Happy Birthday to Richmond!

3.Truex.2015Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Richmond, Happy Birthday to you!!!!!  Happy Birthday to my dear brother Richmond.  Hope you are  having a great day!  Here is a photo from the summer of us with our sister Cindy.

Yesterday we celebrated Christmas with him and his family and also celebrated his birthday.  It was a fun day and we had a great time.  Richmond and I are good friends and I think the world of him.  He is one of my favorite people.

He is smart, great at his job, loves his family, has several hobbies, and loves to sing and act.  He is also a loving husband, great father, and someone who I love to be with.  I am fortunate to have him as a friend as well as my younger brother.

There never seems to be enough time for us to get together.  When we can, it is very special and lots of fun. I am so thankful for my brother.  He is such fun and such an important part of my life.

I am thankful for:

  • Sharing inside jokes with him
  • Listening to his laugh
  • His impressions and quotes that crack me up
  • Fun times throughout the years
  • Memories at Mission Beach
  • Watching favorite shows and movies with him
  • His lovely wife who is a real sister
  • His amazing kids
  • Despite how we acted as kids, we are now real and good friends
  • His sense of style
  • His passion for the band U2
  • His lifelong friendships
  • His love of family and friends

SRP.33.Patti_Richmond.1990A few quotes about brothers:

  • A brother shares childhood memories and grown-up dreams. ~ Author Unknown
  • A friend is a brother who was once a bother. ~ Author Unknown
  • I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at. ~ Maya Angelou
  • Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply. ~ Jane Austen
  • Our siblings. They resemble us just enough to make all their differences confusing, and no matter what we choose to make of this, we are cast in relation to them our whole lives long. ~ Susan Scarf Merrell
  • The highlight of my childhood was making my brother laugh so hard that food came out his nose. ~ Garrison Keillor

Richmond, may you have a blessed birthday and a year full of blessings.  Love you so very much.  Hope to see you again very soon!!

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All Is Calm, All Is Bright

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAOne of my favorite Christmas songs is Silent Night. To me, it is the perfect song for Christmas Eve as we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child.

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin Mother and Child, holy
Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night, holy night, shepherds quake at the sight,
Glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing Alleluia.
Christ the Saviour is born,
Christ the Saviour is born.
Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love’s pure light,
Radiant beams from
Thy holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.
Silent night, holy night, wondrous star, lend thy light;
With the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King.
Christ the Saviour is born,
Christ the Saviour is born.
May you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

Playground Visit

playground.7Hi and Happy Monday.  Last week, Ian had his Christmas party at school.  Afterwards, the kids went outside to play.  It was a lovely day and unseasonably warm. I had fun taking photos of the playground.  Enjoy!

This visit took me back to when I was in school and had time to play on the playground.  Fun and play are so important to children, and to adults as well.  May we remember to play, no matter how old we are. May we have fun during this busy Christmas season!  God Bless.

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Christmas Five Years Ago

TT.12-17_15Hi and Happy Thursday.  For today’s Throwback Thursday, I included a picture of the three of us at Christmas.  This was taken in 2010 when Ian was 3 years old.

My how has he changed since this photo.  He was into all things that preschoolers love.  He had fun at Christmas but this year is different.  He now understands what it’s all about, enjoys reading his Advent calendar each day, and had fun drafting a long letter to Santa.

In 2010, he got the Candyland game and we played it for hours and hours.  Last year, he received Monopoly and was equally thrilled.  Also, in 2010, Ian received a large fire truck that he was able to get into and play with.  He loved it and still enjoys it today.

I have always loved Christmas and love that he enjoys it as much as I do.  He is very excited to have just today and tomorrow left at school before our break.  Let the holiday fun begin!

Today I am thankful for so much.  We are blessed and fortunate to have our family traditions and our family and friends to enjoy being with.  Among my blessings are:

  • Family traditions with my family of 3 and extended family
  • Ian reading his Advent Bible verses each day
  • Shopping with Ian for an angle tree gift
  • Christmas shows with my guys
  • Hot chocolate and popcorn in the evenings
  • Advent services and meals at church (even though we missed a few because of illness)
  • Christmas party at school
  • Parties with friends
  • Making fudge for gifts
  • Crafting ornaments and other things
  • Choosing favorite photos
  • Playing games with friends and family
  • Hours and hours of fun and laughter
  • A break from our usual routine
  • Seeing friends after years apart
  • Special dinner out with my hubby
  • The upcoming birth of our Savior
  • Messy hair and pjs on Christmas morning

And a few quotes about Christmas:

  • “The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” ~ Burton Hillis
  • “One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” ~ Andy Rooney
  • “Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • “Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. “~ Peg Bracken

May you blessed and enjoy this holiday season.

No Time To Be Sick

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Tuesday. Can you believe that there are just 10 days until Christmas?  I sure can’t.  At this most busy time of year, there is no time to be sick.  And, it is a bummer to be sick.  Yet that is exactly what I am dealing with that today and have for the last few days.

On Friday of last week, I started feeling rough – sore throat, cough, and overly tired.  Then Saturday morning, I went to see our on-call doctor.  He diagnosed me with an upper respiratory infection and bronchitis.  ARG!

I spent the rest of the weekend resting — reading, lying on the couch, taking naps, extra sleep, drinking lots of hot tea, eating soup, watching movies and television, and not able to do anything that we had planned to do.  And, I have been taking my medication which is helping.

Thankfully, Ian was able to find plenty to do on his own and was fine with being home and having time to himself.  And, Kirk was also able to find things to do.  All of us needed the extra time to rest and enjoyed it, as much as you can.

I don’t know about you but I have never liked being sick.  I always want my mother, feel sad and sorry for myself, and am just not quite myself.  I have to realize that when I am sick, I will feel bad and yucky, and realize I must give myself time to get better.  That is hard when there is so much to do each and every day.  A friend of mine pointed out that the priority for us is to get better.  She too is sick and realizes that everything else can wait.  Our health must come first.

So I am staying home, resting, and giving my body time to heal.  That means more things canceled for today and getting more behind on my shopping.   I have started but still have much to do.  I like to make fudge and other things, but that will wait until I am better.  At least I will still have time once I do get better.  And, hopefully since so much is going around, people will understand.

Another thing to put into perspective is that this is a short-term illness in the grand scheme of things.  I am so blessed not to have a chronic debilitating condition, surgery to heal from, or cancer treatment.  I know many people – both family and friends — who are dealing with all of these things.  They have so much each day to handle and navigate.  I pray for them and do what I can to help them.

And, I don’t mean to whine.  So I want to share some things I am thankful for:

  • Being a stay-at-home mom who has time to get well
  • A spouse who has helped me and always does
  • A child who loves to be at home
  • Good books to get lost in
  • Naps on the couch
  • Lovely music
  • Listening to my mother sing at a Christmas party
  • Enjoying family traditions with my parents
  • Friends who help when I need them
  • A good yearly checkup (before this latest issue)
  • Medication that helps heal
  • Hot tea and hot soup
  • Extra long hugs and cuddles
  • Prayers and support of loved ones
  • That there are still 10 days until Christmas
  • Advent and the wonder of Christmas
  • The anticipation of visits with loved ones

If you are sick or dealing with an illness, a loss, or a scary diagnosis, may you be blessed and healed very soon.  And, may you know that you are loved and cared for.   God’s blessings to you!

December 8 – Family

Hi and Happy Wednesday!  Today’s photo challenge is Family.   I am blessed with an amazing family.  Both the one I grew up in and with and the one that I married into.  I am thankful for these amazing people – all different, all unique, all special.

From my family, I have learned that differences of opinion are okay and to be respected.  I have learned the meaning of unconditional love.  I have learned how to deal with the joys and sorrows of life.  And, I have learned about partnership, acceptance, and forgiveness.

I have learned so much on every subject from my family.   We all have our own ideas and are comfortable with sharing them.  That to me is an amazing blessing.

My family is perhaps unusual in that we like to be together, we look out for one another, and we truly love one another.  We don’t always agree and may have arguments.  Still there is love and respect and a bond that I am thankful for each day.

This photo is one of my favorites ever taken of my hubby, me, and our son.  We were on vacation at the beach and being silly for the camera as usual.  For some reason, Ian and I had our mouths wide open.  I wish I could remember why our mouths are so big. Anyway, I love this family of three so very much and cherish them both.

For my family who I love so much, I am thankful for:

  • Parents who love me unconditionally
  • Siblings I can always count on
  • Cousins who are true friends
  • Aunts and uncles who loved me like their own
  • Grandparents who I will always cherish
  • My amazing husband and our family
  • A child who I cannot imagine life without
  • In-laws who accept and love me
  • Brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law who are truly siblings
  • Nieces and nephews who I knew and loved before Ian was born
  • Friends made long ago
  • Friends made in all walks of my life
  • Loved ones I have lost and will never forget

A few quotes about family:

  • “The truth is maybe we are just average. But the way I see it — families where parents get up every morning and go to jobs that are hard so they can get their kids through school and through life, and struggle to make it all work and manage to do it with dignity and a little humor — well, that’s not average. That’s extraordinary.” ~ DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler, The Middle
  • “Families are like fudge — mostly sweet with a few nuts.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.” ~ Erma Bombeck
  • “Ohana means family — no one gets left behind, and no one is ever forgotten.” ~ Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, Lilo & Stitch
  • “When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.” ~ Joyce Brothers
  • “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” ~ Jane Howard
  • “Having a place to go — is a home. Having someone to love — is a family. Having both — is a blessing.” ~ Donna Hedges

I wonder who of my family I will see over the holidays?  I hope I will see each and every one of them.  That will probably not happen.  Still, I will be in touch with all of them.  Hugs and love to you all!!

Flashback Friday – Tammy

FF.12-4-15_TammyHi and Happy Friday!  For today’s Flashback, I decided to write about my friend Tammy who celebrates her birthday tomorrow.  She was my best friend in elementary school and I have written about her before.  I am blessed to still be friends with her.

This photo is of Tammy and me and our sisters.  From left: Cindy (my sister), Sonya (Tammy’s sister), me, and Tammy.  This was taken in the early 1990s, but I cannot remember where.

The four of us have always had fun together and have always enjoyed laughing.  When I think of fun and giggles, I always think of these three gals.  My memory is very long of each of them.

Despite them moving away a long time ago, we have stayed in touch.  And, several years ago, Tammy came to the beach with her husband and children.  We all had a wonderful visit.

It is such a treasure to have a life-long friend such as Tammy.  I love that we can pick up right where we did when we last saw one another.  I want to wish her a very special and early Happy Birthday!  Hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow!  May God bless you on tomorrow’s celebration of your birth!

Today I am thankful for:

  • Tammy and our lifelong friendship
  • Memories of the four us having fun and laughing
  • Having our children play together
  • Old photos that I have scanned in
  • A sunny yet chilly morning
  • The upcoming weekend and time to sleep in
  • Christmas music and movies
  • Specials on television
  • Time to read a library book

I wonder when I will see Tammy again?  I hope it is soon.  Until then, we will stay in touch and in one another’s lives.

Writing Challenge Day 1 – 10 Things About Me

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3 Cates in Balboa Park, CA.

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Patti, Ian, and Kirk at the beach.

Hi there!  I decided that December might be a good time to do a 30-day writing challenge.  I am going to try to write a little something each day or at least every other.  We’ll see how it goes.

Today’s challenge is Ten interesting facts about yourself.  Here are 10 items about me.

  1. I love to celebrate birthdays — both my own and others.  We have a silly tradition in my family of reversing the numbers of our age.  This always makes for fun and memorable photos.  My family has always gathered for everyone’s birthday and made a big deal out of them.  It is great that we are together celebrating one another.  We all have our day to feel extra special and celebrated.
  2. I love my husband and our son with all of my being.  They are the two people I love to be with more than anyone.  They make me laugh, they support me and help when things get rough, and are so very precious to me.  Both of them are real and true gifts who I learn from each day.  With them, I give and receive unconditional love.  Who could ask for more?
  3. I chose my college partly due to the ability of the cafeteria being able to provide food for me.  It was a great school that I truly enjoyed but this was a definite deciding factor.  At the time I was allergic to wheat, soy, peanuts, and chocolate.  Needless to say, that made for a very limited menu.  When we had meat, my friends knew if it was real or not if I was able to eat it.  I was the gauge and guinea pig.  It also had a great journalism department that I loved.
  4. I now have other food allergies that are very odd and hard to manage, especially at this time of the year.  My list includes: eggs, sweet potatoes, walnuts, apples, cinnamon, peas, carrots, watermelon, and celery.  I almost always forget one and think I have again.  Have you ever heard of some of these allergies?  I hadn’t before I got this list.  Some of these foods are really good for you and I am bummed that I can’t eat them every day.  The good thing is that I don’t have an instant reaction.  So, when I have been good, I can have an item or two.  I just have to be careful.
  5. I love my time with girl friends. On an average of once a month, I go to a Girls Night Out dinner.  This is with a group of friends from high school.  These gals are great and always so much fun.  The group seems to change each time but whoever gathers has a great time.  We chat, we drink and eat, and we laugh.  I love this time together.  Being around guys most of the time helps me enjoy this girl time even more.
  6. I love the theater.  While in junior high and high school, I was active in the local community theater which had both a junior playhouse and playhouse.  We did some great shows and had a blast.  We just recently saw a friend from those days.  It was fun to reminisce and discuss our shows.  Plays and musicals were such fun at this theater.  I was also in the drama club in high school.
  7. I enjoy watching soap operas.  In 1994, Mom and I toured the Days of Our Lives studio during a trip to California.  It was such fun to meet many of our favorite actors, see them film scenes, and talk with us.  I wrote a story about this experience for the newspaper where I had done a teen column during my senior year of high school.  Days just celebrated its 50th anniversary and Mom bought me the book.  We tried going to the book signing but too many fans had shown up.  Oh well, it was still fun.  I am still a fan of this show as well as General Hospital.
  8. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.  I love that the day isn’t about gifts, that food is the main event, and that it is a day to be thankful.  I had a wonderful day of thanksgiving last week.  We went to my parent’s house and had a delicious meal that everyone helped with.  We do a potluck so each family has an item or two to contribute.  We then spent the night and had fun the next day as well.  I have so much to be thankful for and am so very blessed.
  9. My favorite vacation spot is the family beach house.  I have so many fond memories as a child and grownup from trips to this tiny 1 1/2 bedroom, 1 1/2 bathroom house.  It is tiny and in an odd location, yet it is magical.  The location is lovely, the air is crisp, the breeze is cool and often cold, the neighbors are friendly, and the family time is incredible.  I am so blessed to have had this treasure to enjoy for my entire life.
  10. And finally, I once was really and truly crapped upon.  One day, I was at a restaurant with my family and we were sitting on the balcony.  I was talking and having a great time when all of a sudden, I felt a drop on my head.  I later looked up as a pigeon flew away.  ARG!  This blasted bird had sh*t upon my hair, my shoulder, and my lap.  My clothes were never the same and impossible to get clean again.  I just had to laugh about it.

What are 10 interesting things about you?  Please share them.

Hello December!

cropped-champagne-glasses.jpgCan you believe it’s the first day of December?  I sure can’t.   It is amazing that we are now in the last month of the year.  2015 has gone by so fast!  We just got back to school yesterday from a long Thanksgiving break and now we have three weeks until Christmas break.  Wow.  My how that time does fly.

I have always loved December.  It is the month of my birthday, my brother’s birthday, anniversaries, the Advent season, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, lots of fun with family and friends, special parties, gifts, crafts, New Year’s Eve, and so much more.  So many beginnings this month and so much to celebrate.  I look forward to a great December.

candles GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAToday (which is my birthday), I am thankful for:

  • An amazing Thanksgiving weekend with friends and family
  • Laughing with an old family friend
  • Opening special gifts from loved ones
  • Hearing my son say “Happy Birthday Mom”
  • A special birthday hug and kiss from my hubby
  • Another year of blessings
  • Lunch out with loved ones
  • My family and friends
  • Reasonably good health
  • Birthday wishes and old photos
  • The fun and craziness of the month of December
  • Holiday parties and festivities
  • Advent suppers and services
  • Counting my blessings
  • Holiday specials
  • Christmas movies and cartoons
  • Trimming the tree
  • Baking and making gifts
  • Drawing names for a gift exchange
  • Choosing a needy family to help
  • Having Ian pick toys for an angel tree gift
  • Having time to celebrate
  • Listening to “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year” by Andy Williams
  • Warm socks and sweaters
  • A glass of wine with a meal
  • Hot tea or coffee in the morning
  • Reminiscing about our younger years with my siblings and friends
  • My parents and all that they have done for me and provided for me

I wonder what fun adventures we will have on this 1st of December?  I can’t wait to find out.  Hope you have a great one too!