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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What a Month!

Playground.4Hi and Happy October.  I just noticed that I haven’t written at all this month.  Sheesh!  I can’t believe that is the third Monday of the month already.  Where has this time gone?

What have I been doing all month to keep me busy?  Let’s see, celebrating a boy’s birthday, having fall break fun and adventures, shopping, eating out, traveling to North Carolina for work and fun, spending time with family and friends, celebrating my mother’s birthday, watching a few movies, working on items for PTO, and so much more.

We just completed fall break and Ian is now back at school.  We had a great time but I took a break from the computer and just enjoyed being in the moment.  It was nice but also a bit strange.  We also had some computer and Internet issues that prompted some of it.  I did, however, start missing my writing.

I love October.  It is my favorite month of the year.  I got married this month and our son was also born this month.  And, it is the birthday of some other loved ones.  So, it is special. And, I love that it is the first month that actually feels like fall.

We enjoy the change in the weather, the chance to wear fuzzy socks again, jackets in the morning, the shorter days and changes in the colors of the leaves. And there is Halloween candy, dressing up, and baking treats. I also like soups, chili, pumpkin spice cookies, pumpkin bread, bonfires, football, and baseball playoffs.

All in all, it is a great month and one that I look forward each year.  You may be wondering about today’s photo.  The photo challenge for today is Tree.  I took this photo last fall and thought it would be great for today.  It is very much fall — after the leaves have fallen off the trees.

Today I am thankful for:

  • A fabulous fall break
  • Taking many photos during our time off
  • Having time at home to relax
  • Holiday creamers for my coffee
  • Extra cuddles in the morning
  • Celebrating my loved ones
  • Fuzzy socks
  • Soup for dinner
  • Reading and relaxing
  • The return of our regular routine

I wonder what adventures this week will bring?  I cannot wait to find out.  Have a great one!

Fun on Friday

Fun_8-12-2016Hi and Happy Friday! Today’s photo challenge is Fun. Here is one take on fun. This is one of my favorite pictures of Ian taken at sunset at the beach many years ago.

I love his facial expression and think he is ready to take on the world and have tons of fun. Or he is ready to dive in.

I love to have fun and enjoy doing so. Sometimes as adult, it isn’t always possible but I do try to regularly make time for fun. With a child, it is easier to be sure to have fun each day.

DSC00210According to Dictionary.com, fun is defined as something that provides mirth or amusement; and enjoyment or playfulness. This first photo embodies that to me. The second one is also fun and a fond memory.

Fun to me is:

  • Watching records be broken during the Olympics
  • Watching a funny movie
  • Reading a favorite book
  • Getting my feet wet at the beach
  • Holding Ian’s hand in the surf
  • Holding Kirk’s hand on walks
  • Swimming at the pool with my parents
  • Coloring with my pencils
  • Completing word finds
  • Talking a walk at the beach
  • Laughing with Ian and Kirk
  • Playing a game of Pounce
  • Playing a board game
  • Pizza night with games and company
  • Time for my dad, his dog, and Ian to be together
  • Helping my mother with the family history
  • Discussing our soap with my mother
  • Spending time watching Ian build Lego creations
  • Laughing until we cry
  • Girls night dinners
  • Time with siblings and our spouses and kids
  • Visits with cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, and grandparents
  • Laughing with old friends
  • Singing along with the radio or favorite song
  • Dancing
  • Watching Ian learn something new
  • Helping at Ian’s school and with the PTO
  • Having time to wander in a new city
  • Browsing a used book store
  • Getting treats from a neighborhood bakery
  • Having special cuddle time
  • Our weekend routine
  • Lazy time at home on the weekend
  • Weekly visits with my parents
  • Walking home from school with Ian

What is fun to you?  Do you try to have fun each day?  I hope you do!  Have a great and fun weekend.

Throwback Thursday – Summer!

TBT_6-23-2016Hi and Happy Thursday. Are you having a great summer? We are!  So far, so good.  We are about to finish our third week of summer and are having a wonderful time. This photo was taken of Ian in Fort Pierce, Florida many years ago.

When he was this age, his pacifier was a constant for him. This was one of the first times that he got to walk on the sand, or should I say run. He loved it. He still does love it. Sadly we won’t be going to the beach this summer, but have plenty of other things to keep us busy.

Last night, we went to my parent’s house for swimming and dinner. They have a neighborhood pool that we enjoyed. It was a very hot day so the water was perfectly cool and fun. After swimming, we went back to their house and had a great dinner and dessert and plenty of laughs. It was great.

Tonight is game night and homemade pizza at our house. My parents are coming over for that, which will also be fun. Big decision of the evening will be, do we play The Game of Life or Star Wars Monopoly or both?  Perhaps Dominos or the card game Pounce? We will see what Ian and everyone else feel like.

Life with no alarm clocks or set schedules is very nice this time of year. And, since I work at home, I can be flexible enough to start later in the morning or wear my pajamas. How great is that? It’s the little things that become the big blessings, isn’t it?!

Our summer started with a trip to North Carolina which was great. That was for both work and play. We had time to visit family, take a few walks, enjoyed dinner out with friends, and bought cookies and almond strudel at a wonderful bakery, and frozen yogurt treats. Also, I bought a new coloring book (yes I do like coloring), and Ian got a new Lego set. I helped him build it and we took several pictures.

June has been good so far and July should be as well. Next month we will go back to North Carolina, have a chance to visit some friends, may attend a baseball game, and I will have a high school reunion. I have great classmates who are always fun to see.  Cannot wait.

I love all of the memories we are making this summer with Ian. Each day has something fun. Whether it’s spending the day with messy hair and clothes to swimming to reading a library book to watching a favorite cartoon, we are enjoying our time together.

In addition to all of our fun, we are thinking of and praying for those suffering and struggling. We are talking with Ian about what can be done to help others and reminding him to always love others and be respectful. Also, we encourage him to ask questions that he has and we discuss those. With so much going on in the world, there is much to learn.

I wonder what other adventures the summer will bring?  I cannot wait to find out. Hope you also have a great summer!  Enjoy.

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.

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

February 4 – Texture

POD_2.4.TextureHi and Happy Thursday!  Today’s photo challenge is Texture.  And, since it is also Throwback Thursday, I decided on this photo of Ian from years ago.

He was studying a rock and was quite interested in the feel and the weight of it.  He has always been curious and has wanted to learn more.  For that we are truly thankful.

Texture is defined in several ways: (1) the way that something feels when you touch it; (2) the way that a food or drink feels in your mouth; and (3) the various parts of a song, poem, movie, etc., and the way they fit together.

The first definition is the most common one regarding texture.  We touch things to learn more about them.  A lot can be discovered from the feel of something.  A few touches and textures that come to mind are:

  • The feel of sand in my fingers or toes
  • Holding hands during a prayer
  • Drinking ice-cold water on a hot day
  • Savoring an ice cream cone
  • Making a snow ball
  • The touch, feel, and taste of popcorn
  • Holding Ian’s hand as we cross the street
  • The feel of a warm mug of hot cocoa on a cold day
  • The taste of that cocoa
  • Hugs and kisses with my hubby
  • Messy dirt as flowers are planted
  • A stone that Ian found for me at the beach
  • The crunch of a yummy salad
  • The pairing of warm hot fudge and cold vanilla ice cream

There are so many items of texture that we can feel and taste and have in our lives.  I have the texture of a variety of friends and family.  They enrich my life in so many ways.  For that I am truly thankful and blessed.  As far as the texture of songs and movies, I will write about that in a separate blog.

One quote by actor Ralph Fiennes that I found about texture states, “Little moments can have a feeling and a texture that is very real.”  That is so true.  Life is made up of small and little moments that can be special and are not to be missed.  Each day I savor those little moments and know that they will change as life goes on.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Cuddles and chatting before school
  • Breakfast with my hubby
  • Hearing I love you from my guys
  • Saying I love you in return
  • Enjoying dinner with my parents
  • Laughter and fun with friends
  • Sunshine for an afternoon walk
  • Super Bowl party with my family
  • The upcoming weekend
  • Reading books
  • Reading a story that Ian has written
  • Having the ability to feel textures

I wonder if I will pay attention to textures throughout the day?  I plan to do just that.  I will also continue to appreciate the little moments in my life.

Flashback Friday – Bare Feet

3.kids.Michigan0001Hi and Happy Friday.  The last two weeks have been crazy busy so I haven’t had any time to write.  I hate when that happens. Today, however, I wanted to write a short blog and post a fun picture.

On this rainy day, I decided on a photo of toes and sand. I was sitting on a dune in Michigan with my sister (center) and my brother (right).  I love our messy hair, striped t-shirts, big smiles, and bare feet. This was during a family vacation with some friends.

We had so much fun on this family vacation.  In addition to visiting the dunes, we went on a tour of a Kellogg’s Cereal packaging plant.  It was fascinating to see how that process works.  We then went back to our friends’ house and created our own plant and enjoyed some free cereal samples.

Also on this trip, we went to have a meal in Canada.  That was long before passports were needed for a quick trip across the border.  We purchased some soft drink bottles while there.  They looked so different and were cool souvenirs.

We were fortunate to have great family vacations.  We regularly went to the family beach house, also went to visit family and friends across the country, and went on camping trips.  Mom and Dad always made sure we had a great time.  I have many fond memories of this vacations.

Now, Kirk, Ian, and I have enjoyed several fun vacations and the first of many camping trips.  My favorite place to go with these two continues to be the beach house.  They seem to have as much fun as I do.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Memorable trips with my family
  • Visiting my grandparents and other relatives
  • Old family photos
  • The sound of rain as I go to sleep
  • A raincoat and umbrella on a rainy day
  • Girls Night Out last night
  • Laughter and stories with dear friends
  • Walking in the rain
  • Prayer support for a sick friend
  • Friendships and family
  • Love and compassion
  • Weekend time to relax

I wonder what our Friday has in store for us?  I know it will be rainy but warm.  So it will be a good time to enjoy being home.  I am so looking forward to that.

X Is For … Xylophone

POD_10.28_X.is.forToday’s Photo-A-Day Challenge is X is for …  My choice is X is for Xylophone.  Here is Ian many years ago playing a small xylophone at the San Diego Zoo.  They have an amazing children’s section with a lot of interactive activities. He really enjoyed this one.

When we were at the zoo that day, Ian had a great time.  In addition to this in the children’s section was a petting zoo.  He loved petting the goats and was very curious about them. Needless to say at the end of the day, he was very tired and went right to sleep.

Ian loves music and instruments.  So the chance to try playing a tune was great fun for him.  In this picture, you can see how much he is concentrating.  He still today enjoys playing the piano and using items around the house to make music.

This year he is enjoying watching The Voice on NBC.  Since much of it is on past his bedtime, we record it for him and watch the next day.  He has comments to make about the singers as well as the judges.  Ian has a really good ear for music.  Of that I am thankful.

Other things that I am thankful for on this rainy day are:

  • A boy who enjoys music class
  • Listening to Ian sing a favorite song
  • Watching and critiquing contestants on The Voice with Ian
  • Cuddling on the sofa with Ian and Kirk
  • Umbrellas and rain coats so we don’t get soaked
  • A garage so I can remain dry after arriving back home
  • A pumpkin spice latte

I wonder what other items we can find that start with X today?  I will be on the lookout.  Have a great day!

 

October 21, 2015 — Wayback Wednesday

SRP.28_Patti.Dick.and.Artha.1986

Hi and Happy Wednesday. Today I wanted to share a photo from 29 years ago.  This was taken after I had graduated from high school and was visiting my grandparents and other family in California.

1985 and 1986 were great years for me and a lot of fun.  I finished high school, started college, and became my own young woman. And, these two years a lot of great movies were released.  Among them were “Back To The Future,” “The Breakfast Club,” and “St. Elmo’s Fire” in 1985 and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Pretty In Pink” in 1986.

I enjoyed all of these movies and remember them fondly from my teenage years.  It was a great time to grow up.  I loved the movies, music, fashion, and hairstyles.  Little did we know then how nostalgic we would one day be.  That is how I have been today.

Much has been made today about it being Back To The Future Day.  In the 2nd movie in the three-movie series that was released in 1989, Marty McFly travels 30 years in the future to October 21, 2015. It is amazing to realize that day is today.

A few lines from the movies have been published today including “Roads?  Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”  That was a great one.  We still need roads so that clearly didn’t happen. And, I would have loved to have a hoverboard.  An article was also published about what the movie got right and what it didn’t.

Clearly we cannot see into the future.  Still it is fun to speculate and imagine about how much changes.  Since 1985, a lot has changed.

  • We have gone from Walkmans and boom boxes to listing to music online or on our phones.
  • We have gone from phone booths and paying 10 cents, then 25 cents, then 35 for a phone call to carrying our own phones with us at all times.
  • We have gone from three television stations to hundreds of channels as well as streaming options and DVDs.
  • We have gone from cassette tapes and records to CDs, shuffle features, or downloadable songs.
  • We have gone from cameras with film to phones that capture all of our activities.
  • We have gone from bulky full size video recorders to tiny hand-held devices that we also use for texting.
  • We have gone from paper library catalogs and 26-volume hardback encyclopedias to search engines with 10,000 options to review.

As as I read online recently, I am thankful that most of my wild times happened before the Internet.  I wasn’t a wild child, but I am glad that every thing I did and said wasn’t recorded.

It is amazing the changes that we have seen.  On the one hand, I feel quite old today.  On the other hand, I can’t wait to see what is next.