Archive for the ‘Memories’ Category

Some Pictures!

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

This summer we enjoyed a visit from our friends Sam and Anna who live in Ireland. To my delight, Anna recently emailed me some lovely photos from this visit. Here you see Anna and Sam. I believe this photo was taken in British Columbia somewhere. I must ask Anna for the specifics:

Here is a portrait of some of our family, snapped by Sam:

To the right you see our daughter Sarah and Justin, her then-fiance, but now-husband. Here’s another shot including the two of them. This was on an outing that we all took with Sam and Anna:

Five Favorite Birthday Customs

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

I was truly ready to post this Give Me Five Monday
post ON Monday. Just as I was about to post, however, my internet connection failed! Grrr! But it’s working now, so I’ll just say, “Better late than never, Right?”

The topic this time was Five Favorite Birthday Memories. Rather than list memories, I’ll list five of our birthday customs.

  • The honored birthday person chooses how the day will be celebrated. Will he/she invite over friends? Have a sleepover? Go to the movies? If at all possible, we try to honor the birthday boy’s or girl’s wishes.
  • For celebrating with the family, the birthday person selects the dinner menu, which the loving mama attempts to create.
  • Of course, cake flavor, or even the selection of some dessert other than cake, is up to the honored birthday person. Some favorites in our home are German Chocolate Cake, Applesauce Cake, Carrot or Spice Cake, Cowboy Coffee Cake, and Plantation Cake (which is a sort of molasses pudding cake).
  • Especially when the children were younger, we would often follow a theme throughout the birthday. For example, one daughter, much to her delight, received all Winnie the Pooh presents for one of her younger birthdays.
  • My girls like to make paper chains, put up crepe paper streamers, and inflate lots of colorful balloons to decorate the dining room and living room.

Becca, of Becca’s Buzz, is the hostess of this meme. On her blog she says:

The ‘Give Me Five’ Monday meme is designed to share fun information with each other in a simple short list! Here’s how it works. Each week, I will put out a random topic from my list of topics and you share 5 answers of your choice on the given topic and link back here! You can add photos, links or stories or just a simple list of your own of 5 things that relate to the topic as it pertains to you and your life experiences. It doesn’t have to be in any order of importance unless otherwise specified.
Sign up for weekly reminder emails @ beccagirl@charter.net

When they were little . . .

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

The daughters shown in this photo are currently 15, 16 and 18. Here you see a long ago fun moment captured for posterity. What they are doing, I’m unsure of. Pretending to be fierce bears? Playing a make-believe game? Hamming it up for Daddy (the photographer)?

Here’s another old photo of the girls, which I decorated on the site Picnik.

My first time on Weekend Whimsies

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

I noticed that my bloggy friend Storyteller is taking part in a fun group called Weekend Whimsies. Today I’m joining in; how about you? Will you play, too? If you do participate, please leave the link to your post over at Kat’s Sunshine and Lemonade blog. She is the hostess for this weekly activity. 🙂

Here are the questions, with my answers:

Spender or saver?    I have learned to be more careful with money, from my husband. Largely due to his influence (and hard work), we have been able to provide well for our large family, including college educations for the children, without going into debt. That being said, however, I enjoy treating my girls to a good coffee. Also, I must exercise the greatest self-control when driving by Barnes and Noble, lest I buy a new book that I could just as well check out from the library!
What is your favorite type of ethnic food? Which dish?
My favorite ethnic food is Mexican, because I grew up in Arizona enjoying a variety of delicious, authentic Mexican dishes. Chile relleno is my favorite dish.
Guest or host?
I am more comfortable being a hostess than a guest. I have the fun of mixing various friends together and seeing them interact. Also, since I enjoy cooking and baking, this sort of “giving” isn’t stressful for me. I love being a guest, too, though, so please invite me over again!
Are you still friends with anyone from high school? Elementary school?
When I was 14 years old, my family moved from Arizona to California. I continued writing to some of my elementary school friends for part of my young adulthood, then stopped, probably due to the lack of continued shared interests. Within the past couple years, though, I’ve gotten back in touch with some great gals from my elementary school years! The same holds true for high school. I lost touch with most of these friends, but have reestablished contact with a few. I was quite shy back then, and only had a couple really good friends. I have found one, but don’t know the married name of my best friend, Marilyn Wen, who moved to California with her family from Taiwan when she was in elementary school.
Have you ever been in the audience for the taping of a TV show? What show would you like to see live?
No; I haven’t. I developed a great dislike for the time-wasting aspect of TV as I was growing up. My parents had the thing on constantly. The only place to do homework was in my bedroom or at the library. We were not allowed to talk, especially to my dad, when the TV was on (which was always). We do have a TV on which to watch DVDs, but have never had TV reception.
Do you save cards and letters from your spouse? What about from friends or old boyfriends?
As I mentioned earlier, I was a shy girl. I didn’t have boyfriends in high school, ‘though I admired the good musicians from a discreet distance. Yes; I have saved all correspondence from my dear husband. Our “getting to know one another” was through letters, as we were introduced by mutual friends, and lived in two different states. Would you believe we mainly discussed theology? ‘Tis true!
What is your favorite fall activity?
My favorite fall activity is one I enjoy the rest of the year as well. I go for walks and enjoy the changing flora, and the wonderful fragrances of Autumn. Next in order of “favorite-ness” would be baking favorite fall dishes such as Pumpkin Yum, gingerbread cookies, and apple crisp.
When you were growing up, did your family eat dinner together or whenever you had time? What do you do with your family now?
My family was uber weird; I don’t talk about it much. My mom cooked sporadically. Our special dinners were prepared by my dad, or we would go over to my Grandma Schmitz’ home (she was widowed) for delicious meals at family get-togethers. I started preparing many meals for the family by the time I was 12.

When our children were younger, I served them a nutritious hot breakfast, lunch and dinner (stay-at-home, home schooling mom). There was usually a nice, homey dessert every day, too, though I would try to keep it healthy by omitting frosting from cakes, using some whole wheat flour in cookies and cakes, and decreasing the sugar a bit.

Now, with me working part-time, and the demanding sport schedules of the children, I pick up a Little Caesar’s pizza for a quick dinner more often than I like to admit. Or we will do “catch-as-catch-can”, eating sandwiches or breakfast for dinner (such as pancakes or waffles). I am trying to do better this year at thinking of a good dinner ahead of time, and serving it by 7pm.
You have just inherited a vacation home. Where do you want it to be?

My favorite vacation home already exists in Inverness, California. It is where my husband spent the summers when he was growing up, and it is where his parents moved after retirement. We go there just about every year. Have I ever mentioned that I love the coziness of the fog rolling in each evening, and then out again in the morning? The beaches there are secluded and pristine (Pt. Reyes National Seashore).

Now it’s YOUR turn (if you choose to play along). Here are the questions without my answers:

Spender or saver?
What is your favorite type of ethnic food? Which dish?
Guest or host?
Are you still friends with anyone from high school? Elementary school?
Have you ever been in the audience for the taping of a TV show? What show would you like to see live?
Do you save cards and letters from your spouse? What about from friends or old boyfriends?
What is your favorite fall activity?
When you were growing up, did your family eat dinner together or whenever you had time? What do you do with your family now?
You have just inherited a vacation home. Where do you want it to be?

Ten on Tuesday – The School Post

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

The writing prompt this week for Ten on Tuesday
is: List ten things you didn’t like about school. At first I thought I would just opt out of the game this week, because I was one of those kids who loved school. I was totally in my element when surrounded by books, school sports, and marching band. I also sincerely believe I was privileged to be the student of some of the most outstanding teachers who ever lived, with only a couple exceptions. I’ll play along, though, and hope that sometime we get to list ten things that we loved about school.

  • I didn’t like the method employed to teach American history when I was a child. The lessons seemed so shallow and repetitive. It seemed to me that year after year I would hear about the same few events over and over and over, ad nauseam: Columbus, the Pilgrim fathers, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, a little bit about the Revolutionary War, and a little bit about the Civil War. Did any of you have a different, more positive experience?
  • I cared too much about getting straight A’s, so wasn’t brave enough to persevere in taking classes in which I was interested if there was a possibility I wouldn’t earn an A. For example, I had difficulty memorizing musical scales, so didn’t continue taking band in high school, though I enjoyed it so much.
  • There was not as much of a focus on preparing students for adult responsibility and life skills as there is today. At least, that was my perception. I felt at a loss to make a good decision about what to do after high school. I did go to an expensive liberal arts college for a while, but dropped out after one semester, guilty that so much money was being spent on behalf of a girl who had no idea what she really wanted to study.

Well, there you have the extent of my list: Three things I didn’t like about school. I’ll come check out the list of other participants, and see what you have to say!

Company’s Comin’!

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

If you’ve been stopping by my blog for a while, you know that our married daughter. Laura, and her husband and children live clear across the country from us in Vermont. Tomorrow, they begin a long road trip to the Pacific Northwest. I am so looking forward to seeing them. I have borrowed the following family portrait from Laura’s blog (Thanks, Laura!), so you can have a look at them:

Now here, for your entertainment, is a photo of our crew taken probably in 1989:

In the back row are my mom, me and Rick holding Kayla. In the front row are Philip, Laura, Michael, and Sarah, standing by our 1964 Ford Falcon station wagon, which has three on the tree, as opposed to four on the floor. 🙂 We are standing in front of our current home, so newly built that it was not yet sided, nor had any concrete been laid for the carport or walkways.

Good News From a Far Country

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

(Ireland is depicted by the green portion, Northern Ireland by the gold above the green.)

Proverbs 25:25, “As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.”

Our good news came in the form of two friends from Northern Ireland who are here to visit friends and family and tour the lovely Canadian Rocky Mountains. Together, we enjoyed good food, good conversation, a wedding reception, and finally a tall ship battle re-enactment which we viewed from Boulevard Park in Bellingham, WA.

Here is a cute shot of our friends:

Here is a shot of all four of us:

You have cheered our hearts
With your presence and your words;
What a precious time!

Ten on Tuesday – When It’s Too Hot!

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

What are ten things to do when it’s too hot to go outside?
This is the prompt given by Yano this week for Ten on Tuesday.

In the 25+ years that we’ve lived in Northwest Washington State, we’ve had some hot days, even a really warm week, but it’s never been too hot to go outside.

For this one, I’ll have to remember back to my childhood in Phoenix, Arizona. Back when I was a child (I know this makes me sound ancient) it was often as hot inside the house as outside, the only relief being that one wasn’t in the direct sun, and possibly a fan would be blowing, but not to much effect. Few private residences had air conditioning. Instead we had evaporative, or “swamp” coolers which didn’t do much to make the house cooler. Here are some of the things we did when it was too hot to go outside:

  • Go shopping at the mall (Ahh! Air conditioning!)
  • Go to a movie (Again, air conditioning.)
  • Play in the shade, preferably with a wash tub of water for a “pool” or the sprinkler spraying.
  • Go swimming at the public pool.
  • Go for a drive with all the car windows open.
  • Go on a picnic to a cooler location. For us, this meant heading north towards Flagstaff.
  • Go play billiards (Air conditioning, and a fun activity).
  • Be as quiet as possible in the house, perhaps reading, playing checkers, or playing cards.
  • Don’t cook. Eat a big salad, or go out to an air-conditioned pizza parlor for dinner.
  • For those of you currently suffering from the heat, consider a vacation to the Pacific Northwest. You must especially see the Washington, Oregon, and Northern California coasts. Think of the cooling ocean breezes. It’s truly refreshing!

Long, long ago, in a place far away . . .

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

With all of our thoughts upon the upcoming WEDDING, I’ve been reminiscing about Rick and my wedding, a little over 26 years ago. Of course, that means I would like to share some photos with you.

And, here’s the best photo. Last night, Rebecca tried on my wedding dress, just for fun:

Give Me Five Monday – Fun Childhood Summer Vacation Memories

Monday, July 21st, 2008

The ‘Give Me Five’ Monday meme is designed to share fun information with each other in a simple short list! Here’s how it works. Each week, I will put out a random topic from my list of topics and you share 5 answers of your choice on the given topic and link back here! You can add photos, links or stories or just a simple list of your own of 5 things that relate to the topic as it pertains to you and your life experiences. It doesn’t have to be in any order of importance unless otherwise specified.
Sign up for weekly reminder emails @ beccagirl@charter.net

Becca, of BeccA’s Buzz asks us to list

Five fun summer vacation memories from my childhood:

  • I enjoyed the summer recreation program at the school. That was Apache Elementary School in Scottsdale, Arizona. In the room which did double-duty during the school year as the auditorium and cafeteria, various stations would be set up for such things as board games, four-square, and ping pong (table tennis). I remember walking to the school, and staying there most of the day.
  • We had the most beautiful and large outdoor swimming pools in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area. I recall taking swimming lessons a couple times. I was terrified of swimming for a while, but then learned to love swimming underwater, along the bottom of the pool. It took longer to become brave enough to jump in, and then to learn to dive in. Once again, I sometimes walked to the pool, in the Arizona sun, and would return home quite sunburned. Once the pool was evacuated because of a dust storm. By the time everyone was out of the pool, vehicles had to have their lights on, the brownish-yellow sand and dust was so thick.
  • I enjoyed picnics and camping trips that we would take to Flagstaff, Arizona. Flagstaff is at an altitude of 7,000 feet. The typical summer temperatures there are between 82 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Compare that to Scottsdale’s 106 high and 76 low typical summer temps. I can remember highs of as much as 120! You can imagine what a relief it was to travel from the burning heat to such a temperate climate, travelling with the car windows rolled down.
  • When I was 13, my family moved to Campbell, California. For fun we would go to Sunset Beach, south of Santa Cruz, California, where we would cast sand candles in the damp sand, and go swimming in the ocean with our dog, a Newfoundland/German Shepherd mix. She had webbed paws and LOVED to swim in the surf.
  • I loved doing things with my two best girlfriends during the high school years. We would go on long bicycle rides, go to one another’s homes to hang out, once we went to San Francisco’s Chinatown, and we would play music together (One girlfriend played violin and I played the flute.).
  • Just one more: During the high school years, I enjoyed taking extra electives during the summers. I remember taking a homemaking class that would be considered advanced by today’s school standards. I sewed a tailored shirt that summer, as well as a pleated skirt. I took a typing class another summer. To practice typing, I typed up a thick book of favorite recipes that summer! I still have that old binder and use a few of the recipes.