Category Archives: FAMILY

Weekend Recap 8-26-2013

Happy Monday!    Hope you all had a great two days off. I’m  still trying to find what happened to August.   Here’s a bit about me the last few days…

****BFF BBQ****

This weekend some of my high school BFFs and their hub’s came over for a BBQ.  We’ve been friends for 40 years.  There’s been gaps in time over the years, but we always just pick right where we left off up every time we see each other.  And bonus! The hubby’s get along too.

names 

This picture is several years old but it’s one of my favorites.  It’s from our 3 day trip to the beach.  Michele and Patty couldn’t make it Saturday, but next time I’m hoping they will. 

**FIREPLACE ART?  NOT!**

Hubby was upstairs and I was vacuuming the  family room when I saw this on the fireplace.

spider

Dislike is a kind word when I really want to say I hate spiders!  Especially big fat ugly ones.  I screamed for hubby, he came running, and then like any loving husband, he saved my life.  I heart hubby!

****PRANK ME****

Do you remember me sharing with you how the hubs and I prank each other?  Thirty-two years worth to be exact.  This is what I found on Sunday with no explanation of course.  Smile 

stacked glasses

*****MISS HER****

Lastly, in a tone of seriousness and leaving my heart out there for you, last Thursday, August 23, was 7 years since my mom passed away.  I always talk about my Dad., but not so much my mom  Dad and I  had a bond.  My Mom and I always had our squabbles when I was growing up.  Looking back, she taught me so much about compassion, forgiveness, kindness, thoughtfulness.  She died at age 94 and touched many lives with her wisdom.  I miss her.

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Hopefully I’ll get my but in gear and share some projects with you.

-renee

Fathers Day 2013

Fathers Day Collage

To all you Dad’s, past, present, and soon to be, Happy Fathers Day! What a wonderful gift we receive from you 365 days a year. Whether it’s a good morning smile, hug for support, smile of encouragement, you’re there for us, by phone, skype, text, face to face, or in our hearts.

I’m sharing a post I wrote in 2012 about my Dad.  When I read it again today, I’m comforted by the fact my memories of him  haven’t changed.  In fact, thoughts of him still bring a tear in my eye and a smile on my face.

My father passed away in 1991, 5 weeks before my son was born. I have such wonderful memories of growing up. My parents were older when I was born. I am the youngest of 3 and have 2 older brothers. Dad was the hardest worker I’ve ever known. He was an engineer by day and at night and on weekends he built the house I grew up in. He did everything; wiring, roofing, flooring and plumbing. I think the only thing he hired some help for was the fireplace.

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We grew up on a little 5 acre farm with a large garden, a barn with silos and a huge front yard. It was so big that my dad coached little league baseball on it. We had cherry and apple trees. I picked gooseberries, raspberries, boysenberries and strawberries. I loved it when Dad pulled a carrot from the garden, wiped the dirt off and handed it to me to eat. We baled hay, made hay forts and played hide-n-seek in the dark. We slopped the pigs and fed the chickens.

016 022

As the years rolled by the barn, the animals and the fruit trees went away. The one thing that remained constant was the garden. My dad was born in Wisconsin, homesteaded in Montana and married a farmers daughter from Scotland. Growing vegetables was in his blood. His garden was a work of art; the rows were lined up perfectly, there was never any weeds or rocks. In fact, hubby and I said our wedding vows standing in front of the garden.

Dad was an honest soul who found humor in every situation, respected and had the respect of everyone, and was an extremely giving person. He gave his time to the Lions helping with various community projects, coached little league baseball teams, built a Boy’s and Girl’s club. He baked the best pies and he would tell you so too! :-) His love for books passed on to me. We could sit in the den together for hours, both of us reading books, and never say a word to each other. I was and will always be his baby girl.

I remember bringing home stray animals that I found hurt on the side of the road.   I remember one particular day I brought home a cat that wasn’t hurt, only stunned.  I had just seen West Side Story and before I walked through our backed door I’d name the cat Hava.  Dad was irritated with me one minute and the next thing I new he’s tucked Hava into his shirt and was walking out to the garden with her.

An incredible man, a beautiful soul. I will celebrate him in my heart today as I do every day. Happy Fathers day Daddy. I love you.

Sis

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To my own hubby, you are a wonderful father and for the kindness and sharing you showed my father I will always be grateful.  Thank you.

-renee

A Fun Bridal Shower

Happy Friday everyone!  I’m a happy mama!  My son is home from college for a few days and I am lovin his smiling face!

My niece is getting married this weekend.  She’s been planning the wedding for months and I know it will be beautiful.  I was lucky enough to host a family bridal shower for her back in September.  I wanted to share some of it with you today.

The Invitations

I created save-the date bookmarks that I mailed in August.  I made them in 6 different colors, matching to the bridesmaid theme.  I used colored scrapbook paper and added pictures I printed of the bride and groom to make two sided messages.

Save The date

I also made the main invitation using some premade cards from Michaels and scrapbook paper.

Shower Invite

Decorations

Autumn flowers decorated the tables. (please pretend the pumpkin was not there,  The cake was, but I didn’t get a pic that day.  grrrr)

Bridal Shower Collage R1

Food and Drink

Tins of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks were offered.   I spray painted both the tins back to life.  You can read more about the green and white striped tin here.

The Drinks

Flowers and Drinks 1

Flowers and Drinks 2

I purchased 30 glass goblets and 30 glass plates from the Dollar Store and used utensils I had.  I also have been collecting for a while and had a set of 30 mismatched dessert plates.  The menu was simple:

  • turkey, roast beef and ham thinly sliced
  • a variety of cheeses and rolls
  • meatballs
  • pasta salad
  • fruit salad with fruit dip
  • cake, cookies and bowls of candy
  • and the drinks mentioned above

Lots of presents

Presents

First year wish tree

I created a wish tree by spray painting an urn I had, then added some branches I also spray painted.  I had colored paper shapes cut from scrapbook paper, a variety of ribbon and colored pens.  Each person wrote a message for the bride and groom and tied it to the tree.  Ok, twist my arm, I’ll tell you mine.  Teach him to sit when he pees.  It save on toilet seats!  I’m terrible, aren’t I?  But it’s true!

237 urn with messages

Recipe Book

I inserted this message in the shower invitation (along with directions and registration.  I got a pretty cute notebook, added some Martha Stewart tabs, and all 21 brought at least 3 recipes.  Believe, it was awesome, and the bride walked away with some trade secrets and memorable stories.

Invite inside

Games

I dreamed this up one night when I couldn’t sleep.  Do you watch reality shows?  This is a cross between Chopped and Project Runway.  The attendees minus the host (me) and the bride divided into teams of 5.  The Challenge:  Create a wedding veil.  I filled containers with a variety of items; ribbon, scissors, headbands, tape, toilet paper, glitter glue, and honestly, I can’t even remember what else.  I basically shopped my craft room and the Dollar store.  I covered the containers with tissue paper.  Each team drew a number and picked a team captain who chose a container.  I also had some extra stuff which I laid out and it was a frenzy of pushing and grabbing.  I also gave free rein to my craft room.  The teams had about 25 minutes and they had to pick a model.  Everyone loved the game.  The bride had to pick the winner.

Game Boxes and gift bags…

Game Boxes Gifts

The models with their veils and the bride…

The Brides

and the bride modeling the winner…

close up veil 1 Kacee wedding veil

and the cake…yum!

Kacee - cake

What a fun fun day!  Any wedding in your future? 🙂

-renee

I’m Back! + Viva Las Vegas

Hi !!!  I’m back from my “blogging leave of absense”.  Since my last post on July 16, I took My knee is much better with the cortisone shots I needed, and I was able to spend some quality time with friends and family.   My son turned 21 July 14.   He was here from Orlando for a 3 week visit and then we went to Las Vegas to celebrate.  My sweetheart of a brother went with us.  It was five days of pool time, free drinks (and some costly ones), a couple of shows and craziness. Its been at least 4 years since the last time I’d been there.

Before we left hubby, young son,  and I all got the new Samsung Galaxy SIII phones.  Love it, but still learning about all the features and apps.  These smart phones are so smart! HA!  And the cameras in them are incredible.  They have what is called a Burst option which means when you press the button to take the picture it takes 20 consecutive shots.

Before I get too far into this post, I just want to give a  big shot out and thanks to all of you who continued to read my blog even though I was away. You are kind and the blog just kinda self-functioned which was nice.

Today,  I wanted to share some pics with you from our Vegas trip. The first pic is a collage of pictures I put together using Pic Monkey of the fountain outside of the Bellagio.  I used the Burst option that I just mentioned above.

Bilago Fountain Collage

We walked up and down, then up and down, then up and down…..the strip many times.  I was surprisingly okay with the heat which was from 98 to 104 over the 5 days we were there.

2012-07-19 Walking Strip 3

2012-07-19 Walking Strip 4

2012-07-18 17.57.48

2012-07-16 Walking Strip 2

2012-07-16 Walking Strip 1

Inside casino shopping…

2012-07-19 17.08.52-3

2012-07-19 Mall Shopping

We went to Pawns Stars and the Aquarium.

2012-07-17 Pawn Stars 2012-07-17 Aquarium 4

I was burning my scalp so I bought a cute fedora, the one in the middle.  The other two I brought home for my sis-in-law and niece.  The picture on the right is my son and I.  He’s giving the “do I really have to take this picture” look.

2012-07-20 Fedoras 2012-07-19 Reid - Renee gangsta

Inside Caesars Palace.  Left to right: my hubby, son and brother.  Pic on right…me and the C man!

2012-07-19 Boys - Caesars 2012-07-19 Renee - Caesar

Where else can you gamble while waiting for your airplane?

2012-07-20 Airport Slots

Hope you enjoyed the pics.  Have you ever been to Vegas?

I’ll be back later this week with some “Box Love”.  In the mean time, happy last day of July!  Can you believe it?

-renee

My 2012 Word – CELEBRATE

Layla over at The Lettered Cottage is having a 2012 word of the year link party.  I’m thinking this is fate she’s having the party today, on January 16.  Because today my Daddy is 102 years old.  Although he’s not here with me I know there’s a big party happening in Heaven right now.  Fittingly, my word for 2012 is CELEBRATE. 

Balloons-1

My Dad passed away in June, 1991 at the age of 81.  He died while having open heart surgery.  My son was born in July the same year.  I was so angry at him for leaving before baby boy was born and then something happened.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  Baby was blessed at 5 weeks and I put a picture in a key chain for my mom.  Several weeks later my mom came to the house upset because the picture had fallen out of the plastic casing.  Simple fix, I put a new pic in.  That weekend it rained cats and dogs.  My mom went to the cemetery on Monday, like she did most every day.  I hadn’t been.  I couldn’t, I was so mad.  So, my dad’s grave is open to the sky.  It didn’t have a headstone yet as it was still on order and the grass had not grown back.  But there, on the patchy grass, laying face down, was the picture my mom lost.  It was perfect, not damaged by any of the stormy weekend weather.  Mom showed up at my door in tears.  That night I watched Ghost and I cried and cried.  I fell asleep and then my Dad came to me and told me It will be okay sis.  Celebrate.  I have a grandson.  You can be sure the very next day I went to the cemetery and saw my Dad.

We I get going so fast sometimes, worried that everything has to happen immediately.  Go Go Go!  Well, this year, 2012, I intend to slow down and celebrate. 

Celebrate

  • waking up every morning
  • a husband of almost 31 years
  • a son who is awesome and kind hearted
  • 2 brothers
  • sis-in-laws who are my sisters
  • nieces and nephews
  • my health, my hubby’s health, my son’s health
  • a roof over my head
  • laughter, especially laughing at myself
  • humility
  • sadness
  • the anticipation
  • birthdays
  • giving time to others
  • being  a good set of ears
  • sacrifice
  • hard work
  • a blooming flower
  • green grass
  • a baby’s smile
  • freedom

I forgot too soon that’s how my Dad carried himself for 81 years; celebrating successes, learning from failure, respecting all people, all religions, giving to others, laughing, having a whiskey sour for every Packer touchdown, growing a beautiful bountiful garden, writing poetry, making sure his family was well card for.  He celebrated life and this year I want to make sure I celebrate life every day too.

Thank you Daddy.  Love you.

sis

Happy Fathers Day Daddy – Reflection

Its been 20 years since my dad passed away and I still think about him all the time. 

My father passed away in 1991, 5 weeks before my son was born.   I have such wonderful memories of growing up.  My parents were older when I was born.  I am the youngest of 3 and have 2 older brothers.  Dad was the hardest worker I’ve ever known.  He was an engineer by day and at night and on weekends he built the house I grew up in.  He did everything;  wiring, roofing, flooring and plumbing. I think the only thing he hired some help for was the fireplace. 

We grew up on a little 5 acre farm with a large garden, a barn with silos  and a huge front yard.  It was so big that my dad coached little league baseball on it.  We had cherry and apple trees.  I picked gooseberries, raspberries, boysenberries and strawberries.  I loved it when Dad pulled a carrot from the garden, wiped the dirt off and handed it to me to eat.  We baled hay, made hay forts and played hide-n-seek in the dark.  We slopped the pigs and fed the chickens.

As the years rolled by the barn, the animals and the fruit trees went away.  The one thing that remained constant was the garden.  My dad was born in Wisconsin, homesteaded in Montana and married a farmers daughter from Scotland.  Growing vegetables was in his blood.  His garden was a work of art; the rows were lined up perfectly, there was never any weeds or rocks.  In fact, hubby and I said our wedding vows standing in front of the garden.

Dad was an honest soul who found humor in every situation, respected and had the respect of everyone, and was an extremely giving person.  He gave his time to the Lions helping with various community projects, coached little league baseball teams, built a Boy’s and Girl’s club.  He baked the best pies and he would tell you so too! 🙂  His love for books passed on to me.  We could sit in the den together for hours, both of us reading books, and never say a word to each other.  I was and will always be his baby girl.

An incredible man, a beautiful soul.  I will celebrate him in my heart today as I do every day.  Happy Fathers day Daddy.  I love you.

Sis

Some pictures you might enjoy…

My brothers feeding the chickens…

025 Dad always made sure we took a family vacation each year.  Here’s a picture I found taken in 1962 of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Dad always wore a bow tie to work on payday.  His old blue sweater became a constant piece of his wardrobe when he worked in the yard.

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It was important to my parents that we go to Sunday school.  The white building in the back was the barn.  My brothers used to trick me into going down the ladder to one of the silos.  They would pull the ladder and leave me.  Dad would find me.  He was my hero.

018 Practicing baseball in the front yard.      My brother and I sitting on the wood pile.

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My bother, Dad and I in Solana Beach, California at my Grandma Anne’s house.

023 My brothers and Dad. 

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The young golfer.  Maybe this is where my son got it. Picture on the right in Hawaii.  Dad thinks he is being funny with the flower jammed in his swim trunks.  See the smirk on his face?

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When my mom passed away we had big poster pics made.  This was one of them.  I took a picture of the picture.  I wonder what the bright light means?

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So today, If you have the chance to hug your dad today hug hard and make a memory.  If you’ve lost you dad then take time to reflect and enjoy the memories.

Love,

latte Lattenene

Airport Visit

Thursday, December 9, was a day to celebrate.  Divot and I picked my son up at the airport; he’s home from college for the holidays.  I wanted to take Divot, but wasn’t sure what security would say about a non-traveling dog in the airport.  But he’s a puppy, only seven months,  so I decided to take my chances.  I found my biggest purse, emptied it out and checked to see if puppy would fit.  Success!

So this is how we manuevered through the airport…and he was so good like he knew he was supposed to stay in the purse.

Isn’t he the cutest!

and it was definitely worth it when “brothers” united….

Divot was so patient waitng for suitcases.  In fact, he just sat on one of them and relaxed…

and after the ride in cars and planes and hard play I guess they were a little tired…

I do love it when everyone is home! 🙂

Lattenene

Bowling – New Holiday Tradition

 In 2009, my family implemented a new tradition.  After a delicious Christmas dinner and fun time opening presents,  everyone was ready to take a nap.  However, naps have never ever applied to my son, not when he was little and not on Christmas day.  He was home from college on winter break and intended to make the most of every minute.  So we all loaded my into cars and went to our local bowling alley.  I was shocked at how many people had the same idea, but we were lucky enough to get a couple of lanes.  It was fun, we got some exercise, and I think we may do it again this year.  Yeah!  A new tradition!  Pics and comments from the 2009 first annual bowling event below….

Trust me - put your hands over your head and it's a guaranteed strike!

 

Easy as pumpkin pie, and yes, I am pretty smooth.....

 

Ha Ha!!! Look at that shot!

Don't ya just love all the colors bowling balls come in?

Whatever you do, have fun! 
Lattenene

What Besides The Child Goes To College?

Yesterday it was the end of May, right?  I know it was because that’s when my son returned from his first year of college.  I must have gone into a coma because I don’t know where the time went.  I woke up last week and realized it is almost time to get ready for a new year.  Son and I spent yesterday reassessing what he brought home and deciding what goes back.  It isn’t like we have too much to go through either.  After all, most of it was left in storage.  So we were mainly going through clothes.  We have decided to ship his car vs. driving cross-country like last year.  The car can be shipped with approximatley 100 pounds in it.  That’s approximately 2 suitcases, bedding and the girlfirend’s pillow (another story for another time).  So…..it doesn’t look like much, but it really is…

The T-shirts, golf shirts and basketball shorts are neatly folded and ready for a suitcase…

Which slacks, shorts and golf hats to take are figured out…

Still to determine are suits, shoes, additonal bedding, etc.  Then when we get to school it is time to unpack storage.  The funny (or not so funny) thing is this is what is still in the closet…

Let me just say there will be a focus on organizing in September.  Won’t that be fun!