So, after thinking about it for a while, we decided to go ahead and purchase a new bike.  The reason it took some thinking is that it isn't a regular old bike with one seat, but has three seats, with room for three adults, or with the added child conversion kits, Noah and Jonathan can fit on it as well.

They aren't very common, and are hand-built, so they cost a ton when they are new, and so we gave up on the dream of a five seater, like the Harrisons have.  But, we thought a triplet would be more affordable, and we came across a used one from Tandems East, which looking at their name, you can guess how often you come across a bike shop that knows about tandems. I read a bunch of the stories from the family that owns Precision Tandems, but they are even farther away, and though it is neat to look at all of their bikes, the new ones that they have posted for sale are way out of our price range (as in, we could either buy two bikes or one of our old house...)  (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on June 8, 2010, 9:21 pm | Read 65820 times | Comments (4)
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I noticed recently that Armstrong upgraded our connection to the internet from home. We now get 10Mbps download and 1.5Mbps upload.  We still pay a little less than $40/month.  We would use a faster upload connection if we had it, but we rarely find servers that will let us download that quickly.  We are now approaching 2 years with Armstrong, and of the couple of times I've had to call them, I've been pretty happy with their service.
Posted by Jon Daley on May 31, 2010, 7:30 pm | Read 2251 times | Comments (1)
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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 2235 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 3041 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 3404 times | Comments (4)
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As we've mentioned, our water is pretty hard, and dishwashers in particular don't like hard water, and the manual with our dishwasher says specifically that it won't work with our water.  But, it has worked pretty well for around ten months or so, as long as we kept the rinse aid container filled with vinegar.

However, in the last couple months or so, there has been this brownish buildup of something that is really hard to scrub off, and extra vinegar didn't seem to do anything, and I haven't been that convinced that the vinegar is doing all that much any more, as the silverware has started to get white stains on it again.

I looked around the other day for solutions and there are various solutions - more vinegar - one guy puts in a half gallon once a month or so - I've never put in more than a half cup.  Some other people say the vinegar should be put in a bottom down glass on the top rack rather than just putting the vinegar in the bottom like I usually do.  And then there were some more interesting solutions: using Tang or sugarless lemonade powder.  Lemonade is easier to buy in small quantities, since I was pretty skeptical if it would work or not, and I don't like Tang, so didn't want to have extra lying around if it didn't work.

But, I just ran a half cycle load with two lemonade packets and it turns out I should have taken a "before" picture to show the difference.  The dishwasher is now spotless! (other than some food stains around the gasket that probably need to be scrubbed to get them off)

Posted by Jon Daley on May 25, 2010, 7:08 pm | Read 69111 times | Comments (9)
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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 5177 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.
 (More)
Posted by Jon Daley on May 25, 2010, 10:52 am | Read 3144 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,
Ryan
Posted by Jon Daley on May 25, 2010, 10:51 am | Read 1924 times | Comments (0)
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From Alex:

Please forgive me, my fellow peddlers, for the confusion as the right of the 140+ crest. As the journey from Mckeesport to Ohiopyle is 70+ miles, of you traveled with us down and back, you are rightfully a member of the 140+ guild.

I currently await the return of Ryan the Healer of BooBoos from his "day job." At which point we will enter into deep council and discuss the events which are dated to unfold on the 21st.

 (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on May 25, 2010, 10:46 am | Read 1509 times | Comments (0)
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From Josh:

Ye bungling fool! How is it that ye durst insult the most sacred trinity of hydrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen (albeit that hydrogen was aforementioned in the trinity please note that this second hydrogen - while resembling the first in nature - is its own unique hydrogen and not to be confused with the first element of the trinity - that being hydrogen) by implying that a red, air-breathing, mammal would even for a miniscule milli-second be considered worthy of the river god's attention!?
 (More)
Posted by Jon Daley on May 25, 2010, 10:34 am | Read 1886 times | Comments (0)
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From me:

Oh Great Stout Hearted One and Less Admired Comrades:

        At this moment, that is to say, this present instance in time, I and my accompanying attendants find the highly esteemed, large and otherwise great price of the rougher, larger and most intricately interesting collection of this new fangled hydrogen and oxygen combination of materials to be more than we are desirous of contributing to incantation rituals.  We, that is to say, I, and perhaps the other two male species in my immediate, close family, would be interested in the aforementioned red mammal sacrifices, and we are wondering and pondering if the mammal sacrifices could be accepted and used as a form of payment and way to appease these river gods by which the semi-honorable mushroom cleric is our most precious and distinguished asset, at least in terms of placating river gods, we are not so sure or confident in his abilities in facing the steel plated goblins that ravage our most beautiful and exquisite land.
 (More)
Posted by Jon Daley on May 25, 2010, 10:28 am | Read 1820 times | Comments (0)
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From Billy:

 Hail thou brave and mighty Alex...and other revered members of the Assembly:

You have returned from the halls of scholasticia not a moment too soon.  We have long awaited the coming of a valiant warrior as yourself who would dare to make the perilous journey into the land of Ohiopyle.  Even now the assembly is forming a fellowship of bi-pedal expeditioners and with your addition our endeavor is sure to be a success.  To my understanding the brave souls embarking upon this quest are as follows:

 (More)
Posted by Jon Daley on May 25, 2010, 10:27 am | Read 1651 times | Comments (0)
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As some of you know, Jonathan and I and some guys from church biked to Ohiopyle last weekend. What less of you know is what goes on inside the heads of these crazy guys, and even less of you know what sort of emails get passed around prior to a trip like this. Worry no longer, those emails will now be revealed... I'll probably put one email per post to avoid super long posts that no one will read anyway, but we'll see. (More)

Posted by Jon Daley on May 25, 2010, 10:25 am | Read 1824 times | Comments (0)
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I have a double request from Grandma to post on the homeschool conference and to make the miscarriage post no longer the first thing you see when you check the blog.  So here goes. (:

This was our second year at the CHAP convention.  Last year we spent so much time listening to speakers that we did not see much of the vendor floor.  So this year we made sure we had time for both talks and wandering the hall.  (More)

Posted by Heather Daley on May 17, 2010, 11:59 am | Read 3454 times | Comments (5)
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