Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fun Time With Family

We just returned from an overnight trip to my daddy's youngest sister's 90th birthday party. We had an amazing time!! And, I have to add, my aunt looks remarkable for a 90 year old lady and is sharp as a tack. Almost all of her nieces and nephews were there (my cousins) and, of course, her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild. We told stories, laughed, and just generally had a great time together. Thanks to my cousins, her son and daugther, for planning this fun famly event.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day to some special men in my life! The above picture is of my daddy, mother, and me MANY years ago. Even though my daddy has been gone for over 40 years, I still miss him. He was a man of integrity and extremely intelligent. I always thought I could ask him anything I needed to know and he could answer it. I was correct in that most of the time. I never doubted his deep love for "his girl." More girls need that kind of love and acceptance from their fathers today!

The picture below is of my maternal granddaddy whom I called by his given name, Jake. (I never knew my other grandfather who died before I was born.) Jake and I spent hours together and I loved listening to him tell me stories about when he was growing up. Those stories fascinated me and I treasure those memories.

Now, I want to say Happy Father's Day to the three wonderful "fathers" who are in my life today. My husband and our two sons are amazing fathers. It's been a blessing to watch my husband with our boys as they grew up and still today. He spent countless hours with them playing ball of some kind whenever they wanted to either throw the football, pitch the baseball, field grounders, shoot baskets, and then he was always present at whatever school or athletic event they were involved in. As great as he was at teaching them the game of whatever sport was going on or helping with homework, he was even better at teaching them the game of life. He never let their sports activities come before their spiritual life. He taught them priorities and now we get the pleasure of watching our sons teach their own children, our grandchildren, what's most important in their life. What a blessing to see our boys as they parent their children and to see what godly men they've grown to be and what wonderful Christian girls they chose to marry.

Happy Father's Day to our sons and my hubby! I'm extremely blessed by the "fathers" in my life. I love you all!

Friday, June 19, 2009

In the Beginning, There Were Four

A "few" years ago there were just the four of us. Harriett and I first met when we were teaching together right out of college. We began having dinner together as couples and also playing bridge. Harriett and I were pregnant at the same time although she was a few months ahead of me. Their first baby, a boy, was born in September and then our first baby boy was born in February. Both of us stopped teaching to be stay-at-home moms. Bill was in the Navy and my hubby was working as an accountant at St. Regis Paper Company, his first job out of college. Bill got out of the Navy and they moved away, but we've always kept in touch. They had another baby, a girl, and we had another little boy. We visited back and forth through the years and actually sent letters by snail mail. Now, every year, they come down this way for a week at the beach and we get together for lunch or dinner. Yesterday was the day for lunch with them this year. Instead of four people, now our immediate families are made up of 20 of us. They have two married children and four grandchildren and we do, too. They have three granddaughters and one grandson and we do, too. It's always fun to see them and we pick up right where we left off last year. It's great fun to stay connected with old friends through the years. Our means of communication have gone from snail mail and an occasional long distance phone call to email, Facebook, blogs, and cell phones. Many things have changed but not the friendship we've shared over the years.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Summertime at the Farm

Be sure to visit Susan at A Southern Daydreamer as she hosts Outdoor Wednesday every week. You'll be glad you did!

Recently we went up to our "Farm" to mow and spend the day. There's a certain look, sound, and smell to summer at the Farm----the smell of freshly cut grass, the sounds of birds singing coming from all directions, clear blue sky, flowers blooming both wild and planted, fruit growing and ripening on the trees, and the sound of the animals at the barn. It's really something very special to me. Here are some pictures from our latest trip there.
Hydrangeas were blooming all around the yard----

Gardenias are blooming--I love their fragrance!

Wildflowers in the woods nearby--

Not a very good picture but the crepe myrtles are blooming, too.

A little too early--the wild blackberries were just beginning to ripen and the figs on our fig trees will be ripe soon.

The lantanas that we transplanted from our yard at home were just "sticks" a few weeks ago and now they're beginning to bloom---I'd say they're very hardy because no one lives at the Farm to take care of any of the plants.
Sometimes it's difficult to leave that place because it has so many wonderful memories and it's a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of life back in the "real" world. However, we're extremely thankful we have it so we can go spend time there as often as possible.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Not Me! Monday---I Have Willpower!

If you'd like to see what some other people confess to "not doing", go visit My Charming Kids to read some funny posts! In the meantime, I would NEVER carefully try to watch what I eat for lunch, go exercise by walking on the beach in the hot, broiling sun for 30 minutes (which absolutely must count for walking an hour on a regular walking track), and then come home and eat 4 powdered doughnuts!!! Never, not me!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Blueberry Jamboree

Today we decided to go on a short ride out of town to a blueberry festival. Besides the delicious blueberries, much of the fun at these events is getting to see friends, check out the arts and crafts booths, and EAT!! We did a little of all of these things.

As we were leaving, we bought our own blueberry bush to try our hand at growing blueberries in our yard.

Then, on the way home, we stopped at a blueberry farm and picked a few pounds of blueberries. If you do that one time in the heat of the day, you'll understand why blueberries are so expensive in the grocery store. However, it was fun and I can't wait to try some new recipes with the blueberries we picked.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday--The Beach and the Gulfarium

Take a look at A Southern Daydreamer to check out many great blogs on Outdoor Wednesday. Thanks to Susan for sponsoring this every week. I love it! It's fairly obvious from most of my entries that I love anything outdoors. My blog from last weekend is just another indication of how much I really enjoy the outdoors. Here are a few more pictures of our outdoor activities this week. One of our daughters-in-law and two of our grandchildren were here and we've been to the beach, the pool, and to the Gulfarium. FUN!

Here's our grandson climbing up the giant water slide at the beach.

Our granddaughter riding the waves at the beach---

Both of them playing in the gulf--

Sno Cones after leaving the beach---guess what color David had! In addition to seeing it in the cup, you can also see it on his NEW shirt. And, if you look closely, you can see it on his face as well. I believe he enjoyed it!

Up close and personal with the dolphins--

Saturday, June 06, 2009

A New Bike Trail

Today we decided to try out a new bike trail we had seen earlier. We are SO glad we did. It was wonderful. One of the trailheads was through huge trees with Spanish moss hanging from them and those trees provided nice shade. Wildlife abounds here but most stayed hidden from us. However, we did see and hear lots of birds and we saw lovely flowers. Here are some more pictures from our ride.

We soon discovered they are NOT kidding when they put this sign out! This alligator just cruised right on up toward where we were standing. He definitely didn't stay hidden!!

Here's a small lake off the trailhead. We could see a turtle with his head sticking up and other evidence of life in the water but didn't see a gator here. We loved this bike route and hope to go again soon.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Five Flags, a Tall Ship, and a Rainbow

The arrival of the world's third largest "tall ship" to our city has sparked a lots of fun and celebration. The "Juan Sebastian de Elcano" has come as part of the Fiesta of Five Flags. Spanish explorers arrived in Pensacola in 1559 to establish the country’s first major European settlement. The Elcano visit will represent this journey and honor the community’s Spanish heritage. The tall ship first visited Pensacola in 1959 during Pensacola’s 400th anniversary. We went downtown today to see the ship and just to enjoy the view. After looking at the line to actually get onto the ship, we decided to enjoy it from afar.

While there we just walked around and enjoyed the wind, the sun, and the people.

After leaving this area, we decided to eat at a restaurant overlooking the water.

We got the added benefit of a beautiful rainbow while we were there.

A perfect ending to a perfect day!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

It Takes a Church..........

Susan at A Southern aydreamer hosts Outdoor Wednesday every week so go on over to her blog to see more pictures of Outdoor Wednesday. My entry this week into Outdoor Wednesday is a very different one but one I'd like to share with you. I hope you enjoy seeing the pictures of everyone, especially the children, having a great time OUTDOORS. In the last few years, my husband and I have hosted an annual cookout in our backyard for the families in our church who have young children (along with some of the teens as well because many of the young children have older siblings). We rent an inflatable water slide and also have a baby pool, a sprinkler, a swing, a slip 'n' slide, riding toys, and a small slide which goes into a little pool for the pre-schoolers. Sunday afternoon was the day for the cookout this year. I think you can tell by looking at the pictures that we have lots of families with young children at our church (the best count we could get was 90+ people at the party). Because we remember what these types of outings meant to our own children in their formative years, hopefully we can do our part in giving these children pleasant memories of fun experiences with their church family. I truly believe it's vital that we all work together to assure that these children learn that being a Christian is a good thing and involves much more than a couple of hours on Sunday. Here are some pictures of our OUTDOOR WEDNESDAY (that happened on Sunday).

And, the following picture probably depicts how we all felt at the end of the party. I'll bet it didn't take long for the children to go to sleep that night!