Fun on Friday

Fun_8-12-2016Hi and Happy Friday! Today’s photo challenge is Fun. Here is one take on fun. This is one of my favorite pictures of Ian taken at sunset at the beach many years ago.

I love his facial expression and think he is ready to take on the world and have tons of fun. Or he is ready to dive in.

I love to have fun and enjoy doing so. Sometimes as adult, it isn’t always possible but I do try to regularly make time for fun. With a child, it is easier to be sure to have fun each day.

DSC00210According to Dictionary.com, fun is defined as something that provides mirth or amusement; and enjoyment or playfulness. This first photo embodies that to me. The second one is also fun and a fond memory.

Fun to me is:

  • Watching records be broken during the Olympics
  • Watching a funny movie
  • Reading a favorite book
  • Getting my feet wet at the beach
  • Holding Ian’s hand in the surf
  • Holding Kirk’s hand on walks
  • Swimming at the pool with my parents
  • Coloring with my pencils
  • Completing word finds
  • Talking a walk at the beach
  • Laughing with Ian and Kirk
  • Playing a game of Pounce
  • Playing a board game
  • Pizza night with games and company
  • Time for my dad, his dog, and Ian to be together
  • Helping my mother with the family history
  • Discussing our soap with my mother
  • Spending time watching Ian build Lego creations
  • Laughing until we cry
  • Girls night dinners
  • Time with siblings and our spouses and kids
  • Visits with cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews, and grandparents
  • Laughing with old friends
  • Singing along with the radio or favorite song
  • Dancing
  • Watching Ian learn something new
  • Helping at Ian’s school and with the PTO
  • Having time to wander in a new city
  • Browsing a used book store
  • Getting treats from a neighborhood bakery
  • Having special cuddle time
  • Our weekend routine
  • Lazy time at home on the weekend
  • Weekly visits with my parents
  • Walking home from school with Ian

What is fun to you?  Do you try to have fun each day?  I hope you do!  Have a great and fun weekend.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Here is the blog I wrote last year for St. Patrick’s Day.  I decided to publish it again.  Hope you have a great day!

March 17 is the day to wear green so you don’t get pinched.  It is the day of green food and shamrocks and the day to celebrate all things Irish.

It is the day to enjoy corned beef and cabbage or Irish Stew. It is the day to have a green beer and have a party with friends and family.  It is a day for celebration and fun.  We will be having a yummy Irish inspired meal for dinner.

Hope you have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!  May the luck of the Irish be yours today!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHere is one of my favorite Irish blessings in honor of today.

  • May the road rise up to meet you
  • May the wind be always at your back
  • May the sunshine warm upon your face;
  • The rains fall soft upon your fields
  • And until we meet again
  • May God hold you in the palm of His Hand.

And here is a Wish For A Friend:

  • Wishing you a rainbow
  • For sunlight after showers—
  • Miles and miles of Irish smiles
  • For golden happy hours—
  • Shamrocks at your doorway
  • For luck and laughter too,
  • And a host of friends that never ends
  • Each day your whole life through!

And an Old Irish Blessing:

  • May love and laughter light your days, and warm your heart and home.
  • May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam.
  • May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures.
  • May all life’s passing seasons bring the best to you and yours!

Hope you have a fun and blessed day!

Photo A Day Catch-up

P7040080Hi and Happy Thursday.  I am a few days behind on the Photo A Day Challenge for this week. All of these photos are from trips to my favorite beach and beach house. Funny how that worked out.

The January 20 Photo A Day challenge was “Window.”  I took this photo 5 years ago of Ian.  He was standing right in front of the door of the beach house.  I love his expression and the reflection as well.

I love that the window and door open into one of my favorite places to be.  I have been blessed to be in this house lots of times.  It never gets old, that’s for sure.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAThe January 21 Photo A Day was “In A Row.”  These three houses are my favorite beach houses.  One is them is the family beach house and the other two for several years housed some dear friends.  In one house, the guys lived; and in the other, the gals.

Since this photo was taken in 2012, the house with the green trim and the house with the yellow trim have been renovated and new tenants now live in both of them.  It was so sad when this change happened.  I have many fond memories of these beach cottages. I know the next time I go, it will look very different.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAToday’s word is “Collection.”  For this one, I wanted to show a collection of cars that Ian and a friend at the beach had on our outdoor table.  One day, the boys put them all out in rows and had a ball. Ian has always loved cars.

At our house, we have a collection of cars too.  I enjoy playing with them and so does my dad.

Other collections that I have are: collector spoons from my travels, china cup and saucer sets, and magnets.  I do enjoy collecting a variety of things and probably always will.

I wonder what the next photo challenge will be?  I look forward to it!

Honoring Dr. King

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHappy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!  Today we honor the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. What a man he was!  He was an amazing speaker, motivator, and worked hard for equality and freedom for all people.  He and many others changed things and for that I am truly grateful.

As a former speechwriter, I know the challenge of writing words that will inspire and motivate others.  Dr. King had this skill beyond most. He was eloquent, moving, and called people to peaceful action.  I have learned so much from him, his words, and his mission in life.

It is amazing to look back 50 years and see how some were treated.  I have wept at movies I have watched that have brought it all to life and sat stunned that anyone could be treated so poorly.  I realize that there are still things that need changing, but great strives have been made.  I hope we can remember to be kind and loving to all people.

While there is still much to be done with relations between races, I am blessed to have a child who doesn’t see these differences in his friends.  He likes them for who they are, not what they look like.  His class at school is diverse and he knows and likes kids from many varied backgrounds.  I feel so fortunate for this.

May we always remember to be kind to one another, to love and not hate, to bear one another’s burdens, to not judge others, and to practice the golden rule of treating others as we want to be treated.

Some of my favorite quotes by Dr. King are:

  • “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
  • “Hatred paralyzes life; hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.”
  • “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
  • “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'”
  • “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
  • “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.  Hatred cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
  • “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenges and controversy.”
  • “Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.”
  • “A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live.”
  • “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.”
  • “No person has the right to rain on your dreams.”

May you have a blessed day!

(Photography Note: This photo is of Ian and one of his dear friends. I didn’t want to post their entire faces in order to retain their privacy.  Hopefully you can still see the friendship of two close buddies.)

Monday Musings

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Monday.  Happy Cinco de Mayo!  And, yesterday was Stars Wars day when a lot of people said, “May the 4th Be With You.”

On this Monday, I have some rambling musings/thoughts of items on my mind or that have touched me in recent days.

My heart goes out to people struggling.  First of all, the news that two weeks ago, more than 200 girls were kidnapped to be sold is heartbreaking.  I can’t even imagine what they and their families are feeling.  I hope things can be done very soon to bring them back.

The fact that certain people have no regard for others is appalling and amazing to me.  Life is so precious and our young children so very special, I honestly cannot fathom treating girls or boys like this.  And, the sad fact is that this treatment is far more common than we’d like to think.

May those with voices do something about it to inspire action and change and realization that all life is to be respected and honored. My heart and prayers go out to these girls and their families.

I am also praying for one relative and one friend who are undergoing chemo treatments.  They both have wonderful outlooks and are positive that they will get better.  I know they have rough days and times of intense pain and discomfort, but they also have many great and fun days too.  Love to both of them.  They inspire me so very much.

On Good Morning America this morning, they had their annual Breakfast in Bed tribute to two mothers.  One is a NICU nurse and the other works for the show and had daughters who this nurse took care of.  My applause for this nurse and others like her who take care of our smallest babies.  The story of both women was very well done and showed they are friends.

I couldn’t help but think of when Ian was in the NICU the first four days of his life.  He wasn’t a preemie but had to be there for breathing issues and problems with sucking.  He was treated well and the staff was wonderful with him.  It was such a blessing to bring him home.

And, finally I recently heard an amazing quote on the news from someone who was terminally ill.  It is very inspiring and brought me to tears.  It said that each day when this person woke up, she chose to be happy.  Knowing that you don’t have long to live and having that attitude is so amazing to me.  When I am having a rough day, I will try to keep this in mind.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Freedom and being free
  • Waking up each morning and hugging my family
  • A child who is safe
  • Friends and family members who inspire me
  • Love and forgiveness
  • Being able to pray in times of need

I almost forgot to mention.  This photo was taken during our field study to the zoo.  It was a lovely morning and a fun day.

I wonder what new things will inspire me or touch me.  I look forward to finding out.

Five Minute Friday – Friend

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Friday!  For Today’s Five Minute Friday, the word is Friend. This when we write for five minutes on a subject.

On your mark, get set, GO!!!!

At a recent Writing Seminar dinner, the keynote speaker asked us who our favorite imaginary friend is.  This is a great question and certainly lends itself to some great answers.  Many people responded with characters that we all heard about growing up.

I have two answers for this question — the girl in The Secret Garden whose name I still can’t remember, and Willie, the sweet elf in my grandfather’s stories.

As my regular readers know, Willie was always on a quest to find out where rainbows come from.  Inevitably, he’d get into trouble and need his friends to help him.  They were always there for him.

Looking back as an adult on this story that my grandpa created, I think he had some great life lessons to teach us — being real friends, setting and sticking to your goals, being kind to others, and mainly perseverance.

For my real friends, I am fortunate to have quite a few.  Some of them I have known for many, many years.  Even though we don’t see each other much, we often pick up right where we left off.  That is a blessing.  And, I have some newer friends who I have clicked with and am so thankful for them as well.

This photo is of a few years ago of Ian with two of his stuffed friends.  He has quite a collection of them.  And, he, too is making real friends. For that, Kirk and I are very grateful.

Okay. Stop. 5minutefridayIn case you wanted to know, the rules for 5 Minute Friday are:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community…

Here are a few quotes on friendship that I looked up after my time was up:

  • “A friend loveth at all times.” — Proverbs 17:17
  • “A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.” — Douglas Pagels
  • “Only your real friends will tell you when your face is dirty.” — Sicilian Proverb
  • “Friendship isn’t a big thing — it’s a million little things.” — Author Unknown
  • “The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.” — Elbert Hubbard

To read more thoughts on Friend from the Five Minute Friday community, please see http://lisajobaker.com/2014/04/five-minute-friday-friend-2/

Mommy, I Can’t Quit Reading

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIan recently learned to read and loves it. One day while we were in the car, he told me, “Mommy, I just can’t quit reading.”  I said, “That is great Ian.”  He then grinned from ear to ear.

Last year before kindergarten started, he was worried that he wouldn’t learn to read.  “I just can’t do it Mommy,” he said in frustration.  I told him that he would learn and eventually be able to read.  Now, he can and it’s fantastic.

On the first day of school, his teacher said that “by the time the school year is over, your children will be reading.”  On that day I wondered if that could happen.  Today, I am glad to say that it did.

Ian has always liked books and reading.  This picture, from when he was about 3 years old, shows a book that he liked at that time — a Sesame Street book.  And, from his birth to age 5, we had him enrolled in Imagination Library.  Each month a new book came in the mail.  Such a wonderful program. Students graduate out of it at age 5.

We regularly go the library.  When he turned 6 years old, we got him his own card.  So, he can check out 6 books at a time.  He enjoys taking the time to pick them.  Then he comes home, picks one, sits on the couch or lies down on the floor, and pours over them.  He often reads them aloud and asks Kirk or me for help as he needs it.

The fact he can see words everywhere is wonderful, and even better that he can read them and likes it.  I loved hearing, “I can’t quit reading.” I just hope that he will love reading for a long time.  Since books have always been around for him, I think that he will enjoy them for many years to come.

A few quotes about reading:

  • “There is no friend as loyal as a book.” — Ernest Hemingway
  • “If one reads enough books one has a fighting chance. Or better, one’s chances of survival increase with each book one reads.” — Sherman Alexie
  • “Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin, another’s voice, another’s soul.” — Joyce Carol Oates
  • “Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” — Lemony Snicket
  • “Be awesome! Be a book nut!” — Dr. Seuss
  • “Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.” — Louisa May Alcott
  • “I owe everything I am and everything I will ever be to books.” — Gary Paulsen
  • “Reading brings us unknown friends.” — Honoré de Balzac
  • “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” — Stephen King
  • “Knowing you have something good to read before bed is among the most pleasurable of sensations.” — Vladimir Nabokov

I wonder what new books Ian will want to read?  I can’t wait to find out.  Have a great day!

February 24 – Half

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHere is half of a sign at my son’s school.  Do you know what it stands for?  Since today’s photo challenge is Half, I thought this would make for a fun photo.  The answer is at the end of the blog.

These are some expressions or items that came to mind when thinking about half.

Is the glass half empty or half full for you?  For me it is normally half full since I am mostly a positive person.  Not always but usually.  And, if I like the drink in the glass, it’s quickly empty. LOL!

I was half out of my mind with worry.
Regarding being half out of my mind with worry, have you been like that?  I have and it isn’t a good feeling.  Worry doesn’t solve anything except give me an upset stomach or make me want to eat more.  So I am working on that.

“I have half a mind to…” is sometimes said in midst of anger.  This is an expression that I have head primarily in the south.  Someone has half a mind to tell someone off is the end of that, give them a talking to, or let somebody have it.  They may be more bark than bite, but who knows?

“This is my better half” I know several older couples from church and the men often introduce their wives this way.  I think it scores them some points as it’s a sweet thing to say.

The Half-Pipe During the Olympics, snowboarders were doing amazing tricks and stunts on the half-pipe.  Until that and skateboarding, a half-pipe sounded like a pipe cut into two pieces.  These athletes can do amazing things while on that half-pipe.  Hang ten!

Other Half Items I know that I love to eat half an avocado on a salad or a sandwich.  Great flavor and good fats.  YUM.  Or sharing a pizza at a favorite pizza joint.  We each eat half — probably too much but it’s so tasty.  Do you notice a pattern of food?  I do love my foods, that’s for sure.

I wonder what other half items will come to mind?  Should be fun as I will be on the lookout for them.

**This sign is next to a driveway used for the buses to drop off the kids in the morning and pick them up in the afternoon.  The sign states Buses Only.

August 1 – Starts With N / Throwback Thursday

Hi and welcome to August!  The summer is nearly over and I can’t believe it.  It has gone way too fast!

POD_Aug.1_Starts.with.NToday’s photo challenge is Starts With N.  I also thought I’d use this one for Throwback Thursday.

Here is Ian napping on my grandmother’s lap.  He was still a baby and very comfortable with Grams, his great-grandmother.

I love that this picture so clearly shows the circle of life.  An older person cradling a new life.

Ian still enjoys his visits with her.  It is so special that she is still in our lives.

Now that he is nearly 6 years old, there are no more naps.  Sadly, now the only time he takes a nap is if he is sick.

Until I had Ian, I didn’t like naps.  When he was little, I’d nap when he did, or at least try to.  As I have gotten older, I have learned to love them.

I wonder what other N items I’ll see today?  Also, what other Throwback items will I come across?  It will be fun to see.