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.

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Happy Birthday dear Kirk!

Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you!  Happy Birthday dear Kirk, Happy Birthday to you!

Ian and I sang that to Kirk this morning and he enjoyed it.  We both love Kirk very much.  “Happy Birthday Dad,” Ian said.

Kirk is the love of my life, my partner, an amazing father to our son, and such fun to be with. I enjoy our family moments and special times. I love our family traditions.

I love how Kirk makes me laugh, and I so appreciate when he comforts me and supports me. He is wonderful.

Happy Birthday to you dear Kirk!  Have a great one.

Throwback Thursday – Happy Boy

TT_7-7-Happy BoyHi and Happy Thursday! Hope you are having a great day.  Here is a photo of Ian at almost 3 years old.  He was standing on the lifeguard stand and watching the sun set into the ocean.  He was extremely happy and having a great time at Mission Beach in California.

This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of him.  I love the total glee and happiness that he is expressing.  I love how much he seems to be loving life.  And I love this smile and this boy.  This photo was lightened so his facial expression was visible.

He has always been a happy child and fun to be around.  He has moments of being grouchy or difficult when he is overly tired, hungry, doesn’t want to do something or is sick.  But for the most part, he is content, has plenty to do, and lives in the moment.  He has taught me to do that.  He has also taught me to make the most of each day,

While looking at this photo, I wondered when was the last time that I was this happy?  When did I throw away all of my worries and cares and just be gleeful?  I have laughed recently with family members and friends. I have cracked up at a funny memory or cartoon with Ian or a favorite comedy with Kirk.  But I also have cried over family and friends who are sick, the loss of a loved one, and the terrible things on the news.

I have always loved watching the news and reading newspapers since that has been a life-long passion and vocation for me.  However, more and more it has been hard to tune in without becoming emotional during the broadcast or angry.  I continue to be amazed at what people do to one another.  And, trying to explain that to Ian can be a challenge.

This summer we have been making time for fun and to be in the moment. We have had  time for swimming, watching funny movies, lazy days, ice cream treats, games, library books, walks, and many other fun things.  So far it has been great and a real treasure.  As bad things happen, we talk about them and pray about them as well.

Today I am thankful for:

  • My hubby who I am sharing this life journey with
  • Our son who I love beyond measure
  • Amazing friendships
  • My wonderful family
  • Prayer support from our church, family, and friends
  • Ian’s friends
  • Lego builds
  • Play time
  • Air-conditioning
  • Playing games
  • Books and the ability to read
  • Creativity and making up stories
  • No alarm clocks in the morning

I wonder if I can live in the moment as much as possible with Ian, Kirk, and our family and friends.  I am doing my best to do just that.

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

Throwback Thursday – Graduation

Jen.1Hi and Happy Thursday. Today is graduation at both the high school and Ian’s school for the fourth grade students.  In honor of that, here is a photo from my graduation — many, many years ago.

I am the one in the large glasses as was the style in the 1980s.  Glasses that covered half of your face and big hair. That was quite popular. I am pictured with my friend Jennifer. We are still friends and still see each other.  She is a lifelong friend.

This summer my graduating class is having a reunion.  I am on the planning committee. My class enjoys getting together and we always have a great time.  It may be unusual but many people always come back for the reunions.  I am blessed and very thankful for that.

Two weeks ago, our nephew on my side graduated from high school.  He like the students graduating tonight is ready for the next chapter of his life. Last night, our nephew on Kirk’s side of the family graduated as well.  I am thrilled for all of them and excited for their opportunities.  God bless and good luck to all of you.

For the fourth graders graduating to middle school, I wish only the best for you.  You have learned a lot at the elementary school and are ready for the next phase in education.  You will be the big kids. God bless you.

Although my graduation was a long time ago, I remember the fun yet also unknown feelings that I experienced.  That summer we went to the beach and had a great visit. I had great times with my grandparents, siblings, parents, aunts and uncles, and cousins and I will always cherish those.

It was plenty of play time and I am thankful to my parents for that time. When it was time to go to college, I flew back home by myself, packed the car, and drove up to my college. My parents later checked in with me to be sure I had all that I needed. I sure felt grown up after that experience and that I was ready to be an adult.

A few quotes about graduation:

  • “There is a good reason they call these ceremonies “commencement exercises.”  Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.” ~ Orrin Hatch
  • “The tassel’s worth the hassle!” ~ Author Unknown
  • “You may not know where you’re going, but so long as you spread your wings the winds will carry you.” ~ C. Joy Bell C.
  • “I hope your dreams take you to the corners of your smiles, to the highest of your hopes, to the windows of your opportunities, and to the most special places your heart has ever known.” ~ Author Unknown

To the high school graduates, I wish the best for you whether you are going to college, joining the military, starting your career, traveling for a while, or a combination of those.  May you use your wings to pursue your dreams and remember all that you learned and where you came from.

I wonder how I am going to feel when Ian graduates from high school in 10 years?  I imagine I will be both happy and sad.  We have lots of great years between now and then and I plan to enjoy and savor each one.  After all, that time will fly by.

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.

August 10 – In My Hand

POD_8-10_In.My.HandHi and Happy Monday.  Today’s Photo A Day Challenge is “In My Hand.”  That’s me in the middle.  I was holding hands at the beach with my mother on the left and my grandmother on the right.

This photo makes me smile since there are so many amazing memories of this beach and being with them throughout my life.  I don’t remember this particular day since I was so young, but I love having this photo.  It is a real treasure.

I am blessed to have quite a few precious photos from my childhood.  I cherish each and every one of them and am so happy for all of those who have come before me in my family.  I have learned so much and hope to carry on the traditions.

Several generations of my family have held hands during prayer time.  We do this before meals and other special occasions.  We normally stand in a circle and join hands.  It is wonderful and full of such love.

There are many things I like to have in my hand.  These include:

  • Holding hands with loved ones during a prayer
  • Holding hands with Ian as we cross the street on the way to school
  • Holding hands with my parents before our meals together
  • Holding hands on a date with my hubby
  • Kirk and I holding Ian’s hands as we walk and then pick him up and swing him
  • The feel of sand at the beach
  • A fish taco and beer — what a yummy meal
  • An ice cream cone on a hot day
  • A pencil before writing a note
  • A pen for my word finds
  • A book that I am enjoying
  • A newspaper that I read to find out the latest community news
  • A large glass of iced water to quench my thirst
  • A hymnal to sing glorious songs at church
  • A camera to capture a special moment
  • A hot cup of tea or coffee on a cold morning
  • A Lego creation by Ian that he wants to show me
  • A magazine for time to relax
  • Chopsticks for a yummy meal
  • Food of various kinds to prepare a special meal
  • Dice that are thrown during a Monopoly Game
  • Cards for Go Fish
  • Dirt in the yard for planting flowers
  • The steering wheel of our car on a Sunday drive
  • My Bible and other study material
  • A crayon to color with Ian
  • A gift of jewelry from my family
  • A photo album of priceless photos

There are many more items than this that I enjoy having “In My Hand.”  What do you like to hold in your hand?

Throwback Thursday – Cold Treats

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday!  We are almost finished with our second week of summer.

We continue to have a good time and are enjoying ourselves very much.  Time is going very fast as often happens when we’re having fun.

We have had some lazy days and some days where we have been quite busy.   We have enjoyed playing Monopoly, going to the library for summer books, and having cookouts with family.

This weekend we plan to go swimming and are looking forward to that.  I love the water and ease of exercise.  I also enjoy floating on my back in the water, and working with Ian as he is still learning to swim.  He keeps getting better.

Where we live is humid in the summer, so we are in our air-conditioned house for much of the day.  On these muggy days, we have come to truly appreciate our cold treats.  Sweet iced tea, ice water, and cold beers are our drinks of choice.  I actually like semi-sweet or half sweet/half unsweet tea the best.

And, we love our ice cream treats too.  Nothing like a big scoop of ice cream to help cool us down on a hot day.  This photo was taken three summers ago at the beach.  This was the treat he picked from the ice cream truck.  This particular ice cream was extremely messy as you can tell from the picture.  It was also one of his favorites.

I will have to plan to take plenty of ice cream truck money when we go to the beach this summer!  After all, that is one of Ian’s favorite parts of the day.  It is one of mine as well.  Nothing like the taste of chocolate mint on a cone as I watch the sunset into the ocean. Ahhhhh… summer bliss!

I wonder what tomorrow’s cold treat will be?  Tomorrow is supposed to be another warm and muggy day, so I am sure whatever it is will hit the spot!

Happy Birthday Dear Cindy!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA Sept.24_POD_Loud

Today is my sister Cindy’s birthday!  She is awesome and so much fun.  I only wish I could be with her today.

She was my first friend and remains one to this day.  She is an amazing teacher, mother, wife, and all-around cool person.  I am honored to have her in my life.

This summer we will have some time together at the beach.  I cannot wait!  We will be with our families and look forward to lots of fun.

May you be blessed and have a wonderful special day!  Love you sis.  Hope you enjoy these pictures!  They are some of my favorite old photos of us.

(They are all I Still Wonder – Patti Cates images.)The drells at Mission Beach

girls at beach Three crazy kids Cindy.Patti.on.slide