Happy Thanksgiving!

img267Today is the day of Thanksgiving!  I hope that you have someone to share it with and can truly enjoy it!

This afternoon we will be praying, giving thanks, and eating with our family and friends.  Everyone brings a dish to share.  My contribution is green bean casserole and perhaps a dessert.

It is a great meal, often with a game on the television, chess will be played, and perhaps a card game or two.  And, the kids will play.  The house will be very noisy but we will have lots of fun.

We are so thankful to have this fun, wild and crazy bunch to celebrate with.  Several generations of family and friends will gather together.

This year my mother discovered we are descendants of a family who arrived in America on the Mayflower.  Knowing there is a tie to early Thanksgiving celebrations makes this one even more special to me.

Here are a few things on this Thanksgiving that I am thankful for:

  • A picture of this turkey that my son drew with items he is thankful for
  • Breakfast in our pjs and a lazy morning
  • Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (mainly show numbers now but still fun)
  • Helping in the kitchen
  • A toast and prayers for what we are thankful for
  • My mom’s turkey and dressing
  • My sister’s sweet potatoes, which I am allergic to but will have to try
  • Tasty treats from my aunt and cousin
  • Mashed potatoes – one of my faves
  • Green bean casserole with onions on top and all of the other sides
  • Cranberry sauce with a roll
  • Pumpkin pie and pecan pie with whipped cream
  • Giggles from cousins
  • Seeing my son talk to my grandmother (who is 92 years old)
  • A dog who will be begging for scraps and probably be told no
  • Photos of friends and family young and old
  • A chess game or two or three
  • Cheering and yelling at the television during the games
  • Leftover turkey sandwiches
  • A variety of crafts and electronic devices being used after eating the meal
  • A long afternoon of conversation
  • A turkey-induced nap
  • Leftover turkey sandwiches
  • Watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with Ian

Here are a few quotes that I found for Thanksgiving:

  • “You can always find something to be thankful for, and there may be reasons why we ought to be thankful for even those dispensations which appear dark and frowning.” — Albert Barnes
  • “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” — John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • “Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.” — W. J. Cameron
  • “Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.” — Robert Caspar Lintner
  • “For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wonder if on this Thanksgiving, we can truly be thankful for the people in our lives who mean so much, what we have and do, and enjoy and appreciate those who we are with.  I am planning to do just that.

God Bless!

An Ode To SRP

SRP.5They say all good things must come to an end.  Sadly for SRP, that time is now.

For residents of two of the homes on this small street, major changes are coming since they have to move out for renovations to be done.  New tenants will then move in when that is finished.

One house has been full of amazing and handsome guys.  These are some of the best looking men I have ever seen and they are also some of the nicest, funniest, and most loyal to their friends.  This is an amazing fraternity.

The other house is full of gals – including three sisters and other friends as well.  These amazing Christian gals are fun and love to learn, be at the beach, and make new friends, as well as sing and play guitar.  This sisterhood has been a pleasure to see.

In addition to these two homes are a few that are full of families – parents and their kids who have decided to make this beach community their home.  That is what my grandparents also did for several years with their family. Despite these changes, these people will stay and continue to raise their families here.  There are also several apartments of friends who will remain.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAOne piece of jewelry that I wear often is a necklace that says SRP LUV.  I made it at the beach bead store the last time I was there.  It celebrates my love for this place and these people.  SRP is full of love and laughter, friendship, hugs, kisses, tears, dances, parties, and marriages and families – all the great and amazing things of life.   These are the things in life that truly matter.

The homes are nothing fancy but you can’t judge a home by the way it looks, just like you can’t judge a book by its cover.  These houses have been made into homes by those who have lived there since 2006.  My grandparents knew the woman who owned them before this current landlord bought the houses.

The walls of one of the homes are covered with art by friends and family, photos of a fun group of people, a refinished wooden floor that was worked on with love and lots of sweat, a new paint job, and a deck perfect for a bonfire and late night chat.  The walls of the other home hold pictures of friends, surfboards, and there are bunkbeads and comfy seats for late-night girl talk.

SRP.2These are magical places. This entire neighborhood on this small beach street is magical and has been very special to me for years.  My family has a beach house that I have enjoyed both as a child and growing up.  And, for the last five years, I have had the pleasure to take my son and see our house and these two homes.

These two homes next to ours are filled with friends who have embraced each other and us as family. It means the world to have been included in this family of friends and neighbors.  The people of SRP truly get the concept of a great neighborhood and that friends can become your family. I have been honored to be one of them.

I wish these friends well in whatever the next chapters in their lives will be.  I hope to stay in touch with them and see them again.  But more importantly, I hope they stay in touch with each other and can still get together.  I hope that even though they may no longer physically be near each other, that they can still plan to see one another.

Over the last year, several of them have already moved away or moved to a nearby house, some have gotten married and had children and others have gone off to school.  The change had already started before the news of having to move out.  Yet now, it is only too real that big changes are coming.

SRP.4A sad and selfish part for me is the date when they have to move out – December 1 – my birthday.  My normally fun day will be full of melancholy.

But, I won’t be dealing with as much as they will —being displaced and finding other digs to live in.  On that day, I will remember them fondly and thank the Lord for bringing all of them into my life.  And celebrate our friendship.

I just wish I’d had the chance for one last laugh or bonfire, story, dance, or hug and kiss.  Alas, that wasn’t to be. I plan to keep in touch and hope to see them again when circumstances allow.  To all of you, if you are ever in the southeast or Tennessee, please let us know.  We’d love to show you our neighborhood.POD_July.30_Friendship

The song Friends Forever by Michael W. Smith certainly applies to this amazing group of students, small business owners, entrepreneurs, photographers, doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, actors, colorists, hairdressers, waiters, teachers, musicians, missionaries, and the list goes on.

“Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
I can’t believe the hopes He’s granted
Means a chapter of your life is through

But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
‘Cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAAnd friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends.”

SRP.1There are few places in life that are magical.  SRP is one of those places.  It has meant so much to me over the years – first as a child, teenager, young adult, and now wife and mother.  I have had many great and amazing times with my own family and have watched many changes with them over the years.

Even though we can’t be together as often as I have liked, this neighborhood has been an amazing gathering place.  And, I am so thankful that the first 5 years of my sons’ life we have been able to spend time in the summer on SRP and get to know so many friends who are like family.

Several dear friends, including some with children will remain in the neighborhood and for that I am very thankful.  It won’t be totally different, so that is good.  I just don’t like change and this is a big change.

This is my Brigadoon – a place of magic that I am honored to be a part of for only a short time.  For those who have lived there, may you take that magic with you as you move to another home.  May you make that new place as much a home as SRP has been.

SRP.34_Mairy.Patti.Artha.1968God bless you in your new endeavors.  For those who remain, may you continue to enjoy it!! Hope to see you again soon.  SRP LUV always!!! SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA Ocean waves

Two Years of Blogging

PNumber.2Hi and Happy Saturday!

I received a congratulations note from Word Press today celebrating my 2 year anniversary of starting this blog.

It is hard to believe that it has been that long.  In that time, I have celebrated two birthdays with my son, two anniversaries with my hubby, and my own birthdays and hubby’s as well.

And we have celebrated two birthdays of my grandmother being 90 and over and many other milestones with family and friends.  Many blessings and some heartache and sadness too.  That is life, after all, isn’t it?

I have written and published 338 blogs so far.  A variety of both good and bad things have inspired me.  Some of my memorable postings were: Say What?, blogging about having to cut my wedding rings, my weight loss journey (yet again), my recent Anniversary to my husband, the loss of special people, the birthdays of friends and family, and posting the numbers my son had written for me.

My readership has grown since the beginning and for that I am truly thankful. I enjoy writing and feel it helps me and I am also glad that other people are enjoying it as well.

Thanks so much to all of you who have signed up as my followers.  And thanks to those who provide comments and like what I write.  I really and truly appreciate you!  And thanks to Word Press for providing this opportunity for blogging.

I wonder what will next inspire me?  I am looking forward to writing my next blog and many more after that.

Five Minute Friday – Fly

5minutefridayHello and Happy Friday! The word for today’s Five Minute Friday is Fly.

Here are the rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community…

Now Go…

A few things come to mind when I think of the word Fly.

Eagle_FMFI think of a majestic eagle flying high in the sky.  Or of a flock of birds flying above my house (as I saw this morning).  Or a fly in the ointment expression.  Or flying in an airplane.  Or time flying by.

The expression goes, time flies when you are having fun.   Have you found that to the be case? I sure have.

It truly does seem to do just that.  We are now less than a week until Thanksgiving.  Wow.  And, it seems the beginning of Ian’s kindergarten year just started and now he’s almost halfway through.

I have noticed that when I am with people I want to be with and am having a good time, the time truly flies at warp speed.  Then on the flip side, if I am having a bad day, am with people who aren’t as fun, or am sick, the time seems to drag.

I am trying to learn to make the most of each moment that I have — whether good or bad and learn from it.  Some days that is much easier to do than others.  Some days I want to cry and just stay in bed.  Other days I wake up ready to hit the ground running.

I wonder what other items about fly I will think of today?  Should be fun to try to figure out.

Now STOP!  Times up.

To read other thoughts on Fly, please see http://lisajobaker.com/2013/11/five-minute-friday-fly/.

Happy Birthday to Pam!

DSC00108Happy Birthday to my dear cousin Pam!

Hugs and love to you Pam!  Here is a photo of us at the beach.  I thought it was cute since it shows a hug.

Pam is one of my favorite people.  She is someone who I always enjoy spending time with and never seem to have enough.

Any time we are together, we pick up right where we left off.  That is a rare thing to have with a friend.  And, a real blessing. We can  and do talk for hours and laugh, and enjoy a glass of White Zin together.

Since we were teenagers, we have been close and have kept in touch.  Each summer when I was growing up, I looked forward to seeing her and we always had a blast when we did.  Then, when I couldn’t, I enjoyed the Christmas cards and cool pictures.  She was always the coolest and still is.

I have enjoyed also seeing her family grow and her girls grow up and start families of their own.  All of them are a blessing to me and such fun.  And, I like that Ian has also gotten to know Pam.  Here is a photo from a while ago when he first met her.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFun times!

Pam, I hope you have a day full of blessings, love, and fun.  Have another wonderful trip around the sun!!  I hope to see you sometime very soon.

Hugs and love to you!

Tennessee Sunset

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Monday.

On Saturday night, I had the opportunity to take some pictures of the sunset from my neighborhood in Tennessee. We don’t have a direct view of the sunset or horizon because of the trees.

As my regular readers know, I love sunsets but until now have taken them primarily at the beach in California.

These pictures are quite different but are beautiful in their own way.  I took some at the front of my house and others at the back.

What do you think?  I’d love to see some feedback and comments.

Have a wonderful day!!GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

Five Minute Friday – The Majestic Tree

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERATGIF!  I don’t know about you but I am so thankful it’s Friday!

Today I decided to write about Tree, which is the word for today’s Five Minute Friday.5minutefriday

Here are the rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community…

Now Go…

The tree in the above picture is great isn’t it?  It’s tall and losing its leaves since it is fall. But it is what I think of a tree — tall, majestic, fascinating to look at, and always changing.

In that way, trees are like people.  We grow and change, have dignity, and are interesting to look at and learn about.

And, like people, trees come in all shapes and sizes.  There are the Redwoods, which are huge and larger than life.  There are the Bradford Pears, which have flowers and then leaves.  These are lovely but always a lot to clean up after since they drop all of the flowers and then all of the leaves.

And there is the Japanese Maple, which is short yet vibrant with color and one of my favorites.  I also like Fir trees, Birch trees, Willow trees, Palm trees, and Christmas trees as well.

I also think of the tree of life and a family tree.  I am fortunate enough to know about quite a bit of my genealogy since my mother has researched a lot and my grandparents told us a lot about our ancestors.  That is a treasure in itself and something I am grateful to know.

In fact, my mother recently discovered that we have an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower. This family history is especially special since it’s almost Thanksgiving.  I will write about them another time.

I don’t know about you but I love trees — the shade they provide on a hot day, the back support they provide when you want to sit under one and read, and the special ones that are planted in someone’s memory.

STOP… times up.   I decided to include photos of several trees.  Hope you enjoy these.  These have been taken in a variety of locations — in California, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

To read other postings about the amazing tree, please check out http://lisajobaker.com/2013/11/five-minute-friday-tree./

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November 14 – Eating / Throwback Thursday

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and happy Thursday.

Today’s photo challenge is Eating.  I decided to use my photo for Throwback Thursday as well.

Here is Ian in July 2010 at the beach.  He is eating his granola bar snack before getting back to playing.  He was 2 years 8 months old when this photo was taken.

That was a very fun day and he loved everything about it!  We just had to watch that he didn’t get too much sun or was too tired.

Our family likes to eat together.  We celebrate birthdays with special dinners and cake and ice cream.  And we always have a big meal for Thanksgiving and Christmas too. I love these get togethers and all of the fun we have.  They are great evenings.

And I have a group of friends who get together for dinner out once a month.  It is girls night and an absolute blast.  It is a fun way to keep in touch with friends.

I also like dinner parties and going out with friends or on a date with my husband.

Who do you like to eat with?  I hope you get to!

Happy Birthday Robbi / Clouds

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy November 12. Today is my cousin Robbi’s birthday.

Happy Birthday to you dear Robbi.  I hope that you have a great day today!  This is a picture of us from last Christmas.

Robbi is a lot of fun and I enjoy spending time with her and her entire family. Ian likes to play with her kids.

She is a great cook, a very talented seamstress with her own business, enjoys her job, and spending time with her friends and family.  She is the mother of two kids and is married to a great guy.

We enjoy getting together as a family to celebrate birthdays and just did celebrate Robbi’s as well as her daughter’s.  It was a lot of fun.

Robbi, may you have a wonderful birthday full of fun and blessings!  Love you!

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GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAToday’s photo challenge is Clouds.  Here is a pretty picture I took recently in the morning.

I love how the light is peaking through the clouds.

Hope you have a great day.

Happy Veterans Day

US.Flags cross_Memorial.DayHappy Veterans Day!  To our veterans, thanks so much for all you do.

Both you and your families sacrifice so much for our freedoms.  I cannot thank you enough for the amazing gifts you give us.

On this day, let’s remember and thank our veterans.  Because of these brave men and women, we have the freedoms that we can truly enjoy and I hope never take for granted.

The words of God Bless The USA say it so nicely:

I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died who gave that right to me.

I’ll gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.  There ain’t no doubt I love this land. God Bless the USA.

A few quotes on Veterans:

  • “But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for, Is their monument to-day, and for aye.” ~Thomas Dunn English
  • “It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.”  ~Author unknown
  • “In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.”  ~José Narosky
  • “This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”  ~Elmer Davis
  • “Freedom is never free.”  ~Author Unknown
  • “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • “Courage is almost a contradiction in terms.  It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.”  ~G.K. Chesterton