born between 1946 – 1964?

baby-boomers [via]

To all of you born between 1946 – 1964, here’s a little recap….

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and or drank when they were pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a can and were never tested for diabetes.

After that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in our crib covered with bright colored lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, locks on doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we wore baseball caps not helmets on our heads. 

As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, no booster seats, no airbags, no seatbelts, bald tires and sometimes bad brakes.

Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day was always a special treat.  We drank water from the garden hose and not a bottle.  We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and no one died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon.  We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar….AND we weren’t overweight!  Why?

Because we were always outside playing, that’s why!  We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came back on.

No one was able to reach us all day…..and we were okay.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride them down a hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes.  After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have PlayStations, Nintendo’s and XBoxes.  There were no video games, no 150 channels on cable, no video movies or DVD Surround sound, or CD’s.  No cell phones, no personal computers, no internet and no chat rooms. 

WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

We ate worms and mud pies made from and dirt and the worms did not live in us forever.

We rode bikes or walked to a friends house and knocked on the door or rang the bell and just talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.  Those who didn’t had to learn with disappointment.  Imagine that!

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of! They actually sided with the law!!

These generations have produced some of the best risk takers, problem solvers and inventors ever.

The past 50 years have been an EXPLOSION of innovation and new ideas.  We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility and we learned how to deal with it all.

This next generation isn’t the most difficult but has challenges we never even considered.  They need a sense of purpose; they need strong relationships; they need role models they can trust. If we understand them, we can more accurately shape the environment in our homes to meet their needs and point them toward lives of true meaning. (


back in the day…

Remember Montgomery Ward’s?  Of course, when we were younger we called it Monkey Ward’s…. and don’t ask me why, just a silliness, I suppose.

Well, according to the Montgomery Ward’s 1934 Christmas Catalog, you could make some pretty good deals purchasing items from their store. What woman can resist a pair of shoes for $1.77, and who knew they had baby chicks??

worth a thousand words…

You’ve heard the expression, right?  A picture is worth a thousand words

These are pictures from around the web.   I wish I knew each photographer’s name, because some of them are so powerful that I got a little choked up and would love to see more.  Look and listen with your heart to each story told…

i miss you baby clay…

Today is the 9th year that has passed without my sweet one!  Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I will remember his life…and smile.

I thought of you with love today

But that is nothing new.

I thought about you yesterday,

And days before that too.

I think of you in silence,

I often speak your name.

All I have are memories

And pictures in a frame.

Your memory is my keepsake,

With which I’ll never part,

God has you in His keeping.

I have you in my heart.

~ Unknown

grandma remembers…

One evening a grandson was talking to his grandmother about current events. The grandson asked his grandmother what she thought about the shootings at schools, the computer age, and just things in general. The Grandmother replied, “Well, let me think a minute, I was born before there was: penicillin, polio shots,  frozen foods, Xerox,  contact lenses, Frisbees and the pill…..

There were no credit cards,  laser beams or ‘ ball-point pens.

Man had not yet invented: pantyhose, air conditioners, dishwashers or clothes dryers!  The clothes were hung out to dry in the fresh air, and man hadn’t yet walked on the moon.
Your grandfather and I got married first, and then lived together. Every family had a father and a mother. Until I was 25, I called every man older than me, “Sir.” And after I turned 25, I still called policemen and every man with a title, “Sir.”

We were before gay-rights, computer-dating, dual careers, daycare centers, and group therapy.  Our lives were governed by the Ten Commandments, good judgment, and common sense. We were taught to know the difference between right and wrong and to stand up and take responsibility for our actions.
Serving your country was a privilege; living in this country was a bigger privilege.  We thought fast food was what people ate during Lent.  Having a meaningful relationship meant getting along with your cousins.  Draft dodgers were those who closed front doors as the evening breeze started.  Time-sharing meant time the family spent together in the evenings and weekends -not purchasing condominiums.
We never heard of FM radios, tape decks, CD’s, electric typewriters, yogurt, or guys wearing earrings.   We listened to Big Bands, Jack Benny, and the President’s speeches on our radios.   And I don’t ever remember any kid blowing his brains out listening to Tommy Dorsey.  If you saw anything with ‘Made in Japan ‘ on it, it was junk.   The term ‘making out’ referred to how you did on your school exam. Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, and instant coffee were unheard of.  We had 5 &10-cent stores where you could actually buy things for 5 and 10 cents.
Ice-cream cones, phone calls, rides on a streetcar, and a Pepsi were all a nickel.  And if you didn’t want to splurge, you could spend your nickel on enough stamps to mail 1 letter and 2 postcards.  You could buy a new Ford Coupe for $600, but who could afford one?  Too bad, because gas was 11 cents a gallon.
In my day: “grass” was mowed, ‘ “coke” was a cold drink, ‘ “pot” was something your mother cooked in and ‘ “rock music” was your grandmother’s lullaby. ‘ “Aids” were helpers in the Principal’s office, ‘ “chip” meant a piece of wood, ‘ “hardware” was found in a hardware store and. ‘ “software” wasn’t even a word.
And we were the last generation to actually believe that a lady needed a husband to have a baby.  No wonder people call us “old and confused” and say there is a generation gap.
How old do you think grandma was??  You might be surprised!!
Grandma was 59 years old….born in 1952.  Kinda gives you something to think about, now doesn’t it?

how to survive another holiday without your loved one…

 I won’t pretend.  It’s difficult.

Most of you know that I lost my little valentine on May 12, 2003.  Clay was my handicapped son that was 15 1/2 years old when he left my arms and began a NEW life in the arms of Jesus.

Holidays take on a new dimension when you have lost a loved one.  Sometimes I feel guilty about celebrating,  but then I remember that he is celebrating and would want his family to do the same.  You might feel overwhelmed on Valentines Day when every store you go into is bombarded with heart shaped boxes,  chocolate roses and other little reminders of love, but this day doesn’t have to be about mourning and sadness.

I am all for taking time out to grieve, but also take time to remember your loved one and celebrate his or her memory!  If it’s not ‘too heavy of an idea’, then maybe you could take time to pull out scrapbooks and photo albums and remember all the good times you had together.  Remind yourself how your valentine made you smile, and how he/she made you laugh.

But most of all……give yourself permission to feel whatever it is you are feeling.  Are you sad?  Then go ahead and cry.  Allow yourself to feel sad or even vent, if you need to.  Don’t feel that you have to act a certain way so as not to upset others.

But also…..don’t forget the living!  Who has been left behind?  Do you have other children or family members?  Honor them!  Let them know that you haven’t forgotten them and remind them how important they are to you.  And please don’t compare yourself to others.  Everyone experiences grief differently.  Allow yourself to have some time of grief and then get back to your life.

“Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it – because it does.” ~ 1 Corinthians 14:1 (The Message)

my mixed bag of emotions on mothers day…

Mothers Day isn’t all warm and fuzzy for me.  Oh, sure, I WANT it to be!  But life is funny…..with my baby gone,  it has lost a little of it’s sparkle.

YES, I still celebrate the fact that my oldest son, Bret, survived the USMC.  He survived serving in Iraq and is now living here in Phoenix and working for my husband.  He is my joy!  He is not only handsome, but has a wonderful sense of humor (where did that come from, I suppose?) and can always make me laugh.  I love him with all my heart!

But, on Mothers Day, May 12, 2003….I got up early to go check on Clay who was in the ICU at Phoenix Childrens Hospital.  He was in for pneumonia and was 15 1/2 years old…..and still my BABY.  They had taken him off the respirator because he seemed to be doing better!  When I went into his room  (when he was in ICU I didn’t spend the nights) he was facing the doorway.  He was blind, but it looked as though he was looking straight at me.

I walked in, smiling because he was off the ventilator and only had on an oxygen mask.  I walked to his bedside and pulled the mask away for just a moment so I could give him a kiss on those delicious little lips.  When I pulled it away, he said, “mama.”

Clay only had a vocabulary of two words.  One was, “mama” and the other was “bubba”.  I don’t know why he could only say these words and no other….but God knows.  He knew that those two words would give Bret and I strength for those 15 years.  God is good.

I leaned down, wondering how he knew it was me that pulled the mask off, and gave him a kiss.  He looked so beautiful and had the most beautiful blue eyes and long lashes.  I was so very happy to see and hear him on this Mothers Day.  He seemed to be turning the corner with his pneumonia.

I did not know that it would be my last few hours with my baby.  Clay died the following morning.

God is still good.  He took Clay because it was time.  No more seizures.  No more pneumonia.  No more pain.  But for me….no more baby.  I won’t lie….it  was   is hard …  but God is good.

So Mothers Day is a mixed bag of emotions for me.  On the one hand, God gave me a beautiful child for 15 years and an incredible older son that loved his brother more than you can imagine.  And on the other hand…my arms are empty and a piece of my heart went away.  But God is good.

My sweet mother-in-law, Mary Alice Nieto, also passed away 2 years ago, leaving behind a 40 year old Down Syndrome daughter, who lives with her dad….who is 75.  Can you imagine the work left for him?  She is unable to live on her own and yet, is such a delight to the entire family.  I miss Mary Alice, not only because she was precious to me, but also because she welcomed me and my boys with open arms, 20 years ago.  The first time she saw Clay, she told me that he was an angel.  I said, “I know.”

MY MOTHER, on the other hand, is still alive!  My mother has been such an incredible inspiration to me and has lived out faith, hope and love for me.  She has grace and she has class.  She loved my little Clay so very much and was not only with me when he was born, but was also with me on the day that he died.  God did that.  God knew that I would need my mama.  God is good.

She always made sure that we went to church.  She always made sure that we wore the most current styles, had the best  manners and always made sure we wore “church” clothes when we went to the doctor.  I still laugh about that today when I go to the doctors office.  No, I don’t wear “church” clothes, but I still dress up!!

I have learned to mimic  her grace and dignity whenever major obstacles come our way.  I hope that this day gives her the respect and dignity that she deserves because she was my role model!  She taught me all I know!  (and all I don’t know….like math).  And I celebrate HER.  MY MAMA…

So, Mothers Day is different for me.  I think of the things I have and I think of the things I have lost.

And, by the grace of God, I can still smile.

on a lighter note….

Next Tuesday is going to be fun!!  Wait.  Next Tuesday I will spend most of my day in the air flying to see my parents and sister and nephew in Camden, Maine!  WOO HOO!!  I haven’t seen them since February when Jimmy and I traveled to Houston for my mothers blankety-blank  birthday. (you are welcome, mother)  We are going to have some FUN!

I especially love (torturing)  spending time with my sister.  I will say that our sister relationship got off to a rocky start.  She is four years OLDER than me and really had a hard time knowing that her baby sister was so incredibly adorable.  She was probably upset that I was such a darling and that my parents overlooked her birthdays and other special events because they were home celebrating my every move.

OK!!  Maybe not.  MAYBE it was the fact that I always figured out a way to get her in trouble and come out smelling like a rose.  MAYBE I was responsible for adorable little sayings like, “Daddy? Is it okay to have beer in our closet?”  This was said in a softer voice with my head tilted (who wouldn’t love that?) and my legs swinging, as we sat at the table during dinner.  How was I to know that he would assume that Cheri was the one hiding beer in her closet?  It was such an innocent question.  I just had an enquiring mind.

MAYBE it was the fact that when I was six, my parents gave me a choice for what I wanted for my birthday.  A big plastic swimming pool or a Tiny Tears doll.  I didn’t really like playing with dolls so much and we WERE getting a little too big for our little blow-up pool…..but when I saw Cheri jumping up and down saying, “POOL! POOL! POOL!”  I realized that a doll sounded fun.  Yes, I think I want the doll.

MAYBE it was the fact that when we were in high school, my parents went on a vacation.  I have never found out where they went but it was obvious that they couldn’t acquire a ticket for me to join them because who wouldn’t want me around?  Hmm?  Anywho…my grandmother came to stay with us because they feared that Cheri might take my life if we were left alone.  We were fortunate enough to have a beautiful home with an indoor pool.  I don’t actually remember but I think it was another gift for me…..So my grandmother is in the living room doing grandmother things and Cheri walks in and asks if she can go outside to get her towel.  Ahh…..grandmothers are SO smart.  She KNEW that Cheri wanted to go outside and meet up with her boyfriend (wait…I might have mentioned that to her)…so she told her no.  Oh my goodness!  Was Cheri ever mad!!  This seemed like an awesome opportunity to trick  help out my sister and her dilemma.  “Come in my room!”, I said cheerily.  She turned to look at me with eyes that said, “get-away-from-me-you-little-virus” but I was insisting that she came with me so I could (trick)  help her.

What was she thinking?  She went! She actually came into my room!!  (maniacal laugh inserted here)  She stomped into my room and said, “WHAT?”  This is where charm is important.  I managed to tell her that she could crawl out my window and our grandmother would never be the wiser!   She agreed………heh, heh.

So, she stepped up on my desk and we carefully and quietly removed the screen and she jumped out into the night.  This is where our story differs.  Here is what I remember:  A sudden breeze came through the room, placing the screen back on the window and magically, as if by a special force, the windows shut, locked and the curtains closed!

Here is HER version:  Sandi waited until I got far enough away from the window and with ferret like skills, popped the screen on, and smiled while she locked the windows and closed the curtains.

See, readers?  Doesn’t that sound a little off?  Would I do that?  Aaahhh….the best part was when she had to ring the doorbell to get back inside and my grandmother answered the door!  HAHAHAHAH………………good times.

So you see that our relationship has had a rocky start….if only she could understand my innocence and my charm.  I’m quite a lovely person.  Maybe I will show her that when we get to Maine………………(insert muffled laugh here)……

Now…..with that said…..I miss my sister so very much.  She is in Houston and I’m in Phoenix and that’s just too far away.  When we lived closer, she was always there to help out with my boys.  She even let Bret vomit on her  brand new Berber carpet.  (Wait, was it Bret or Clay?)  Anyway…she allowed the barf and never got upset.  Although I do remember that we were all a tangle of legs trying to get to the kitchen to get towels.  Bottom line is that when I have problems I know that I can call my sis and barf up all my problems and she listens and takes my side.  Sometimes you just need someone in your corner.  Cheri is in my corner…..but now she brings a towel….. 😉

the seizure…

When Clay was three months old we were, once again, setting up camp in the hospital.  He had his third bout with pneumonia and was placed in the Intermediate Care Unit of the hospital.  I am ashamed to say that I was relieved when he was sent to this unit because it gave me a chance to go home and rest and take care of Bret, who was 2 1/2 at the time.  (That last statement seems odd because how do you rest and take care of a 2 1/2 year old?)  Regardless, it was a time for me to relax for a while knowing that there were nurses stationed in his room at all times.

I dropped off Bret at my mothers house and my father and I drove to the hospital.  I had an odd feeling about him that morning and would find out in the years to come,  the strange feeling in the pit of my stomach was not to be ignored.

We got to the 3rd floor and I my heart was beating so hard I thought it would pop out of my chest.  I wanted to cry;  not the random tear down the cheek, but the kind of cry that brings uncontrollable breathing and sobbing.  I could see that there was no one attending his crib and ran to the side and saw that he was having a grand mal seizure.

His little eight pound body was contorted in such a way that at first I didn’t know how to pick him up.  His legs and feet were bent backwards, as was his head and he was in a full out backward bend!  I was screaming for someone…anyone…to help me!  The nurse came and said she would page the doctor and I know that if I hadn’t had Clay in my arms I would have knocked her off her feet.  Oh, God!  Please help us!

FIFTY THREE minutes went by before Clay was administered an anti-seizure drug.  I had handed my father the baby and raced out to the lobby to call our neurologist.  This was in 1988, so I didn’t have the convenience of a cell phone.  The neurologist was able to locate the doctor on call and the medication was ordered.  I am not sure if the delay was on the part of the doctor or the in house pharmacy or the nurse whom I officially despised.  But he received his medicine and his body lay limp in his little crib.

I don’t know how long I stayed by his side that day.  His body was covered in perspiration, as was mine, and he had a very blank stare.  From that day on, until his last breath was taken, he never took another bottle. The darkness of that seizure had not only removed his ability to swallow but had also devoured his sight.