Here is our Christmas letter - if you are reading this blog, you probably know most of it anyway, but I figure there are some people that we didn't mail this too, and who don't read every word of these posts...  :)



Posted by Jon Daley on February 7, 2011, 11:39 am | Read 5726 times | Comments (0)
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1/20 - Jonathan, as usual, singing while he plays and works.  This time it was, "Come, Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadil.  Come, Tom Bombadil..."

1/22 - When boys have a tea party:  Noah, Faith and I were playing with Faith's tea set.  Noah said he couldn't eat his soup because the bad guys had poisoned it.  It was such a deadly poison we couldn't even touch it and I had him call 911 to send a squad out to take it away.  I never remember anything like this happening at other tea parties... (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on February 3, 2011, 9:58 am | Read 74138 times | Comments (13)
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Actually, the only thing written in my pocket notes from all this time is that on 11/16, Jon solved the mirror cube with his eyes closed.

Jonathan's 7th birthday was a very fun time.  He got a lot of cool presents and had a lot of cool people over to play.  Grandma and Dad-o were there for the occasion and the next few days were also busy with fun. (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on December 8, 2010, 11:56 am | Read 5729 times | Comments (1)
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11/6 - Noah and I were making rice krispie treats and Noah was stirring.  He asked for a marshmallow, but I said no, they had to go in the recipe and he could have one of the finished products.  Well, he decided to snitch and got a natural lesson.  I, only a few feet away in the kitchen, heard him screaming.  He had dipped his finger in the melted marshmallow to taste it!  I rushed him over to the sink and after a while of running it under the cold water, I made an ice bath in a bowl for him.  His finger turned out fine after a few minutes and he had learned a good lesson. (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on November 15, 2010, 5:57 pm | Read 12199 times | Comments (2)
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We arrived at the Fitzkees' house on Thursday night, and Nick said we could stay as long as we wanted.  We ended up extending our trip by a day and coming home on Tuesday, which was a good decision.  I think we spent the right amount of time for the whole family to enjoy the sight-seeing. (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on August 20, 2010, 8:48 pm | Read 4478 times | Comments (9)
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We cooked bacon and pancakes (I found a nifty plastic pint jug in Walmart or somewhere that you simply pour water into the jug, shake it up, and pour it on the griddle) for breakfast, and then packed up and planned to meet for lunch at Great Falls, 15 miles away.

Heather went back to the store for bread and bandaids (I cut myself doing something, and Heather thought we might run out of bandaids) and also to a McDonalds to sit in the air conditioning while she looked up directions to the Fitzkee's house where we were going to stay for the next couple days.  Heather bought smoothies for Faith and herself since they were pretty hot. (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on August 20, 2010, 5:26 pm | Read 4336 times | Comments (4)
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As I looked at the maps for the third day, we were going to be biking near various battlefields and other tourist-type places to visit, and so in the interest of resting a little, I decided we should drive for a ways and then maybe bike in the afternoon.  (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on August 20, 2010, 5:25 pm | Read 2356 times | Comments (0)
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I've wanted to bike to DC for a while, but there never seemed like a good opportunity to do so.  Once we purchased the tandem bike, and started thinking about the possibility of biking all over the country, the Washington trip seemed like a good first step.

The trip did get shorter over time, and originally other people were going to come with us, but everyone backed out at the last minute.

I thought it would be best to start at the highest point of the trail, rather than biking all the way from Pittsburgh, in order to avoid the uphill climb, and also shorten the trip from 334 miles to 207 miles.  And to avoid Heather having to drive in downtown DC traffic, I shortened the other end of the trip by 8 miles as well.


Posted by Jon Daley on August 20, 2010, 4:39 pm | Read 34734 times | Comments (1)
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This is going to be woefully brief.  The bike trip was adventure after adventure, lots of fun, but lots of work.  Among the things you'd normally expect on a bike trip, it included four tire blowouts on the triple-tandem, a torrential downpour, a tent with no stakes, Jonathan riding on someone's back carrier platform for seven miles (and two others each wheeling an extra bike those same extra miles), lost-off-the-top-of-the-car gloves and found again, new tires but now the brakes broke, little or no cell reception, a young man left behind, a purse left in a restaurant.  More details?  Maybe never, because... (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on July 26, 2010, 8:15 pm | Read 7830 times | Comments (2)
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6/11 - We planted more seeds in our garden.  Faith helped me plant beans and she very carefully placed the seed in the hole and gently covered it with soil.   It was so sweet to see her tender care.

I discovered a robin's nest in the bush outside our bathroom window.  We watched mama diligently sitting on her eggs and papa guarding while mama took her breaks.  On 6/12, we saw the babies had hatched!  We watched the parents feed them a few times.  But then on the morning of 6/14, I saw the nest askew on the branch and stuffing falling out.  Bad sign.  I took the kitchen stool outside to closely examine - all inhabitants were missing.  Papa robin scolded me from a high branch of a nearby tree.  Interestingly enough, Faith was the only one to ask about the birds after that.  (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on June 29, 2010, 8:51 pm | Read 4269 times | Comments (2)
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We just put a deposit down for a used triplet bike, with two child conversion kits.  Which means it will look something like the pictures on this site. Though our current plan is for Faith to be in a trailer attached to the back, and each of the boys will have the raised pedals clamped to their seat post.  We need to pick it up in New Jersey (people don't seem to do tandem bikes around here, and this was the best price by far that I've found, so I think we'll do pretty well.

Now I just need to build up my strength to haul all of them, and then Heather needs to work on her strength to bike by herself, though the bike store owner thought with me loaded down, she should be able to keep up pretty well.

Posted by Jon Daley on May 27, 2010, 8:35 pm | Read 3385 times | Comments (2)
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Here's my take on the biking/camping trip.

With last year's notes, it was actually pretty fun planning camping meals for 14 people, the vast majority of which are young men.  I only made two mistakes, one was forgetting oil for the eggs (we used some butter from the mountain pie supply) and the other was getting half the amount of peanut butter and jelly (which turned out ok because half the crew left before the second lunch.)  The other mistake was not my fault - the number of slices in the bacon packages were not what was on the label, but that worked out also with just a couple of guys getting one slice instead of two. (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on May 25, 2010, 8:03 pm | Read 3742 times | Comments (4)
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I bought a Trail-gator for attaching Jonathan's bike to mine, and we went on a couple 10 mile rides last week to test it out, and to build up our strength, but I had been pretty tired after those rides, so I wasn't very optimistic that we would make it to Ohiopyle without calling Heather to pick one or both of us up.  But Billy had volunteered to trade off with me and so figured we had a better shot of completing the trip.

We spent Thursday night at the Lewis's house, so Heather wouldn't have to drive us down to McKeesport early in the morning.  The end of the week came soon, and so we had a little trouble getting everything packed, but Heather got it all together while I tried to finish up my work for the week.

We planned to arrive at McKeesport at 8 and be off by 8:15 or so, but we were a little late, and I don't think we left until 9 or maybe even later.  We biked for thirty miles before I got pretty tired, and Josh took over towing Jonathan for eight miles until lunch.  I was surprised at how light his bike was (he was carrying his tent and all of the gear for him and his brother) and he was surprised at how heavy towing another bike was. (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on May 25, 2010, 11:42 am | Read 5529 times | Comments (2)
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From me:
Greetings, I beseech you in the name of the fair gravel god Macadam.

The town crier has informed us, the royal court, that some of you minions scoffed at my prior references to the presumed conflict between the bipedaled beasts and steel plated goblins, and so we hereby declare that you should remember your place and be mindful of the techniques that we used on previous scofflaws, who dared to besmirch the honor and glory due to our imperial majesty.
Posted by Jon Daley on May 25, 2010, 10:52 am | Read 3593 times | Comments (3)
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From Ryan:

Greetings from the Great Healing Twig Forrest,

I have come down from the mountains of "Band-Aid" to join the fellowship of the iron horses, to venture Down There and Back Again. Let us not forget the many dangers of the Great Trail that threaten to cast down our "transportation." Everyone shall equip themselves with 1 (or 2) replacement tubings, lest you and your Iron Horse be left behind, along with some water, a Cliff Bar, and some toilet paper which should get you through the night. As for scrapes and really big Boo-Boos, we shall sacrifice the weak to the water god. So heed my warnings, and we shall prevail (with or without you.)

The not so great healer of Boo-Boos,
Posted by Jon Daley on May 25, 2010, 10:51 am | Read 2241 times | Comments (0)
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