Saturday, January 31, 2015

What Happens on a Cruise STAYS there

Mostly what happens on a cruise stays on a cruise but in this case things will have to be shared. Our very first night of the cruise we decided to go to the introductory show at the big theater. Gary and Nancy along with Mark and Cathy were a bit late and found seats all the way down at the front of the theater. The cruise director was asking for the oldest married couple and believe it or not Gary and Nancy have been married 52 years.
My goodness they must have gotten married when they were 10 years old. Shocking but they were the oldest married couple on board. The director called Gary up on the stage and started asking him questions. Gary was such a hit he had everyone in the crowd belly laughing. It didn't take long for the cruise director to realize he would be foolish to let Gary off the stage and kept him up there for about 20 minutes of the show. The next day we were telling some of our group who didn't make it to the show about Gary when Beth started asking random other guests if they had seen the show and if so what did they think of Gary, the oldest married man. Everyone affirmed, this man stole the show. As Gary and Nancy were walking out we kept hearing people exclaim as they saw them, "there's the star!"
Another funny man on the cruise was George. Now George didn't really want to go on this 'stupid cruise' but on Sunday George stands up and tells the group, "I don't want to hear any more about this 'stupid cruise' it's a WONDERFUL cruise!
 At dinner our tables were getting a little rowdy and we noticed George was not swinging his napkin around. When asked why, he states, "Hey, I'm a Christian, we don't DO that." When we all broke out laughing George picked up his napkin and started swinging.
In the picture below we are sure Wayne is asking mom if she was going to be taken away for breaking the law. Obviously Spark is defending her unless maybe he is telling on her. Mom was always breaking the rules, like stealing fruit off the ship and even imbibing in alcohol.  
She lost her head covering at Progresso and the last night ended up with a shot glass and a shot of apple whisky. We were trying to figure out how she could wear that as a hat instead. Now for the record she didn't order the drink and wouldn't taste it until her niece Evelyn and son-in-law Tim told her it was just apple cider. When she took a sip she was shocked to find out it really was alcohol. What was funny about that is Evelyn and Tim really did just think it was cider that had turned hard. We are such a bunch of country bumpkins!
Joan is usually the master of practical jokes but Beth played the best one on the trip. She swiped Marilyn's ship card out of her purse, gave it to Rhoda and told her to go into their room, open the safe and and hide everything in it (passports, money, and all their gaudy jewels). Of course Beth starts playing games with Patsy to make sure she has an alibi for the theft. 
 When Marilyn walked into her cabin she is shocked. She tells Beth, "this is really serious, we don't even have passports, why we won't even be able to get off the ship!" Beth was trying to keep a straight face and told her, "there is no way they will keep us on the ship, they would have to keep feeding us." Poor Marilyn was stuck  begging scraps from what mom was able to smuggle off the ship in the picture below.
Diane was in charge of John Honegger's clothes, we weren't sure why he would want her in charge of that since she lost all of his clothes on the trip up to Morris, MN. Below he is begging her to give him something other than sweats to wear for the day. 
Lee and Rhoda went shopping while visiting some of the towns in Mexico. At one point Rhoda must have wandered off and it didn't take long for Lee to panic. He started running from store to store frantically asking everyone, "has anyone seen Rhoda?" Below he is hanging on tight to her.
Disclaimer: Mom says she didn't steal fruit off the ship she made herself a bacon sandwich and that is what the dog found. Of course that must not have been allowed either for her to get into so much trouble. The other correction she wants me to make is to let everyone know she didn't sip the alcohol, she just tasted it with her tongue. Do we believe her?  On a good note she found her head covering, she is thankful it wasn't left at the sink hole in Progresso. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Wonderful Cruise Wonderful Trip

We arrived back from a most wonderful cruise right around midnight. That was the most fun cruise ever, we all agreed! Diane did a wonderful job organizing this and keeping all 43 of us in line and behaving. The standing schedule was walking at 7:00 am, breakfast at 8:00 am dinner at 6:00 pm singing at 8:00 pm. On the days at sea we met each morning for breakfast at the elegant dining room then headed up to the deck next to the volley ball and basket ball court. The guys and sometimes girls would play while the rest of us would be laying in the sun with a book reading or visiting with our neighbor. Sunday was our first day at sea, we met in the dining room for breakfast then held church at 10:00 am. The ship did not hold church services anywhere else so we ended up with a lot of visitors.
 Above people are coming into the room before the service. Mike Meister was our song leader and after singing a few songs, George Hoerr got up to give the sermon.
Our second day was the visit to Cozumel. Below we are meeting for instructions from Diane before getting off the ship.
 At Cozumel we watched the dolphin show, swam with the dolphins, swam with the manatee, watched the sea lion show, learned about the Mayan's and enjoyed the sunshine.

 After dinner we met in a room for our ususal singing but games were provided too. Below is a group of gamers playing scrabble and below that is a 4 some playing rook while the rest are singing and visiting.

 Our next day was a visit to Progresso. Even though we knew we weren't allowed to take food off the ship, mom decided to pack a lunch and got caught by the dog. They didn't throw her in jail or anything just took the food away. Leave it to mom to get our whole group in trouble!
 We had a guided tour to the Mayan ruins in Progresso which was great except the guide was a windbag and thought we wanted to hear him speak instead of exploring ourselves. By the time he finished telling us his life story we only had about an hour to see everything, not near enough time!
Above we are obediently following the guide learning about the ruins and below mom, Beth, and Betty are swimming in the sink hole. 
 The sink hole was beautiful clear clean fresh water so most of us took advantage of the chance to cool off in the refreshing water. We were blessed to have men with servants hearts on our trip. Below Mike is helping Gail dry her feet.
 The pyramid was steep but fun to climb with a big flat area up on top. Great for taking pictures of the rest of the ruins.

We all made it back to the ship in time for dinner on board and another night of singing.
Wednesday was a relaxing day at sea then Thursday was our long drive home. What a great trip.
This morning after the walk Emily and I moved a round bale in for Evan then teased and covered Anna, who is now in her foal heat, with Valiant. We were very pleased with how well Valiant behaved. He listened to Emily and walked up to Anna like a gentleman. What an amazing change from a couple of years ago. The colt is 10 days old today, when Karin arrived to help we brought him out for a few pictures for the website.

Emily has him leading and standing tied reasonably well. I can sure tell she has worked with him. He was well behaved. Rhoda and Emily came by with Ayanna and Killian so I had to get a few pictures of those 2 horses also.
Above is Rhoda riding Ayanna and Emily riding Killian, below is Emily & Killian and below that Rhoda & Ayanna. 

Both horses are doing very well and Karin was pleased. They are both going to be going to the IL Horse Fair the first weekend in March. The rest of the day was spent doing laundry. Philip came over to help Mark fix a leak in our hot water pipe so now we have hot water. Time to quit and head to bed.

Friday, January 23, 2015

No Famine Here

We arrived at the church parking lot just before 6:30 am, we would have made it sooner but mom turned all her lights out then found it was so dark she couldn't get out of her house so had to turn them back on again and off and on. We were lucky to make it in time. We pulled out just after 7:00 am once all the food was finally loaded onto the bus.

There was so much food brought on board there was no way to fit it up in the luggage rack and the food took up 2 full seats. We were thinking perhaps some of our first time cruiser thought maybe food wasn't provided on the boat. Almost everyone brought oranges or cuties, there were over 200 of them packed for our small group of 41. Mark Kieser was the first bus driver then Tim took over after lunch. Mike Meister told us stories of his volunteering in New Orleans during Mardi gras. Soon the song books were taken out along with the instruments.

We arrived at the hotel in Jackson, MI right at 5:00 pm, checked in and met everyone down in the lobby for dinner. The hotel put on a nice spread. After dinner a bunch of us met at the hot tub then back in the lobby for games. The party is still going strong but I've been up since 3:30 am and am now heading to bed. Breakfast will be served at 7:00 and we are to be back on the bus by 8:00 am to finish our trip to the cruise boat. It is safe to say none of us are hungry and all are having a good time.

Cruising Toward the Sunshine

This will be the last post for about a week, unless the cruise ship we will be traveling on has a special on internet use. I'm too cheap to pay the regular price.  Diane organized this cruise for us poor hard workers in Illinois. I say poor because this is a cheap vacation. Somehow Diane always knows how to find the bargains. We get to cruise the Caribbean stopping at Cozumel and Progresso for under $400.00.  The word of this cheap vacation was put out at our Peoria church and by Tuesday the entire boat was filled to capacity of 2000 guests on board. (disclaimer: our group is only 43 souls) The Berean bus will be leaving from the church parking lot at 6:30 am today.
Emily is staying home and will be taking care of the horses and dogs. Thankfully the weather here is predicted to be above freezing for the week we are gone. This makes it much easier for Emily when she doesn't have to worry about frozen waterers and high snows. All emails and phone calls will be answered after we get home on the 30th.
We are praying for warm weather and SUNSHINE!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Willing Workers

We are having above normal temperatures, just no sun for the last few days. Today we reached the high 30s but most of the time was spitting a damp cold mist.
We had a lot of mail today and not a huge group of helpers but the volunteers we had were all good workers and we were able to finish by noon. Below Eva Jean starts right to work on opening the piles.
 Emily is entering the studies on the computer while Eva Jean opens the studies. Diane and Rachel are reading letters. Diane R came just a bit later and took Diane H's job on reading letters so Diane could work on labeling the studies with Maddi.
 Aunt Bernie was called for more Bible stamps, she ran them down here then took home another big box of studies for her grand daughter to grade.
 Below Emily, Wesley and Dillon are holding the labels for the Bibles. They got right to work and were almost able to finish. We were 16 Bibles short. Sixteen prisoners are not going to get their much anticipated Bible this week.
 Below the 2 Dianes are sitting on one side of the table stamping envelopes while Maddi, Eva Jean and Rachel are stuffing envelopes.
We decided to eat at Tyroni's in Bartonville after taking the Bibles to the post office there. After lunch I picked up a few groceries at Sams for the bus trip tomorrow and when I got back to the farm Karin was already here cleaning up the arena and getting Darryl the barrel moved out of the stall into the arena. The IL Horse Fair release forms were printed off and given to Emily to get the vaulter's parents to sign. We still need to get the Friesian riders to sign. Our exciting news is Emily has entered Killian in the Liberty class at the IL Horse Fair.
She is going to have Rebekah help with the music for that. Killian is such a goofy horse. He likes having braids, he swings his head from side to side to make them swing, much like a blond with lots of hair.
Anna's colt is doing wonderful. All the vaulters came in to see him and pet him today. They marveled at his thick winter coat. Isn't it amazing how a foal in the winter is born with a thick warm coat. His coat feels like thick plush velvet.
I'm heading to bed, we are leaving for a cruise tomorrow morning early.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Fuzzy Fat Foal

After the walk Anna dropped off Braelyn, Taegan and Kensley for some grandma time. We had a ball making forts, playing the piano and the rocking game, where all 4 of us sit on the rocking chair singing rock-a-bye baby then either Braelyn or Taegan gets knocked gently off the chair. Once they girls were picked up it was time to get a few pictures of Anna's colt for the web site. He is 24 hours old in the pictures below. He is such a fuzzy fat funny foal trying to figure out those long long legs.
 He is doing very well, such a big strong colt and following his mama close enough that she wasn't too nervous having him outside.
Karin arrived to work the mares, Ayanna was pulled out first. Below Karin is cantering her in the indoor. 
Jessie, one of the riders from Monday came back today to help Karin work the other mares but I needed to get busy doing laundry so didn't get any pictures but I'm sure it all went well.  Mark stayed in town as he had to work late so just met us at church tonight. Craig Stickling had the service opening first to Zechariah chapter 14, when  he read the second verse:  For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Craig stopped reading for a minute and had us think of what if this was written about the city of Peoria and happening to our families.
The second opening was First Timothy chapter 1. This chapter has so much written but one of the things Craig said was religion tries to take a bad man and make him good where Christianity takes a dead man and makes him alive!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

He's Here!

Anna was checked this morning and for the first time she was waxing, so she was put in a paddock by herself for the morning. The plan was to use the foaling predictor kit for tonight and hopefully she was far enough along that I would just stay at the apartment. When we left for work she was eating her hay as comfortable as could be. We had a good crew at Berean, Below is Mark discussing news with Shirley and below that are just a few of the 30,000 labels Diane ordered.

 Above Emily and Rhoda are wrapping Bibles and below are Eva Jean, Shirley, Diane and Joyce opening the studies, and reading letters.
We got everything done by 1:00 pm and then headed for home to check Anna. When we pulled up at the apartment and looked over there was a foal standing next to Anna. She had delivered outside, the foal was up and already had nursed. Emily helped move them into the stall. Below are a few pictures of this big strong colt by Valiant.

 Karin arrived to admire him. 
Rhoda and Karin had heard about Killian's behavior with Emily yesterday and since we were all there we asked Emily to bring him back out to show them how he plays with her. He waits for her to start running them follows behind having a ball bucking.

 When he was done Emily put his hood back on. He really doesn't like the hood but it stops him from rubbing his mane off.  He looked so funny waiting for her to get it over his eyes.
Next  up to be worked with was Ayanna. 

Karin round penned her then rode her but later asked Emily if she would ride her and give her input as far as Ayanna working out for the Spring show. We were pleased with how she behaved, she just has such a huge trot that she isn't suitable for a beginner.
The colt was checked on and he is nursing well. Emily made a big pan of cheeseburger soup and shared it with mom, Mark and me for dinner. Spark & Rhonda picked Diane, Sarah R and me up for choir Joan served at choir tonight so drove separate. We had a good practice and a great lunch!