Saturday, September 28, 2013

Montana and Mom, Dad and Fritz...I Love You and Thanks!

Jeff and I just returned from a wonderful vacation in Montana where my parents spoiled us rotten. :)  It was so good to spend time with them, my brother and some of our hanai family.  Waking up to the view of the lake each morning can't be beat.  We did not make it to Glacier Park due to the weather but did manage to squeeze in lots of other things.  Jeff and I look forward to our time at the lake so much and are never disappointed...there is something so healing about being there and being surrounded by such beauty and enveloped in love by our family.  Thank you Mom, Dad and Fritz for everything...we love you all so much!

Sunrise on our way over.

Jeff relaxing on the boat.

Geese out swimming.

My amazing mother all bundled up on our way up the lake.

The water was so calm and clear.

Mom, enjoying the sun.

I love the granite face on this outcropping.

The park where we stopped for a bathroom break.

I loved the reflection in the water.

The cloud formations are so beautiful!

Geese in the shore of one of the small islands in the lake.

Low laying clouds on a rainy day.

A close up of the old tree where the bald eagles like to sit and watch for fish.

Kayaks waiting to be taken out.  Unfortunately the weather did not allow for us to go kayaking this time.

View from the porch.  I will never get tired of the beauty of this place.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Bradley Meets Bears and Goes to the Fair

Bradley came to spend the afternoon with us and decided that his little tractor belonged in the house where he had more room to ride it than just on the porch.  How could we say no? 

I mean, just look at this cutie!

Bradley does an awesome chipmonk impression when he stuffs his cheeks full of cheese. :)

Just some of his toys here at Grammie and G-pa's house.  There are more in other rooms, outside and in the garage.  I would say he and Isaiah are not lacking for toys to play with here.  Bradley did help me clean up the Legos so we could head out on our adventure.

We stopped at the pet store to see the animals there, bought a football to play with and picked up some medication for Grammie and then went to see the bears!

Washington State University does research on bears.  They allow the public to come and see them.  Bradley kept saying "Hi Bear" to this guy who was out foraging for food.

It was a hot day and this bear decided to cool off in a big trough of water.  Bradley was fascinated with the bear who kept rolling around.

The bear kept playing with a pylon and eventually used it to splash all of us!  He looked pretty pleased with himself after that.  I could swear that I saw him smirking! ;)

He then headed out, soaking wet and cooled down, to do some foraging himself.

We met Chris and Heather for dinner and Bradley was very happy to see his little brother Isaiah.

Grammie just loves this little guy to bits and can't wait until he can come to play too!

Bradley is one very smart guy!  He managed to convince his Uncle Jaysn to carry him on his shoulders around the fair grounds.  He had a great view from up there and it sure beat the view from the stroller that Grammie had him corralled in. ;)  By the end of the evening Bradley was one very tired little guy. :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Our Grandparents Would Be Proud

I have been doing the family genealogy and lately have been focusing on my mother's side of the family.  It seems to be much easier to get information on her side than it is on my father's side of the family.  Yesterday I decided to take a closer look at what my generation has been up to and where we all are in life.  I have cousins that I have never met in person but, thanks to Facebook and the internet, I was able to track most of them down.

My mother's parents divorced when she was a child.  The divorce was hard on everyone.  Up until that time, my mother had only her brother David as a sibling.  My grandparents both remarried wonderful, loving people and my mother gained three new sisters and three new brothers.  I never thought of my step-grandparents as any different than I did my blood related grandparents.  To me they were just Grandpa Mark and Grambunny, two people who loved us all and we them.  After my grandmother passed away, my grandpa Mark (father of the sisters), again remarried another very kind, caring and generous woman who had 3 sons of her own.  As you can see, we now are dealing with a really large family!  My focus, for this bit of writing will just be on the first and second marriages for my grandparents and the grandchildren that they were blessed with.  My Grandpa Mark's third marriage took place after I was an adult and I am so thankful that he was able to spend the remainder of his life with Grandma Hazel who loved all of us kids as her own also.

All four of my grandparents on my Mom's side would be so proud to see the legacy that they have left in their grandchildren.  In the group of us we have 2 published authors specializing in food, a very successful restaurateur /chef  and James Beard Award Winner who owns several restaurants and is still expanding, 3 musicians, a minister, an economist, a marketing director of one of the largest computer software companies in the world, a computer software developer, a teacher, and IT specialist for a major door and window company and another IT specialist who travels around the world trouble shooting for different government and private companies, a scholar who disproved a very popular and long accepted economic theory, and an international model who also is an amazing photographer.  There are some that are still in high school and their greatness is still yet to be revealed  and  I am still trying to track down a few more. :)

Our grandparents gave us the gifts of love, laughter, music, good food, a thirst for knowledge, gardens that inspire beauty, wanting to learn about different cultures, ideas and beliefs and to accept and embrace those differences.  I am so thankful that my cousins, siblings and I had these wonderful people in our lives and I cherish the moments that we shared with them.  They have now all passed away and sadly, so have some of their children (my mother's siblings).  I'm sure that if our grandparents could see us all now, they would be proud of each and every one of us who are successful in the paths that we have chosen.  I am also convinced that they would love seeing that some of their great grandchildren, that are now adults themselves,  are finding happiness and success in life and continuing the legacy that they all established.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bullies Come in all Shapes, Sizes and Ages

A very wise young woman, who I am blessed to be related to, posted on Facebook today that she hates bullying and has no respect for bullies.  Well Meg, I am with you on this girl!  Meg is a wonderful teen with a good head on her shoulders. I wish I could tell Meg that once she is out of the teen years, that she will not have to deal with any stupid bullies ever again, but the sad truth is that bullies come in all shapes, sizes and ages.

We all know that size and shape does not matter when you are a bully.  You can be 4'11, skinny as a rail and still be a huge bully!  Being a bully does not just mean physically pushing someone around, it can also, and more frequently is, saying or doing something hurtful to someone and trying to make them feel bad.  It can be directly to their face or it can be sneaky, like spreading lies and rumors about someone.  

One would think that as people grow up and reach adulthood, that they would become mature and caring people.  Again, sadly, this is not always the case.  There are adults in this world, of all ages, who still go out of their way to hurt others.  They tell children that they are stupid, they tell teens they will never amount to anything, they call their daughters and sons horrible names.  They will berate someone for making an honest mistake.  These people will lie about and blame others for things they have done.  They will spread rumors in the workplace trying to discredit a co-worker.  They will turn on their "friends" and have the pack mentality.  They enjoy gossip and want to see people fail.

Why do they do this?  It has been my experience that bullies are very insecure people who are unhappy with themselves and their lives.  They are terrified of anyone who can see them for who they really are so they lash out trying to make themselves feel "bigger" and superior to others.  They love the attention that their bullying brings and for a few minutes they feel like they are on the top of the world but that feeling quickly fades as they realize that deep down inside, there is a big empty hole in their gut, an anger they can't explain and the terror of someone seeing just how scared they really are. Bullies are mean and we have every right to get angry with them, but we also should pity them.  They lead a miserable existence and have to face themselves in the mirror every day knowing the ugly truth about who they really are.