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 – Almost Summer!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday.  I am so happy that it is almost summer.  Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had a wonderful school year for Ian, but we are all ready for the summer. We are fortunate that he is at such a great school.

We don’t have that much planned for the summer and that is nice.  A few trips, plenty of time at home, time to visit with both friends and family, and reading lots of books as part of our library’s summer reading program.

I do want us to go to a few parks, have a picnic or two, have time to swim, enjoy ice cream treats, play games, take walks, go on bike rides, and possibly go to the beach.  We will mainly have a staycation this summer with a few short jaunts to other cities. We are not yet sure of exact plans and we are fine with that.

This photo was taken last May at a baseball game.  Ian brought along his stuffed tiger friend with him. The tiger is wearing the hat we got from ice cream at the ball park.  Perhaps we can attend a game this summer.  That would be a lot of fun.

What are your plans for the summer? Any fun trips or activities?  In addition to that, I also look forward to some days at home with nothing scheduled.  That will be so nice. Since I work at home, I can be flexible and sometimes work in my pajamas or shorts.  What a blessing for the summer.

Today I am thankful for:

  • End of school fun activities
  • School friends
  • Ian’s love of learning
  • Ian’s school, teachers, and staff
  • The PTO at Ian’s school
  • Summer days and nights
  • Slower paced time
  • Lazy days at home
  • Activities when we want to do them
  • Time to rest
  • Walks and time to exercise
  • Homemade cookies
  • Ice cream treats
  • Our library’s summer reading program
  • Cookouts and swimming
  • Long evenings
  • My guys who I love
  • Dinners out with girlfriends
  • Special moments with loved ones
  • Game nights with my parents
  • Visits with cousins and siblings

I wonder what this summer has in store for us?  I cannot wait to find out.  Have a great one!

Happy Birthday Dear Dawn!

Patti.Dawn.HB_5-17-2016Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Dawn. Happy Birthday to you! 

Today is my friend Dawn’s 40-something birthday! She is one of my favorite people. I have many wonderful memories of the two of us.

We met at the beginning of our freshman year in college and have been friends ever since.

You know how you sometimes click immediately with people? We did and have stayed close. Sadly, we don’t see each other as much anymore, but we will keep in regular touch. So that is great.

This photo was taken at Dawn’s wedding at a lovely mountain spot. It was a fun day, a small and intimate wedding, and then a great reception.  It was so fun to be a part of this celebration with her.

We have celebrated a lot over the years — each other’s weddings, weddings of friends, vacations, the births of our children, and so much more. And we have comforted one another during losses and deaths.

In Beaches, one character says of the other, my memory of you is very long. Or something like that. That is how it is with my friend Dawn. My life has been richer for having this dear friend.

Hope you have a great day Dawn and lots of fun with your family and friends.  Only wish that I could be there to celebrate with you.

Perfect Spring Day!

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Tuesday.  This afternoon is the perfect spring day.  I was able to enjoy it during my walk to and from school.

I walked by myself to go pick up Ian and enjoyed the sights and sounds.  On the way back home, I enjoyed listening to him talk about his day.  These moments are so very special.

I took this photo last spring and still think it is lovely.

Our perfect spring day:

  • The sky is a deep blue
  • The sun is out and shining
  • The wind is blowing
  • A slight chill is in the air
  • In the sun, it is warm and toasty
  • In the shade, there is a hint of cool
  • No humidity
  • The wind is blowing
  • The flowers are blooming
  • The trees are budding
  • Birds are chirping
  • Dogs are barking in their excitement of seeing us
  • The grass is growing
  • The mulch is being placed in yards
  • The neighborhood bunnies are hopping around
  • Kids are riding their bicycles
  • Neighbors are walking

I love the spring and life beginning yet again.  It is lovely.  This is one of the benefits of living in a state with four seasons.  I feel so very blessed.

The only thing I don’t like is that my allergies often act up.  So, I regularly take allergy medication and still enjoy our walks.  I hope to continue to do so.

A few quotes on spring:

  • Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”  ~ Robin Williams
  • In Spring, everything is full of promise… The child sporting upon the lawn, and the season, sympathize together, and nature rejoices in her virgin loveliness. ~ Charles Lanman
  • No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. ~ Proverb
  • In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt. ~ Margaret Atwood

May you have a wonderful spring day.

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.

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.

Live Life To The Fullest

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We love to laugh and open our mouths as wide as possible.  LOL!

Hi and Happy Tuesday.  This morning I have several loved ones on my mind.  They are suffering and going through treatments — several for cancer and one for a brain tumor.  I pray for them and try to encourage them, but they are the strong and amazing ones.

So in honor of these loved ones, I decided to share a photo that I saw a few days ago on Facebook.   It is of quotes about living life to the fullest.  I like all of these items and will try to do them more.

From 102.3 in Australia that posted this, here is a wonderful a way to live life to the fullest.

  • Eat the damn chocolate cake.
  • Walk in the rain and splash in the puddles.
  • Ride with the windows down.
  • Dance.
  • Sing.
  • Talk to strangers.
  • Smile at everyone.
  • Hug someone.
  • Go barefoot.
  • Take naps.
  • Make lots of love.
  • Try new things.
  • Spend time with kids.
  • Laugh every chance you get.
  • Help others.
  • Life life to the fullest.  No regrets.  Life is way too short.

Isn’t that a great list?  I sure think so.

I would add the following:

  • Put your toes in the sand.
  • Jump in the ocean waves.
  • Build a sand castle.
  • Savor time with family.
  • Plan time with life-long friends.
  • Take long walks.
  • Spend time on your hobbies.
  • Say I love you.
  • Make time for date nights.
  • Read for pleasure.
  • Enjoy old photographs.
  • Play board games all day.
  • Help your child discover something new.

There are so many more that I could add.  These are just a few of my list of living life to the fullest.  What is on your list?

May we live our lives to the fullest and make the most of each and every day that we are given.

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.

All Is Calm, All Is Bright

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAOne of my favorite Christmas songs is Silent Night. To me, it is the perfect song for Christmas Eve as we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child.

Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin Mother and Child, holy
Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night, holy night, shepherds quake at the sight,
Glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing Alleluia.
Christ the Saviour is born,
Christ the Saviour is born.
Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love’s pure light,
Radiant beams from
Thy holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.
Silent night, holy night, wondrous star, lend thy light;
With the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King.
Christ the Saviour is born,
Christ the Saviour is born.
May you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!