TBT – Love of Books

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world.  Love of books is the best of all.” — Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.” — Maya Angelou

Hi and Happy Thursday! Here is a photo of a young Ian looking at one of his board books.  This was before he could read.  Once he learned, he was unstoppable and now loves to read.  He wasn’t sure he could learn but did and we are so proud of him.

Speaking of books, I just started reading a book called, “Everything I Need to Know I Learned From A Children’s Book.”  It includes life lessons from notable people from all walks of life. For each of these people, there is a quote from the book that influenced them, the title, person’s name and what that book meant to them.

It is really cool, has a lot of great information, and reminded me of a few of my favorites.  A few featured people are: Jay Leno who liked Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and the inventor of the artificial heart who liked The Wizard of Oz. This book has me thinking of what books have influenced me. There have been many.

I never seem to be without a book.  I love to read and cannot remember a time that I didn’t.  I love to be transported to another world and be immersed in the stories and the character’s lives.  One of my favorite books as a child was “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  I loved this book and the mystery of that garden and seeing what it meant to the lead character.

I have the book and plan to re-read it soon as an adult.  I wonder if it will have the same allure and amazement to me as a grownup?  I wonder if it will mean as much to me now as it did then?  I cannot wait to find out.  I will share my impressions with you.  I just have to figure out when I want to start on this journey back to my childhood.

A few other favorites from my childhood were:

  • The Snow Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
  • anything and everything by Richard Scarry
  • The Mouse and The Motorcycle
  • The Nancy Drew Mysteries
  • The Hardy Boys Mysteries
  • The Little House on The Prairie Series
  • The Chronicles of Narnia series

Ian has some favorites too.  Some that he has enjoyed are:

  • Good Night Moon (which I must have read 200 times or more to him)
  • The Foot Book and many other Dr. Seuss books
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • The One and Only Ivan
  • Star Wars: The Jedi Academy series
  • A Dog’s Life about a stray dog
  • James and The Giant Peach
  • The Warriors series by Erin Hunter, which he just finished

As an adult, I have other books that I have enjoyed reading or that have influenced me:  Roots by Alex Haley, Jemima J by Jane Green, Thunder Dog, as well as books by Danielle Steel, Carol Higgins Clark, Jane Porter, and so many others.

How about you?  What books have meant a lot to you?  I would love to hear from you.  Please share with me and the other readers.  I hope that your children enjoy books as well.

Hope you have a great adventure with your next book.  I know that I will.

Fun on Friday

Fun_8-12-2016Hi and Happy Friday! Today’s photo challenge is Fun. Here is one take on fun. This is one of my favorite pictures of Ian taken at sunset at the beach many years ago.

I love his facial expression and think he is ready to take on the world and have tons of fun. Or he is ready to dive in.

I love to have fun and enjoy doing so. Sometimes as adult, it isn’t always possible but I do try to regularly make time for fun. With a child, it is easier to be sure to have fun each day.

DSC00210According to Dictionary.com, fun is defined as something that provides mirth or amusement; and enjoyment or playfulness. This first photo embodies that to me. The second one is also fun and a fond memory.

Fun to me is:

  • Watching records be broken during the Olympics
  • Watching a funny movie
  • Reading a favorite book
  • Getting my feet wet at the beach
  • Holding Ian’s hand in the surf
  • Holding Kirk’s hand on walks
  • Swimming at the pool with my parents
  • Coloring with my pencils
  • Completing word finds
  • Talking a walk at the beach
  • Laughing with Ian and Kirk
  • Playing a game of Pounce
  • Playing a board game
  • Pizza night with games and company
  • Time for my dad, his dog, and Ian to be together
  • Helping my mother with the family history
  • Discussing our soap with my mother
  • Spending time watching Ian build Lego creations
  • Laughing until we cry
  • Girls night dinners
  • Time with siblings and our spouses and kids
  • Visits with cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, and grandparents
  • Laughing with old friends
  • Singing along with the radio or favorite song
  • Dancing
  • Watching Ian learn something new
  • Helping at Ian’s school and with the PTO
  • Having time to wander in a new city
  • Browsing a used book store
  • Getting treats from a neighborhood bakery
  • Having special cuddle time
  • Our weekend routine
  • Lazy time at home on the weekend
  • Weekly visits with my parents
  • Walking home from school with Ian

What is fun to you?  Do you try to have fun each day?  I hope you do!  Have a great and fun weekend.

Happy August!

August.8-3-16Happy August 3rd! Here it is extremely hot and muggy!  How is it in your world?  Ian is back in school and so far so good.  We go back extremely early but have lots of breaks throughout the year.  It just makes for a very hot beginning of school.

Thank goodness for air conditioning, ice cubes, ice-cold water, and ice cream.  These all help on miserable days.  And on a hot walk home, we are thankful for the shade and breezes that blow.  We are also thankful for a quick rain shower.

Most of July I didn’t write blogs. I hope to do a better job this month.  We had a very busy summer than just flew by. I tried to have down time along with our activities so that is one reason that I didn’t write very much.  And, I am working on new inspiration and what moves me to write.

We had a great summer and had a lot of fun. One evening after running errands, we went to Arby’s and picked up food that we ate at home.  The above photo is Ian’s five-minute fry.  It was the longest that we have seen and took him five minutes to eat.

On this middle of the first week of August, I am thankful for:

  • An amazing summer
  • The excitement of a new school year
  • Library books
  • Play time and down time
  • Seeing friends again
  • Our amazing teachers and school staff
  • My family and friends
  • Prayer support
  • A boy who is excited and amazed to be a third grader
  • Routines and consistency
  • Dinner with my parents and aunt
  • A backpack that Ian wants to use again
  • Food for lunches
  • Special times with siblings
  • New sneakers that Ian helped choose
  • Running errands with Kirk
  • Ice water
  • Ice cold beer with tacos
  • A surprise lunch with a dear friend
  • Photos of friends
  • Hugs with my guys at the end of the day

I wonder if the rest of the month will be as hot as this week?  I imagine it will.  We will do our best to stay cool and will make the best of it.  Happy August!

Summer Has Flown By

lake.summer.7-27Hi and Happy Wednesday.  Can you believe that it is the last Wednesday of July?  I sure can’t.  I have been away from this blog for most of this month and wrote almost nothing.  I hope to get back to more regular blogs very soon. Our summer has been fun and busy and is now winding down. This week we are very much enjoying since school is starting very soon.  We have longer breaks throughout the school year but it does make for a shorter summer.

We didn’t make it to the beach this year but that is okay.  We had a few trips to see family and friends in the lovely mountains of North Carolina where it was a bit cooler.  We did some shopping and walking around.  We also have had a few cookouts, went swimming a few times, had a game night or two, finished some great books, and watched a few movies.

Also, we celebrated Kirk’s birthday and had a few days of parties and special times with him.  This summer I also had a high school reunion.  I was on the planning committee.  We had a great time and a great turnout.  I am fortunate to have a class of people who very much enjoy seeing each other and have plenty to catch up on.  I will write more on that later.

As this summer winds down, I am thankful for many things.  One of them is the view from this photo.  It is of the lake that we saw while crossing a bridge.

  • Photos of old friends
  • Decades-old friendships
  • A weekend of chatting and fun with classmates
  • Ice cream treats
  • Taco Tuesdays
  • Watching the movie “Max,” which Ian picked
  • Ian finishing three books over the summer
  • Dancing The Electric Slide and other favorites
  • Watching an old movie with Ian
  • New Lego builds and a new stuffed toy
  • Watching and talking about the two conventions
  • Time to rest and hang out with my guys
  • The flexibility of my schedule
  • Air conditioning
  • Ice water and iced tea
  • Cold beer and pizza from a local diner
  • Our family pulling together in times of need
  • Keeping in touch on a regular basis
  • Prayer support for loved ones
  • Having time to make many memories
  • Late nights and late mornings
  • Days at home in our pajamas
  • New milestones with Ian

I wonder what we will be doing the rest of this summer?  I am not sure since there isn’t much time left.  We however will make the best of it.  Hope you do the same!  God Bless.

Happy Birthday dear Kirk!

Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you!  Happy Birthday dear Kirk, Happy Birthday to you!

Ian and I sang that to Kirk this morning and he enjoyed it.  We both love Kirk very much.  “Happy Birthday Dad,” Ian said.

Kirk is the love of my life, my partner, an amazing father to our son, and such fun to be with. I enjoy our family moments and special times. I love our family traditions.

I love how Kirk makes me laugh, and I so appreciate when he comforts me and supports me. He is wonderful.

Happy Birthday to you dear Kirk!  Have a great one.

Throwback Thursday – Happy Boy

TT_7-7-Happy BoyHi and Happy Thursday! Hope you are having a great day.  Here is a photo of Ian at almost 3 years old.  He was standing on the lifeguard stand and watching the sun set into the ocean.  He was extremely happy and having a great time at Mission Beach in California.

This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of him.  I love the total glee and happiness that he is expressing.  I love how much he seems to be loving life.  And I love this smile and this boy.  This photo was lightened so his facial expression was visible.

He has always been a happy child and fun to be around.  He has moments of being grouchy or difficult when he is overly tired, hungry, doesn’t want to do something or is sick.  But for the most part, he is content, has plenty to do, and lives in the moment.  He has taught me to do that.  He has also taught me to make the most of each day,

While looking at this photo, I wondered when was the last time that I was this happy?  When did I throw away all of my worries and cares and just be gleeful?  I have laughed recently with family members and friends. I have cracked up at a funny memory or cartoon with Ian or a favorite comedy with Kirk.  But I also have cried over family and friends who are sick, the loss of a loved one, and the terrible things on the news.

I have always loved watching the news and reading newspapers since that has been a life-long passion and vocation for me.  However, more and more it has been hard to tune in without becoming emotional during the broadcast or angry.  I continue to be amazed at what people do to one another.  And, trying to explain that to Ian can be a challenge.

This summer we have been making time for fun and to be in the moment. We have had  time for swimming, watching funny movies, lazy days, ice cream treats, games, library books, walks, and many other fun things.  So far it has been great and a real treasure.  As bad things happen, we talk about them and pray about them as well.

Today I am thankful for:

  • My hubby who I am sharing this life journey with
  • Our son who I love beyond measure
  • Amazing friendships
  • My wonderful family
  • Prayer support from our church, family, and friends
  • Ian’s friends
  • Lego builds
  • Play time
  • Air-conditioning
  • Playing games
  • Books and the ability to read
  • Creativity and making up stories
  • No alarm clocks in the morning

I wonder if I can live in the moment as much as possible with Ian, Kirk, and our family and friends.  I am doing my best to do just that.

Happy late Fourth!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHappy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear America, Happy Birthday to you.  That is what we sang yesterday morning. That was Ian’s idea in honor of the USA’s 240th birthday.  We had a great holiday weekend and hope that you did as well!

On Monday morning, we were lazy and watched America: The Story of Us on the History Channel.  It was an in-depth look at our country’s early years, warts and all.  There was a lot to discuss with Ian.  The show mentioned all of the lives that were lost over the years for us to have our freedoms.  We are so thankful for sacrifices by so many brave men and women. This helped us to remember that freedom is never free.

We then went to my parent’s house for a wonderful cookout, great time with family, funny stories, great chats, and some yummy dessert. It was a treat to spend the day with my aunt and cousin as well as Mom and Dad and my guys.  We returned home in time to watch a few symphonies on television including our local one and fireworks.  We also stepped out our back door and watched our city’s fireworks.  Up late but lots of fun.

On Sunday, we went to church and had a great service, then a picnic in the fellowship hall. That afternoon, we went over to Kirk’s brother’s house and had a great meal.  It was so much fun.  We visited, played corn hole, and a game of Porch Ball as we called it.  Imagine a circle of people, a large beach ball, and a porch that is not screened in, wild passes and serves, lots of laughs, and a few curse words when hit in the face by the ball (by me – LOL!)  We had a blast!

Saturday was a great lazy day at home with time to relax, read, and work on the family genealogy book. On Friday, we visited with some dear friends and laughed and had a blast. We always have a great time with these friends and always want more. Then the three of us went out for an early dinner at a local Arby’s where I used to work, went to the store, the library, and then back home to enjoy our evening.

We had a great balance of time at home and time with friends and family.  This week will be more time with family and birthday celebrations — for a dear friend of ours today and Kirk’s as well. Happy Birthday to you dear Karen!

Today I am thankful for:

  • Silly games with family and friends
  • Cookouts and ice cream
  • Laughs with family
  • Chatting for hours with friends
  • Patriotic music by talented musicians
  • Fireworks
  • Many freedoms
  • Birthday celebrations
  • Air conditioning
  • Summer rains
  • Messy hair and long cuddles
  • My two special guys
  • My family
  • My friends
  • Summer break

I wonder what other fun this week will bring?  I cannot wait to find out.  Have a great one!

Throwback Thursday – Summer!

TBT_6-23-2016Hi and Happy Thursday. Are you having a great summer? We are!  So far, so good.  We are about to finish our third week of summer and are having a wonderful time. This photo was taken of Ian in Fort Pierce, Florida many years ago.

When he was this age, his pacifier was a constant for him. This was one of the first times that he got to walk on the sand, or should I say run. He loved it. He still does love it. Sadly we won’t be going to the beach this summer, but have plenty of other things to keep us busy.

Last night, we went to my parent’s house for swimming and dinner. They have a neighborhood pool that we enjoyed. It was a very hot day so the water was perfectly cool and fun. After swimming, we went back to their house and had a great dinner and dessert and plenty of laughs. It was great.

Tonight is game night and homemade pizza at our house. My parents are coming over for that, which will also be fun. Big decision of the evening will be, do we play The Game of Life or Star Wars Monopoly or both?  Perhaps Dominos or the card game Pounce? We will see what Ian and everyone else feel like.

Life with no alarm clocks or set schedules is very nice this time of year. And, since I work at home, I can be flexible enough to start later in the morning or wear my pajamas. How great is that? It’s the little things that become the big blessings, isn’t it?!

Our summer started with a trip to North Carolina which was great. That was for both work and play. We had time to visit family, take a few walks, enjoyed dinner out with friends, and bought cookies and almond strudel at a wonderful bakery, and frozen yogurt treats. Also, I bought a new coloring book (yes I do like coloring), and Ian got a new Lego set. I helped him build it and we took several pictures.

June has been good so far and July should be as well. Next month we will go back to North Carolina, have a chance to visit some friends, may attend a baseball game, and I will have a high school reunion. I have great classmates who are always fun to see.  Cannot wait.

I love all of the memories we are making this summer with Ian. Each day has something fun. Whether it’s spending the day with messy hair and clothes to swimming to reading a library book to watching a favorite cartoon, we are enjoying our time together.

In addition to all of our fun, we are thinking of and praying for those suffering and struggling. We are talking with Ian about what can be done to help others and reminding him to always love others and be respectful. Also, we encourage him to ask questions that he has and we discuss those. With so much going on in the world, there is much to learn.

I wonder what other adventures the summer will bring?  I cannot wait to find out. Hope you also have a great summer!  Enjoy.

Happy 51st Anniversary / Happy Father’s Day!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA TT.DadDay2This weekend is big in my family. Today is my parent’s 51st wedding anniversary.  And, tomorrow is Father’s Day.  So Happy Anniversary to my Mom and Dad and Happy Dad’s day to Dad. Here is a favorite photo of the two of them and another of me with Dad.

They are awesome parents and we celebrated their anniversary last night.  We enjoyed dinner with them and cake and ice cream and a long visit.  It was great. Tonight they will have dinner out with some dear friends. Then tomorrow after church, we will make lunch for them and for Kirk in celebration of Father’s Day.

Ian had asked me recently if we were going to celebrate their anniversary this year.  Last year was their 50th anniversary and we had two big parties.  We had visits with friends and family we hadn’t seen in a while and had a terrific time.  This year we celebrated but on a much smaller scale.

I love that we live close enough to them to have regular visits.  It is so great for Ian as well to have lot of time with his grandparents.  I am so very thankful for that and count it as a definite blessing.  My parents taught me so much and now they are teaching Ian many things as well.

I have such fond memories with my parents:

  • Camping trips at state parks
  • Driving cross-country to the beach
  • Reading the paper on the beach house porch
  • Camp Fire songs and food
  • Shag carpet and dark walls
  • Photos at the beach
  • Numerous sunsets
  • Fireworks and cookouts
  • Weddings and Baptisms
  • Lions Club sales and meetings
  • Moving them into their new home
  • Singing with them at church
  • Lunches after church
  • Activities at Ian’s school
  • Many moments with my parents, my siblings, and our children
  • Birthday celebrations with family and friends
  • Family books and inside jokes

My parents mean the world to me.  They have taught me so much:

  • Unconditional love
  • Tolerance of others
  • The love of the ocean
  • The love of extended family
  • Parenting with discipline and love
  • To work hard and equally play hard
  • To savor and cherish each day
  • To always be thankful
  • To spend time with loved ones
  • To use my talents and abilities
  • To be appreciative of others
  • To be kind and loving
  • To still wonder about things

Mom and Dad, thanks for everything!  You were and still are amazing parents to me, to Cindy and to Richmond, great in-laws to Kirk, Cody, and Beckie.  And you are amazing grandparents to our children.  Love you always!

Five Minute Friday: Want

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday.  Today’s five-minute writing challenge is Want.  Five Minute Friday is for writing freely for five minutes uninterrupted. I haven’t done this in quite a while, but this word was one that I wanted to write about.

Now Go…  My wants have changed since I was a child.  How about yours?  When I was young, I wanted toys, games, attention, time to play with friends, regular trips to the beach, new clothing, and lots of stuff.  Now, I mainly want things that cannot be bought.

I want healing for my sick loved ones with cancer, I want world peace, I want kindness, love, and respect for one another.  I want women and girls to not be raped.  I want men to be taught to respect women. I know that many are, but all need to be.  I want us to take care of hungry children and ensure all children are educated. I want us to cure cancer and AIDS.  I want people not to be addicted to drugs – legal or otherwise. If they are, I want us to help them heal.

I want more time with my loved ones. I still want trips to the beach with my family and friends.  I want to make memories with my husband and my son (like in the picture above from five years ago). I want my son to learn all that he can from me. I want him to always know that he is loved.  I want time to see him grow up and become an amazing man.  I want to grow old with my husband.

Time is up. But I still have a few thoughts to share.

I also have some goals of what I want.  I want to write a book or two, I want to make a difference in people’s lives, I want to see a few shows on Broadway and meet some amazing writers. I maybe want to go back to school to learn something new.  I want to lose weight and keep it off, and so much more.

Wants are different than needs.  To me needs are food, clothing, water, and shelter.  We also need transportation to get around, school, and jobs.  Wants can also be things but often aren’t.  What wants do you have?  Are they things that you can buy or are they items that cannot be purchased at a store?

A few quotes:

  • “Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated.” — Lou Holtz
  • “If you want to be happy, be.” — Leo Tolstoy
  • “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” — Dolly Parton
  • “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” — Abraham Lincoln
  • “Success is getting what you want.  Happiness is wanting what you get.” — Dale Carnegie

A few other things I want are for our government to work together as they did when President Reagan was in office.  The situation we are currently in is not just one person’s fault.  I want to see more happy and positive news and for people to not judge each other as much as they do.  I want us to love others as Christ taught us to – unconditionally and always.

I wonder if these wants will come to pass.  Some will but others, I am not sure.  I only hope and pray that they will.