Happy Thanksgiving

POD_March.6_Chair-Happy Thanksgiving to you!  May you have a wonderful day with family and friends and celebrate what you are thankful for.  I am thankful for many things and many people.  I am blessed beyond measure and so very grateful.

We recently found out that we had ancestors come over on the Mayflower and helped settle Plymouth. The knowledge that someone from our family was there at the first Thanksgiving is so very special.  It has made the story much more real for Ian and for all of us.

These people were Ian’s 15 great grandparents, if I counted it correctly.  Mom discovered this amazing news during the update of our family history.  I have been helping her with it and am having a blast.

My favorite Thanksgiving prayer is one that my grandfather wrote back in 1951.  This photo is of me sitting on his lap many years ago.  As my regular readers know, he was and remains my favorite storyteller.  He taught me so much and for that I am thankful.

In light of the world today, his prayer is still quite poignant and special.  After all, family and friends are still what is most important.

“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.”

Thank you Grandpa for your amazing and touching prayer.  You had a way of capturing events in life that are easy to take for granted.  Many people who have lost loved ones may never know these joys and thrills.  May we be a comfort to others in their times of loss.

I have found as I get older that it is the little things and normal things of daily life that I cherish the most. The daily routine and things that I can count on are so very special.  I hope and pray that I never take them for granted.

This year I also pray for peace.  Sometimes I wonder if we will ever have it again.  May we truly have peace on earth and goodwill towards men.  And I pray for good health and safety.  May those who are in pain or sickness be healed and become stronger.  And may we take care of one another.

Happy Thanksgiving to my friends and family.  For all of you, I am really and truly thankful. And I am looking forward to time together to eat, laugh, chat, and make new and wonderful memories.

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!!

Traveling and Home Again

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday!  Hope you are having a great summer!  Mine has been good and very busy.  I just noticed that this is the third posting for July — sheesh!

As you may have read in my post from a week ago, we had the pleasure of attending a family reunion.  It was so much fun but went by way too fast. I did my best to savor each and every moment.  Therefore, I wasn’t on the computer much at all.  Taking a break was nice.

One of the places we visited while in California was Mt. Laguna.  This photo was taken from the last time we visited.  Ian is walking down the path where my grandpa used to say Willie our elf friend lived in his cabin.  It was fun that year to find an actual building.

Being there again was great.  Ian and I enjoyed a day with my mom and her two sisters.  We stopped at a diner for lunch on the way to the mountains, enjoyed the beauty and smell of pine trees, had time to shop and find Ian a new stuffed wolf friend, and on the way back, stopped to get him some Lego toys.  This was one of many great days.

We also had several weeks with family and friends in North Carolina.  That too was lots of fun.  We enjoyed seeing Ian’s best friend from preschool, enjoyed yummy king crab legs and corn on the cob for dinner, went shopping at some favorite stores, and had time to play.

Now after being gone for a month, we are back home.  It is nice to be in our own space again.  Today is full of laundry, catching up on our mail, unpacking all of our stuff, settling into our normal routines, and sleeping in our own beds.  We are busy yet glad to be back home again.

Don’t get me wrong, we had a great time while we were gone.  It was fun to visit friends, chat with family members, sleep in a variety of places, and enjoy food that we don’t often have.  Still, there is no place like home and I am glad to be back.

A few things I am thankful for:

  • Memories of great visits with family and friends
  • Photos of these visits
  • Laughs with loved ones
  • Holding hands at prayer time before a shared meal
  • Cherishing sunsets into the ocean
  • A wonderful flight home and airplane adventures
  • Starting a new book
  • My kitchen and making a yummy dinner
  • Sleeping in my own bedroom
  • Messy morning hair
  • A safe drive home

There is much to be thankful for.  We have had a great summer and made so many memories.  Our traveling was truly wonderful and being home again is also wonderful!

Flashback Friday – May 1st

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy 1st Day of May!  Hope you have a great Friday!  I don’t know about you, but I have to say, TGIF!  This has been a crazy busy week and I am ready for the weekend.

I totally missed Throwback Thursday yesterday, so I decided to write a Flashback Friday instead.  Here is a photo of Ian from 5 years ago.  It was taken during a visit by our local fire department to the kid’s reading program at the library.

He was fascinated at sitting in the driver’s seat of the fire truck. I love seeing the huge steering wheel next to his short legs and little feet.  He is way too small for the spot but seems to be enjoying it just the same.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Our city’s library and the amazing books
  • Our city fire department and other services
  • Girls’ Night Out with dear friends
  • Yummy food and wine
  • Hats to cover up a bad hair day
  • Laughing at jokes and shared stories
  • Play time for Ian with a friend
  • Date night with hubby
  • My mom’s pot roast and potatoes
  • My dad reading with Ian and helping him with projects
  • Hugs between grandparents and grandson
  • Early mornings with my guys
  • Hearing good news
  • Answers to prayer
  • My home and community
  • My loved ones

I wonder what this Friday will bring?  I cannot wait to find out and am looking forward to it.  Hope you have a great one.

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!

Throwback Thursday – Pam and Patti

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frosty and Foggy Part 2 / TGIF

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday! I don’t know about you, but I am so very glad that it’s Friday today!

We have just this weekend and next before Christmas.  WOW!  How will it all get done?  If I do a little each day, I will be fine.  So this weekend will be all about preparing for Christmas and well as some time to have fun and relax. I sure don’t want to panic or get sick right before Christmas and all of the fun with family.

Today since I wasn’t feeling inspired by the photo of the day challenge (Composition) and there was no Five Minute Friday word given, I decided to post a few more frosty and foggy pictures.  I also wanted to write about a funny thought from this morning.

While making my oatmeal for breakfast, I started thinking about my husband’s Aunt May.  She is a character, often over the top, and lots of fun, and always has something to say – whether you want to hear it or not.  She lives in Scotland and has her own way of doing everything.

One time years ago when we were visiting her, I was making oatmeal or porridge as she calls it.  She said, “Oh Patti, how can you make porridge like that? I don’t mean to tell you what to do, but Oh God Patti, how can you eat that?” I told her, “I like it this way.”

I like my oatmeal or porridge made with milk and then I put on a pat of butter, salt, and fruit (usually blueberries).  It may be odd for some but this is how I like it.  That way I have sweet and salty together with a taste of fruit as well.  YUMMY!

This made me wonder, how do you like your oatmeal?  There is no correct way to eat it, contrary to what May thinks.  My hubby likes it with brown sugar and raisins and Ian likes it plain.

Today is another frosty day so the oatmeal hit the spot.  Here are a few more of those frosty and foggy pictures.  Enjoy and hope you stay warm and dry this weekend!

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Happy Birthday Tammy!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday.  Today is the birthday of my best friend from elementary school — Tammy.   Happy Birthday to you dear Tammy.

It is amazing to think how long we have known each other — for many, many years.  We have been through a lot and I love that we still stay in regular touch with each other.  That is so rare and I am so blessed to have her as my dear friend.

This photo is from the summer of 2012 when we were together with our families at the beach.  Our sons had fun playing together, which is so cool.

She recently reminded me of an incident when we got trouble in school – in Mr. Toler’s class.  We were giggling as we often did and he sent us to the coat closet.  His idea is that we were supposed to be quiet.  Needless to say, we weren’t.  Instead we just kept talking and laughing.

I remember when we were in junior high, she and her family moved away.  I was so upset and truly missed her for a long time.  The fact that we have kept in touch and still have a great time when we see each other is amazingly special to me.

When Kirk and I got married, she surprised me and showed up for the weekend.  I was totally blown away and touched. If I’d known she was coming, I would have asked her to be in the wedding as one of my bridesmaids.  But the surprise was such fun.

Tammy is an amazing woman, a strong Christian with a cool hubby and four great kids, and one of the best math teachers I know. She loves her family and friends and loves to laugh — something we loved to do together and still do.

I wish I could see her in person and give her a birthday hug.  But, that is not possible this year.  So instead I will wish her a very Happy Birthday!  Love you Tammy!  From one giggle gal pal to another, AGADKTGA!!!!!!!!!!

Birthday Blessings

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy 1st day of December.

Today is the first day of Advent — our season before Christmas.  They will light a candle at church and we will hear part of the Christmas story. And each Wednesday between now and Christmas, we will have a dinner and short service.  The time of year helps us remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

It is also the day after the birthday of five of my friends — Laura, Karla, Phyllis, Becky, and Donna.  Hope all of you had wonderful birthdays!  I got to see two of these ladies last week during a fun girls night out.  The others I keep in touch with mainly through Facebook and do see around town some.

This is the day that some of my friends have to move out of their homes.  I am going to do my best not to cry today when I think of these changes.  Instead I want to smile and focus on knowing them and being excited for a new chapter in their lives. You can read more about these changes in “An Ode to SRP.”

Today is the first day that I am truly going to work on my weight loss journey again.  I saw a recent photo of myself and didn’t like how I looked at all.  My face has gotten much heavier than I realized — as has all of me.  I know what to do, I just have to do it.

December 1st is the first day of the last month of the year.  It is hard to believe that it has gone as quickly as it has.  It seems like we just started 2013 and now are nearly into 2014.

It is also my birthday.  Normally I don’t write about my own birthday but today I wanted to share my blessings with you and some of my thoughts over this last year.  Here is a picture of me from 2010 with my birthday cake.

It has been quite a year.  There have been losses but also several new people have come into my life.  It is so hard to say goodbye to people who mean so much to you but unfortunately this is a hard and sad part of life.  New friendships are fabulous, as is seeing your son make a new friend who he has a ball with.

We didn’t have a real vacation anywhere this year so Ian’s Christmas break from school will be our time off.  There are a few museums in our town that I hope to visit, we’ll be sure to go to the library, the park if it isn’t too cold, as well as other fun things that we will be doing.  Perhaps a road trip or two but mainly time at home and with friends and family.

Ian started kindergarten this year.  At the beginning, I had a very hard time and missed him like crazy.  But, over the weeks, I have come to like going to the store by myself, being able to run out quickly and do something, read a book without interruption, and go to the bathroom by myself.  The fact he loves school makes this so much easier.

Last night at my birthday party with family and friends, my grandmother was there.  I feel so fortunate at my age to still have a living grandparent.  For most of my life I knew three of them and always felt very fortunate for that fact.  This year is something that was another treasure for me.

Some of my blessings and things I am thankful for:

  • A man who loves me no matter my size or mood.
  • A son who comes to me when he is hurt and asks questions and who wants me to put him to bed each night.
  • Parents who taught me about love and family.
  • My brother and sister and their spouses for showing love and kindness to me.
  • My nieces and nephews for being the fun and amazing kids they are.
  • In-laws who have welcomed me and all my quirks.
  • Friends who I have known for many, many years and still can talk so easily to and have such fun with.
  • A feisty grandmother who enjoys being with her family.
  • Aunts and Uncles and Cousins who are so fun and special and important to who I am.
  • New friends who I am still developing a relationship with.
  • Ian’s teachers who watch over him and teach him so much.
  • Ian’s friends that he is making and having fun with.
  • Our house and neighborhood where we love to be.
  • Our church where we met and got married and continue to enjoy services.
  • Our city’s library where we check out so many great books and go on great adventures.
  • A computer where I can write and keep in touch with others.
  • A journal where I take sermon notes and write down inspirational ideas and quotes.
  • A piano where I am re-learning music and trying to practice more.
  • Our neighborhood where I can walk and Ian can ride his bike.
  • The ability to sing and the fun of singing with family and friends.

I am so thrilled to have made another journey around the sun.  Hope you have a wonderful 1st day of December!

Happy Thanksgiving!

img267Today is the day of Thanksgiving!  I hope that you have someone to share it with and can truly enjoy it!

This afternoon we will be praying, giving thanks, and eating with our family and friends.  Everyone brings a dish to share.  My contribution is green bean casserole and perhaps a dessert.

It is a great meal, often with a game on the television, chess will be played, and perhaps a card game or two.  And, the kids will play.  The house will be very noisy but we will have lots of fun.

We are so thankful to have this fun, wild and crazy bunch to celebrate with.  Several generations of family and friends will gather together.

This year my mother discovered we are descendants of a family who arrived in America on the Mayflower.  Knowing there is a tie to early Thanksgiving celebrations makes this one even more special to me.

Here are a few things on this Thanksgiving that I am thankful for:

  • A picture of this turkey that my son drew with items he is thankful for
  • Breakfast in our pjs and a lazy morning
  • Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (mainly show numbers now but still fun)
  • Helping in the kitchen
  • A toast and prayers for what we are thankful for
  • My mom’s turkey and dressing
  • My sister’s sweet potatoes, which I am allergic to but will have to try
  • Tasty treats from my aunt and cousin
  • Mashed potatoes – one of my faves
  • Green bean casserole with onions on top and all of the other sides
  • Cranberry sauce with a roll
  • Pumpkin pie and pecan pie with whipped cream
  • Giggles from cousins
  • Seeing my son talk to my grandmother (who is 92 years old)
  • A dog who will be begging for scraps and probably be told no
  • Photos of friends and family young and old
  • A chess game or two or three
  • Cheering and yelling at the television during the games
  • Leftover turkey sandwiches
  • A variety of crafts and electronic devices being used after eating the meal
  • A long afternoon of conversation
  • A turkey-induced nap
  • Leftover turkey sandwiches
  • Watching Charlie Brown Thanksgiving with Ian

Here are a few quotes that I found for Thanksgiving:

  • “You can always find something to be thankful for, and there may be reasons why we ought to be thankful for even those dispensations which appear dark and frowning.” — Albert Barnes
  • “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” — John Fitzgerald Kennedy
  • “Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.” — W. J. Cameron
  • “Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.” — Robert Caspar Lintner
  • “For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wonder if on this Thanksgiving, we can truly be thankful for the people in our lives who mean so much, what we have and do, and enjoy and appreciate those who we are with.  I am planning to do just that.

God Bless!