Hershey Family Christmas

Monday, December 29

DSC_4047We enjoyed having Kinza here on Monday while Reuben and Judi were at the hospital with their little boy. Elizabeth was a big help in playing games with her.

DSC_4053Anthony and Ian

We also took Ian, Jared, and Jesse along to the Hershey Christmas Supper while Jere & Kristen were at a doctor appointment  with Jana.

DSC_4057Larry, Cerwin, Jason, and Kevin watching the children play.




DSC_4063Ian, Anthony, and Jesse

DSC_4071Anthony and Jesse

DSC_4079I had so much fun with these two.

We were surprised at how well Kinza fit in with a family of children she had never met.

DSC_4083Ian and Jared


DSC_4092My brother Steve praying before the meal.





DSC_4099Pulled pork







DSC_4112I thought that Jere and Kristen would enjoy seeing Jesse’s choice of food.

DSC_4116He told me that he was not going to eat a brownie sandwich.



DSC_4122Getting mocha punch


DSC_4126Jesse wanted a flashlight to see what happened to the trash that was thrown into this bin – which seemed almost bottomless. My brother Dale went to his car for a spotlight.

DSC_4128Jesse learned that there was a huge bin on the floor below us.

DSC_4130Kinza enjoyed this car and a tricycle that was on location.

DSC_4133Looking down from the balcony.



DSC_4139Two of the youngest – Anthony & Miranda – getting acquainted.

DSC_4141Anthony is two days older than her.

It was a great evening.

It’s fun being with family.

The High Family Christmas Celebration

This is the first year ever that neither of Cerwin’s parents were at the celebration. It was difficult for us – knowing that Mother could not be here. I expect it was difficult for her as well.

Because there were several out-of-state nieces and nephews in the area, we chose a date to suit them. There was Japheth and Aimee’s family from Minnesota, Reuben and Judi’s family from Wisconsin, and Dave & Denise’s family (who were in the process of moving from Florida to Minnesota).

DSC_3996We used some pretty table decorations leftover from our celebration the night before.



DSC_4000Jakey was helping his girls color, but by the time I got there, he was the only one coloring.

DSC_4001He is such a good dad.

DSC_4003Cousins – Judi and Jeff

DSC_4005Kinza, Reuben, Owen, and Dorretta.






DSC_4013We have a finely-tuned pattern for going through the food line – enter the laundry, go through our bedroom, and then the hall before entering our kitchen.

Go through the food line and proceed to the garage and find a seat.

This year there were sixty seats!







DSC_4022This was the night that Jesse pulled a front tooth.

DSC_4026He was quite pleased with himself. I gave him a baggie to keep it safe and asked him to give the baggy to his dad.

DSC_4032Anthony was gumming a pickle when I walked by.


DSC_4036I think Japheth and Aimee’s Rose is the youngest in the High family. In this photo she is being held by her dad’s cousin Dorretta.

DSC_4038Dan, Dave, and Jere enjoying after-supper conversation.

DSC_4041Cerwin’s brother, Elvin, had stored all of Mother High’s things in his race car trailer since we emptied her room just before Thanksgiving.

After supper we cleared the tables, pushed them against a wall, and emptied Elvin’s trailer. Some people brought in the boxes while the rest of us opened the boxes and put things on tables.

DSC_4043Then the grandchildren and great-grandchildren chose what they wanted.


DSC_4045Aimee looking through Mother’s material.

We were quite pleased that so many of her items were chosen.


On Tuesday I went through the things that were left and sorted them by category. Elvin stopped in today and chose a few more things. Since Reuben and Judi are here they also had opportunity to look through things more carefully. They also found a few things they can use.

Tomorrow Mel and Velda will come and help us pack the rest of the items in boxes. They will be given to a local re-use-it store (Jubilee).

Mother said that she would enjoy knowing what each of the grandchildren and grandchildren got, so I encouraged each one to call or visit her and tell her what they chose.

Our Family Christmas Celebration

Saturday Evening, December 27

1 (1)Our evening began with supper – provided by our wonderful ladies – Chris, Kristen, Deb, and Abby.

They haven’t allowed me to make any food for the past few years – and I really appreciate that.

1 (3)We provide the place, the tables, place settings, and drink (orange punch and raspberry iced tea.)

1 (4)Mocha punch is always a favorite.

It is a mixture of coffee, sugar, Nesquik chocolate mix, water, chocolate ice cream, and vanilla ice cream.

1 (5)Nate & Josiah

1 (2)I think Jesse wishes that his Dad wasn’t following him through the food line – as there were some things he wanted to avoid – like green beans. 🙂

1 (7)

1 (6)

1 (8)

1 (10)

1 (9)

DSC_3892Potato casserole

DSC_3894Seven layer salad

DSC_3893Baked corn

DSC_3896Green beans

DSC_3898Homemade dinner rolls

DSC_3899Crackers & cheese

DSC_3900Veggies & dip

DSC_3901Cranberry salad

DSC_3902Snack mix by Mother Hershey. She makes the best mix, so the girls allow her to bring that to our parties.

As I posted these pictures, I realized that I didn’t take a picture of the ham or the delicious desserts. You can see the ham on some of the food line pictures, but the red velvet cake and cheese cake did not make it on any shot.

DSC_3921I needed a new picture of Jordan for my refrigerator.

DSC_3923And also one of Josh.

About the time I think I have updated pictures of our adult grandsons, they grow a beard – or shave it off – they style their hair – or get a buzz cut. I never seem to be able to keep their pictures current. 🙂

DSC_3927Since his mom was next to Josh, Deb took advantage of getting them to pose.

DSC_3931Then I got my turn.

DSC_3933The unmarried grandchildren exchange names – and we usually begin with the youngest. This year we had a new youngest – Anthony – our first great-grandchild.

It looks like Nathan had his name, and Ian assisted.


DSC_3936Anthony didn’t seem impressed with the clothing (but his parents were). He preferred the box and paper.

DSC_3939Dustan had Jesse’s name.

Dustan is Jenna’s friend and we are pleased to have him join our family gatherings.

DSC_3943Jared was pleased with his Lego gift from Jordan.


DSC_3947Diana had Ian’s name.

DSC_3948Another Lego set. He and his brothers are going to have fun with those.

DSC_3950Gloria was next.

DSC_3951I am not sure who gave this to her, but if it is anything to do with horses, she will like it.

DSC_3952A gift card and a horse calendar.

DSC_3953Gloria was right back in the center of the room to give a gift to Jana.

DSC_3955It looks like a gift any young lady would enjoy.

DSC_3957Jared had Diana’s name.

DSC_3958A gift card to a favorite store.

DSC_3961Then it was Jenna’s turn.


DSC_3965I think this came with a gift card.

DSC_3973I like the look I captured on Ian’s face – like, “I wonder if Dustan will like my gift?”

DSC_3975He did! It was a Cabela’s gift card and beef jerky.

DSC_3968Nathan must have gotten his gift from someone in Jere and Kristen’s family…

DSC_3970…because he also got beef jerky and a Cabela’s card.

DSC_3976Jenna had her oldest brother’s name.

DSC_3979Jordan got a Cabela’s gift card.

Cabela’s does well with our hunting/fishing family.

DSC_3981Josiah wasn’t sure that he could come, but when it worked out for him, he and his sister Elizabeth exchanged names – just a few days before our celebration.

I didn’t get a photo of the contents, but it was a variety of food.

DSC_3983Elizabeth learned a few weeks ago that the volunteer unit in Lewiston, Maine, (where she serves) was coming to Pennsylvania, so we were blessed to have her with us. She got a special tea and…

DSC_3985…cute piece of half-inch steel from Josiah.


DSC_3987The children then gave us gifts: A restaurant gift card from Jeff and Chris; you may remember that we received lots of canned peaches from Jere and Kristen on Christmas Day; a note saying that Roy and Deb will take us to Cabela’s in Delaware and then out for a meal; and a homemade chocolate nut pie from Nathaniel and Abby. THANK YOU!.

We gave everyone a small bag of snacks and money.

DSC_3991Cerwin and I don’t always exchange gifts because we buy things throughout the year as we need them. I gave him a shirt he saw in a store (and liked) the other week and a gift card to Paul B’s (an ultimate hardware store). Cerwin goes there several times a month – between our needs and building chapels for TFC.

He wrapped this box of three suitcases that we bought at Costco the other week. 🙂

DSC_3992To finish our evening we played Now-You-Have-It-Now-You-Don’t.

Cerwin and I provide the items – mostly snacks, sodas, sparkling cider, and useful items that range in price from $3-4. I didn’t think to take pictures of the items.

DSC_3994Each person chooses three numbers. Jesse was in charge of passing out the numbers. We encouraged Sam (sitting to Jana’s right) a family friend – and brother to Nathaniel – to participate in this game.

Ian called the numbers this year.

DSC_3995My final picture was supposed to be of these two glugging some sparkling cider, but they just gave me silly faces.

It was a fun evening.

I love these people (little ones and big ones) who God placed in our family.

Every one of them!

Our Christmas Day

DSC_3746A few weeks ago Cerwin and I thought we were going to have a quiet Christmas Day – just the two of us.

  • Then Deb learned that we were going to be alone for the day – as were they – so they decided to bring cinnamon rolls for an 8:30 breakfast.
  • Then Elizabeth called to see if our guest room was available from December 23 to January 3.
  • Then Kristen checked to make sure we had something to do for the day. When we told them that Roy and Deb were coming for breakfast and church, she and Jere decided to have the four of us there for their family’s Christmas brunch.

DSC_3750We took care of the coffee and sparkling cider for breakfast.

DSC_3752Deb made the cinnamon rolls.


DSC_3754We left the house at 9:15 for our church’s 9:30 AM Christmas service, and were blessed to be reminded of the amazing birth of Jesus Christ – through sermon and song.

DSC_3755After church we went to Jere and Kristen’s for brunch. Jared and Ian were anxious to show us some eggs from their chickens.

DSC_3756The chickens just began laying eggs recently. Some are still laying small eggs, while others are a normal, large size – and they are a light blue or green.

DSC_3758Kristen’s Christmas flowers from Jere.

DSC_3763The next few pictures are from the variety of breads, eggs, meat, and cookies that Jere and Kristen served..









DSC_3777Pictures – mostly from a photo shoot Deb did of Jere and Kristen’s family.



DSC_3799A blanket from the photo shoot.


DSC_3785There were a few fun gift exchanges.

DSC_3791Jesse saw these and thought Grandma should have them for her birds.

DSC_3798One of the boys saw this car wash and thought the car looked like Roy’s, and that he should have this.


DSC_3802Camo beans for Jana


DSC_3807Roy and Jana’s Olaf from Frozen.




DSC_3812Canned peaches for Cerwin and me – from Jere and Kristen.


After brunch six of us went to visit Cerwin’s mother.

DSC_3814Mother and Roy


DSC_3818Mother and Deb

DSC_3819Mother and Elizabeth


DSC_3824Mother and Jana



DSC_3831We visited for about half-an-hour.



DSC_3840Before we left, Mother asked Jana (a great-granddaughter) how she is doing, and assured her that she is praying for her – especially on days when she hears that Jana is not feeling well.

DSC_3839Mother is doing pretty well – most days. Recently she has been dealing with shortness of breath, especially after walking or even from getting ready for bed. We are a bit concerned, and the doctors and nurses are keeping a close eye on her.

DSC_3842Keep these two in your prayers. Jana had a good day today.

Most of Mother’s day was good, but she gave us a bit of a scare when she was short of breath toward supper time. Cerwin’s sister Velda and her husband were there at the time, and stayed until she was feeling better.

After our visit, we went back to Jere and Kristen’s and played the “Take One” version of Scrabble.

It was a delightful Christmas day.

Our Christmas Eve Day

DSC_3668We started our day with these four grandchildren. Jared, Jesse, Elizabeth, and Ian.

Jared, Jesse, and Ian were here overnight so Jere and Kristen were free to take Jana to the hospital for a test this morning. They have a follow-up meeting with a doctor on Monday. They did learn that this test ruled out an intestine/bowel disease. Thank you for your continuing prayers for Jana.

Elizabeth arrived early this morning. She serves with a Brethren Volunteer Service Unit in Lewiston, Maine. The entire unit came to Pennsylvania for Christmas.

DSC_3670Elizabeth, Ian, Jared, and I played Super Scrabble.

DSC_3673Look who came to visit! Our granddaughter Abby (sister to Elizabeth) and our great-grandson, Anthony.



DSC_3704Elizabeth was babysitting Anthony while Abby had lunch with a friend.


DSC_3684A few of the decorations we put up yesterday.




DSC_3698Living room




DSC_3714 Laundry




DSC_3736This will be the center of our Christmas activities on Saturday and Sunday, consequently it is the most decorated room of our house









DSC_3743Josiah – Abby and Elizabeth’s brother – stopped in for supper and to spend the evening with us – just about the time Abby got back from spending lunch and the afternoon with her friend.

Josiah, Elizabeth, Cerwin and I had a great evening playing Rook. Josiah was pleased to be the winner – the first to reach a score of 1,000.


It was a wonderful, delightful Christmas eve day.

Merry Christmas On The Eve Of Christmas Eve

One of the fun things about Christmas is the pretty decorations.

There are decorations almost everywhere you go.

1TFC’s International Office, Marietta, PA

1aRD’s American Grill, Quarryville, PA.

2 (1)

2 (3)

3 (1)Lititz, PA

3 (2)

5 (5)

4 (1)Ephrata, PA

4 (2) We rarely travel anywhere at night, so I have only these few samples.

6 (1)I love this guy in the entrance of RD’s American Grill. I guess he is a moose.

Cerwin and I spent today preparing our garage and house for two upcoming Christmas parties this weekend. It is nice having that done.

There is a good possibility that you will get to see pictures before long.

Tonight, Ian, Jared, and Jesse are here so Jere and Kristen are free to take Jana for a test at the Lancaster General Hospital early tomorrow morning. Continue to pray for Jana and her doctors. They are still puzzled as to why she is having serious stomach pain.

6 (2)Tomorrow morning our granddaughter Elizabeth arrives to spend the Christmas celebrations with us.

Feeling Blessed

Last week one day my sister, Nancy, delivered a plate of cookies to us.

DSC_3217She and her daughters make the best cookies. My favorite are the sugar cookies (you can see one under the camel’s front foot) and the raisin filled to the left of the sugar cookie.

DSC_3422A few days later we found this fruit basket just inside our garage door.

DSC_3423These are packed by many from our church and delivered to church members and those in our community who are widows/widowers, ill, going through medical tests, needy, etc.

I print the box labels and am thanked with a fruit basket. 🙂

DSC_3426I took the contents out of the box so you can see everything.

Yes, we feel blessed.

A Vintage Christmas Tea

At Middle Creek Church of the Brethren

This morning

1It was fun to go to this inspiring tea with our daughter-in-law.

Thanks, Kristen, for inviting me.

2 (1)

2 (2)

2 (3)As I am posting this picture, I realize that I forgot to bring my hostess gift – the ribbon candy – home.

It makes me sad, because I wanted to take it along on our next road trip (tomorrow).

Oh, well I think we have enough sugary things packed.

2 (4)Our Tea Menu

White Grape Cherry Juice

Fresh Fruit Tray

Pepper Jam and Cream Cheese/Crackers

Ham and Cheese Quiche Florentine

Cheesecake Cranberry Bars

Double Chocolate Pecan Tassies

Coconut Scone

Rice Krispie Treat Cups

Hawaiian Turtle Cups

Assorted Teas and Coffee


2 (5)It was nice that we received recipes.

I think I will try the Cheesecake Cranberry Bars. (upper left).

They were DELICIOUS.

2 (6)The view from my seat.

The White Grape Cherry Juice is on the left.

2aLorraine pouring her juice.

2bI wanted to show our niece Dorretta that I wore the pretty scarf she gave me on Saturday night.

It was a hostess gift.

I expect that she crocheted it herself.

I love it!

3There was a pretty candle in the center of each table.

DSC_1198Diane shared an inspiring story of a creative mother during a Christmas past – when the family was facing tough times financially.

DSC_1202Enjoying the tea.

DSC_1204I think I remember someone mentioning that they were set up for 270 ladies.


DSC_1211Our table in the foreground.

DSC_1212Following the tea, Chasity led us in several Christmas carols.


DSC_1215Marci sang two Christmas songs that reminded us of the amazing grace of God in giving us His Son to be our savior.



DSC_1221Oh what a delight to listen to the sometimes funny, sometimes challenging message of Ruthie as she shared “Gifts of Grace.”

DSC_1226She brought six packages to illustrate her message.

DSC_1230Gift #1 – Forgiveness – a cherished gift from God – a wonderful gift from those we hurt.

Gift #2 – Sacrifice – God’s sacrifice for us – our bodies are a living sacrifice. The reward is joy and fulfillment.

DSC_1235Gift #3 – Pain – the God of all grace restores us and makes us strong through pain.

Gift #4 – Discipline – the rewards are maturity, wisdom, peace, and strength.

DSC_1236Gift #5 – Abide – In John 15 Jesus says, “Abide.” Stay with me. Walk with me. The rewards are love, peace, patience, and joy.

During this section I loved her version of “Footprints.”

It went something like this:

At the end of a faithful, Christian woman’s life, she and God were looking back over their footprints in the sand.

In the beginning of her walk with God – she noticed that God’s footprints were nice and straight and hers were all over the place.

Then as she learned to walk with God, her footprints became straighter and often fit right inside God’s larger footprints.

Then as they continued the journey, she saw a time where both of their footprints were all over the place, she became troubled, and asked God what that was all about.

“I can understand why my footprints weren’t straight, and didn’t always match Yours, but why weren’t Your footprints straight?

God said, “Oh, that’s when we were dancing!”

Staying with God brings joy.

DSC_1238Gift #6 – Claim the Promises – The Bible is full of promises. There are thousands of them for those who follow Jesus and believe that he is God’s son.

Come unto Me and I will give you rest.

Call unto Me and I will answer you.

Give and it shall be given to you, pressed down and overflowing.

If we confess our sins, God will forgive us.

Our hope comes from God.

…and I could go on and on and on.

She ended by challenging us to be open to receive and experience God’s many gifts of grace.

DSC_1239Connie closed the program by inviting everyone to some upcoming events at the church.

DSC_1241Thanks to everyone who put in many hours to give us the gift of a delightful, refreshing, early December morning.