Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Who Wants To Go Back To The 60's? {a repost}

I'm guessing some of you reading this blog weren't ALIVE in the 60's and if you were, you certainly don't want to go back! Oh, but the music!

So humor me as we take a walk down my memory lane! If you think I'm not musically cool (my girls certainly don't - just because I don't know who The White T-Shirts are), allow me to prove you wrong. Some of these may roll over into the 70's because of their lasting musical impact.

Let's get this party started with my FAVORITE group when I was 12.

Herman's Hermits. What a great name for a group! Herman, unfortunately for him, was a contemporary of the next group I'll feature and as a result, was left in the shadows because he never had a goofy tv show. But I for one was a loyal, obsessed fan who made a scrapbook of Herman using all of my Tiger Beat, Teen Idol and 16 magazines. I pored over those articles to find out his favorite foods and pet peeves. (Why don't people refer to pet peeves anymore?) To this day, I can recite his real name, which is Peter Blair Dennis Bernard Noone. Fav song? Hard to pick one but I'll say
Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter.

The Monkees. Here's the group that overshadowed poor Herman so, at the time, I couldn't show any affection. Now I can admit that Davy played a mean tamborine and Daydream Believer (pre-Shrek) was a great song!

Now we enter the strange zone - Paul Revere and the Raiders were one of the first groups I remember that wore costumes. I didn't think it was the least bit strange but looking at them now? Really guys - the tights? This looks like a 60's version of The Nutcracker.
Most memorable song: Action (Oh baby come on, let me take you where the action is). I believe they also debuted Louie Louie. They appeared occasionally on American Bandstand and The Lloyd Thaxton Show. Teenagers everywhere would dance in front of their black and white tvs along with all the cool kids that somehow made it on the show. Think "Hairspray."

Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs also had a costume but only one. Not sure why Sam is dressed up and the Pharaohs aren't. Sing along with me one of their biggest hits:  Wooly Bully.

Bread. This was a chick group for sure. And one of their signature songs, Baby I'm-A Want You, spoke deeply to my heart. But they were a source of a lot of material for my youth group messages in high school because I shared how you could take the lyrics to their songs and change words like "Baby" to "Jesus" and derive deep spiritual meaning. They deserve a mention because of their incredible influence in my musical and spiritual heritage.

The Dave Clark Five
also came from 'across the pond' and you'll remember their hit Glad All Over. I feel sorry for all the groups that were in direct competition with The Beatles - that's why I'm not even going to mention them. The Beatles, I mean.

Ah, The Turtles.
Don't they look So Happy Together lying there in the road?

The Lovin' Spoonful - Do You Believe In Magic? This group had several big hits that play on the oldies stations. Even my girls know them (they were raised on the oldies). Think Summer In The City.

This group, on the other hand...

Come on. You remember them, don't you? The Cowsills? I'm pretty sure that was their real last name. A family group, much like the Partridge Family only, again, without the tv show. Their real mother sang with them - that's her in the white dress. For some reason you don't see a lot of mothers fronting bands any more. Hmmm.
They were more of a one-hit-wonder kind of group. Think Hair. (Give me a head with hair. Long beautiful hair...) I wished my family could form a singing group, except they weren't cool enough.

Gary Lewis and the Playboys. This Diamond Ring! Remember? This is really Jerry Lewis' son - that's him on drums - and he could sing. How about Everybody Loves a Clown? Killer lyrics.

I wore a hole in my Grass Roots album playing Midnight Confessions on my portable stereo with the swing-out speakers. I was 12 years old. What did I have to "cry a million tears" about?

Crosby, Stills & Nash (no Young yet) had that great folk sound that I loved - Teach Your Children and Our House - yet they were edgy enough (which is not a 60's term) to sound a little Woodstock-y: Suite: Judy Blue Eyes or Ohio. The term 'groovy' would fit here.

Before their disco days, the Bee Gees had some great music. My favorite? Lonely Days. Another angst-ridden song that I sang at the top of my pre-adolescent lungs.

And Blood Sweat & Tears - what can I say?
You Made Me So Very Happy!

Creedence Clearwater Revival. I still love those harmonies and easy-to-sing lyrics. Who'll Stop The Rain? or Down On The Corner. I believe they introduced Proud Mary and I Heard It Through The Grapevine.

Dear Sonny and Cher,
I watched your tv show.
I sang The Beat Goes On while swinging my hair.
I loved your go-go boots and your vests with the fur.
I wished I had bell-bottoms like yours.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Phone photos

A glimpse into my world via my phone...

Or, in the case of this first photo, into my neighbor’s world.  I had to do a double-take when Jeff pointed out our neighbor working in his yard.  Fertilizing?  Nope.  Spraying his grass green.

I’ve heard of this but never actually seen it.  It does look much nicer now! But he has to re-do it every time the lawn is mowed.

Next is a dresser we helped get for our kids for the baby’s room.  Because it was from Ikea, it came flat in a couple of very heavy boxes.

But the guys spent the afternoon pouring over many pages of directions and many plastic bags filled with screws and glides and little wooden shims and knobs and... voila!

Now there is somewhere to put all of those cute baby girl items!

This is something I’ve had on a Pinterest board...

It’s called a ‘flexible blossom crown’ or an ‘easy arranger’ and I love it!  It fits over most vases and helps prevent flower flop!  (I wish you could smell those lilies - they are heavenly!)

Everyone who knows my husband knows he loves to find a good deal.  The search is more fun than the purchase.  Recently he found this really nice pair of no-iron slacks.  When he showed them to me I knew they had to be marked down a LOT or he wouldn’t be carrying them around the store.  (I have to beg him to buy an article of clothing for himself if it’s not priced ridiculously low.)

But even I – who know this man’s ability to shop for a bargain – couldn’t believe my eyes.

That’s right – $3.  Slash-reduced from $65.

Now he’ll never get a pair of pants for anything more.  And I’ll look like a spend-thrift if I do.  Darn it.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Links I Liked


Kate Applauded For Not Hiding New Mommy Tummy
"I liked that she didn't look perfect."  
I thought she did!

A Letter to Kate
@A Holy Experience
I’m not sure if anyone ever mentioned it, but there’s this wild law of the universe: a mother’s labor and delivery never ends, and you never stop having to remember to breathe.

And also on Ann’s blog…

What to Do When You May or May Not Be a Control Freak
by Mark Buchanan
These two things – control and self-control – stand at opposite ends of the maturity spectrum.

Premarital Counseling – Now Available at Home Depot
@Antique Mommy
Before we were even married, we embarked upon a home improvement project together and in the process, we discovered everything we needed to know about surviving and sustaining a marriage partnership:  Never do home improvement projects together.
This is Jeff and I.

And here's a look into the wonderful work of a 97 year old man who uses Microsoft Paint on his Windows 95 computer to create some pretty amazing works of art...

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ah, summer

It’s the season for sweet, juicy peaches…


Making jam…

berries haveacupwithme

Reading in the surf…

Okay, that’s not me reading in the surf.  But doesn’t that look appealing?  And summer-y?  Knowing me, I would not be able to concentrate on my book because I'd be watching for a sneaker wave.  So I'll stick with my chair on the carpet.

I have been making jam, eating peaches and reading books.   Scanning photos, fertilizing flowers and playing cards

mocha haveacupwithme
Celebrating a birthday at the beach (birthday mocha above), meeting old friends for coffee and going to outdoor concerts (two so far this month). 

These concerts have been a new outing for two boring, stay-at-home people.  They are on Thursday evenings all summer at a variety of parks and outdoor venues.  The music ranges from rock oldies to flamenco guitar, nu-wave to country (we’ll probably skip those last two because we missed the whole 80's dance scene and country eludes me for the most part).

So far we’ve been to a disco/funk concert that turned out to be an embarrassing display of older, inebriated dance wanna-be’s - we left early.  Our last – and favorite – concert was a soul, rhythm and blues group that was fantastic.  We took a picnic dinner and met our friends at a shady park in Beaverton.  Everyone spread out blankets and coolers and enjoyed Deep Blue Soul Revue playing stuff like Joe Cocker’s ‘The Letter’ and Van Morrison’s ‘Brown Eyed Girl.’  We loved it.  This time alcohol was not a factor and families watched their kids dance happily in the grass alongside some brave adults who may or may not have had any dance skills but had fun anyway.  It was delightful and we look forward to Thursday nights for the rest of the summer.  Yay for getting out and getting down!

I’ve also been going to baby showers, buying baby girl clothes and looking up how long it was between my due dates and my deliveries. 

I’m going to be a grandmother, you know!!

Reading all of this makes it sound like my life is all music and butterflies.  I do have a very challenging but gratifying job working with folks in a third world country that keeps me at my computer or on my phone a LOT.  I don’t share a lot about that here on the blog but I am SO blessed to be doing the work I do with the people I get to partner with. 

God is at work in me.  Right now I’m starting through the book of Jeremiah and it’s been an answer to something I started praying in earnest about a month ago… Lord, help me see my sin the way You see it. 

Do you think Jeremiah is a good book for me to head into if I want that prayer to be answered?  Yes m'am, it is.  I was kind of wondering if I would stop looking forward to my time in the Word in the morning if I went through Jeremiah, what with all the focus on sin and judgment.  But God has surprised me and it has been an amazing look into His heart that breaks for me when I rebel and subject myself to all the horrible consequences of turning away from Him.  As a parent, I completely get that. 

His ways are always for us. 


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Game on

We are game players...
Board games.  Card games.  Action games (think Wii).
My mom gave us those tiny dice because she knew we'd appreciate them and she was right - I just love them!

When our youngest comes home for a visit, the dining room table is covered, frivolous decorative items are shoved aside and the games pile up there for the entire length of her stay.

As you can see, snacks are often consumed while playing.  Last time Lindsey was home, she surprised me by coming upstairs while I was having breakfast in the kitchen (she’s not known for waking early).

Just as I was putting a spoonful of Wheat Chex into my mouth, she rather casually asked, “Do you want to play Yahtzee while you eat breakfast?”

I laughed and said “No I don’t but thanks for asking.”  She was shocked.  Who wouldn’t want to shake an ear-splitting cup full of dice and do addition at 8:00 am?

Happy coincidence:  I just scanned a photo of this precious girl playing Yahtzee at the tender age of 3½:

Jan 95003
How cute is that??  And so telling of things to come.

Amy likes to play games too and is always up for cards or even something long and involved like Settlers of Catan (too long and involved for me).  Lisa, on the other hand, is not a big game lover but she and Ray are good sports and will play Scattergories or Balderdash with us if we beg.
We especially love card games and used to have these card holders for the girls to use when their little hands couldn’t quite hold a fistful of cards.  We still say we need to use the ‘Oreos’ if our hand is too big.

It wouldn't be at all unusual for Jeff and I to have my sweet mother-in-law over for dinner and end up playing cards afterwards.  She taps her nails on the table when she's completed her turn (so of course we do too). And she says things like "I don't have any Kinks" (be sure you say kink not king) or "There's that Jackie I needed!"  Oh, I love that woman.

For those of you who hate to play games (I know you're out there), I'm surprised you've read this far!  Stop now and click over here to view a 3-D panorama of the Great Barrier Reef.

But in case any of you might be looking for some game ideas, here are some of the card games we enjoy playing, with the Amazon description after each.

Five Crowns
  • Easy to learn game for 2-7 players
  • Great family game, kids can compete with adults
  • You'll need luck and skill throughout the game because even in the last hand a worthy opponent can come from behind and win
  • Ideal because it's simple to learn, quick to play, and very entertaining 
  • Similar to ‘Up and Down the River’ but with a little more strategy 
  • For 3-6 players

  • One of the craziest games you’ll ever play because the rules change with every hand
  • 2 to 6 player game

  • Players form sequences on the game board using strategy
  • Kids under 7 can team up with adults
  • For 2 or more players

I’ve also recently learned how to play Canasta but you need six decks of cards and for that reason an automatic card-shuffler is a must-have for this game.  I wonder what it means that I have one on my wish list.  Don’t you have a card shuffler on your wish list?

We’re also learning (re-learning?) how to play Zilch – a dice game that two can play.  Do you remember that one?

But I promise you won't find me playing it at breakfast.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

On my nightstand

Isn't it fun to read in the summer?  I sometimes grab my current book and head downstairs to the basement where the temperature is often MUCH cooler than upstairs and there are big, soft chairs to drape your arms and legs over with your glass of something iced.  Where do you like to read in the summer?

I think you’ll be surprised by this story, as I was.  It is not full of blood and gore or even detailed descriptions of mistreatment or killing.  Running For My Life is heart-warming and written in a simple style that makes it easy to read. This young man is from war-torn southern Sudan.  At six years old he was kidnapped by rebel soldiers and taken to a training camp where he was to be groomed as a child soldier.  The story of how he escapes, grows up in a refugee camp in Kenya and eventually comes to the U.S. is nothing short of miraculous.  You will love the perspective he maintains as God puts a desire in his heart to be an Olympic runner and how he expresses himself very simply but eloquently as he tells his story.  Here’s one excerpt – one of so many I loved - when he is preparing to start his first big NCAA race:

“Outside I put on my game face.  Sunglasses on, stern look of determination on my face, I looked ready to dominate.  Inside, I wore a huge grin.  How could I not smile?  Although this was the biggest race of my life up to this point, I did not run for my life.  I ran that race a long time ago when I took off in the night with my three angels.  We knew the rebel soldiers might open fire at any moment, which made us run even faster.  In the refugee camp, I ran every day, not just to play soccer but to take my mind off of my empty stomach.  Today, I ran for pure, absolute joy… no man ever felt so blessed by God as I did in that moment.”

Side note:  I've heard several people say they have read this aloud as a family and that their kids were mesmerized!  Also, if you haven’t yet seen the movie “God Grew Tired of Us” be sure to check it out at your local library, rent it or view it on Netflix. 

This little book is actually a graduation speech.  What Now? is very short but offers a great perspective on all the decisions we make in life and what influences them.  The author tells about working as a waitress after getting her master’s degree and the lessons she learned as a result.

“It helps if you realize that this part of life when you don’t know what’s coming next is often the part that people look back on with the greatest affection.”  Very true.

This one was a delight.  I have been reading Sophie’s blog for many years and have looked forward to this, her first book, with great anticipation.  A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet is a book about family – written in Sophie’s unique and pretty hilarious style.  I read it with a southern accent in my head.

I’ve just started When Crickets Cry but it comes highly recommended by lots of people who blog and people who read blogs (my current source of book recommendations).  I often don’t agree but I’m on page 18 and pretty much hooked into the story so that’s a good sign!  Here is the publisher’s short description:  A man with a painful past.  A child with a doubtful future.  And a shared journey toward healing for both their hearts.  Lots of people love this author and his praises are sung by several Christian book reviewers – I’ll be sure to let you know what I think!

I know not many leave comments here but I'd love to hear your book recommendations!  And I'll bet others would love to get them too.  Please share!

Monday, July 8, 2013

In the year 2020…

Well, I’m up to 1995 in my family photo scanning (scanning all of our family photo prints into the computer, going back to 1984).  I started this lifelong venture little project in 2006 so I figure at the rate I’m going, I should be done by the year 2020!!  I only hope I can still see the scanner by then.

July 93007
If you have taken all of your family photos with a digital camera, be very very grateful.  Have I already said that?

Amy June 89 009
Oh. My. Goodness.  Was this not just the other day??

Going through all of these pictures, grainy and off-color as they may be, has actually been an incredibly fun thing to do!  It’s an emotional ride, as I’ve told you, but it’s also been delightful to remember so many special times in my girls’ lives.  Of course we didn’t take pictures of the temper-tantrums or the time-outs but those things fade into oblivion and you tend to think things like ‘We must have had the most adorable, sweet little girls in the world!’  Really, they were so darn cute!


I can remember this like it was yesterday!

dressup a
dressup b

Sept 93002
So far, I’ve stopped myself from posting a lot of photos on Facebook because, honestly, I am appalled at my hairstyles down through the years and it wouldn’t be right to embarrass myself or anyone else for our awkward fashion freakiness. 

But I’m not promising anything.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Links I Liked

America the Beautiful: 50 States in 50 Photos
Here’s a great tour of our great country!

You put in a road trip and it shows you all the cool places to stop along the way, mileage, accommodations and even how much gas will cost!

9220247413_f14f241131_zTeacher wears same outfit for 40 years
He accidentally wore the same outfit for the yearbook picture two years in a row and his wife dared him to keep the joke running.  So he did.
(I found this on Ann's blog)

70’s Lite Rock
This made me laugh.  And sing!

And finally, meet the Landfill Harmonic Orchestra... with instruments made from found items at the dump.

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