What The?

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA“What The?” This is Ian’s new catch phrase for when he isn’t sure what to think about something.  Or when something shocks or surprises him.

I love that he came up with his own words.  His expression when he says it is absolutely priceless.  “What The?” I always say back to him, “What The, What The?”  His reply is “No Mommy, it’s What The?”

“What The?” also applies to the fact that Ian is almost finished with kindergarten.  Tomorrow starts the last month.  How is that possible?

Before he started kindergarten, I had a hard time adjusting to him being away from home all day.  But, during the year, he has learned to love going to school and I have enjoyed having some time to myself.

This school year has been a great experience for both of us.  He has learned to read, write, add and work with numbers.  I have been able to shop by myself at stores, eat lunch with no interruptions, and have time to write on the computer.  Kirk has also enjoyed the year and seeing Ian learn and grow.

We have loved his school and I have enjoyed being active in the PTO.  I joined the first month and have been serving as the secretary.  I have met some great people and made some new friends.  We are truly part of our school family.

This last month includes a lot of fun stuff — a field study (formerly called field trip), walk-a-thon, spring fling, field day, a kindergarten concert, and then the last day of school.  It will be a whirlwind and will fly be.  And, then he will be a rising 1st grader.  WOW!!

This photo was taken at the beach several years ago.  He looks like he could be saying “What the heck is this wet stuff in the bucket Mommy?”  “Wet sand, which is great to play with,” is my reply.  This makes me think of the summer and the fun we will have with Ian.

I wonder what other things Ian will say “What The?” in response to?  I cannot wait to find out.

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My Room Without A Roof

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAOne of my favorite songs lately is “Happy” By Pharrell Williams.  It plays regularly on Good Morning America as well as the radio and I enjoy it each time.  Just listening to it makes me happy.

I love to sing along. One line that I like is “Because I’m Happy. Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.”  I don’t know exactly what he means by that but I like the image.

At our family beach house, the front porch is our room without a roof and one of my favorite places to be.  Look to the left and you see the ocean, to the right, you see the bay – beyond houses and a busy road, but you can still see it.

At this beach cottage, this front porch room has held many breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, parties, playtimes, and much more.  Sandy feet, chairs, books, toys, sunscreen, hats, and buckets and pails are just a few of the things that have been placed on this porch.

In the morning, grabbing a hot cup of coffee, toast, and the newspaper, this porch is the best place to be.  And, after a day at the beach, newly scrubbed and cleaned, we sit down, pray, and enjoy a dinner together.  I have many fond memories with this location being an integral part.

The table and benches match the house perfectly and add to the fun of the space.  A family friend built them for us and they have been used for many, many years.  In fact, everyone who has been to this house over the years has more than likely eaten on this porch.

When Ian was little, and he stood at the fence, his head didn’t make it above the top.  Now, he stands well above it and can see beyond the porch to all that is around him.

A few memories of the cottage porch:

  • Reading the newspaper and eating breakfast with my parents
  • Putting together a puzzle with Ian
  • Wiping sand on the mat before going in the house
  • Slathering sunscreen all over Ian before going to the beach
  • Listening to my aunt play the piano during family singalongs
  • Holding hands and praying before eating fish tacos, quesadillas, and refried beans from a local taco shop
  • Talking with the wonderful man who built the table and bench
  • Chatting over dessert with my grandparents
  • Playing cards with the family after dark
  • Shooting the breeze with neighborhood friends
  • Sitting outside after the children have gone to bed
  • Posing for numerous family photos with my siblings, cousins, and other family members
  • Hugging loved ones when it is time to say goodbye

I wonder when the next time will be that I am in my “room without a roof?”  I don’t know but hope that it will be soon.

Saturday Bliss

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Mommy, is it morning time?” Ian asked me this morning – at 8 a.m.  Yeah!  We slept in today!  We woke up rested and ready for our day to start.  That is partly due to the fact that I had closed the doors to our rooms to block out light from outside.  Sneaky, perhaps, but it worked.

Normally, Ian is up with the sunrise or earlier.  To a certain extent, he is a morning person, which works very well on school days, but not so much on the weekend. Often we are up on Saturday mornings like any other day, but thankfully, not this morning.  My little scheme worked!

As he was waking up this morning, he asked, “Mommy, what day is it today? Can I stay home today?”  “It’s Saturday Ian,” I said, “You get to stay home today.”  A very big grin then appeared on his face.

Don’t get me wrong, he loves school and the routine we have developed.  But, he like Kirk and me, enjoys time off and time to rest, and to be at home.  Thus, our Saturday Bliss. (This photo was taken years ago of Ian soon after he woke up.)

Monday through Friday is the routine of getting up early enough to get ready for school.  There has to be time for Ian to eat his breakfast, drink his hot chocolate, take his vitamins and allergy medicine this time of year, get dressed, go to the bathroom, and brush his teeth.

I too have to get ready since I am usually the one who takes him to school.  Neither of us can fall out of bed and go.  We need time to fully wake up and get prepared for what the day has in store.

Saturdays are often time to rest for us and to veg out at home.  We spend most of the day in our pjs, which is fun, and our hair is going every direction.  These are not the days of photos, that’s for sure.  But these are fun times that I treasure.

A quote says, “There are only 940 Saturdays between your child’s birth and them leaving for college.”  This gave me pause when I first read it.  That is all I have?  What?  Someone forgot to mention that as I was carrying him for 9 months.

Then it helped me realize the importance of making the time with him count and not taking any time for granted.  So, the fun we sometimes get to have at home is truly special and full of memories.

I savor these times when Ian really does want to be home playing all day in his room, watching a movie with the three of us on the couch, and reading a book before bed.  I know that time won’t last.  Soon, he will be busy with sports, other activities, will want to spend the days with friends, and be out and about all day.

But, for now we enjoy our Saturday bliss.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Messy hair and rumbled pajamas
  • Two hot cups of tea
  • A long hug from Ian
  • Hearing, “I love you very much Mommy”
  • Watching “The Pioneer Woman” as a family
  • Eating leftovers for lunch
  • Having time to read a library book or magazine
  • Working on projects at home
  • Observing a boy playing on the floor
  • Watching a funny “Busytown Mysteries” cartoon with Ian
  • Listening to flashback weekend songs on the radio

I wonder what fun and interesting things will happen on this Saturday Bliss?  Can’t wait to find out and enjoy each and every minute!  Have a great day.

Five Minute Friday – Friend

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday!  For Today’s Five Minute Friday, the word is Friend. This when we write for five minutes on a subject.

On your mark, get set, GO!!!!

At a recent Writing Seminar dinner, the keynote speaker asked us who our favorite imaginary friend is.  This is a great question and certainly lends itself to some great answers.  Many people responded with characters that we all heard about growing up.

I have two answers for this question — the girl in The Secret Garden whose name I still can’t remember, and Willie, the sweet elf in my grandfather’s stories.

As my regular readers know, Willie was always on a quest to find out where rainbows come from.  Inevitably, he’d get into trouble and need his friends to help him.  They were always there for him.

Looking back as an adult on this story that my grandpa created, I think he had some great life lessons to teach us — being real friends, setting and sticking to your goals, being kind to others, and mainly perseverance.

For my real friends, I am fortunate to have quite a few.  Some of them I have known for many, many years.  Even though we don’t see each other much, we often pick up right where we left off.  That is a blessing.  And, I have some newer friends who I have clicked with and am so thankful for them as well.

This photo is of a few years ago of Ian with two of his stuffed friends.  He has quite a collection of them.  And, he, too is making real friends. For that, Kirk and I are very grateful.

Okay. Stop. 5minutefridayIn case you wanted to know, the rules for 5 Minute Friday are:

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…

Here are a few quotes on friendship that I looked up after my time was up:

  • “A friend loveth at all times.” — Proverbs 17:17
  • “A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.” — Douglas Pagels
  • “Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.” — Sicilian Proverb
  • “Friendship isn’t a big thing — it’s a million little things.” — Author Unknown
  • “The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.” — Elbert Hubbard

To read more thoughts on Friend from the Five Minute Friday community, please see http://lisajobaker.com/2014/04/five-minute-friday-friend-2/

Sninner or Snanner?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn Sunday evening, Ian and I were riding home from visiting family.  We were talking about his evening meal.  He said he wanted a snack.  Since it was very close to dinner time, I told him it would be dinner.

Then he said, “No Mommy, I don’t want dinner. I want a snack.”  I told him that his food would be more like dinner food than snack food.  So, the word “Sninner” was born.

Isn’t that a fun combination of Snack and Dinner?  Then we thought that maybe “Snanner” would be better.   What do you think?  Which do you like better?  Or do you have another idea?

Sninner or Snanner, that is the question. It was fun to realize that we’d made up a word.  I was pretty proud of the two of us.  Ian liked it too.

This photo was taken years ago while Ian is eating his sninner after playing at the beach.  Actually, I am not sure what time of day it was.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Making up words with my son
  • Watching his mind at work
  • Listening to Ian’s ideas and questions
  • Seeing how much Ian loves his daddy and loves to mimic him (in a good and fun way)
  • The beauty of a sunny day
  • The taste of sweet cantaloupe for breakfast
  • Walking to pick up Ian after school
  • Watching Ian explore the neighborhood on the walk home from school
  • Having bath time after school and plenty of time to play with Ian
  • Reading books with a boy who loves them

I wonder if we will create any new words today.  I will let you know if we do.

Lovely Spring Flowers

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Monday!  Hope you had a great Easter and fun weekend. Ours was great and included a great church service, wonderful foods, fun Easter Egg hunts, and many special times with friends and family.

Yesterday and today, I took several photos of dogwoods and a variety of lovely spring flowers.  Despite the pollen, I love this time of year with all of the beauty of nature.  It is great seeing plants, flowers, and trees come back to life. Grams loved flowers of all kinds.  Grams, these are in your honor!

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He Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed!!

Easter liilyHe is Risen!!!  He is Risen Indeed!!!!  Alleluia!

Hello and Happy Easter.  Hope you have a wonderful Easter!  May you enjoy the true meaning of this amazing day.

I decided to repost parts of two Easter blogs.  We’ve had a crazy busy week and this weekend is full of times with family, church, and Easter Egg Hunts.

“He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.” — 1st Corinthians 15:4.  Amen!  That scripture says it all.

The words of a favorite song sum it up beautiful on this Easter morning.  He (Jesus) is alive and I’m forgiven!  Heaven’s gates are open wide.  Isn’t that amazing?  I sure think so.

Here are the words to one of my favorite Easter hymns.  I can just hear the organ and trumpets as I sing it:

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once, upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss, Alleluia!

3 crossesHymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save, Alleluia!

But the pain which He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation hath procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s king, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing, Alleluia!

Sing we to our God above, Alleluia!
Praise eternal as His love, Alleluia!
Praise Him, all you heavenly host, Alleluia!
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Alleluia!

Another great song is “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.”  May the words of this song have meaning to you:

I know that my Redeemer lives; what comfort that sweet sentence gives!  He lives, He lives, who once was dead; He lives, my ever-living head.

He lives triumphant from the grave, He lives eternally to save, He lives all glorious in the sky, He lives exalted there on high.

He lives and grants me daily breath; He lives, and I shall conquer death: He lives my mansion to prepare; He lives to bring me safely there.

He lives all glory to His Name!  He lives, My Jesus, still the same, Oh, the sweet joy this sentence gives, I know that my redeemer lives!

Because He lives, so do we!  What a wonderful promise that is.

Today I am thankful for:

  • The excitement of a boy waking up early to enjoy his Easter basket
  • Wearing a pretty dress and hat
  • New nail polish to coordinate with that dress
  • A tasty breakfast with family and friends at church
  • Easter Egg Hunts with the family and at church
  • Flowers decorating the sanctuary
  • The organ playing favorite hymns
  • Our amazing choir
  • Lunch with family
  • My mother’s twice-baked potatoes
  • Remembering what Jesus did for me
  • A relaxing afternoon after all of the activity

May you have a wonderful Easter!

Throwback Thursday – Easter Egg Hunt

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday!  Hope you have a great day.  Today is Maundy Thursday. as well as Throwback Thursday.

This photo is from 3 years ago during an Easter Egg Hunt at church.  Ian was having as much fun studying the grass as he was looking for eggs. And, as you can see in the basket, he got a few new Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars that day.

For the last few years, he has participated in the egg hunt at both church and with the family.  We have a big get together with cousins and grandparents and siblings and part of the fun is the hunt in my parent’s yard.

After the egg hunts, Ian has enough candy to last until Halloween!  At least by then, if it hasn’t all been eaten, we’ll toss it for the next holiday.

On this upcoming Easter Weekend, I am thankful for:

  • Remembering Christ’s body and blood in communion during tonight’s Maundy Thursday service
  • Appreciating what Christ did for me on Good Friday
  • Singing “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” on Easter morning and knowing the gift He gave to us
  • Saying “He is Risen.  He is Risen Indeed” on Easter morning and all day
  • Celebrating with family and friends with a great meal, visiting, gift giving, and egg hunts
  • Watching my son as he hunts for eggs with his cousins
  • Savoring my mother’s twice baked potatoes
  • Laughing with my cousins and brothers and sisters
  • Enjoying our time together as a family and saying a prayer of thanks
  • Taking pictures and making new memories
  • Having an extra day at home with Ian to have fun and enjoy the time together

I wonder what else this long weekend has in store.  It will be fun to find out. Hope you have a great one!

Ouch! On Teeth and Other Things

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Wednesday!  Hope you are having a great day. This week we are having a Dogwood winter and it’s cold.  We were already getting ready for spring-like weather and now back to coats again.  Sheesh!

On Monday afternoon, I had oral surgery.  Two of my teeth were removed.  I had been worried about it since I had pain in my mouth.  But things went much better than I thought they would.  Thank goodness for that!

One tooth was a baby tooth and pretty small.  It is odd to finally have it gone.  But I didn’t have an adult tooth under it.  It cracked recently and had to come out.  The other tooth was a full-sized molar.  They let me keep them.  Gross but amazing how large that adult tooth was.  No wonder it hurts.

This photo is of Ian’s mouth and the first tooth he lost.  I thought it would be cute to include in this blog.  He now is missing his two front top teeth.

Monday night after the procedure, we went to my parents for dinner.  Ian was there already and was concerned about me.  He wanted to be sure Mommy was okay. I told him that I would be fine but that I was in some pain and my cheeks were a little swollen.  Kirk and Ian ate a regular dinner.  I had soup and a milkshake and it was really good.

Yesterday was a recovery day for me.  I rested, drank a lot of liquids, took medication, and ate or should I say drank soup, pudding, yogurt, milkshakes, peanut butter pie, and pear sauce (I am allergic to applesauce).  For the most part, I didn’t have pain and was so thankful for that.  Then this morning, I slept in — as a result of all of that pain medication.

The funny thing about a liquid diet is that it is hard to feel full.  I am used to real food but can’t quite do that yet. Now I am feeling the pain meds wear off.  I probably need to take some Tylenol today instead of the strong stuff, but will use what I need to as I need to.

My husband and son have been taking great care of me, as have my parents.  They have been good to all of us! I feel very blessed and so thankful the whole experience wasn’t worse than it is.

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Just one more day of school this week for Ian!  He gets Good Friday off so we will have a long weekend.  I don’t know what we will be doing but it should be fun to spend extra time with my guys.  Ian enjoys staying home to play and that is often fine with me.  We may go to the library and park, if the weather is nice.  But we’ll have to see.

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We have a bird’s nest on our upstairs deck.  The bird found a little corner.  It was amazing to watch the nest come together so quickly.  We will be watching for baby birds.  Ian was curious about it and looks at the bird each day after school.  We can see the nest outside our home office.

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A few things that I am thankful for today:

  • Extra time with my husband and son this week
  • Pain medication that really works
  • Chocolate milkshakes
  • A mother bird protecting her nest
  • Blue sky on a cold morning
  • Sleeping in
  • Time to recover and get the rest I need

I wonder what new adventures today will bring?  I am sure it will be something interesting.  And, I hope that you have a great day!

Mommy, I Can’t Quit Reading

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIan recently learned to read and loves it. One day while we were in the car, he told me, “Mommy, I just can’t quit reading.”  I said, “That is great Ian.”  He then grinned from ear to ear.

Last year before kindergarten started, he was worried that he wouldn’t learn to read.  “I just can’t do it Mommy,” he said in frustration.  I told him that he would learn and eventually be able to read.  Now, he can and it’s fantastic.

On the first day of school, his teacher said that “by the time the school year is over, your children will be reading.”  On that day I wondered if that could happen.  Today, I am glad to say that it did.

Ian has always liked books and reading.  This picture, from when he was about 3 years old, shows a book that he liked at that time — a Sesame Street book.  And, from his birth to age 5, we had him enrolled in Imagination Library.  Each month a new book came in the mail.  Such a wonderful program. Students graduate out of it at age 5.

We regularly go the library.  When he turned 6 years old, we got him his own card.  So, he can check out 6 books at a time.  He enjoys taking the time to pick them.  Then he comes home, picks one, sits on the couch or lies down on the floor, and pours over them.  He often reads them aloud and asks Kirk or me for help as he needs it.

The fact he can see words everywhere is wonderful, and even better that he can read them and likes it.  I loved hearing, “I can’t quit reading.” I just hope that he will love reading for a long time.  Since books have always been around for him, I think that he will enjoy them for many years to come.

A few quotes about reading:

  • “There is no friend as loyal as a book.” — Ernest Hemingway
  • “If one reads enough books one has a fighting chance. Or better, one’s chances of survival increase with each book one reads.” — Sherman Alexie
  • “Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” — Joyce Carol Oates
  • “Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” — Lemony Snicket
  • “Be awesome! Be a book nut!” — Dr. Seuss
  • “Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.” — Louisa May Alcott
  • “I owe everything I am and everything I will ever be to books.” — Gary Paulsen
  • “Reading brings us unknown friends.” — Honoré de Balzac
  • “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” — Stephen King
  • “Knowing you have something good to read before bed is among the most pleasurable of sensations.” — Vladimir Nabokov

I wonder what new books Ian will want to read?  I can’t wait to find out.  Have a great day!