Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ringing Rocks Park

Today was a nice day. Maybe a rare one with the coming of winter. We took advantage of it and went to see a natural oddity. Ringing Rocks Park is north of us, but still in our Bucks County. At the heart of the park is a field of rocks. This field is said to be about 7 acres in size while the entire park is some 120 acres. The rocks have an unusual property. When they are struck with a hammer or another rock, they sound as if they are metal and hollow and ring with a sound similar to a metal pipe being struck. The park also has Bucks County's largest waterfall.

I only had one hammer. I used to have several, but after unpacking from our move I haven't seen any of the others. Anyway, Payton did most of the pounding, but Kathleen and I struck a few rocks ourselves. Parker just had fun climbing over the rocks. It is a cool place for a little boy. I took my camera for pictures and Kathleen took her little one to record some sound. Back to this in a minute. People won't be hauling these special rocks off easily. They are good sized with many being very large. I imagine this park will around for many generations to come.

We also walked along a nice creek with a pretty neat looking waterfall. The boys tried to stay dry, but by the creek was mud and water. They brought a good amount of this home. Fortunately neither of them went for an unexpected swim. There is a family campground nearby. We just might spend a weekend up there this summer camping.
Remember how I said Kathleen brought her camera to record some sound? Above is Kathleen's camera with no battery. I've done this sort of thing before. I once drove a ways for a photo shoot. Got there and didn't take a single picture. I had left my memory card at home. Aaargh. No matter, some guy posted a good video on YouTube and you can watch it below.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Family Christmas photo

We got one - a Christmas photo. We waited until the last possible day, but we got one. You'll have to look at it for a while as I'm using it for the blog picture. It can be trying to get the four of us together for just a blink of an eye, but we did it on the first take.

The boys had a great Christmas. They play with one thing for a minute before moving on to something else. They'll be busy for days.

We hope that all of you had a great Christmas too.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas trip to New York City

This weekend we traveled to New York City for an overnight visit. We went to see a Saturday matinee of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular featuring the world famous Rockettes. And a spectacular show it was - very well done and very entertaining.

Grandma is visiting us for Christmas so she was able to join us. Kathleen's brother and his family live nearby as were also able to join us. By suggestion we traveled a little differently than last year. Instead of driving a little ways from the house and taking an hour and a half train to the city, we drove a couple of hours to Hoboken, NJ. This is just across the Hudson river from New York. We parked there and took a 15 minute commuter train into the city. Much better and way easier than last year.

Saturday was nice, but Sunday - while sunny - was pretty cold. Saturday night we walked by a small city park call Paley Park. It really is small for a park at 4200 sq. ft. Within the park are shade trees and some table and trees to enjoy the space. At the far end is a width of the park 20 ft. tall water fall. It drowns out the city noise making the space quite tranquil. My phone wasn't going to take a decent picture at night, but I think the silhouette looks cool.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Our decorated house

Instead of just decorating 'the low lying fruit', this year we decided to have someone string lights for us. I don't have a ladder tall enough nor did I really want to climb that high on one if I did. We like how it all turned out. We did a few extra things on the inside too. Each year we'll keep adding more. Good thing our new garage is under construction because we need the storage space between seasons.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Merry Christmas to all!

Santa's coming is just around the corner. We hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year. Now enjoy our Jib Jab Christmas videos!

Okay... I went a little overboard making these little videos. But it was so easy to do on They're a lot of fun. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Another sleeping Parker picture

Parker can and does sleep just about anywhere. Today was a day without a nap. Come dinner time he was getting a little rowdy. I was ready to send him off into the other room to sit on the time out stool. He and I butted heads a little while and then he just dipped below the table and got real quite. We checked on him a few minutes later and he was dreaming of Santa Claus.I guess he can just eat his dinner a little later.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

Kathleen took the boys around the neighborhood last night. Payton is of the age where candy is the great motivator so he made the round without a hitch. Surprisingly Parker did quite well. He didn't get bored or cold and raked in quite a nice haul.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vanzant Aerodrome

About nine miles north of our house is the small Vanzant Airport. It's a grass landing strip on some of the highest ground in the area. It's a bit of a local attraction. People go there to watch the planes take off. They even sell hamburgers, hot dogs and cold drinks.

Another reason people go here is to take plane rides. You can hire bi-planes and even gliders. Rides range from 15 minutes up to an hour in length. This is why there is always a plane taking off.
I would like to take a ride in one of the bi-planes. Today the weather was perfect. Blue skies. Perfect temperature. No wind. I checked into taking a ride, but they were booked up for the day. Oh well, there is always another day.

Parker is still young enough to be a real cutie pie.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Greatest Show Off Earth!

We traveled to Albuquerque, NM last week for a short vacation. It was the 40th annual Balloon Fiesta, billed as the Greatest Show Off Earth! The last time we visited the Fiesta was 4 years ago. Payton was three. He's now seven and Parker is three.

The weather wasn't favorable the first few days. We did get to see some of the special shapes 'glow' Thursday morning, but the wind picked up canceling all flights. The next three sessions of the Fiesta were canceled due to rain. Saturday morning was beautiful. It was a bit nippy and in the fifties, but we bundled up and did just fine. After sun up the National Anthem was played and the flag raised to begin the Greatest Show Off Earth. No land based flag pole would due for the flag raising.Parker was very excited seeing the balloons. He absolutely loved seeing them. Neither Kathleen or I remembered to bring our camera so we had to rely on crappy cell phone pictures.
Many of the balloons have major sponsorship. Below are the State Farm and US Bank balloons. Look in the background at the Sandia Mountains - click on the picture to enlarge it. Overnight 6" of snow blanketed the mountains.
The shark balloon was new this year. It was really nice looking. Apparently many of these balloons are made in Brazil. These manufacturers bring newly made balloons to the Fiesta not for the enjoyment of the crowd, but to sell them. The shark balloon is currently for sale, but I don't know for how much.
The Nightmare House has been around for awhile and is still a nice looking balloon. Its creation was inspired by a haunted house toy.
I like looking up into the balloons as they fly overhead. I think it is neat seeing inside these flying things.

The special shape balloons are the largest with some being around 120,000 cubic feet. I'm not sure, but I think that's about 4 or 5 average sized homes. It is kind of fascinating to see a balloon inflated. They use a small, but still quite powerful 3' propeller fan to cold inflate the balloon first. At this point the balloon is laying on the ground with its basket on its side. The basket is tilted up slightly and the burners are ignited to start heating the air inside. A balloon's burners put out a lot of heat. You can be 20' away and feel a hot blast when those babies lite up. As the air inside heats up the balloon starts to stand up. Up and up it goes until it starts to lift off. Final prep is completed, the pilots egg the surrounding crowd on and up and away they go.
Like any other show there are always exhibitors. One such exhibitor was NASA. Payton got to sit in a real F-16 flight simulator. Lordy lordy there are a lot switches in planes. Using their displays I made Payton into a 60's experimental test X-15 test pilot. They had a neat photo booth to get your 'Commander' picture taken too.
We take advantage of the park and ride buses. We think it is really the best way to and from the show. The morning sessions start quite early. Sunrise is at 7am so you need to be there by 6:30. You can't see the balloons glow unless it is dark. Getting there by 6:30 means getting the boys up around 5:30. That's mighty early. Getting up that soon means nap time comes early. Below is Parker on the way home Saturday morning around 10am. He was sound asleep and drooling on the seat.
After getting back to our car we headed to the Sandia Peak Tramway. Remember that snow I mentioned? That's where we were headed. At the base it was sunny and in the mid fifties. Four thousand feet up it was 20° with winds up to 20 mph. Buurrrrrr.
It took about 15 minutes to get to the top. It was indeed cold and there was lots of snow. The air was great. Cold, crisp and very clean smelling. It was refreshing. The clouds came and went. Sometimes letting the sun peak through, sometimes not. The boys had fun playing in the snow. Cold as it was it wasn't too cold to play in.
The city of Albuquerque spreads out 4000 ft. below the peak. There is a restaurant at the peak - the world's highest full service restaurant - called High Finance. I don't care for the name but that is what it's called. Kathleen and I are going to have a sunset dinner there on our next trip to the ABQ.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Another drag of a day

I don't mean what you might think. Today I went to the drag races at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, PA. It is another NHRA venue close to home. I went by my lonesome as I'm not sure a full day of drag racing would yet peak Payton's interest. Hopefully it might next year. I was lucky - as was the event and all the other fans - that it didn't rain. It was cold overcast day. It misted for a short period. The rain held off though I did drive through some on the way home.
Though the weather wasn't the best for the spectators, it was great for the cars. Race cars are faster in cooler weather. The air is more dense so the engines get more oxygen. A hot track is slick whilst a cool track has more grip.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Payton!

Mom made a great Ssssnake birthday cake for Payton.
Today is Payton's 7th birthday, but he had his party yesterday. A few of his friends came over for some fun, games and of course, cake and ice cream. Payton received a much needed new bicycle. A 20" 6-speeder. He was way to big for his old bike. It was kind of funny watching him ride it. His new bike fits him well. He likes switching gears and the hand brakes. He also got a huge Transformer Bumblebee wall decal and some smaller ones as well. We put these up in his closet since his closet is his private little playroom.

Seven years old. I read a phrase somewhere, "The days are long, but the years are short." Oh how true this is. Happy birthday son.

Payton, his friends and of course his little brother - his best friend.

Bumblebee keeps an protective eye on Payton. Prime eyes all who enter the playroom.

Payton was just plain tuckered out by the end of the day.