Sunday, June 28, 2009

Family Ties - Sentimental Sunday No. 17

Family! A la Familia! It’s the greatest. I have so many happy memories of my family. Not that I had a lot of family while growing up. Both of my parents were only children – so I didn’t have any Aunts and Uncles. I did have some wonderful Great Aunts and Uncles though. And through my Auntie Mae Mae, I have my cousin Nona and her kids. During our recent trip to Southern California I got to spend an afternoon with them. Here’s a photo of us:
Blakely, Mikki, John, Nona and Cindy
We also got to visit with our daughter, Kristi and her family. Here are some photos of our day with them:

Andy, Megan & Angela

Richard, Kristi, Megan & Angela

Richard, Kristi & John

We feel thankful and blessed for all of our family memories. For the time we had with those that have already passed, and for the time we still enjoy with those still here. We love you all!

Four Generations - Cindy, Kristi, Megan & Angie

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day - Sentimental Sunday No. 16

Both Richard and Cindy were very blessed with wonderful fathers. John Porter and Jim Mulligan were fantastic men. Strong in character, physically strong, and strong in the amount of love and caring they heaped upon their family.

We both miss our Dad's very much. We miss the contributions they made to our lives and the love they shared with us. We were lucky to have them for the time that we did. We both believe we had the greatest Dad in the world.

Cindy's Dad - Johnny

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you've already heard many stories about Cindy's Dad. So, for this installment of Sentimental Sunday we'll talk about Richard's Dad - Jim.
Richard's Dad - Jim
One of Cindy's favorite memories of Jim was during her first visit to Salem. Jim and Jeane took us on a driving tour of the city. It was springtime and all of the flowers and trees were in full bloom. Jim loved nature and appreciated the simple beauty of a colorful flower. As we drove through the town, admiring peoples gardens, Jim would excitedly exclaim, "Oh, look at the pinks, look at the yellows!" Now of course, after living in Oregon for 13 years, I understand the excitement Jim expressed at seeing the vibrant blossoms after a long dreary winter. He was a really sweet man!

Happy Father's Day to John. Happy Father's Day to Jim. We love you - and we remember.

And, Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there... especially to my handsome husband, Richard. He's a pretty awesome Dad too. I think that Brian and Kristi and John would all argue that THEY have the greatest Dad in the world.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes – Sentimental Sunday No. 15

After we moved to Salem, I began working part time for Family Building Blocks – a child abuse prevention organization and educational program. I had been out of the work force for a few years, and decided I should purchase some new clothes. (Any excuse to go shopping… like I really needed an excuse!)

Richard and J.J. drove me to work in the mornings. On this particular morning I was wearing one of my new outfits. J.J. was 3 years old at the time. I asked Richard and J.J. if I looked nice. Richard said that I did. But, J.J. didn’t say anything. I said, “J.J., does Mommy look pretty – do I look sexy?” He replied, “You not sexy! You a Mommy!”
Around this same time we were watching the movie “Selena”, starring Jennifer Lopez. J.J. was dancing around the living room in time to the music. I asked him if he liked the music. He said yes. I said it’s the music of your people – it’s Tejano music – Mexican music. He stopped dancing and got a very serious look on his face. I said, “Honey, you’re Mexican.” He replied, “No, I not.” I again told him that he was, to which he stomped his foot and exclaimed, “I not a Mexican! I a boy!” Too cute.
To a 3 year old Mommy’s and Boy’s could only be Mommy’s and Boy’s and no additional adjectives were permissible. I miss those adorable little quips from my little man – who has grown up all too quickly!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It's A Proud Proud Day...

Our boy graduated from 8th Grade tonight. Hard to believe. He will be in High School in the fall. He will continue at Salem Academy, where he has been since Kindergarten. It was a little emotional for me. Seeing him, and so many of his friends, standing there so grown up. Accepting their certificates and awards. Where do the years go?

The class chose this scripture to read during the ceremony

John made Honor Roll again - 3.42 G.P.A.

John has been friends with most of these kids since Kindergarten.

It was a really wonderful evening and touching ceremony. Next stop - High School and a Learners Permit. God help us!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Sylvia - Sentimental Sunday #14

Today would have been my Mom’s 87th birthday. Sylvia Maurine was born in Alameda, CA to Maurine and Roland. Unfortunately Grandpa didn’t hang around for many years. He left when my Mom was only 3. From that point it was just Grandma and Mom; but they had each other.

Times were hard – the Depression was in full swing. For a period of time Grandma’s Sister, Mae Mae, and her daughter Nona lived with them. They helped each other get through those days of not having much. Grandma could play the piano, and she played in “saloons” at night to earn extra money. Sometimes Mom would go with her and sing and dance. One of the songs that Mom remembered singing was, “Alice Blue Gown”. (She was five or six at the time.)

Nona, Mom and Auntie Mae - 1980

Mom was a championship “Jitterbugger”. What an awesome dancer she was later in life – I sure wish I could have seen her dance when she was younger. She met Dad when she was 18. They married six months later when she was 19. Dad was in the Navy – the bombing of Pearl Harbor was only three months away.

Mom was a very talented artist. She took up oil painting after Sharon Lee passed away. It was a release for her; a way of working through her grief. She did oil painting, charcoal drawings, and in later life ceramics and porcelains. Unfortunately, when I came along I wasn’t much help in her progress as an artist. I wanted to “help”. One day, after she had spent all day working on the latest project, I decided to “help” when she was in the kitchen making dinner. I repainted the bottom portion of the painting. Needless to say, my help wasn’t appreciated and I don’t think I ever remember my Mom being that mad at me. I do recall that when Mom was painting, I spent a lot of time sitting in the corner being punished. I was handful, I know that.

Paintings by Sylvia
Stan Laurel 1966 ~ Little Miss Blue Jeans 1964

My Mom and I were really close. We spent a lot of time together; had amazing adventures; I was so fortunate that she was willing to be so open and honest with me about life, and love, and her opinions. I feel sad that I ended up hurting her so badly when I married my first husband. She only wanted the best for me, and I was too stubborn to listen to her. In the long run, I was the one that ended up being hurt by my choice, but I hurt her in the progress. Parents usually do know what is best for their kids – but as kids we just refuse to admit it sometimes. Fortunately, my Mom had the opportunity to meet and get to know Richard before she passed. She and my Dad both knew he was a good man, and they were happy that I met him. The night before she died Richard was in the room alone with her. She reached up to him and told him to take good care of me. She had my best interest and well being at heart, even at the end.

It’s hard to believe Mom has been gone for 23 years now. It seems like yesterday we were laughing and carrying on and dancing around the living room together. I’m so proud that she was my Mother. I miss her immensely, but am so grateful for the years we had together.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Last Night

was Ya Ya's! The first Wednesday of each month we get together for fun and festivities! This month we celebrated Laura and Kathy's birthday's... our Gemini Girls.

I made them a fresh strawberry and whipped cream cake. It really turned out fantastic. I've added the recipe to my GumboYaYa blog. (Click HERE for the link.)

We had a "Strawberry Shortcake" birthday party - complete with horns and hats!

There was a lot of laughter - like always - but especially when it came time to blow out the candles on the cake. For some reason, we always get the giggles at this time during each birthday celebration.

Any night with my girls is a fun night. But we all agree - Ya Ya Birthday's are the best!

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