird, Harley, has ministered to my heart MORE than I could remember! He is just SO funny! HE had the idea to “boogie” for Jesus! I had not danced for years! AND it is decent! Elisabeth’s new puppy, Pooh, is a TOTAL delight! I say all the time that she is JOY in fur! She has become my little buddy. She loves to sit with me while I work and follow me around while I am doing my chores. She keeps me in stitches. Struggling? Get a pet just for YOU...see that puppy in the window??
--> Take the day to go for a flight! Look at the whole world from a different perspective!
--> Dance! Turn up your favorite music and dance! Dance your heaviness away! Dance till you laugh! Dance in worship to the Lord! Jump! Lift your hands in praise and worship!
--> Clean out your house (only if this is NOT your struggle! Ha!). Attack those closets...cabinets...dusty bookshelves...paper piles!
--> Go out for a cup of coffee...tea...or a good old Coca-Cola! Meet your sweetheart or a mommy pal! Or...take your Bible and make it a special time with the Lord!
--> Find some silly-putty or slime—PLAY!
--> Get up earlier (or take regular breaks throughout the day!) for your quiet time! You may feel SO weak that you can barely concentrate—if so, just turn on praise music and lift up your arms in praise and adoration. Watch what happens! Make a list of your heartaches—lift them to the Father (then, hide them in your Prayer Journal—later they will be a praise record!). Dig into the Word for comfort...perspective...and hope for tomorrow! Really tough days? Well, when the Israelites had very HOT days, they had to gather MORE manna—in the heat of your battles and toughest trials gather a surplus! It will help you survive your struggle.
--> Make a quilt. You can EVEN cheat by making it on the sewing machine! ENJOY!
--> Take an afternoon to go to the movies. Get a big bucket of popcorn...a super-HUGE Coke...sour Gummy Worms (unless you are due a BIG DOSE OF CHOCOLATE!). Take your sweetheart...or a friend if you want to share! Pick a movie that will make you laugh like crazy...OR CRY your eyes out! ENJOY!
--> Ride three-wheelers! Get MUDDY!
--> Treat yourself to a leisurely afternoon (or a bunch of afternoons!) at the pool...park...or creek.
--> Try your hand at BOWLING. Take some friends!
--> Take time for tea—each day.
--> Exercise. Swim...walk...jog...hike...go skating...aerobics. Relieves stress AND boosts your health to boot.Learn a new hobby! What have you been putting off that you have ALWAYS wanted to know? Pottery? Quilting? Flight Training? Smocking? Scrapbooking? Jewelry Making? Sewing? Crochet? Horse-back riding? Go for it! Now is the PERFECT time.
--> Treat yourself to a nice looooonnnnnngggg Bubble Bath! Don’t forget to set up your favorite music to play during your Bubble Bath. Also...be sure to fix a nice cup of tea (or a Latte!) or a nice big Coke that will last till the water gets cold! ENJOY!
--> Go to the park and just swing—HIGH!Go get an ice-cream cone—with a double dip!
--> Do a “Promise” hunt in Scripture. Keep in a “Promise Notebook” of your very own! KNOW that they are yours.
--> Snuggle up for the afternoon to read a great book!
Got some fresh ideas? Don’t let this limit you! Let your brain GO! Find some things that will fill you back up and take care of you all along the way.
This is not an extra. This is an essential. Carve out time on your calendar today to just take care of mom!
Need MORE Help? How about the ULTIMATE mom-time? Yep! Check out our Ultimate Homeschool Expo! If you missed the live recording of the workshops, no problem! You can now hear ALL of the workshops at your convenience. They are CERTAIN to fill your cup to overflowing! Get your ticket here: http://www.cindysaffiliates.com/go.php?offer=wendyiw

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

SAT Tests

Logan and Hailey started their SAT testing today. They are at the church right now, and will test until 12:30 p.m. The schedule will be the same for Wednesday and Thursday. I think they will do fine. The groups are small, so there will be plenty of 'help' if they need it, but I don't really expect that they will. Hailey did this for the first time last year, and she was on grade level. Logan has done it numerous times, and he always does great. Still, extra prayers for them over the next few days would be appreciated! :) We will let you guys know how it went when we get their scores back in June.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Baseball and Kiting

I want to share a few photos of our adventures this weekend.
Baseball started April 25. Hailey and Logan are on the 8-10 year olds' coach-pitched team. Hailey played 'catcher' this week at practice.

Corbin is playing t-ball with the 5-7 year olds. They are having a great time and, I think, learning needed skills.

Saturday, Karl took Logan and Corbin out to fly Logan's kite while Hailey and I were shopping. It was pretty windy, and Karl was worried it would be too rough to get the kite up. See the pictures below to find out how it went!

By the way...YES.... it is May in these pictures and the kids have on sweaters and coats!! It is very strange to still have some days when the weather is in the fifties with cold wind! :) They had a great time anyway.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Mendon Ponds Park

Last Saturday, we went to a new park to explore. Mendon Ponds Park offers several different trails, a pond, and a 'senses' garden. I'm sure there is much more to offer, but those are the things we experienced while there.

We took a long hike on one of the trails. I think it was about 3 miles....and Corbin enjoyed being the 'leader'. :) We had a good time trying to identify trees and birds. We saw many squirrels. The kids tried their hand at being 'trackers', but they did not get to see any fox or deer tracks. Along the trail we took were several huts, with information explaining what we may see while hiking. We learned about flora (plant life) and fauna (animal life) in the biome. We also got to read about birds and insects, and their habits. While reading about flora we learned that there are three types of lichen (I bet you always wondered about that!) and actually saw two types on our hike. :) I can't remember the names of the three now, so you should look it up if your interested. One was crustose; not sure about the other two.

While at the pond, we saw some Canadian geese and some Mallard ducks; that was interesting. Hailey was exploring amongst the reeds near the pond...we could never do this in Florida by the way due to alligators....and she discovered a bull frog. She was just amazed by that. Near the pond, there was a large, hilly space, so the kids had fun running as far as they could up and down the hills. If we are still here next winter, and it is allowed, those hills would be great for sledding! We'll have to check it out when the time comes.

The last thing we did was visit the 'senses' garden. There was actually a name for it but, again, I don't remember. :( This garden consisted of many different herbs(which Logan and I just studied in his schooling), a waterfall that we could feel (it was so nice and cool after working up a sweat), and several different types of chimes. It was a nice way to end our hike.

We then left the park and went out to lunch, just in time for the rain to move in. Overall, a great way to spend the morning. The kids had a terrific time, and Karl and I enjoyed just relaxing with the family. If you live here in New York, or if you ever visit our area, you should visit the park. You'll have fun and learn something, too!