Flashback Friday – Happy Halloween

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Halloween!  Today is the day for costumes, candy, pumpkins, trick-or-treating, and being scared and scary.  Well, at my house, we don’t like being scared or scaring others, so we won’t be doing any of that. But the rest, we are looking forward to!

For today’s Flashback Friday, I decided to include a few Halloween costumes from year’s past.  First is Ian dressed like a pilot from a few years ago.  The other one is of him as Elmo and me in a similar top and sweater.

Tonight, Ian will be dressed as a knight.  This costume is one that my sister gave us as a hand-me-down.  It is supposed to rain tonight and Ian told me this morning, “Mom, knights don’t carry umbrellas.”  “You are right Ian, so what should we do?” I asked him.

We then decided that we can give out candy in costume to other kids and he seems to really like that idea.  I think he was happy that he wouldn’t get wet that way.

Whatever the weather brings, we will have a good time.  We hope that you do as well.

On this Halloween day, I am thankful for:

  • Messy morning hair on a sweet boy
  • The excitement of dress-up
  • Lovely fall colors
  • A fun dinner out last night with some good friends
  • Having Ian help pick the candy we will give out
  • Trick-or-treating with Ian
  • A garage that keeps our cars warm on cold mornings
  • Pumpkin spice creamer for my coffee
  • The crackle and smell of cooking bacon
  • Having my parents over for dinner and Halloween fun
  • The sun coming up for the start of a new day
  • A weekend of time at home
  • An extra hour of sleep on Saturday night before we change the clocks
  • The forecast of snow over the weekend
  • The feel of warm, just-washed towels and sheets (it’s laundry day)
  • Lunch out with my hubby
  • Catching up with old friends
  • Making time to spend with new friends
  • Having an opportunity for early voting and waiting in a long line
  • A good report card and conference with Ian’s teacher
  • Prayer support from friends and family
  • The ending of my favorite month, October

I wonder what fun and adventures this Halloween day and night will bring?  I look forward to finding out!  Take care and be safe!

Prayers and Praises

graceBe still and know that I am God.   I so need that comfort today.  I have so many loved ones on my mind right now who need prayers and love and support. I can’t help but tear up when thinking about some of them and what they are going through.

And, I know that God is there with me and my loved ones every step of the way.  He promised to be with us through everything.  I take comfort in that incredible fact.

The son of a family friend had a stroke a few weeks ago and wasn’t expected to make it.  This young man is only 47 years old.  Since we found out the news, quite a few people have been praying for him. This afternoon we found out that he was able to move his finger and his feet.  And, the report is that he will be okay.    So I must say,  Praise the Lord!!

Another friend from high school said today that her 10-year-old daughter Lily has bone cancer.  I cannot even imagine how my friend is feeling right now.  I would be an absolute wreck.  I read this in her posting asking for prayers for Lily of family and friends.  Wow, what an amazing mother she is.  She is doing the best thing for her daughter — putting her in the Lord’s hands.

A relative is struggling with some major health issues and her family is trying to figure out what to do to help her.  Another friend’s child is recovering from surgery, a dear pastor’s wife is battling her second round of breast cancer, and several other friends just finished chemo treatments.

It is so easy to get almost overwhelmed by all of these needs of prayer.  Yet, by placing them in the Lord’s hand and asking for His protection, guidance, comfort, answers, and support, we are doing the best thing for them and their struggles.  We don’t always know the answers of why or the outcome, but praying is still the best thing to do, in my opinion.  Also, I think it is important to let those loved ones know we are praying for them and that we can help them if they need us to.

In addition to all of the sadness and hardships, there are also things to praise the Lord for.  One relative just received a clean bill of health after cancer treatments, another had a baby shower for her daughter who is due soon, and another is expecting her first child and will find out the sex when the baby is delivered.

I also want to praise the Lord for traveling mercies, for special times with family and friends, and for celebrations of life and our relationships, and that my son prays regularly. Praise also for two friends who suffered major losses and are now healing and discovering new relationships and friendships.  And, praise for the ability to laugh with our friends and family and the chances to share funny stories.

There is an amazing hymn that is coming to mind today — “It Is Well With My Soul.”

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Refrain:
It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to His cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Refrain

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

Refrain

And Lord haste the day, when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Refrain

Isn’t that song amazing?  It was written by a man named Horatio Spafford who suffered some great losses in his life.  The fact he was able to craft these words still amazes me today.And, it is so comforting and inspirational as well.

I want to close with a prayer:

“Lord, please watch over my loved ones in all that they do. Please stretch out your healing hands on those who are sick and suffering.  Please give us comfort and help us as only you can. Please help to us be there for one another and show the love that you have taught us.

“Praise and thanks to You for all of the gifts You provide for us. Praise to you and thanks so much for your love that You shower down on us. Praise also for our friendships and relationships we have. Praise to you for giving us the ability to love, laugh, and forgive.

“Thanks so much for life and liberty and freedoms. Amen.”

Church Celebration

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAYesterday morning, our church celebrated its 70th anniversary.  It was a great day and truly a celebration. It is amazing to think that in 1944, our church was founded.  It has been going strong ever since.

This church is extra special since it is the place where I met Kirk and we later married.  Now we are active there and Ian enjoys it as much as we do.

Seeing people I grew up with at the special service was really great.  And our retired pastor who performed our wedding gave the sermon.  It was great to hear him again.

Also the music was fantastic. The choir started the service with an amazing gospel song with hands clapping.  It was fun to hear all of the people singing with the choir.  Later, as a congregation  we sang, “The Churches One Foundation,” “A Mighty Fortress,” and “The Lord’s Prayer.”

We then all ate together in the fellowship hall for a lovely catered lunch. The food and dessert were tasty.  As we ate, a slide show of the church’s history played.  It included information on the church staff, the previous building, when the current building was built, and the renovations, and assorted activities.

It was a great morning at church and one that I will remember for a while.  This photo was taken in the narthex on Easter Sunday this year.  Such pretty flowers on this cross.

Some of the things about this church that mean so much to me are:

  • The location I met my hubby
  • A place where Ian enjoys hearing the Children’s Chat
  • Seeing a photo of our former organist who was also my piano teacher.  I still miss seeing her
  • Pictures of youth group activities
  • Clapping with the choir as they sing a lovely anthem
  • The sound of the organ and many voices as we all hold hands and sing “The Lord’s Prayer”
  • Praying together as a congregation before we eat a delicious meal
  • Memories of VBS and Sunday School
  • Celebrating life and honoring the lives of those who we have lost

I have several old photos of this great church that I will have to find.  I just wish I had found them to be included in the slide show.

Happy Anniversary / Birthday

Patti_Dad_2006 GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHappy Anniversary to my sweet hubby Kirk and Happy Birthday to my wonderful Dad.   It is an honor to celebrate today with these two amazing and important men in my life.

To Dad, I say thank you for teaching me all that you did, for being so attentive and interested in your family and our activities, for showing me the importance of being a good steward with my money, and for spending time with our family.

To Kirk, I want to say thanks so much for loving me as much as you do, for being an amazing father to our son, for being a great friend, partner and so much more, for always making me laugh and for comforting me when I cry, and for sharing in all of the little and important things with me. You are the best!

I remember the day of our wedding so vividly and cherish the memories of both of you that day.  Dad walking me down the aisle to greet my hubby-to-be, having the opportunity to dance with both of you, and being able to share the day is such a gift. You are both such a blessing to me and I thank the Lord for you each day.

A few quotes about marriage:

  • “The bonds of matrimony are like any other bonds — they mature slowly.”~ Peter De Vries
  • “To keep the fire burning brightly there’s one easy rule: Keep the two logs together, near enough to keep each other warm and far enough apart — about a finger’s breadth — for breathing room. Good fire, good marriage, same rule.” ~ Marnie Reed Crowell
  • “Newlyweds become oldyweds, and oldyweds are the reasons that families work.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate.” ~ Barnett R. Brickner

A few quotes about fathers:

  • “My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass.” “We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply. “We’re raising boys.”” ~ Harmon Killebrew
  • “He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” ~ Clarence Budington Kelland
  • “A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “A father carries pictures where his money used to be.” ~ Author Unknown

I wonder if these two fine men will truly understand how great they are and how dear they are to me?  I will do my best to let them know and look forward to special time with each of them.

Throwback Thursday – Dad and Kirk

10-24_TBTTomorrow is my wedding anniversary as well as my Dad’s birthday.  He was kind enough to share his birthday with us. So for today’s Throwback Thursday, I wanted to include a photo from 2010 of (from left) Kirk, Ian, and Dad.

We were at the beach and the three of them were being silly with their backwards hats. I only wish Ian had been looking up, although it is cute since they are both holding onto his arms and keeping him on the fence.

That year, Dad was the amazing Father of the Bride, which we put on a cake in his honor at the rehearsal dinner.

The other photo is of me on my dad’s lap when I was a child.  It is one of my favorites of the two of us.

I love these guys!  I can’t wait to celebrate our special days with both of them tomorrow.

Happy Birthday to you dear Dad — tomorrow.  And, Happy Anniversary to you babe — also tomorrow.  Love ya both so much!

Family Love and Memories

img116Yesterday, I watched two DVDs of my grandfather’s 80th birthday party.  One DVD included his stories and some songs and the other included memories of him and toasts.

We celebrated his 80th in 1988.  Hard to believe it was that long ago now. It was amazing to see all of us circa 26 years ago.  So much has changed since then.

In this video, I saw my grandpa (inspiration for this blog), my grandma, Grandma’s maid-of-honor and family friend Evie, our family friend Wayne, who was like a second grandfather, and his amazing wife Rett.

They have all passed away and were fascinating people.  I was enriched for having known all of them.  Evie was a pilot and had great stories to tell, Wayne was a fireman, and Rett was Grams’ best friend.  The fact that all of them lived such long and amazing lives is wonderful!

This photo was taken a few years after this birthday celebration in the same room where the video was recorded.  I spent a lot of time in this room through the years and loved it.  The turquoise walls, Grandma and Grandpa’s chairs, their piano, artwork, and knickknacks make me smile.

I also noticed that some important people who are now in the family weren’t back then.  Many loved ones have joined our family through marriage and births.  It is amazing to think that my grandparents now have 18 great-grandchildren, if I haven’t left anyone out. The family love has continued to grow!!

As I watched this DVD, my eyes welled up with tears as Grandpa told stories of Willie, and several other characters that he made up.  It was such a gift to again hear his voice as I remember and the lines that each story would end with.  It took me back to my childhood and all of the fun times we had as a family.

As I have written about, each Willie story would end with his scratching his head and saying, “I still wonder where rainbows come from.” The entire family would always say it with Grandpa.  Chills to see and hear that again!

The family singing was magical.  My amazing Aunt Linda can play almost anything on the piano without music, and often transposes the key as needed.  She did this on the DVD.  All of us in the family sang along to a song wishing a special birthday to Grandpa, also to a song that Mom had written about the family for Grandpa’s and Grandma’s anniversary, and several favorite show tunes.  As I watched the singing, I sang along again.

It was wonderful to be back in the family cocoon.  Kirk and Ian watched it with me and asked about the people there.  Ian was amazed to see his grandparents and his mother looking 26 years younger.  “Wow, Mom, is that you?” he asked.  “Yes, Ian. It sure is,” I told him.

I was so happy to watch these old videos of how I remember my grandparents and their house looking.  To see it again and all of those people whom I love so much was an amazing treasure.  So many happy tears and happy memories.

It has been a few years since I have seen my cousins and aunts and uncles.  We are planning a family reunion for next summer and I cannot wait!  It  is great that the fourth generation of our family loves to be together as much as the rest of us.

I wonder what amazing memories will be made and recorded at this next gathering?  I am sure there will be many and I am so looking forward to it.

Fallback Friday

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday.  This fall, on some Fridays, I will post some old photos of fall and some of what we were doing for Fallback Friday.  This may be in lieu of Throwback Thursdays some weeks.

Today’s photos are of Ian in the fall of 2011 exploring a few things we found in the yard and of the pretty leaves as they had changed, also in 2011.

fallback2As I have mentioned before, there are so many things that I love about fall.  Here are a few:

  • Warm and fuzzy socks
  • Pumpkin bread
  • Homemade soup
  • Baking breads and cookies
  • Sitting under a soft blanket
  • S’mores
  • Football games
  • Pulling out a favorite sweater from the back of the closet
  • Telling stories around a campfire
  • A chill in the air
  • Trick or treating
  • Celebrating birthdays and our anniversary
  • Walks in the evening
  • Pecan pie, apple pie, blackberry cobbler
  • Brilliant reds and yellows of nature
  • Raking leaves and then jumping in them
  • A hot cup of tea while reading a great book
  • The time change with a longer evening
  • Fall break

I also like the extra time we have inside as a family since the days are shorter, and the opportunity to use my inside exercise equipment as well as enjoy some outside exercise that is not so humid and sweaty. With all of the treats I enjoy at this time of year, I have to be sure and balance them with exercise.

I wonder what fun adventures we will have this fall?  I know there will be plenty and they will be great!

Fall Wedding At Farm

fall.wedding.2

A few weeks ago, we went to my son-in-law’s wedding.  It was lovely and a fun weekend for our family.

He was the ring bearer in our wedding so it was very special seeing him get married.  It is hard to believe that he is old enough to be a newlywed but the time has moved on quickly and he has grown into a fine young man. His bride is a fine young lady.

Their wedding was at a farm in rural Tennessee and was a gorgeous and very calm setting.  Here are some of the photos that I took of the scenery. Fall.Wedding.6 Fall.wedding.3 fall.wedding.4 fall.wedding1 fall.wedding5

It was a great time for friends and family with a lovely service, great meal, fun dancing, and all of the traditions that one sees in a wedding.

I wish J & B well!  Love you both very much!!

I wonder when I will be able to go back to that pretty farm?  I am not sure if I will, but I have some lovely memories.

Dr. B’s Words of Wisdom

SRP.28_Patti.Dick.and.Artha.1986As my regular readers know, my blog is inspired by the stories of my wonderful grandfather, Dr. J.R.B.  He was an amazing storyteller and had quite an imagination.  He also wrote a column for his city’s paper for 20 years about his children, pets, his wife, family, and friends.

In 1985, he and my grandmother gave all of us in the family an amazing book of his columns and some family photos.  It is one of my favorite and most special treasures.  I love that my writing is often similar to his.  Today, I was looking at this book and came across a great column.  When I read it, I thought of Ian who has just had a birthday and my nephew Isaac who will turn 17 years old tomorrow.

This photo was taken of me with my amazing grandparents in 1986 – one year after receiving this precious gift.  I have enjoyed reading it on occasion ever since and draw inspiration from his columns and his stories that he used to tell.  I still miss both of them very much and wish they could have met my husband and son.

Here are my grandpa’s words on Parent’s Hardest Job, which was published in November 1950:

____”I’ve been watching our small son wrestle with Brownie, our family pooch.  It’s man-style wrestling now.  All at once I knew our boy is a baby no longer. The little baby has gone forever.

“Know how I feel? Like boo-hooing. I think a parent’s hardest job is watching the little ones grow up. Do you feel that way too? They grow up so doggone fast.

“Probably our regret is selfish.  One reason we love our children so much when they are little is that they make us feel very important. Their helplessness feeds our big-shot appetites. Compared with them we’re competent, successful, brilliant.

“We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t enjoy these superior feelings.

“Then they grow up. They become more and more independent. They compete with us. We become small potatoes. And we don’t like it.

“What should I do with my son, and you with yours? I should be more generous. I should get my thrill out of his new accomplishments. I should encourage his growth in all ways.

“So, little boy, go ahead and wrestle man-style. Nice to see your progress.

“The trouble is that your father is a soft-hearted old lump-in-the throat guy who just can’t seem to practice what he preaches. Oh me!”____

Aren’t these words amazing? I teared up when I read them today.  I thought about Ian and Isaac and the rest of my nieces and nephews and how quickly they are all growing up.  Time moves so quickly and there is so much change in our children.

I am honored to be able to have a front-row seat at my son’s growing up years and so many other amazing young people.  I feel blessed and humbled about that.  I wish them all the best!

I wonder if I could put this feeling into words as well as Grandpa did?  I am just glad to have his words to read and learn from.

Throwback Thursday – Yummy Meal

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to include a photo when Ian was about 2 years old.  As you can see, he is wearing much of his meal.  He seemed to like it and thought it was yummy.

I love his expression, his smile, big and bright eyes, and the messy hairdo.  I just wish I could remember what the meal was.  Probably spaghetti since that was always a messy time.

Now that it is 1 week since he turned 7 years old, it is fun to look back at these old photos. Images like this bring back such fun memories. And make me realize how fast time goes and how important it is to capture such precious times.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Messy hands and faces
  • A happy boy after a yummy meal
  • Remembrances of Ian at 2-years-old and each year since
  • A 7-year-old who is excited to buy a new book with his birthday money
  • Upcoming fall break for some down time
  • Having a camera to capture our fun and crazy days
  • A chance to visit great teachers during a school open house
  • Cooler mornings and evenings and warmth during the day
  • Laughter and funny stories
  • Catching up with a dear friend or family member
  • Making meals with my family

I wonder if the next time Ian eats spaghetti it will be this messy?  I doubt it but can’t wait to find out.