Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dem Bones #TBTStories

I am joining with Jessica, at themomcreative.com today, for her inaugural Throwback Thursday Stories link-up. Her idea is to go beyond the 'old' photos, and share the stories behind the pictures. If you have read my blog, you know that I love sharing vintage photos, and this is a perfect opportunity to share and record the stories, the feelings, and the memories those photos invoke. Thanks to Jessica for her great idea, and I hope to be a regular participant. I'm guessing that I will be a little lot more 'experienced' than most of the other bloggers, but I think (hope) there is value in community no matter our age or season of life. (Besides, I always enjoy hanging out with the cool, young moms.)

Speaking of 'experienced', I remember my dear mother-in-law loving to tell the story of one of the grandkids telling her that she wasn't old, she was 'expewienced'.

Be sure to click on the button to visit Jessica and the other #TBTStories bloggers. Better yet, join in the storytelling! It's sure to be lots of fun.
Throwback Thursday Stories
I'm sharing an Easter photo of our five, circa 1995. That means they were 12, 10. 9, 7. and 4. The story behind the photo is that if you look closely, you can see two broken arms. (David and Adam, on the right side of the picture.) And there's more.
There were actually three broken arms that occurred at our house in an eight day span. Our niece, Caroline, spent a lot of time at our house back in the day, and she got things started. The kids were at the house, and I left Jim in charge while I went to a meeting or a grocery run or an errand of some sort. When I returned to the house, there was an emergency room discharge paper on the counter.

That's never good.

Turns out Caroline had fallen jumped out of the swing and broken her arm. (As an experienced mom, I have learned that sometimes the full story doesn't come out until much, much later.)
Five days later, David had a friend over, and the boys were playing basketball in the driveway. There was a flagrant foul which resulted in a bad break just below the elbow (or was it just above?). I should add that the foul was not inflicted by the visitor, but by a family member. Oh, brothers.

After an x-ray, our beloved Dr. Hansen sent us on to Cincinnati where we spent the night at the hospital for a late night surgery to put two pins in his arm. My mom went along to the hospital, while Jim stayed home with the other kids.

Three days after that, Adam was pushed, tripped, thrown off the footstool. I knew the arm was broken, and I couldn't. even. do it.

There were tears. His. And mine.

And I sent Jim with him to the ER. Because I couldn't. How could three kids break arms at our house? In eight days? Oh, brothers, and swings, and cousins, and fouls, and tripping, and kids. will. be. kids.
Annnnddd….a week later, we left for spring break at the beach. With two broken arms. I wanted to tell people we had been in a car accident.
Unfortunately, those weren't the only broken arms in the family. I could do an entire broken arm post, starting with my own broken arm from a first grade game of Duck, Duck, Goose. I can even show you my cast. (And the kids' casts, too, of course.)

Thankfully, kids' bones heal quickly, and moms learn that, much as we would like to, we can't clothe them in bubble wrap. But we would if we could. That's just how we roll. (Maybe if we were better at rolling, we wouldn't break so many bones!) Lol.

Have a great #TBTStories day!

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Green Friday

In honor of the Masters Golf Tournament, I thought I would do a little 'green Friday' post. My dad is a golfer. He learned to play golf back in his hometown of Fairfield, Connecticut. He earned a little money by caddying for players at the local golf club.

When he went off to college in far-off Indiana, (and by the way, he selected Hanover College from a catalog, and never visited the campus before arriving, bag and baggage, for the first day of class), he played on the golf team. He is there, in the photo, second from right in the front.
I would also add, that he fell in love with the midwest, and my mom, and never went back east. :)

Golf has always been part of his life. He has played golf with friends, family, and strangers acquaintences over the years. At this very moment, he is walking the turf of Augusta National, watching The Masters in person. 

Our family has a little tournament of our own each year, started by my Uncle Bill, and now held in his memory. They divide into teams and it's game on. I think it's fun?!

Here are the teams from a few years ago when the Rusco Cup was played on Mackinac Island.
Adam, Jim, Ted, and Evan...
vs. Andrew, Boomie, David, and Jonathan. With secret weapon Matthew, too.
Andrew gives Matthew a few pointers about golf course etiquette. :)
The Stewart Boys.
Three generations of golfers. My brother, Ted, his son, Evan, and my dad.

My dad and some combination of our boys have played several times in the Pregnancy Care Center outing. Here are Jim, Dad, David, and Jonathan in 2008.
I don't play golf, but I do know that it is a great way to spend time together. On a nice day, a walk around a beautiful course is just the ticket for relaxing. No stress at all. Lol.

It's also such a nice way for multi-generational groups to enjoy the chance to share in a mutual love of the game. I know I am thankful that my boys have had the opportunity to play golf with my dad.
I'm guessing his influence even had a little bit to do with these guys deciding to play 100 holes in one day. God bless those crazy, lovable golfers.

Have a GREEN Friday!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring for the Hodgepodge

Today is Wednesday, and that means it's time for the Hodgepodge. I have been hit or miss on my participation lately with trips and projects going on, so I'm glad to be here today. Thanks to Joyce, our hostess, for being faithful in planning this little party. She will be taking a well-deserved spring break next week, but she's participating in the April A-Z challenge (she's an overachiever, that Joyce!) so you can stop by and pay her a visit any day this month.
Here are her questions and my answers:
1. April showers bring May flowers, or so the saying goes. When did you last 'shower' attention on someone or have attention 'showered' on you? Did you love it, or did all that attention make you squirm?

Showering someone means a bridal or baby shower to me. The last time I showered someone in that way was the Texas themed bridal shower we had for my niece, Caroline, last fall.
It was these same ladies, and Caroline's mom, that went cruising together with Sandi Patti. Talk about being showered with attention! A cruise ship is definitely a place where you feel pampered and waited on. After our first lunch with Ryan, he was at our service every time we visited the Lido pool.
We had our own personal butler for our day on Half Moon Cay.
Amin attended to our every need, and even showed off his napkin folding skills by making some pretty flowers for us.
And every night, our cabin stewards left a sweet little towel sculpture to bid us good night. This kind of attention was a treat. 
I will say, though, that there are times when attention focused on me alone does make me squirm. I'm fine with remaining anonymous.

2. Share a favorite 'spring break' memory. Not talking about just the 'college spring break' thing, but any favorite spring break memory you'd like to share. Keep it family friendly please!

I have many memories of childhood spring breaks in sunny Florida with my family and friends. We always drove, of course, in the Ford station wagon that was roughly the size of a barge. You would think that would allow three kids plenty of room to spread out, but we had lots of times where we drew lines between us and complained that someone was 'looking at us' as we drove south. We stopped at Stuckey's along the way, and wondered about the fabulous attractions promoted on billboards all. the. way. We joked about Ruby Falls, and wondered if anyone caught poor Ruby on her fall. I don't think we ever stopped to 'See Rock City', but we did stop at Gatorland one time. Overrated. And kind of icky.

We always drove all night to get there, and this is a favorite classic photo taken at the welcome station at the Florida state line.
My poor mother had endured 12 hours of 8 year old boys saying 'pig yuck' and laughing hysterically, as only 8 year old boys can do. My cousin was along on this trip, and he and my youngest brother were quite a pair. 'Pig yuck!' I still don't know what's so funny about it, but they got going and could. not. stop. All night long. We joke that the photo looks a bit like something out of 'The Twilight Zone.' 

I remember staying at the Seaspray in West Palm Beach, where we were fascinated by the elevator, and had an Easter egg hunt on the pool deck and a scavenger hunt on the beach. We went with a few other families, which was fun.

For several years, we stayed at Wits End Motel on Madeira Beach. It was a small motel, with 'kitchenette' units, and advertised a heated pool and shuffleboard. (Remember shuffleboard?) The best part was that it was right on the beach, small, safe, and clean. My grandparents came with us sometimes, and even my Granny came along once. I found a picture of this postcard online. As you might imagine, this little motel is long gone, and something bigger and fancier occupies this prime stretch of beach.
Here we are in the pool. We didn't know so much about sun damage back then, and it was pretty common to get a sunburn during the first few days in Florida. We heard that vinegar could relieve the sting, and the kids in the group all doused ourselves in vinegar before bed one evening. I don't remember the relief, but I do remember the smell!
 My mom and me by the pool.
 We always attended church on Easter, many times a sunrise service.
One year, the trip included Disney World. If you look closely, my youngest brother has a cast on his arm. This was thanks to a scuffle between brothers the night before we left. We actually waited in the car, all packed, while he got his cast on before hitting the road.
We had lots of fun on those road trips, enjoying the scenery, stuck in traffic, and trying to hold it until the next pit stop. I appreciate our parents taking us on trips, including friends and grandparents, and making special memories.

3. It's National Pecan Month...are you a fan? If so, what's your favorite dish that calls for pecans?

Pecan pie! Many years ago, I was given a couple of special pie recipes by a talented home-town pie baker, and this is one of them. It's one of our favorites.

4.  'Put all your eggs in one basket', 'egg on your face', 'rotten egg', 'walk on eggshells', or 'a good egg'...which egg-spression could most recently be applied to your own life?

Well, it wasn't really my fault, but I did feel a bit like 'egg on my face' when my credit card was declined while we were on vacation. So embarrassing! Turns out, someone had acquired our credit card number (again) and the credit card company had shut it off due to the suspicious charges. Thankful that they keep close tabs, irritated that it happened yet again (this is probably the 5th or 6th time), and inconvenienced because I'm left without a credit card until the new one is processed and received. So annoying.

5.  In my experience____I have learned that you can't sweat the small stuff. And it's all small stuff.

6. What's a  favorite song with the word rain in its title or lyrics?


My Favorite Things.
The Sound of Music is one of my favorites, and this song was the first one I thought of when I read the question. I like my answer because so many 'songs about rain' are sad ones, and this one is definitely not sad. It's a great scene in the movie, and I love the fun and happiness shared by Maria and the children as she sings about her favorite things. 
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...

7. What does the word hope mean to you?



8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I am a little late getting my post up because I'm sharing my morning with these three cuties. My two granddaughters and my great-niece are having fun together playing doll house and princesses, giving treats to Gumbo, and singing songs. And I think that's a great reason to postpone blogging for a few minutes. :)
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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Happy Birthday 2 2 You!

We celebrated the birthday of Adam's girlfriend, Courtney, over the weekend. Courtney is a teacher, and she was fortunate that her birthday happened during spring break, so she enjoyed an extended celebration. As it should be. :) Courtney and Adam invited a fun group of friends to join them at the lake for the weekend birthday party. They also invited Jim and me. :)

Darci made her these colorful and delicious cookies. Yum!
Her friend Chellsey brought her a cute and clever bouquet.
We had cake and candles too. The big 2-2! Haha.
Chellsey, Megan, Shylah, Mackey, David, Austin.
Emily, Courtney, and Adam.

Kyle arrived a little later, and joined them downstairs for a group photo.
It has been raining so much that the lake was soooo high, and quite muddy. It looks green in the picture when the sun was shining. The water was so high that it completely covered our neighbors' dock across the cove. Hope they didn't have any furniture down there!
I also saw (and heard!) this bird, which I couldn't immediately identify. I watched it dive under the water and stay down for around 45 seconds. I wondered if it was a loon, because of it's unusual call, so I looked it up and I am fairly certain that it is, indeed, a loon. I haven't seen them at the lake before, and I learned that they are probably just stopping off on their northward migration. They can dive 200 feet, and stay under for as long as 90 seconds. Pretty cool.
We went to Nashville for lunch at our favorite, Big Woods Brewery.
Everyone enjoyed their brew and their pulled pork nachos. Delicious!
When we arrived back at the lake, the sun was shining, and there was talk by a few crazy brave souls about taking a plunge into the frigid lake. Jim and Kyle even did a little sunbathing while they contemplated the idea.
When we had four crazies on deck and ready for the plunge, Shylah got her phone ready for video documentation.
Jim (?!), Courtney, Kyle, and Chellsey were ready for the (self-imposed) challenge.
Here they go...
3…..  2….. 1….. GO!

Here's the video. Thanks to Shylah for sharing!
video

Here they are after their successful polar plunge!

On Saturday night, Courtney had an awesome video trivia game that she had made for us. Teams were set, and we were ready to exercise our brains as we attempted to answer the questions.
 Super Duper Trivia!
We didn't see any boats on the lake, but the sunshine gave us an itch for summer to hurry up and get here. It was nice to have the group, and we even managed to get a few sticks picked up and the tables and chairs carried down. Many hands make light work!
Happy 22nd Birthday, Courtney! It was fun to celebrate with you!

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