Tears and Joy

lake.summer.7-27Today we say goodbye to that sweet soul I mentioned last week.  Ian’s dear friend Malachi passed away at 8 years old from brain cancer.  He was a joy to know and made us laugh so much.  Now as I remember him, it is with laughter through my tears.

His funeral is this afternoon and one of the hardest decisions I have ever made as a mother was deciding to have us not go.  You see it’s been hard enough for Ian to process the loss of his friend, much less attend a funeral mass in his honor.  So Kirk and I thought that school and his regular routine would be better for Ian.

Not sure if this was the best decision but Malachi’s dad totally understands.  And, that is a great comfort.  I don’t feel so guilty for not being there in person.  We are there in spirit and praying for the family and friends who have lost this amazing young man.  We are hurting too and clinging to our fond and funny memories.

When we met him, he came right up to Ian at preschool and said “Hi.  I am Malachi.  What is your name?”  Ian told him and they went to play together.  Then a few months later when Ian started full-time, Malachi made a point of saying, “I remember you.”

boys-9-6-2016Each time the boys played together, they had so much fun — whether it was Playmobile, Lego, or cars, they made up stories, made each other laugh, and shared.  Both were only children and got along really well.  They were a joy to watch and listen to.

Selfishly, I wanted to see the two of them grow up together, stay friends, and maybe room in college, go on vacations together, and so many other ideas.  But that was not to be.  The Lord had something else in mind.  So now, this amazing soul is in Heaven having a great time.  We miss getting to see him but are so thankful he is no longer in pain or suffering.

There are some people in our lives who come in and make an amazing impression and he did just that.  He lived an incredible and rich life for someone so very young, he had faith beyond measure, and a wonderful sense of humor.  He loved to help people and joke around with them as well.  He never met a stranger and enjoyed his time with family and friends.

I have learned a lot about friendship, faith, loss, joy, tears, laughter, and so much more from both Malachi and his parents.  I feel that my family is blessed beyond measure to have had these friendships. I will forever be thankful they came into our lives when they did.

May we all savor those relationships we have, make a point to tell those we love them, hug our loved ones, be there when they need us, and remember to laugh and enjoy life.  It is a gift and each day is so very precious.  May we also have joy.

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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!

June 3 – Silly

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAAre you good at being silly?  We sure are — as demonstrated in this Photo-A-Day Challenge photo for today.   The word for June 3 is Silly.

I took this as a selfie photo of the three of us.  I think I was talking at the time so that is why my mouth is open. My husband had tripped and got that bruise on his head.  Ian was smiling before and after this photo.

As we wore these red noses, we all sounded funny.  It cracked us up as we tried to talk and sounded so very different.  We certainly didn’t sound like ourselves and that made us laugh and be even sillier.

We bought these noses in support of the recent Red Nose Day, a fundraiser for childhood poverty. This is a serious problem that we hope and pray will be changed.  NBC recently had a three-hour special and raised quite a bit of money.

Isn’t it fun to laugh?  I am serious when needed, but there are times that I love to let loose and just laugh and laugh.  Silliness is something I can be very good at.

People say that laughter is good for the soul.  I have to agree and know there is nothing like being silly and laughing.

A few silly and funny things I am thankful for:

  • Sharing a private joke with a friend or family member
  • Giggles with my childhood friends
  • My son’s laugh and joy about life
  • My husband’s sense of humor and wit
  • The laughter of my family
  • Tickle time
  • The ability to make a fool of myself at times
  • Play time for the family
  • Laughing at favorite shows and movies
  • Laughing until I cry
  • Laughing until my sides hurt
  • Laughing until I can’t remember why
  • And then laughing some more
  • Having fun with friends and family

I wonder what silly things we will be doing today?  I am certainly looking forward to finding out!  Have a great one!

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.

February 21 – Funny

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday!  I just want to say – TGIF!!  How do you like my roses in the header photo?  Aren’t they lovely?  With all of the cold recently, I thought a picture of some pretty flowers was needed.

Today’s photo challenge is Funny.  I decided to include this photo of my son from several years ago at the beach. Caption for photo, “That’s funny Mommy, wet sand feels very different than dry sand.”

As you can see, he is a ham for the camera.  He loves to make funny faces and big expressions and I just love it!  We laugh and crack ourselves up. Isn’t that what childhood is about?!

I don’t know about you but I love funny things, funny quotes, funny shows and movies, and funny people.  My son is pretty funny and has a great sense of humor for someone so young. I love to hear him laugh. When something or someone tickles him, he totally lets go and enjoys the moment.  Kids are so awesome for that.

It is important to me to find the funny things in life and be around people who make me laugh.  I love getting together with my close friends and family and sharing a laugh and a special story.

Last night I went out to dinner with some friends who I have known since high school.  Once a month we have a girls night out.  It’s not always the same people, but whoever gets together has a blast.  We laugh about memories and people from years ago as well as things more current in our life.  It is always fun.

A few of the funniest famous people ever, in my opinion, are Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, the entire cast of Golden Girls, the cast of Designing Women, Bill Cosby and the entire cast of The Cosby Show, Jerry Seinfeld, the cast of Psych, the cast of Friends, Ellen DeGeneres, and Dick Van Dyke.  I know there are others but this is who I can think of right not. Who would you add to this list?

I hope that you can find a funny person to spend time with today.  And, I hope you can find things that will make you laugh.  After all, laughter is good for the soul.  And who can’t use more of that?

I wonder if I will find a few things that are funny today?  I sure hope so!

Jokes By Ian

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAFor being only 5 years old, my son Ian has a great sense of humor.

Here is Ian pictured in 2011 being a ham at the beach.  He loves to be silly for the camera!

He loves to laugh and loves to be tickled.  In fact, he told me that being tickled makes him happy.   I wrote a blog about that in 2011 — entitled “Tickling Brings Out My Happy.”

Ian is an active and lively boy who likes to have fun.  For that I am thankful.

And, he is pretty good at telling jokes.  Well, at least for someone his age.  Here are few jokes that Ian told me about one month ago.  They may be more questions but he was giggling when he told them, so I did too!!

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.  His delivery was great with these — which is part of telling a good joke or funny story.

***What jiggles in a house when people are eating it? —   Jello

***What has two wings, glides across the sky, and has a driver? —  An Airplane

***What skittles side to side, has claws and a shell? —  A Crab

***What buzzes around and has wings and is yellow and black?  —  A Bumble Bee

After telling these jokes (questions) to me, I told him I enjoyed those a lot and that he was pretty clever.  As you can imagine, he grinned from ear to ear.

He then said, “Mommy, I am going to tell you a funny tale,”  which was a tale about someone named Drack Drack who had a long ponytail.  Get it?!

Ian is also good at making up stories and will often tell them to me before he goes to bed.  He has a very active imagination.  I love that he is creative, happy, and loves to laugh.

My son is a real blessing and brings joy to me each day!  I thank the Lord for him.

There is a quote that says Laughter is the best medicine!  I do believe that is true.  Having Ian in my life so adds to that medicine.  I hope that you too have someone in your life who brings you joy and laughter.

A few quotes about laughter:

  • Laughter is an instant vacation. ~Milton Berle
  • Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. ~Victor Borge
  • What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul. ~Yiddish Proverb
  • A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor’s book. ~Irish Proverb
  • A good time to laugh is any time you can.  ~Linda Ellerbee
  • Carry laughter with you wherever you go.  ~Hugh Sidey

Pray Often, Laugh More, Love Much

Pray Often… Laugh More… Love Much

These six words are on the shower curtain at my brother-in-law’s and sister-in-law’s house.  I noticed it when we visited them last night and realized how much these words really mean.

Pray Often — the Bible says to pray without ceasing.  Now, clearly, you probably can’t pray all day every day without some strange looks from people, but the point is to be in the attitude of prayer. We are to regularly communicate with God.

We are teaching Ian about prayer and it is so beautiful to listen to his prayers.  He has a few great ones and my favorite is, “Dear Jesus, please help me stay out of trouble.”  I think we could all benefit from a prayer like that.

Laugh More — the medical community has been saying for a while now that laughter is good medicine.  And I must say, I love to laugh!  Whether it’s watching “I Love Lucy” or “Psych” or talking with a funny friend or family member, I have found some definite ways to laugh.

I think it’s important to be around people who make us happy and able to laugh.  I hope that you have people in your life who you can laugh with.  I am blessed to have several and even a code word with a few friends.  We have always loved to laugh or giggle.

Love Much — It is important to let your family and friends know that you love them.  At my first job as a reporter, I met a wise paramedic who advised me to never be a grave hugger.  His advice has stayed with me ever since.  He wanted me to be sure and remember to always tell my loved ones that I loved them and never to let the words go unsaid, since you don’t know if you’ll get the chance at a later time.

I am fortunate to love some dear family and friends and be loved in return.  I hope that you too have that blessing.

I wonder if we can truly remember to Pray Often, Laugh More, and Love Much.  I will certainly give it a try – how about you?