Uncle John’s 100th Birthday

Wednesday, December 16 – Noon

We knew Mother High wanted to see her brother John on his 100th birthday, so I reserved a table in Azalea Dining Room at Landis Homes for lunch.

John's 100th Birthday (1)Mother wishing John a happy 100th birthday. Mother is 98 – the sibling next to him in age.

John's 100th Birthday (2)I love watching these two together.

John's 100th Birthday (3)Cerwin’s sister Velda and her husband, Mel, joined us for lunch.

John's 100th Birthday (4)The menu for the day: Ham balls, scalloped potatoes, succotash, and grilled Brussels sprouts.

John's 100th Birthday (5)As we were enjoying dessert, a staff person from Landis Homes gathered a group of people to sing Happy Birthday.

John's 100th Birthday (6)

John's 100th Birthday (7)

John's 100th Birthday (8)John is incredibly sharp for his age. I love listening to his stories.

John's 100th Birthday (9)John and Mother

John's 100th Birthday (10)

John's 100th Birthday (11)Then something incredibly interesting happened. This lady was enjoying lunch with a friend when she heard the announcement that they were going to sing happy birthday to John Sauder. She came up to me and asked if he had a daughter June. I assured her that he did.

She said, “I am Harley Kooker’s wife. Harley was with June in Vietnam during the Tet offensive.”

John's 100th Birthday (12)I wish you could have seen John when she told him who she was. Their conversation lit up his face. He asked about each of the others who were in the house with June.

(The Tet offensive happened in February 1968 while seven young Americans were serving in the city of Hue with Vietnam Christian Service. They were stranded in their unit headquarters for eight terror-filled days.)

Only God could have timed that meeting. John told me later that the meeting with Mrs. Kooker had him on a “high” for three days. 🙂

John's 100th Birthday (13)Velda and Cerwin with John and Mother.

John's 100th Birthday (14)The photographer from Landis Homes graciously asked if I would like to be on a picture too.

John's 100th Birthday (15)Mother said to John, “I think you need a birthday kiss.”

John asked, “On the cheek or on the lips.”

Mother said, “Let’s do it right – on the lips.” 🙂


Oh what a delightful lunch.

Holiday Concert at Middle School ~ Seventh & Eighth Grades

Tuesday Evening, December 15

DSC_5889But, first the pretty Tuesday morning sky.


DSC_5895Arriving at Manheim Central Middle School


DSC_5897Welcome: Mrs. Debbie Rill, Assistant Principal


Photos were taken from the balcony without a flash.

DSC_5902String Orchestra – Mrs. Shenna Shirk, Director

Snowflake – Yukiko Nishimura

DSC_5905Cold of Winter-Le Froid de L’hiver – Soon Hee Newbold

DSC_5907Dance of the Reed Flutes – Tchaikovsky/arr. Gruselle

DSC_5912Jazz Band: Mr. John Brackbill, Director

Jammin’ with Charlie – Dean Sorenson

DSC_5915Jingle All the Way – James Pierpont/arr. Lopez

DSC_5917Choir: Mrs. Stephanie Magaro, Director

In Dulci Jubilo – Emily Crocker

DSC_5919God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen – Trad/arr.Campbell

DSC_5920Peppermint Winter – Adam Young/arr.Snyder, as recorded by Owl City

DSC_5926Meistersingers Select Choir: Mrs. Stephanie Magaro, Director

New Year Carol – Benjamin Britten

DSC_5927Silent Night – Trad./arr.Emerson, as recorded by Pentatonix

DSC_5931Concert Band: Mr. John Brackbill, Director

Look for our grandson Ian in the salmon colored shirt.

DSC_5933Noel Fantasy – arr. James Curnow




DSC_5950The Holly and the Ivy – Trad. English Carol/arr. Gassi



DSC_5961\ DSC_5968A Crazy Mixed-Up Christmas Concert – David Shaffer



DSC_5980Recognizing the directors and promoting Manheim Central Music shirts


DSC_5988When the program was over, and I looked over the balcony, I saw friends from church, Jerry and Jen. They had no clue I was looking down on them. 🙂

DSC_5991Ian can now relax – the concert is over.

DSC_5993Good job, Ian.

He enjoys playing percussion.

Christmas Caroling

Monday Evening, December 14

DSC_5854The Christmas caroling committee at church assigned Landis Homes to our Sunday school class. Because one of the ladies from our church lives in the same area as Cerwin’s mother, I called the nurses station and asked if some of the residents could be brought to a large area of the Personal Care unit. They willingly brought several of them.

DSC_5855Our class has some great singers, so we sounded good. Cerwin’s mother is second from the left (next to Inge – from  TFC’s Inernational Office). Inge asked me a few days earlier if our church goes Christmas caroling. She had never gone caroling, and it was on her bucket list.


DSC_5857The four residents closest to the camera were the ones that I specifically asked the nurses to bring to this room. Harold & Lois Nissley, Myrtle Bomberger, and Myrtle White, as well as Cerwin’s mother – who is to the left of this picture. (Harold lives in a cottage and came on his own.)

DSC_5859Our last assignment was Brethren Village – another retirement community not far from Landis Homes. This was the entrance to Clara Rohrer’s apartment. I did not take any pictures there because the room was quite full.

DSC_5860Our last stop was Don Rohrer’s cottage.

DSC_5865He is on the far left.

DSC_5866Our song sheets.

DSC_5868Then we went back to the church to enjoy a snack – provided by the committee.







DSC_5882Brooke was along with her Grandpa Shenks and chose to eat under a table. Maybe she thought we were too old for her. 🙂




DSC_5888It was a great evening.

Taking Inge to Visit the Nut Hut (Roy & Deb’s Place)

Saturday, December 12

Annie Oakley (2)When Inge mentioned that she would like to meet the Nut Hut animals, we made it happen for her.

Her first meeting was with Annie Oakley – the prairie dog.

Batman (1)She wanted to meet each one, but Batman was the one she really wanted to meet. I love the look of pleasure in Inge’s eyes.

Batman (3)Inge loves cats and has watched Batman grow up into a beautiful black cat – via pictures only.

He was a mangy, skinny kitten when he arrived at the Nut Hut.

Dale (Downs Squirrel)Dale was pushed out of the nest by his mother because he was born with something similar to Downs Syndrome.

Evan (1)Evan the possum is beautiful – for a possum.

Evan (2)When I asked Deb why she hadn’t released him in the fall, she said because Dale has bonded with Evan like a parent – and due to being special needs, Dale needs a parent.

Harley (4)Harley knew immediately that Inge was a cat-lover and responded to her attention.

Harley (6)Deb said it is unusual for Harley to respond to people the way he did  to Inge.

PresleyPresley is a special needs raccoon – and must stay at the Nut Hut.

Skippi Rae (1)Skippi Rae is one of Deb’s first rescues and oversees the deck where many outside squirrels come to eat.

Skippi Rae (2)One time she “warned” all the inside animals that there was a hawk outside.

Roy, Deb, and DaleRoy and Deb (our youngest daughter) truly care for their rescues and love when they can release them – as they do with most animals – but when the animal cannot go back into the wild, they make sure they have a good life – with them or someone else.

I missed getting a picture of their flying squirrel and hedge hog – and the two skunks are hibernating for the winter.

Since we were there, they got a tiny baby goat. He was one of four, and the mother made sure everyone knew that she was not going to take care of him. I will have some pictures of him in the near future.

DSC_5829They live in an area where there are many Amish, so we usually see signs of them on our way to or from their place.

DSC_5834Holsteins in a field always make me miss my dad – a dairy farmer.


DSC_5831Thanks, Roy and Deb, for taking time to show Inge your animals.

It was fun for us to see each of them – and meet Dale and Evan for the first time.

Lunch With Roy, Deb & Inge

Saturday, December 12

DSC_5748I love pretty Saturday mornings in December.

DSC_5751Inge has been wanting to see the animals at Roy and Deb’s “Nut Hut” and this was the day – but first we had lunch at RD’s.

DSC_5752Inge (from TFC’s International Office), Deb, Roy, and Cerwin.

DSC_5760They make the best sweet tea.

DSC_5763My lunch

I like RD’s brisket – almost every way they serve it.

DSC_5765The others chose these meals.


DSC_5768Since I only took four meal pictures, I expect two got the same meal. 🙂

DSC_5771I enjoyed their creative Christmas decorations.








DSC_5791We had some delicious desserts before heading to Roy and Deb’s house.

DSC_5794Love RD’s crème brulee.


DSC_5799RD’s mother, Mame, makes the best pecan pies – and every now and then Deb orders one for Cerwin to take home.

I am not a pecan pie fan, but this was delicious!