Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Fun Morning with Bria and Cali!

All of us were up by 7:30 and the girls wanted to watch 102 Dalmations while Ken and I got ready.  We did give them a bowl of their favorite cereal, Pops, to munch on til we made breakfast.

They had fresh blueberries and pancakes while watching their movie.  After getting dressed they wanted to play UNO until it was time to go downtown to take a tour of the Sturgis Pretzel Bakery.  We planned to walk to the bakery, but it started to drizzle when we were ready to leave, so we had to drive. 

The Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery here in Lititz was built in 1861 and it was America's 1st commercial pretzel bakery.  More than 150 years later, the Sturgis family is still making pretzels.  It was a very interesting tour and the 4 original ovens are still in the building.  In the summer when they baked the pretzels there, it would get to about 80 degrees warmer than the outside temperature in the building.  I can't imagine working in those conditions!

Bria and Cali outside the Bakery!

Giving them some info before the tour!

One of the original ovens!

This is the inside of one of the ovens!

We were taught how to twist pretzels and even got a certificate to proof we are official pretzel twisters.  It is interesting that children used to be taught to cross their arms over their chests when praying and that is the shape of a pretzel.  The 3 holes in the original pretzel shape stand for the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Bria and Cali did a great job twisting pretzels!

There are 4 ingredients in pretzels - flour, malt, water, and yeast.  We got to see how they stored those ingredients and were told that when the Sturgis children were 4 they helped to knead the pretzel dough.

The big box held the flour, the water was in the barrel, and
the malt was to the right of the flour box.  You can't see
the container for the yeast!

We did go to Candyology, a cute candy store here in Lititz before returning to our apartment.  We had about 45 minutes to continue playing UNO.  What fun!

We took Bria and Cali to Lancaster to meet Jamie and Dane to go to a baseball game at Millersville Collage with some other families.  One of their close friends is the coach of the team!

Ken and I made a stop at Target and then enjoyed lunch on our deck.  He decided to take a short nap before leaving for his leadership class for Celebrate Recovery.  He helped me get into my SAS outfit and I went for a 30 minute walk.  The walk went well, but when I sat down at the computer my back did that "spasm" thing again and it was rather miserable.  After a shower, I sat back down at the computer and the pain is so much less when sitting, but not so great when I got up!  It took until 6:30 for it to get better, but only when I sat. Still hard to walk!

Fred and Doloris arrived around 7 and it was so good to see them.  Our last time together was in Florida in February.  We took time to chat and then played a very loooong game of Haus.  The women were victorious.  They left around 10:30 and we had such a good time together.  Good friends are special!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Thursday and Friday! What Can I Say, But Busy Days!

Wednesday night was a rather painful one for me.  Both my back and my leg were really uncomfortable, so not a very good night's sleep.  Ken met his friend Gary for breakfast.  I felt better after I made breakfast, so did load of wash and cleaned up my desk area and the kitchen.  When Ken returned we went to an Open House at Luther Acres, a retirement/nursing home here in Lititz.  They had recently remodeled the apartments and we wanted to see what they looked like. They were very nice, but we are certainly not ready to move to one of those facilities.

After lunch, we went to see my parents and we played 4 games of Pinochle with men winning 3 of them.  We did have a nice time.  Dad is very happy (as well as Mom) for physical therapy increased the speed of his motorized wheel chair when they go outside together.  It has taken quite awhile for this to happen and caused a lot of frustration for both of them, so I am excited the problem was resolved.  Mom said she could walk faster with her walker than Dad could go on his scooter previously!

After dinner, we had a relaxing evening.  Ken spent time on his I-Pad and I did some more painting of my coconut fish.  We got a package from Ernie and Noela today of little boxes of Smarties.  Turns out that Canadian Smarties are like M&M's, but they are made by Nestle.  Obviously they are nothing like the Smarties we have here in America!  I had a nice conversation with Noela and they have had some major flooding in Quebec, actually the worst in about 40 year.  Fortunately they did not have a problem.

Friday Ken took me to The Pancake Farm in Ephrata by 6:45 so I could have breakfast with the Curvette ladies.  He had breakfast in Lancaster with one of the mentor from Celebrate Recovery.  I did some clean-up when I returned home and did a few more sea glass pictures.  When I bent to pick up some of the seaglass I twisted "something" and my back went into a "spasm".  I had pain in my back and particularly in my shin.  It was not fun!  Fortunately when I was sitting it was fairly comfortable.

When Ken returned I decided I should put on my SAS (scoliosis activity suit) and we should go for a walk.  Let me tell you, I was not a very pretty site those 1st several blocks.  I could not straighten, but by the end of the 1/2 hour walk, I was much better - hallelujah!

We ate lunch on the deck and then I went to Polly's to get some potting soil and a few flower pots that she was happy to get rid of and I was excited to take. Upon returning, I made a few more pictures.  At 4 we picked up Cali and Bria for a sleepover.  When we got to the apartment, we played some Bocce in the backyard and then they enjoyed having some time to play with the lego sets I have for them.  

We walked downtown to get some delicious pizza for dinner -

Had to take a picture at the fountain by the Elementary School!

Love how PaPa and Grandma get to be in the picture too!

From there we walked through town and down to the Lititz Springs Park to feed the ducks -

They loved this Tulle Wreath!

This male duck was nasty to the females.

He liked having control!  Typical Male!!!!

Then it was time for exercise such as running, playing on the equipment, and doing cartwheels -

Off to the local homemade ice cream shop, Greco's, for gelatos and then the walk back home.

Cali's favorite, mango, and Bria had blueberry!

These girls love their PaPa!

We played a game of Skip-Bo of which Bria and I were the winners  and then we taught them how to play UNO.  They loved that game and we played it until it was time for bed - 9 PM!  The girls were so much fun and we had a very good time.  Bria did end up in our bed for about 45 minutes during the night when we had a bad thunder and lightning storm with lots of wind and rain.  Cali slept through it!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Rainy, Cool Tuesday But Warmer on Wednesday

First thing Tuesday morning I put on my activity suit and we went for a walk.  It was cool, cloudy, and damp, but we went anyway!  It was good!  We made a delicious breakfast when we returned and by 10:15 we were on our way to Centerville, about a 25 minute drive.  We stopped at Super Shoes to get Ken another pair of his "white" sneakers and then drove to the Hempfield Rec Center to play pickleball.  My brother-in-law, John, had told us about this location for playing every Tuesday from 11 to 3 for a cost of $3.00 a person - what a deal! So, we met him there and all the other players.  It was our 1st time and all of the people were so welcoming.  We played a lot of very good games and had a great time.  Looking forward to returning next Tuesday!

We left at 2:45 and drove to Ephrata to pick-up Bria at her bus stop.  Jamie and Cali had an appointment in Lancaster at 3:30 so we were thrilled to spend time with Bria.  We were only at their house for an hour but we were able to play 3 games of Rack-O.  Dane got home and Ken and I headed home so they could meet Jamie and Cali in Lancaster and go to swim practice.

Ken is either bothered by allergies or sinuses so he wasn't feeling the best when we got home.  He took a nap and then we had leftovers for dinner.  I had a nice conversation with Doloris and she is still struggling with what they think are allergy issues!  It has been going on for about 3 weeks and she is tired of it! Hopefully we will get together in the very near future!  We were in bed by 9:00 after watching The Voice!

Today, Wednesday, we cooked breakfast and got ready for the day.  We left at 8:10 and I took Ken to his job at the Mennonite Central Committee.  I did some grocery shopping and when I got back home I had a nice conversation with Joyce from our Life Group.  Then it was time to read the last chapter of the Purpose Driven Life so I can lead the discussion when our Life Group meets this Sunday.  I did find about 2 hours to work on some sea glass pictures.

After lunch I went to Jamie's house for a much needed haircut.  We had a fun visit and I am so excited to have a good haircut by my favorite and the best hairstylist!  Thanks, Jamie!

I picked up Ken at 3 and he had a very busy and tiring day.  He only sat for his break and for lunch, otherwise he was on his feet all day.  He really is enjoying doing his volunteer work!

Again, he sounded rather congested and blew his nose constantly, so after we took a 45 minute walk, he took a needed rest.  I mixed and baked muffins and then he grilled chicken.  There was a lot of clean-up and he wanted to do it. We watched a nature show on PBS and went to bed by 9.

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Field Trip with the Curvettes!

Ken woke early with what we think is some allergy issues!  I was up at 6 and Polly picked me up to meet the Curvettes in Ephrata for a day trip to Ikea!  I hadn't been there for years, so I was excited for the trip!

The 8 of us drove to a local restaurant for breakfast and of course, we had a great time.  Then onto the PA turnpike to head towards Ikea, but the 1st stop was at the Jenkins Arboretum and Gardens at Devon to walk through the gardens to see the flowers and beautiful azaleas.  It was a cloudy, cool, damp day, but it didn't rain or dampen our spirits.  We enjoyed it and thank Marcia for suggesting we take the time to stop.

The azaleas will be even more beautiful in about a week!

Lots of wildflowers including Scottish Blue Bells!

So many gorgeous colors!

What a special group of friends!

Upon arriving at Ikea, we went to the cafe for some coffee before beginning our adventure of walking the entire store - it is rather large.  We had about 1 1/4 hours before returning to the cafe for lunch.  Then back out to check out areas of the warehouse where we had not been earlier in the day.  The 8 of us met at the checkout area at 2:15, enjoyed some ice cream, and were on our way back home by 3:00.  I was home at 4:00 after a wonderful day with special friends.  I bought a few items at very reasonable prices, but definitely didn't go overboard.

Ken had a busy day too.  He got the car inspected, had a 2 hour lunch with Kevin, and then went to Jamie's for a haircut.  He did stop to get some allergy medicine and hopefully it will have him feeling better soon!  After showing him my purchases, we had dinner and then he left for Celebrate Recovery.  I spent time downloading photos and working on the blog.  I did some painting while watching The Voice (love that show!)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A Busy 3 Days, But Lots of Fun!

Friday was a cooler day, but we kept busy.  I met my Curvette friends for breakfast before 7 AM and again, we had a fun time.  Then I did some shopping before returning home around 11:15.  Ken spent the morning working at his desk.  After lunch I dusted and scoured while Ken vacuumed.  Then I went for my 25 minute walk (which went fairly well in my activity suit) and Ken went for a longer one.  The flowering trees were so beautiful!

I recorded all our current expenses and then at 6 we left for 10,000 Villages to hear a singer we enjoy, Rick Sky.  We also ate dinner at their cafe while listening to Rick.  It was a nice evening.  We were back home by 8:45, watched a little TV and then went to bed.

Saturday morning Ken and I left for Ephrata Church of the Brethren at 7:30 to help set-up for the Hosler Cousins yearly breakfast.  Every year a different family is in charge and this was our year.  Ken's father was one of 11 children, so we don't have to plan it very often!  45 cousins and 2 aunts attended and all went so well.  We had a time of sharing  and I must tell you that I married into an amazing family.  There are numerous ministers and missionaries in the Hosler clan all with amazing stories.

It was 1 PM when we left the church and by 2:15 Ken left to attend the 1st session of a Step Study he will be participating in for the next 6 months that meets every Saturday from 3 to 5.  It is through the Celebrate Recovery program and hopefully when he completes this study he can help into more of a leadership role.  I am proud of him for his willingness and the devotion it takes to be part of this program.  I spent hours going through all of my beads and bagging those that I no longer want or need and intend to sell.  We ate a late dinner and then watched some of the ice hockey play-offs.

After church on Sunday, we had a fun breakfast with our Life Group and also saw our former Sunday School Class members there and had a nice time chatting with them.  We were home by 1, changed clothes, and went for a walk. I actually walked for 45 minutes in my activity suit and it went very well - my longest walk with it so far!!! 

We went to watch Bria and Cali's 1 hour field hockey game that their mom, Jamie, coaches.  They did very well and it brought back a lot of good memories for Ken and I of all those games we watched when Jamie played in Jr. and Sr. High!

The hockey field is amazing and these young girls played well!

Cali and Bria, the hockey players!

Daddy and Coach Mommy showing their support.

Jamie invited us to their house for a delicious dinner and we had such a wonderful evening with all of them.  After eating, we walked to a nearby Dairy Queen for dessert.  Sampson, their golden retriever, had his own small dish of ice cream.  He was so excited!  The sky was gorgeous on our walk back to their house!

Having fun on the walk back from Dairy Queen!

The sky was amazing!

We were home by 8:30, watched a little TV and were in bed by 9.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Ken Begins His Volunteer Job!

On Wednesday morning I made us flax pancakes for breakfast and put a note in Ken's "lunchbox" before he left at 8 for his first day of volunteer work at the Mennonite Central Committee.  I could tell he was a bit "anxious", because he really hasn't worked for anyone for years, but he was excited.  He has been wanting to find a job of "significance" for quite a while, but with all of our travels the last 2 years, it has been tough to get involved.  We plan on being around the next 6 months (a few camping trips in the area) so it was the perfect time for him to give a job a try.

I decided that I will make Wednesdays my crafting day, making things to sell at our craft shows.  Besides, because we only have one car, I will be "house bound", and that is fine with me!  I can take him to work if I need the car, but I really don't plan to do that!

Before I got started on my seaglass pictures, I called Noela to see how life is going in Quebec.  All is well and they had a great Easter with their family. Ernie is busy helping his son on the horse farm, which he totally enjoys. They are planning a road trip to visit their children that do not live close by! It was good to talk to her again!  I also chatted with Cindy regarding our camping schedule for this summer.  We hope to camp together at Chesapeake in July and also some days in Hershey!

Ken got home around 3:30 after a tiring, but good day.  He helped bail 2,00 lbs. of paper, 1,000 lbs. of clothing, and 1,000 lbs. of cardboard.  They collect recyclable items, bail them, and then sell the bundles and use the money to help people around the world.  He was on his feet all day, so it will be interesting to see how his back and feet will feel tomorrow.

We took a walk after I got my activity suit on and I have to say it was a very uncomfortable walk for me.  My hurting back and hip made is hard to walk. Since the suit is trying to change my posture as well as the curvature of my spine (very minimal), I guess I should expect some discomfort.  It is a lot like having physical therapy and it will take time!

After dinner, I starting painting a coconut fish and we watched some TV.  We were in bed by 9:30.

Today, Thursday, Ken left to have breakfast with Gary and I spent the morning getting ready, making breakfast, and then dusting.  It was time to clean the apartment.  Ken was back by 10:15 and we decided to go for a walk.  So on went the activity suit (we are able to get it on rather quickly now) and off we went.  It was a much better walk for me today!  The pain was a lot less and the weather was perfect.  I hope this is a sign of things to come - improvement!   Ken was also pleased that his back and feet seemed to being doing well after his working yesterday!

We ate lunch outside and then visited mom and dad from 1 to 5 playing 5 games of pinochle.  The women won the 1st 3 games and then the men "imitated our play" and won the next 2.  We have to be more secretive with our strategy!  

Ken took another walk before dinner, but I decided one walk a day for me right now is enough and that was what the Dr. had said.  I need to listen!

After dinner, I worked on this blog, Ken did some reading and I spent some time painting.  Tomorrow looks like a rather low key day!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Monday and Tuesday in Lititz!

Ken got a bit wet while on his morning walk, but it was a sunny, warm day after lunch!  While he was gone I did some devotions and made myself a cooked breakfast!  Ken left at 9 to have breakfast with his sister and brother for they hadn't been together for quite a while! They also wanted to discuss the plans for next Saturday's breakfast of which we are in charge for all the Hosler cousins.

While Ken was gone I was busy doing laundry, coordinating our calendars, and general clean-up.  Ken had gone to the storage area for Wilbur to get a few more items that we decided were needed at home.  He also stopped at the Mennonite Central Committee Warehouse and he was so excited to announce that he has a volunteer job starting on Wednesday.  He will work every Wednesday we are around from about 8:30 to 3:30.  

After lunch, we went to my 2:00 appt. with Dr. Clay, the scoliosis Dr.  I had another deep massage on my back, spine, leg and hip and then they showed Ken and I how to put on the my activity suit.  It has 3 parts and all of them have velcro that "locks" them together.  I am sure it is simple to do after you have done it several times, but there are lots of different places to attach the velcro.

When we got home, I was excited to go for a walk wearing the suit (only allowed to go for 20 minutes at a time, and only 1 time per day until my body has a chance to adjust to the new positioning), so it was a test to see if we were able to get the suit on properly without help.  Well, fortunately Ken had taken a video of her putting it on me at the office (their suggestion), plus they sent a U-Tube video to walk us through the "suit-up".  You guessed it, we needed both. Eventually we had it on properly and we headed outside.  It was an interesting walk.  My back felt fairly good, but my hip was a bit painful.  The suit is very tight and it makes me walk straighter, which is very good but it also makes me breath heavy.  I know it will take sometime before there will be any changes and until I get somewhat used to it, but I am willing to be patient!

Ken made some reservations for camping trips this summer, several with our granddaughters.  We are looking forward to those adventures!

Ken went to Celebrate Recovery and I made seaglass pictures while watching The Voice.   

Today, Tuesday, we made a cooked breakfast and  Ken worked at his desk while I did some touch-up painting in our bathroom.  Then we decided to take a walk and getting into the activity suit became a test again!  It went better but we still needed the video!  We did at least a 25 minute walk and it went well.

After lunch, we went to check out Bj's Wholesale Club because we had gotten a 90 day free trial and we had never been to one.  We discovered that we are "Costco Snobs"!  Off to the New Balance Outlet where I got a pair of sneakers and then to Costco, our definite store of choice.

I recorded expenses when we got back home and then we made salads.  It was another evening of watching The Voice.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Special Easter Day Weekend!

Saturday, April 15th was a very special day.  It was my dad's 93rd birthday - wow!  He is an amazing man with such a phenomenal outlook on life.  He has not had a bladder for over 20 years and never once have we heard him complain about his situation or all the medical complications that have happened during these years because of it!  Several had him fighting for his life! His positive attitude is an inspiration to all!

After Ken's morning walk, we drove to see John and Cindy.  We had not seen them since December and it was so good to spend time together.  We chatted at their house and then the 4 of us went out for lunch at Gus's, a local eatery. From there we went to Masonic Homes where we played 2 games of Up the River with mom and dad.  We had a private room for the 6 of us to spend the afternoon playing cards, having birthday cake, and just having a great time. Cindy and I are so blessed to have both of our parents living.  Hopefully we have their "genes"!

Let the card games begin!

We had Happy Birthday Mom and Dad on the cake since we
were not around on November 5 for Mom's 87th birthday!
Don't they look great!  We are so grateful for their sharp minds!

Cindy and I are so proud to call them Mom and Dad!

We left there around 5:15 and Ken and I went to Jamie and Dane's for a Mexican dinner.  Sue and Dan, Dane's parents, were also there and of course, Bria, Cali, and Sampson.  It was so nice of Jamie and Dane to invite us to their home for the evening and we all had a great time.    We were home by 9:30 and we went right to bed.  It was a busy but wonderful day!

We left the house on Easter morning by 9, stopped at Wal-Mart to pick up a birthday cake and ice cream to celebrate all 4 of our granddaughters birthdays. Katelyn's is this week, but we were in Florida for the other 3 birthdays.  

We arrived at Bob and Lanie's by 10 and Jamie's family were there by 10:30.   We started the day by having a scavenger hunt for the little ones.  There were 12 clues that had them searching throughout the house and going from the 1st to 2nd floor numerous times.

One group photo before the Easter fun begins!

Back downstairs for another clue during
the scavenger hunt!

Oh no, now it is back upstairs!  This is
The last clue took them to the backyard where we had hidden eggs for the annual Easter egg hunt!

I wonder how many more years this grown-up 10 year old,
Bria, will want to be part of the egg hunt!  She is growing
up so quickly!

Samantha was having a good time!

Looks like Katelyn has quite a "stash"
in her bucket!

Racing to find more eggs! 
Who put this one so high and almost
out of my reach???

Katelyn wanted to make sure they had
found all of the eggs!

Then it was time to go inside to check out the goodies inside the eggs -

Cali is all smiles after checking out all the
goodies in her eggs!

There were 105 eggs, so all the girls had plenty of candy, money,

Aunt Jamie offered some help to put the puzzle together for
the next part of the Easter adventure!

Some of the eggs had a slip of paper inside with a word on it that could be put together to make a puzzle with a clue for the next part of Easter Day -

Lanie had done a great job with the riddle!

Pinata time thanks to Lanie -

The 1st round of hits were done
with a blindfold.  Go, Cali!

Samantha was determined!

Bria had some really hard hits! 
Katelyn had fun too!

Cali's hit was the one that broke the egg!

More treats!

Samantha decided that the egg half made
a great Easter bonnet!

Katelyn thought she should try the bonnet too!

Time to eat -

Bob grilled delicious filet mignon and Lanie also had
crab cakes.  She  had baked sweet potatoes, sauteed
green beans with onions and bacon, and oven
"grilled" white potatoes with zucchini and onions.  The
whole meal was delicious!

Samantha had made up a schedule for the day on the computer complete with graphics, so we tried to stay on "time"! 

Okay, Aunt Jamie, it is time to get with the program and get
back on schedule!

Then Grandma and PawPaw gave the girls a gift from their time in Florida - coconut fish that I had painted and PawPaw helped collect the coconuts and the palm branches -

One more photo before we open more presents!

The fish were painted to match their bedrooms!
and their Easter gifts -

The stuffed ducks were a hit!

I wrote a note for Bria and Cali to tell them about their
birthday gifts - we are going to a place where they can
select and paint a piece of pottery.

Now it was time for the entertainment - a dance show with Samantha as the main fantastic dancer, but she had 3 background dancers that added a lot of great moves to her performance!

The star of the show - Samantha!

Samantha had done a lot of practicing for this show before today,
 including picking the 4 songs they danced to! Before and
\after lunch the back-up dancers did quite a bit of rehearsing!
 They all knew their "moves" very well!!  Look how well
they are doing their moves in sync!

Celebrating when the show was finished!

Part of the audience!

Relaxing after a great performance!

Can't have a birthday party without a cake -

Because some of them wanted chocolate cake and others
vanilla we had a cake made out of both kinds of cupcakes!

It was 82 degrees and sunny, so time to move outside for the Kubb games to begin.  Unfortunately the women just couldn't win a game!  It might have something to do with the professional, Bob!

We may not win, but we have a lot of spirit!

Bob really gets into the game and Ken did a great job of
taking an action shot!!!

Okay, okay, okay - so you won!  Big deal!!!

Jamie's family left around 3:30 to go to Dane's parents for their Easter dinner.  Ken and I left Lanie and Bob's around 6:15 and spent the evening going through all the photos Ken had taken the last two days.  I did this blog while we watched the salute to the Bee Gees.  Boy, they surely had a lot of great hits!  I thought it was a great tribute!