Throwback Thursday – Summer!

TBT_6-23-2016Hi and Happy Thursday. Are you having a great summer? We are!  So far, so good.  We are about to finish our third week of summer and are having a wonderful time. This photo was taken of Ian in Fort Pierce, Florida many years ago.

When he was this age, his pacifier was a constant for him. This was one of the first times that he got to walk on the sand, or should I say run. He loved it. He still does love it. Sadly we won’t be going to the beach this summer, but have plenty of other things to keep us busy.

Last night, we went to my parent’s house for swimming and dinner. They have a neighborhood pool that we enjoyed. It was a very hot day so the water was perfectly cool and fun. After swimming, we went back to their house and had a great dinner and dessert and plenty of laughs. It was great.

Tonight is game night and homemade pizza at our house. My parents are coming over for that, which will also be fun. Big decision of the evening will be, do we play The Game of Life or Star Wars Monopoly or both?  Perhaps Dominos or the card game Pounce? We will see what Ian and everyone else feel like.

Life with no alarm clocks or set schedules is very nice this time of year. And, since I work at home, I can be flexible enough to start later in the morning or wear my pajamas. How great is that? It’s the little things that become the big blessings, isn’t it?!

Our summer started with a trip to North Carolina which was great. That was for both work and play. We had time to visit family, take a few walks, enjoyed dinner out with friends, and bought cookies and almond strudel at a wonderful bakery, and frozen yogurt treats. Also, I bought a new coloring book (yes I do like coloring), and Ian got a new Lego set. I helped him build it and we took several pictures.

June has been good so far and July should be as well. Next month we will go back to North Carolina, have a chance to visit some friends, may attend a baseball game, and I will have a high school reunion. I have great classmates who are always fun to see.  Cannot wait.

I love all of the memories we are making this summer with Ian. Each day has something fun. Whether it’s spending the day with messy hair and clothes to swimming to reading a library book to watching a favorite cartoon, we are enjoying our time together.

In addition to all of our fun, we are thinking of and praying for those suffering and struggling. We are talking with Ian about what can be done to help others and reminding him to always love others and be respectful. Also, we encourage him to ask questions that he has and we discuss those. With so much going on in the world, there is much to learn.

I wonder what other adventures the summer will bring?  I cannot wait to find out. Hope you also have a great summer!  Enjoy.

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Happy 51st Anniversary / Happy Father’s Day!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA TT.DadDay2This weekend is big in my family. Today is my parent’s 51st wedding anniversary.  And, tomorrow is Father’s Day.  So Happy Anniversary to my Mom and Dad and Happy Dad’s day to Dad. Here is a favorite photo of the two of them and another of me with Dad.

They are awesome parents and we celebrated their anniversary last night.  We enjoyed dinner with them and cake and ice cream and a long visit.  It was great. Tonight they will have dinner out with some dear friends. Then tomorrow after church, we will make lunch for them and for Kirk in celebration of Father’s Day.

Ian had asked me recently if we were going to celebrate their anniversary this year.  Last year was their 50th anniversary and we had two big parties.  We had visits with friends and family we hadn’t seen in a while and had a terrific time.  This year we celebrated but on a much smaller scale.

I love that we live close enough to them to have regular visits.  It is so great for Ian as well to have lot of time with his grandparents.  I am so very thankful for that and count it as a definite blessing.  My parents taught me so much and now they are teaching Ian many things as well.

I have such fond memories with my parents:

  • Camping trips at state parks
  • Driving cross-country to the beach
  • Reading the paper on the beach house porch
  • Camp Fire songs and food
  • Shag carpet and dark walls
  • Photos at the beach
  • Numerous sunsets
  • Fireworks and cookouts
  • Weddings and Baptisms
  • Lions Club sales and meetings
  • Moving them into their new home
  • Singing with them at church
  • Lunches after church
  • Activities at Ian’s school
  • Many moments with my parents, my siblings, and our children
  • Birthday celebrations with family and friends
  • Family books and inside jokes

My parents mean the world to me.  They have taught me so much:

  • Unconditional love
  • Tolerance of others
  • The love of the ocean
  • The love of extended family
  • Parenting with discipline and love
  • To work hard and equally play hard
  • To savor and cherish each day
  • To always be thankful
  • To spend time with loved ones
  • To use my talents and abilities
  • To be appreciative of others
  • To be kind and loving
  • To still wonder about things

Mom and Dad, thanks for everything!  You were and still are amazing parents to me, to Cindy and to Richmond, great in-laws to Kirk, Cody, and Beckie.  And you are amazing grandparents to our children.  Love you always!

Five Minute Friday: Want

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday.  Today’s five-minute writing challenge is Want.  Five Minute Friday is for writing freely for five minutes uninterrupted. I haven’t done this in quite a while, but this word was one that I wanted to write about.

Now Go…  My wants have changed since I was a child.  How about yours?  When I was young, I wanted toys, games, attention, time to play with friends, regular trips to the beach, new clothing, and lots of stuff.  Now, I mainly want things that cannot be bought.

I want healing for my sick loved ones with cancer, I want world peace, I want kindness, love, and respect for one another.  I want women and girls to not be raped.  I want men to be taught to respect women. I know that many are, but all need to be.  I want us to take care of hungry children and ensure all children are educated. I want us to cure cancer and AIDS.  I want people not to be addicted to drugs – legal or otherwise. If they are, I want us to help them heal.

I want more time with my loved ones. I still want trips to the beach with my family and friends.  I want to make memories with my husband and my son (like in the picture above from five years ago). I want my son to learn all that he can from me. I want him to always know that he is loved.  I want time to see him grow up and become an amazing man.  I want to grow old with my husband.

Time is up. But I still have a few thoughts to share.

I also have some goals of what I want.  I want to write a book or two, I want to make a difference in people’s lives, I want to see a few shows on Broadway and meet some amazing writers. I maybe want to go back to school to learn something new.  I want to lose weight and keep it off, and so much more.

Wants are different than needs.  To me needs are food, clothing, water, and shelter.  We also need transportation to get around, school, and jobs.  Wants can also be things but often aren’t.  What wants do you have?  Are they things that you can buy or are they items that cannot be purchased at a store?

A few quotes:

  • “Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated.” — Lou Holtz
  • “If you want to be happy, be.” — Leo Tolstoy
  • “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” — Dolly Parton
  • “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” — Abraham Lincoln
  • “Success is getting what you want.  Happiness is wanting what you get.” — Dale Carnegie

A few other things I want are for our government to work together as they did when President Reagan was in office.  The situation we are currently in is not just one person’s fault.  I want to see more happy and positive news and for people to not judge each other as much as they do.  I want us to love others as Christ taught us to – unconditionally and always.

I wonder if these wants will come to pass.  Some will but others, I am not sure.  I only hope and pray that they will.

Happy Birthday Dear Cindy!

Girls.In.BootsHappy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Cindy, Happy Birthday To you!  Today is my sister Cindy’s 40-something birthday!  Here we are rocking our boots and socks. We just recently discovered this photo.

I hope she has a great and wonderful day and wish that I could be with her.  As I have written before, she was my first friend and a close confidant. Almost all of my early memories include her.  She was the blond great sister and I was the brunette.  Not sure which one had more fun, but we both did our best to.

As you can see from our photos, we are hams for the camera.  Our brother is as well.  The three of us had a great childhood and remain friends.  Our parents taught us to love each other, stand up for each other, and take care of each other.  I thank them for that and all that they taught us.

The fact we are still close and love to be together is an amazing blessing that I treasure very much.  It is now great that our kids love to spend time together and have fun.  Ian loves to be with Cindy’s kids and Richmond’s as well.  Cousin time is as special as sibling time.

My sister is an amazing woman, friend, teacher, wife, mother, singer, actor, crafter, and so much more.  She loves to see children learn, loves the beach, savors time to read and relax, enjoys singing, watching her children in their sporting events, loves coffee and chocolate, and being with her friends and family.  She is awesome and I love that she is in my life.

I have enjoyed many special times with Cindy. Among them are:

  • Camping with our family
  • Playing pounce with family and dear friends
  • Listening to Grandpa’s stories
  • Sunsets at Mission Beach
  • Reading at the beach
  • Games and campfires
  • Fish tacos
  • Singing songs at Camp Tiyani
  • Family sing-alongs
  • Swimming at Grandpa and Grandma’s pool
  • Sleep-overs in the La Mesa front room
  • Visiting state parks
  • Driving across the country
  • Hearing a song one too many times
  • Community theater and high school theater
  • Sharing a room for years
  • Being each other’s maid of honor/matron of honor
  • Witnessing our children’s baptisms
  • Comforting each other in loss
  • Celebrating amazing milestones

Below are a few of my favorites photos of the two of us and with Richmond. Cindy, I hope to see you soon and celebrate. Love you so much!

Giggle.4-18-2016 DSC06098 girls at beach Three crazy kids Cindy.Patti.on.slide

Throwback Thursday – Graduation

Jen.1Hi and Happy Thursday. Today is graduation at both the high school and Ian’s school for the fourth grade students.  In honor of that, here is a photo from my graduation — many, many years ago.

I am the one in the large glasses as was the style in the 1980s.  Glasses that covered half of your face and big hair. That was quite popular. I am pictured with my friend Jennifer. We are still friends and still see each other.  She is a lifelong friend.

This summer my graduating class is having a reunion.  I am on the planning committee. My class enjoys getting together and we always have a great time.  It may be unusual but many people always come back for the reunions.  I am blessed and very thankful for that.

Two weeks ago, our nephew on my side graduated from high school.  He like the students graduating tonight is ready for the next chapter of his life. Last night, our nephew on Kirk’s side of the family graduated as well.  I am thrilled for all of them and excited for their opportunities.  God bless and good luck to all of you.

For the fourth graders graduating to middle school, I wish only the best for you.  You have learned a lot at the elementary school and are ready for the next phase in education.  You will be the big kids. God bless you.

Although my graduation was a long time ago, I remember the fun yet also unknown feelings that I experienced.  That summer we went to the beach and had a great visit. I had great times with my grandparents, siblings, parents, aunts and uncles, and cousins and I will always cherish those.

It was plenty of play time and I am thankful to my parents for that time. When it was time to go to college, I flew back home by myself, packed the car, and drove up to my college. My parents later checked in with me to be sure I had all that I needed. I sure felt grown up after that experience and that I was ready to be an adult.

A few quotes about graduation:

  • “There is a good reason they call these ceremonies “commencement exercises.”  Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.” ~ Orrin Hatch
  • “The tassel’s worth the hassle!” ~ Author Unknown
  • “You may not know where you’re going, but so long as you spread your wings the winds will carry you.” ~ C. Joy Bell C.
  • “I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known.” ~ Author Unknown

To the high school graduates, I wish the best for you whether you are going to college, joining the military, starting your career, traveling for a while, or a combination of those.  May you use your wings to pursue your dreams and remember all that you learned and where you came from.

I wonder how I am going to feel when Ian graduates from high school in 10 years?  I imagine I will be both happy and sad.  We have lots of great years between now and then and I plan to enjoy and savor each one.  After all, that time will fly by.