Throwback Thursday — Almost Summer

Hi and Happy Thursday!  I cannot believe that it is almost the end of May.  Where has this month gone?  I also can’t believe that I have only written one other time this month.  Sheesh!  Things have been so busy with the family business, PTO activities, end of the school year stuff, being sick, family times, and so much more.

We did have a great start of the month with a fun trip to a baseball game, a school concert, a lovely lunch out for mother’s day, and then I became ill with sinus issues.  This year the pollen has been awful and it finally got me after extra time outside.  Not smart but we sure did have fun.

I included this photo today since it is such a special one of me, my mother, and grandmother.  Three gals in our bikinis.  Summer memories indeed.  This photo is a treasure.  I love the three of us walking hand in hand.  I had so much fun and learned so much from these two amazing women.

And, this week, I am glad that it is almost summer.  We are ready for a break in our routine and for some extra time to relax.  How about you?  We are not going to the beach this summer, but we do plan to have fun.  We will take a few trips, go swimming, sign up for our library’s summer reading program, see some movies, take walks, eat ice cream, play games, stay in our pajamas all day (some days), go to a few favorite restaurants, visit a book store, and more.

For now we are counting down our days.  It is hard to believe that third grade is almost finished.  My the year has flown.  Here are a few things I am thankful for today:

  • My mother and grandmother
  • All of the amazing mothers I know
  • My friends who aren’t mothers
  • The gift of being a mother
  • Weekend fun times with my hubby and son
  • Special meals out with family and friends
  • Hearing Ian sing a solo during a school concert
  • Baseball game with my parents, hubby, and son
  • Ice cream treats
  • Singing along to The Hamilton soundtrack with Ian
  • Old family photos
  • Escaping in the world of a favorite library book
  • Our library’s summer reading program

I wonder if we will remember to savor these last days of school before summer begins.  I will try to do just that.  Hope you can as well!

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.

Throwback Thursday – A Special Gift

TT.Gifts_3-3-2016Hi and Happy Thursday!  For today’s Throwback Thursday photo, I decided to post one of a gift that I received when I was a kid.  It was a white AM radio.  It had a rotary dial and I think I am looking at the back of it.

I am the one in the middle.  I am between my brother and sister.  You can see how excited I was.  And how excited my brother was.  I love the shapes of our mouths  Too funny!  We were always making faces and silly expressions and still enjoying making them when we get together.

Don’t you just love the 70s clothing and hair?  And furniture?  This photo was taken in our living room.  I remember this couch very well and liked all of the flowers, which were in style then.  Also, the coffee table was lovely and a nice dark brown.

I don’t remember those pants but think the patches are fun.  And it seems to be a turtleneck that I am wearing.  I wasn’t wearing any accessories.  I wear them all of the time now — earrings, rings, bracelets, a watch, and hats and scarves on occasion.

Cindy, Richmond, and I had a great time growing up.  Our parents were generous to us and always made big deals for our birthdays.  This appears to be one of my birthdays, although I don’t remember which one.  The nicely wrapped packages are fun and gift bags weren’t used much back then.

They also disciplined us, taught us to respect our elders, and taught us about the importance of family and life-long friends.  We also learned to have fun on family vacations and enjoyed many after school activities, including our community theater.  I am so thankful to them and my siblings for an amazing childhood.   Not that it was perfect, but my good memories far outweigh the bad ones.

I was blessed with many amazing gifts during both my childhood and since.  My parents started my Snow Village collection, gave me souvenir spoons from various trips, helped pay for chorus trips, camping trips, and many excursions to the beach.  They were and remain extremely generous.  I have albums full of photos of gifts, trips, and amazing memories.  I will always treasure them.

Today I am thankful for:

  • My family
  • Silly faces of my sister, my brother, and me
  • Inside jokes with my siblings
  • Our children’s silly faces
  • My parents who I adore
  • Birthday celebrations
  • Delicious birthday meals and cakes
  • Reversing the numbers
  • Camping trip memories
  • Singing with the family
  • Gifts given from the heart
  • The generous spirit of my loved ones
  • Photo gifts
  • Shared moments and memories
  • Old family memories
  • My hubby and son
  • Ian’s wonderful school
  • My many circles of friends
  • PTO moms and dads
  • Teachers and an amazing staff
  • A hug before bed
  • Chili in the crockpot for dinner
  • An amazing life so far

I wonder what new gifts we will give to each other?  I cannot wait to find out.  I love that we are creative without having to spend a fortune. And I love my friends and family.

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!!

Throwback Thursday – Fun With Pam

TT.11-19-Patti.PamIn honor of my cousin Pam’s birthday tomorrow, I decided to post a few photos of fun times with her.  She is one of my favorite people on the planet and we always have a great time together.  As you can see, we enjoy smiling and silly poses.

The picture at the top of the blog is in the beach house kitchen when we were making dinner.  Looks like we are making spaghetti and having a blast as usual.  I recently came across this photo.  She and her hubby came to the house for dinner and to visit with us.  It was July 2009.

Pam has been a dear friend since we were kids.  We don’t see each other regularly but when we do, we always pick up right where we left off.  I just love that about us.  We have different ideas and opinions on lots of things, but we still enjoy long and lively chats.  There is nothing more fun than having a glass of White Zinfandel with her.  This is a great time to talk and laugh.

TT.11-19-4.girlsThis other photo is from another trip to San Diego. It was taken in 2006, before Ian was born.  From left are me, Pam, my sister Cindy, and my sister-in-law Beckie.  These three gals truly are my sisters.  They are all awesome women, great fun, and fantastic mothers.  They all love their hubbies and kids as much as I love Kirk and Ian.

I love having these strong women in my life.  I also have several more awesome cousins who are as fun and special to me as Pam is.  And, I am blessed with some wonderful  friends and other terrific family members as well.  My girlfriends are so very important to me.  I only wish that I could see them more than I do.

There is nothing like time with female friends and family. Sometimes I just need that time or else things are not right in the world.  You know what I mean?  Don’t get me wrong, I love the guys in my life, but a gal has to have time to just chat with other gals.

This blogs celebrates those amazing women.  I am blessed beyond measure to know and love Pam and so many other amazing friends and family.  I cherish each of them.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Celebrating Pam’s birthday tomorrow even though I won’t get to be with her
  • Being able to pick up right where we left off when seeing each other
  • Laughter and a glass of wine with Pam
  • Female friendships
  • The fun of an inside joke with a life-long friend
  • Photos of summer fun
  • Girls Night Out with high school friends
  • Mother-daughter activities and fun
  • Chatting with my sister and sister-in-law
  • Being with my cousins and aunts and nieces

Happy early birthday to you Pam!  Hope you have a great day.  Love you!!

Flashback Friday – Bare Feet

3.kids.Michigan0001Hi and Happy Friday.  The last two weeks have been crazy busy so I haven’t had any time to write.  I hate when that happens. Today, however, I wanted to write a short blog and post a fun picture.

On this rainy day, I decided on a photo of toes and sand. I was sitting on a dune in Michigan with my sister (center) and my brother (right).  I love our messy hair, striped t-shirts, big smiles, and bare feet. This was during a family vacation with some friends.

We had so much fun on this family vacation.  In addition to visiting the dunes, we went on a tour of a Kellogg’s Cereal packaging plant.  It was fascinating to see how that process works.  We then went back to our friends’ house and created our own plant and enjoyed some free cereal samples.

Also on this trip, we went to have a meal in Canada.  That was long before passports were needed for a quick trip across the border.  We purchased some soft drink bottles while there.  They looked so different and were cool souvenirs.

We were fortunate to have great family vacations.  We regularly went to the family beach house, also went to visit family and friends across the country, and went on camping trips.  Mom and Dad always made sure we had a great time.  I have many fond memories of this vacations.

Now, Kirk, Ian, and I have enjoyed several fun vacations and the first of many camping trips.  My favorite place to go with these two continues to be the beach house.  They seem to have as much fun as I do.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Memorable trips with my family
  • Visiting my grandparents and other relatives
  • Old family photos
  • The sound of rain as I go to sleep
  • A raincoat and umbrella on a rainy day
  • Girls Night Out last night
  • Laughter and stories with dear friends
  • Walking in the rain
  • Prayer support for a sick friend
  • Friendships and family
  • Love and compassion
  • Weekend time to relax

I wonder what our Friday has in store for us?  I know it will be rainy but warm.  So it will be a good time to enjoy being home.  I am so looking forward to that.

Throwback Thursday – Balboa Park

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Hi and Happy Thursday.  Can you believe that we are less than a week until the end of June?  I sure can’t!  The month has been flying by.

We have had a great month and a great summer.  We have been busy with the family business, activities for our family, parties, and Ian finished his books for the library’s summer reading program.  In fact, he read 4 more books than were on the original list for an independent reader.  Yeah Ian!

We have also had time to sleep in, play games, swim, enjoy ice cream cones, visits with friends and family, walks in the morning (before the humidity), a few nights out to a favorite pizza place, play time at home, and our slower pace.  It has been great and quite relaxing.  After a busy year, that is exactly what we needed.

We are looking forward to an upcoming trip to San Diego, CA, for a family reunion.  This is one of my favorite cities to visit and I cannot wait.  We haven’t been there for a while so we are very excited.

These two pictures are from several years ago when we went to the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park in San Diego.  The park is full of museums, lovely gardens and grounds, and great restaurants.  And, the San Diego Zoo is part of this park as well.

Balboa Park is one of my favorite places to visit while in San Diego, along with the beach and Seaport Village.  There are so many things to see and do at all three places.  Let the fun begin!

A few things I love about the summer:

  • Waking up without an alarm (for the most part)
  • Ice cream cones on a hot day
  • Swimming
  • Watching Ian enjoy his books for summer reading program
  • Extra time for lazy mornings
  • Games in the evenings
  • Movies during the week
  • Beach time with family and friends

I wonder what summer fun we will have today?  I am looking forward to finding out.

Great Family Rules

Now.Oct.21On Sunday, I enjoyed watching the Golden Globe Awards.  Michael Keaton won for best actor for his part in the movie “Birdman.”  I haven’t seen the movie but do want to. He gave an amazing acceptance speech that was quite moving. He talked about his tough childhood and his best friend among other things.

Here is my favorite quote from it that I wanted to write about today: “In the household in which I was raised, the themes were pretty simple: work hard, don’t quit, be appreciative, be thankful, be grateful, be respectful, also to never whine ever, never complain, and always, for crying out loud, keep a sense of humor.” — Michael Keaton

I love this since these are all themes that Ian needs to learn.  My parents taught us these ideas as well as the importance of faith and family and that just as important as working hard is playing hard.   So here is the quote broken down and a few thoughts on each item.

  • Work Hard.  This is so important for both children and adults to remember.  Hard work is a key part of success.  We tell Ian that his job right now is school, learning, and doing his homework.  It has been a learning curve, but we are helping him to understand that he must complete tasks assigned to him since they are so very important.
  • Don’t Quit. Another important thing to remember is that once you start something, you need to finish it.  Sticking with a task or project will help as a child becomes an adult. And, when you don’t quit, the end is so very sweet.  Success in one’s accomplishment can be celebrated.
  • Be Appreciative. It is easy in this amazing country we live in to take things for granted.  But, appreciating what we have is necessary to knowing its value. So many people are lacking in things that are part of our everyday lives. That gives me pause and helps me remember how blessed I am.  I appreciate having running water, electricity, glasses to wear, a refrigerator, health care, an amazing school, a car to drive around in, faith, and good health.
  • Be Thankful. We regularly pray and say thanks to our Lord for the amazing gifts that we have.  We also thank others for what they do for us, how they make us feel, and for spending time with us.  Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday since it is all about food, family, and being thankful for all our blessings.  Each year, before we eat, our family stands in a circle, holds hands and shares what we are thankful for, and then we pray.  It is a very special time for all of us.
  • Be Grateful. This is a little different.  I am grateful for all of the opportunities and things that my parents did for me over the years.  They were amazing teachers and have taught me so much.  Now for our son, I am grateful to have them and Kirk’s parents there for him.  Our other family is equally important as are dear friends.
  • Be Respectful. My parents taught me this very well and we are teaching Ian.  It is important to respect others, whether they are different or not.  All people, from the CEO to the janitor at a company are important for that company’s success.  It is important to remember and respect all that people offer and other’s differences.
  • Never Whine Ever.  I love this!  I have always hated whining.  When Ian was growing through the terrible twos and threes, he used to whine.  It felt like fingernails on the chalkboard to me.  We would talk to him to help him stop and explain what he needed or wanted, without that whiny tone to his voice. Thankfully he learned how much I didn’t like it and didn’t do much.  Every once in a while it comes back up, but we try to stop it right away.
  • Don’t Complain. This is so very important to remember as it is an easy habit to get into if one isn’t careful. I know someone who complains regularly.  It is so hard to be around this person.  I feel myself getting more down on life when I hear too much of that. There is too much good in life to dwell on the negative. And if someone doesn’t like something, it can be changed.  We are working to teach this to Ian.
  • Keep A Sense of Humor. Being able to laugh is so vitally important for our sanity and our life.  I have always loved laughing and laughter.  I love to hear Ian and his cousins giggle at something funny.  I love when I am with dear friends and we look at each other and burst into fits of laughter.  And, I love being with family while a funny joke or story is shared.  Laughing at ourselves can make the worst days somehow better.
  • A few thoughts from my family to add. I am also grateful that my parents taught us the importance of faith and living it each day, the importance of family and friends and spending time with them as much as we can, and that playing is just as important as hard work. Regular prayers and being active at church were part of the faith but so were showing it each day in how they treated one another and us. Each summer we had time with family and friends, and our family makes a big deal about birthdays.  We gather to celebrate each person’s special day.  And, Dad worked hard at his job for years but always made time to do fun things, take vacations, and truly his down time.  Mom also worked very hard in all that she did but always made time for fun and things she loved to do. He and my mom cherish trips with friends and family and I have learned to do the same.

I wonder if Kirk and I can continue to teach Ian these amazing themes for his life?  I will work each day to do just that!   What themes did you have growing up?  Please share them.

Photography 101 – Treasure

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAToday’s Photography 101 word is Treasure.  Normally we think of treasure as gold and valuables, but treasure also is who and what we truly value and love. My treasure is my family, friends, and the memories we make and share.

The house that I have chosen for today is one of the places where four generations of my family have had fun and have enjoyed being together. This is the family beach house and it is a wonderful place to gather.  It is a definite treasure.

I love the turquoise color, love the front porch where hundreds of meals have been served, and love the doors and windows, which are opened and let the ocean breeze in.  I also love the table and benches that a friend built for us, the ramp down the side of the house which leads to the outdoor shower and patio, and the gate which Ian clung to as he was first learning to walk.

I also love the family sing-alongs around the piano, love when we pack people in to spend the night, love taking turns making meals, love playing games and talking late into the night on the porch, love eating fish tacos from a restaurant that we can walk to, love the back patio crowded with all of the bikes, love the towels and sunscreen all over the front and back porches, and love to watch all of the beach and boardwalk activity.

It may seem like an odd choice for treasure.  But, this place is very special to me.  It doesn’t look like much, but every square inch is filled with memories and fun with my dear friends and family.  I am so blessed to have had this place to come to throughout my life.  And, from the porch, if you look to the left, you can see the lovely pacific ocean and sand.  To the right is the bay on the other side of a major street.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere is Ian just finishing his puzzle a few years ago on the porch table.  He was also having fun with his cars. We traveled with him to this house for the first five years of his life.  Each year he enjoyed something new and had blast, just as I did. That is an amazing treasure and a wonderful blessing.

SRP.72.Bill.Mairzy.Patti.late1960sHere is a photo of when I was a child on this same porch. I am sitting with my parents.  The wooden table hadn’t been built yet when this was taken.  As you can see the color of the gate is different, cars on the street are different, but the fun of the place is still there.

That fun has simply grown as my husband and I, and my parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles have grown and have wanted to bring new family members to enjoy the fun.

This tiny house is treasure to me and is a place I love to visit.

Today, I am thankful for:

  • A place where family and friends can gather each year
  • A tiny house which feels big because of all of the amazing memories
  • My grandparents who purchased this house
  • A boy feeling better after a lazy weekend trying to get over a cold
  • Early morning hugs
  • Having fun at a Cub Scout meeting
  • Handing out popcorn to our friends and family nice enough to buy from Ian
  • Mom’s roast, potatoes, and veggies
  • Date nights with Kirk
  • Oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins for breakfast
  • Making meals for the Thanksgiving feast
  • A shortened week of school
  • Decorating for the holidays
  • Having wonderful friends and family
  • Memories with my loved ones

I wonder when I will next get to visit my treasured place? I hope that it will be very soon!

Flashback Friday – Bare Feet

3.kids.Michigan0001Hi and happy Friday!  For today’s Flashback Friday, I decided to post a photo of my sister, my brother, and me with our bare feet on a sand dune circa late 1970s / early 1980s.

I like our big grins, bare feet, and hands in the sand. With all of the cold weather this week, this photo made me happy. And warm.  I also like our striped shirts, the patches on my jeans, and that all of our jeans are riding up as we sit in the nice warm sand.

This particular trip was somewhere in Michigan at the dunes.  We enjoyed them and were fascinated with this different sand than we were used to.

This photo was taken while we were visiting friends and family.  We had a great time.  During this trip we also went to a plant where they packaged cereal.  I still vividly remember recreating the process in our friend’s basement after seeing the professionals at work.

I have many fond memories of growing up with these two.  Our parents were great about taking us to a variety of towns and cities throughout the country.  We also enjoyed many camping trips.  I am at left in the photo, Cindy is in the middle, and Richmond is on the right.

I am thankful for:

  • Camping trips with my parents and siblings
  • Family adventures
  • Food cooked over a camp fire
  • Playing cards with the family
  • Singing our favorite camp songs after eating s’mores
  • Cassette tapes that played during long car trips
  • Seeing these dunes for the first time on this trip
  • Crossing the border into Canada for dinner
  • Old and grainy photos
  • Scanners for old photos
  • Bonfires on the beach
  • Running around after sunset
  • My wonderful and amazing family

I wonder what the next adventures will be with my sister and brother and with our parents?  I cannot wait to find out and love that our spouses and children will be there to enjoy the adventures with us!  Three generations will be even more fun!