Flashback Friday – Family

ff118_familyHi and Happy Friday.  For today’s Flashback Friday, I decided to use an old family photo from the 1970s.  It is one that Mom just sent to me and I love it.  Besides, the photo challenge for yesterday was family.

Here is my family.  I am the one in the middle. Interesting how we are all barefoot except for Dad.  I love these old photos and treasure them like gold.  Seeing the changes of all of us and the next generation in these faces is fascinating.  I just wish I could remember what I was thinking back then.

I love this family of mine — me, my sister, my brother, our mother and our father.  I love this photo too since it is so 70s.  The clothes, the hair, the couch, the wall, and did you notice the flag in the corner?  So retro and so cool.

I am fortunate to have grown up in a family where we were taught and shown unconditional love, acceptance, and compassion.  Also, we were taught to be kind and respect those different from ourselves.  Kirk and I are now teaching that to Ian.

My extended family is equally as awesome.  We are diverse in everything – our beliefs and our religions, who we love, how we earn our livings, what we are passionate about, our politics, and so much more.  Each one is unique and special and I love them all with all of my heart. Also, I have learned a lot from them.

I have recently had the pleasure of editing a family history book that Mom wrote.  And, I have to say from ancestors to those living today, my family is amazing. So many people have been passionate about so many things and we are all so different.  I am blessed beyond measure to be a part of this amazing legacy.

Today I am thankful for:

  • My loving parents
  • My fun siblings who are life-long friends
  • My amazing hubby and son
  • My wonderful in-laws
  • My fabulous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews
  • Learning about my heritage
  • Learning about my grandparents and many great grandparents
  • Growing up knowing that differences in people are okay and interesting
  • Long talks with loved ones who see the world differently than I do
  • Kindness and compassion towards others
  • Love not hate

I look forward to family time during the holidays and cannot wait for more time to chat and learn more about them.  I hope to see my extended family in the summer again soon.  Love to all of them.

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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!!

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.

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.

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!!

August 22 – Words

Words_POD_8-22-14Today’s photo challenge is Words.  I decided to include a note that is one of my favorites that I ever received from Ian.  It says, “Mommy, I will love you forever.”  Honestly, what is better than that from your child?

The photo is a little fuzzy since it is hard to take a photo of a piece of white paper.  I did the best I could. Ian wrote this for me last year when he was regularly calling me Mommy.  Now, he’ll say “Mommy, I mean Mom.”  Still not used to the new name, but I am getting there.

Seeing this sentiment in writing from my son was so very special.  This note is on the side of a photo that he drew for me.  I think it was for Mother’s Day.  Honestly, it was more special than any store-bought item could ever be.

I don’t know about you, but I love words.  Just love them!  As a writer, I spend a lot of time with words and can’t get enough. The written word in my writings, books, songs, and other writings are very special to me, as are spoken words.

One of the funniest commercials on television right now is about Words and that Words can truly hurt you.  It is a Geico commercial.  Have you seen it?  I sure hope so.  I crack up each and every time I see it.

As an editor, I have had to check the correct spelling of words as well as their usage.  This is something I also enjoy.  Another thing I like to do with words is Word Finds.  I can spend hours and hours on these. And, some days actually have.

Most people seem to either like numbers or words.  I definitely am a words person.  A few of my favorite words (but by no means all) are:

  • Love
  • Family
  • Child
  • Parent
  • Mommy or mom
  • Daddy or Dad
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild
  • Husband
  • Wife
  • I Thee Wed
  • Hug
  • Friend
  • Trust
  • Forgiveness
  • SRP
  • Brigadoon
  • Home
  • Clumping
  • Prayer
  • Belief
  • Faith
  • Be still and know that I am God
  • Trust
  • Honor
  • Respect
  • Happiness
  • School
  • Learning
  • Celebration
  • Compassion
  • Reading
  • Singing
  • Fun
  • Laughter
  • Aunt and Uncle
  • Cousin
  • Niece and Nephew
  • In-laws
  • Beautiful
  • Waves
  • Ocean
  • Beach
  • Beach house
  • Breath
  • Imagination
  • Blessings
  • Jesus loves me this I know
  • I Still Wonder Where Rainbows Come From

What are some of your favorite words? Please share them with me and our other readers.

Throwback Thursday – Kirk

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA DSC05822 (2) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn honor of my husband’s birthday tomorrow, I decided to include a few old pictures of the two of us and of us with Ian.

This first one is of the two of us in 2006 – pre-Ian.  We were in Fort Pierce, Florida.

The second picture of us kneeling with Ian was taken in San Diego at Balboa near the organ pavilion.  I don’t remember the year. As you can see we like hats and sunglasses when we are outside.

The third picture of us sitting on the grass was taken on Easter Sunday a few years ago.  I just love Ian’s pose.  He is a ham for the camera and certainly was in this picture.

Happy early birthday babe! I love you very much!