Only Love Can Drive Out Hate

You’ve got to be taught To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
 
You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a different shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
 

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late, Before you are six or seven or eight, To hate all the people your relatives hate, You’ve got to be carefully taught!

This song is from “South Pacific” and I have been thinking about it a lot this weekend.  Aren’t the words amazing?  They often give me chills since they are so insightful of how many people feel.  Whether someone is taught to feel a certain way, grows up hearing how awful others are, learns on their own, or decides to hate, it is still wrong and needs to stop.

Those who don’t hate must stand up against it.  Instead of hate, we must show love and that all of us are special, all of us are worthy of love, and all of us matter.  After the shock of this homegrown terrorism and hate, I am trying to make some sense of it.  And, I can’t.  I don’t understand wanting to beat up or kill someone who thinks differently than I do.  Or looks different than I do.

Instead, I want to chat with different people and find out about them, their interests, their loves, their struggles, and what means something to them.  I want to show love and kindness instead of the hate and violence that we saw this weekend.  And so does Ian.  Above he is pictured with one of his dear friends.  We were being arty with the photo.

The people behind the Charlottesville, Virginia, violence are involved in groups that have been around for years and have spread hate and racism for far too long.  The KKK’s mission is to harm, beat, intimidate, scare, terrify, lynch, and kill African-Americans.  The Nazis wanted to annihilate all Jews and make them cease to exist. They tortured them, tore them from their families, made them starve, destroyed their homes, property and livelihood, and gassed them to death.

And yet people still want to be involved in these groups?  They want to belong, and carry out the mission to bring harm to others, just because?  What the?  I am sickened and saddened to think of all of the people who have been harmed and killed by such evil.  I am touched that so many fought and died to make changes and try to stop these acts.  I am saddened that people feel that these are still good groups to join.

I just don’t get it.  I truly cannot relate to this level of hatred toward one’s fellow man.  After all, we are all human, all created equal, and all equally loved by our creator.  So, how is this hate possible?  How can someone loathe others so deeply and so violently?  How can people cause such harm, suffering, and loss to others?

Thankfully, I was taught the value of everyone and had friends of different shades, different races, and different religions.  I learned from them and loved them.  And, I am thankful that Ian’s friends are all colors of the rainbow.  He likes them for their personalities and that he has fun with them not anything external about them.

The title of this blog is in reference to a quote by the amazing civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only love can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Dr. King knew that demonstrations could and should be done, but in a peaceful manner without harm to others.  He spoke many times of dreams and hopes for the future.  He spoke of love, caring, and compassion and knew that hate wouldn’t get us where we need to be.

The full quote by Dr. King is “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.  Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.  Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

My hope and prayer is that we can come together at this difficult time of our country and stand together.  That we can realize we have more in common than not.  That we are all colors of a lovely rainbow.  That we can learn from different faiths and different ways of life.  That we can love and not hate.  That we can have peace and not violence or war.

People and Memoirs Fascinate Me

Over the last few years, I have been reading a variety of memoirs.  I have learned about some fascinating people — Dick Van Dyke, Lisa Welchel, Sir Elton John, Robin Roberts, Lauren Graham, Trevor Noah, Alan Cumming, Julie Andrews, Carol Burnett, and a biography about Dean Martin written by his daughter.

I am looking forward to a few more that I will be reading soon.  I have two books that Robert Wagner has written and a memoir by Ricky Martin.  I also want to read one about Amy Silverstein and her recent battle with cancer. I will have to buy that one.

All of these people I have enjoyed and have been entertained by. They all meant something to me and I watched them or listened to them growing up or more recently have found out about them. I liked learning about the real person behind the public persona.

Each book was unique, as is each person.  Each one had a slightly different take on life and what was discussed.  Some were funny, some were inspiring, and some were sad.  I laughed, I cried, and through each, I have learned more about people.

People do intrigue and fascinate me.  I enjoy learning what makes them tick, what they are passionate about, where they come from, what they believe, and about their childhood and own family life. I like hearing how others deal with life’s ups and downs, and joys and sorrows.

Here are a few thoughts on everyone who I have mentioned.

  • Dick Van Dyke — So funny and so positive.  I smiled while reading this book and have always liked him.  From Mary Poppins to Diagnosis Murder, and many other projects, I have enjoyed watching him sing, dance, and act. He makes me happy.  I hope that when I grow up, I can have as positive an outlook on life as his is.
  • Lisa Welchel — I loved her as Blair on the Facts of Life.  She was great at that part and I enjoyed the entire run of the show.  Finding out about her own family and her Christianity was interesting and full of fun stories and her memories.  I like that she is still acting and enjoyed a recent Hallmark movie that she starred in with Kim Fields.
  • Elton John — Love his music and his generosity and all he has done for the fight against AIDS and HIV.  It was a real and very ugly battle and I thank people like Sir Elton John for helping those suffering from it and their families and friends.  His friendship with Ryan White was very touching.  Honestly, I cried several times while reading this one.
  • Robin Roberts — I have watched her on Good Morning America each morning for years and years.  I remember her battle with breast cancer and then the blood disorder she had.  She is so strong and a role model.  She showed grace and class through these battles and taught us so much about the suffering she and others go through.  I love her idea of turning your mess into a message.
  • Lauren Graham — She is funny, my age, and will always be remembered as Lorelai Gilmore.  Her book mentioned filming the original series as well as the recent reboot, which I still haven’t seen.  Darn not having Netflix.  Can someone please let me know what happened?  Or how I could watch it?  It was fun to read about how much this character and all of the characters on that show meant to her.  And to read about the other parts of her career and personal life.
  • Trevor Noah — I was intrigued by the title, “Born A Crime” and was so glad that I read this book.  It is quite a look into growing up as a mixed race child and young person. He was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Can you imagine?  He paints a very colorful picture of growing up in South Africa.  He is now a comedian and hosts a popular show.
  • Alan Cumming — His memoir called “Not My Father’s Son” was one of the most well-written books I have read in a while.  It had a mystery, happiness, and sadness.  All emotions were on display as he talked about his abusive childhood at the hands of his father and how it has affected his entire life.  I was touched profoundly by all that he shared.  I have liked him on television (The Good Wife and the voice on Masterpiece Mysteries), movies (among them Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion), and knew he was on Broadway in Cabaret.
  • Julie Andrews — Amazing voice, amazing talent, and pure class.  I loved her as Maria in The Sound of Music, as Mary Poppins in that movie, and in the Princess Diaries.  I cannot count the times I have been singing at full voice along with her.  When she could no longer sing, I was heartbroken but happy that she is still doing other items.  She has written books with her daughter and is working on other projects.
  • Carol Burnett — The funniest woman around and a trailblazer.  I used to love watching her variety show.  The funniest ever was the sketch when she was Scarlet from Gone With The Wind wearing the curtain and curtain rod.  “I saw it in a window and just had to have it.”  Cracks me up every time I see it or think about it.  Along with the laughter, she talks about the death of her daughter Carrie Hamilton.
  • Dean Martin — Amazing songs, movies, and a part of the Rat Pack.  He had major issues that he dealt with such as drinking and other things but still worked hard and entertained many, many people.  His daughter writes a glowing but real book about her dad.  Favorite songs of his are “That’s Amore,” “Ain’t That A Kick in the Head,” and “Sway.”
  • Robert Wagner — When I was younger, I thought he was the most handsome man and every girl’s dream.  As Darling Jonathan on Hart to Hart, he showed what a happy marriage was, what a loving hubby could be, and how to solve mysteries.  I have liked him for years, for all the things he has worked on in Hollywood, and his most recent stint as Anthony DiNozzo Sr.  Kirk and I watch reruns of Hart to Hart and I enjoy them as much as I did as a child.
  • Ricky Martin — Heart throb and such a great singer and dancer.  I remember when he played Miguel on General Hospital.  He did a great job on that show in the 1990s.   Before that, he a member of Menudo.  I always have to dance when I hear “Livin the Vida Loca” and many of his other songs.  I look forward to finding out more about him, his partner and their kids.
  • Amy Silverstein — I know the least about this women.  She wrote a book about her relationship with nine friends who helped her through a battle of brain cancer.  Amazingly this is the second cancer that she has had.  Personally knowing someone who passed away from brain cancer will make this book extra poignant.

If you made it to the end, thank you.  I probably should have made this two blogs, but did want to share my thoughts.  Please share who you have read about and who you still want to.

I wonder if I will continue to be fascinated by people — both famous and not.  I have a feeling I will.

Are We Still Civil?

I have seen a few things recently on the news and on talk shows that stunned me and made me wonder if we are still a civil society.  Or if we have become so indifferent to each other and just don’t care.  I am curious what you my readers, friends, families, and people I don’t know think about this issue..

On one talk show, a video was shown of four teenagers watching another person struggle in a lake and eventually drown.  They did absolutely nothing but film what was happening and make fun of this person.  So a person died who didn’t need to.  Shocking and very troubling.

A young women texted her guy friend and talked him into killing himself after he reached out to her that he wasn’t sure about doing so. She was found guilty for this and has been sentenced to prison.  In addition to her punishment, I hope she will receive some counseling.  To me, it seems she does need it.

A young women was driving her car and texting, had an accident where her sister flew out of the car and was killed, and she did nothing but record it on her phone. This driver was very distracted and this tragedy was the result.  I was stunned at this as well.

I am not blaming social media, texting, or our obsession with selfies, but we have to remember there are times when we should put down the phone and help others.  There are times and places for our phones, our texts, our pictures, and our videos.  And then there are times when people in the real world need us and I for one think, we need to pay attention.

I grew up at a time when pictures were taken on film in actual cameras.  We had to wait until 24 or 36 photos were taken before we could take the film to the store to be developed.  So, my time as a teenager didn’t include recording each and every thing I did all day and night.  Yes, I am that old.  LOL!

The idea of having a way to stream and record everything in my day is foreign to me.  However, I know it is a way of life for many young people and adults as well.  I just hope that we can be smart about it, be kind about it, and be willing to put it down if our loved ones or others need our help.

Another thing that bothers me about our civility is all of the foul language and behavior that many adults and our leaders are displaying these days. Threatening others is not the way to solve problems, cussing at each other doesn’t seem to help anything, bullying others, and continuing to be rude and not consider each other are also wrong.

You see, I have a son who is almost 10 years old. He listens to and learns from adults.  He models the adults’ behaviors and sometimes attitudes. Thankfully he has learned to be kind and caring.  But he still has many years until he becomes an adult.  I want him to continue to grow into a loving adult.  Let’s face it, some of us are not to be learned from.  Instead we are to be labeled what not to do and how not to act.

I want those of us who have children to teach them that each and every life matters, whether it is someone who you know and like or not.  People are not to be bullied, threatened, hated, or ridiculed.  People have value and are important and are to be treated with dignity and kindness.  We should encourage each other, not tear each other down.

It truly takes a village of families, friends, churches, youth groups, schools and teachers, coaches, band and chorus teachers, pack leaders, and others to teach our children.   My family is blessed to have a community, teachers, and a village of people who care for Ian, who want the best for him, and are teaching him good values and life skills.

Among them is his school where each morning the kids recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  After that they recite a school pledge, which is amazing and teaches the students to decide to behave, and to be kind and considerate of each other.  I like it so much that I have memorized it.

It is, “We are here to learn with our school family.  There is a respect here that you can clearly see.  We are truthful, trustworthy, and listen actively. Giving no put downs, I promise to do my personal best as I work and learn today and everyday.”  Isn’t that great?  I think we as adults could benefit by reciting that each day and deciding to be a good and kind person.

I am heart-broken that those young people who I mentioned at the beginning of the blog may not understand that they did anything wrong.  They may not get that someone else was suffering while they were making fun of, threatening, or being indifferent to others.  Isn’t that sad and something we should change?

We cannot be there every time someone else needs us, but perhaps we could watch out for each other, lend a hand, and call 911 when someone is in peril.  Civility is still alive and well in many places and with many people.  I am just sad that I keep seeing and hearing so much negative, so much abuse, hatred, and violence.

My hope and prayer is that we can teach children, teens, and adults to be kind, to be compassionate, to be considerate of others, to not judge others, to be helpful, to be willing to stand up for each other, and to always, always love.

Summer Almost Over

Hi and Happy Wednesday!  How is your summer going?  Ours has been great but has gone so very fast.  And now it is almost over. I have mixed feelings about that.  On the one hand, I am sad that our lazy mornings and our summer fun will end.  On the other hand, I realize we need our routine and our normal activities to keep us motivated and going.

We spent half the summer in North Carolina working on items for the family business and the other half at home both working and playing.  We enjoyed time to shop, eat out, have visits with friends and family, had time to swim, enjoyed frozen yogurt and ice cream, and much more.  We have stayed up later than usual and slept in.

Ian read seven books for the library’s reading program and enjoyed that very much.  I too have read a few good books this summer.  We also have enjoyed a few movies at home, riding bicycles, favorite summer television shows, games, and a service project with our church’s vacation Bible school.

Ian has learned a lot more this summer about Pokémon.  He enjoys the cards and the cartoon or anime as it is also called. This summer for the first time in a while, he wanted Pokémon cards and Warriors books instead of sets of Lego elements.  Our boy is growing up.  Also, Ian got his first computer. He was thrilled and has been enjoying it.

We didn’t have any big trips this summer, but plenty of down time and plenty of family time.  We enjoyed pizza at a favorite place at home, enjoyed free pie after dinner with a dear friend, went to the Star Wars themed baseball night for our minor league team (before school got out), and Ian has had time to play with neighbors and other kids.

We have worked on math online programs and ideas for a writing journal cover to get us in the frame of mind for school.  And, we are reading and trying to get to bed earlier. This morning, however, we slept in really late. That was great but I know those days are nearly finished.

This photo is from years ago at the beach.  We didn’t make it to the beach this summer.  I always love to go but it just wasn’t possible this year.  Perhaps next year will work, or the following year.  We will have to wait and see.

As our summer winds down, I remember to be thankful for:

  • Our house at a cool temperature
  • Ice cream treats
  • Star Wars movies with a boy who knows more details than I do
  • Swimming with Ian and Kirk
  • Mornings when we don’t have to go anywhere
  • Mornings or days when we don’t have to get ready
  • Extra time in our pajamas
  • Hours to read a great book
  • Word finds and coloring books
  • Our active VBS and church’s missionary team
  • Laughs with family and friends
  • Meals with family and friends
  • Prayers with family and friends
  • Listening to details about Pokémon from a sweet boy
  • Hugs and time to cuddle
  • Photos of friends, families, and adventures

I wonder how much more fun we can cram into what we have left of the summer.  I am not sure but am looking forward to the challenge.  God Bless and have a great rest of the week and summer!

July 12 – Grit

Hi and Happy Wednesday. Hope you are having a great summer.  We are but it is going fast.  I cannot believe that it is already one week after Independence Day. We are keeping busy with work and fun activities as well.

The writing prompt for today is Grit. There are several definitions of grit but I wanted to focus this writing on this one: “firmness of mind or spirit:  unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger; managed to survive by his or her grit and guile.”

Have you ever known anyone like this?  I have and am so happy to say that many of these people have been women. I am blessed to come from a long line of women with grit.  My grandmothers and great-grandmother were strong, had strong minds and spirits, and had courage on a daily basis.  My mother, mother-in-law, aunts, sister and sisters-in-law, cousins, and friends also have grit and courage. I like to think that I have it as well.

Have you noticed that people with grit also often have integrity, honor, and are caring and loving towards others. They are honorable people and are a pleasure to know and have in your corner. They have your back and you can count on them and they can count on you as well. This doesn’t always go hand in hand but seems to more often than not.

In today’s world, people seem to have these qualities or they don’t.  I want Ian to grow up to be someone who is honorable, honest, truthful, has integrity, does what is right because it is the right thing to do, is compassionate and caring to others, wants to help others, and wants to show and demonstrate love. I also hope that he knows and learns from people with these qualities.

Sadly many of today’s leaders do not have these qualities and that saddens me.  Instead people are out for their own selfish interests, lie as needed, harm others, don’t seem to care about anyone but themselves, and want to win at any cost.  Is that the norm we want for our children?  For ourselves?  I don’t think so.

Back to those strong women that I mentioned — Grandma Fran, Grandma Artha, and Great Grandma Gussie. There were all from a different era — the early 20th century.  They all had many hardships, problems, losses, pains, deaths, and found a way to continue and go on to have fulfilling lives.  They also had a lot of love, happiness, fun, laughter, and people who thought the world of them.

The top picture is of my mother on the left, me in the middle, and Grandma Artha on the right. The second one is me with Grandma Fran the year before Ian was born.  These are some of the many photos that I have of both of them.

Many different things were expected of women in their days. Two of them were wonderful  teachers who enriched many children’s lives. The other was a secretary for many years and helped her office be successful and thriving. They all worked hard and took care of their families.

I knew and loved both Fran (Grams) and Artha (Grandma).  I loved to talk with them about any number of topics and listen to their life experience. They were both characters who were very passionate about life, their husbands, their children, and their grandchildren.  From each of them, I learned about love, friendships, acceptance, and family. I am forever grateful to both of them for all that they taught me.

I was only with Great-Grandma Gussie when I was a baby.  I did, however, just read, type, and edit her writings for a family genealogy book.  She wrote about the time when she and my great-grandfather put claim on a homestead.  With a baby (Grandma Artha), they went out to claim a piece of property with no running water, no electricity, no permanent homes, and no horse and buggy or car of their own.

They managed to build a very small home with a kitchen, bedroom, and small living area, helped create a community with a school building/church, took care of sick neighbors, and had access to food, sometimes in sparse quantity.  Talk about amazing grit.

I wondered if I could have done that when Ian was a baby.  I just don’t know but would like to think I’d have it in me to succeed as they did.  I truly appreciate these women with grit.  For that matter, there are a lot of men in my life who also have it.  I will have to write about them another time.

Take care and Happy Summer!

Happy July 4th!

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

I remember learning this in school — the beginning of the Declaration of Independence. This document helped create our nation. Today we celebrate America’s birthday – July 4, 1776.  Happy Birthday USA!

So what does it mean to have the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Have you thought about these? I have some but not a lot. Often times we take our freedoms for granted.  I hope that we remember how special America is.  How unique America is and how amazing it is.

I don’t want to take for granted that men and women throughout our nation’s history have fought and died for our freedoms. These are listed in the U.S. Constitution.  Our nation’s birth and beginning is listed in the Declaration of Independence.  May we learn these, learn how our nation works, have a say in it, and never ever take it for granted.

Now for a few thoughts on this statement at the beginning of the blog.

What does all men are created equal mean to you?  To me, it means all of us have opportunities to do what we want.  It should not matter how much money we have, what our job is, what we look like, what religion we are, or who we love.

We are all valuable and amazing people. We are all worth knowing and worth loving. We are all worth learning from and contributing to the greater good.  May we remember that and remember to be kind rather than spewing hate and rhetoric against those who are different.  May we practice love, compassion, caring, and empathy to each other and learn about our differences.

For me the right of life is to have good health and feel good, a safe place to live with clean water, shelter, heating in the winter, air conditioning in the summer, enough food to eat, and quality and affordable health care for when we get sick.

I want all children to have enough to eat and all families to be able to provide this for their kids. I want us to be able to have chemo treatments if needed without the fear of going bankrupt. I want us to have our indoor plumbing and running water. I so appreciate and treasure these things.

The right of liberty is one that I think makes America very special.  We are free to believe what we want, to do as we want, to travel from state to state, to work, to play, to be with our families, and to say and speak what we want.

As you know, I am a supporter of the 1st Amendment.  I am in favor of a free media, the right of religious freedom, and to have our citizens believe and think how they see fit.  What I don’t like is hate, calling others fake, lying, or criticizing others who don’t agree with us.  I pray that we can find a way to respect others and learn from them.

The pursuit of happiness is perhaps a little harder to explain.  Since being happy is different for all of us, there are many definitions for this.  The fact that we can pursue our bliss and what makes us tick and motivates each day is pretty incredible.

Interesting that the founding fathers didn’t say the right of happiness itself but to pursue it.  I think they were encouraging all of us to strive for the best, be all that we can be, and  determine what means the most to us and go after it.  We should want to do better for our families, our friends, our children, and provide them with the best.

If this means having to reach out and help one another, I think that we should.  I think we should lift one another up, instead of tearing each other down.  I think we should be there for one another for the bad times and the good as well.

What do you think?  I would love to hear from you on your interpretation of the Declaration of Independence.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Freedom
  • The heroes who gave us our freedoms
  • Great food with family
  • Watching our son swimming
  • Laughter with family and friends
  • Prayers before a meal
  • Our church
  • Our community
  • Ian’s school
  • My family and friends
  • The love of writing and the media
  • Hugs from loved ones

I hope that you have a wonderful Independence Day!  Happy Fourth of July.  May you enjoy it and remember those who gave a day such as this to us.  I plan to do the same.

June 22 – Paper

Today’s writing prompt is Paper. An interesting choice for the first full day of summer.  I don’t know about you, but I love to read paperback books in the summer. There is nothing better than a well-worn book that you can read at the beach or pool. I normally buy these at a used bookstore and then can fold them if needed. However, I prefer bookmarks to mark each time I stop reading.

My photo includes a paperback book that I enjoyed reading, as well as a picture that I colored. It was in a book of lighthouses. There are a few more drawings to color. I will have to see where that book is. Not sure why the eye shadow is there except that this photo may have been originally posted as another subject.

This year we won’t be reading any books at the beach. I hope we can go to the beach next year, but will have to wait and see. However, there will be time to swim at the pool and that should be fun. We will just be sure to have plenty of sunscreen, cold drinks, a great book, and an umbrella.

Call me old school, but I like actual books and newspapers to read.  I like to hold that paper in my hand, see the pages printed, and get the ink on my fingers from the papers as I make my way through the sections. I haven’t been able to go electronic yet. Maybe one day.

My first professional job was at a newspaper after college. I loved it but the pay was terrible. Still, I learned so much from the founder of the paper, the publisher, and the editor, as well as all of the interesting people I met along the way. It was a great place to learn the business and develop my skills.

Everyone at the newspaper did a variety of tasks since it was such a small staff. For example, our publisher helped with layout of the paper. This was done with actual paper with Exacto knives and blue pens. It was a while ago. Now, layout is on a computer. So much has changed since I worked at this paper in the early 1990s.

Having the publisher do this helped me learn that a great boss will get in the trenches with his staff and do what is needed to have everyone succeed and meet deadlines. He never acted like he was better than any of us and that made a great impression on this then young and naive reporter.  He was very supportive of me and the rest of the employees and wanted the best for us.

I wrote a variety of stories for the paper, each with a slightly different format. I wrote news articles of accidents, county commission meetings, school board meetings, arrests, covered courtroom cases, and other subjects. I also wrote features and was able to interview and write about all of the new commissioners.

I learned to love and truly appreciate the first amendment through this job. I continue to fight for it and support journalists. They are not perfect by any means, but in my opinion, must be able to do their jobs, ask the hard questions, and report on what is going on.

Recently there has been an attack on the media and this has me baffled and upset.  Granted, much of today’s news is very biased and one-sided. That is frustrating and so very different than what I learned in journalism school.  But, I wouldn’t trade it for a state-run media and the government telling reporters what they can say and print.

Many places in the world have this control. A few amazing things about our country are the 1st Amendment and the three branches of government.  In America, freedom of speech and freedom of religion are protected. The hard thing about it is giving equal time to someone we strongly disagree with.

My hope is that we can learn from those we agree with as well as those we don’t. And that we can listen to each other and try to find out where we are all are coming from.  If we don’t do that, we may never find a way to bridge the gap that seems to keep growing wider and wider.

I wonder what the next book or article is that I will read?  I am not sure but am so looking forward to it. Take care and happy summer!

Throwback Thursday – The Birthday Girl!

Today is my sister’s birthday!  So I thought it would be fun to post a few photos of us through the years.  Sadly, I cannot be with her today, did want to share some photos. Hope you enjoy these throwbacks!

The top photo is of us with our brother at our parent’s wedding anniversary party.  We had so much fun as we usually do. Others are with our mother, our entire family of five, fun times together, and the two of us rocking some boots and shorts as young girls.

A few things I am thankful for about my sister:

  • Inside jokes
  • Laughing until we cry
  • Always being there for each other
  • Unconditional love
  • Our great husbands
  • Our wonderful kids
  • Our extended family
  • Friends forever
  • Our love of chocolate
  • Our love of music
  • Our love of family tradition
  • Our family beach house
  • Lots of time together
  • Her gift of photography
  • Hamming it up in photos

Happy Birthday to you Cindy!

 

 

 

June 1st — Throwback Thursday

Hi and Happy Thursday. Can you believe that today is June 1st?  I sure can’t.  It is amazing that we are beginning the sixth month of this year.  Time has been flying by. Here is an oldie and a goodie photo of Ian.

At this age, he loved his pacifier. Can you see his dimple on the left cheek? It is just barely visible.  He was happy about his adventure. He was young and small and loving the exploration of the sand. This photo was taken on Hutchinson Island, Florida.

We had several fun trips to Florida as well as to San Diego, California in his young life.  What a blessing those have been.  The sand in Florida was quite different than Mission Beach.  As you can see in this picture, there are a lot of shells everywhere.  I picked up so many.  Fun!

He will soon be out of school and summer will begin.  We are so ready.  I do enjoy the summer and the slower pace.  We will be busy with family business activities and time with family.  However, we will also have time to play, read, swim, eat ice cream, play games, and have adventures.

I hope that you too will have a great summer.  What are your plans?.

On this first day of the month of summer, I am thankful for:

  • End of the year parties
  • Signing yearbooks
  • Cookouts and swimming with family
  • Visits with family and friends
  • Our library’s summer reading program
  • Time to color
  • Time to play
  • Days we can sleep in
  • Longer evenings with my guys
  • Evening walks
  • Summer movies and TV shows
  • Ice cream on hot days
  • Working at home in my pajamas
  • Staying home all day
  • A less restricted schedule
  • Later bed times

Happy first day of June!  I wonder what adventures we will have this month?  I cannot wait to find out.

Throwback Thursday — Almost Summer

Hi and Happy Thursday!  I cannot believe that it is almost the end of May.  Where has this month gone?  I also can’t believe that I have only written one other time this month.  Sheesh!  Things have been so busy with the family business, PTO activities, end of the school year stuff, being sick, family times, and so much more.

We did have a great start of the month with a fun trip to a baseball game, a school concert, a lovely lunch out for mother’s day, and then I became ill with sinus issues.  This year the pollen has been awful and it finally got me after extra time outside.  Not smart but we sure did have fun.

I included this photo today since it is such a special one of me, my mother, and grandmother.  Three gals in our bikinis.  Summer memories indeed.  This photo is a treasure.  I love the three of us walking hand in hand.  I had so much fun and learned so much from these two amazing women.

And, this week, I am glad that it is almost summer.  We are ready for a break in our routine and for some extra time to relax.  How about you?  We are not going to the beach this summer, but we do plan to have fun.  We will take a few trips, go swimming, sign up for our library’s summer reading program, see some movies, take walks, eat ice cream, play games, stay in our pajamas all day (some days), go to a few favorite restaurants, visit a book store, and more.

For now we are counting down our days.  It is hard to believe that third grade is almost finished.  My the year has flown.  Here are a few things I am thankful for today:

  • My mother and grandmother
  • All of the amazing mothers I know
  • My friends who aren’t mothers
  • The gift of being a mother
  • Weekend fun times with my hubby and son
  • Special meals out with family and friends
  • Hearing Ian sing a solo during a school concert
  • Baseball game with my parents, hubby, and son
  • Ice cream treats
  • Singing along to The Hamilton soundtrack with Ian
  • Old family photos
  • Escaping in the world of a favorite library book
  • Our library’s summer reading program

I wonder if we will remember to savor these last days of school before summer begins.  I will try to do just that.  Hope you can as well!