Camping Adventure

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Hi and Happy Wednesday.  Life has been quite busy this week and will be this upcoming weekend as well.  Ian’s Cub Scout camping trip is this weekend.  We are looking forward to it and making sure we have all of the supplies we will need.

Ian is excited about it and a bit nervous.  I too am nervous since we are going somewhere we have never been before.  Still, it should be fun.  We just will be out of our routine and outside for much longer than we usually are.  Thankfully, the camp has bathrooms and water.

Ian has never camped before so it will be interesting to see what he thinks of it.  We will be spending one night at the campground.  I cannot wait to see what he thinks of the adventure.  I hope and pray that he has a fun time with the boys in his den and pack.

I haven’t been camping in years. I have many fond memories of camping when I was growing up.  We went to many State Parks and had a great time.  Two of my favorites were Cove Lake and Big Ridge State Park.

We had such fun and made some great food on these camping trips.  I loved cooking over a fire, in a box oven, and a tin can cooktop.  I also was in Camp Fire Girls and Boys growing up and learned many tricks and cool things.  Just hope that I can remember them!!

My family normally went with tents and a pop-up camper that had a hand crank.  We often would have one lamp and play cards after eating dinner.  And, we would tell stories and sing songs.  During Camp Fire camping, we strung up jungle hammocks in the trees for us to sleep in, and learned to make tables out of trees and rope.

This photo was taken at Laguna National Park in California this summer.  We had just bought Ian’s stuffed wolf and were enjoying a walk in the field and had seen some group camps.  It was a lovely day and a fun trip with my mother and her two sisters.  Their family had a cabin for camping that has since been torn down.

Now for the finishing touches for our trip. We just have to pack these and some other items in the car and be on our way:

  • Bug Spray, check
  • Cooler with drinks and extra food, check
  • Uniform and hat, check
  • First aid kit, check
  • Comfy shoes and warm clothing, check
  • Sleeping bags and pillows, check
  • S’mores fixins, check
  • Camera with charged batteries, check
  • Flashlights and water bottles, check.

I wonder how the trip will go and what Ian will think of it all?  I think he will have fun and so will we. At least I hope so.  I will let you know how our trip goes!

Busy, Busy May

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Hi and happy almost end of May!  How are you doing?  Are you as busy as I am?  This month has been crazy but fun. I thought a calm photo of the water would be just thing for today with so much going on.

For scouting, we had a raingutter regatta, ice cream sundaes, and last pack meeting for this school year.  We also had a fun Mother’s Day weekend, went to a baseball game, celebrated a few family and friends with birthdays this month, and I helped plan the walk-a-thon at Ian’s school.

And, next Friday is the last day of school for this school year.  I don’t feel I have had a chance to catch my breath and now Ian is about to finish 1st grade. I am both sad and happy, since Ian is almost done with 1st grade.  I have loved his teacher and his classmates.  We will miss them next year.

Next week will be a nice one since we have a holiday, field day, a chorus concert to attend, a pizza party, and two half days.  It will be fun and then summer begins.  YEAH!

I am happy that we have the summer to enjoy.  I am looking forward to a few days of sleeping in and not having to go anywhere.  Well, not sure about the sleeping in part, but at least a few days at home will be nice.

Our school’s newsletter had some great ideas for the summer break.  “Turn off the screen and:

  • Play outside
  • Play a game
  • Write a story
  • Walk the dog
  • Listen to music
  • Create
  • Take pictures
  • Go on an adventure
  • Take a scavenger hunt
  • Spend time with a friend
  • Make a new friend
  • Cook together
  • Read, Read, Read”

We will be doing most, if not all of these, and I cannot wait!  It will be tough to turn off the screen since we all like computer time, time on our android, and watching shows, but I want to try to cut back.  Less time would be good for all of us.

So, I see Monopoly games, swimming, making ice cream sundaes, taking walks, summer Scout activities, a trip to the beach, a few really good books, and play time with friends and family.  I also want to do some writing and take new photos and have Ian help me.

Take care and have a great end of your school year!  I hope to write more again soon when things calm down.  Just hope that will be soon.

4 More Weeks of 1st Grade

Ian's.Sentences0003It is amazing to me to think that there is only one more month of 1st grade.  This year has flown by! It has been a great one with many changes for Ian.  He has developed into an amazing student who I am really and truly proud of.

He has learned to work hard on his studies and do his homework.  He does well on his weekly spelling quizzes, enjoys math, and reads to us each night. I feel very blessed that our child enjoys learning and realize how rare that really is.

And, for the times that he doesn’t feel like doing his homework, which do happen, we remind him that he doesn’t have a choice.  It is his job to learn and do his best.  That usually works, or the threat of no computer time or toys being put away for a while.  We have to find what works, don’t we?!

Ian wrote the above sentences using spelling words, which are underlined.  I have to agree with his teacher who said they are great sentences.  I continue to be amazed at all he is learning and doing.  Some of the words are written phonetically since he doesn’t know how to spell all of them.

There is still much to do in the last month of school — a walk to raise money for our PTO and our programs, many Cub Scout activities as he finishes his Tiger cub year, a cookout at school, the holiday, receiving his yearbook, and finally the last day of school.

I have mixed emotions but am looking forward to summer and the next chapter and the next grade.  There will be many transitions of a new PTO board, new teachers, a new Cub Scout rank, new friends to be made, and much more.  As with anything in life, we will have some old and new and some good and bad.

I wonder how this next month will go?  I hope and pray that it will be a good one and that things will go well for us.  Hope it will for you too!

10 things I love

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAI often think of people when I say the word love, but there are some things and activities that I love to do and participate in.  And, some things that I am privileged to have.

Here is a list of 10 of them.  I will be writing another list again soon.

  1. To laugh.  I have loved laughing for as long as I can remember.  I love to hear Kirk and Ian laugh as well.  Funny TV shows or a funny movie can make me laugh.  Also, jokes and stories from family and friends make me laugh. Earlier today we watched the movie, “Mom’s Night Out.”  It was silly, funny, and I truly enjoyed it.  When I was younger, my sister, two dear friends, and I created a club in which we loved to laugh and often did.  We knew the importance of being silly and for that, I am forever grateful.
  2. Having a garage on a cold and snowy day, or on a day when it’s pouring rain.  I have lived a few places with no garage but instead a parking space. That is fine on a sunny day, but when it’s 8 degrees outside, it is so nice to not have to wait for 5 minutes while the car warms up.  Earlier this week, we enjoyed the benefit of our garage. Our garage truly makes me feel spoiled.
  3. Cub Scouts and sharing that with Ian.  I have several family members who have been in scouting for a while so I was aware of it.  However, being involved has been more than I could have imagined.  Ian has learned a lot, has grown and blossomed, and made some great friends.  The first year the parents are required to be involved and I have really enjoyed it too.  Soon, we will be doing the Pinewood Derby Race.  That will also be lots of fun. The photo is a scouting outing to the bowling alley.
  4. Stories.  I can’t imagine my life without words and stories. I grew up listening to stories created by my grandfather and absolutely loved them.  He was an amazing influence on my love of stories.  He was also a great writer who I have learned a lot from.  I think my writing is similar to his and that makes me smile.  Ian is quite good at making stories up as well.  That makes me super happy.
  5. Writing. This is something else that I cannot imagine not having the opportunity to do.  As I mentioned when I started this blog, I didn’t write at all for about a year after Ian was born.  Then one day, I realized that something was missing.  So I starting writing again and that helped.  My outlet of getting my thoughts and feelings out there was again in business!  I have worked as a writer and now really enjoy blogging and doing other writing.  And, I am working on ideas for a few books.  It is one of my dreams to have a book or two published.
  6. Reading. My life has been so enriched by the love of books and reading.  I also like magazines and newspapers as well.  I am thrilled that Ian too loves to read.  We started him out very young and are so happy that we did.  Now seeing him read and listening to a special story is a great way to spend some special time.  Some of my favorite books as a child were “The Little House on the Prairie” series, “The Secret Garden,” and almost anything by Dr. Seuss.
  7. Watching TV – both current shows and classics.  I am a TV girl for sure.  I like a variety of shows and always watch the news in the morning and evenings.  I am one who follows a few shows very faithfully.  Some of my favorites are “The Good Wife,”  “Madam Secretary,” “Downton Abbey,” “Chicago Fire,” “Magnum, P.I.,” “Diagnosis Murder,” “Murder She Wrote,” “Hot In Cleveland,” “Hart to Hart,” “Scorpion,” and “Mike and Molly.”  I like a wide variety and enjoy tuning in.
  8. Soap Operas and magazine.  Okay, I will admit that along with reading and writing and liking PBS shows, I also like my soaps.  I have been watching “Days Of Our Lives” for years.  This show will celebrate 50 years of being on the air soon and that is cool.  Generations can watch the never-ending saga and drama.  It may be repetitive at times but I still like it.  And, 20 years ago, Mom and I got to visit the studio, so that was a lot of fun.  Now there are four daytime soaps left. I keep up with them in the Soap Opera Digest.
  9. Photography and photo gifts. I love pictures and enjoy capturing special moments. My sister has made me several fabulous photo books — one of the first year of Ian’s life and then from our special vacation spot.  My mother has made several great calendars — the most recent of our childhood home.   I always have my camera at family gatherings and also try to shoot nature and other things that interest me.  And, I love old photos of our family and friends.  It is so fun to look back at my grandparent’s honeymoon dessert photo, my sister and brother and I in our 70s or 80s finest, and a very old photo from childhood of us sitting on Grandpa’s lap for a special story.
  10. Singing and dancing.  Music has always been in my life and I love that.  I love to sing and dance.  Whether it’s the radio, singing hymns at church, or the choir, I love singing.  This season of “American Idol” has some good talent.  I haven’t watched this in a while but have enjoyed the first few audition shows.  For dancing, I like the 80s and 90s dance music the best — “Vogue,” “The Electric Slide,” and “Push It” are some of my faves.  I also like a few by Earth, Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, En Vogue, C&C Music Factory, Janet Jackson, and the list goes on.

Some of my listing may seem trivial or silly.  However, I have learned in life to find things that I am happy with and that I like.  And, I love what I love.  I hope that you do as well.  After all, we all have our favorites.  Some are sports fanatics, others like the soaps, some like reality shows, and others like talk radio.

What is on your list?  I would love to hear about some of the things that you love!  Please share them with me and our readers.

Back to Reality

Patti_Ian_ElPasoHi and Happy Monday!  Today we are back to our normal reality — school and work.   And, the words of an En Vogue song are running through my head, “Back to life, back to reality. Back to the here and now, oh yeah…”

This morning, it was hard to wake up when that alarm went off at 6:30 a.m.  I have never been an early morning person but have had to learn to get up and get the day started. Getting Ian ready for school and myself ready for the day keeps me busy each morning.

Over the past two weeks of Ian’s winter break, we enjoyed not having the alarm clock to wake us up.  We often were up by 7 a.m. anyway.  However, being woken up by a sweet boy saying, “Mom, it’s 7:05,” is often nicer than the alarm clock.

Ian is an early riser as long as he’s had enough sleep.  But school days can often be a challenge, especially the first day back after a long break.  I think he was excited and ready to get back, once he finally got going.

Today, he will have library as his special area class.  Since he loves the books, that should be a good time for him.  He helped chose his lunch for today as well as his outfit that he picked out last night.  So long as he can stay healthy, we should be fine.

Then tonight we have a celebration.  He is getting his Tiger patch from Cub Scouts and is thrilled.  He and his den have been working the entire first semester in doing activities and attending meetings to earn it.  This is the first patch he has earned and we are so excited about it!!

Should be a fun and great day back to our normal reality, but for now, this morning, I am getting used to some time to myself.  The house is quiet again and I am missing my sweet and small companion.  But, he will be home in later and we will enjoy our evening.  Kirk is here today so we can have lunch together.  That will be fun!

Today I am thankful for:

  • Sun on a cold day
  • Hot chocolate
  • Morning hugs
  • A kiss from my hubby
  • Our morning routine
  • Left over pancakes for breakfast
  • Hot coffee with creamer
  • Lunch dates with Kirk
  • Ian’s wonderful school
  • Seeing friends again
  • A kind and fun teacher
  • Cub Scout leaders

I wonder what fun and amazing things we will add to our routine today?  I look forward to finding out.

The Blessing of Cub Scouts

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Tuesday.  Just a few weeks until Christmas and there is still so much to do.  I better get to it.  But, first I want to write about the blessing of Ian’s Cub Scout den and pack.

We started with a great group of boys at the beginning of this school year.  And, each Monday we go and do fun activities and then on the first Monday of each month, the boys earn pins, patches, belt loops, and other items.

There is so much to like about this organization.  Not only is Ian learning to live by their motto: Do Your Best, he is also learning the importance of attending activities and being on time for things. And, he is learning the lesson of patience since it takes time to earn the patches, etc.  And, he is making new friendships and deepening others.

His den leaders are really nice people and the Pack leader is a friend of my sister’s from high school.  I have as much fun as Ian does. He is in first grade at in the Tiger den.  Parents of Tigers are required to attend all events with their sons.  That makes it a real family event, which we enjoy.

We recently completed the popcorn sales and Ian did quite well.  Since he had such good sales, he was able to choose a prize.  He chose the fishing rod.  Can’t wait to try it out in the spring!

In addition to regular meetings, we have also had some fun outings — called “Go See It” activities.  We went to a soccer game played by the high school girl’s team, we went to the bowling alley (see picture above), we went on a tour of an old city square and then had ice cream.  Last night we went to visit a local radio station where we got to meet one of my favorite DJs.  This coming weekend, we have the chance to march in the city’s Holiday Parade with the entire pack.

In a few months, Ian is supposed to be earning his first big award — the Tiger patch.  This has taken the entire first part of the year to earn and has included go see it activities, den meetings, as well as homework with our family.  We are very excited that he is about to get it!

Many of our friends and family members have also been involved in both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.  We love hearing from all of them.  If you have any fun stories, please share them with me and our readers.

I wonder what new adventure we will have at our next Cub Scout event?  It will be soon and it will be fun, I am sure.

September 26 – Best

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAToday’s Photo-A-Day Challenge is Best.  This is one of the best sunset pictures that I took two summers ago at the beach.  I love the colors, the ocean, the sand, and the reflection. Standing at this beach is one of my favorite places to watch a sunset.  I have probably taken hundreds, if not thousands, of photos there over my lifetime.  To me, it is the best place for a sunset.

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines best as “better than all others in quality or value” and “most skillful, talented, or successful.”  With that kind of definition, it means a lot be called the Best.  The Best in Show, Best Actress, Best Picture, Best Director, the Best recipe in a contest, a Best friend, my Sunday best, etc.  All of these titles are honors.

Last night, one of the best players in major league baseball played his last home game.  After a 20-year career, Derek Jeter finished an amazing game.  He will be missed by Yankee fans and all baseball fans.  It was refreshing to see his long-term loyalty to his team and his city.  The amazing Cal Ripkin and Tony Gwynn were also loyal to their teams for many years and the best at their game.

My favorite sport is baseball and my favorite team is the San Diego Padres.  Tony Gwynn was Mr. Padre for many years.  When he died earlier this year, it was very sad for baseball and that fine city.  He truly will be missed and was the best.

The best is also something my family discusses regularly. Each morning, I talk with Ian about doing his best at school and in all that he does.  I think that although he may make mistakes, it is still important for him to keeping trying and working hard. As he is getting older, he seems to understand that more and more.

Ian joined Cub Scouts this year and is loving it.  Their motto, which he has learned, is “Do Your Best.”  Great advice for the boys to hear and learn more about.  I also like that they learn about the importance of hard work, teamwork, and participation.  Our den and pack have been amazing blessings for us this year.

Here are a few quotes about Best:

  • “The best way to find yourself is lose yourself in the service of others.” — Mahatma Gandhi
  • “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” — Theodore Roosevelt
  • “The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.” — Ernest Hemingway
  • “Do what you love and give it your very best. Whether it’s baseball or business, or the theater, or any field. If you don’t love what you’re doing and you can’t give it your best, get out of it.  Life is too short.  You’ll be an old man before you know it.” — Al Lopez
  • “I do the very best I know how — the best I can; and I mean to keep it up to the very end.” — Abraham Lincoln
  • “The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer someone else up.” — Mark Twain

May we do our best today and try our hardest!  Have a wonderful Friday!