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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Celebrating Another Milestone

The first couple of days this week have been all about Reagan. She started Kindergarten! Monday was an orientation during which Lindsay accompanied her, so it wasn't a real first day of school. :)

Hard at work in KgartenBut, we celebrated anyway with a trip to one of the fantastic parks we have in this area.

Some time at the park P1130693 P1130698 Even Nana got into the funThis particular park is fairly new; I believe it's just a year old or so. It was specially designed for kids with special needs. It's open to all kids, but the accessibility is perfect for kids who need a little help. What a great thing!

There's also a beautiful stage area next to a pond. Reagan was completely at home up there on the stage. No surprise there, huh? :)

Her very own stage

P1130704Yesterday was the big deal – Reagan got on the bus and went to school. All. By. Herself. But, it wouldn't be a “Reagan event” without a little fanfare, now would it? Randy and I got to the house so we could be part of this momentous occasion. The requisite first-day-of-school pictures were taken in front of the house and then it was on to the bus stop. Complete with video by Daddy.

Hamilton Family - First day of school 2011 With Pop and Nana Walking to the bus stop

Reagan was so dang excited about riding the bus.

There it is!

Her mom? Not so much. But, Lins did great – no tears at all. At least not then. I think a few might have been shed later when she got together with a friend for coffee. And that's okay. Even exciting milestones can be a bit traumatic for mommies.

Watching your kids, or grandkids, meet new challenges or milestones in their lives is such a neat thing. The pride in their eyes as they master new things brings joy to this grandmother's heart. And this week has been no different.

Randy and I are proud of our kids and grandkids. Each of them hold a very special place in our hearts. And we feel privileged to be in their lives.

Until the next time . . .

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irene – No Big Deal Here

We are grateful that all of our family came through Hurricane Irene unscathed. Yes, we had some power outages, but that was about the extent of it. The rain and winds were not bad at all, at least in York, PA area. I know the Baltimore, MD area got hit worse than we did.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to those along the East Coast for whom the weather was much worse. It's got to be horrible to have to leave your home, not knowing what you will come back to afterward.

Tomorrow life gets back to normal, whatever that is. :) We've settled back into our routine, although we are still catching up on DVR'd shows. Reagan starts kindergarten tomorrow, so that's pretty cool. We'll be celebrating that, I'm sure.

Otherwise, it's back to Curves in the morning for me. Randy's got things to do around the RV. Yep, the routine of life is back. And I like that.

Until the next time . . .

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hershey Park Happy (Catching Up, Part 2 :)

There was no rest for the weary as we were up and at it Friday morning. A trip to Hershey Park with Jason, Lindsay & Reagan was on the agenda for the afternoon. We also needed to do laundry, so it was off to Lindsay's about 9:30am.

Once I got the second load of laundry into the dryer, it was time to take off for Hershey. We had been trying to get to the park all summer, but it seemed like “life” kept getting in the way. The tickets had been purchased earlier in the summer, so we really didn't want to let them go to waste.

While it was pretty darn crowded, the weather wasn't too bad. The temps were in the 80s and it was partly cloudy, so we got some respite from the sun. Randy & I were not up for many rides, other than a couple with Reagan, so we just enjoyed watching the kids have a good time. Gosh, are we getting old???? Nah, we were just still recuperating from our two day, 1200 mile trip that we'd just gotten home from the day before!

A few pictures to show the fun . . .

Day at Hershey Park She's a Reese's PB Cup Little Girlie's having fun There they go! WooHOOO! Pop and his Girlface Pop, Nana & Reagan at Hershey

When we got back to Jason & Lindsay's about 9pm, my folks were there. They live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and were under a mandatory evacuation order. So, they are staying with the kids this weekend. It was good to see them and spend some time with them. The only time I've seen them since we got back in May was at my sister's Fourth of July picnic.

Finally, our long three days caught up with us and it was time to go home. Lots of hugs and we were out the door.

We both slept in a bit this morning, going on 8am. That's late for us. We just chilled at home, catching up on the shows we'd DVR'd while in Kansas. (It's gonna take us awhile to watch all of them!) This afternoon we went back to Lindsay's to visit with my folks a bit more. We decided to go to TGI Friday's for an early dinner.

That's it. You're all caught up. Are you thrilled?!?! :)

Until the next time . . .

Whew! Lots to Catch Up On!

After a couple of days at Sam's parents' home, it was time for us to get in the truck and head east – back to our home that was waiting for us in PA. About 8:30 Wednesday morning, we said our good-byes amid some tears (me) and hugs (everyone) and we started our 1200 mile journey.

Our destination for Wednesday was just east of Indianapolis, to a LaQuinta. Figured it would be about 11 hours on the road. I was a bit off, we arrived about 8pm or so and were just beat. There was a Cracker Barrel next door to the hotel, which was great. We scarfed down our dinner – really fast, apparently, because the waitress commented on it! But, we hadn't eaten since about 11 that morning and were definitely hungry. We spent a good night at the hotel (we really like LQ) and again got back on the road about 8:30am.

We were looking forward to our drive on Thursday for two reason; first, it should have been a short day of just nine hours or so. Second, we were meeting Deb & Rod Kendall for brunch!!! We haven't seen them since we first met back in the winter of 2009 in Rockport, TX. So excited about that.

The first snag came just west of Columbus and about 45 minutes from our meeting place with Deb & Rod. Traffic came to a dead stop – I mean, dead. Nothin' was moving. I called Deb to say they probably ought to just go on, but great folks that they are, they said no way. They'd wait for us. Okay . . .

We finally decided to get off I-70 and take a side road around the traffic, thanks to Deb's suggestion. We just never think about doing that because when we're towing, we just put up with traffic 'cause getting off can lead to some unpleasant surprises. But, this time it worked out great. We got past the back-up, back on the road and were at the Flying J where Deb & Rod were within 20 minutes. Better late than never? :)

We had a great meal with Deb & Rod and it was over much too quickly. Due to our being so late, we couldn't hang around too long. They needed to continue their westbound trip and we had at least five more hours to go to get home. So, it was hugs and “see ya laters.”

Deb & Rod Kendall

But, as Randy commented as we left, we sure do wish we could spend more time with Deb & Rod. They are fabulous!

Our drive was going well until we were well into PA and the rainstorm hit. And rain, it did. Sheesh! That slowed us down some. After a quick stop at Arby's for a take-out meal, we got home about 9pm. Definitely not the nine hours I thought we'd spend on the road!! But, oh my! How fantastic it was to be home!!

More to share in another post, just too much for one!

Until the next time . . .

Monday, August 22, 2011

More Baby Fun

We've had a wonderful time loving on AubreyLynn this past weekend. She is a sweet baby and a great sleeper. She did give us a bit of a rough time the last couple of nights, keeping us up while trying to figure out how to stay asleep. :) But, that's a new baby!

Today we followed Kevin and Sam to Sam's parents' home. We'll stay here for the next couple of nights and then we'll head back to PA. Donna and Steve (Sam's parents) have been very gracious in welcoming us into their home.

Kev and Sam decided AubreyLynn needed a sponge bath tonight. Well, AL wasn't thrilled with that idea at all. :) But, her parents persevered and now we have a clean baby.

Checking the water Really not happy now! P1130625 All done! Until the next time . . .

Friday, August 19, 2011


At less than 48 hours old, AubreyLynn came home. Amazes me how fast moms and babies are sent home these days. But, both Sam and AL were deemed healthy and told they were clear for going home.

About 1:45 this afternoon, the door opened and there they were!!

They're home!

Kevin & Sam left here Tuesday evening a couple and came home this afternoon a family. And a very happy family, too. :)

The rest of the day has been spent introducing Konig, their Great Dane, to his “baby sister,” as Kevin calls her. Konig has not been very impressed, I must say. But, he's sniffed her and checked her out a bit.

Introducing Konig to AL Family picture - but not a great oneWe've also just hung out, watching AubreyLynn sleep, eat, poop, and fuss a bit. However, she is a very quiet baby; at least right now she is.

Sleeping girl Apparently, Nana is taking way too many pictures!! :)

No pictures, please!

I'm sure we'll have a low key weekend. On Monday, AL has to go back to the doctor for a recheck. Then, all of us will head a couple hours' east to Westphalia, Kansas to visit with Sam's mom and dad. Kevin & Sam will stay for the week, while Randy and I will stay for a couple of days, then head further east to PA.

Until the next time . . .

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Introducing . . . AubreyLynn Rae Guiler!

This afternoon, at 2:25pm, our third grandchild, AubreyLynn Rae Guiler, was born at Ft. Riley, KS. She weighed in at 7 pounds, 5.5 ounces and was 19 inches long. She even has hair!! That's a mean feat in our family – we usually have bald babies. :)

Of course, she is one of the most beautiful babies ever born, but you knew that, didn't you???

Samantha was a real trouper – she endured some form of labor since Saturday afternoon. We went to the hospital twice yesterday, just sure they would admit her as she was experiencing regular, fairly strong contractions. But, it wasn't until midnight last night that everything came together for the doctor to finally say she should be admitted.

Randy & I stayed, along with Sam's folks, Steve & Donna, at the hospital until almost 3am when Sam and Kevin were settled in for the night. Randy & I were back up at 6:30 to get ourselves ready and out the door a little before 9:00. Steve & Donna went on ahead of us as we had to take care of the dogs before we could leave for the day.

We all decided that AubreyLynn (or AL as I call her) has inherited a double dose of stubborn from both her parents. :) She sure took her good time deciding she was ready to make her appearance. But, when she did, she did it quickly! The midwife had turned away for a minute; then Sam laughed and out came AL!!

Needless to say Samantha & Kevin are overjoyed with their baby. As are her grandparents. Sam's brother, Jake, and sister, Casey, made the more-than-two hour trip from their home southeast of Ft. Riley so they could meet their niece. AubreyLynn is Steve & Donna's first grandbaby. And they are ecstatic.

Here are a couple of pictures. Not the best angles sometimes, but you get the idea. I'm sure I'll get more tomorrow. Just run the cursor over the picture for the caption. 

AubreyLynn Rae Guiler Sam & AubreyLynn Proud Daddy Gpa & Gma Ernest with AL She's got hair! Admiring the newest Guiler Nana and AL

Thank you all for your prayers, encouragement and support of Kevin and his family. We continue to covet your prayers for this young family as they begin this next phase of life.

Until the next time . . .

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Still No Baby

Today is the due date that Baby Girl Guiler (AubreyLynn Rae, to be precise) is to make her appearance. However, as most of us know, those dates are just estimates and these babies come whenever they dang well please. :) Much the same as kids often do as they are growing up! This baby is just letting her parents know what to expect once she does make her debut!

But, we decided to try to help her along by having Samantha do a bit of walking. Last night the four of us went to the mall and walked around a bit. Then, this morning, we fortified ourselves with a late breakfast at Cracker Barrel before doing some shopping (which meant Sam had to do more walking!). After hitting the barbershop (for Kevin), the PX, a local farm store, and Walmart, Sam was ready to come home. She was done!

Unfortunately, that baby is still very content where she is. Guess we just have to wait.

And while we are waiting, Randy & Kevin are going to set up DISH satellite. Up 'til now, the kids have not had TV. Sam's folks are letting them piggyback on their account so they'll have TV. Isn't that nice? We are also helping them organize the RV a bit in order to maximize the room they have in order to accommodate the little one.

Just doing what we can to bide the time until the princess decides to arrive.

Oh! And lots of folks have been asking for pictures of Sam and the baby bump, so here are a couple, as well as one of Kevin & Sam.

Kevin & SamP1130584

I told Sam she had to smile in this one. :)P1130586

And lastly, a tired Samantha after all that walking & shopping.P1130587 Until the next time . . .

Thursday, August 11, 2011

LIVE from Milford, Kansas!

Need to catch y'all up on our week thus far. Hasn't been exciting, but I know our readers have just been sitting out there in blogland anxiously awaiting to hear from us! (Yeah, I don't really believe that – my ego hasn't gotten THAT big yet!). :)

Anyhow. Randy & I left Pennsylvania at 7am on Monday. We were looking at ten hours of drive time, wanting to get to Terra Haute, IN for our stop for the night. And we made it. No problems. We arrive a little before 7pm at the Super 8 motel. (Yeah, we are big spenders!) One of the draws for this motel is that they are pet-friendly. Randy got carry out from a Steak N Shake that was across the street and we settled in for the night.

Tuesday morning we were back on the road before 8am, having another eight and a half hours of driving ahead of us. We stopped for breakfast in Greenville, Illinois at a local diner called Lu-Bob's. :) It was everything a local diner should be. And the food was pretty tasty, too.

We arrived at Kevin & Sam's about 5:00 or so Tuesday evening. We'd had a good trip, but were definitely ready to get out of the truck. :)

Sam and Konig, their Great Dane, met us at the door. Kevin was still at work. He finally left us know he was leaving about 7:00. We decided to meet him for dinner at Subway. We were all starving at that point.

It was so good to hug that boy! We hadn't seen him since we left Kansas last November. He looks so good, having gained some weight back that he desperately needed. It was fun to see him and Sam together. We were very lucky to have any time with him as he was going “into the field” on Wednesday. As a matter of act, he left very early Wednesday morning – at 3:15am!!

We haven't done a lot the last couple of days. I've been to Curves the last couple of mornings. Sam & I went grocery shopping yesterday. Today the three of us have been cleaning and readying the RV for the baby girl. :)

I'm sure the weekend will be jam-packed because Kevin will be home. Who knows what may come up!

Until the next time . . .

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Our Next Adventure

Remember that post I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how nice it is that life is slow and unexciting? Well, that sure didn't last long! :)

We just spent a week watching our granddaughter, Reagan, while her parents celebrated their tenth anniversary with a trip to California. It was a great week, but sure did remind me of why we need to have our kids in our 20s, not our 50s!! :)

Now, we are readying ourselves to leave tomorrow on a long, two-day drive to Ft. Riley, KS. Our third grandchild is due to make her arrival in a week or so! We had planned to wait until she was born to go out, but Kevin asked us to come early. His unit is going out in the field for some training and he is concerned about Samantha being alone this close to her due date. Well, how could we say no to that? So, off we go again.

We are not towing the rig this time because we can travel much quicker without it. It's a 1200 mile trip, so with the RV, it would take us three to four days of traveling back-to-back which is NOT the way we like to travel. We will be going back out in October for an extended stay.

As those of you who full-time know, it's tough to pack for a trip without the RV. We normally travel with our “house,” so there's no need to pack! But, this time we have to think about all those little things that need to go along for a two week trip. Ugh. And the truck's back seat will be filled to the brim which makes us look a bit like the Beverly Hillbillies when they first arrived in Beverly Hills! :)

That's okay. All of that is worth being able to be there when the little one makes her debut. We are excited for Kevin & Sam; they are about to start their own great adventure.

That's it from Dover, PA. My next post will be from Kansas! Until the next time . . .

Friday, August 05, 2011

Days 4, 5 & 6

Let me tell, if this is the toughest gig I ever get – I'm one happy girl!! This is the last day of our “Reagan Watch” and it has been a piece of cake. Not that I'm biased or anything, but Reagan really is a great kid. She has her opinions (wonder where the heck she got THAT!?!?!!) but that's okay. She's growing up and should be able to express herself.

Wednesday (Day 4) was a fairly laid back day. We had talked about going to a movie, but Reagan just wanted to hang out in her jammies for the morning. Of course, she didn't get an argument from Randy or me!! :) In the afternoon Reagan and I went to AC Moore (an arts & crafts store) for their free craft hour. This is such a neat thing – every Wednesday during the summer they offer a free craft for kids.

Yesterday (which would be Day 5) we were a bit busier. Randy & I had to drive into Harrisburg to take care of some financial stuff, so that's how we started our morning. Reagan was a trooper and played on her iPod and also sang along with the songs she has on it. Nothing like being serenaded by an almost-six-year-old! :)

After we got our business done, we were headed to the bowling alley! One of the alleys in the area offers cheap rates on Monday and Thursday – just $1.50/game. Well, wouldn't you know it, that alley was hosting a seminar and had no open bowling. There is another alley close by that is affiliated with this one so they sent us there. I asked if they offered the same deal and was told they do.

You know what's coming now, don't you?? :)

Yep! The other alley DID NOT offer the same deal. Figures. I was a bit annoyed – both with the misinformation and the assistant manager's attitude about it. But, we sucked it up and paid the $2.75 per game. What the heck – it's only money!!

We did have a great time, though. Just watching Reagan squeal and have a blast is good enough for me. It's funny watching a little one handle those ten pin bowling balls! (Sorry the pics are blurry – I’m not great with the phone camera.)

Bowling! Great form

We bowled one game (Randy won that one and he doesn't even like to bowl!); had some bowling alley hot dogs for lunch; and then Reagan and I bowled a second game. I did manage to win that one, but for awhile it was close!

Needless to say we were all tired and ready to come home after our foray into the bowling world. We just vegged the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Today Reagan has been invited for a playdate at her friend, Logan's, house. How nice is that? She's gonna have lunch there and play in Logan's pool and just have a good time. I'm sure she's ready for a break from Pop and Nana. Old people aren't fun all the time!

Very late tonight, Jason & Lindsay will be sneaking in the house. It will be a wonderful way for Reagan to wake up tomorrow. She's ready for her daddy and mommy to be home, I think.

But, it's been a great privilege for Randy & me to spend this time with Reagan. Grandkids are the best.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Day 3

Well, I guess it's really just Day 2 of our Adventures in Babysitting. Yes, we started on Sunday, but yesterday Jason's mom, Karen, relieved us for about 24 hours while she had some one-on-one Reagan time. So, we cleared out about noon yesterday and came back about 11am today.

Reagan and her Grammy had a great time together. This is one loved little girl. And I am grateful that she is!

And so far, so good. Reagan really is an easy one to care for. She is just busy. But, much of her busyness is just needing to create. She LOVES crafts, just like her mom. Lindsay was great in preparing for this time, too. She put together a Bag O'Goodies for Reagan (and me!) that would engage Reagan and give me some down time. :) Gotta love my organized daughter!

Anyway, we are doing well. Tomorrow we have a couple of things we can do – go to the dollar theater to see “Open Season 3” in the morning and then, in the afternoon, go to AC Moore for their children's craft time. We'll see what we actually do.

Jason & Lins are checking in daily from CA. They are having a blast in wine country. It's wonderful to see them enjoying themselves.

Until the next time . . .