Throwback Thursday — Childhood Fun

TT.2-11-2016Hi and Happy Thursday.  Today I have a great picture for Throwback Thursday.  My sister Cindy and I are on the swing set in our backyard.  I am the one upside down.

My sister, my brother, and I loved to play in this back yard.  I don’t remember how I happened to be upside down, but I love that I was.  We had so much fun and made so many memories.  We were able to walk to school since we were so close.

I love how this picture sums up childhood, when life was simple, we had no worries except for when dinner time was, and getting our homework done.  My family also had chores to do around the house and we always had to listen and eat what was served.

Still, it was so carefree.  I only wish my younger self had known to savor each and every moment of being a kid.  Now I look back fondly and wish that I had, but it’s hard to see at the time.  Since life was pretty good, I could have taken things for granted. Our parents helped us to not do that.

I was quite shy as a child, almost painfully so.  Needless to say, I was a late bloomer and took things at my own pace.  Things worked out at the right time for me, but it did take time and I thank my parents for helping me along and helping me to find myself.

I had a real and fun childhood and am so thankful to my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles who were a part of that.  I also appreciate our pastors, teachers, Camp Fire leaders, Vacation Bible School and Sunday School teachers, and all other adults who helped me to become who I am today.

Now that I am a parent, my husband and I are trying to give Ian the best childhood we can.  That doesn’t mean saying yes to everything that he asks for or giving him all that he wants.  Instead, it means having plenty of time to play, complete his homework, help around the house, enjoy the library, Cub Scouts, having plenty of food, and so much more.

I am aware that some families don’t have that.  We are teaching that to Ian as well and to have him be cognizant of others and be helpful.  We had a food drive last week at school and Ian helped me choose the food and deliver it to school.  And, at Christmas, he chose gifts for a boy on our Angel Tree at church.  He is already learning and I am so grateful.

There are a few things that I think children need to know they are loved and safe:

  • Unconditional love
  • Discipline given in love not anger or hate
  • Routine and consistency
  • Regular and healthy meals
  • Running water that is safe to shower in and drink
  • Parents and other adults who want the best for them
  • Time to play
  • Learning to read
  • Being told I Love You
  • Being read to
  • Being listened to
  • Having family traditions
  • A quality education
  • A safe living environment
  • Knowing they can count on their parents

May we be able to provide this for our children.  If we can’t on our own, may we seek help from others.  And, may we always love them and take care of them.

I will close with a few quotes about childhood.  May we as parents enjoy it with our children.

  • “There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence
  • “Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and sights, before the dark hour of reason grows.” ~ John Betjeman
  • “Childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “In childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking out. In memories of childhood, we press our nose to the pane, looking in.” ~ Robert Brault
  • “It is never too late to have a happy childhood.” ~ Tom Robbins

Family Reunion Fun

Nothing says summer like the ocean and the beach!

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few highlights were:

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

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