Throwback Thursday – Summer Fun

Ian.bay.readyHi and Happy Thursday.  Hope you are having a great last day of July! Today is unusually cool and will be rainy.  Odd for July weather.  It’s normally hot, humid and very dry, but not this year.

For today’s picture, I decided on a photo of Ian from 2009, when he wasn’t quite two years old.  This was his second trip to San Diego.  This photo is of my little sea monster coming out of the bay.

Some friends of ours let us borrow the wet suit, which was way too big.  And, we had the life jacket on top to help him while in the water.  He had a hard time moving around but still had fun.

He has grown a lot since then and is now more comfortable in the water.  He loves to swim in pools and likes getting his feet wet in the ocean.  Next time we are in San Diego, we will have to try this bay again.  It is so nice and calm for swimming.

This week we have found several fun things to do as our summer winds down. These things include:

  • Ian and his friend playing mini-golf
  • Dinner out with friends
  • Ice cream cones
  • A birthday party
  • Watching Paw Patrol
  • Being amazed at Ian’s Lego creations
  • Enjoying a leftover dinner of noodles, meat, and soy sauce that Ian said was delicious
  • Reading
  • Watching a baseball game and cheering for our team
  • Ian putting on his helmet and riding his bike

This coming weekend we look forward to time to swim and more time to relax.  Should be a fun one, but then again, I think it’s supposed to be raining.  Oh well, we can figure out what to do inside.

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

Two More Weeks of Summer

Summer.7-28-2-14It is hard to believe that two weeks from today, school will start back for Ian.  My the summer has flown by. But it’s not over yet!  So, we will have to see what other fun things we can get into.  We certainly did a variety of fun things this weekend, along with some work.

This photo is from last month when we went to Cypress Gardens.  I love the pink color amongst all of the green and the water. That was such a calming place and lovely.

Over the weekend, we went shopping for books and a microscope for Ian.  We also went to buy a new backpack for Ian for school and some new tennis shoes.  Then we went for a yummy lunch at the Olive Garden.  And, later we had a relaxing evening.

For several days, we watched the San Diego Padres in action — first against the Chicago Cubs and then the Atlanta Braves.  I prefer going to a ballpark but it was just as fun watching on television. They won two of the games and lost two.

We also watched “Heaven is For Real.”  That was a very good movie and touching.  It makes you stop and think about your faith.  Anyone else seen it?  I would love some thoughts on that.

Ian spent Sunday afternoon reading his new books and going outside to find things to look at through his microscope.  At one point he was ready for a snack and said, “I am a hungry scientist.”

After that we went to play mini-golf with some friends and then out for dinner.  We had a great visit and a lot of fun.  None of us did very well but we had a great time.  Ian and his buddy were helping each other throughout the course.

Now with two weeks left of summer, we have to decide what else we will be doing.  I think there will be swimming, maybe a trip to a museum, a baseball game, and time to ride Ian’s bike, and take walks.

Ian will be starting his 1st grade year.  I think he is excited to get back to school since he really likes it.  For that I am thankful.  I, on the other hand, can’t believe he is almost a first grader.  The first year went so fast and I expect this one to as well.

Soon it will be back to the alarm clock going off, packing lunches, walking to and from school (when the weather is nice), homework and school projects, and earlier bed times.

For now and the next two weeks though, we will still enjoy making pancakes and bacon during the week.  There is never enough time during the school year to do this in the morning before we have to leave.  Instead it’s just on the weekend. So that is a fun summer treat.

We will also enjoy time to read together, have Ian watch his favorite cartoons in the morning, color and draw, make up stories, play, have computer time, and enjoy ice cream treats.

The routine and pace of summer is so different than the school year.  We have enjoyed it and will between now and when school starts.

I wonder what fun end of the summer adventures we will have this week and next?  I cannot wait to find out.

Throwback Thursday – Piano

Patti.piano.Happy Thursday!  For today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to go way, way back.  This is a picture of me as a little girl trying to play the piano at my grandparent’s house.

At the time I had no idea how to read music, but I seem to enjoy the challenge. I am not even sure what piece of music this is.   As I got older I took piano lessons but never practiced enough.  My piano teacher used to fuss at me, “You need to practice more.”

Now, my husband and I have a piano and although I still love to play, I still don’t practice nearly enough.  This is something I need to work on.  Any suggestions?

I know a few people who are amazing pianists.  My aunt can play almost anything from memory.  She was always the one who played my favorite songs during our family singalongs.  My sister-in-law and her mother all also very good as are my niece and nephew.  They have all learned well and practice regularly. I also have a cousin who is an amazing pianist and singer.  She has written several songs and my favorites are the ones with her singing as she plays the piano.

And, there are artists/musicians who I like very much who are very good on the piano — like Jim Brickman, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, John Legend, Norah Jones, Michael Feinstein, Bruno Mars, Christina Perri, Sara Bareilles, Josh Groban, Diana Krall, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Ray Charles.  Who would you add to this list?

My goal for the month of August is to practice more and to learn a new song.  I enjoy it very much and it is relaxing.  Just have to add it to my schedule.

I wonder what will be the next song I will learn?  I think “How Great Thou Art” will be my choice.  I have worked on it before and look forward to doing so again!!  I will keep you posted on my progress.

Magic of Ordinary Days

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAEarlier this week, one of the Hallmark Channels aired a movie entitled, “The Magic of Ordinary Days.”  It is a drama set during World War II when the world was a very different place.

I have seen the movie and enjoyed it.  However, hearing and reading the title inspired me to write since I think there is magic in ordinary days.

Ordinary is defined as the regular or customary condition or course of things.  It often gets a bad rap since things are “supposed” to be unique, or special or amazing.  But, in the midst of storms of life, the ordinary is comforting.

We are creatures of habit and routine and that is what ordinary days are to me.  The comfort of knowing what to expect is nice. Don’t get me wrong, I do like excitement and new and exciting things, but I am basic person and happy with ordinary things.

Some of the ordinary things that make me happy are:

  • Time in the morning with my guys as we sit on the bed, talk, and watch Good Morning America
  • My coffee with creamer each morning
  • Doing word finds
  • A cold glass of milk with a special treat
  • Shopping at the local Goodwill for new clothes
  • Watching reruns of a favorite show for the umpteenth time
  • Singing along to each and every word of a favorite musical or song on the radio
  • Re-reading a favorite book
  • Walking around a new city (like Charleston, SC) with my son and other family – as in the blog’s picture
  • Playing cards or games with my family
  • Talking and laughing with friends
  • Weekly trips to the library
  • Walking to and from school with my son (actually this is pretty special and will happening again soon)

The people in my life are not ordinary but extraordinary.  They enrich my life and bring me happiness.  To be with them is special and fun.

Here are a few quotes I found about ordinary and extraordinary:

  • “You can find something truly important in an ordinary minute.”– Mitch Albom
  • “Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary”– John Keating
  • “Things don’t have to be extraordinary to be beautiful. Even the ordinary can be beautiful.” — Wicker Park
  • “In extraordinary times, the ordinary takes on a glow and wonder all of its own”– Mike A. Lancaster

I am truly thankful for both the ordinary and extraordinary.  I wonder what today will bring?  I can’t wait to find out.

The Storms In Life

storm.cloudsSome weeks are good weeks and some are not so good.  We can call them the storms of our life.  I have had one of those weeks.

On Sunday, a friend passed away.  She was young and has a son Ian’s age.  She was someone who I am very glad to have had as my friend.  We didn’t know each other for that long but we clicked from the first time we chatted as our boys played together.

On Thursday, we celebrated her life at a lovely memorial service.  She had requested everyone to wear bright colors and it was such a lovely vision to see.  Instead of the usual black, there was a sea of pink, blue, yellow, green, orange, and many other colors.  Despite the sadness, if made me smile.  The music was lovely and the scripture verses very meaningful.  It was a lovely tribute to this fine woman.  I continue to pray for her husband, child, and family.

Also this week, one of my relatives had surgery after going through months and months of chemo.   She has been brave and amazingly strong through it all.  She is home now and continuing to get better! What a fabulous answer to our prayers.  We continue to pray for her each and every day.

On the good side of things, I found out that one of my cousins is pregnant with her second daughter.  We are so excited for this new life and cannot wait to meet her.  I hope and pray for a great rest of her pregnancy.

With the end of one life, the struggles of another life, and a new life on the horizon, I am reminded of how precious and short our time is.  And how life keeps going and moving on.   And how precious the loved ones who enrich my life truly are to me.   I try to remember to make the most of each and every minute that I have and spend time with my loved ones.

But, I have to admit, I sometimes take these people for granted, without meaning to.  I want to be sure not to do that, but instead remember to savor and appreciate them and be in the moment.  I don’t plan to beat myself up for missed moments, but instead learn to realize how truly each minute is a gift and to be treasured.

Also on my mind this week are the many struggles and suffering all over the world — fighting and violence, the airplane that was shot down, and the terrible fires, flooding and other strong storms.  I continue to pray for those affected by all of these disasters.

The photo at the top of the blog is one that I took of an approaching storm during our recent trip to Charleston, SC.  It was lovely yet menacing.  Very soon afterwards, the storm clouds opened and a soaking rain started.  Thankfully we were in my cousin’s truck but the rain was so heavy that it was hard to see.  It didn’t last very long and then the sun came out.

Thankfully, just as that rain storm moved out quickly, the storms in our lives eventually still and move out.  And, then there is the rainbow or the sunny day.  So too, the hard times will eventually turn into easier times.  I hope and pray that will be soon for those suffering.

This weekend is a rainy weekend and one that is quite unusual for July.  It is cooler than normal with a steady rain for most of today and tomorrow.  May we enjoy our time and appreciate the rain.  After all, it will be lovely once the sun comes back out.

Here are a few quotes about storms:

  • “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”– Vivian Greene
  • “When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”– Haruki Murakami
  • “Life’s roughest storms prove the strength of our anchors.” — Author Unknown
  • “After a storm comes a calm.” — Matthew Henry
  • “Sometimes you just have to bow your head, say a prayer, and weather the storm.” — Author Unknown
  • “Count your rainbows, not your storms.” — Alyssa Knight (age 12)
  • “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” — Author Unknown
  • “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you’ve got to put up with the rain.” — Dolly Parton

I wonder if I can appreciate each day, even one with storms and struggles.  With the Lord’s help and love and strength of my family and friends, I will do my best.

 

Throwback Thursday – Ocean

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday!  It is time for another Throwback Thursday.  My, the week has gone fast.

I was looking through some old photos recently and came across this one.  It is from a few years ago at our favorite beach.  I thought it would be great for today.  I like this picture of Ian getting his feet wet at sunset time.  It was a very cloudy evening yet still lovely.

Some of my family is having fun at this beach, but we weren’t able to make it this year.  Instead we are doing other fun activities.  I do love the ocean and am enjoying their amazing pictures from this summer.  I am also enjoying mine from a few summers ago.

As I wrote about recently, we went to Charleston and got to see that coast at the harbor.  It is equally lovely and was a great trip seeing family.  We had a chance to go swimming as well.  It has been a good summer so far.

Yesterday I asked Ian how he was enjoying his summer, and he said, “I am Mommy.”  “Is there still anything you want to do Ian?” “Just go downtown Mommy.”

That will be a fun trip to a favorite city’s downtown street.  There is much to see and do and it is something to look forward to.  We should be able to do that this weekend. Downtown includes a great toy store, a general store, a wonderful bakery, a few used bookstores and a frozen yogurt shop.  There are also a variety of great restaurants and coffee shops.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Beach time with my family
  • Toes in the sand and water
  • Swimming with family
  • Family cookouts
  • An ice cream cone
  • Photos taken by family and friends
  • Reading a new book with my son
  • Finishing a book of my own
  • Dinner out with my best guys
  • Lightning bugs at sunset
  • Time with dear friends
  • Sharing a joke with a friend or family member
  • Remembering a loved ones life
  • Celebrating the news of a new life
  • Sharing prayer requests with others
  • Spending time window shopping and getting a treat while downtown

I wonder when I will be at the beach again?  I hope that it is soon, but in the meantime, I will enjoy other bodies of water and make the most of the time and places that I find myself in.  Have a great day!

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA July is National Ice Cream Month.  I just found this out and had to write about it.

According to a  Web site, “In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.

“He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by a full 90 percent of the nation’s population. In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with ‘appropriate ceremonies and activities.'”

Isn’t that cool?  (Pun intended)  I had forgotten that he made this designation.  I just wonder what events we should do to celebrate?

I don’t know about you but I love ice cream.  My favorite flavor is chocolate mint (aka mint chocolate chip).  That is second only to chocolate chip.

I also like vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries. Those are my favorites.  I like my ice cream in a bowl, but prefer it on a cone.  What is your favorite and how do you like it?

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHere are a few photos of Ian from two years ago when we were at the beach.  The one in the brown shirt makes me think that he didn’t want to interrupted from his ice cream for a photo.  He seems to be saying, “Come on Mom!!! My ice cream cone is dripping.”

Many nights when we were there, we purchased treats from the ice cream truck – or my parents did.  That summer we bought so much that the ice cream man gave Ian a freebie — the green and dripping face. Ian was thrilled and I was pleasantly surprised.  What a nice thing for him to do.

I am going to mark my calendar on July 20 for National Ice Cream Day.   Cones, check.  Ice cream scoop. Check. Large carton of mint chocolate chip as well as peanut butter and chocolate (which Kirk prefers). Still need to purchase. So better get on this, check.

I just wonder what special “appropriate activities” we should do?  Perhaps a build-your-own sundae?  Or some large cones? I can’t wait to figure it out.

Throwback Thursday – Kirk

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA DSC05822 (2) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn honor of my husband’s birthday tomorrow, I decided to include a few old pictures of the two of us and of us with Ian.

This first one is of the two of us in 2006 – pre-Ian.  We were in Fort Pierce, Florida.

The second picture of us kneeling with Ian was taken in San Diego at Balboa near the organ pavilion.  I don’t remember the year. As you can see we like hats and sunglasses when we are outside.

The third picture of us sitting on the grass was taken on Easter Sunday a few years ago.  I just love Ian’s pose.  He is a ham for the camera and certainly was in this picture.

Happy early birthday babe! I love you very much!

Sweet Tea and Summer

iced.teaIn the movie, Steel Magnolias, sweet tea is named the house wine of the south.  I have to agree.

Here in the south, most of us like our tea sweet with plenty of ice.  Some like lemon with it and some don’t.  Other parts of the country look at you funny when you order sweet tea or iced tea at a restaurant.

In my opinion, the best sweet tea is when the sugar is added when the water is still hot — just after brewing.  If you wait until it’s cold, it just doesn’t mix very well.

My friend Dawn really likes sweet tea and regularly drinks it.  My husband does as well.  I like my sweet tea mixed with some unsweet tea as it is often too sweet for me.  And, I like lots of ice.

Imagine my delight when I realized that the town of Summerville, South Carolina, which we recently visited,  is the birthplace of Sweet Tea. I made a note to be sure and tell Dawn about this.

According to an article in Charleston’s newspaper, The Post and Courier, a receipt from 1890 indicated that this was the location of the first sweet tea.  Here is an excerpt from that article:

“For some years, the Southern beverage was thought to have happened onto the scene in St. Louis at The World’s Fair in 1904.

“But those ideas changed with the discovery of a long list of items purchased for a reunion of old soldiers near Summerville in 1890.

“Among the provisions of bread, beans, and beef were these specific commodities: 600 pounds of sugar and 880 gallons of iced tea. These folks were already enjoying the Southern beverage of choice a full 14 years before anybody at the World’s Fair had even considered dropping some ice into a glass of tea.”

The article also states that the City of Summerville was approved for a trademark to call itself the birthplace of sweet tea.  Cool!  (pun intended)

According to a Charleston travel magazine, “The tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) arrived in Summerville in the late 1700s imported by Andre Michaux, a French explorer and botanist. In 1888, Dr. Charles Shepard was the first to successfully propagate and produce tea for consumption when he acquired 600 acres in Summerville and established the Pinehurst Tea Plantation. Dr. Shepard produced award-winning teas until his death in 1915.”

The tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) arrived in Summerville in the late 1700s imported by Andre Michaux, a French explorer and botanist. In 1888, Dr. Charles Shepard was the first to successfully propagate and produce tea for consumption when he acquired 600 acres in Summerville and established the Pinehurst Tea Plantation. Dr. Shepard produced award-winning teas until his death in 1915. – See more at: http://travelerofcharleston.com/blog/summerville-tastes-like-sweet-tea/#sthash.DwbbY7m4.dpuf

There is nothing like a glass of sweet tea – served over lots of ice — especially in the summer.  AHHH!

To me, here is summer:

  • Bare feet
  • Playing in the sprinkler
  • Sand in my toes
  • Lightning bugs
  • Late nights
  • Lazy mornings
  • Making pancakes on a weekday
  • Playing a game of chess with Ian
  • Reading books anytime
  • Swimming in the pool
  • Watermelon dripping down your hands
  • Corn cooked on a grill
  • Walks with my hubby and son
  • Cookouts
  • Fireworks
  • S’mores
  • A tall glass of sweet iced tea

I wonder when my next glass of sweet tea will be?  Probably at lunch!  Take care and have a great day!

The tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) arrived in Summerville in the late 1700s imported by Andre Michaux, a French explorer and botanist. In 1888, Dr. Charles Shepard was the first to successfully propagate and produce tea for consumption when he acquired 600 acres in Summerville and established the Pinehurst Tea Plantation. Dr. Shepard produced award-winning teas until his death in 1915. – See more at: http://travelerofcharleston.com/blog/summerville-tastes-like-sweet-tea/#sthash.DwbbY7m4.dpuf

Happy Birthday Dear Karen!

Karen-2Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Karen, Happy Birthday to you!!!

Happy birthday to my friend Karen.  Hope you have been having a fantastic birthday!

Karen has been a friend for many, many years!  We met at work and have stayed friends long after leaving those jobs.

Here we are many years ago at the beach with her wonderful hubby.  These two have always been like my big brother and sister.  We always got along really well and for that I am truly thankful.

I knew them for several years before meeting Kirk.  When Kirk and I started dating, it was fun to have a great couple to do things with.  The four of us have always had a great time together.

Karen is a friend who I enjoy being with and spending many hours together talking, shopping, eating, or spending time at the beach.  We have always had a great time together!  We always like to smile and laugh.

When I think of a happy and cheerful person, Karen is who comes to mind.  She loves her family, her friends, is passionate about several hobbies, is a hard worker, and is quite smart.  I have learned many things from her over the years and continue to do so.

I decided to post these old photos of us. (hope you don’t mind)  At the end of the post, the photo on the left was taken at a luncheon with colleagues from work and the second one was taken at my old apartment.

May you have a wonderful day as special as you are my dear friend!  Hope to see you again soon.Karen-3 Karen.1