June 18, 1965 – Throwback Thursday

Mom and Dad.weddingFifty years ago today, my parents were married.   Happy 50th Anniversary to you, Mom and Dad!  May you have a wonderful time remembering your wedding day.  Happy Golden Anniversary!!!

I love this picture of the two of them.  They are so young and excited about starting their life together.  Little did they know then that one day they would be celebrating 50 years as husband and wife.

What an amazing accomplishment in a marriage — 5 decades together!  Five decades of good and bad, ups and downs, laughter and tears, compromises, fun and adventures, schools and jobs, travels and moves, celebrations, births and deaths, and so much more.

It started with the two of them.  Then they had three children — two girls and a boy.  These children then grew up and married and had families of their own.  Now there are five grandchildren.  A family of 13!  What a blessing.

Here are a few quotes about anniversaries:

  • “True love stories never have endings.” — Richard Bach
  • “An anniversary is a time to celebrate the joys of today, the memories of yesterday, and the hopes of tomorrow.” — Author Unknown
  • “There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage.” — Martin Luther
  • “Newlyweds become oldyweds, and oldyweds are the reasons that families work.” — Author Unknown

To my parents, I love you and thank you so much everything!  Have a great day!

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.

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!

Happy Birthday Dear Pam!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA Today is the birthday of one of my favorite people — my cousin Pam.  Happy birthday to you dear Pam!  May you have an amazing and wonderful day! May you have fun and a great celebration!!!

We have been good friends for many years but have never lived close to one another.  The distance doesn’t matter and for that I am always thankful. In fact, each time we see each other we pick up right where we left off and always have much to talk about. And we stay in touch with one another during times we aren’t together in the same city.

Kirk, Ian, and I went to see her this summer and had so much fun.  We laughed, we chatted, we drank our wine and it was terrific!!  It was great being at her lovely house with Pam, her hubby, and family.  We hadn’t seen each other for 4 years before that.

img073Growing up, she was my beautiful and cool cousin from California.  I loved the summers we would go there and see her and her family.   I remember in high school listening to the  music of the day and always remember “You Spin Me Right Round,” by Dead or Alive as a song we’d dance to.  That was one of many songs that we used to enjoy together.

To borrow a line for the movie “Beaches,” my memory of her is very long.  I love that and love that we still have a blast together.  And, our husbands get along well too.  She still is my cool cousin and just as beautiful, but I like it that now we both live in the south.

Pam, I wish we could be with you today to celebrate!  Hope you have a wonderful day!  Love you so very much!  And I hope to see you and your wonderful family again soon!!!

The first of these photos was taken this summer.  The second is from the early 1990s when I had a sunburn. These are two of many photos I have — all of them remembering a special moment.

I love all of my other cousins too!  I am so fortunate to have a great group of cousins.  Last week, one cousin Robbi celebrated her birthday.  She too is an amazing woman and a friend.  I am sorry that I missed a blog for you Robbi!  We enjoyed a wonderful and fun party with her and her family.

To all of my cousins, I love you so very much and wish we could see each other more than we do. Hopefully we will again soon.  Cousins truly are our first friends other than our siblings and I am honored to have the best!

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.