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Announcement: Team Victory!

Joy has designed a tshirt for Grace's cancer journey.


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 4419 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 4287 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 2306 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 34678 times | Comments (1)
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As Heather mentioned, it did take us a while to get this post written, but I thought it would be good to have a record of it, so here goes...

Each year for the last several years, Paul has organized a two day bike trip for the kids of BCF.  This year, we drove to Rockwood, PA and biked to Cumberland, MD, and then to the Paw Paw Tunnel the second day.


Posted by Jon Daley on August 20, 2010, 2:43 pm | Read 4383 times | Comments (0)
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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 7766 times | Comments (2)
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6/28 - Noah's fourth birthday!  New nephew born!  Faith says, "yoo" (balloon)

Some more Faith words: "adj-yih" = chocolate; "nah-nih" = napkin; "ow-dih" = towel; "yeh" = leg

7/2 - Jonathan, "Know what I want to be when I grow up, Mom?"  "What?" "An inventor.  Actually, I already am an inventor, I just don't have all the right parts."

7/2 -Jonathan, "When Magic Shell ges on a bowl it's stuck like a barnacle."

Two weekends ago when we went camping and sailing, we also got to go on a friend's 25-ft sailboat.  It has a cabin and a motor.  The wind was lovely that day, but I learned that Noah is our Roger.  "When can we use the motor?  Let's use the motor!  Can we use the motor yet?"

7/4 - Faith, flipping through Go, Dog, Go! : "Ay ha?  No!"  That is, "Like hat?  No!"  She repeated this for every page.

7/6 - Faith opened the public bathroom door with her paper towel.

Posted by Heather Daley on July 6, 2010, 9:11 pm | Read 2588 times | Comments (1)
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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 4194 times | Comments (2)
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6/1 - Noah's use of /f/ in everyday speech has increased immensely and he now uses it in a substitution.  3 = "free"

6/1 - Jonathan cut Faith's bangs "because she asked me to."  Forgot that part about asking Mom or Dad...  He actually did a good straight job of it, so I didn't feel the need to fix it.

6/2 - Faith now says apple with two syllables, "ap-uh"

6/3 - Noah, laughing, "When I first saw Joshua's umbilical cord, I thought it was a raisin in his bellybutton!"  (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on June 10, 2010, 4:22 pm | Read 3839 times | Comments (3)
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Noah has discovered convertibles and really wants one.  In a parking lot one day, we watched a man put up his roof and that was really cool.  When I explained the reasons we wouldn't get one (too expensive, not enough seats for our family) Jonathan decided on our next car.  A "convertivan"!  Enough seats for the whole family, and the whole roof folds down into the back.  He didn't try to work around the expensive part...

Faith's new words just keep coming.  5/13 - "Mom"  finally!! 5/14 - "two" and I'm pretty sure she understands the concept, though she'll also say it for three.  5/15 -"ap" = lap.  5/17 = "up"  she used to leave off the p and now it's complete.  5/18 - "hou" = house.  5/19 - "ep" = step.  5/21 - "lou" = loud, when describing the waterfall on our camping trip.  5/23 - "uht" = dirt, also on our camping trip.  5/27 - "ip" = drip.  "drip shirt" when she spilled some water on her shirt.  "nah, nah" = knock, knock; when the boys were telling knock knock jokes. 5/28 - "uht ow" = foot out (of her slipper).  5/29 - "ap" = apple; "doll"; "buhb" = bird; "ahb" = strawberry.

5/24 - We discovered that at noon, Jonathan was six years, six months, six days, and six hours old!

Faith likes to sort laundry with me and if I tell her what the name of the article is, she can put it in the right pile.  This also goes for silverware.

5/27 - The boys had spilled some liquid on the counter and left it there.  Faith went to the drawer and got a fresh towel and wiped up their mess, on her own initiative.

5/27 - Jon: So, how about selling our house and car and biking around the country together?  Noah: Yay!!!  What, Dad?

5/28 - Noah was talking about when he was sick last week and he said "fever" with the correct /f/ and /v/ the first time!!!  Hooray!  This was his first spontaneous use of these sounds.  Later, he said "Faith" to me with the /f/ correct.

5/29 - Jonathan and Noah invented a game called "chuck socks" where they throw their socks at each other.  They think this is hilarious and Faith also joins in "uh-ah" whenever they say "chuck socks!"

Noah had a fever on Wednesday afternoon, and was better by Thursday.  Faith had it Thursday and was better by Friday.  Jonathan got it yesterday and is mostly over it now.  This morning his throat still hurt so he asked for a cough drop.  Then later, with his mouth bulging, he got out a piece of paper and wrote to me, "Can I swallow the flewed [fluid]?"  Poor guy!  He's so used to his floride rinse (and the medicine probably tasted enough like it) that he thought he wasn't allowed to swallow it.  He was much relieved when I said he could.

Posted by Heather Daley on May 30, 2010, 9:42 am | Read 2538 times | Comments (2)
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5/1 - Noah continues to update his pronunciation of words.  That day it was, for battery, "baddewy" instead of "badeedee"

Faith's okay is now "o-tay".

5/4 - Faith stayed in the Bible study babysitting the whole time.  Jonathan and Noah were there with her.  They had a great time.  When I went to pick them up, she was happily stomping around the tables with the other "dinosaurs" - when she saw me, she ran up and gave me a big hug, and then went right back to what she was doing.

Jonathan's favorite color is yellow.

5/4 - The plastic cover on the middle back seatbelt had come off and gotten lost.  Noah found it and put it on all by himself.

New words for Faith: guy = "die", juice = "jew", seat = "eet", cheese sounds very close, maybe "tseese"

5/9 - Noah, rubbing the inside of his hand, "This is my palm tree."

We're not being quite as ambitious with the garden this year, so the only thing I started inside is marigolds.  I planted the seeds in vermiculite inside on 5/1 and they sprouted on 5/5.  I transplanted the baby seedlings to individual pots the next day and now we are waiting for after last frost to transplant them outside.

Jonathan and Noah did this a long time ago, but I don't think I ever wrote about it - how to make your own miniature lightsaber.  Take a plain ballpoint pen and remove the ink.  Break a hole in the end of the cap.  Stick a colored paintbrush brush end down the pen tube.  Slide the cap over the colored end and there you have it!  A lightsaber that retracts and extends, pocket size.  (I'll try to remember to take a picture)

Posted by Heather Daley on May 12, 2010, 10:24 am | Read 3846 times | Comments (1)
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Faith now says: sock - "ot", peekaboo - "deet-a-doo", let me do it - "Do!", "dough", that - "at", trash - "ash", okay - "o-day"

4/27 - Noah had his first piano lesson with Grammy and loved it.

4/28 - Faith had her first haircut.  I only trimmed her bangs to be out of her eyes, and left all the rest as it is.  She does not like to keep the clips or ponytails in and it was down to her nose and always in the way.  When she is older and more ready to keep clips in during the awkward stage, we'll have her grow her bangs out.  It looks good and I'm very happy with that decision.

Noah is starting to say "I" instead of "me" in the right places.

Posted by Heather Daley on May 1, 2010, 9:03 am | Read 2273 times | Comments (0)
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Combine shorts/shortsleeves with pricker bushes and concrete and childhood exploration.  Jonathan takes care of himself now, and Noah does sometimes, but I've been doing lots of bandaging for Faith.  She's pretty good about leaving them on, but when they fall off she is insistent that a new one goes on right away.

4/19 - Faith adds new words all the time now.  "Dit" means sticker, this is often accompanied by pointing to the back of her hand (put a sticker there, please.)  "Niw" or "miw" for milk, accompanied by the milk sign.  She sounds like a little kitten when she says it!  "Dide" or "ide" for outside or inside, depending on circumstance.

We have lots of violets in our backyard.  Jonathan calls them butterfly flowers.  I used to remind him that they are called violets, and then I read that their scientific name is viola papilonacea.  It means "butterflylike violet" - so Jonathan was right!  He's just speaking English and not Latin. (:

4/22 - Jonathan, sniffing deeply, "Broccoli makes my nose thirsty."

4/23 - Faith was helping me unload the dishwasher.  If she picked up an item she didn't know where to put she asked me, "Doh?"  ("Where does it go?")  One time she picked up a small mixing bowl and put it in the low cabinet where it belongs.  Later, she picked up a larger mixing bowl, and very carefully took out the previous one and stacked them according to size before replacing them in the cupboard.

Last night we visited our friends who have a farm and Faith several times repeated "dat" and "dod" for cat and dog.  She was afraid of all the animals except the cats.

Last night was a bluegrass jam session and it was such a blast.  Jon brought his guitar, though he'd not done bluegrass before.  People sat and stood around a circle, playing away.  It was fun to listen to and sometimes sing along if I knew the words.  Young and old together, great players and medium players.  Jon plucked around on a banjo for a while.  There was a bass fiddle that got passed around to whomever wanted to play.  The kids who were not playing instruments ran around the farm, in and out of the garage where the music was. It was a blast.  Mom, you would have loved it!  One of the girls led some fiddle tunes and the banjos and guitars jammed along with her.  It reminded me of Janet's fiddling days and I thought of that lion-headed fiddle.  They played Red River Valley, Cotton-Eyed Joe, and Rocky Top among many others.  Amazing Grace, I'll Fly Away, and other old gospel hymns.

Noah and Jonathan got covered with farm dirt and bruises; Jonathan stuck a turkey feather over one ear; Noah carried a cat around for a while.  Faith stuck with me the whole time, but did ride on a tricycle a bit with me pushing.

Posted by Heather Daley on April 24, 2010, 12:15 pm | Read 3040 times | Comments (3)
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Here are my notes from when Jon was in the Dominican Republic:

Saturday - first dinner with Daddy gone - When Faith saw that Daddy was not in his chair at the table, she looked for him in the computer room.  The next morning when I got up first, Noah commented that usually Daddy is up first.  I asked, "Do you remember where he is?"  Noah says, in an "of course" tone, "In his bed!"  When I replied that he was not, then Noah remembered "minihan public."

They were really good in church, except for Noah during the sermon, wiggling and lolling.  After church they were exceptionally well behaved.

Jonathan helped Noah get to bed on nights when I had to take care of Faith.  Jonathan often helped me by putting on Faith's diaper and pants.

We had a relaxed pace for everything except getting to Faith's checkup appointment on time.  One of the reasons Jonathan was looking forward to Jon being gone (that he was unable to articulate for a while) was that he was excited about having more of my time, that I would not be spending any time with Daddy so I'd have more time for him.  This spurred me to make a special time for Jonathan more often than we had before.

I realized if something needed to be done, it was me who had to do it, so I might as well do it now since there's no point in waiting to see if someone else does it.  That was not as tiring as I thought, and I thought that I should just do those sorts of things anyway even when Jon gets back. 

God poured out much grace and I poured out lots of prayer.

Spring really helped - everyone was cheerful and excited and we could play outside a lot.
--End of Daddy Gone Notes-- (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on April 18, 2010, 5:52 pm | Read 2786 times | Comments (7)
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Noah can buckle his own seatbelt in the car now.

His speech is continually improving.  Jon could tell the difference when he came back from the Dominican.  /g/ and /k/ are now well established in his regular vocabulary.  We're working on /f/ /v/ /l/ /s/  in our school times and he can do them well when he thinks about it.

He's also fixing on his own some vowel sounds that he had wrong.  "kite" used to be something like "kut" and now is correct.

He can count to ten without skipping and he loves playing Pegs in the Park.

On the earlier mentioned biking day, Noah rode his pedal-less bike and made progress with that, too.  He had fun going down a slight hill (drveway) with his feet up.

Noah is an excellent clothes folder and enjoys it, too.

Noah and Faith play together often when Jonathan isn't around (reading Star Wars most likely) and they do play very well together.  Noah takes such good care of her.  He'll help her go to the bathroom and even will put on a new diaper (sometimes!).  He sings songs to her.  They enjoy each others' presence.  This is a very sweet thing for my mother-heart.

He is also a good pancake flipper.

Posted by Heather Daley on April 10, 2010, 9:34 am | Read 2365 times | Comments (1)
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