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!

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.

Halloween Flashback Friday

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday!  In a few days it will be the last day of October and Halloween.  My this month has flown by.  This photo is from many years ago of Ian dressed as Elmo.  As you can see, I was in a similar outfit.

I know several families who do not celebrate Halloween.  We do, but ours is the fun dress-up Halloween, not the scary one that many people seem to like. Each year, I have to warn Ian that some people like scary stuff.  We do not, as he likes to remind me.

We are ready to walk around the neighborhood and ask for candy.  It is supposed to be warm so that will work well for his costume.  He is wearing the same as what he did last year and is excited about that.

A few Halloween questions.  What are your answers?  Mine are below.

  • Store bought costume or homemade?  Ours are usually homemade.
  • Favorite candy? Junior Mints, M&Ms, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Stay home or go out?  We trick-or-treat and then come home and give out candy
  • Favorite scary movie?  Don’t like them so none

Hope you have a great weekend and a fun Halloween if you celebrate it!  We sure will.

Throwback Thursday – Summer!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy 51st Anniversary / Happy Father’s Day!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA TT.DadDay2This weekend is big in my family. Today is my parent’s 51st wedding anniversary.  And, tomorrow is Father’s Day.  So Happy Anniversary to my Mom and Dad and Happy Dad’s day to Dad. Here is a favorite photo of the two of them and another of me with Dad.

They are awesome parents and we celebrated their anniversary last night.  We enjoyed dinner with them and cake and ice cream and a long visit.  It was great. Tonight they will have dinner out with some dear friends. Then tomorrow after church, we will make lunch for them and for Kirk in celebration of Father’s Day.

Ian had asked me recently if we were going to celebrate their anniversary this year.  Last year was their 50th anniversary and we had two big parties.  We had visits with friends and family we hadn’t seen in a while and had a terrific time.  This year we celebrated but on a much smaller scale.

I love that we live close enough to them to have regular visits.  It is so great for Ian as well to have lot of time with his grandparents.  I am so very thankful for that and count it as a definite blessing.  My parents taught me so much and now they are teaching Ian many things as well.

I have such fond memories with my parents:

  • Camping trips at state parks
  • Driving cross-country to the beach
  • Reading the paper on the beach house porch
  • Camp Fire songs and food
  • Shag carpet and dark walls
  • Photos at the beach
  • Numerous sunsets
  • Fireworks and cookouts
  • Weddings and Baptisms
  • Lions Club sales and meetings
  • Moving them into their new home
  • Singing with them at church
  • Lunches after church
  • Activities at Ian’s school
  • Many moments with my parents, my siblings, and our children
  • Birthday celebrations with family and friends
  • Family books and inside jokes

My parents mean the world to me.  They have taught me so much:

  • Unconditional love
  • Tolerance of others
  • The love of the ocean
  • The love of extended family
  • Parenting with discipline and love
  • To work hard and equally play hard
  • To savor and cherish each day
  • To always be thankful
  • To spend time with loved ones
  • To use my talents and abilities
  • To be appreciative of others
  • To be kind and loving
  • To still wonder about things

Mom and Dad, thanks for everything!  You were and still are amazing parents to me, to Cindy and to Richmond, great in-laws to Kirk, Cody, and Beckie.  And you are amazing grandparents to our children.  Love you always!

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.

Happy Birthday Dear Cindy!

Girls.In.BootsHappy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Cindy, Happy Birthday To you!  Today is my sister Cindy’s 40-something birthday!  Here we are rocking our boots and socks. We just recently discovered this photo.

I hope she has a great and wonderful day and wish that I could be with her.  As I have written before, she was my first friend and a close confidant. Almost all of my early memories include her.  She was the blond great sister and I was the brunette.  Not sure which one had more fun, but we both did our best to.

As you can see from our photos, we are hams for the camera.  Our brother is as well.  The three of us had a great childhood and remain friends.  Our parents taught us to love each other, stand up for each other, and take care of each other.  I thank them for that and all that they taught us.

The fact we are still close and love to be together is an amazing blessing that I treasure very much.  It is now great that our kids love to spend time together and have fun.  Ian loves to be with Cindy’s kids and Richmond’s as well.  Cousin time is as special as sibling time.

My sister is an amazing woman, friend, teacher, wife, mother, singer, actor, crafter, and so much more.  She loves to see children learn, loves the beach, savors time to read and relax, enjoys singing, watching her children in their sporting events, loves coffee and chocolate, and being with her friends and family.  She is awesome and I love that she is in my life.

I have enjoyed many special times with Cindy. Among them are:

  • Camping with our family
  • Playing pounce with family and dear friends
  • Listening to Grandpa’s stories
  • Sunsets at Mission Beach
  • Reading at the beach
  • Games and campfires
  • Fish tacos
  • Singing songs at Camp Tiyani
  • Family sing-alongs
  • Swimming at Grandpa and Grandma’s pool
  • Sleep-overs in the La Mesa front room
  • Visiting state parks
  • Driving across the country
  • Hearing a song one too many times
  • Community theater and high school theater
  • Sharing a room for years
  • Being each other’s maid of honor/matron of honor
  • Witnessing our children’s baptisms
  • Comforting each other in loss
  • Celebrating amazing milestones

Below are a few of my favorites photos of the two of us and with Richmond. Cindy, I hope to see you soon and celebrate. Love you so much!

Giggle.4-18-2016 DSC06098 girls at beach Three crazy kids Cindy.Patti.on.slide

Flashback Friday – Mom Edition

FF.Mom_5Hi and Happy Friday.  I don’t know about you but I am so glad it is Friday.  For today’s Flashback Friday, it is the Mom edition.  Enjoy!

FF.Mom_1This first photo is from years and years ago of me with Mom at the beach house.  We as usual had windblown hair and were wearing our sunglasses.  It is one of my favorites of the two of us. The next is on the same porch when I was very young (and so were my parents).

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms.  I want to wish my mother, my mother-in-law, my sister, my sisters-in-law, my aunts, cousins, nieces, and friends a very Happy Mother’s Day!  May you have wonderful and special celebrations.

I want to say thanks to my mom for all that she taught me.  She loved my siblings and me and was always there for us.  She showed us what mothering is all about. I am fortunate to have learned from her how to be a mother for my own child.

FF.Mom_2Until I became a mother I had no idea what it felt like to have your heart living outside of your body. Or having a little person who has heard a mom’s heart from the inside.  Wow! Motherhood is a gift and I am happy to be a part of the club.

Not to say it’s always easy because it isn’t.  There are struggles and many tough times but with other mothers to help and our spouses, the journey seems easier. Thanks to all of the moms in my life who have taught me, supported me, and have been there for me.

A few quotes about mothers:

  • “Mothers hold their children’s hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “All mothers are working mothers.” ~ Author Unknown
  • “When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” ~ Sophia Loren
  • “Mother — that was the bank where we deposited all our hurts and worries.” ~ T. DeWitt Talmage
  • “Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal human being to do the impossible.” ~ Marion C. Garretty
  • “A mom’s hug lasts long after she lets go.” ~ Author Unknown

Happy Mother’s Day!  Hope you enjoy your weekend.  I plan to.

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.