Flashback Friday – Cousins At The Beach

Nov7_2014_FF.beachHi and Happy Friday.  It is hard to believe that it’s the first Friday of November already.  This year has flown by!  Since I missed Throwback Thursday yesterday, I decided to post my photo today.

It is of Ian and his cousin Aiden a few years ago at the beach.  They were walking and talking and having a great time. They were in front of the lifeguard tower in the background on the left.  I like the shadows too and that they are in action.

These are two of my parent’s five grandchildren.  On Kirk’s side of the family, there are 10 including Ian and now some great-grandkids.  Ian also has second cousins who we regularly along with his first cousins.  I too have a lot of cousins — 14 first cousins and even more second cousins.

I remember many years of fun at the beach with my cousins and now I am glad that Ian has that with his cousins too.  Our cousins are dear and precious friends and we love them dearly.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Boys enjoying walks in the sand
  • Cousins who have a blast together
  • Cousins who often get together
  • Small toes in the sand
  • Walks with loved ones
  • Weekend fun and adventure
  • Heaters and blankets as the weather gets cooler
  • A windy walk home from school yesterday with Ian

I wonder when we will be at the beach again with our cousins?  I am hoping next summer!  Should be fun, as always!!

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.

Happy Birthday To You Mom!

1596SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAToday is my mother’s birthday!  Happy Birthday to you dear Mom!  Hope you have a wonderful day!

I thought an assortment of photos would be nice.  One is of me with Mom and Ian.  We took that on Mother’s Day of 2013. Another  is of the two of us at a yummy Mexican Restaurant in California.  The last one is when I was very young.  It was taken at my grandparents’ house, I think.  I love our hairdo, clothing, and smiles.   We have been smiling and posing ever since!

Tonight we are having my mom and dad over for dinner, cake and ice cream, and then all of us will go to a Cub Scout meeting when Ian will get his first patch.  The fact that they will be there is awesome!  I love that she is sharing her birthday with Ian and his accomplishments!  Should be a fun evening!

My mother loves to be with her children and now her grandchildren!  She loves spending time with all of us and making amazing memories.  She has taught me so much over the years of the importance of family and spending quality time together.

For many years, Mom worked as a teacher.  She was fantastic, did an amazing job of teaching, and loved those kids.  And, they loved her.  Last year, she helped in Ian’s class and that was also great.  She is now retired but still loves teaching and helping children learn to read.

Mom is one of the best singers I know.  I always love hearing her sing Bali Hai from “South Pacific” as well as O Holy Night during the Christmas season.  She is now the choir director at church after having done that years ago.

She also loves to read, sew, make jewelry, travel to the beach house, and is our family genealogist.  When I was a teenager, we worked on a family book.  This was the era before computers.  So we traveled to many libraries and looked up in many card catalogs with actual cards.  Now, she is doing an update and finding a lot of things online.

Mom, until I became a mother, I didn’t appreciate all that you have done for me.  I cannot thank you enough for always being there for me throughout my life.  You have taught me love, the blessings of family, the love of music, family history, reading, and so much more.

Here are a few quotes about mothers:

  • “Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love.” ~ Mildred B. Vermont
  • “The phrase “working mother” is redundant.” ~ Jane Sellman
  • “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” ~ Rajneesh
  • “Call your mother. Tell her you love her. Remember, you’re the only person who knows what her heart sounds like from the inside.” ~ Rachel Wolchin

I love you very much Mom!  I wish you a very special day!  Looking forward to seeing you tonight!

Throwback Thursday – Ian

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne week from today, Ian will be 7 years old.  My baby is growing up so fast! For today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to post an old photo of Ian.  He wasn’t quite 2 years old when this was taken.  I love this closeup picture of him.

He has always been a happy child who likes to smile a lot.  And, with his blue eyes, long eyelashes, and dimples, he is so cute.  Of course, I am a little partial.  Being the mom to this sweet soul has been an amazing gift.  My hubby and I continue to learn so much and are amazed at all our boy can now do.

Being a parent has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.  It has also been the best and the most rewarding.  I wouldn’t trade it or our amazing Ian for anything.

Ian is excited about turning 7 years old and realizes he is becoming an even bigger boy.  Smiles will be all around our house for the following week.  We are so very blessed!

Today I am thankful for:

  • Seeing Ian’s entire face light up when he is happy
  • Dimples and a gleam in his eye
  • Ian loving to read his library books
  • A boy who loves to learn new things
  • An upcoming weekend with my hubby and son
  • The excitement of a Monday night Cub Scout meeting
  • A fun week as we celebrate Ian’s 7th birthday

I wonder how much fun we will have this last week of Ian being 6 years old.  I am sure we will have a blast and come up with lots of fun things to do!!

Throwback Thursday – The Drells

The drells at Mission Beach

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I am going way back to one that was taken in September 1972 in Mission Beach, California. I am not sure if it was taken at the beach or the Bay side, at least I think this is the location.

It is of me and my sister, who I called The Drells.  When I was little, I couldn’t say the girls, so this name was created. This was taken a few months before our brother was born.

I came across this photo while scanning some pictures a few years ago.  I just saw it again yesterday and loved it.

We often wore matching outfits and apparently these bikinis are one of those outfits.  I am the brunette and my sister is the blond.  I don’t have a clue what we were doing but we seem to be having fun.

We both have loved the beach for a long, long time. You can see that we clearly like having our toes in the sand.

Today, I am thankful for:

  • A sister who is a dear friend, amazing woman, and a great teacher
  • My brother, who we met soon after this picture was taken, who is also awesome
  • Our parents who showed us the love of the ocean, the beach, and the importance of family
  • Their spouses and children and my hubby and son who have enriched our family so much
  • Mission Beach where I have enjoyed my time with four generations of my family as well as dear friends
  • Sand in my toes — both as an almost 5-year-old and now
  • The beauty, smell, and feel of the ocean
  • Watching the sun set into the ocean
  • My grandparents who bought a very special home at the beach
  • Amazing family vacations
  • Cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends who made the beach time so special
  • Adding friends to the love of the neighborhood
  • Memories and old photos such as this one

I wonder when the next time will be that I am at the beach with my sister and the rest of our family.  I hope it will be soon.  After all, we do always have a fun and memorable time!

Throwback Thursday – Summer Fun

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Throwback Thursday.  Since summer is winding down, I thought it would be fun to post an old photo of my son with my dad at the beach.  This was taken in July 2010, so Ian was a few months away from turning 3 years old.

I love how dad is showing Ian the fun of the ocean waves on your toes. And the feel of wet sand, and the importance of holding hands so you don’t fall over.

Four generations of my family have enjoyed this beach and I just love that.  There is much history there and many amazing memories.  I am so blessed to have gone there as a child and now to be able to take my child. It has also been fun to be there with my husband.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Summers spent at our family’s beach house
  • Toes in the sand
  • Feeling the water on our toes and legs
  • Spending time with parents and grandparents during the summer
  • Small feet that have grown quite a bit
  • Many years of fun memories
  • A chance to have four generations at the beach a few summers ago — something I will never forget
  • Our smooth transition from summer to school
  • A family who I love dearly and who love me
  • Friends who make me laugh and help me smile
  • Prayer support

I wonder what other fun things we will do before summer officially ends on September 23?  I look forward to finding out.  And, I also am looking forward to the fall/autumn season.

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!

Throwback Thursday – Pam and Patti

img067For today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to include a few pictures of me with my cousin Pam.  In honor of our recent visit, I thought I’d go back a few years for the photos.

This first picture was taken in the early 1990s.  I don’t remember what year.  I love it of both of us.

Since this was taken, we have posed for many pictures, including our recent visit.  We have also laughed a lot, cried a little, and had so many fun times together.

girls 2Pam is one of my best friends.  And, I love that we are family.  No matter how long it’s been since we have seen each other, we pick up right away and chat like no time has passed. Vacation 2006 185The friendship we have is rare and I cherish it.

This second picture is (from left) of me, Pam, my sister Cindy, and my sister-in-law Beckie. And the third was taken on that same day while shopping and walking on the boardwalk of Beckie, Pam, and me.  These were taken in 2006. Fun times with my girls!

Shared stories, laughter, togetherness, time at the beach or pool, and talking over a glass of wine are some of the many things we enjoy doing together.

Now that we are both married and have families, our circle has grown.  There are more people to have fun with and to love. Our families are so important to both of us and I just love that!

A verse in scripture (Proverbs 17:17) says that a friend loves at all times.  And Elbert Hubbard said, ““A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”  I am blessed to have such a friend who is also my cousin.

I wonder when I will get to see my dear cousin again?  I do hope that it’s soon!

June 3 – Family

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAToday’s photo challenge is Family.  Here is a selfie or should I say ussie of my family and me that I took recently.  We were having a fun day.

I have been blessed with a great family.  The family I grew up with, my husband’s family, and now our family with our son are all a blessing.

I have a circle of dear friends who are also my family.  Many of them I don’t get to see as much as I’d like to, but when we are together, we always have fun.

I love the family I grew up with – my parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.  From my family, I learned all about love, humor, laughter, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and consideration of others.

I love that although many of us are different, we have found a way to get along and have fun together.  That is rare and an amazing blessing.

With my family, I have always felt loved, appreciated, and valued. My family is so very precious to me.  I am truly honored to be a part of these people’s lives and for them to be a part of mine.

A few quotes about family:

  • “I don’t care how poor a man is; if he has family, he’s rich.” ~ Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford
  • “Families are like fudge — mostly sweet with a few nuts.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.” ~ Ogden Nash
  • “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

I look forward to family time this summer and many fun memories that we will make.  I wonder how soon we will have that time?  I hope it is very soon.

Throwback Thursday – Easter Egg Hunt

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday!  Hope you have a great day.  Today is Maundy Thursday. as well as Throwback Thursday.

This photo is from 3 years ago during an Easter Egg Hunt at church.  Ian was having as much fun studying the grass as he was looking for eggs. And, as you can see in the basket, he got a few new Matchbox and Hot Wheels cars that day.

For the last few years, he has participated in the egg hunt at both church and with the family.  We have a big get together with cousins and grandparents and siblings and part of the fun is the hunt in my parent’s yard.

After the egg hunts, Ian has enough candy to last until Halloween!  At least by then, if it hasn’t all been eaten, we’ll toss it for the next holiday.

On this upcoming Easter Weekend, I am thankful for:

  • Remembering Christ’s body and blood in communion during tonight’s Maundy Thursday service
  • Appreciating what Christ did for me on Good Friday
  • Singing “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” on Easter morning and knowing the gift He gave to us
  • Saying “He is Risen.  He is Risen Indeed” on Easter morning and all day
  • Celebrating with family and friends with a great meal, visiting, gift giving, and egg hunts
  • Watching my son as he hunts for eggs with his cousins
  • Savoring my mother’s twice baked potatoes
  • Laughing with my cousins and brothers and sisters
  • Enjoying our time together as a family and saying a prayer of thanks
  • Taking pictures and making new memories
  • Having an extra day at home with Ian to have fun and enjoy the time together

I wonder what else this long weekend has in store.  It will be fun to find out. Hope you have a great one!