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!!

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.

Happy Early Birthday To Dad!

Patti.Dad_10-23-2015Tomorrow is my dad’s birthday as well as my wedding anniversary. So, I decided to post my birthday wishes for him today.

This is one of my favorite photos of the two of us from my wedding to Kirk. We were about to walk down the aisle. I love how he is looking at me.

On the 23rd of October 1998, we had our wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.  At the dinner, we served a cake that said “Father of the Bride” in frosting. The cake was delicious and Dad appreciated it very much. Then on Dad’s birthday, he was there as I took my vows and became a married woman. It has always been an honor to share his special day with him. Happy Birthday to you dear Dad! We love you!

I have learned so much from my dad and so appreciate the influence he has been in my life and now Ian’s life. Dad, Kirk and I thank you for that. He loves his family passionately and unconditionally. He is an amazing example of the love of a spouse, a parent, and now a grandparent.

He has always been interested in my thoughts and activities as well as those of my brother and sister. For years I took that for granted. Then a friend of mine from college helped me see how rare it is. I am truly grateful for all that he is. When Dad is with us, he is truly there and listening and engaged in our life.

Some of the things I have learned from my dad are:

  • To work hard
  • That a college education is very important
  • To manage money
  • To make time to play
  • To be sure to say I love you
  • To enjoy ice cream and cookies
  • To take vacations
  • To spend time with family and friends
  • To volunteer for a cause that moves you
  • To play in the floor with children
  • To read, read, read
  • The importance of lifelong friendships
  • To learn about new things
  • To be aware of current events
  • To be true to your word
  • To have faith, honor, and integrity
  • To rest my eyes
  • To be loyal to a team even in the losing seasons
  • To take time to enjoy the little things
  • To enjoy time with a child
  • To stay active
  • To learn new things
  • To get your hands dirty
  • To enjoy the outdoors
  • To have fun with a dog

I love my dad and all that he has done for me and all that he has taught me. He truly is an amazing man.

To you Dad, I love you and always will.  It is my honor to share your birthday with you!  We love you and look forward to your party.

Throwback Thursday – October 15

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday.  I cannot believe it has been so long since I have last posted.  We have been super busy with fall break and many activities.  I hope to be able to write again more regularly.

For today, I decided to include a photo of Ian in the driver’s seat of a fire truck.  This was during story time at our library.  The fire department came out and allowed the kids to explore the truck.

Clearly you can see how small Ian was.  His legs barely went over the end of the seat and he loved sitting there.  He was fascinated with the huge steering wheel and all of the gears.

Since then, Ian has grown so much and his legs are very long now.  At least compared to those in the photo.  He is still shorter than I am, but I imagine that will change in a few years.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Memories of a sweet toddler
  • Photos showing Ian’s changes
  • Chai Latte tea
  • Brisk mornings
  • Lovely blue skies
  • Extra long hugs
  • Listening to Ian read a favorite book
  • Camping fun with my parents, husband, and son
  • Birthday celebrations
  • Time with friends and family
  • Hearing “I love you” from Kirk and Ian
  • A new book
  • Bright oranges and reds on the trees
  • Warm socks
  • The colors, smells, and feel of fall

I wonder what amazing things we will be doing on this lovely fall day?  I cannot wait to find out!  Take care and have a great day!

Camping Adventure

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Hi and Happy Wednesday.  Life has been quite busy this week and will be this upcoming weekend as well.  Ian’s Cub Scout camping trip is this weekend.  We are looking forward to it and making sure we have all of the supplies we will need.

Ian is excited about it and a bit nervous.  I too am nervous since we are going somewhere we have never been before.  Still, it should be fun.  We just will be out of our routine and outside for much longer than we usually are.  Thankfully, the camp has bathrooms and water.

Ian has never camped before so it will be interesting to see what he thinks of it.  We will be spending one night at the campground.  I cannot wait to see what he thinks of the adventure.  I hope and pray that he has a fun time with the boys in his den and pack.

I haven’t been camping in years. I have many fond memories of camping when I was growing up.  We went to many State Parks and had a great time.  Two of my favorites were Cove Lake and Big Ridge State Park.

We had such fun and made some great food on these camping trips.  I loved cooking over a fire, in a box oven, and a tin can cooktop.  I also was in Camp Fire Girls and Boys growing up and learned many tricks and cool things.  Just hope that I can remember them!!

My family normally went with tents and a pop-up camper that had a hand crank.  We often would have one lamp and play cards after eating dinner.  And, we would tell stories and sing songs.  During Camp Fire camping, we strung up jungle hammocks in the trees for us to sleep in, and learned to make tables out of trees and rope.

This photo was taken at Laguna National Park in California this summer.  We had just bought Ian’s stuffed wolf and were enjoying a walk in the field and had seen some group camps.  It was a lovely day and a fun trip with my mother and her two sisters.  Their family had a cabin for camping that has since been torn down.

Now for the finishing touches for our trip. We just have to pack these and some other items in the car and be on our way:

  • Bug Spray, check
  • Cooler with drinks and extra food, check
  • Uniform and hat, check
  • First aid kit, check
  • Comfy shoes and warm clothing, check
  • Sleeping bags and pillows, check
  • S’mores fixins, check
  • Camera with charged batteries, check
  • Flashlights and water bottles, check.

I wonder how the trip will go and what Ian will think of it all?  I think he will have fun and so will we. At least I hope so.  I will let you know how our trip goes!

August 10 – In My Hand

POD_8-10_In.My.HandHi and Happy Monday.  Today’s Photo A Day Challenge is “In My Hand.”  That’s me in the middle.  I was holding hands at the beach with my mother on the left and my grandmother on the right.

This photo makes me smile since there are so many amazing memories of this beach and being with them throughout my life.  I don’t remember this particular day since I was so young, but I love having this photo.  It is a real treasure.

I am blessed to have quite a few precious photos from my childhood.  I cherish each and every one of them and am so happy for all of those who have come before me in my family.  I have learned so much and hope to carry on the traditions.

Several generations of my family have held hands during prayer time.  We do this before meals and other special occasions.  We normally stand in a circle and join hands.  It is wonderful and full of such love.

There are many things I like to have in my hand.  These include:

  • Holding hands with loved ones during a prayer
  • Holding hands with Ian as we cross the street on the way to school
  • Holding hands with my parents before our meals together
  • Holding hands on a date with my hubby
  • Kirk and I holding Ian’s hands as we walk and then pick him up and swing him
  • The feel of sand at the beach
  • A fish taco and beer — what a yummy meal
  • An ice cream cone on a hot day
  • A pencil before writing a note
  • A pen for my word finds
  • A book that I am enjoying
  • A newspaper that I read to find out the latest community news
  • A large glass of iced water to quench my thirst
  • A hymnal to sing glorious songs at church
  • A camera to capture a special moment
  • A hot cup of tea or coffee on a cold morning
  • A Lego creation by Ian that he wants to show me
  • A magazine for time to relax
  • Chopsticks for a yummy meal
  • Food of various kinds to prepare a special meal
  • Dice that are thrown during a Monopoly Game
  • Cards for Go Fish
  • Dirt in the yard for planting flowers
  • The steering wheel of our car on a Sunday drive
  • My Bible and other study material
  • A crayon to color with Ian
  • A gift of jewelry from my family
  • A photo album of priceless photos

There are many more items than this that I enjoy having “In My Hand.”  What do you like to hold in your hand?

One Week Until School Starts

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What The? Just one week left of summer? How is that possible? Where did the time go?   How did it get here so fast?  So I have to buy school supplies to buy this week?  No more late nights during the week and sleeping in?

It seems we just started our summer and now it is nearly over.  My time flies when you are having fun!  And we had a lot of fun and a great summer.  Hope your summer has been great as well.

It is hard to believe that one week from today, Ian will start 2nd grade.  He is starting his fourth year of school and that is amazing to me.  He loved preschool, kindergarten, and 1st grade.  And, now for 2nd grade.

I wonder who his teacher will be?  We should find that out in a day or two.  I wonder what friends will be in his class?  I hope several that he has known and he can always make more.

We love school so the transition will be good.  I just always want more summer and more time to enjoy one another without our normal commitments and schedules.

We have had a great summer and have done so many fun things.  We have made memories, spent time with many loved ones, and have so enjoyed a relaxing schedule.

This photo was taken in the mountains in California.  Here are Ian and I in the meadow on our amazing visit. That was a great day and one of our many fond memories.

This week we will purchase his school supplies, get back on our school schedule, and get our minds back on school. Still we will enjoy the last few days of summer with games, swimming, and plenty of other activities.

Some of our summer highlights were:

  • Monopoly games that took days to finish
  • Treats from the ice cream truck
  • Flying on a jet plane
  • Singing around the piano with my family and friends as my aunt played for us
  • Swimming with my brother, sister, and our families
  • Holding hands with more than 20 family members before a shared meal
  • Having Ian play with his cousins and friends
  • Completing some great books
  • Pizza at a favorite place in town
  • Going to a minor league baseball game
  • Seeing our skating-in-slow-motion friend and skateboarding dog at the beach
  • Laughs and memories with many loved ones
  • Celebrating the life of a friend who passed away last summer
  • Having Ian finish reading “Charlotte’s Web” and then build a Lego set of the characters in the story
  • Celebrating my parent’s 50th anniversary in two different cities
  • Celebrating my hubby’s birthday and several other loved ones as well
  • Taking time each day to enjoy each other’s company and truly listen to one another
  • Having Ian complete nine books in our library’s summer reading program

I wonder if I can savor this last week of the summer of 2015?  I plan to do just that and enjoy all of the memories that we made.

Family Reunion Fun

Nothing says summer like the ocean and the beach!

Hi and Happy July! Hope you are having a great summer!  I just returned from a wonderful week in San Diego, CA.  I was there with my family for a family reunion and 50th anniversary celebration.

It was fun spending time with so many loved ones.  I am blessed to have a family who despite our many differences, we have learned a way to have fun and enjoy being together.  We have lively discussions and don’t agree with everything, but still respect one another’s opinion.  And, love underlies all that we do.

I love these people so very much.  So, it was a true and amazing blessing to see them — parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, siblings, nieces and nephews, and friends.  So many people and so much love.  My grandparents would have loved seeing all of us!

Over the years of growing up, we spent a lot of summers together.  We have many fond memories of our time together.  Now, many of my cousins and I have our own children who are also enjoying time together.  Now, four generations have enjoyed this special family time.

Because of our week of visiting, laughing, eating, walking, swimming, and enjoying the ocean and beach, I have been off the computer.  Taking a break was nice but I am glad to be back.  I plan to write more regularly for the rest of the month and summer.

Our reunion party included a 50th Anniversary celebration for my parents.  This was in the same room of the family church where my great-grandparents had celebrated their 50th.  In another room at the same church, my grandparents celebrated their 50th as well.  It is wonderful to have such long line of great marriages in our family.

A few highlights were:

  • Eating dinner on the beach house porch with 22 other family members
  • Catching up with cousins
  • Family sing-along time around a piano
  • The lovely harmonies of a favorite family song
  • My aunt’s amazing piano playing by ear
  • Old family photos
  • Breakfast out with family at a favorite location
  • Posing for new photos with more family members and friends
  • Walks on the beach
  • Swimming in the bay
  • Spending a few nights at the beach house
  • Holding hands and praying before meals
  • Swimming at the motel one morning with my brother, sister, and our families
  • Getting fish tacos with my cousin and another time with my siblings and our families
  • A trip to the bead store
  • Traveling to the mountains with my mom and her two sisters
  • Watching Ian have fun with his cousins
  • Standing at the sea wall at sunset
  • Ice cream treats from the ice cream truck
  • Time with my parents and celebrating their long and amazing marriage

I wonder when I will next see my amazing and wonderful family?  I sure hope it’s soon.  I so love all of them and cannot wait to see them again.