Flashback Friday – Fall Beauty

fallback1Hi and Happy Friday!  Yesterday was the first day of autumn or fall, my favorite season of the year.  Did you have a good one?  I did, but the weather sure doesn’t feel like fall, at least not yet.

This photo was taken two years ago in North Carolina.  The colors of the leaves was gorgeous.  I don’t know how this year will be since it has been so dry and hot.  We shall see.

Don’t get me wrong I really like the summer and we always have a great time and enjoy the time we have together.  However, fall is when the weather is the best, our routine comes back, and life is very rich with so many great activities.

There are so many things that I like about the fall:

  • Pumpkin Spice lattes
  • The chill in the air
  • Not sweating on our walks home
  • Celebrating my wedding anniversary with my love
  • Celebrating Ian’s birthday
  • Celebrating my parent’s birthdays
  • Celebrating two nephews’ birthdays
  • Celebrating cousins’ birthdays
  • Football games
  • Hot drinks
  • Cozy blankets
  • Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Baking items
  • Campouts and campfires
  • Premieres of favorite shows
  • Amazing smells and scents
  • Lovely reds, brilliant golds and oranges
  • The crunch of leaves
  • Long sleeve shirts and jeans

I wonder what this fall will bring?  I hope it will be cooler weather, fun times with family and friends, and some great food and drinks.  Take care and enjoy!

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Playground Visit

playground.7Hi and Happy Monday.  Last week, Ian had his Christmas party at school.  Afterwards, the kids went outside to play.  It was a lovely day and unseasonably warm. I had fun taking photos of the playground.  Enjoy!

This visit took me back to when I was in school and had time to play on the playground.  Fun and play are so important to children, and to adults as well.  May we remember to play, no matter how old we are. May we have fun during this busy Christmas season!  God Bless.

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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!

 

Throwback Thursday – October 15

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAHi and Happy Thursday.  I cannot believe it has been so long since I have last posted.  We have been super busy with fall break and many activities.  I hope to be able to write again more regularly.

For today, I decided to include a photo of Ian in the driver’s seat of a fire truck.  This was during story time at our library.  The fire department came out and allowed the kids to explore the truck.

Clearly you can see how small Ian was.  His legs barely went over the end of the seat and he loved sitting there.  He was fascinated with the huge steering wheel and all of the gears.

Since then, Ian has grown so much and his legs are very long now.  At least compared to those in the photo.  He is still shorter than I am, but I imagine that will change in a few years.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Memories of a sweet toddler
  • Photos showing Ian’s changes
  • Chai Latte tea
  • Brisk mornings
  • Lovely blue skies
  • Extra long hugs
  • Listening to Ian read a favorite book
  • Camping fun with my parents, husband, and son
  • Birthday celebrations
  • Time with friends and family
  • Hearing “I love you” from Kirk and Ian
  • A new book
  • Bright oranges and reds on the trees
  • Warm socks
  • The colors, smells, and feel of fall

I wonder what amazing things we will be doing on this lovely fall day?  I cannot wait to find out!  Take care and have a great day!

Throwback Thursday – It’s Fall Y’all!

TT.Fall.1Can you believe that yesterday was the first day of fall?  I sure can’t.  The summer season flew by.  I do love fall though and always enjoy this time of year.  Happy Fall Y’all!

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I decided to include a photo of Ian from fall 2011.  He turned 4 years old that year.

He was fascinated with these pine cones.  He was in a corduroy outfit and very curious. He is still curious about life around him and a great reader!

I just love the fall. This is my favorite time of year in Tennessee and North Carolina.  I love the brisk mornings and evenings, the warmer days, and the lovely blue skies. I love that there isn’t the humidity of summer, and even on rainy days, it’s okay since we can be inside and enjoying baking and relaxing.

TT.Fall.2A few things about fall/autumn that I love are:

  • My mom’s pumpkin bread
  • Pumpkin Spice Lattes
  • Pumpkin pie and pumpkin cookies
  • Long-sleeved shirts and sweaters
  • Fuzzy socks
  • Soups and chowder
  • Clear blue skies
  • Cool nights
  • Vibrant orange and red leaves
  • Football games
  • S’mores
  • Being outside without sweating the entire time
  • Shorter days and time inside together
  • Fall premieres of favorite television shows
  • Birthday and anniversary celebrations
  • The smells of apples, cinnamon, maple, and nutmeg
  • Brisk walks and bike rides
  • Soccer games
  • The World Series
  • The fun of a camp fire or bonfire
  • Hayrides and choosing a pumpkin for Halloween

A few quotes about fall/autumn:

  • “Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him.” ~Hal Borland
  • “Just as a painter needs light in order to put the finishing touches to his picture, so I need an inner light, which I feel I never have enough of in the autumn.” ~Leo Tolstoy, to Nikolay Strakhov
  • “Somewhere along the way, I realized that the new year doesn’t begin for me in January. The new and fresh has always come for me in the Fall. Ironically, as leaves are falling like rain, crunching beneath my feet with finality, I am vibrating with the excitement of birth and new beginnings…. My year begins in Autumn.” ~Betsy Cañas Garmon
  • “Autumn mornings: sunshine and crisp air, birds and calmness, year’s end and day’s beginnings.” ~Terri Guillemets

I wonder what this fall holds in store?  I can’t wait to find out.  Have a great one!

September 5 – Sparkle

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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!

Throwback Thursday – Sisters

DSC00400Hi and Happy Thursday.  Today I have included a photo of my sisters taken in 2009 while on vacation.  From left are Beckie (my sis-in-law), me, and my sister Cindy.  We were at Mission Beach in CA and enjoying a lovely sunset with oceans views and breezes.

Cindy, Beckie, and I have fun together.  We enjoy time with just us as well as our spouses, children, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and in-laws.  At the beach, we hang out and have extra time to chat and make so many great memories.  The sister time is always special.

I have other sisters-in-law on my hubby’s side of the family.  He is one of six kids.  I also have cousins who are like sisters.  They were some of my first real friends after my siblings.  I love all of them so very much.

And, I also love my sister friends.  I am blessed to have so many great and amazing women in my life.  I have friends from school, newer friends from Ian’s school, friends from church, from the places I have worked, and others who I have met in a variety of places.  For me, I love having these gals to chat with, cry with, laugh with, and hang out with.

I regularly get together with a group of friends from high school for a girls night out.  We have several gals who almost always come and some who come as they can.  Each time we pick right back up with one another, talk for hours, laugh, commiserate, and have great food and drinks.  I so look forward to those times.  I value these friendships and our time together.

Being in a household of men, I hear about guy stuff a lot.  Between Kirk and Ian, it isn’t too bad, but I do need to chat with other women sometimes.  Nothing like just talking and laughing with girlfriends.  I also want to include my mother, mother-in-law, aunts, cousins, and nieces in these women who are so special to me.  And my grandmothers were also very special.

A few quotes about sisters:

  • “A sister is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.” ~Marion C. Garretty
  • “Help one another, is part of the religion of sisterhood.” ~Louisa May Alcott
  • “A sister smiles when one tells one’s stories — for she knows where the decoration has been added.” ~Chris Montaigne
  • “How do people make it through life without a sister?” ~Sara Corpening
  • “Sisters are different flowers from the same garden.” ~Author Unknown
  • “In the cookies of life, sisters are the chocolate chips.” ~Author Unknown
  • “A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.” ~Isadora James

There is nothing like an inside joke with a sister, or the laughter about a shared experience, or the tears and hugs as you help with one another’s pain.  Sisters and sister friends are so important and special.

I wonder when I will next see my sisters?  I think it will be soon and I cannot wait!

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?

Summertime!

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERADon’t you just love the summer?  I sure do.  We have been quite busy this month and so I haven’t been able to write as much.  A lot is going on each day, so time for the computer can be a challenge.

I miss the writing, but I am having a lot of fun with long conversations with Ian, having time for work and play, staying up later than we normally do, and having time to relax.

This picture was taken a few years ago of Ian at the beach.  He was playing in Mission Bay and having a great time!

Here are a few thoughts and quotes about the summer.  Enjoy!  I will try to post more regularly very soon.

Summer to me is:

  • Lazy mornings
  • Bare feet in the sand and surf
  • An ice cream treat on a hot day
  • Playing games for hours
  • Reading one book after the other
  • Long walks
  • Lots of laughs and fun times
  • Long conversations with friends and family
  • Heat and humidity in the south
  • Cool weather in Southern California
  • The Beach Boys music and other beachy music
  • Playing with Ian
  • Listening to Ian talk about his favorite Lego build
  • The sun not setting until almost 10 p.m.
  • Swimming at the pool and ocean

A few quotes about summer:

  • “The tans will fade but the memories will last forever.” — Unknown
  • “It’s a cruel season that makes you get ready for bed while it’s light out.” — Bill Watterson
  • “The summer night is like a perfection of thought.” — Wallace Stevens
  • “In summer, the song sings itself.” — William Carlos Williams
  • “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” — Sam Keen
  • “Hey! It’s summer! Be free and happy and danceful and uninhibited and now-y!” — Terri Guillemets
  • “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” — Henry James
  • “Every summer has its own story.” — Unknown
  • “Summer — Hair gets lighter. Skin gets darker. Water gets warmer. Drinks get colder. Music gets louder. Nights get longer. Life gets better.” — Unknown

I wonder what the rest of the summer will bring?  I imagine a lot of fun and a trip to the beach.  Can’t wait!  Have a great one!!!

Happy July 1st!

Nothing says summer like the ocean and the beach!

It is amazing to me that it is already the first day of July!  Our summer is flying by.  We are having a blast and are quite busy, so that is why I haven’t been writing as much.

How is your summer going?  Is it hot and humid where you live?  Or is it cool?  Or wet?  There seem to be many kinds of weather this summer that we don’t normally see.

We have had quite a bit of rain, strong thunderstorms, and lightning. Thankfully no flooding as in some parts of the country.  And no fires.  I realize how blessed we really are for that.  My prayers go out to all of those who have suffered losses.

The air is often very humid in the summer where I live.  So it feels sticky anytime that you go outside.  After living in the same state throughout my entire life, you’d think I was used to that.  But, I am not.

We have had a recent break in that humidity and it has been so nice.  On a recent lunch out, we had a pleasant meal on the deck of the restaurant.  There was even a nice breeze.

That is how the weather is in the summer at Mission Beach, CA.  The above picture is of the ocean there.  I just love that beach and the Pacific Ocean!  It is a place I love to visit.  Thankfully we are going there this summer and I am so looking forward to it!

Nothing says summer to me like a trip to the beach!  How about you?

Some of my favorite things at the beach we visit are:

  • The blue of the ocean
  • The ocean breeze
  • The beach house
  • The front porch with table and benches
  • The feel of the sand in my toes
  • The majesty of the ocean
  • The movement of the waves
  • The boardwalk
  • The sea wall where we watch sunsets
  • The fish taco shop
  • The fun with friends and family
  • The bead store where lovely creations are made
  • The trips to Trader Joes
  • The long walks
  • The pier and nearby restaurants
  • The hope of seeing a green flash as the sun sets
  • The many memories

I wonder if the rest of our summer will be as much fun as the first half was?  I think that it will be.  I am certainly looking forward to it.