Making The Most Of The Dash

DSC_0337Hi and Happy Monday!  This was a tough yet wonderful weekend.  We celebrated the life of my precious grandmother who passed away last Wednesday.  Dear family and friends gathered to celebrate this fine woman who I was honored to call Grandma.

The memorial service was a great celebration of her life and her faith.  My father and my brother both gave amazing remarks and remembrances about her, and the pastor who  I have known for most of my life and performed my wedding gave a very nice sermon.   And we sang a few of Grams’ favorite hymns.  We cried and laughed.

My Aunt and Dad found an amazing book called “The Dash” that was used in Dad’s remarks.  It was written by Linda Ellis.  It is truly touching and I cry each time I read it.   Here are the words to “The Dash”…

“I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.  He referred to the dates on her tombstone from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAFor that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars…the house…the cash.  What matters is how we live and love, and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change? For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough to consider what’s true and real and always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before. 

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile… remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?”

DSC06130Isn’t that lovely?  It is perfect for remembering those dear to us and also has some great things to think about.

My grandmother made the most of her dash and taught us how to do the same.  She loved her family, friends, gardening, good food and wine, reading, and the beach.  She was deeply loved by her family and friends.

She had a lot of life in the dash from January 11, 1921 — March 26, 2014.  May we make the most of our dash as well!

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March 28 – Nostalgia

Fran.Dick.ArthaHi and Happy Friday.  I am so glad it’s Friday.  We will have a weekend with family and friends and that will be nice.  Today it is raining and washing away my tears. Well, at least part of them.

Today’s photo challenge is Nostalgia.  For this photo, I decided to include one of Grams with my other grandparents who I had the pleasure of knowing.  The three of them are in Heaven together and amazing angels.  They are all greatly missed and loved.

I love how happy they all are.  This is how I remember the three of them.  From left are Fran, Dick, and Artha. I learned so much from all three of these fine people.  I only wish I could have met Fran’s hubby, my grandpa Crawford.  He passed away before I was born.

For most of my life, these gems of people were in my life.  Grams (Fran) passed away a few days ago. I was 29 years old when Grandpa (Dick) passed, and 32 years old when Grandma (Artha) passed.  I feel truly blessed and honored to have had them in my life for so long.

This nostalgic picture is great of the wood panel wall, the gold curtain, the pattern of the couch, their clothing, and glasses.  I just love it.  It immediately brings me back to my childhood.

I wonder what other fond and nostalgic memories I will have today?  I am sure there will be some.  Have a great weekend!!

 

Throwback Thursday – In Grams’ Honor

DSC06130Hi and Happy Thursday.  Today’s Throwback Thursday is of a photo of me with my precious grandmother, Grams.  It was taken in 2006 when we were at a baseball game with some other family members.  That has been a family tradition for several years in the summer.

I decided on this posting today in Grams’ honor. You see, she passed away yesterday and is now living with our Lord. She had celebrated her 93rd birthday in January.  She had been quite ill in recent weeks and months so we knew what was coming.  Because of that, we had a chance for a last visit and to tell her how much we love her.

I feel so honored to have had that chance.  Often, people die without us having one last chance to see them and tell them how much we love them. It is truly a blessing and I think was for her as well to see all of her loved ones before passing away.  I learned a lot from this amazing woman and am so blessed that she was in my life as long as she was.

Right before I got the call that she had passed away, I listened to “I Can Only Imagine” on the local radio station.  As I was listening, I felt a calm wash over me.  Later I realized that might have been playing at the time that Grams was meeting Jesus face to face.  Needless to say, I was overwhelmed with emotions.  Through my tears, I smiled thinking of what she was experiencing.  Thanks Lord for that gift.

We will be having a memorial service for this great lady soon.  It will be so nice to see family members and comfort one another.  But, knowing we have a special angel watching over us certainly helps.

 

March 26 – I Am Here

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Wednesday!  Today’s photo challenge is “I Am Here.”

I am spending time on the computer this morning while Ian is at school.  This is the view out of my home office.  It is a lovely sunny day but quite cold. I love our neighborhood and the design of the homes.  It is a fun place to live where we know quite a few of our neighbors.

As I am here, I am thinking of getting my day started and all of the things that I need to do.  As usual, there are many.  And, I am thinking of many dear family and friends on my mind today.  They are in my thoughts and prayers.

Life can often be tough and I am so very thankful to have people in my life who give it meaning.  These people make sharing funny times even better and make the sad and tough times easier by just being together.

Today I am thankful for:

  • The beauty of a sunrise
  • A hug and kiss from my son as he goes to school
  • Saying hello to his teacher and classmates and sometimes getting a hug from a student
  • The chance to eat breakfast with my hubby
  • News and weather updates so I know what the day has in store
  • Checking out books from our city’s library and seeing Ian read them after school
  • Starting to read a new book
  • A toothless smile
  • The ability to write and share my ideas and thoughts with others
  • Taking pictures of lovely scenes
  • Love and acceptance
  • Singing along with a favorite song on the radio
  • Praying with loved ones
  • A cold glass of water
  • A garage that keeps the car warm on a cold day
  • A laundry room that is used every single day
  • Looking forward to visits with friends
  • Sharing a laugh with someone special

I wonder what else I will find to be thankful for today?  I am sure there will be many things.  And, I hope that I can be in the moment today and truly enjoy the here and now.

Hope you have a wonderful day as well!

 

Spring Break Adventures

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Monday!!  Last week we were on Spring Break and what fun we had!

This picture is from a Homeschool Convention that we attended at the end of the week.  My husband’s family business is educational consulting.  His dad started this ministry many years ago.  Right across from our booth was the Lego Education booth and Ian was so “in his element.”  He loved it!

The ladies at this booth were so nice and great with the kids, including Ian.  They had workshops which he attended each day to build stories with Lego elements. They had teams of kids work on the story in three parts and then share their ideas.  It was fun to see their creativity and minds at work.  It was also nice to see the kids working together in a project.  Most of them hadn’t met each other before.

We met some really nice people at this convention.   We saw large families with very well-behaved kids.  The largest was one with 12 kids who had written books on sibling relations.  We saw another family with four girls — all wearing matching outfits.

And, we saw some people just starting in homeschooling and some who have been at it a while. The variety of people was fascinating — some Menonite families, some others with just a few children, and we also saw a few people we’d seen last year.

Last March I wrote about another convention that we’d attended.  That was posted on March 18 and the link is at the bottom of this posting, if you’d like to read that as well.

One of the Duggar family members was there with his wife and kids.  He spoke during a session and had a booth with a time for people to meet him and have him sign a book or other item.  That had a very long line.

We had some time on the first day to walk around the very large and lovely Opryland Hotel.  We went to a shop selling moonshine jelly, some funny aprons and magnets, and Moon Pies.  We also saw the river, lovely plants, and some statues of standing horses.

While we were at dinner on Friday night, one of Ian’s front teeth came out.  This was his third tooth to lose.  He was thrilled that the tooth fairy came to visit.  “I wonder how she found me Mommy? She must have snuck into our hotel room,” he said.  “Yes, she did Ian,” I told him.

The next morning he tried drinking milk through a straw through the new space in his mouth.  It was fun to see.  Now, his second top middle tooth is loose.  Should be soon on that one too.

We came back on Sunday morning and had a nice drive and lazy afternoon.  It was great and Ian was very ready to go back to school.  I drove him this morning and he was ready to see his teacher and all of his friends.

The first half of the week, we had fun at home and relaxed.  There was time to play, color and draw, and read together.  Each day, Ian would talk about how many days were left of his break.  It was fun to spend all day with him again.

This morning we are back to our normal routine.  It was good and is a lovely day.  Hope you have a great one! I wonder what new adventures there will be this week?  It should be fun to find out!!

Last year’s blog on the convention is located at https://patticates247.wordpress.com/2013/03/18/convention-adventure/.

Happy Spring / Throwback Thursday

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHappy and Happy Spring!  I don’t know about you but I am beyond ready for the spring.  I want the weather to be warmer, but I always have trouble with seasonal allergies.  So, there is always good and bad in the change of season.

It is also Throwback Thursday, so I decided to include this photo of Ian with a flower — actually dandelion. He looks ready for spring, doesn’t he?

Here are a few quotes about spring and springtime:

  • “Springtime is the land awakening.  The March winds are the morning yawn.”  ~ Lewis Grizzard
  • “Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!””  ~Robin Williams
  • “No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.” ~Proverb
  • “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”  ~Margaret Atwood

Hope you have a great first day of spring!

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Wednesday!  Hope you are having a great one so far.  This photo is of a younger Ian reading a book.  He still likes books as much now as he did then.  Now he really likes Lego books, books from the library, his items from the Imagination Library, and several wonderful books by Dr. Seuss.

Last night before he went to bed, we read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Thus the title for my blog today.  “Mommy, did you know that this book was written by a man named Theodor?” he asked me.  “Yes, Ian, you are exactly right.  His real name is Thedor Seuss Geisel,” I responded.

Then we took turns reading the pages.  As I turned each page, he put his hand over my mouth so he could read.  This made me so happy since he so much wanted to help read the story out loud,  He did a great job too!  He knew almost all of the words and sounded out those he didn’t.

Here are a few of the pages that he read,

  • “Yes, some are red.  And some are blue.  Some are old and some are new.  Some are sad.  And some are glad.”
  • “We see them come.  We see them go.  Some are fast. And some are slow.”
  • “Bump! Bump! Bump! Did you ever ride a Wump? We have a Wump with just one hump.”
  • “Hello there, Ned. How do you do? Tell me, tell me what is new? How are things in your little bed? What is new? Please tell me, Ned.”
  • “The moon was out and we saw some sheep.  We saw some sheep take a walk in their sleep.”
  • “Did you ever fly a kite in bed? Did you ever walk with ten cats on your head?”

Those are just part of what he read.  A few of the pages made him laugh (including that last bullet) and he commented several times on the rhyming words.  Reading the book this way took longer than normal, but was so worth it.

My favorite lines/pages of this book are, “From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere” and “Oh me! Oh my! Oh me! Oh my! What a lot of funny things go by.”  I love the idea of encouraging kids to see the fun and funny things in life.  After all, there are certainly many of them.

I love so many of the Dr. Seuss books and think he is a genius in his writing.  His rhymes and made up characters are loved by me and by Ian.  They truly span the ages.  Isn’t that awesome?!  My dream would be to write like this amazingly gifted man did.  Some of our favorites are The Sleep Book, Horton Hatches The Egg, Horton Hears A Who, Fox in Socks, If I Ran The Zoo, and The Sneetches and Other Stories.

Thank you Dr. Seuss for writing such fun and engaging words for us to enjoy!  You truly had an amazing gift of drawing in young readers and keeping them interested!  He also taught children important lessons through the stories.  At Ian’s school, they recently studied him and he enjoyed that a lot.

I wonder what book we will read at bedtime tonight?  I also wonder what books Ian will read throughout the day?  I look forward to finding out and am thrilled that he loves reading as much as I do!!!!

March 18 – Five Years Ago

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Tuesday!  Today’s photo challenge is 5 Years Ago.  I went with a photo of Ian on the slide when he was 5 years younger. He was my little guy then and has since grown so much.  He is one of the taller kids in his class.  I love this picture and seeing his little feet and the fun he is having.

For a boy who will be 7 years old later this year, 5 years means major changes.  So much has happened between then and now. Five years ago, we had a very busy toddler who was having a blast exploring many things. Now, we have a boy in kindergarten who loves school.

It has been exciting this year to see him learning to read, and work with math and other subjects.  And, his writing has been improving.

Five years ago was when we moved into our current house.  It is hard to believe we’ve already been here that long.  We love our neighborhood and community.  We feel very blessed.

Time flies so quickly and these last 5 years went by in a flash.  It’s amazing to think what will be going on in another five years.  Looking forward to the ride!!

What were you doing 5 years ago?  I’d love to hear from you.  Hope you have a great day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

scan0154Hi and Happy Monday!  Happy St. Patrick’s Day as well!  Today is our first day of spring break.  We actually slept in until 8 a.m. and it was fabulous!  We rarely sleep that late anymore so it was a real treat.  It has been a nice and lazy morning.

We all remembered to wear green today.  Did you?  Ian was excited and searched through his clothes to find just the right outfit.  We’ll have to see about Irish food for dinner and a pint of something!

Here is a picture of a rainbow that Ian and I made together.  It has a pot of gold next to it.  I thought it would be a fun one for today.

One of my favorite blessings is Irish and I wanted to share that with you today.  The Irish Blessing states: “May the road rise up to meet you.  May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face; the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”

Here are a few quotes about St. Patrick’s Day and a blessing:

  • “St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanted time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.”  ~Adrienne Cook
  • “If a man who cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he lucky?”  ~Stanislaw J. Lec
  • “For each petal on the shamrock this brings a wish your way – Good health, good luck, and happiness for today and every day.”
    ~Author Unknown
  • “May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go.” ~Irish Blessing
  • “Never iron a four-leaf clover, because you don’t want to press your luck. ” ~Author Unknown
  • “If you’re enough lucky to be Irish, you’re lucky enough!”  ~Irish Saying

I wonder if I will have good luck and fun today?  I sure hope so and hope that you will as well!  Happy St. Paddy’s Day!!

March 15 – Evening

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Saturday!  Today’s photo challenge is Evening.  Here is a photo that I took back in December of a lovely sunset.  I know it’s a bit old but thought it was pretty, so decided to go with it.

This evening, we will be having dinner with family at a favorite pizza place in our town.  Should be fun and I am looking forward to it.  While I am out tonight, I will have to see what photos I can take.  Hopefully it will be a lovely evening.

My evenings aren’t as late or fun as they used to be.  With a boy in school, there is a strict bed time each school night so he can stay on schedule. This can sometimes make things rough on the weekends, but it’s worth it for our sweet little man.

When I was younger, I was in Camp Fire (similar to Girl Scouts).  In the summer we had camp where we got to spend the night as we got older.

We often would sing songs, such as Taps,  “Day is done, gone the sun, From the lake, from the hills, from the sky; All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.”

Here are a few quotes I found on evening:

  • “My day is done, and I am like a boat drawn on the beach, listening to the dance-music of the tide in the evening.” – Rabindranath Tagore
  • “Inhale and hold the evening in your lungs.”- Sebastian Faulks
  • “There they stand, the innumerable stars, shining in order like a living hymn, written in light.  – N.P. Willis

May you have a great evening with whatever you do!