Mondays are for Memories – Hayley’s Sweet Adventure

This week’s Memory isn’t from an earlier post – it’s from something that should’ve been an earlier post! Somehow the days have just slipped by since our wonderful week with granddaughter #2 so before it becomes a distant memory, I thought I’d better get busy with this post!

It’s become a family tradition that the summer a grandchild is 10 they get to spend a week with Grams and Pops. (Now that it’s happened twice, we can call it a tradition, right?) Our first adventure took us to Baltimore,MD,  Washington, DC, and Lancaster, PA in 2013. Hayley’s Sweet Adventure had an entirely different route!

We started out, right at the close of our wonderful family reunion (when, in all honesty, I just needed a nap), with a baseball game just down the road in Scranton – the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders vs the Columbus Clippers.
Let the adventure begin! First day of Hayley's "Sa-weet" Adventure! #hayleyssa-weetadventure

The RailRiders won, which was great for the home team, but not so great for the Columbus girl. But it was a great game, regardless. The next morning we took care of a couple of chores and Hayley had her first lesson in packing up and moving down the road.
On our way! #hayleyssweetadventure #ontheroadagain #nofilter
We were off!
We had a little unexpected delay early in the trip –
First full day

but we weren’t about to let it derail our Sweet Adventure. By the end of the day we were settled in at our campground outside of Knoebel’s Amusement Park and ready for the next phase of the adventure.

We’d never been to Knoebels before and all we can say is So.Much.Fun.
Hayley's Adventure1
From start to finish, we had so much fun that we changed our plans so we could spend a second day in the park – we just notched it back a bit and spent most of that second day at the Crystal Pool.
Hayley's Adventure2

Man – what a great park!  I HIGHLY recommend this place for a super fun family outing! But before we knew it, it was time to hit the road again.
Road to Canada
This time our destination was Niagara Falls, Ontario!
We had an awesome time in Canada. We spent two days being full fledged tourists at the Falls –
Hayley's Adventure3
Butterflies! #hayleyssweetadventure #niagarafalls

Plus a day in Toronto and a day visiting family in Cobourg, Ontario.
Hayley's Adventure
Oh, my – we had a good time!
But all good things must come to an end (and she was getting a little lonesome for Mom and Dad), and we reunited with the fam at a little park on Lake Erie, just across the Ohio border.
Here she is distributing her siblings’ souvenirs. :) She really did miss them!

This little summary in no way begins to capture all of the fun we had with Hayley during that week. As the ‘Far Away’ grandparents (and ones that live in a house with wheels, no less), we often struggle with getting to really connect with our grandkids. This adventure helped us grow more in love with our sweet Hayley! Her enthusiasm for adventure, her friendliness with new cousins and campground friends, her helpfulness around the house, her love for her family – what a beautiful and busy young lady she is growing up to be! How thankful we are to have had this special time with her, and what beautiful memories we will have forever.

If you’d like to see some additional pictures from Hayley’s Sweet Adventure, you can check them out here!

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Sabbath Rest – Jesus Paid it All

Jesus paid it all – All to Him I owe!

I tried hard to find a video of the traditional version of this hymn, but to no avail. I’m not opposed to this contemporary version – just a bit sad that they’ve removed some of the verses and added an additional bridge. I’m including the original lyrics (written in 1865 by Elvina Hall), but the video is from the Dave Crowder Band.

I hear the Savior say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim,
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.


And now complete in Him
My robe His righteousness,
Close sheltered ’neath His side,
I am divinely blest.


Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.


When from my dying bed
My ransomed soul shall rise,
“Jesus died my soul to save,”
Shall rend the vaulted skies.


And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down
All down at Jesus’ feet.



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Hometown Hugs

We’ve been on the road now for 11 years (yep, we left home on August 1, 2004 for this little adventure) and we haven’t looked back with regret even once. Beautiful places, amazing new friends, and memories to treasure.
house But while we gladly walked away from the 2 acres of grass to mow and an 1860’s home to maintain, there were other things that were a bit harder to walk away from. Things like dear friends, our church family, and guaranteed hugs. Please don’t get me wrong – we’ve made wonderful friends in our years on the road. Friends that seem all the more precious in that we never would have met them had we stayed in Jamison.  But sometimes, just sometimes, what you need are hugs from folks who came to your little girl’s first birthday party, carpooled with you for preschool, and gathered near as you buried your mom. Friends who rejoiced with you at graduations and weddings and even the birth of that very first grandchild. And especially friends who were there when Gary came up with the “5 Year Plan” to sell the house, quit our jobs and drive around the country in a big ol’ RV once the kids were all launched.  This past weekend I was joy-filled as I gathered hugs from some of those good people. Oh, I didn’t get them all (I was only in town for two and a half days), but to Troy, Georgi, Linda, Mary, Nancy, JoAnn, Dale, Michelle, Chris, Mike, Dave, Carol, Leslie, Erik, Linda, Craig  and of course Joe and Janet (who housed me and fed me home grown tomatoes and uber healthy smoothies) I can only say thank-you.

 Hometown hugs – they did a heart (especially this girl’s heart) good.


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Mondays are for Memories – Ellie’s Big Adventure

Has it really been a week since I posted anything? Yikes! It’s been a busy week, and I was hoping to have the pictures sorted through from Hayley’s Sa-weet Adventure and at least the beginning of a post recap ready to go, but not yet. So, for this week’s Monday Memory I’ve chosen a post from our Ellie’s Big Adventure back in the summer of 2013. This one is from the ‘middle’ of the adventure, so if your interest is piqued, feel free to check out the links at the bottom of the post for additional stories from our time with Ellie!

July 4, 2013 – The Middle

Ten things we loved about The Middle of our adventure (Washington, DC).
1. The Metro. What better way to start an adventure than to navigate through public transportation. Green line, express buses, escalators…. We came, we saw, we conquered! (and we didn’t have to fuss with DC traffic!)


2. The Air and Space Museum. This was Ellie’s first choice for the Smithsonian’s and we hopped around from the IMAX 3D movie about the Hubble Telescope to the Spirit of St. Louis and back to space travel.

3D fashion statement.AirandSpaceMuseum-4AirandSpaceMuseum-5AirandSpaceMuseum-3

3. The Museum of Natural History. While Ellie wasn’t very interested in the dinosaurs or mummies, there were plenty of other things to see at this museum. Like the Hope Diamond and the gems and minerals and the butterflies!

Give the girl a camera......Fun at the Natural History Museum.MuseumofNaturalHistory-1

Butterflies DC
4. The Museum of American History. So much to see here – everything from American Icons like Kermit the Frog and Dorothy’s ruby slippers, to the First Lady’s Dresses and an amazing doll house. Oh, and a neat ol’ RV  over in the transportation section!

Ellies Pictures-30Ellies Pictures-29

first lady dresses
5. Seeing the actual flag that flew over Ft. McHenry and inspired the Star Spangled Banner.
6. And then getting to help hold a replica of that flag while we all sang our National Anthem.
7. Our National Mall Walking tour. I think Grams and Pops liked this a bit better than Ellie, but our tour guide was great and I’d highly recommend them – DCbyFoot.
I think that Ellie might have thought these were a bit more fun –MonumentWalkingTour-6
Maybe next time!
We learned lot of interesting facts about the monuments themselves –
The Washington Monument, with all of its scaffolding.
WWII Memorial
WWII Memorial – with its two theatres of conflict.
The Vietnam Memorial – so moving in so many ways.
The Korean War Memorial – beautifully done
And the Lincoln Monument. We didn’t quite have the stamina to climb the stairs (it was at the end of our tour), but we’re pretty sure he’s still sitting up there.
8. The Hirshhorn Gallery.
Ellie really wanted to stop at a gallery, and since we were walking by, we chose this one. I’m not sure it was the best choice, but it certainly demonstrated the wide variety of what is considered “art”. Their special exhibit was on Experiments in Mixed Media –
Hirshhorn Gallery
9. A very patient Pops.


Who was also our designated pack horse, carrying our water and lunch and souvenirs all around DC!
We love him!!
10. And last but not least – the pool at the campground.
What a wonderful way to end a day of heavy-duty tourism!

And finally our “official” DC Picture. You might think it would be in front of a monument or important building. But for our dear Ellie, it’s owls all the way. So we couldn’t resist taking a moment to pause in front of the owl display!


As “Middles” go – this was a double-stuff!  There is so much to see and do in DC that we (obviously) only scratched the surface! But for us, it was just right.  Next up – The Big Finish!

In case you were hankering to see some additional pictures of our DC adventure – Here you go!

Other posts about Ellie’s Big Adventure –
I’m Working On It
The Beginning
The Middle
The End

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Mondays are for Memories – August 17, 2009

This is a little “time hop” memory from exactly six years ago. Monday, August 17, 2009. Just in case you’re a bit overwhelmed by the heat, here are some photos of glaciers! Enjoy!

If this is Monday, this must be……
So where was I, before I was so rudely interrupted by no internet? I can’t begin to remember what day (of travel) this is. I can just barely remember what day of the week this is. And the actual date – now that’s really a stretch! Thank goodness for auto-fill on the computer!
But we have been quite busy since I last had an opportunity to post. I’ll have to do a summary, with just a couple of pictures since I’m so far behind, but I’ll let you know where you can find more pictures if you’d like a larger sampling of the areas!
JasperColumbia Icefields Banff

These three areas all stretch together down the Canadian Rocky Mountains. While we hit a bad stretch of weather while we were in these Canadian National Parks, we still could see the beauty of the area. If you are a hiker or biker or climber or kayaker or shopper – these are ideal towns for you to visit. If you’re “Slightly Over Weight Early Retirees” (a humerous (?) explanation of SOWERs) there is still a lot of beauty to see. And all with just the right amount of hiking involved!
There was Mt. Helen Cavell – a lovely hike to the base of the mountain and the edge of Angel Glacier. The drive there was beautiful and the mountain and glacier were impressive.

Then there was Maligne Canyon and Medicine Lake – more incredible displays of God’s handiwork.
Before we set off for Banff the next morning, we visited Athabasca Falls. It was raining pretty hard, but you could still see (and hear) the power of those waterfalls. Quite a way to start the day!
Athabasca Falls
The road between Jasper and Banff – the Icefields Parkway – is considered to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world. We started out in the rain, and ended in the rain, but along the way the clouds cleared and we could appreciate some of that acclaim.
Jasper to Banff-2
When we hit the Columbia Icefields, the sky was beginning to clear and the sun was working its magic on the mountains around us. We did a Tourist Splurge, and took the Ice Machine ride up onto the Athabasca Glacier. It was incredible!
Columbia Icefield-3

By the time we were pulling into Banff, it was pouring again. Bummer. Banff is a very lovely tourist town – shop after shop after shop. One of the reasons we were in Banff was to connect with a cousin that I hadn’t seen in almost 25 years. He was in town for a convention (that he was actually running) and he was able to break free long enough to treat us to an exquisite dinner at the Eden Restaurant. It was a six course meal (all the courses were “French Cuisine” size – small but mighty) and they were all amazing. I don’t think I have ever had a meal where the silverware was replaced for each course and our own maître de explained each dish as it was served. I’m soooo glad we didn’t come in our sneakers!

Dinner at EdensDinner at Edens-1Dinner at Edens-2Dinner at Edens-4IMG_3971_edited-1Dinner at Edens-6 

Oh, and we had a good visit with my cousin, too! :-) Thanks, Kim! It really was unforgettable!
OK, so that was Banff. I know we didn’t really do it justice, but the weather was just too miserable to do a lot of sightseeing, and there just isn’t any more room in our house on wheels for more “stuff”, so we tend to stay away from those cute little shops.
It was still raining the next morning as we set out for Calgary, but still we could envision the beauty that must have been just beyond the clouds. Before we knew it, we were out of the mountains and headed into Cowboy Country. And lots and lots of houses. And lots and lots of cars. Ooooo – city driving! We did stop at a couple of the small towns on the way into Calgary and ended up spending most of our day at the Millarsville Farmers Market and annual County Fair.

This was a great day! Lots of local color, as they say – from the farmers market to the rooster crowing contest to the vegetables, flowers, jams and jellies, cookies and pies (etc., etc.) judging to the livestock competition, talent show, pie eating contest, horseshow and tractor pull! Oh, and it also had a Fiber Arts (i.e. quilts) display and judging along with photography and art. It was jam packed with local talent and fun, fun, fun! We’re glad we made a day of it! (Even though one of the reasons we “made a day of it” was because once we got parked we pretty much had to wait until the parking lot cleared before we could leave! Ah, the joys of life in a big rig!)

Millarsville Fair Day-2Millarsville Fair Day-3Millarsville Fair Day-4Millarsville Fair Day-6Millarsville Fair Day-7Millarsville Fair Day-8Millarsville Fair Day-10Millarsville Fair Day-12 

The next day we checked out a historic ranch – The Bar U. Just so happened there was an “Old Time Ranch Rodeo” that day, and while it wasn’t quite the Calgary Stampede, it sure was fun! There were 14 ranches represented with great names like Quarter Circle L and Mesabi & Anchor P, and they competed in five different events. Our favorite was Wild Cow Milking. Here’s how it works –
There’s one cowboy on the horse and two more on the ground. In the arena are about a dozen wild cows. The guy on the horse has to lasso one of the cows and then the other two have to subdue the cow anyway they can and one of them has to milk it. It looks like this –
Bar U Ranch and Rodeo-3
Bar U Ranch and Rodeo-4
Bar U Ranch and Rodeo-5
Bar U Ranch and Rodeo-6
I think he’s signing up to be the guy on the horse next time!
Aside from the fact that twice in the middle of the show it started to pour (hence all of that nice mud!), it was great fun!
Bar U Ranch and Rodeo-2
So that actually brings us to today – which I THINK is Monday, August 17. We spent the day doing some other historical sites –
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump and Fort Macleod and tonight we’re parked near the Remington Carriage Museum which will be our final stop in Canada tomorrow morning. (And as a bonus I have been able to get on the wi-fi from the nearby visitors center and finally get these pictures uploaded and this blog updated!).
OK – here are the links to more pictures
Columbia Icefields
Banff to Calgary
Millarsville Fair Day
Bar U Rodeo
I did take some pictures today, but they are still living in my camera. I know I’m feeling a little pictured out – I can only imagine how you must feel! Maybe next time!

Next stop (well, after the Carriage Museum) – MONTANA!!!!!

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