January 2012

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While visiting Rick and Alex’s new place I took the afternoon to explore Valley Forge.  I learned a lot about the encampment and the hardships the troops faced during the winter (1777- 78).  The day I visited was cold, windy and cloudy but it seem inappropriate to complain about 20 degree weather when you’re standing on the ground where thousands of people suffered with little food or clothing.

I learned Valley Forge was not a battlefield but an encampment where 12,000 of the Continental Army stayed while the British controlled Philadelphia.  It was also interesting to learn it wasn’t so much the cold that killed, but the disease in the warmer months that claimed more lives.

Flag flying in front of the visitor center at sunset

National Memorial Arch

Washington Memorial Chapel- Grieving Mothers, 1914

View from the Chapel looking out over Valley Forge

Cannon at the Waterman Monument

Waterman Monument was dedicated in 1901 by the Daughters of the American Revolution

Virginia Farm

While we were visiting Katharine’s family in PA, we made a quick trip down to Virginia to see her Aunt/Uncle/Cousins in Lexington. We also took an afternoon to visit the family farm in Goshen.

All the Cousins – Photo Courtesy of Katharine’s Aunt Jennifer

A Walk Around the Farm

The Farm

Blue Ridge Mountains

We had another wonderful Christmas with Katharine’s family in PA. This year we couldn’t arrive until the morning of Christmas Eve so we missed some pre-Christmas traditions like the famous cookie making extravaganza, but we were still able to take part in a coupe other traditions. We pricked cranberries while watching the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original, of course) and we also made the miniature tree center piece.


Christmas morning was full of presents starting with fun science toys in the stockings.

Others were funny and slightly cruel

After singing some carols together we got to unwrap tree presents. There were some unique gifts like a level that was wrapped as a 4 foot tall snowman from Katharine’s aunt Lisa or the signed family tree from Katharine’s grandma, Edna. During our rehearsal dinner we had handed out family trees to everyone and Edna had everyone on Nathan’s side of the family sign it.


And it wouldn’t be Christmas without Katharine’s mom working her magic in the kitchen for days to prepare 4 or 5 delicious meals. We feasted well… Favorites like quiche, cranberry sauce, roast beef, Yorkshire Pudding, and berry pie were amazing, as usual.


After eating pounds of rich food we headed to the White Clay Creek Preserve to walk it off. Let’s be honest, some of us walked while others fished…


All in all we had a great time together. Wish we got some snow though… Maybe next year!

San Diego Zoo

This Thanksgiving we went to the world famous San Diego Zoo.  Not only is it fun to see rare animals up close, it was also good practice for taking portrait photos of animals.

Best Monkey Face

We also spent the last hour of the day at the tide pools.

More Photos