Philadelphia Trip: Condensed

Our second trip to Pennsylvania in two years, was successful in many ways. It occurred during May, and I have just recently compiled the photos, and taken the time to write about it. We were able to visit many historic sites including (but not limited to) Fort McHenry, Tybee Island Lighthouse, Fort Scriven, Manassas Battlefield (Bull Run), Brandywine Battlefield, and a few others. We also visited the Franklin Institute. Our main goal, however, was to visit Grammy. (Mama's mother). Here is a brief description of our trip, in pictures.

The first major stop was at Manassas Battlefield, also called Bull Run. This is where Thomas Jackson earned his nickname "Stonewall" when he repelled the Union forces and turned the tide in the battle, earning a Confederate Victory. We were able to look at the larger-than-life statue of Jackson, and walked on the huge, grassy fields.

We also looked at the landmark simply known as the "Stone Bridge". The Union forces retreated over this same bridge centuries ago. It was nice to hear the "run" (small offshoot of a river) flow past as wind stirred the large trees. All of us children were able to complete our Junior Ranger programs, earning patches and badges.

Immediately following our visit to Manassas VA, we drove to Maryland to visit Fort McHenry. It was a relatively small fort, but very pretty. We enjoyed doing Jr. Ranger books, especially with the beautiful breeze coming off the Chesapeake Bay. Abigail enjoyed walking inside the visitor center, looking at some of the displays.

Anna and Ezra enjoyed looking at the cannons, especially considering they could almost walk under it!

When we visited the fort, they had the second-largest flag of theirs flying. (When winds are above 12 MPH, the flagpole cannot support the largest one) Nevertheless, it was quite a majestic sight as it rippled above the fort. In the visitor center, after watching a video about the history of Ft. McHenry, a curtain rolled back to expose a view of the fort, with the flag flying over it. It was a moving experience as we sung the national anthem, knowing full well what that the fort and flag were more than just objects--they symbolized all those who had given their lives for God and country.

While visiting at Grammy's house, we had the chance to visit the Franklin Institute. I [Joseph] was able to climb in a fighter jet the had on display. That alone was just one of many interactive exhibits. There were exhibits about Weather, Gears, Flight, and much more.

One of the favorite exhibits involved testing pulleys. In this picture, Papa is helping Elijah pull his "chair" up the wall.
In Pennsylvania, we visited the site of a Grist Mill. The mill was powered in the basement of a large house, by an underwater stream. Near the surface of the stream, there was a beautiful waterfall!
Brandywine Battlefield was the largest engagement of troops during the Revolutionary War. It happened on September 11, 1777, and was a fight between the Continental Army led by General George Washington and the British forces headed by General William Howe. We visited the Brandywine Battlefield visitor center and battle grounds. Ezra enjoyed finding the dandelions and exploring the battlefield with us.
While at Brandywine, we saw a very old tree, which was alive at the signing of the Constitution! (That makes this tree over 223 years old!) It took All of us from Anne, to Anna, to stretch hands around it!
After visiting with Grammy for a few days, we headed back home at night, because the A/C was out in the van. Papa and Anne took turns driving from Philly, all the way to Savannah Georgia! Upon arrival (and breakfast) we visited the Tybee Island Lighthouse, and Fort Scrivens. Above I [Joseph] am next to a large anti-ship gun based at Ft. Scrivens during WWII.

Upon arrival in Keystone, we saw these clouds as we crossed over Lake Brooklyn. A display of God's beautiful handiwork was a fitting end to our wonderful trip!

Written By Joseph Cook


Ezra 3rd Birthday

Yesterday Ezra celebrated his third birthday. The birthday party marked more than just a celebratory occasion however. While reading a book last year, I learned that Jewish families have a custom of letting little boys' hair grow out, until the age of three when they have a "hair-cutting party". We enjoyed Ezra's beautiful golden hair, but by the age of three, we too had decided to give him a trim. Consequently, we invited some friends over to help, and enjoy the party.

Ezra during his hair-cut

Ezra after the cut, enjoying a present.Ezra, Nehemiah, and the 3-d train cake which Anne made.