Throwback Thursday — Almost Summer

Hi and Happy Thursday!  I cannot believe that it is almost the end of May.  Where has this month gone?  I also can’t believe that I have only written one other time this month.  Sheesh!  Things have been so busy with the family business, PTO activities, end of the school year stuff, being sick, family times, and so much more.

We did have a great start of the month with a fun trip to a baseball game, a school concert, a lovely lunch out for mother’s day, and then I became ill with sinus issues.  This year the pollen has been awful and it finally got me after extra time outside.  Not smart but we sure did have fun.

I included this photo today since it is such a special one of me, my mother, and grandmother.  Three gals in our bikinis.  Summer memories indeed.  This photo is a treasure.  I love the three of us walking hand in hand.  I had so much fun and learned so much from these two amazing women.

And, this week, I am glad that it is almost summer.  We are ready for a break in our routine and for some extra time to relax.  How about you?  We are not going to the beach this summer, but we do plan to have fun.  We will take a few trips, go swimming, sign up for our library’s summer reading program, see some movies, take walks, eat ice cream, play games, stay in our pajamas all day (some days), go to a few favorite restaurants, visit a book store, and more.

For now we are counting down our days.  It is hard to believe that third grade is almost finished.  My the year has flown.  Here are a few things I am thankful for today:

  • My mother and grandmother
  • All of the amazing mothers I know
  • My friends who aren’t mothers
  • The gift of being a mother
  • Weekend fun times with my hubby and son
  • Special meals out with family and friends
  • Hearing Ian sing a solo during a school concert
  • Baseball game with my parents, hubby, and son
  • Ice cream treats
  • Singing along to The Hamilton soundtrack with Ian
  • Old family photos
  • Escaping in the world of a favorite library book
  • Our library’s summer reading program

I wonder if we will remember to savor these last days of school before summer begins.  I will try to do just that.  Hope you can as well!

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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.

Five Minute Friday: Want

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday.  Today’s five-minute writing challenge is Want.  Five Minute Friday is for writing freely for five minutes uninterrupted. I haven’t done this in quite a while, but this word was one that I wanted to write about.

Now Go…  My wants have changed since I was a child.  How about yours?  When I was young, I wanted toys, games, attention, time to play with friends, regular trips to the beach, new clothing, and lots of stuff.  Now, I mainly want things that cannot be bought.

I want healing for my sick loved ones with cancer, I want world peace, I want kindness, love, and respect for one another.  I want women and girls to not be raped.  I want men to be taught to respect women. I know that many are, but all need to be.  I want us to take care of hungry children and ensure all children are educated. I want us to cure cancer and AIDS.  I want people not to be addicted to drugs – legal or otherwise. If they are, I want us to help them heal.

I want more time with my loved ones. I still want trips to the beach with my family and friends.  I want to make memories with my husband and my son (like in the picture above from five years ago). I want my son to learn all that he can from me. I want him to always know that he is loved.  I want time to see him grow up and become an amazing man.  I want to grow old with my husband.

Time is up. But I still have a few thoughts to share.

I also have some goals of what I want.  I want to write a book or two, I want to make a difference in people’s lives, I want to see a few shows on Broadway and meet some amazing writers. I maybe want to go back to school to learn something new.  I want to lose weight and keep it off, and so much more.

Wants are different than needs.  To me needs are food, clothing, water, and shelter.  We also need transportation to get around, school, and jobs.  Wants can also be things but often aren’t.  What wants do you have?  Are they things that you can buy or are they items that cannot be purchased at a store?

A few quotes:

  • “Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated.” — Lou Holtz
  • “If you want to be happy, be.” — Leo Tolstoy
  • “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” — Dolly Parton
  • “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” — Abraham Lincoln
  • “Success is getting what you want.  Happiness is wanting what you get.” — Dale Carnegie

A few other things I want are for our government to work together as they did when President Reagan was in office.  The situation we are currently in is not just one person’s fault.  I want to see more happy and positive news and for people to not judge each other as much as they do.  I want us to love others as Christ taught us to – unconditionally and always.

I wonder if these wants will come to pass.  Some will but others, I am not sure.  I only hope and pray that they will.

Writing Prompt – Giggle

Giggle.4-18-2016Hi and Happy Monday. I cannot believe that it’s been an entire week since I have written a blog. My week went by so fast. I have been fighting pollen allergies and have been tired and away from the computer more than usual. One writing prompt that I missed last week was Giggle. I have much to say about that.

I love to laugh and to giggle. In fact, when I was a child, I had two dear friends and my sister who loved to giggle. We created our own club — the Giggle Gal Pals — Patti, Tammy, Cindy, and Sonya. We would regularly laugh together and chat about all kinds of things that elementary age children talk about.  We had a blast together. We remain in touch today and still have fond memories of these times together.

I loved that we knew even at a young age the importance of laughter and being with your friends. Now they are finding that laughter has medical benefits.  It is something that people are being encouraged to do each day.  So is spending time with loved ones. We could have told them that. If only someone had asked. Wisdom of the young, right?

Now I love to laugh over an inside joke with a friend or family member, a funny television show or movie, or tickle time. And, I especially like to hear Ian laugh. His laughing/giggling is lovely music that I cherish. When he laughs, I also laugh, and so usually does Kirk.  We then just look at each other and break back into fits of giggles. Before long, we may not even remember what we were laughing at in the first place.

This photo demonstrates our love of laughing and being totally ridiculous. It is of my brother, my sister, and me at Christmas time. My nephew Isaac is the arms of the tree. This photo makes me smile and giggle a bit. These are some of my favorite people to laugh with. We have many inside jokes from a lifetime of amazing moments. I will always cherish them.

A few shows and movies that make me laugh are:

  • “Clue” starring Tim Curry and a wonderful cast.  I laugh the entire way through and especially love to watch this with my brother.
  • “Young Frankenstein” and all movies by Mel Brooks. He can make me laugh like no one else.
  • “Will and Grace” is one of my all-time favorites and truly pushed the boundaries but I cracked up laughing each episode. I miss this show and am thrilled to see it in reruns.
  • “Mike and Molly” is quite funny and won’t be on much longer.  I do like the cast quite a bit.
  • “Designing Women” was and remains one of my all-time favorite funny shows.  I must say that I liked the original four the best — Julia, Suzanne, Charlene, and Mary Jo.
  • “Golden Girls” is a classic.  It is hard to believe that all but one of these great actresses is gone. Although the clothes and makeup are from years ago, the humor lingers on.
  • “Hot in Cleveland.”  This was on for a few years and another favorite. These gals were their own family and always made me laugh. And it was fun to see Betty White.
  • “The Cosby Show” was one of the all-time greats. This was clever and had great family dynamics.
  • “Friends” was another favorite. I grew up with these characters and loved to laugh along with them during their adventures.
  • “Cheers” and then “Frasier” were also great and consistently smart humor.

My list could go on and on. I am quite picky with my comedy and always know exactly what I like.  How about you? What are your favorites?  I would love to hear what makes you laugh or giggle. Please share since there is so much more out there.

A few quotes about laughter and giggles:

  • “Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.” — Sharon Draper
  • “A laugh is a great stimulator, a pushful entry into life; and once we can laugh, we can live.” — Sean O’Casey
  • “At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.” — Jean Houston
  • “Sometimes I laugh so hard the tears run down my leg.” ~Author Unknown
  • “Laughter is poison to fear.” — George R. R. Martin
  • “To laugh is to live profoundly.” — Milan Kundera
  • “A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book.” ~Irish Proverb
  • “May your day be filled with giggles.” — Unknown

I wonder if I will be able to giggle each day? I already have giggled some this morning and hope to again later, and each day after that!  Hope you have a great week!

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.

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.

Photography 101 – Treasure

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAToday’s Photography 101 word is Treasure.  Normally we think of treasure as gold and valuables, but treasure also is who and what we truly value and love. My treasure is my family, friends, and the memories we make and share.

The house that I have chosen for today is one of the places where four generations of my family have had fun and have enjoyed being together. This is the family beach house and it is a wonderful place to gather.  It is a definite treasure.

I love the turquoise color, love the front porch where hundreds of meals have been served, and love the doors and windows, which are opened and let the ocean breeze in.  I also love the table and benches that a friend built for us, the ramp down the side of the house which leads to the outdoor shower and patio, and the gate which Ian clung to as he was first learning to walk.

I also love the family sing-alongs around the piano, love when we pack people in to spend the night, love taking turns making meals, love playing games and talking late into the night on the porch, love eating fish tacos from a restaurant that we can walk to, love the back patio crowded with all of the bikes, love the towels and sunscreen all over the front and back porches, and love to watch all of the beach and boardwalk activity.

It may seem like an odd choice for treasure.  But, this place is very special to me.  It doesn’t look like much, but every square inch is filled with memories and fun with my dear friends and family.  I am so blessed to have had this place to come to throughout my life.  And, from the porch, if you look to the left, you can see the lovely pacific ocean and sand.  To the right is the bay on the other side of a major street.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere is Ian just finishing his puzzle a few years ago on the porch table.  He was also having fun with his cars. We traveled with him to this house for the first five years of his life.  Each year he enjoyed something new and had blast, just as I did. That is an amazing treasure and a wonderful blessing.

SRP.72.Bill.Mairzy.Patti.late1960sHere is a photo of when I was a child on this same porch. I am sitting with my parents.  The wooden table hadn’t been built yet when this was taken.  As you can see the color of the gate is different, cars on the street are different, but the fun of the place is still there.

That fun has simply grown as my husband and I, and my parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles have grown and have wanted to bring new family members to enjoy the fun.

This tiny house is treasure to me and is a place I love to visit.

Today, I am thankful for:

  • A place where family and friends can gather each year
  • A tiny house which feels big because of all of the amazing memories
  • My grandparents who purchased this house
  • A boy feeling better after a lazy weekend trying to get over a cold
  • Early morning hugs
  • Having fun at a Cub Scout meeting
  • Handing out popcorn to our friends and family nice enough to buy from Ian
  • Mom’s roast, potatoes, and veggies
  • Date nights with Kirk
  • Oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins for breakfast
  • Making meals for the Thanksgiving feast
  • A shortened week of school
  • Decorating for the holidays
  • Having wonderful friends and family
  • Memories with my loved ones

I wonder when I will next get to visit my treasured place? I hope that it will be very soon!

Throwback Thursday – Summer Fun

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Throwback Thursday.  Since summer is winding down, I thought it would be fun to post an old photo of my son with my dad at the beach.  This was taken in July 2010, so Ian was a few months away from turning 3 years old.

I love how dad is showing Ian the fun of the ocean waves on your toes. And the feel of wet sand, and the importance of holding hands so you don’t fall over.

Four generations of my family have enjoyed this beach and I just love that.  There is much history there and many amazing memories.  I am so blessed to have gone there as a child and now to be able to take my child. It has also been fun to be there with my husband.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Summers spent at our family’s beach house
  • Toes in the sand
  • Feeling the water on our toes and legs
  • Spending time with parents and grandparents during the summer
  • Small feet that have grown quite a bit
  • Many years of fun memories
  • A chance to have four generations at the beach a few summers ago — something I will never forget
  • Our smooth transition from summer to school
  • A family who I love dearly and who love me
  • Friends who make me laugh and help me smile
  • Prayer support

I wonder what other fun things we will do before summer officially ends on September 23?  I look forward to finding out.  And, I also am looking forward to the fall/autumn season.

My Room Without A Roof

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAOne of my favorite songs lately is “Happy” By Pharrell Williams.  It plays regularly on Good Morning America as well as the radio and I enjoy it each time.  Just listening to it makes me happy.

I love to sing along. One line that I like is “Because I’m Happy. Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.”  I don’t know exactly what he means by that but I like the image.

At our family beach house, the front porch is our room without a roof and one of my favorite places to be.  Look to the left and you see the ocean, to the right, you see the bay – beyond houses and a busy road, but you can still see it.

At this beach cottage, this front porch room has held many breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, parties, playtimes, and much more.  Sandy feet, chairs, books, toys, sunscreen, hats, and buckets and pails are just a few of the things that have been placed on this porch.

In the morning, grabbing a hot cup of coffee, toast, and the newspaper, this porch is the best place to be.  And, after a day at the beach, newly scrubbed and cleaned, we sit down, pray, and enjoy a dinner together.  I have many fond memories with this location being an integral part.

The table and benches match the house perfectly and add to the fun of the space.  A family friend built them for us and they have been used for many, many years.  In fact, everyone who has been to this house over the years has more than likely eaten on this porch.

When Ian was little, and he stood at the fence, his head didn’t make it above the top.  Now, he stands well above it and can see beyond the porch to all that is around him.

A few memories of the cottage porch:

  • Reading the newspaper and eating breakfast with my parents
  • Putting together a puzzle with Ian
  • Wiping sand on the mat before going in the house
  • Slathering sunscreen all over Ian before going to the beach
  • Listening to my aunt play the piano during family singalongs
  • Holding hands and praying before eating fish tacos, quesadillas, and refried beans from a local taco shop
  • Talking with the wonderful man who built the table and bench
  • Chatting over dessert with my grandparents
  • Playing cards with the family after dark
  • Shooting the breeze with neighborhood friends
  • Sitting outside after the children have gone to bed
  • Posing for numerous family photos with my siblings, cousins, and other family members
  • Hugging loved ones when it is time to say goodbye

I wonder when the next time will be that I am in my “room without a roof?”  I don’t know but hope that it will be soon.

Happy (Late) Siblings Day / Three of A Kind

3 kidsHi and Happy Friday!  I am a day late with Siblings Day, but still wanted to write about my brother and sister.  I found out this morning that it was Siblings Day on April 10.  Where have I been?

And, Today’s photo challenge is Three of A Kind.  I’d have to say that the three of us are that.  We are alike in a lot of ways, yet different too!  So, these photos speak for that as well.  Here is a photo taken in the fall of last year and the one below is from 2006.

I love my sister Cindy and my brother Richmond.  We are all close and I feel very fortunate for that.  We may not have gotten along all the time as kids but now as adults with our own families, our relationships have changed for the better.  What a blessing!

We regularly get together and that is great.  Most times when we are with our parents, Mom wants to take a picture of the three of us.  So we probably have hundreds.  And, each and every one is a great memory of our time together.

To celebrate this day, I received very nice notes and pictures from my bro and sis. My sister said she is blessed to have a brother and sister who have shared summers at the beach, afternoons playing in the woods, grandpa’s stories, mom’s camp fire fun, and dad’s driving lessons.  My brother shared a funny picture of the three of us sneaking cookies at Mom and Dad’s house and mentioned, after all these years, we still steal cookies.

DSC06098Aren’t they awesome?  I sure think so.  To both of them, I say thank you for these kind words and love!  We have shared so many wonderful memories, have laughed a lot, have been in each other’s weddings, have been there when our children were born, and have shared some tough times losing our grandparents.

I couldn’t ask for a better sister and brother.  I only wish I could see them more than I do.  I also love each of their spouses!  They are my siblings as well and I am happy that they are part of us and our family.

I am blessed to have a brother and sister who have shared a cross-country trip in our small hatchback, camping at state parks and making s’mores, family singalongs, stories by Grandpa, playing pounce, long summers at the beach, playing in our back yard and neighborhood, often walking to school, sharing holidays and birthdays, the Highland Games, Easter sunrise services outside at the marina, and many more special times.

I love my sister and brother!  Happy late Siblings Day to the two of you!