A Thanksgiving Prayer

img116Happy Thanksgiving.  Here is a prayer that my grandfather wrote and was published in November 1951.

Here I am pictured with him in 1990.  He was and still is my favorite storyteller and an amazing writer, educator, father, and grandfather.

He wrote a newspaper column for many years called “Parent’s Corner.”  It sums up the perfect Parent’s Thanksgiving Prayer to me. Each time I read it I am in awe of the pictures that his words so vividly describe and I tear up over them.

“Our Father-God we thank thee

  • For the ringing laughter of our children playing, for their giggles, and the moist throaty chuckles of our babies
  • For the tender weight of a sleeping child in our arms, and the trust of a tired son who rests his head upon our shoulder, and sleeps
  • For the joy we feel in baby’s first tooth, first word, first step, and the thrill of the grown-up child who marries
  • For the exultant communion with our teen ones when we dive together into the clean cold surf at dawn, and stand with them silently at sunset drinking glory from the cloud-studded sky
  • For small boys on tricycles, or on hands and knees in the sandbox pushing toy trucks and making man-noises
  • For tomboy girls streaking across the lawn, swinging on rings, or whirling like pinwheels on turning bars
  • For the wonder on the sensitive face of a half-grown child as she listens to a great organ for the first time, or watches a symphony orchestra
  • For the fun of family picnics, and vacation trips, and going fishing together
  • For the thrill we feel when a daughter stands before us in her first formal gown, and we realize that she is beautiful
  • For the joy of a child’s recovery from illness, and the relief we feel when we see an accident almost happen, but not quite
  • For the pressure of a timid child’s hand in ours as we walk together in the dark
  • For parenthood we thank thee.
  • And, our Father-God, to thee we pray for peace.  If it be thy will, grant that we may continue our lives together in the precious years to come.

Amen.”

May you have a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving!  And, may you be thankful for those special to you.

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!

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!!

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.

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!!

September 24 – Loud

Sept.24_POD_LoudToday’s photo challenge is Loud.  I decided to include an old picture of my family.  We are loud, boisterous, silly, theatrical, and fun.  This photo is from the early 1990s.

Come to think of it, both the 1980s and 1990s were loud — with the music, clothing, and hairdos.  And, I loved it!  That was the era that I grew up in, graduated from high school, went to college, earned my degree, and then started my first job.

Many years ago, Saturday Night Live did a sketch called The Loud Family.  We called them “The Louds.”  This family would yell at each other at the dinner table.  My family mimicked that a few times and it was so funny.

I don’t think we meant to be loud, but all of us are passionate and have good lungs, so our voices carry.  That and plenty of singing and theater experience has helped all of us to project our voices.

Now, Ian is carrying on our fine family tradition.  He often has a loud voice and loves to talk and play. I think he too will have time in his life on a stage.

I love my original family and all of our fun times we have had together over the years.  My parents, sister, and brother are my favorite people.  Now all of us kids are married and have kids.

Dinners together were always important growing up and still are to all of us.  Now, we have all of the kids, as well as cousins, aunts, uncles and others to join in the fun.

I wonder when I will get to be loud again with my goofy family?  I sure hope it’s soon!  Love you all.