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.

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Five Minute Friday – Present

5minutefridayToday I am taking a day off from the Photo-A-Day challenge to write my Five Minute Friday posting.  I will be back to the photos tomorrow and may even post today’s then.

Today’s word for Five Minute Friday is Present.

Here are the rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community…

Now GO …

presentA present is something precious. The thoughtfulness of a special gift that a loved one has bought for you is a treasure.

Watching my son open an anticipated gift on Christmas morning or on his birthday is a real treat.

He is so thrilled and appreciative and then loves to play with the new item.  Most of the day when a new gift is received is spent playing with and learning all about the new item.

More important is the here and now — not the past or future but the present.

Until I had a child of my own, I didn’t totally understand the concept of living in the present.  I would spend a lot of time thinking about the future and the past.  Ian helps me live in the moment and savor each and every second.

It is amazing that kids can totally be engaged and consumed (in a good way) with whatever is in front of them at the time.  They don’t worry about the next meal, having power in the house, or missing a favorite tv show because a bill can’t be paid.

I think we can learn a lot from a child.  The gift of time is an amazing present and one that I try to make the best of.   And, I do my best to always be totally there in the moment.

I wonder if we can truly live in the present and savor the excitement, wonder, and possibilities of each day like a child does.  I am sure going to try.

Now, STOP!!!

To read other blogs from the Five Minute Friday community, please see http://lisajobaker.com/2013/07/five-minute-friday-present/

Merry Christmas to You!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAI wanted to wish my friends, family, blogs followers and readers a very Merry Christmas!  Hope you have a very blessed holiday!

A few Sundays ago, our Pastor told a story in his sermon that is what I think the holiday is all about.  An autistic boy had a part in the Christmas play.

He played the inn keeper and was supposed to tell Joseph and Mary that there was no room for them in the inn.

Instead this boy said, “I know what I am supposed to say, but Mary and Joe, there is room.  Why don’t you take my room?”

Isn’t that the sweetest? This boy knew that Christmas and Christ are about love and helping others!  May we all live that kind of life!!

This Christmas Eve and Christmas, I look forward to time with family and dear friends, good food, baking cookies, going to church tonight with my family, cookies and hot chocolate after the service, watching Ian open his gifts and stocking on Christmas morning, and the love of the Christ Child!

Here are a few quotes about Christmas:

  • “The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”– Burton Hillis
  • “From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas brings us closer to each other.” — Emily Matthews
  • “The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others’ burdens, easing other’s loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas.” — WC Jones
  • “For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas. Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home.”– W. J. Tucker
  • “At Christmas, all roads lead home.”– Marjorie Holmes
  • “Christmas is the season of joy, of holiday greetings exchanged, of gift-giving, and of families united.” –Norman Vincent Peale
  • “Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”– Laura Ingalls Wilder

May you have a blessed and wonderful Christmas!  Remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season!!!

Each Day Is A Gift

“Everybody’s working for the weekend.” — lyrics in a song by Loverboy.

That is a great song but is it true?!  Is that really what we are working for?

Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy my weekends and the routines being slightly different.  However, having a son who is pre-school age has helped to learn to appreciate each and every day.

Kids are great at living in the moment and truly making it the best it can be.  Children treat each day as the gift that it is and open up its possibilities like a present.

I wonder why we as adults have such a hard time with that.  We are always watching the clock: “Is it 5 yet so I can go home?”  Or we are wishing our week away to get to the weekend.  Or we are so looking forward to a concert or vacation, that we miss the days leading up to that special occasion.

This summer I am doing my best to savor and appreciate each day that I am given.  Things are new every morning and each time we awake from a night of sleep is a gift.

I hope that you too can realize that each day is a blessing and make the most of it!

A few quotes about time:

“Time is the coin of your life.  It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.  Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”  ~Carl Sandburg

“Time is what we want most, but… what we use worst.”  ~William Penn

You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by; but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.”  ~James Matthew Barrie

The Future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.”  ~C.S. Lewis

What a Week!

The last seven days have been amazing and so full of blessings.

I have felt such an outpouring of love and care with all of the prayer support that I received!  (Please see my posting on Wednesday to read about my trip to the ER)

Yesterday afternoon, I went to my regular doctor for a follow-up visit.  My blood pressure was normal (yeah!) and I was so happy about that.  And, he gave me a medicine to help my stomach / GI tract to settle back down.

He also told me that doctors often can’t tell you exactly what is wrong with you but that they can tell you what isn’t wrong.  That is something profound, don’t you think?  It is also frustrating when you want to have an answer. As I found out this week, however, that isn’t always possible.

We then discussed diet and some changes that I need to make.  He mentioned that healthy eating has to be a new lifestyle choice and not considered a diet.  As you know from reading my blog, I am trying to lose weight but am still not having much success.  This doctor reminded me that it’s all about portion control, eating fewer carbs, and avoiding fried food (for my stomach mainly but a good idea for overall health).

I thanked him for his advice and the medicine.  Then we came home from the doctor, took the medicine, and made dinner — salmon, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and biscuits.  DELICIOUS!  And, I had no stomach, etc. problems.  For the first night in a while, I slept very well through the night and without almost no pain. Thank you Lord.

This week has truly been a wakeup call and has shown me how far from the healthy food choices I was. I thought I was doing well but got off track the previous week. I am working now each day to make healthier choices.  And, to exercise as well.  I am tired of feeling lousy and ready to feel better and back to a fun and healthy weight.  After all, I have some great clothes that I want to be able to wear again.

My husband and son have been so sweet and attentive to me. My hubby has been helping a lot around the house (something he does anyway) and been making sure that I have been getting rest and what I need.

In addition, my son has been very attentive. Ian has a doctor’s kit and last night he gave me a checkup.  He checked my heart and said, “there is a robber in your heart trying to get the pain out,” meaning he wants Mommy’s pain to go away.  He has said several times, “It’s okay Mommy,”  and “I hope that you can lose weight Mommy.”

It means a lot to have my own cheering section!  And, I feel truly blessed to have such a loving and caring set of family and friends who provided such amazing prayer support and concern.  That has meant the world to me this week.  Thank you Lord for watching over me!

How was your week?  I hope and pray it was full of blessings!  Please share with me and other readers.

Another Week of Thanks

This has been another week of items to be thankful for and for enjoying the little things.  Not to say the week has been great the entire time, because it hasn’t been.

I have been worried about and praying for several friends and family members dealing with a variety of health issues.  A few are very serious and others are less so, but still worrisome and in need of prayer.  Dear Lord, please wrap your love around them and stretch out your healing hand upon them.  Amen!

Note: This photo was taken on Easter morning 2011 at the sunrise service.

I hope that you too have had some time to enjoy your week!  Please share some of the moments that have meant so much to you!  I would love to hear from you.

My blessings/items to be thankful for are:

  • Seeing Ian’s excitement over learning how beans turn into sprouts.  My mom started the experiment last week and we have been checking each morning on the changes.
  • Sleeping over at my parent’s house and hearing my father play with Ian.
  • Listening to a sermon that God will never abandon us.  “I will never leave you nor will I forsake you.”  What an incredible promise.
  • Enjoying an old song by Don Francisco during the church service.
  • Eating blueberries with my oatmeal.  This is a treat that I haven’t had for a while since blueberries are so expensive.
  • Finding out that I had the highest likes ever on one of my blogs.
  • Gaining several new followers for my blog. I truly appreciate your interest!!
  • Beaming with pride while Ian tells two stories during a family dinner and another one right before bed.  I am truly moved that we have another storyteller in the family and so love his creativity.
  • Cuddles in the morning with my son.
  • Starting and finishing the book, “150 Pounds,” by Karen Rockland, a book of waists and measures as it says on the cover.
  • Losing 3 pounds after feeling I was getting no where in my weight loss journey.
  • Savoring the perfect blend of coffee and creamer in the morning.
  • Watching the sun rise after a day of heavy rain, lightening, and hail.
  • Having a house with a garage during two bouts of hail.
  • Praying for my family and friends and knowing I can talk to the Lord anytime that I want and He will listen.
  • Being entertained as Ian sings part of an Abba song “how can I resist ya…”
  • Reuniting with my husband after his business trip.

May the Lord bless you this week!  I hope that you too can have some time to stop and smell the roses and be thankful for the amazing things in your life.

From the Mouths of Children

Have you ever listened to a young child speak? Or listened to them give their ideas and point on view on life?  I do every day and love it.

Ian always has something interesting to say.  He is really quite insightful on a lot of things. That is quite amazing for a 4-year-old.

Yesterday morning, he said, “Mommy, I have a boo-boo in my throat.” He was speaking of a sore throat and I loved how he put that.

Since he is discovering reading more and more, he keeps asking us, “What does that say?” “Can you tell me?”  I love watching his mind at work.

This morning while pointing to his head, he said, “God made me and he putted my brain in there.”  Very sweet.

Although I as his mother am continually trying to teach him new concepts and ideas, he is the one often teaching us.

From Ian, I have learned to truly live in the moment. He savors and enjoys each experience and isn’t spending his time worrying about something in the future or the past.

I have also learned to be content with the little things.  He is happy with his toys, a pencil and paper, a book, and his hot chocolate. The simple things and the simple life is something that works for him.

I have learned to love unconditionally and give out hugs. He does this most of the time and his hugs and loves are very special.

I have enjoyed laughing with him as well.  I didn’t have to learn that as I have been laughing for years.  But, there is something very special in hearing your child laugh.

I do have to say I love to see when he thinks something is funny.  He grins from ear to ear with his precious dimples and his entire face and body are happy.

This morning I saw a great quote about children from Marianne Williamson, “Children are happy because they don’t have a file in their minds called ‘all the things that could go wrong.'” That really is true.

Please take the time to truly listen to the child or children in your life.  You will be glad that you did.

I wonder if we can enjoy life as much as a child does.  I am certainly going to try.

Christmas Blessings

This year was full of Christmas blessings for me and my family.  I hope that it was for you as well.

We had fun with family and friends opening gifts, chatting, eating, resting, playing games, building a new pirate ship, cleaning up the dishes and enjoying all of our new items.

Many blessings for this year — more than I can count. I really enjoyed and appreciated all of the items that I got this year — a new perfume to enjoy, a new cookbook with all new recipes to try, CDs of music, gift cards to pick new items, and jewelry.

My husband and son also received several wonderful items as well. Money, items for a computer, and clothes are always welcome.  And, Ian was thrilled with new books, his new pirate ship, several games, puzzles and items to make toy moldings.

Isn’t it amazing when you receive the exact gift that you have asked for?  Or how wonderful is it when you see your son or daughter or parent or other special someone open a gift that they really wanted? They are truly excited and pleased to receive.

The best part of the holiday though was the time with our family and friends!  The thoughtfulness that went into each gift was so special. And, the time to visit and enjoy one another’s company was so special as well.  The Christmas music sung by the choir and the candlelight services are also something to remember. I also always appreciate Christmas cards and photos and enjoy seeing what people dear to me have been involved with in the last year. And hearing the news that our niece was engaged was truly exciting!

One of the most special gifts that I received was from my sister.  She had a special charm made for me to wear on a necklace or as a pin.  On one side is a photo of our grandparents on their honeymoon.  They were married in 1930 and stayed married for 66 years before our grandfather passed away.  They passionately loved each other and all of their family.  They are truly people to learn from so this photo means more than I can explain here.

The other side is a picture of our family’s beach house with a rainbow on it. This house is one that I have been to for many years – with my parents, aunts and uncles, and my brother and sister and cousins and now with spouses and our children as well.  It is a magical place. This gift touched me and brought tears of joy to my eyes.  It is very sentimental and very special and a gift that I will always treasure!  You did well sis and I appreciate your thoughtfulness so very much!

This week we continue to enjoy time with family and friends and have time to savor our gifts that we gave and received.  I wonder if I can continue this amazing feeling after the week is finished.  I hope and pray that we can.

Thank you Lord for all blessings. Please helps us always to be truly thankful!  Amen