Friday, May 20, 2011

Under the weather

Please pray for Sophie when you think of her.  She has been battling a respiratory virus the past couple of weeks.  An x-ray yesterday showed no presence of pneumonia, thankfully, but she’s definitely not up to par.  At first, I wasn’t actually sure it was a virus – she was having coughing and labored breathing, but no other cold symptoms.  But, now she’s having some congestion, so all evidence points to that.  She saw her pulmonologist today and did her pulmonary functioning tests.  These are to test how well she is able to move air, and also how much is going through her lung.  She doesn’t seem to mind them too much because she gets to pick a game on the computer to watch her progress while blowing through a mouthpiece, at the same time wearing little blue pinchers on her nostrils.  She picks the same games each time – bowling, popping a balloon, or blowing out candles.  Her scores are usually similar to what a person having an asthmatic episode would have.  She has her own baseline  - and since she’s compromised by the virus right now, her scores were about 30-35% lower than her baseline.  This means that when she’s playing or dancing, she’s out of breath much more quickly than usual, she’s a little paler, and those retractions in her neck are stronger and deeper.  She’s been more tired than usual of course, but she’s still eating well. 

She’s not on any steroids or antibiotics – we’re to continue treatments 4 times a day for the next week, along with pitty-pats (tapping her chest after the treatments).

But, we don’t like to see our baby having a hard time breathing.  Please pray God would heal her quickly, and that the breathing treatments will be enough to help her clear it all out over the next week. 


Tuesday, May 10, 2011



I almost forgot to put in the pictures from the Mayflower. We toured it the same day as Plimoth Plantation.

IMG_9629Here are some of the kids and me, taking the scenic route to the Mayflower.  See its masts over there to the left?

IMG_9632  getting ready to climb aboard!

IMG_9635Noah wished he could sail it for a day.

IMG_9638Olivia looking out onto deck from the sailor’s area.

IMG_9652I realize this is a very dark picture – but I included it to show you just how dark the conditions were for the Pilgrims – for 3 months.  It took a minute for our eyes to adjust to it.

IMG_9654 They had some re-enactors here.  See the man in the red mop-cap? 


On the dock, looking over at the water near where the Mayflower is tied.

Good-bye, Mayflower – and Plymouth!


Lexington and Concord and Louisa May Alcott


Friday we went to Lexington Battle Green – walked to each little memorial statue commemorating that important first skirmish between the Regulars and the colonists.  10 men (colonists) were killed and 8 wounded.  The Regulars lost 2 men.

Here in Lexington – the day was beautiful and sunny.

IMG_9669  the Green where the confrontation occurred.  Just a small triangular park which didn’t take long to walk around.  Right in the center of Lexington.

IMG_9683  In front of one of the memorials to the soldiers.

IMG_9701  near the green, was a path up to the old belfry, where the bell was rung to alert the town.  At the top was the belfry (locked) and some tall, stout rocks sticking out of the hilltop. 

IMG_9714  Here are the kids heading for the rocks, of course, while I stand back uncertainly, wondering whether or not I should:

a.  Tell them to be careful, but let them climb the rocks

b. Tell them to stay off those really fun and adventurous looking rocks and they would thank me later for keeping them safe.

Which do you think I did? 



IMG_9716  You guessed it! 


They then marched onto Concord for that first pivotal battle in the War for Independence – April 19, 1775. 

IMG_9719  In the middle of town, a nice memorial.  Then we went to the cemetery which climbed a very steep hill, dotted with headstones all over it from the base to the top.  Many of the headstones were marked with dates from the 1600’s and 1700’s. 

IMG_9722         contemplating lives lived…IMG_9726near the top.

IMG_9729  I don’t think the sign is visible, but this is the building where the colonists met on the morning of the Battle of Concord.  Later, the British used it for their meeting place.


IMG_9731  Concord is a beautiful little town.  We know, because we walked all around it looking for a bathroom. 

IMG_9735  This is the rise just above the Concord bridge where the actual battle took place.  There is a manse there still, that has a door with a bullet stuck in it from the fight!  The family watched from their windows.IMG_9748  Olivia likes for us take pictures of her in this stance.  We have one of her from the Christmas Tree Farm almost identical to this one.

IMG_9749  By now, Glenn’s friend had dropped him off so he could be with us part of the day.  They had finished work just after lunch and Boston is only about a 30 minute drive from Concord.  So – our last stop!  The Louisa May Alcott home.  (Little Women author)

It was an outstanding tour.  We learned an incredible amount and were able to sit on the carpet in her bedroom, and see the desk her dad made for her to write at.  There was original furniture and art by her youngest sister, May Alcott, whose work hung in the Louvre for a time.  I think we were here about an hour…

IMG_9751going in…

IMG_9753  We took this shot before we knew we weren’t supposed to – oops!  It is in May’s (Amy in LW) art studio in the house.  On the wall, are tracings she made of her friends and family while she lived there.  The art was discovered around the 1950’s and a special light was brought in from Harvard which showed the pencil lines.  The lines were traced carefully onto that plexi-glass sheet.


After leaving the Alcott Home, we realized that one of our favorite This Old House homes was very near, and decided to see if we could find it.  We drove about 15 minutes north and I spotted it as we passed it on the main road.  Of course, we had to turn around, get some shots.  Now, we could finally head back to Indiana!


there’s a little more in the middle – but you can kind of see what it’s like.

Restored barn on one end, middle section joining the other 2 story end.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Plimoth Plantation

Thursday, the kids and I went to Plimoth Plantation.  It was raining a little on our way there, but stopped about the time we arrived.  We had a great time going into the houses, talking to the “re-enactors”, who stayed in character the whole time, and just generally getting a better idea of what life was like for our Pilgrim forefathers.

Here are a few pictures..

SANY0350  here we are entering the village – ready for any possibility of rain!

here is a barn..              SANY0353

tSANY0401  the vegetable gardens behind a house

SANY0379 typical of the outside of the houses…


most looked like this inside…

and then you turn to the left and see….SANY0391



SANY0366  the kitchen, of course!


That’s it!  Almost the same in every house, bed with curtains in one corner, maybe a wooden dresser like this.


possibly even a chicken..SANY0369 

a table and no more than 2 chairs

SANY0363  and that glorious “kitchen”.  All had dirt floors, and usually a “broom”, made out of several sticks chopped evenly on the bottom and tied to a sturdy branch with reeds.  Some had a kind of loft upstairs, obtainable by a ladder of sorts, or just by pieces of wood nailed into the beam near an opening in the ceiling.SANY0389  Here you can see a couple of houses, plus a large stack of cured wood, which was enough for one family for about a month’s needs.


After spending time in the town, we went into the Family Center and found a room with toys and period dress up!  Oh boy!  (thought the girls) 

Luke was taking a break at that point. 

Noah was fishing..


while the girls dressed up and set the table for a nice meal.

SANY0417                        SANY0419 (notice that they saved a little money on Sophia’s skirt – the back is missing – hmmm.. or maybe it was an apron?)

SANY0420 SANY0424SANY0423  Isabella seems to have gotten the short end of the stick – I’m pretty sure this was a boy’s outfit that Alix modified with an apron to disguise the fact.

SANY0418  I think it was a fitting end to our time at Plimoth Plantation! Winking smile

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

more about Massachusetts

Since Glenn had to work Wednesday – Friday, the kids and I struck out on our own.

Wednesday, we saw Plimoth Rock – the Plimoth Rock.  It’s protected by a small stone canopy type structure, but we could look down at it, just a few feet away.

IMG_9600 The date “1620” was stamped on the remaining part of the rock in the mid 1800’s.  Due to moving it a few times to a different locations, and the fact that people were able to chip away at it for souvenirs for a time, the rock is much smaller now than what it was in 1620. 



Next, we met some good friends, the Beveridges, for lunch on Cape Cod.  Their daughter, Kate is a close friend of ours here at home, and her parents live right there on Cape Cod.  We have met her mom, Melody, here at church several times, so we had a terrific time with them and their 17 month old granddaughter.  They took us to a fish hatchery where 4 types of trout are “raised”.  They even brought little ziploc bags and 4 quarters per child, so the kids could buy some fish food and feed the fish.  Talk about a feeding frenzy!!  The fish went crazy when the kids dropped them some food – splashing, pushing, shoving, whipping tails about.  It was hilarious and amazing!  

We got to see a huge barge go by on the Cape Cod Canal – yards away from where we stood on the dock. They took us to Sandyneck Beach, which has protected dunes, and is covered as far as the eye can see with beautiful white, gray, and speckled rocks.  We carried home a teeny amount of the rocks.  Smile 

Thanks, Beveridges!!

The last place we stopped on Cape Cod was the Train Bridge.  It looked especially beautiful in the mist – it was up, and unfortunately, there wasn’t a train in sight or we would have been able to see it lower, and watch the massive counterweights rise.  Still, we couldn’t be disappointed.  It was so neat!

Luke got a great picture


Then it was back to Boston to pick up Glenn from work!