December 8 – Family

Hi and Happy Wednesday!  Today’s photo challenge is Family.   I am blessed with an amazing family.  Both the one I grew up in and with and the one that I married into.  I am thankful for these amazing people – all different, all unique, all special.

From my family, I have learned that differences of opinion are okay and to be respected.  I have learned the meaning of unconditional love.  I have learned how to deal with the joys and sorrows of life.  And, I have learned about partnership, acceptance, and forgiveness.

I have learned so much on every subject from my family.   We all have our own ideas and are comfortable with sharing them.  That to me is an amazing blessing.

My family is perhaps unusual in that we like to be together, we look out for one another, and we truly love one another.  We don’t always agree and may have arguments.  Still there is love and respect and a bond that I am thankful for each day.

This photo is one of my favorites ever taken of my hubby, me, and our son.  We were on vacation at the beach and being silly for the camera as usual.  For some reason, Ian and I had our mouths wide open.  I wish I could remember why our mouths are so big. Anyway, I love this family of three so very much and cherish them both.

For my family who I love so much, I am thankful for:

  • Parents who love me unconditionally
  • Siblings I can always count on
  • Cousins who are true friends
  • Aunts and uncles who loved me like their own
  • Grandparents who I will always cherish
  • My amazing husband and our family
  • A child who I cannot imagine life without
  • In-laws who accept and love me
  • Brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law who are truly siblings
  • Nieces and nephews who I knew and loved before Ian was born
  • Friends made long ago
  • Friends made in all walks of my life
  • Loved ones I have lost and will never forget

A few quotes about family:

  • “The truth is maybe we are just average. But the way I see it — families where parents get up every morning and go to jobs that are hard so they can get their kids through school and through life, and struggle to make it all work and manage to do it with dignity and a little humor — well, that’s not average. That’s extraordinary.” ~ DeAnn Heline and Eileen Heisler, The Middle
  • “Families are like fudge — mostly sweet with a few nuts.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.” ~ Erma Bombeck
  • “Ohana means family — no one gets left behind, and no one is ever forgotten.” ~ Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, Lilo & Stitch
  • “When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.” ~ Joyce Brothers
  • “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” ~ Jane Howard
  • “Having a place to go — is a home. Having someone to love — is a family. Having both — is a blessing.” ~ Donna Hedges

I wonder who of my family I will see over the holidays?  I hope I will see each and every one of them.  That will probably not happen.  Still, I will be in touch with all of them.  Hugs and love to you all!!

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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!!

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.

Throwback Thursday – Balboa Park

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Hi and Happy Thursday.  Can you believe that we are less than a week until the end of June?  I sure can’t!  The month has been flying by.

We have had a great month and a great summer.  We have been busy with the family business, activities for our family, parties, and Ian finished his books for the library’s summer reading program.  In fact, he read 4 more books than were on the original list for an independent reader.  Yeah Ian!

We have also had time to sleep in, play games, swim, enjoy ice cream cones, visits with friends and family, walks in the morning (before the humidity), a few nights out to a favorite pizza place, play time at home, and our slower pace.  It has been great and quite relaxing.  After a busy year, that is exactly what we needed.

We are looking forward to an upcoming trip to San Diego, CA, for a family reunion.  This is one of my favorite cities to visit and I cannot wait.  We haven’t been there for a while so we are very excited.

These two pictures are from several years ago when we went to the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park in San Diego.  The park is full of museums, lovely gardens and grounds, and great restaurants.  And, the San Diego Zoo is part of this park as well.

Balboa Park is one of my favorite places to visit while in San Diego, along with the beach and Seaport Village.  There are so many things to see and do at all three places.  Let the fun begin!

A few things I love about the summer:

  • Waking up without an alarm (for the most part)
  • Ice cream cones on a hot day
  • Swimming
  • Watching Ian enjoy his books for summer reading program
  • Extra time for lazy mornings
  • Games in the evenings
  • Movies during the week
  • Beach time with family and friends

I wonder what summer fun we will have today?  I am looking forward to finding out.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

Ball Park Fun

On Friday night, we went to a baseball game.  It was so much fun since I absolutely love baseball.  It is my favorite sport.  I enjoy others but this one is special to me.  My dad has always liked it and made a point to take us and watch it on television, so I grew up to love the game.

Kirk, Ian, and I went with Dad and his sister.  It was supposed to be a Cub Scout outing, but our family was the only one able to make it.  There are still so many end of the school year activities going on that kept people from coming.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAThe five of us had a wonderful time, enjoyed cheering for the home team, and indulged in some yummy ball park treats — hot dogs, pizza, chicken tenders and fries, soft serve ice cream, an ice cream sandwich, and a funnel cake.  (We each had a few of these items, not all of them.)  The food was great, the weather was perfect, and the game was a good one.

The best part was that our team won — 9 to 4!  YEAH team!!  The game was followed by fireworks.  These were set to music and the perfect ending to a great night.  Ian, who also had fun, fell asleep on the way home.

There are several sounds and things that happen during baseball that I really like — the crack of the bat hitting the ball, watching your team hit a home run (which they did), seeing the other team strike out, yelling and cheering for the runner to make it around the bases before an out is thrown and watching the umpire declare that runner safe, a player in the outfield catching a ball, the 7th inning stretch, and seeing the home team win.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAThis was Ian’s second game that we have taken him too.  He seemed to really enjoy it and was curious about all of the rules.  He had his tiger stuffed animal with him. Here they are posing for a photo.

My favorite major league team is the San Diego Padres and I hope to go to one of their games soon!  That too would be a blast.  We do, however, like having the minor league club close enough to be able to go.

Baseball means summer to me and fun with family.  Here is the chorus of the song that has been part of the 7th inning stretch for years:

  • Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd.
  • Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks.
  • I don’t care if I never get back.
  • Let me root, root, root for the home team, If they don’t win, it’s a shame.
  • For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out, At the old ball game.

I cannot wait for the next game!  Just have to decide when and where!  Happy Monday.

December Blessings

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAIt is hard to believe that it is the first day of December.  The first day of the last month of the year.  Wow, where did the time go? I love December 1st since it is my birthday.  It is and has been a very special day for me for many, many years.  My family makes a big deal out of birthdays and I love that.  We take time to celebrate each of us and our uniqueness.

Today, I feel overwhelmed with blessings!  From my fabulous weekend of love, family, thanksgiving, and great food.  We had a blast on turkey day with friends and family, ate terrific food, took some wonderful family photos, and watched one of the funniest movies ever — Clue.  There are so many great one-liners.  I just wish I had taken more pictures with my camera!

Then on Friday, Kirk, Ian, and I enjoyed being home and getting our house ready for Christmas.  We puttered around, put up the tree, hung ornaments on it, and then just vegged out.  Ian really enjoyed helping and put our manger under the tree. We stayed in our pjs all day and loved every minute of it.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAOn Saturday, we hosted my birthday party with the family. Great time!  Kirk made his delicious chili and made my cake.  I ventured out that morning at 7:30 a.m. to buy our last-minute items.  Then everyone came over and we had a great time.  I received some wonderful gifts and am so very thankful for all of my loved ones. It was a special evening.

Again, I just wish I had taken more photos.  We have a silly tradition of switching the candles around on our cakes.  I don’t remember who started that or when but it is fun and keeps things lively.

Sunday, we went to church and had a great service.  The church is lovely with all of the Christmas decorations and the advent wreath and candles. Ian gave out the popcorn that people had so nicely ordered from him.  We appreciate the support for his Cub Scout troop.  We ate lunch at our house and enjoyed more of the tasty chili.  Mom and Dad stayed for most of the afternoon and Mom and I watched a fun Christmas movie.

Today, we woke up and Kirk and Ian wished me a happy birthday and sang Happy Birthday to me.  We then took Ian to school. He was ready to be back and see everyone after a long weekend.  Kirk and I will have lunch — just the two of us — and that will be fun.  Then after school, we will dine out at one of my favorite Japanese Steakhouses for dinner prior to Ian’s pack meeting.  Each Monday night is busy with Cub Scout activities and today is no exception.

The week will continue with fun and blessings with our first dinner and Advent church service on Wednesday and then assisting in Ian’s room one day this week, and plenty of other fun and adventures are to be had.

Today I am so thankful for:

  • My family who knows me so well
  • Thoughtful birthday gifts
  • Fabulous new accessories
  • Birthday cards that make me laugh and cry happy tears
  • Sipping hot tea while chatting with my mom, aunt, sister, and cousin
  • Special photos with my parents
  • Play time for Ian and his grandparents
  • Ian having a blast with his cousins
  • Laughing like crazy over a funny movie
  • The lights of our Christmas tree
  • Making a wish as a birthday candle is blown out
  • Family clumping
  • The family circle of prayer
  • Birthday wishes from friends and family
  • My faith and beliefs
  • Old photos
  • Holding hands with loved ones

I wonder if I will be able to cherish each and every minute of my special day?  I plan to do just that.  Thanks so much to all of my loved ones who are helping to make it special!  You truly do rock!!

Happy Birthday Dear Pam!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA Today is the birthday of one of my favorite people — my cousin Pam.  Happy birthday to you dear Pam!  May you have an amazing and wonderful day! May you have fun and a great celebration!!!

We have been good friends for many years but have never lived close to one another.  The distance doesn’t matter and for that I am always thankful. In fact, each time we see each other we pick up right where we left off and always have much to talk about. And we stay in touch with one another during times we aren’t together in the same city.

Kirk, Ian, and I went to see her this summer and had so much fun.  We laughed, we chatted, we drank our wine and it was terrific!!  It was great being at her lovely house with Pam, her hubby, and family.  We hadn’t seen each other for 4 years before that.

img073Growing up, she was my beautiful and cool cousin from California.  I loved the summers we would go there and see her and her family.   I remember in high school listening to the  music of the day and always remember “You Spin Me Right Round,” by Dead or Alive as a song we’d dance to.  That was one of many songs that we used to enjoy together.

To borrow a line for the movie “Beaches,” my memory of her is very long.  I love that and love that we still have a blast together.  And, our husbands get along well too.  She still is my cool cousin and just as beautiful, but I like it that now we both live in the south.

Pam, I wish we could be with you today to celebrate!  Hope you have a wonderful day!  Love you so very much!  And I hope to see you and your wonderful family again soon!!!

The first of these photos was taken this summer.  The second is from the early 1990s when I had a sunburn. These are two of many photos I have — all of them remembering a special moment.

I love all of my other cousins too!  I am so fortunate to have a great group of cousins.  Last week, one cousin Robbi celebrated her birthday.  She too is an amazing woman and a friend.  I am sorry that I missed a blog for you Robbi!  We enjoyed a wonderful and fun party with her and her family.

To all of my cousins, I love you so very much and wish we could see each other more than we do. Hopefully we will again soon.  Cousins truly are our first friends other than our siblings and I am honored to have the best!

Happy Birthday To You Mom!

1596SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAGEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAToday is my mother’s birthday!  Happy Birthday to you dear Mom!  Hope you have a wonderful day!

I thought an assortment of photos would be nice.  One is of me with Mom and Ian.  We took that on Mother’s Day of 2013. Another  is of the two of us at a yummy Mexican Restaurant in California.  The last one is when I was very young.  It was taken at my grandparents’ house, I think.  I love our hairdo, clothing, and smiles.   We have been smiling and posing ever since!

Tonight we are having my mom and dad over for dinner, cake and ice cream, and then all of us will go to a Cub Scout meeting when Ian will get his first patch.  The fact that they will be there is awesome!  I love that she is sharing her birthday with Ian and his accomplishments!  Should be a fun evening!

My mother loves to be with her children and now her grandchildren!  She loves spending time with all of us and making amazing memories.  She has taught me so much over the years of the importance of family and spending quality time together.

For many years, Mom worked as a teacher.  She was fantastic, did an amazing job of teaching, and loved those kids.  And, they loved her.  Last year, she helped in Ian’s class and that was also great.  She is now retired but still loves teaching and helping children learn to read.

Mom is one of the best singers I know.  I always love hearing her sing Bali Hai from “South Pacific” as well as O Holy Night during the Christmas season.  She is now the choir director at church after having done that years ago.

She also loves to read, sew, make jewelry, travel to the beach house, and is our family genealogist.  When I was a teenager, we worked on a family book.  This was the era before computers.  So we traveled to many libraries and looked up in many card catalogs with actual cards.  Now, she is doing an update and finding a lot of things online.

Mom, until I became a mother, I didn’t appreciate all that you have done for me.  I cannot thank you enough for always being there for me throughout my life.  You have taught me love, the blessings of family, the love of music, family history, reading, and so much more.

Here are a few quotes about mothers:

  • “Being a full-time mother is one of the highest salaried jobs in my field, since the payment is pure love.” ~ Mildred B. Vermont
  • “The phrase “working mother” is redundant.” ~ Jane Sellman
  • “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” ~ Rajneesh
  • “Call your mother. Tell her you love her. Remember, you’re the only person who knows what her heart sounds like from the inside.” ~ Rachel Wolchin

I love you very much Mom!  I wish you a very special day!  Looking forward to seeing you tonight!

Throwback Thursday – The Drells

The drells at Mission Beach

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I am going way back to one that was taken in September 1972 in Mission Beach, California. I am not sure if it was taken at the beach or the Bay side, at least I think this is the location.

It is of me and my sister, who I called The Drells.  When I was little, I couldn’t say the girls, so this name was created. This was taken a few months before our brother was born.

I came across this photo while scanning some pictures a few years ago.  I just saw it again yesterday and loved it.

We often wore matching outfits and apparently these bikinis are one of those outfits.  I am the brunette and my sister is the blond.  I don’t have a clue what we were doing but we seem to be having fun.

We both have loved the beach for a long, long time. You can see that we clearly like having our toes in the sand.

Today, I am thankful for:

  • A sister who is a dear friend, amazing woman, and a great teacher
  • My brother, who we met soon after this picture was taken, who is also awesome
  • Our parents who showed us the love of the ocean, the beach, and the importance of family
  • Their spouses and children and my hubby and son who have enriched our family so much
  • Mission Beach where I have enjoyed my time with four generations of my family as well as dear friends
  • Sand in my toes — both as an almost 5-year-old and now
  • The beauty, smell, and feel of the ocean
  • Watching the sun set into the ocean
  • My grandparents who bought a very special home at the beach
  • Amazing family vacations
  • Cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends who made the beach time so special
  • Adding friends to the love of the neighborhood
  • Memories and old photos such as this one

I wonder when the next time will be that I am at the beach with my sister and the rest of our family.  I hope it will be soon.  After all, we do always have a fun and memorable time!

June 3 – Family

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAToday’s photo challenge is Family.  Here is a selfie or should I say ussie of my family and me that I took recently.  We were having a fun day.

I have been blessed with a great family.  The family I grew up with, my husband’s family, and now our family with our son are all a blessing.

I have a circle of dear friends who are also my family.  Many of them I don’t get to see as much as I’d like to, but when we are together, we always have fun.

I love the family I grew up with – my parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.  From my family, I learned all about love, humor, laughter, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and consideration of others.

I love that although many of us are different, we have found a way to get along and have fun together.  That is rare and an amazing blessing.

With my family, I have always felt loved, appreciated, and valued. My family is so very precious to me.  I am truly honored to be a part of these people’s lives and for them to be a part of mine.

A few quotes about family:

  • “I don’t care how poor a man is; if he has family, he’s rich.” ~ Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford
  • “Families are like fudge — mostly sweet with a few nuts.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold.” ~ Ogden Nash
  • “The family. We were a strange little band of characters trudging through life sharing diseases and toothpaste, coveting one another’s desserts, hiding shampoo, borrowing money, locking each other out of our rooms, inflicting pain and kissing to heal it in the same instant, loving, laughing, defending, and trying to figure out the common thread that bound us all together.” ~ Erma Bombeck

I look forward to family time this summer and many fun memories that we will make.  I wonder how soon we will have that time?  I hope it is very soon.