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Today I’ll be celebrating my 38th wedding anniversary with my very best friend!

Here are a few pictures that I dug up from our wedding day. Our wedding colors were mint and forest green which went well with the massive Christmas tree at the front of the church. It was the 70’s and we weren’t fancy folks, so no ties for the guys and that lovely wide lapel suit coat for my sweetheart.  I couldn’t find a dress simple enough in the stores, so I had this one made for $70.  I made the veil myself for a few bucks and I still love the simplicity of it all.Bride and Groom Toasting at 1977 WeddingWe both love Christmas, so we thought getting married in December was a great idea. We were on a tight budget and paid for our own wedding (mostly). Since the wedding was so close to Christmas we asked our families not to get us any Christmas presents.  The cool thing was that we went on a 2 week honeymoon and got back just in time to open all of our wedding presents on Christmas morning. What a fun morning that was! Sitting as a married couple for the first time in our little one bedroom furnished apartment near 7th Street and Camelback Rd., reading every card with reminders of love and commitment from our friends and family. Then opening all those precious wedding gifts from the people we loved! There couldn’t have been a better way to start our lives together.

It’s crazy to think that we’ve been together for all these years! We’ve changed and grown and learned so much about ourselves and each other. Even though any relationship that last this long has it’s ups and downs, I’m so blessed that this guy has been there beside me through it all.

These are just a few things that I’m thankful for:

  • Thankful that he’s been such a wonderful partner and provider in our family. Practical, strong, steady and careful with our lives and resources
  • So blessed that he’s always been there to love and care for our children.  I’ve never had any doubt that he was 100% committed to them.
  • Thankful that we’ve learned to appreciate each other’s interests and strengths and realize that even though God created us very differently, He designed us to compliment each other perfectly.
  • Grateful that we’ve learned to love, forgive and protect each other’s weaknesses.
  • I love that he’s a life-long learner and constantly listening, watching, reading and analyzing everything.  I’m continually amazed at all the information that’s stored in his brain. It’s such a joy to see that the same love of learning has been passed on to our kids.
  • Thankful that he’s been there to listen, comfort, and hold me through so many sorrows, losses and painful times.
  • Blessed that he lets me dream big dreams and encourages my creativity and adventurous spirit.
  • Most of all, I’m so blessed to know that as long as the Lord allows we’ll get to walk this earth together discovering new things, laughing, crying, and enjoying each other’s company.  Thank you God, for placing him in my life.

1977 Wedding PartyI’m so thankful that we still have connections to all the people in this picture. What a blessing to have known (and loved) them all for so long!

Thank you Lord for a wonderful day to remember your goodness!

 

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Less than a month ago, my precious mother passed away. She had a long, healthy and independent life, having celebrated her 91st birthday in January. Of course, that doesn’t take away any of the sadness of having her gone. Even though our personalities were quite different, we had many things in common…talents, interests, love of travel, etc. In honor of her on Mother’s Day, I thought I’d take some time to remember some of the things that I cherish most about our 50 plus years together. She was an amazing woman and a true friend and encourager to me, while still being my mom.

Janice Perkins and Grumpy at Disneyland

Even Grumpy couldn’t stay that way for long with Mom around.

Let me start by saying that Mom’s primary love language was gift giving.  Even though she was constantly on a limited budget, her favorite thing to do was find reasons to buy us special treats and take us special places.

  1. She was always quick to offer a cool washcloth on my forehead when I had a fever
  2. Hot tea with lemon to drink when I had a sore throat
  3. Campbell’s Cream of Tomato soup with oyster crackers always hit the spot when I had a cold
  4. I always loved staying home from school and watching TV, reading books and coloring in my cozy spot on the coach when I was ill. Partially because it gave me a chance to have 1-on-1 time with Mom when all the other siblings were at school, but also because she always made me feel so loved and cared for.
  5. For many years, Mom made it a point to buy each of us an entirely new outfit for Easter Sunday. For the girls it wasn’t just a new dress, but matching socks, shoes, purse, gloves and even a hat! This special day of getting all decked out to attend church and then attend big family potlucks and Easter egg hunts was so much fun! It was even more special because we only got new clothes a few times a year.
  6. 1965 All Dressed up for Easter Easter morning was also filled with sweets and treats of all kinds. Another chance for Mom to show us how much she loved us and how she wanted to spoil us.  I’m sure her sparse childhood during the Great Depression motivated her to try to make up for it in our young lives.1965.04 Easter Perkins kitchen table
  7. She was also our biggest helper with school projects. Mostly she would brainstorm with me about supplies and ideas, then was my cheerleader rather than hands-on helper, so I could work through it and have success on my own merits. I’m so thankful that she didn’t feel the need to do most of it herself. What’s the point in that?
  8. The aroma of big pots of spaghetti, slumgullion or one of my favorites, Pot roast on Sundays wafting through the house welcomed us home!  I learned to cook from her without using recipes.  Now I’m not intimidated if I don’t have all the exact ingredients for a new dish.  I just see what’s in the cupboards and improvise something similar. Thanks Mom.
  9. Occasionally Mom made Liver and onions, which I hated. She always made me eat a few tiny bites, which I reluctantly gagged down with huge gulps of milk. She said it was good for me, but it always tasted like I was eating a vitamin pill for dinner. Ugh!  Guess what dish she taught me how to make first?  Maybe she thought if I cooked it I’d eat it more. Oh well.
  10. A little thing like Mom’s button tin brings back so many memories too.  Take a look at more about that here.Mom's Button Tin

And this is just the beginning of my list.  If you want to read more, visit Part 2 here.

Stop by again to see the rest in the coming days.

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I can’t believe that my last post was on January 1st.  Wow! So much has happened in the last few months. Some good, some sad. I’ll try to catch you up on a little bit of it.

In the beginning of the year I was winding down after the holidays and very focused on developing my website, Traveling With Purpose. Things were going along swimmingly and we were inching closer to launching the next phase of the site when things hit the proverbial fan.

At the end of January my husband’s mother was admitted to the hospital. It’s a long complex story, but the final result was that she has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.  It’s called a low grade glioma and is rare in people her age. It’s much more common in children and teenagers. She was in and out of the hospital for over a week while they did tests and a biopsy to determine the diagnosis. Then due to the fact that she was showing signs of confusion, difficulty communicating and had not been cooking for herself, the family and medical team determined that it wouldn’t be wise for her to go home to Prescott by herself.

Since I was the only one in the immediate family (in Arizona) that wasn’t working and we have a guest room, we decided that she would come home with us for the time being.  We realized that it would be best to have someone with her during the days and she has been with us since that time.

She is such a sweet woman and has always been so kind to me. It’s an honor to have her here.

This is Carole and her oldest son (my husband) on a Skype call with her sisters back east on Saint Patrick’s Day. We’re realizing that she understands a lot more visually than by talking on the phone or hearing someone talk.  She sometimes doesn’t know who we’re talking about when we mention a name, but if we show her a photo she understands, so Skype is better than a phone call. We need to do more of it.

2013.03.17 St. Patrick's Day 013 (800x530)

Mom is Irish through and through and she loves celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. So much so, that she requested that we bring down her decorations from her house so we could use them here. I don’t have a lot of St. Paddy’s decor, so it was fun to have her items to scatter around the house. As you can see she was dressed for the day as well, with her Snoopy sweatshirt and Leprechaun socks.

St. Patrick's Day socks

And of course we had corned beef and cabbage, even though it’s really an American Irish tradition.  We all love it. I always cook it in the crock pot, which makes it so easy. For the first batch, I added chicken broth to the water, and for the second I added Guinness Black Lager (brewed in Dublin). Mmmm, both were very tasty. I cooked the 2nd one a week or so later to go with the potatoes and carrots that we had leftover from the first batch. Let me know if you want the recipe.
Corned Beef and CabbageSo since the end of January we have all been busy with doctors and more tests, discussions about treatment options and how to best care for her in the coming months/years. They have a big family, so we’ve had lots of visitors to the house.  She really enjoys her visitors for the most part. She’s been eating much better and has good times and bad when it comes to understanding all that’s happening around her. She will be starting radiation treatments next week…once a day, five days a week for 6 weeks.  We’re praying that the side effects will be minimal, but we’ll see how she does with it all. The difficulty will be in explaining any side effects in a way that she can understand so that she wants to keep going with it.

Please keep her in your prayers. There is a very slim chance for improvement in her condition with the radiation, but mostly it’s just to slow down the growth of the tumor.

So this is just a part of what’s been going on since the first of the year. Am I forgiven for being away so long? What has your new year brought?

More to come on everything else…and there’s a LOT more.

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Hey friends,

I haven’t done a restaurant review in a while and I’m hesitant to do this one because The Oink Cafe is close to where we live and a review will just mean that more people will go there.  I’m kinda liking the place and not sure I want to share it with everyone in Phoenix.  But…I think you’ll like it and my mom taught me not to be selfish, so…here we go.

The Oink Cafe in PV

When driving down Cactus Road a few months ago, I noticed that one of the retail spaces near Paradise Valley Mall had a new sign outside.  This spot seems like a wonderful location, but has been somewhat of a revolving door in the past years, not retaining businesses for any length of time.  Hopefully, this will be the exception to that rule.

Anyway, you may remember that a few months ago I won a year’s supply of bacon so that treat has been forefront in my mind lately.  While driving by this new restaurant, the tag line made me do a double take. It reads “Breakfast. Lunch. Bacon.”   What!  A restaurant that features BACON!!! Wow! I’ve got to take my husband there!

This weekend we had the perfect opportunity to try it out.  We had family visiting from out-of-town and when we described it to them they were excited about the adventure.  So, our party of 5 headed there around 9:30 on a Saturday morning.  Phoenix restaurants can get pretty busy on weekends for breakfast, so we weren’t sure what we’d find.  We checked in at the hostess station, then moments later 2 more family members arrived, which increased our request to a party of 7.

Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes

Maple Bacon Donuts

While we were waiting we noticed all these amazing looking baked goods.  We didn’t get a chance to try any, but will definitely need to do that next time.  Take a look at all the bacon options.

The staff handled our larger party graciously.  And fortunately while it was already pretty busy, there were a few tables that cleared just minutes after we arrived and we were seated promptly.

We perused the menu and ordered a nice variety from our friendly food server.  Here are a few photos to enjoy.

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One item of note:  At the time of this writing, they have 5 different flavors of bacon (applewood smoked, honey cured, sugar cured, peppered, &  jalapeno).  I enjoyed the applewood smoked bacon with breakfast and someone else at the table got an order of the jalepeno and gave me a taste.  It was delicious, especially for those who like that extra little kick of heat in their meal.

We mentioned to the server that they should have a flight of bacon that people could order to try a piece of each different kind.  She said that they have it, but upon checking the menu we couldn’t find it.  Hopefully they’ll add it to the menu or maybe to the list of “specials” so folks can check out all the different flavors.  Plus even though their logo is a pig, maybe they should consider adding turkey bacon for those who want to try to be a tad bit healthier.

Overall, everything was very tasty!  From the time we ordered till the time we got our food was a bit long, but since we were busy visiting it wasn’t too bad.  We’ll chalk that up to being relatively new to the breakfast scene and hope the timing improves.  It’s definitely a place that we’ll visit again…maybe for lunch next time.

Hey maybe they should offer an ultimate BLT with all the flavors of bacon!  I’d order it.  How about you?

What do you think ?  Does it sound promising?  Do you think you’ll try “The Oink Cafe” if you have the chance?

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A few weeks ago I had surgery and I’ve been home recuperating since then.  On doctor’s orders I’ve done a lot of sitting around, so I thought I’d give you a peek into my view from the sofa.

Shredder

Shredder

Here’s my buddy, Shredder.  Our 21 year old cat.  She’s been hanging out on the sofa with me every day.  Here she is on her favorite blanket.

Basically she sleeps away the day in the middle of the sofa and I sit to her right (under that blue blanket when it’s chilly).

 

Sometimes when my lap is empty she climbs up and sleeps there too.  She stretches out with her head on my chest and tail down by my knees as I watch my favorite home improvement/decorating show on the TV.  I have to admit that I watched a lot of HGTV, especially the first few days when I was on pain killers and couldn’t focus enough to do much of anything else.

Below is the view to the right, into the kitchen.  Our island is filled with beautiful flowers and sweet cards from friends (and my hubby).  Have I mentioned that I LOVE FLOWERS of all kinds?  Looking at these just make me happy.  And many of our friends and family brought meals and sweet gifts while I was out of commission as well.  All of them were a constant reminder of what loving family and friends we have.

Flowers and Cards

Do you live in a loving community?  I hope so!  We were created to love and be loved and the freedom to express and receive love nourishes us to our very core.   I have felt so much love over the last few weeks and that’s not because I’m such a special person.  It’s because the community that I’m part of just gets it.  They know how to love well.  They understand how important it is to come alongside, affirm, encourage and support others and I am SO BLESSED to be part of this exceptional community.

And here’s my sweet husband serving me like he has been since my surgery.  He’s taken on all of my chores around the house, cooking, cleaning the catbox, laundry and all.  He even freshened up my flowers for me every few days.  What a keeper he is!

Terry serving

More flowers

And some more lovely flowers from some of my co-workers to the left of where I’m sitting.

And now a fun bonus!  When I was going stir crazy this week and feeling well enough to stand up and walk around a bit, I finally put up this calendar on the side of my refrigerator.  I kind of like it! (Be sure to click to enlarge the photo.)

It’s called a “Peel It – Design It” Birds in Flight calendar.  Each piece around the calendar is a decal that is position-able wherever you want to put it.  The monthly calendars are cardboard.  There were other decals that were orange and yellows that so far I’ve decided to leave out of the design but we’ll see if I add them later.  What do you think?

What do you do to support and encourage friends and family when they’re going through tough times?  Were you raised in a loving community?  Do you feel comfortable showing love to others?  What’s your favorite way to do that?

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I am such a proud mom!  We recently learned that our daughter, Amy T. Schubert (don’t you just love that smile) and her blog “Lemon and Raspberry” was mentioned in this article below that showcases just 16 favorite blogs and websites that are worth a visit by writers.

The magazine that this came from is none other than “The Writer“, which is also celebrating 125 years of publishing – WOW!  It’s in their March 2012 issue and available at your favorite magazine stand or bookstore.  We picked ours up at Barnes and Noble.

The first image is page 1 of the article.  After you click on the image, you should be able to zoom in by clicking again if it’s not large enough to read yet.

The Writer mag article

The second image below (click to enlarge) is Page 2 of the article.  In the right column, contributing editor Stephanie Dickison mentions Lemon and Raspberry as one of her top 3 websites.  Awesome!  I love this, especially since her blog doesn’t really focus on writing, but many other facets of the creative process.  Way to go Teegan!  I just LOVE having creative kids.

Lemon & Raspberry article in The Writer

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It’s been a busy and somewhat non-traditional month for us.  As you’ll see from these photos, there’s been a good amount of time spent with those we love, but somehow things were busy in other ways too.

Christmas NativityWe also went to the Musical Instrument Museum (the MIM) for our 34th wedding anniversary on Dec 9th, celebrated the holidays with a few of the non-profit groups that I work with and had a lovely evening with some other dear friends.  All of those activities don’t have pics posted yet, but hopefully I’ll get to it.

I’m not quite sure how the month got away from me, but we didn’t decorate inside the house until December 19th which is VERY LATE for me!  Originally we weren’t expecting to have any gatherings at our house this year, so I guess that gave me the freedom to put it off.  Then we found out that we were hosting our family gathering, so I got busy and did a few things.

We still have at least one more celebration to come with our son, Kevin when he returns from being overseas in early January.  That will be a special time to have him back home and in the U.S. hopefully for a very long time.

Here are links to a few photos that I’ve posted on Facebook over the last month.  I hope you enjoy them!  (Note: I was told that some of these links didn’t work for those that aren’t on Facebook, so I’ve updated them.)

Randy Thompson’s Christmas Concert where Terry played in early December

Christmas with our Home Group (they’re like Family)

Christmas with my side of the family

Christmas with our Los Angeles area family and our precious friends, the Thompsons

Christmas cookies

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