Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Close-ups at the Zoo

We finally did it!  I think we have been to the Zoo twice since I got the new Canon Rebel Camera and I have never had the opportunity to take the telephoto lens with me when we went.  I wanted some cool up-close pictures of the animals-especially the ones that you can only see from far away.  We were on our way to a Cardinal's game (Moriah's first one- blog post about that to come soon) and since it wasn't until that evening, we decided to make a really quick stop at the zoo.  Justus is now definitely going to think that going to St. Louis always means going to see the "zebras, giraffes, and elephants, and lions- roar, roar." :)  It made him excited this time.  I think it was the fastest trip I have ever made through a zoo.  We had a little less than an hour before the zoo was going to close and so we plotted our course through the animals we figured Justus would really want to see.  We started off to the trail which leads to the rhinos, hippos, and elephants and the rhinoceros was the closest he has been yet in all these recent trips we have made.  I pulled out my camera and started framing my shot.  I was so excited!  He stood there like a good boy and posed for the camera.  Click! Click! Click! Captured!

On we went around the corner to the home of the hippos.  They were all three basking in the water, but their heads were all above- making for a perfect picture!  Again I was having so much fun "playing."

We walked a little further and the hyena was asleep.  He looked up at Justus and me, but I only had a chance to take one picture and the camera focused on the leaves that were in front of him.  The cheetah was too far back and in the dark for me to get a good picture.  Oh well, we had gotten some good ones so far.  The elephants were next- they were kind of in a corner which made getting good photos kind of hard, but I was still amazed with how close I could get.

We didn't have much time left before the zoo closed so we made a bee-line for the zebras and giraffes.  On the way though I saw a raccoon (wild mind you) sitting off to the side of the trail. I was so excited that I still had my telephoto lens on and I was able to snap a few great pictures.  I have to say as odd as it seems that these photos were some of my favorite of the whole zoo trip and he didn't even belong there in the zoo! :)

I was so excited taking pictures of the 'coon that I got quite far behind, but with the telephoto lens I was able to capture a beautiful picture of my lovely family- Ryan is such a good Daddy!  I had to run (uphill) to catch up to them, but it was worth it!

We made a quick swing by the zebras, waved at them and took a few pictures.  

 The camels were being persnickety and wouldn't face me, so we moved on the the building that has the giraffes inside.

We had one last place to go- the penguin house.  We didn't have a map on us, but we wanted to get there as fast as we could since we only had about 10 minutes before the gates closed.  We made it almost there and then we came to a blockade- there was construction work (making new exhibits) blocking the way.  We had to backtrack and go the long way around, but we decided to go ahead and walk over there and see if it was still open.  Exhausted from the long walk and carrying Justus on my back since we were going so fast, we finally made it to the penguin house only to find a sign that said they were gone until 2015! :)  They are building a new polar bear exhibit and so the penguins which are right beside that are closed for now too. Hee! Hee!  We could only laugh at the hilarity of the moment. 

We said our goodbyes to the animals we passed by on our way out and ended our quick trip to the zoo!  It was very fun and a good exercise as well! 

Can you tell I love my family and my camera? :) 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Peter and Frances Cartwright Gravesite

I happened to be taking a nap on a car trip home when I awoke to us driving through a cemetery.  Later I found out it was the Pleasant Plains Cemetery in Pleasant Plains, IL. Ryan wouldn't tell me why we were there, but he had on his sheepish grin so I knew he had something exciting up his sleeve- but in a cemetery I was at a loss as to what it would be.

I finally saw the sign- Rev. Peter Cartwright Gravesite.  I was so excited!  To understand why, go here to our family's website and see the history that is part of our families homestead.

Peter and Frances Cartwright 


The top of the headstone

In Honor of his service in The War of 1812

It is the tall headstone

So cool to connect the dots of history!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


We recently had the privledge of sharing about Dinosaurs and the Flood with several families in the Astoria, IL area.  We brought all of our equipment and decorations and traveled to Camp Emmanuel where we spent the night in a cabin there before doing the two part presentation the next day.  We were greeted with great hospitality by Matt Haberman and his family and had a pleasure sharing with those eager to learn about the historical aspect of Dinosaurs, the Flood and the Bible.
Inside one of the building at Camp Emmanuel where we set up for our presentation

We put the sign "Don't Feed the Dragons (they may bite!)" on Moriah's play pen! :)
It was a beautiful place

Justus and Daddy and the Dino Crossing

Ryan presenting the facts

We were able to add some dinosaurs to our ensemble

This not so friendly T-Rex is taking a bite of Ryan's shoulder :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Babies at the Zoo!

We had made a quick trip to St. Louis and while we were there we had to stop at the Zoo.  Justus was so excited to go back!  This time the zoo was filled with baby animals and they were adorable!  We also got to see a few other animals that were in hiding last time we went.
The rhinoceros was one of the animals we didn't see last time

He was pacing back and forth this time and we were able to capture a photo

The hippos were also very active and were bouncing around in the water

The cheetah wasn't active, but we got to see him really well

And there was an adorable elephant baby!!!!!

It was so precious!

And the tiger was in sight as well

Such a cute zebra baby!

Look how inquisitive it is

Waving to the Momma and baby giraffe

Moriah enjoyed the animals too!

And of course the penguin house- it felt pretty good in there this time :)

A Stop at the Pump

We saw this sticker at our local 
Casey's gas station and found it humorous. :)

Friendly Owl

This picture is from quite a while ago, but while perusing I saw this picture and had to share.  We stumbled upon this owl while mushroom hunting earlier this year and we figured it was young by the way the feathers looked.  Do you recognize what kind of owl it is?  If so, leave a comment below! :)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Our April Get-away

We are finally getting around to sharing pictures of our short family get-away to St. Louis.  We really enjoyed ourselves and the time we got to spend together as family.  It was refreshing!

There was a model train exhibit in the lower level of the Zoo's building

There also was a place where you could feel different furs

Justus crawled through the log

Watching the fish in with the hippos.

The hippos were not very active that day- just stuck their noses up for air now and then.


Justus was soooooooo excited to see the elephants!

Riding on a giant beetle

The giraffes were by far his favorite- here he is waving to them

Zebras were another well loved animal

Justus enjoyed watching the man clean out the turtles cage

Of course the penguin house is always fun!

Somebody fell asleep while eating dinner :)

On to the Magic House- it was a very neat place!

Sitting at the Presidential desk in the "Oval Office"

Pretending to paint walls

Wearing the hard hat

Heavy Equipment operator

Climbing up the Beanstalk

Our face imprints

Some more of Daddy's
There was a whole area that was designated for little children
Moriah gets in on the fun of playing with the doll house

Water fun

Sand fun

Justus pretends to be a veterinarian

Helping his patient

Time to make pizza

Fixing the car

A little static action

Awake the next morning and ready for some more fun!

This is the size of an eagle's nest!

Here we are visiting the World Bird Sanctuary


This little fellow told us hello on our way back through.

Justus even got to touch an Emerald Tree Boa at their visitor center.  He loved it!

On to the Butterfly House

It was an amazing experience!

Justus and Daddy

Mommy, Justus, and Moriah

Butterfly landing on Mommy's leg

Landing on Justus' leg

Saying hello

Justus loved it so much!

Poor Moriah couldn't make it any longer

Justus would get so excited every time one would come near or land on us!


This lady so kindly let us take her picture- this butterfly would not fly away- it loved her!

This was the color of the inside wings of some of the butterflies!

Time to go home!