What a Month!

Playground.4Hi and Happy October.  I just noticed that I haven’t written at all this month.  Sheesh!  I can’t believe that is the third Monday of the month already.  Where has this time gone?

What have I been doing all month to keep me busy?  Let’s see, celebrating a boy’s birthday, having fall break fun and adventures, shopping, eating out, traveling to North Carolina for work and fun, spending time with family and friends, celebrating my mother’s birthday, watching a few movies, working on items for PTO, and so much more.

We just completed fall break and Ian is now back at school.  We had a great time but I took a break from the computer and just enjoyed being in the moment.  It was nice but also a bit strange.  We also had some computer and Internet issues that prompted some of it.  I did, however, start missing my writing.

I love October.  It is my favorite month of the year.  I got married this month and our son was also born this month.  And, it is the birthday of some other loved ones.  So, it is special. And, I love that it is the first month that actually feels like fall.

We enjoy the change in the weather, the chance to wear fuzzy socks again, jackets in the morning, the shorter days and changes in the colors of the leaves. And there is Halloween candy, dressing up, and baking treats. I also like soups, chili, pumpkin spice cookies, pumpkin bread, bonfires, football, and baseball playoffs.

All in all, it is a great month and one that I look forward each year.  You may be wondering about today’s photo.  The photo challenge for today is Tree.  I took this photo last fall and thought it would be great for today.  It is very much fall — after the leaves have fallen off the trees.

Today I am thankful for:

  • A fabulous fall break
  • Taking many photos during our time off
  • Having time at home to relax
  • Holiday creamers for my coffee
  • Extra cuddles in the morning
  • Celebrating my loved ones
  • Fuzzy socks
  • Soup for dinner
  • Reading and relaxing
  • The return of our regular routine

I wonder what adventures this week will bring?  I cannot wait to find out.  Have a great one!

Advertisements

May 9 – Sign

POD_5-9-SignHi and Happy Monday.  Today’s Photo-A-Day challenge is Sign. I found this one at a shop trying to save some money. At least, that is my guess since trying to change the day of the weeks went awry. It seems they found the 8th day of the week. Isn’t that great? Sunurday.

It made me laugh, stop to take a picture, and wish that some weekends we did have a day between Saturday and Sunday. Like this weekend we just finished. It was a good one but very busy with end of school activities, work on the family business, time at home for assorted projects, meals out, and so much more.

Hope you had a great Mother’s Day yesterday.  Mine was good and I would have liked more time to relax.  Oh well, perhaps after Ian goes to bed tonight?!  Isn’t that the way it is?  A mother’s work never seems to be done — even on her special day.

For those with Moms and children, hope you were able to spend time with your loved ones and enjoy that special time together.  For those who have lost their children or mothers, hope you were able to remember them fondly.

A few things I am thankful for today:

  • Signs that I can read and laugh at
  • The ability to read
  • Ian’s excitement about a new library book
  • The start of a new yet busy week
  • Brunch with my hubby, son, and parents
  • A special Lego build from Ian
  • Cards and hugs
  • Dinner out at a restaurant recommended by Ian
  • Relaxing time at home
  • Sleeping in on the weekend
  • Walks home from school
  • Leftovers
  • Time with loved ones

I wonder what other signs I will read this week?  I am sure that there will be plenty.  Have a great week!

April 27 — Messy

Messy_4-27-2016Today’s photo challenge is Messy.  I think this picture shows it very well. This was taken about 6 years ago after Ian had enjoyed a messy dinner and then some chocolate cake.  And then he was done for the night, after that sugar high wore off.

Those were the days of high chair messes, and bibs, and clothes that had to be cleaned after each meal. He had fun finger painting with the remnants of this cake. He also really liked the taste of it. Amazing so much time has flown by since this photo was taken.

These days he isn’t messy with his meals, except for spaghetti at times can be difficult.  He now really doesn’t like things on this hands and tries to be neat. Well, as neat as an active and busy boy can be.

Not only have our meals been messy at times, our house is often messy.  I keep working on my piles of stuff but often don’t get to them as quickly as my hubby would like. Laundry is a never-ending project and the car needs to be washed.  Also, the toy room floor is covered with Lego elements in various states of progress.

Life is also messy.  Relationships can be messy at times and the way we often treat each other is messy. We aren’t perfect and do the best we can. I make mistakes, I spill food and liquids both on my clothes and the floor, I am too loud at times, and I run into things. I am messy and fine with admitting it.

I have come to terms with that fact and love that my hubby can put up with my interest piles, my less than stellar cleaning, and meals made with love and many dishes. I am not the slob that I once was but still have some work to do.  A few of my college roommates can attest to that. I am blessed with a hubby who helps around the house.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Messy early morning hair
  • Piles of Ian’s school work and drawings
  • The mess of baking cookies
  • A washer and dryer that are used most days of the week
  • Boxes and boxes of family photos to be scanned
  • Laughs with long-time friends
  • A movie date with my hubby
  • Ian’s creativity with all of his Lego builds
  • Lunches with family and friends
  • Midweek dinners with my parents
  • My amazing and understanding husband
  • My messy yet wonderful life

I wonder if I will always be messy?  I have a feeling that I will, although not as bad as Pig Pen.  I am a continuing work in progress and am trying to be more neat and tidy. What about you?  Are you messy or neat?

February 4 – Texture

POD_2.4.TextureHi and Happy Thursday!  Today’s photo challenge is Texture.  And, since it is also Throwback Thursday, I decided on this photo of Ian from years ago.

He was studying a rock and was quite interested in the feel and the weight of it.  He has always been curious and has wanted to learn more.  For that we are truly thankful.

Texture is defined in several ways: (1) the way that something feels when you touch it; (2) the way that a food or drink feels in your mouth; and (3) the various parts of a song, poem, movie, etc., and the way they fit together.

The first definition is the most common one regarding texture.  We touch things to learn more about them.  A lot can be discovered from the feel of something.  A few touches and textures that come to mind are:

  • The feel of sand in my fingers or toes
  • Holding hands during a prayer
  • Drinking ice-cold water on a hot day
  • Savoring an ice cream cone
  • Making a snow ball
  • The touch, feel, and taste of popcorn
  • Holding Ian’s hand as we cross the street
  • The feel of a warm mug of hot cocoa on a cold day
  • The taste of that cocoa
  • Hugs and kisses with my hubby
  • Messy dirt as flowers are planted
  • A stone that Ian found for me at the beach
  • The crunch of a yummy salad
  • The pairing of warm hot fudge and cold vanilla ice cream

There are so many items of texture that we can feel and taste and have in our lives.  I have the texture of a variety of friends and family.  They enrich my life in so many ways.  For that I am truly thankful and blessed.  As far as the texture of songs and movies, I will write about that in a separate blog.

One quote by actor Ralph Fiennes that I found about texture states, “Little moments can have a feeling and a texture that is very real.”  That is so true.  Life is made up of small and little moments that can be special and are not to be missed.  Each day I savor those little moments and know that they will change as life goes on.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Cuddles and chatting before school
  • Breakfast with my hubby
  • Hearing I love you from my guys
  • Saying I love you in return
  • Enjoying dinner with my parents
  • Laughter and fun with friends
  • Sunshine for an afternoon walk
  • Super Bowl party with my family
  • The upcoming weekend
  • Reading books
  • Reading a story that Ian has written
  • Having the ability to feel textures

I wonder if I will pay attention to textures throughout the day?  I plan to do just that.  I will also continue to appreciate the little moments in my life.

January 7 – Reading

POD_January.7_ReadingHi and Happy Thursday.  Today’s Photo of the Day Challenge is Reading.  Here is a photo from October 2015.  It is of Ian reading the instructions on how to put up his tent that he received as a birthday gift.

He read these instructions with authority as we tried to assemble the tent for a camp out.  What a fun evening that was.  Kirk, Ian, and I slept in the tent one night in the fall.  Very early in the morning, it started raining so we went back inside.  After the rain stopped, we dried the tent before putting it away.

I don’t know about you but I love reading and especially I love seeing Ian read.  He is a great reader and now reads books of his own, books from the school library, and books we check out from the city library.

A few of his recent favorites are The Jedi Academy series and books by Mo Willems.  He now has all three of the Jedi Academy series – two he bought and the other he received as a Christmas gift.  For his birthday, he was given several Elephant and Piggy books.  We both love them.

I too love to read books.  My favorite books are fiction and often about women.  I also like mysteries.  A few favorite authors are Jane Green, Danielle Steel, Carol Higgins Clark, and Kristen Higgins.  I have many others as well but cannot remember all of the names.  I love checking out books from the library or buying them at discount bookstores.

I also enjoy some nonfiction stories and items about favorite shows or cities.  My interests are varied.  I sometimes like to read biographies or autobiographies about Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Elton John, James Garner, Ricky Martin, Dean Martin, and many others.  I also like  cookbooks, books about traveling, and how others live.  I would be lost without the ability to read.

Reading is so very important in one’s ability to become educated and have a good job.  My prayer is that all children and adults will learn to read and love to read as well.  Many people in my family and a few in Kirk’s family have helped both children and adults learn to read.  It has been exciting to see and hear about too!  May the reading continue.

One of the items on my bucket list is to write a book or two.  I want to write a children’s book with Ian’s help and a historical fiction novel with a strong female character.  I have ideas in my head but I want to find time to actually start working on the ideas, the plots, the characters, and starting doing research.  I will keep you posted on my progress!

A few quotes about reading:

  • “A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.” — Abraham Lincoln
  • “The ability to read awoke inside me some long dormant craving to be mentally alive.” — Malcolm X
  • “He that loves a book will never want a faithful friend, a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter. By study, by reading, by thinking, one may innocently divert and pleasantly entertain himself, as in all weathers, as in all fortunes.” — Barrow
  • “We read to know we are not alone.” — C.S. Lewis
  • “The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss
  • “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” — Emilie Buchwald
  • “Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” — Frederick Douglas

Aren’t these quotes great?  I found them online and like each one for different reasons.  We do learn more and can think about things more deeply when we are reading regularly.  We can learn about ideas and concepts that are different than our own, and can learn how much variety and differences there truly are.

May we have many adventures as we read.  May we remember what a gift it is to be a reader.  May we help others learn to read.

December 8 – Family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A few quotes about family:

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

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

X Is For … Xylophone

POD_10.28_X.is.forToday’s Photo-A-Day Challenge is X is for …  My choice is X is for Xylophone.  Here is Ian many years ago playing a small xylophone at the San Diego Zoo.  They have an amazing children’s section with a lot of interactive activities. He really enjoyed this one.

When we were at the zoo that day, Ian had a great time.  In addition to this in the children’s section was a petting zoo.  He loved petting the goats and was very curious about them. Needless to say at the end of the day, he was very tired and went right to sleep.

Ian loves music and instruments.  So the chance to try playing a tune was great fun for him.  In this picture, you can see how much he is concentrating.  He still today enjoys playing the piano and using items around the house to make music.

This year he is enjoying watching The Voice on NBC.  Since much of it is on past his bedtime, we record it for him and watch the next day.  He has comments to make about the singers as well as the judges.  Ian has a really good ear for music.  Of that I am thankful.

Other things that I am thankful for on this rainy day are:

  • A boy who enjoys music class
  • Listening to Ian sing a favorite song
  • Watching and critiquing contestants on The Voice with Ian
  • Cuddling on the sofa with Ian and Kirk
  • Umbrellas and rain coats so we don’t get soaked
  • A garage so I can remain dry after arriving back home
  • A pumpkin spice latte

I wonder what other items we can find that start with X today?  I will be on the lookout.  Have a great day!

 

September 5 – Sparkle

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Hi and Happy Saturday!  Today’s Photo-A-Day Challenge is Sparkle.  I thought this photo captured that very nicely.  I love how the sun is sparkling on the water and the wet sand.

This was taken several years ago at my favorite beach at sunset.  I have seen hundreds of lovely sunsets at this location, perhaps even thousands. And, I have taken numerous pictures.  Each night is different and lovely in itself.

I really love the sparkle the sun makes on the ocean water both at sunset and during the day.  During the day the lovely blue water shines like diamonds.  In the evening, it takes on a different hue with the pinks, reds, and oranges.

Sparkle as a verb is defined as “shine brightly with flashes of light” and “be vivacious and witty.” As a noun, it is defined as “a glittering flash of light” and “vivacity and wit.”  I think this photo captures the light part. And, it is fun to be witty and vivacious.  I hope I have both of these covered.

Here are some quotes on sparkle:

  • “Never let anyone dull your sparkle.” — Unknown.
  • “Don’t be afraid to sparkle a little brighter.” — Unknown
  • “Dream Big. Sparkle More. Shine Brightly.” — Unknown
  • “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.” — Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
  • “Consider the fact that maybe…just maybe…beauty and worth aren’t found in a makeup bottle, or a salon-fresh hairstyle, or a fabulous outfit. Maybe our sparkle comes from somewhere deeper inside, somewhere so pure and authentic and REAL, it doesn’t need gloss or polish or glitter to shine.”–Mandy Hale
  • “Do more of what makes you sparkle.” — Unknown

I am all for being our best and pursuing our dreams.  And I agree that true beauty comes from within.  So let’s sparkle, be ourselves, and love our life!

Hope you have a great holiday weekend!

August 19 – Hat

DSC00725Hi and Happy Wednesday!  Today’s Photo A Day Challenge is Hat.  This photo is one that a friend took several years ago of Ian and me sitting on the porch of the beach house.

It is one of my favorite pictures, even though you can’t see very much of our faces.  It was a special moment when we were sitting together and looking at toys and other items on the porch.

Ian has always loved to learn and I think this was one of those fun yet teachable moments.  I just can’t remember what we were looking at.  It was something interesting though, I am sure.

I love to wear hats and wish they would come back in style.  I wear them regularly and often get compliments when I do.  That is always nice to hear.  Do you enjoy wearing hats?  I would love to hear from you!

Today I am thankful for:

  • Times when Ian still sits on my lap
  • Reading a favorite book each night with Ian
  • Wearing a hat that I picked at the beach
  • My family and friends
  • Friends at Ian’s school
  • The start of a great school year
  • A trip to the library after school
  • Lunch out with my hubby

I wonder what other hats we will find to wear?  I can’t wait to look and will enjoy them.

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?