Throwback Thursday – Spring Fever

TT.3-10-2016“A pretty flower for you Mommy?  Would you like it?”   For today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to use an old spring picture of Ian.  He seems to be making that offer, doesn’t he?  I love his enthusiasm and sharing of a flower — actually a dandelion.

This was taken quite a few years ago on Easter Sunday.  He had a lot of fun that day getting an Easter basket, seeing his cousins, and going on an Easter egg hunt.  He also liked the service and all of the music. This Easter will include much of the same things.

In the meantime, we are getting spring fever.  The weather has drastically warmed up in the last few days.  We are enjoying it and making the most of the nice weather.  Walking home from school is even more fun as the warm breeze blows through our hair.

On the other hand, we are all sneezing quite a bit since something seems to be blooming.  Spring allergies always seem to get me, although I love to watch the trees and flowers come back to life.

This weekend, I will be working on my toenails so I can wear my flip-flops again.  These are my go to shoes for spring and summer.  I haven’t done much for them in the last few months since I have been in socks most days.  We will also be getting out our shorts and short-sleeved shirts again.

On our walk home from school yesterday, Ian reminded me that spring isn’t for weeks.  He added that it sure feels nice and warm Mom.  I think that the first day of spring is March 20, so it is sooner than I realized.

A few things I am grateful for today are:

  • Ice cold glasses of water
  • Walks home with a sweet boy
  • Our upcoming spring break
  • Time with family and friends
  • The change in our routine during spring break
  • Flip-flops and sunglasses
  • Short sleeved shirts
  • Time outside with my hubby and son
  • Catching up this weekend with old and dear friends
  • Anticipation of Holy Week
  • Easter and all of the fun involved
  • Girls Night Out at the end of the month
  • The First Day of Spring

I found a few great quotes about Spring:

  • “Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.” ~ Lewis Grizzard
  • “Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”  ~ Robin Williams
  • “It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” ~ Mark Twain
  • “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” ~ Anne Bradstreet
  • “Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world.” ~ Virgil A. Kraft
  • “In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” ~ Margaret Atwood

I wonder what this spring will bring?  I don’t know about you but I cannot wait to find out!

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.

Christmas Five Years Ago

TT.12-17_15Hi and Happy Thursday.  For today’s Throwback Thursday, I included a picture of the three of us at Christmas.  This was taken in 2010 when Ian was 3 years old.

My how has he changed since this photo.  He was into all things that preschoolers love.  He had fun at Christmas but this year is different.  He now understands what it’s all about, enjoys reading his Advent calendar each day, and had fun drafting a long letter to Santa.

In 2010, he got the Candyland game and we played it for hours and hours.  Last year, he received Monopoly and was equally thrilled.  Also, in 2010, Ian received a large fire truck that he was able to get into and play with.  He loved it and still enjoys it today.

I have always loved Christmas and love that he enjoys it as much as I do.  He is very excited to have just today and tomorrow left at school before our break.  Let the holiday fun begin!

Today I am thankful for so much.  We are blessed and fortunate to have our family traditions and our family and friends to enjoy being with.  Among my blessings are:

  • Family traditions with my family of 3 and extended family
  • Ian reading his Advent Bible verses each day
  • Shopping with Ian for an angle tree gift
  • Christmas shows with my guys
  • Hot chocolate and popcorn in the evenings
  • Advent services and meals at church (even though we missed a few because of illness)
  • Christmas party at school
  • Parties with friends
  • Making fudge for gifts
  • Crafting ornaments and other things
  • Choosing favorite photos
  • Playing games with friends and family
  • Hours and hours of fun and laughter
  • A break from our usual routine
  • Seeing friends after years apart
  • Special dinner out with my hubby
  • The upcoming birth of our Savior
  • Messy hair and pjs on Christmas morning

And 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
  • “One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” ~ Andy Rooney
  • “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
  • “Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. “~ Peg Bracken

May you blessed and enjoy this holiday season.

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!!

Throwback Thursday – October 15

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday.  I cannot believe it has been so long since I have last posted.  We have been super busy with fall break and many activities.  I hope to be able to write again more regularly.

For today, I decided to include a photo of Ian in the driver’s seat of a fire truck.  This was during story time at our library.  The fire department came out and allowed the kids to explore the truck.

Clearly you can see how small Ian was.  His legs barely went over the end of the seat and he loved sitting there.  He was fascinated with the huge steering wheel and all of the gears.

Since then, Ian has grown so much and his legs are very long now.  At least compared to those in the photo.  He is still shorter than I am, but I imagine that will change in a few years.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Memories of a sweet toddler
  • Photos showing Ian’s changes
  • Chai Latte tea
  • Brisk mornings
  • Lovely blue skies
  • Extra long hugs
  • Listening to Ian read a favorite book
  • Camping fun with my parents, husband, and son
  • Birthday celebrations
  • Time with friends and family
  • Hearing “I love you” from Kirk and Ian
  • A new book
  • Bright oranges and reds on the trees
  • Warm socks
  • The colors, smells, and feel of fall

I wonder what amazing things we will be doing on this lovely fall day?  I cannot wait to find out!  Take care and have a great day!

Throwback Thursday – It’s Fall Y’all!

TT.Fall.1Can you believe that yesterday was the first day of fall?  I sure can’t.  The summer season flew by.  I do love fall though and always enjoy this time of year.  Happy Fall Y’all!

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to include a photo of Ian from fall 2011.  He turned 4 years old that year.

He was fascinated with these pine cones.  He was in a corduroy outfit and very curious. He is still curious about life around him and a great reader!

I just love the fall. This is my favorite time of year in Tennessee and North Carolina.  I love the brisk mornings and evenings, the warmer days, and the lovely blue skies. I love that there isn’t the humidity of summer, and even on rainy days, it’s okay since we can be inside and enjoying baking and relaxing.

TT.Fall.2A few things about fall/autumn that I love are:

  • My mom’s pumpkin bread
  • Pumpkin Spice Lattes
  • Pumpkin pie and pumpkin cookies
  • Long-sleeved shirts and sweaters
  • Fuzzy socks
  • Soups and chowder
  • Clear blue skies
  • Cool nights
  • Vibrant orange and red leaves
  • Football games
  • S’mores
  • Being outside without sweating the entire time
  • Shorter days and time inside together
  • Fall premieres of favorite television shows
  • Birthday and anniversary celebrations
  • The smells of apples, cinnamon, maple, and nutmeg
  • Brisk walks and bike rides
  • Soccer games
  • The World Series
  • The fun of a camp fire or bonfire
  • Hayrides and choosing a pumpkin for Halloween

A few quotes about fall/autumn:

  • “Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him.” ~Hal Borland
  • “Just as a painter needs light in order to put the finishing touches to his picture, so I need an inner light, which I feel I never have enough of in the autumn.” ~Leo Tolstoy, to Nikolay Strakhov
  • “Somewhere along the way, I realized that the new year doesn’t begin for me in January. The new and fresh has always come for me in the Fall. Ironically, as leaves are falling like rain, crunching beneath my feet with finality, I am vibrating with the excitement of birth and new beginnings…. My year begins in Autumn.” ~Betsy Cañas Garmon
  • “Autumn mornings: sunshine and crisp air, birds and calmness, year’s end and day’s beginnings.” ~Terri Guillemets

I wonder what this fall holds in store?  I can’t wait to find out.  Have a great one!

Throwback Thursday – Preschool Fun

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday.  Today’s Throwback Thursday photo is of Ian at the Old Point Loma Lighthouse in San Diego, California.

This photo was taken in 2010 when he was almost 3 years old.  We went with my parents to see the lighthouse and Cabrillo National Monument.

He had a great time and was fascinated with it all. We bought a few miniature lighthouses, a coloring book, a book, and postcards. And, we took lots of photos.  It was a great day!

In this photo, he was talking to my mom. Soon after he looked up in the top of the lighthouse with my dad and loved it!  He could see for miles and was quite happy.  I love his sweet smile, dimples, and blue eyes.  And, I love that he is on his tippie toes.

Even then he was fun to talk with.  He has always had his own ideas on things and we love that.  In fact, when he was very young, he called a stop sign, an octagon.  We knew then that we had an inquisitive and fun child!  And he has continued to amaze us every year since.

We had a lot of fun adventures while he was a toddler and preschooler.  We traveled to Florida, California, and North Carolina.  We shared many amazing experiences and learning opportunities.  Throughout each place, we read together and learned new things.  It was a precious time for all of us.

Now Ian loves school and is thriving in second grade.  He looks forward to going to school and learning new things.  We are beyond blessed and thankful for that!  He continues to have great ideas and grasps things beyond what we have expected.

This morning I received a call from our vice principal saying that Ian had received an award for going above and beyond.  I am so very proud of him.  He tries to do his best and is excelling.  It is great to hear that he has been awarded for that.  I will give him a big hug when I pick him up.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Memories of a toddler age boy
  • Watching the learning both in preschool and now in school
  • A boy who has always loved books
  • Listening to Ian read a favorite Elephant and Piggie book by Mo Willems
  • Having Ian explain his Lego creation of Heaven and wanting to know what Heaven looks like
  • Early morning chats before school
  • Ian receiving an award for working hard at school
  • Hearing “I love you Mom” followed by a kiss on the cheek
  • Waffles and sausage for dinner with my parents
  • An upcoming field trip with Ian and his classmates
  • A husband who is a great partner on this amazing journey
  • A father and son who love to spend time together
  • Our upcoming camping trip with Ian’s Cub Scout Pack
  • Ian’s school and all of the amazing teachers and staff
  • Walking home from school in the rain
  • Hand-me-downs from our loved ones
  • My brother and sister and their families
  • Cooking and baking with Ian
  • Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins
  • Family and friends who we love and cherish
  • My parents and in-laws who are wonderful grandparents
  • Mostly good health
  • The love of learning
  • Savoring the small moments

I wonder what new and fun adventure we will have next with Ian?  I cannot wait to find out.  And, I will savor each minute.

Throwback Thursday — Summer Memories

TT_9-2-2015_Summer.Ian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi and Happy Thursday!  It is hard to believe that today is the 3rd day of September.  We are almost finished with our 5th week of school.  Wow, time flies by.  This summer seems but a memory now.  We had a great time and made some fabulous memories.

Our summer went by so quickly and was just nine weeks.  Not enough time in my opinion since I always want more summer and more down time and more time without our usual schedule.  But, then again, would it be as special and magical if it went on and on?  Something to think about.

This photo is from a few summers ago.  Ian was having a great time playing at the beach.  He loves it as much now as then.  He likes to do some things on his own and also play with his cousins.  It was great family time and lots of it.  We had that many other years as well and are so very fortunate.

So many summer memories are precious and ones that I love.  My favorite place to spend the summer is at the beach in San Diego, California.  The weather is usually just right.  There is very little humidity and it is cool at night.  That is what I grew up with and now what Ian is growing up with.

Soon it will be fall/autumn.  That is my favorite season in both Tennessee and North Carolina.  I love all things fall.  For now though, I am enjoying my wonderful summer memories.  Hope you have them as well.

Today, I am thankful for:

  • Seeing cousins this summer after several years
  • Catching up with dear friends who I hadn’t seen in a few years
  • Walks at the beach and back and forth to our motel
  • Fish tacos on the beach house porch
  • Healing from an injury from the beach trip
  • The ocean waves and breezes
  • A house that has been in my family for generations
  • Memories of ice cream treats
  • Sharing so many special times with my hubby and son
  • Sunsets and photo opportunities
  • Family bonding time
  • Laughter and singing with family and friends
  • Celebrations
  • Two parties for my parents’ 50th anniversary
  • Another wonderful summer

I wonder what our next summer will bring?  I am sure it will also be fun.  Until then, I will enjoy the fall, winter, and spring.