Thankful November 15th: Murphy

We have a dog. His name is Murphy. He is a mutt, with some shar pei in there (his forehead wrinkles when he is nervous or interested and his tongue is black). My husband adopted him from the local shelter when he was a puppy. He was one when we started dating and two when we got married. He is now nearing thirteen, and while he still sometimes thinks he is still a puppy, his energy lasts only about ten minutes. He is loving, loyal, and very forgiving. He gets excited whenever we come home, even after two-week-long trips. I love you, Murph. Thanks for letting me into the family.

Thankful November 10th: Family

I know that I’ve already mentioned my parents and my siblings in individual posts, but I have a lot more family. My husband’s family is very large (he is the youngest of eight kids). I have a wonderful group of aunts, uncles, and cousins. I inherited four wonderful children when I married my husband. And then there are people who aren’t blood relation, but are still family. Family is very important to me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thankful November 5th: Sisters

I have three sisters: two older, one younger. Growing up, we were the bane of our brother’s life. He even told my mom once that he didn’t care if it took twelve sisters, he wanted a brother. He didn’t get one until my oldest sister got married and he finally got a brother-in-law.

I have a lot of friends with only sons, and you frequently hear (or read in a meme) the saying that boys are harder to keep alive, but have less drama. I’m sure my parents went through a lot of drama with us. Even with all of the drama, I love my sisters. We are now all really good friends. We live close (all within 10 miles), and we love getting together for family parties or a girls’ lunch with mom.

Thanks, guys (well, I guess gals), for helping me have a wonderful childhood and built in friends.

Thankful November 3rd: Wonderful Parents

My parents are wonderful. My childhood was somewhat amazing. We didn’t have much money (my dad was an elementary school teacher when I was younger and finally retired from the United States Department of Agriculture; my mom was an office manager), but we always had enough. My mom and grandmother made a lot of our clothes, and friends would ask me where I got many of those clothes. My father was a hard worker. When he quit teaching, he took whatever he could find to support his family before getting a job with the USDA Arial Photography Field Office. I had more than one friend tell me that they wished they had grown up in my family.

But more than just providing for our physical needs, my parents instilled in each of their five children a love for family. When we could afford to travel, we drove across America seeing amazing things, learning crazy travel songs, and playing every travel game you can think of (license plates, alphabet match, I see). My parents also loved each other fiercely. They loved holding hands, sitting next to each other, and sharing a quick kiss no matter who was watching.

When my father was at the end of his life, my mother did everything she could so that he could stay at home and not have to go to assisted living. When it got to be too much for just her, hospice came in the mornings to help, and we took turns helping her at night. Dad didn’t always remember which of his kids was there helping, but he always knew when my mom was near him.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for a wonderful example of selfless love and devotion.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Open Topic

Sorry for the very late posting for this challenge, but it’s been one of those weeks. In fact, I’m cheating just a little. This week’s challenge is for you to pick any photo you choose, just please tell us why you chose that photo. This photo is one I took this last summer up at our family cabin. One of our daughters loves For-Get-Me-Nots. I knew that they grew near the cabin, so I went in search and found these lovely blooms. Very small and delicate, but worth the hunt.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO (OR TWO OR THREE) OF YOUR CHOOSING.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Hands

I love photographing hands, especially family hands. The last time I did a hands challenge, this little family had just had their second child. Now they have three. Our hands tell stories about our lives now and what we’ve been through. I have several scars on my hands that tell of an active childhood. Do you bite your nails? Have you lost a finger (or two)? Do you live in a climate that is friendly or harsh on your hands? What stories do your hands tell?

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO (OR TWO OR THREE) THAT FEATURES HANDS.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

A Photo a Week Challenge: Grandparents

We all know and understand the importance of parents in a child’s life. I sometimes wonder if we forget how important grandparents are, too. Bot of my grandfathers passed away before I was born, but I’m heard stories about both of them. My grandmothers were both very present in my life and both were great influences in molding my character. My mother’s mother taught me how to cook and take care of roses and other garden flowers. My father’s mother taught me to play the piano (I now have a degree in music from University) and to love African violets. Both of my grandmothers were models of perseverance in the face of daunting obstacles. My maternal grandmother lost two sons as babies. My paternal grandmother lost her husband when she was only 33 years old at the end of the Great Depression (she never remarried). They were amazing women, and I miss them now that they are no longer with us.

I love being a grandmother myself. We have two fun and crazy grandsons. Our daughter has asked me to not post pictures of them online, and I honor her request. Instead, here is a picture of my brother with his second grandson. He is also a wonderful grandfather.

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO FEATURING GRANDPARENTS OF ANY KIND.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ and “Photo a Week” tags.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.