Tuesday, June 30

A Pedicure for Mary!

Mary Joan had a lot of fun getting her nails painted today! Leonie caught Mary sitting in her favorite chair in the dining room and decided to give Mary a quick pedicure.

Once her nails were dry Mary couldn’t wait to show off her beautiful toes to anyone who asked to see them. She even modeled them to us by doing a catwalk!

The photo above is Mary Joan who is getting her nails painted. To the right is a close-up of her gorgeous feet!

Monday, June 29

June Collection

Red, White and Blue!

In just a few days the United States of America will be celebrating its 233rd birthday. And we’ve been busy getting ready to celebrate the holiday by making fun decorations! Today we took some time to make firecracker centerpieces for our dining room tables; and we had a blast. We told stories about the fun we had with fireworks when we were younger and had a few good laughs (we know some funny stories!). By the time we called it quits, we had made a beautiful bunch of red, white and blue patriotic crafts that will decorate the dining room tables for the rest of the summer!

Pictured above is Cleo who is working hard at making her firework craft!

Sunday, June 28

Happy Birthday, Leonie!

Today is Leonie Borden’s birthday! Leonie has always been popular with the ladies of Serenity because she loves to paint nails. You can usually catch Leonie giving manicures and pedicures, facilitating crafts and helping out all around Serenity. She has always been an amazing staff member and a great person to talk with. Happy birthday, Leonie!

Gone with the Wind

Bonnie goes for a spin around the courtyard at Serenity on a new scooter we have around the building.
She must be practicing for our upcoming float in Dilworth's Loco Daze parade!

Saturday, June 27

Where in the World?

Where in the world? On a sibling road trip, this brother and sister pair were spotted showing their Serenity pride in Flippin, Arkansas. Check out this humorous picture!

Friday, June 26

Guess Who

This lovely lady lives at Serenity. Do you think you know who it is? Take a ballot at the front of our building to make your guess.
The winner will be announced at the end of July with a $5.00 gift certificate to Cash Wise!
Last month's 'Guess Who' individuals was Claryce Stohle and our winner was Arlene Tangen!
Congratulations, Arlene!!

Tuesday, June 23

"Guten Appetit!"

The Black Forest is one of the most beautiful parts of Germany, with its rolling mountains, beautiful wildlife and breathtaking views. And just to get a taste of what the Black Forest has to offer, we planned a Passport Meal in southern Germany.

We kicked off the celebration by designing German Edelweiss Hats. We had a blast making all the hats with our favorite colors and even furnished them with feathers like the traditional Tyrolean Hats some Germans wear. It was fun for us to remember the old German sayings we had learned so long ago and to talk about Germany’s unique culture as well!

On Thursday, June 18th we enjoyed a German specialty called Zwiebelfleisch, which literally translates to onion meat. As you could probably guess, this dish is steak roasted with onions, therefore receiving its name. This main course was served over traditional German noodles as a side dish, and the famous Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte, or Black Forest Cherry Cake, was served for dessert. All these foods are deep-rooted in the Black Forest region in southern Germany and made for an especially delicious meal for all of us here at Serenity!

Pictured here is Florence who just finished her Zwiebelfleisch!

Passport Meals

Encountering different cultures can be a lot of fun, and here at Serenity we love to celebrate our differences! Every month we embark on a new journey with our friends to other places around the world through food, music and different cultures. The Passport Meal is a fun way for us to travel the world from our dining room and provides us the opportunity to try new, foreign cuisines. There are always fun photos, facts and other various trinkets to look at so we all learn a little about the new cultures we visit – and it’s always a lot of fun! With Passport Meals we cook up traditional meals from various parts of the world and celebrate the unique cultures with our taste buds!

Monday, June 22

Miss Minnesota (60 photos), by Denise Anderson

I'd like to share my Snapfish photos with you. Once you have checked out my photos you can order prints and upload your own photos to share.

Patriotic Fun

The Fourth of July is coming up and we’ve been busy making patriotic crafts to celebrate the holiday. Today we made creative sand crafts using vases and red, white and blue dyed sand. We layered the colors to make beautiful centerpieces for our dining room tables. They were a lot of fun to make and now we will enjoy them the rest of the summer.

And what would our Independence Day be without a lot of stars? We made colorful stars that are now hanging from the ceiling as decorations.

Last but not least, we painted patriotic placemats for our Independence Day meal. It was fun to stamp American flags, hearts and fireworks on all the placemats that will create a patriotic mood on the Fourth of July.

Take a look at these photos to see how busy we’ve been! Pictured above is Mary who is working diligently on her colorful stars and to the right is Sandy who is carefully making her festive centerpiece.

Monday, June 15

Let's Save The World!

Saving the world one piece of trash at a time seems difficult to accomplish; but when we take a look at the bigger picture, it all adds up. Here at Serenity we understand that keeping the environment healthy is a way to be a responsible part of the global community. It is because of this attitude that we take recycling very seriously. Every week we bring our plastic bottles, aluminum cans, glass jars, newspapers and many other recyclable materials to the recycling facility here in Dilworth. We believe that little things like this add up over time and we are trying to do our part to be a responsible organization that recognizes the value of a cleaner community.

(Source of the picture http://davidcoethica.files.wordpress.com/2009/04/recycle.jpg)

Guten Tag!

To many Americans, Germany is the land of delicious beer, excellent chocolate and divine cuisines. Sometimes we think of the Germans wearing their traditional Lederhosen, Dirndls and Tyrolean Hats. All these things make up a unique part of the German culture. This week we have decided to celebrate the German way of life by making Edelweiss Hats and enjoying a fine German delicacy.

Today we kicked off the week by designing our German Edelweiss Hats. We had a blast making all the hats with our favorite colors and even furnishing them with feathers like the traditional Tyrolean Hats some Germans wear. It was fun for us to remember the old German sayings we had learned so long ago and to talk about Germany’s unique culture as well. We will wear our creative hats on Thursday when the German fun continues!

On Thursday we will enjoy a German specialty called Zwiebelfleisch which literally translates to onion meat. The traditional dumpling noodles called Spaezle will be served to accommodate this delicacy as well as Scharzwaelder Kirschtorte (Black Forest Cherry Cake) for dessert. These foods are deep-rooted in the Black Forest region in southern Germany and will surely make an amazing meal for us here at Serenity!

Take a look at these pictures to see all the fun we had! Pictured above is Muriel who is modeling one of her hats and to the right is Arlene working diligently to finish one of her many hats (she made almost ten of them)!

Thursday, June 11

A Day For The Dogs

Josh Billings once suggested, “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” With this in mind, today we decided it was about time to show a little appreciation to the canines in our lives. We spent a portion of the afternoon making gourmet dog treats for our beloved dogs. It was fun for all of us to get our hands dirty by mixing the dough, rolling it out and cutting fun shapes out of it (such as dog bones)! We finally baked these treats and packed them up to give to our favorite dogs.

Aside from the fun gourmet dog treats, Hubert even made puppy cakes. These are cupcakes made especially for dogs! Hubert mixed apples, cheese, milk and many more healthy ingredients into this fun treat. And since Bentley is Hubert’s favorite dog we can all bet that Bentley will be spoiled in the next few weeks!

To get a glimpse of all the fun we had just take a look at these photos. Pictured above are Gen, Lois, Jodi and Mary who are getting ready to roll out the dough. To the right is Hubert who is creating the ideal puppy cake!

Diabetes Doesn't Stop for Rain...And Neither Do We!

It was cold and wet, but Tour de Cure was still a great success!

678 riders rose above the elements and decided to ride on! Riders were in good spirits and many pointed out that riding a day in the cold, soggy conditions is nothing compared to living a lifetime with diabetes. Thank you, Riders, for your dedication to the cause and your positive outlook--it truly is inspiring!

The 2009 Tour de Cure Twin Cities had 824 registrants, surpassing our goal of 750!

To our riders who attended, thank you for committment, dedication, and overall toughness!

To all of you, our work is not done! Donations received online or in our office by June 26 still count towards thank you gifts! Most importantly, these donations will help us reach our goals as we work to accomplish our important mission: to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

To The Cause,
Janeece Oatman

Wednesday, June 10

Jewelry Fun!

Jewelry is always fun to wear, and today we discovered that it is even more fun to make! Today we made beautiful bracelets and had a fun time just chatting with everyone as we made this enjoyable craft. Aside from the jokes, interesting conversations and just plain fun, we all loved the final products! The bracelets can be seen on wrists all over Serenity. Henrietta even made a necklace! Just take a look at these pictures to get a better understanding of the fun we had.

Pictured here is Henrietta with the beginnings of her necklace.

Monday, June 8

Mary's Kitchen

Debbie Fields once said, “I absolutely love making chocolate chip cookies. I mean, it’s fun. It’s exciting. Beyond the fact that I love making them, I love eating them.” As it turns out, our very own Mary Joan and Mrs. Fields have a lot in common! Mary spent some time baking delicious chocolate chip cookies today. She had a lot of fun being the queen of the kitchen and even tried on a chef’s outfit just for the fun of it. And once the cookies were finally done baking she couldn’t wait to taste her creations! Just check out these pictures of Mary to see all the fun she had!

If baking cookies (and eating them) sounds like a lot of fun to you, try the delicious recipe below!


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts


PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

SLICE AND BAKE COOKIE VARIATION: PREPARE dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies. * May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.

FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.

(Recipe adapted from http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/detail.aspx?ID=18476)


Many of us here at Serenity enjoy watching the birds come and go throughout the summer months. And just to make our flying friends stay a bit longer we decided it was time to build a few birdbaths! We rounded up a few birdwatchers and got to work.

First we carefully painted terra cotta pots and saucers with our favorite colors. After we were done painting we glued the pots to the saucers and then finished with a few touchups. We finally sealed them and now they are ready for the birds! You can come for a visit to see these creations or just take a look at the pictures here.

Above is a photo of Florence and Claryce working diligently to create a couple of the birdbaths. Henrietta, Lois and Muriel also fashioned some of
the beautiful creations!

Friday, June 5

Tour de Cure

Go team at Tour de Cure tomorrow! Denise Anderson and ‘Diabetes Outlook’ author, Quinn Nystrom, will be riding rain or shine on June 6th. The team has been raising money for month’s for Diabetes.

The event so far has raised over $100,000! Wow!! That money is sure going to make a difference in the fight against diabetes. Quinn is a speaker following the ride.

I will be making a shirt for this 25 miles bike ride next week. I’d like to put names of people who have diabetes on my shirt. Please come find Denise this week to get your name or someone else you know put on the shirt. I can’t wait to report back on this fun event!

Also on the diabetes home front, our usual author, Quinn Nystrom, is busy preparing for the event of the year...Miss Minnesota. The competition takes place over two days (June 19-20). Her platform is "Educate to Alleviate - Curing Diabetes One Step at a Time."

Quinn was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes at the age of 13 and her younger brother was diagnosed with the disease at the age of four. She has dedicated her life to doing everything in her power to help find a cure for diabetes. She believes that by educating the community you can not only help erase ignorance but gain more volunteers who can help raise money to find a cure.

We wish her the BEST of luck and will all be cheering for her back at Serenity. May the Lord bless her with grace, confidence and poise for the competition. We all love you, Quinn!

by Denise Anderson—Diabetes & Quinn Nystrom Advocate

Thursday, June 4

A Lip Smackin' Lunch!

Barbequing is one of the most anticipated aspects of summer for many Americans. It presents a time to enjoy friends, family, summer weather and (of course) delicious food!

Because Fargo knows that many of us here in the Red River Valley love barbequed ribs, it is hosting its annual Rib Fest this week. And after we heard about the “Lip Smackin’ Lunch Special” we just couldn’t resist. We loaded up two vehicles with anyone who didn’t mind getting their fingers dirty with a little barbeque sauce and headed to the Fargo Dome where Rib Fest was being hosted.

Upon our arrival we discovered that we were not the only ones looking for some good food (the place was busy!), but we soon collected our fair share of ribs. The delicious food was well complemented with two scrumptious side dishes and cold drinks. It was a tasty treat for everyone! Just take a look above at the picture of Hubert enjoying a juicy rib! To the right is a picture of Simone enjoying the warm day; and below is a group shot of the whole gang (with full bellies)!

Monday, June 1

Miss Midwest - Quinn Nystrom

Quinn writes a monthly column for Serenity Assisted Living. The column is centered around a different diabetes topic each month. But for this month, Serenity has asked her to write about how she got started competing for the Miss America Organization. Below is a great way to get to know Quinn Nystrom a little better.


I’m writing this column just three weeks before I compete for Miss Minnesota. To me, competing for this title has never been about strutting around in 4-inch heels and a bathing suit, but instead using the power of the crown to promote my personal platform of diabetes awareness. I know that win or lose, finding a cure for diabetes is my life’s mission.

Some people ask me why I compete. In September 1998 I sat with my mom and watched Miss America be crowned in Atlantic City. That year was a first for the pageant. The first ever Miss America was crowned with a chronic illness, her name was Nicole Johnson and she was a type-1 diabetic. At the time I had a little brother with diabetes and it was so inspiring for me to watch her achieve her ultimate dream, knowing that my little brother Will could do the same. Six months later I was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes. My world was shattered. I remembered back to when I saw Nicole be crowned and knew that even though my world as I knew it was over, that if Nicole could do anything she set her mind to, so could I.

Fast forward three years. I was selected as National Youth Advocate for the American Diabetes Association. I would spend my year speaking to over 70,000 people about diabetes. That was the year that I met Nicole. It was odd meeting someone who I had admired so much for so many years. She was so kind to me and took me under her wing.

In 2004 they were holding a Miss America preliminary pageant in my hometown of Brainerd. I was lobbying out in Washington, D.C. with Nicole and I told her about it. She said, “Quinn, you have to compete. I will send you my jewelry and dresses to choose from. I know you will win.” I laughed and told her that I had never performed a piano piece before an audience. She said that what mattered was that I had a voice and a passion in my heart to find a cure for diabetes and the rest would just fall into place. I stepped on-stage so nervous feeling like a complete fish out of water. I wore her Miss America Homecoming gown (see picture). I ended up winning that night.

I went on to spend 365 days being Miss Brainerd. When I walked into a classroom little girls would look right up to the crown and hang on to every word that came out of my mouth. That’s when I realized what the Miss America pageant was all about. It was not about the glitter and the glamour, it was about beauty is what beauty does. I met the granddaughter of a former Miss Brainerd. Cara was 5-years old at the time and a type-1 diabetic. Her Mom asked me if I would go out to lunch with them. As we were sitting at lunch I took my Miss Brainerd crown out to show Cara. She looked at me and said, “Wow! When I grow up I want to be just like you.” Her Mom took a picture of us, with Cara wearing the crown, and beaming ear to ear. As we were leaving her Mom told me that she keeps an album of diabetics that have lived their lives without limits to show Cara, and that she would put our photo in there. And at that moment I knew I had done what Nicole had done for me years before, show someone else that everything is possible, despite having diabetes. I went on to compete for Miss Minnesota 2005, and though I didn’t win, no one could take away the memories and the impact that I was able to make that year.

Now with just three weeks before I compete for my second chance at Miss Minnesota, I'm anxiously awaiting. Becoming Miss Minnesota is a dream of mine because it would get me that much closer to finding a cure for diabetes for people like my little brother Will, Cara, Nicole, myself, and the other 24 million Americans who live with this disease.

I know the fight to find a cure is formidable, some might say it’s impossible. But I will never stop working towards this goal. Diabetes may shorten my life, but it does not have the power to diminish it.

~Quinn Nystrom...Miss Midwest & Diabetes Advocate

Flower Power!

Flowers often have a healing power and creating pieces of art has a way of making us appreciate the small things in life. Today we were able to combine both of these when making our tissue paper flower arrangement. Florence and Henrietta took some time this afternoon to make a lovely bunch of flowers complete with petals, leaves and stems. These creations were then bunched together into a bouquet of beautiful pieces of art. It was fun to chat about perfect color schemes and to design the ideal flower arrangement. Just take a look at this picture of Florence and Henrietta with their lovely bouquet!

Another New Face

There is another new face being seen around Serenity lately. Kristen Huselid will be working here as a Personal Care Assistant. She chose to work at Serenity because of the amazing environment and the fact that everyone here is welcoming and friendly. Her favorite part of working at Serenity so far is just getting to know all the new faces and doing the fun activities. Kristen also insists that the food is awesome! That is probably why she is most looking forward to Casino Night coming up in July (there will be lots of goodies and games). Kristen is a current college student attending Concordia College in Moorhead and is double majoring in dietetics and exercise science. Welcome, Kristen!

Breakfast on the Farm

It was a big weekend in Hawley to kick off the city’s 50th Annual Rodeo Fest; and we couldn’t just let everyone else have all the fun. On Saturday morning we rounded up a few of us to go to “Breakfast on the Farm” which took place at the Hutterite Colony five miles west of Hawley. Hubert, Esther and Henrietta decided it was time to saddle up and enjoy the morning with hundreds of others who came to celebrate the occasion. Not only did we eat pancakes, sausage and eggs but we enjoyed all the various events that were happening all over the farm. There were horse and tractor rides for everyone, train rides for the children and many various booths set up to celebrate the occasion. Hubert especially enjoyed watching the kids ride around in carts behind the tractors! And once it was time to drive back home we all had the chance to talk about growing up on the farm as all three of those who came with on the trip had grown up on farms. It was an exciting way to start the weekend and an enjoyment for us all.

To get a better idea of our fun trip just take a look at this picture of Henrietta and Hubert as they enjoy their coffee at the “Breakfast on the Farm!”