Seems a little hard to believe, but here we are! How has the first half of the month gone for you so far? Busy, busy, busy, or easy, easy, easy? Will the 2nd half be busier, or easier, than the first?

We wish a very Happy Father’s Day to Anthony & all the dads, granddads, stepdads, future or soon to be dads & father figures in our lives! We’re grateful for all of you! Anthony got a little more than he should have this year, but it’s good to be spoiled a little every now & then or maybe few times a year, just to let them know how much they mean to us.

I to take a few minutes here & wish Mandy’s dearest friend & *Anthony’s second cousin once removed, Kimberly Adkins Bain and her wonderful husband Jantzen Bain a very special Congratulations on the birth of their new son Henry Sherman Bain. Born: 16 Jun 2014 at 4:06 p.m.. Weighed 7.09 pounds. 21 inches long. A handsome addition to the family. God Bless.

I’m hoping she’ll start journaling to remember her experiences. You think you’ll never forget, but if that were true then no one would have a second child. Believe it.

Children & Family Life: Were you surprised at the impact they had on your life? Were you ready?

Note for each child

  • The child’s name, birth date, sex, place of birth, and any other noteworthy circumstance of the birth.
  • Attend any classes or programs and/or were they beneficial?
  • Any significant milestones or highlights or turning points in his or her life during this period.
  • Other people living with you in your family (or you with them), who they were & why you were all living together. Anything noteworthy that occurred in their lives during this period?

We’ll be planning a few big birthday celebrations over the next few weeks ourselves. Mandy will be going away for her birthday, it will be odd not to celebrate it together, but part of growing up – is growing independent. Starting your own traditions as a family. It’s hard to except change, but it’s as much a part of life as giving birth. Sigh. She’ll be back in time to celebrate Anthony’s with him. I may add a little B~Day table for her. Make it a twofer.

We’ve been road-tripping a lot this month to Tennessee, Indiana & around day trip to Lake Huron in Bay City, Michigan. I still can’t believe that I had that in me. Guess, we’re not that old after all. Oh wait, these lines on my face tell a very different story. How about you? Anything exciting to report?

Fill us in on your June so far!

What you are, you are by accident of birth; what I am, I am by myself. There are and will be a thousand princes; there is only one Beethoven. ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

*Yes, an Adkins on Anthony’s side. His mother Lula Mae’s sister Clara aka Clarie married an Adkins. So far, I cannot connect the two lines. I’m sure I will someday, but so far no luck.

It’s been raining cats & dogs off & on over the last few days & today, too. It’s coming down in buckets. With that in mind, are you a cat person, or a dog person? Do you have both animals as pets?

We have both, not that Anthony wants any. I do try to spay & neuter every pet I own, but there are the occasional incidents that I either forget to or if someone (that is convinced, because I live in the county, I want their animal) drops off… & when I say drops off, I mean dumps a feral cat, that is usually pregnant already, I get kittens. Go me! I seem to have hoards of black & white socked kittens. Yesterday, we found a tiny black kitten with white socks that we’re naming “Socks.” Oreo brought to teach to eat the cat food. Eyes open & running everywhere. Luckily, she only had one. She was big pregnant, so I need to check to see where she had them, for whatever she may have lost or abandoned. We knew she kind of knew that she had given birth just couldn’t find where. So we will have one little black & white kitten to gift FTGH in a few weeks. Any takers?

I’m not sure why Anthony has become an animal hater (although he’d never be mean to an animal). He grew up with his family owning dogs; German shepherds, Cocker spaniels, and even a Weimaraner. He had two Golden Retrievers when we met. I hated dogs then. I was a cat person. I did agree to get two that were gifted to us after we were married by a friend, but later regretted it. We had a couple off & on after that. He doesn’t really mind owning a cat or two, but we’re way over our quota & he would prefer them gone. It’s hard when they’re born here to re-home them, but at this point, I’m up to my ears in feral cats & they can’t all stay.

I have only one serious pet policy that I love by, if you feed them… you own them. I’m buying the biggest bag of cat food I can get my hands on, weekly. It’s costing me a fortune to maintain them. The feral population is an ever increasing problem. They’re either eaten by coyotes or hit by cars or worse. We need our fur-babies to be healthy. Over-bred animals, not only hurt the animal but their caregivers. It’s painful to watch them suffer. Please, please, please spay & neuter, it’s the responsible thing to do.

Pets are our closest companions because they provide love, comfort, safety, warmth, happiness, levity, wonder, laughter, and friendship. Pets teach us to have more patience with life and to enjoy the simple things.

What pets do you have?

A cat, after being scolded, goes about its business. A dog slinks off into a corner and pretends to be doing a serious self-reappraisal. ~ Robert Brault

is anyone celebrating a wedding/anniversary this June? Have you already attended a wedding this month? If your anniversary is in June, how many years have you been married?

  • Name or describe briefly your spouse (or partner) – age, appearance, work, interests, etc.
  • Note when & where you got married. In a few words describe the ceremony, who attended, where you went on your honeymoon, and any other factual highlights from that day, the ceremony itself, and the preparations for it.

Anthony & I had a simple wedding (on the spur of the moment – really & no, I wasn’t expecting). We were married in the living room of the house Anthony was born in Springboro, but it had a Franklin address. The house itself had undergone some serious changes, but it was the same house. I bought a twenty dollar white dress from Kmart and we exchanged two dollar rings from Hills Department Store (both stores are gone now). That’s why I decided that for our 35th Wedding Anniversary Vow Renewal to do it up right. I’ve had two different sets of rings since our original set. I can tell you about those later. The set I wear now he gave me for Christmas one year. So sweet. I love them, so when he asked me if I wanted a new set for our renewal, I said, “no.” When he first proposed to me, he was so adorable. I that couldn’t have said no, even if I had wanted to & I didn’t. It was a decision that I have never regretted.Every marriage undergoes its troubles and trails, but you never give up on each other.

When & how did you and your mate decide to get married? Was it love at first sight? Or did a friendship develop into love? Was there a formal proposal? Did you (the future groom) ask your future father-in-law for permission to marry? Was there an engagement ring or symbol of intent? Did you live together before getting married? How long was your engagement?

Anthony & I were engaged two weeks after we “officially” introduced (we had had a couple brief encounter but not really introduced) at his brother’s house & he later proposed in their driveway.  His brother’s wife had introduced us. I was her babysitter. She also happens to be my sister’s sister-in-law. [This is how most relationships form. That’s why its critical to find each family member of three generations on both sides of a relationship when doing genealogy, because they will introduce new people & tend to intermarry. I find it will save you so much time by entering it as soon as you find it. That way, you don’t have to backup and figure out the link later. ] Our first date was to the Dayton Mall (in Miamisburg) . Anthony later, took me to the same mall to pick out an engagement ring. I chose a tiny little white gold diamond ring from Rogers Jewelers. I showed it off like it was 10 carats. I still have it in my jewelry box today. I had a diamond jacket soldered to it and it caused the back to break off. I thought of having it reset, but I still love it just the way it is, so it will stay that way. Sentimental reasons. Our wedding we discuss at another date. It was an event unto itself.

Do you recall your wedding and all the preparations leading up to it? Who did what? Was it fairly straight forward or complicated?

Tell us about it!

Married in January’s roar and rime,
Widowed you’ll be before your prime
Married in February’s sleepy weather,
Life you’ll tread in time together
Married when March winds shrill and roar,
Your home will lie on a distant shore
Married ‘neath April’s changeful skies,
A chequered path before you lies
Married when bees o’er May blossoms flit,
Strangers around your board will sit
Married in month of roses June,
Life will be one long honeymoon
Married in July with flowers ablaze,
Bitter-sweet memories in after days
Married in August’s heat and drowse,
Lover and friend in your chosen spouse
Married in September’s golden glow,
Smooth and serene your life will go
Married when leaves in October thin,
Toil and hardships for you begin
Married in veils of November mist,
Fortune your wedding ring has kissed
Married in days of December’s cheer,
Love’s star shines brighter from year to year.

School is probably the most important part of a child’s life. Form friendships or not. Maybe, you felt isolated or faked your way through your school years. Never feeling like you could be yourself. Always trying to impress the other children. Oh, if you only got do-overs, what would you change? Think about each school that you attended (for me, I only wished that kind of time – I attended 7 different schools in one school year – we moved around a lot), imagine yourself back in your school building. Walk through the corridors, offices, classrooms. What memories of people and events and moments do these places bring to mind?

How did you do in school? Did you get good grades? How hard did you work?

Recall your most memorial classmates (not necessarily your friends). Recall any moments or occasions of each. Did you wish you were like any of these people? Did you want to be their friend? Were there people that you avoided?

What was your social life like? Imagine its recess or lunch or after school. Walk through your school yard, ball field, auditorium, and gymnasium. Let those places and spaces bring to mind the people, events, moments, and stories of what happened there. What did you play? With whom? Were you popular, liked by many of your classmates? Did you feel like a nerd, hoodie, prep, jock or complete outsider? What group or clique did you belong to? Did you want to be a part of this group or was it the only group that you felt would except you? Did you spend time inviting or excluding others from your group? Were you a mean person or a victim? Did you try to join a clique and were denied? What were the other groups? How did you feel about them? Were there any bullies (physical or emotional) at school? Were there any times that they bothered you? Were you ever a bully? Did you ever get into a fight?

Recall your favorite and least favorite subjects and teachers. What subjects did you like best? Imagine yourself back in school, in those classes, with those teachers. What moments or occasions do you remember of each of them? Did you have a crush on any of them? What teachers did you like the least? Recall each of them and what happened to make you dislike them. Recall some moments when you did well or not so well.

Recall the clubs and groups you belonged to. What memories do you have of these. Were you in any plays? What role?

What was your personal reputation in school? Did anything happen to give you a reputation? Did your reputation come, at least in part, because of your family, or our brothers or sisters?

Did you ever receive any recognition, positive or negative? What did you do to earn awards? Did you ever get in trouble? Were you punished?

Recall any memorable school events. Visitors? Field trips? Games? Did your parents ever come to school? Did they attend any of your school events or games?

Did you take classes outside of school? Music? Dance? Art? Were they important to you?

What is an inspirational quote/suggestion you got as a graduate, or one that you want to share with a graduate? With many colleges/schools holding commencement activities this weekend and in the coming weeks, graduates will hear many speeches with words of wisdom. Are there any words you especially remember from a graduation? Is there something special you would like to say to a graduate?

These complications cast a steadily gathering shadow over my daily life. They took one away from all the interesting things one wanted to do in the nursery or in the garden. They made increasing inroads upon one’s leisure. One could hardly get time to do any of the things one wanted to do. They became a general worry and preoccupation. More especially was this true when we descended into a dismal bog called ‘sums.’ There appeared to be no limit to these. When one sum was done, there was always another. Just as soon as I managed to tackle a particular class of these afflictions, some other much more variegated type was thrust upon me. My mother took no part in these impositions, but she gave me to understand that she approved of them and she sided with the Governess almost always. ~ My Early Life by Winston Churchill

How many destinations are on your to-do list today? I know it’s Saturday, but it seems like we pack more into our days off lately, than in our regular work week. It keeps me echoing my daily mantra of “I NeEd A vAcAtIoN!!!” But in reality we’d do the same thing there, we try & pack so much into our vacations, that we need another one, as soon as we get home.

If I was journaling today, I’d reread my notes on what I was doing this time last year, tracking my progress or if I need to revisit any of tasks at hand, but like I said, its raining outside, I don’t want to spend too much time rehashing past events. I’m looking forward to the upcoming week; I need to prepare for that instead.

Are you going many places or just a few, in spite of the weather(or none, if it’s a stay-at-home day)?

I think I’ll be going to the Mall or Flea Market. I’m in need of a big black round mirror for the bathroom in the pole barn shop/lot & a few other car related memorabilia items to add to the walls. [Less is more.] We spent a few hours in there yesterday, painting it Dove Grey, adding hounds-tooth contact paper as a removable covering behind the sink & toilet for quick changes(if its get too messy in there), & tossing out some old clutter/junk. Its still a long way from where it needs to be, but its a start.

What about you?

Research shows you get multiple tasks done faster if you do them one at a time. It also decreases stress and raises happiness. ~ Shawn Achor

The holiday season is behind us, and while you may be ready to start putting your next foot forward, it is important to hold on to the precious memories of past experiences, favorite traditions; new additions and old family traditions.

I was thinking about all of the new ways to personalize scrapbooks, cards, and gifts for next year. I write in next years planner all the changes that I want to make for the upcoming holiday’s so that I can recreate all the things that I enjoyed this year and not repeat any mistakes, as in the past.
I like to record little things like:
• New ornaments or decorations
• Holiday foods we love
• Holiday movies we enjoyed
• Favorite holiday music
• Cookies and/or candy made
• Visits to Santa Claus
• Special meals
• Family visits
• Special Services
• Parties thrown or attended
• Meaningful moments

What were some of your favorite moments from this 2011 holiday season?