Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Where is Athena?

Temporarily the Oakland Family Search catalog can be viewed on the OFSL website.  .  The url is
https://familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Oakland_California_FamilySearch_Library/Catalog

Here is portion of the page:

"The CATALOG of the Oakland FamilySearch Library is MOVING!
Our catalog is being migrated to its new home at familysearch.org>Search>Catalog
Under “Search these Family History Centers” select Oakland California FamilySearch Library

The new catalog will allow patrons to:
  • Search by Places, Surnames, Titles, Authors, Subjects or Keywords
  • Broaden a search to other local Family History Centers or to the holdings of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City
  • Have a direct link to the growing collection of online resources at FamilySearch.org and elsewhere
Link to the old Oakland catalog, aka Athena (No longer being updated but has all maps, periodicals and books):Link
Link to the new FamilySearch Catalog (all microfilms, microfiche and 50% of the books):Link
Link to an Introduction to the FamilySearch Catalog:Link

Membership Record Number Bypass Feature-FS

Pinterest photo

Anyone who has tried to help a member of the church create a Family Search account has probably encountered the issue of the patron not having their Membership Record Number (MRN) or their email address with them to activate their newly created account. 

Rectifying this can be very time consuming and often counter productive to what should be a simple process.  This can be discouraging to the patron coming into the library to get started on Family Tree.  Creating a desire in them to return and learn more about their family is often dependent on a good first experience when seeing their family on the tree for the first time.

Family Search developers were aware of this and created a solution that will eliminate the hassle of not having your MRN with you at the initial visit to the site to create an account while in the library or at home. 

This new feature allows the member to temporarily bypass the MRN addition to the form.  So then they essentially create a public account.  When you come to the place on the form where you Select “yes” When asked if you are a member of the church, a  box will appear where you would enter your MRN, a box appears that says”

 "Don't know your MRN?  Remind me later." 




By selecting this option the patron can complete their registration in order to enter the Family Tree.  FS will then activate their account through their e-mail right away and they are ready to begin to learn Family Tree.  

After contacting FS it was learned they are still working on the reminder to the member.  That feature should be up and running soon.  

It is important that we tell members at that point that they will need to go into the settings and add their MRN later in order for them to see any ordinances work in the future.  This is something that would have to be done anyway if they come to the Library without the MRN.  But this new feature allows them to have a better quality initial experience when they have a desire to use FT and to take away some hands on experience. This would be done with someone qualified to help them standing by.

This has proven to be a really good addition to the program and we saw evidence of this last week when a large group of youth arrived in our library with no MRNs.  

At the end of the class period that morning the youth heard the admonition for them to get involved in Family History by Elder Bednar.  He told them that their fingers had been trained for this work with their texting and tweeting. 

By using this new bypass feature many of them got into the program quickly and went to town.  Their trained fingers in addition to their quick minds and computer skills created quite a buzz of clicking keyboards in the library. 

The young people not only got a quick start but they were very intuitive about the program. Many needed little or no program instruction at all once they explored it for about 10 minutes.  After a little practice as I walked up and down the bank of computer on that row and asked if they needed any help they were all fine and did not even have many questions.  Elder Bednar was totally right.  They were amazing.

The upside to this MRN bypass feature is they will initially have all the same privileges as any person signing on for a public FS account. Either way they are going to have to go through the following process to access their LDS account.  

To add the MRN they simply go to the drop down menu under their name on the home page.  

Select Settings >Account> Click the bullet that asks if you are a member of the church>Enter MRN>Save Changes.  That will complete the conversion to an LDS account.

They should be given information about the Help Section of Family Search program or the 1-866-406-1830 number for help.


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Photo Restoration and Preservation


This is a scan of an original photo taken in 1951.  The resolution in terrible and the colors are now altered due to time and acidic paper and improper storage.  While going through old photos I found it.  This is my brother Steve and me before our baby brother Gary was born in 1952 which helped me date it as nothing was written on the back.  I am trying to rescue and preserve photos like this for our kids and grandkids. 

If you are like me then you no doubt have similar photos tucked away.  The color photos are in particular jeopardy.  I do not know much about scanning or restoration of photos although I do some editing of photos, on iPhoto for Mac.  But I just couldn't fix the color on this one.  I asked a friend who asked his son and Peter who was able to save this photo for our family.  I am so grateful to him and want to learn how to do this.  Sometimes it helps to set a long range, large scale goal along the way.  I want to learn more about land records and tax records and also about military records this year in addition to learning more about photo restoration and preservation.  



I ran across a Rootstech class on how it is done and decided I wanted to make this a priority in the future months.  This class was taught by The Ancestry Insider of whom I have spoken before.  He has a really good blog on various aspects of Family Search and Ancestry.com.  He has worked for both companies and presents a very fair evaluation of both websites often comparing them.

The Link: https://rootstech.org/videos?lang=eng
Scroll down to the 6th video for this presentation.

Scanning and photo editing is a fascinating and essential aspect of preserving our family history. Did you know that we have a patron that is an expert at this skill?  Her name is Barbara  and she comes to the library often on Tuesday afternoons with her friend Pearl.  She is someone I'd love to learn from as she is very talented and willing to explain how she does things in a way that is understandable.  I'm adding Photoshop Essentials to my wish list for family history.  The ancestry Insider talks about a free program for windows in his presentation at the link above but I'm Apple so it means another alternative for me.  But if you have Windows check out what he demonstrates in the video for RootTech 2014.  It is free whereas Photo Shop Essentials is around $100.00

One of the things I love about Family History and Genealogy is that it is multi-faceted.  When you burn out on research you can take a break and go to your more creative side and do photos.  Or write a story, source your tree in Family Tree.  There are lots of options for a rich and full experience.  I like to learn something new each day and do something small once a day.  Those things add up over time.  Rome wasn't built in a day but I'm sure they did something consistently each day to make it happen.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Story Telling


The following three posts are all about telling your story.  Stories can be life changing like the first one.  They can capture a true miracle and preserve it.  These types of stories do not come a long but once in a life time usually.  However the more common everyday story is vitally important as well.

I have been writing for a long time and I am always astonished by what posts are most popular.  They are usually just little stories.  I publish a couple times a month a series called A Simple Woman's Daybook.  It has a set of questions and I answer them every time with what is happening in our lives at the present time and what I'm thinking.  Who would think something like that would get a couple hundred reader on average every time?  No one is more surprised than me!  The same with the second and third stories I have included here.  These readers are not people I know.  They are just people that enjoy reading blogs and follow them.  The stories are simple, specific to a few people but popular. The reason I have figured out is that people like regular stories about regular people.  The human aspect of other people's live is intriguing.

Now think about how much more intriguing they would be if they were your people?  Your stories? They don't have to literary master pieces to spark an interest.  If you don't write now for thinking you have nothing interesting to say...think again.  Just do it anyway.  If you do you will not only benefit greatly from your effort personally, but you will leave something fun behind.

Here is a sample of A Simple Woman's Daybook entry.  I just recopy the template each time and answer the questions all over again.  Simple indeed!  I have about 5 years of these and I use to do them weekly.  Imagine the picture into a time period this can leave as your legacy.  Nothing earth
shattering just every day life.

http://bonsblogbydesign.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-simple-womans-day-bookmarch-25-2014.html

William's Story

By The Grace of God...



I never really thought in my ordinary life, I would have had an Oprah worthy story to tell.  But I do, and I am...six months after it happened I am ready to share it.  This story is sacred to me and so close to my heart, that I just didn't ever find the exact right time until now.  Today we are celebrating a very special date, time, place and circumstance in our family.  June 23, 1945.

This is a World War II story.  A time when things were so uncertain and lives were put on hold to put up a good fight for freedom.  The young lives of my parents and aunts and uncles were completely fraught with upheaval and distress.  Young people married in haste and hurried off to war.   Often both women and men not going to war, changed their plans for college and instead worked long hours in jobs to support the war effort. 

Normalcy did not exist for anyone and especially for newlyweds.  It was not easy.  You were never told where or when your spouse was going.  It was not easy knowing if you'd ever see your husband or wife again, if they would live or die or what the next day would bring. With little contact other than censored letters they knew very little. The mail did not come with any predictable regularity. Often it was delivered in bundles in big piles of 20 or more letters. Once they did arrive they knew virtually nothing still...between the big sections cut out, deemed unacceptable by the military censors or the lengthy delays.   These were very hard times.  Often the stresses of all of this diminished those young relationships until they completely dissolved in divorce.

That is what happened to my Dad's sister my Aunt Grace.  She was 19 when Pearl Harbor had the horrific surprise attack that destroyed most of our fleet, killing more that 3,000.  The warning from Washington came an hour too late for it to matter.  The next few years she followed her husband from port to port when she would get a sudden call to meet him.  In her own autobiography she said, "Of the 821 day we were married we spent 33 days together and never in the same place for long."

In 1944 she found herself in Sacramento, California working for the war effort there and living with my Mom and two of my Mother's sisters.  Towards the end of 1944, my Aunt Grace was expecting a child.  This was clearly not part of the plan.  For reasons only she and the father of her unborn child understand fully, they did not marry.

She moved away and the baby was put up for adoption.  None of the other living relatives ever breathed a word about this and to this day we do not know if they even knew.  If any did, I suspect my mother did.  During the war everyone was scattered all over, Grace's mother lived half a country away, her brother was in the Pacific someplace.  How would it help to tell them one wonders?  What could they do but worry?

Gracie went to live with a family in Chico.  There she gave birth to her tiny son and left him with the family whom she believed would take the best care of him.  As well as I have known her all my life, I know this could not have been easy for her.  On his birth certificate she named him James but he grew up in a loving home and was named William. He did not know he was adopted nor did his only sister. 

When Williams mother died his father, William Sr., told both William and his sister that they had been adopted.  At the time William was in his 30s.  Although his sister did not have an overwhelming desire to seek her birth mother, William, was driven to make that discovery and connection.

 For 35 years he searched and at one point he discovered that his mother had given a false name on his birth certificate but she had been born on 17th of June 1922 in a little town in North Dakota. When William searched those birth records for that area, there were some baby girls who had been born that day, in that place, but none with the name on his birth and adoption papers.  He was stumped by that.   But each year since 1967 he had thought of his birth mother on the 17th of June and thanked God for the woman who gave him life.  He also discovered that the people that processed the vital records had noted that they felt the mother had falsified the information at the time of his birth. 

Fast forward now to the last few years.  In William and Rita's church they have a good friend named, Nancy, that does a lot of genealogical research.  Upon hearing his story she took an active interest in his case and started to help him.  They were coming up with so many roadblocks because they really did not know his birth mother's name.  Since I do a lot of genealogical research myself this story is all the more magnificent to me. 

She convinced William to have some DNA tests run after a class she had taken about how much that can help you connect to your ancestors' surnames.  Maybe going through the paternal line would yield a chance to find her.  William got the test and Nancy was right!  27 possible matches or connections.  William so lovingly refers to Nancy as his Search Angel, and for good reason.

They started to analyze the results and to pick which Hallsted (along with some other surnames with matches) for who would be a likely candidate.  They tried to eliminate some that were perhaps too old but decided to go with all the males residing in California at that time.  Lots of time and effort went into all of this.  Nancy also began her search online for the surname Hallsted and a few others.  One night she was Googling the name and she ran across a blog.

 My blog! This very blog!  I have written well over 2,000 blog posts since the end of 2007.  Sometime I would get discouraged and say, why do I do this?  Is anyone even reading it?   Well, on December 19, 2013 that question was answered in full.   Oddly, I had just asked my husband, Jim, those very questions the night before.

In 2008 I had gone to my Aunt Grace's funeral with my brother, Steve, and had taken lots of photos of the church where the funeral was held, and at the burial and I retold the story of the three days we spent with our cousins.  That time for reasons unknown to me then, I even included the obituary word for word on the blog post. I added several pictures of my beloved aunt both as a young woman and before she died.  There were also several photos of my cousins. 

Nancy was overjoyed because she had been to Carl Hallsted's grave via Find a Grave online and had seen that he was buried beside a woman name Grace and they shared a common headstone.  But the name Grace had never been a part of their research until then.  It was not until she read the obituary and saw Grace's birthdate that she knew she had found William's mother AND his father, AND his five full siblings!  Nancy called William but they were not home.  She left a message for him to call and read my blog posts.  He has related to me that he felt very emotional and overjoyed during those moments after the discovery that was so much more than he had dreamed or hoped for all these years.

 Now I have no idea how William must have felt but I can pretty much relate to how Nancy must feel.  This work of connecting families on pedigree charts and family group sheets that are our ancestors is pretty exciting, but to actually unite an entire living family, now that is indeed something else! A once in a life time story.  A human interest story that makes total strangers weep because they feel something special and their heart is touched by stories like this. We all love a  little good news because it lifts us.   Just the imagining of it is a thrill.

After the elation he felt, William had the task of wondering how to contact his siblings and tell them his story.  There must have been much trepidation not knowing how they would react.  He complied a letter with his story, and some pictures of himself as he was growing up as well as how he looks now.  Each of my cousins received their letter on December 18th in the evening. 

At 6:00 am the next morning our phone rang.  It was my cousin, Chuck, the first born, or so I thought.  The call gave me quite a scare at first until I realized everyone was quite well and then he told me what had happened.  He was absolutely thrilled and sounded like he was five feel off the ground.  Each and every one of my beautiful cousins felt exactly the same way.  What a Christmas gift! 

One look at William and we all knew his story was true.  He looks like my Aunt Grace, and all his brothers, and MY Dad.  I would have given anything to see each one of them as they first discovered each other's pictures. Most of all I would have loved seeing William's face when he saw his mother.  It wasn't long before this picture below was sent to me.  I love it.  Someone had photo shopped William into this picture of Grace with her other five children on the beach.  He is the one in the Hawaiian shirt~right in the middle where a place seemed to have been purposely left for him.


David, Grace, Jake, William, Chuck, Jan and Judy!

The real reunion of the sibling occurred in early January of this year.  With their spouses and each other they spent four days, hugging and talking and sharing and loving each other.  They have a life time of catching up to do and they are enjoying every minute of it.  These are six of the most important people in my life.  I love each and every one of these cousins with all my heart.  In each of them I see my beautiful Auntie Grace, my Grandmother, my Dad.  Along with our DNA we share a rich heritage.

 We hope to meet William and his wife in person sometime this year.  People wonder why I love family history and genealogy so much.  Maybe now they will understand a little better.  Next to God there is no one more important in our lives than our family.  Each person is like a special petal on our own person flower.  Each one adds to our lives and enriches us in ways that only they can. These are my people just as your family members are yours.  They contribute to who I am and who I will eventually become.  When they are happy~I am happy too.  I surely did learn that lesson this year.  They multiply my joys and divide my sorrows.  This story is more than an Oprah story by far...this is nothing short of a divinely inspired, modern day miracle and I am so grateful for it in my life.




Grace

Carl and Grace

Grandma and Grampa Yeasley 
With Grace in Sacramento 1946

The joyous reunion of all the siblings
January, 2014

The Profiles of Four Brothers!

Our Beloved Grace in her last years!

Today, as I said is my new cousin's birthday.  The first one we have been able to celebrate with him.  Happy Birthday, dear William, we love you.  We are so thrilled to have been united with you in this life.  Finally, a wonderful gift of Grace for all to share.  May this be your best birthday ever!


Cousins Cousins Everywhere


This is my cousin, Bobby.   Well, Robert Michael really, who now goes by Bob but in this picture he is Bobby.  Bob is turning 70 today.  Our mothers are sisters.  As we were growing up they lived a few miles from us in Sacramento. So I love this dear cousin and he is like my brother.  In fact, he is the only person I know today that has been a part of my life since the day I was born.  Of all our cousins, he and his older brother, Billy, were the only ones we ever lived near.


William Kenneth, AKA Billy

I have so many memories of them growing up.  Our moms were close so we were together a lot. All the holidays for sure and many many other just plain ole ordinary days.  It was wonderful.  We lived in a housing tract but they lived in a little paradise for kids. It was rural with acreage and farm animals and a barn and pastures and a chicken coup.  They even had a Grandpa that lived above their garage in a really nice apartment.  It was pure heaven to be there. They had cows and chickens and dogs.  Their family sure loves dogs.  They had a little dog named Perky that was very special to them.  They had a portrait of him on their wall.  In fact, as I write this and have added the photos of my cousins I am pretty sure these same photos were right up there beside Perky, one on each side of him!

I remember some other really unique little things about their house.  Aunt Wilma bought the most wonderful smelling hand soap.  It was green and oval and I loved using it.  We always had the white soap with sharp angular edges at our house and those oval green bars were so fabulous. I loved the feel of them in my hands. 

They had those old-fashioned (now) metal chairs in their backyard that were all the beautiful colors and had a rounded shell shaped back on them.  I think they rocked a little, well it was more like they were bouncy.  Do you remember these? 


I'd love some of them in our backyard now they are so comfortable and colorful.  I use to love to sit in one of those chairs and look up into the big trees they had all over their yard.  My favorite one was the rosy peach one but I'd take the sky blue or forest green if my favorite was in use.  I think some of the trees were sycamore trees and I loved them.  They had the biggest lawn in the front of their house too.  In the summer it was cool and breezy with those big shade trees.  They made those hot Sacramento days bearable. 

They had a big brown cow that I use to watch my Uncle Bill milk sometimes.  They named her Bonnie.  I've never been too sure how I felt about that...even then?  But I'll consider it an honor to protect my self-esteem.  Same with another Aunt and Uncle that named their motor boat after me.  What the?  I see old photos of my Auntie Grace sitting in their boat that had my name in calligraphy "Bonnie Jo" on the side of it. When our little granddaughter was named Hazel Jo I was honored to have a little girl (finally a person) with my middle name. 

I remember running and playing at their house and all the cool little nooks and crannies where kids could hang out and not be cooped up like in a tract house with a fenced yard.   I liked the gravel driveway that crunched when you walked or drove on it.  And shooting a real gun at a target when we got much older.  I think the dads supervised that one. 

 After that when we thought we were too old to "play"we migrated to the boys' bedrooms to chat about things, play music, etc.  I remember Bob playing his guitar and telling me all about high school.  When he was there and I was only a mere child in junior high.  I hung on his every word not knowing if I was excited or petrified by what lay ahead for me.  He enjoyed being older and wiser and gave me lots of advice.  So did Billy!  I thrived on that role of not being the oldest...like I was at my house. They really helped me a lot.  I knew the names of every cool car, how to dance (or so I thought) and what music was "cherry" because of them.  There is so much more, so many heart prints of those days.

Our Thanksgivings and Christmases with our dads smoking, lounging around and playing cribbage and watching football is vivid still.  I can just hear them saying "15-2, 15-4 and a pair is 8" while they slammed down their cards on the coffee table with a grin!   Meanwhile our moms cooked and prepared these amazing feasts for all of us.  They would chat and giggle a lot as they did this in the kitchen and always with a dress and an apron on...never pants.  And the boy cousins were always trying to sneak pie out of the mud room where they had been set to cool and be out of the way during the dinner preparations.  And if I'm not mistaken I think the boys succeeded a time or two at snatching a taste of the pies and our parents got after them for it.  Good times for sure.  I hold them so close to my heart now. It's funny how the years teach you what is most important. Like those carefree, childhood memories that shaped and bonded us forever.  Just the everyday simple things that make family special.  They were simpler days; the innocence and wholesomeness of them wash over me and I feel very nostalgic.  There are so many more things I could share.

Neither one of my cousin married young.  But when they did they both married such great women. Both Beth, Bob's wife and Leanne, Billy's wife are wonderful.  My sweet cousin Billy died at a young age (56) of heart disease.  That was such a shock, I'll never forget it.  Within 18 months Bob had lost his only brother, his dad and then his mom.   That was very sad, just too much really.  He and Beth don't live too far away and we have done a lot together since then.  They have a lovely family of three daughters and some grandkids to keep them busy as well as happy.

Some things I love about Bob...He is so sweet and I love his laugh. He has an awesome sense of humor and I love the twinkle in his eyes when he finds something humorous, or even better hilarious, and just watching him enjoy it is the best.  He was so good to his parents and helped them through their difficult years while his father took care of his mom and then suddenly died four months before she did.  He is a really GOOD person.  He gives great hugs!  He has a sweet relationship with Beth and is kind and helpful.  He still loves animals so much and if I know him at all, he is still grieving over his beloved Misty after a couple of years.  He use to take her out to sea on his commercial fishing boat and shared a twenty four inch bunk with her. She was a big beautiful lab. 

He taught me the importance of following your dreams.  When he was in high school he use to say he was going to build a boat and be a fisherman.  I'm sure he got a lot of eye rolls on that one.  Well, guess what?  It took him awhile but he did it!  And he was a successful commercial fisherman most of his life.  He is a lot like Jim, he knows how to work hard and get a job done.  He is retired from fishing now but still he loves the sea.  He and Beth love to travel all over the world and most times they cruise to do it. 

They are so bright and knowledgeable about so many things and are so well-read. We like the same movies, picnics, hanging out together and Cleo Lane, The Straight Story, and Kenny Rankin!  We love getting together occasionally with my brothers and their wives and watching old rock stars in concert on the Big Screen.  It is kind of a hoot to see how old those people are now.   Not us mind you...just them! We spend Christmases together again sometimes and other holidays depending on all the kids and our schedules.  And nobody throws a crab feed like they use to with crab fresh off the boat.  What's not to love?  Cousins are the best.

Have a wonderful birthday, Bobby!  Love you and Beth so much!  Big hugs from us to you today and every day!


Eat Cake, it's your birthday!

❤♡♥♡❤♡♥♡❤♡♥s, Bon and Jim

Family Times a Blast From The Past

June is a Month of Celebration!


My brothers, Steven and Gary

I think I could have spend the entire month writing about the celebrations of the special occasions that occur every year in June.  It is a good thing we do not imbibe as we'd have barely seen a sober day!  Haha!  Our birthdays for the month started June 1st.  My brother Gary turned 62 that day.  My brother Steve is 65 today.  That is who I planned to tell you about today.

But first let me at least give mention to some other great days this month just for the record, lest you think I'm kidding.  On June 2nd, our youngest grandson Owen turned 7.  June 4, was my cousin Chuck's 66th birthday, June 10th was our 35 baptismal anniversary, June 15th our 46th wedding anniversary and Father's Day, June 16th was our sister-in-law Emily's birthday and the baptismal anniversary of our cousin Stephen, June 23rd was our family sealing anniversary in the Oakland Temple 35 years ago, June 23rd my "new" cousin William turned 69,  June 27th my cousin Bob turned 70 and today, June 29th my brother Steve is having a turn.  Then let us not forget the graduates...Hazel graduated from Kindergarten, Ross from Elementary School, Connor from Junior High (all grandkids) and our great nephew Thomas from High School.  So now you can see I wasn't kidding if we had been toasting each and every one of these events.  Holy toledo!

Not only that but it doesn't lighten up for another week.  July 2nd my birthday turning...well getting older.  July 3rd Ross turns 12, July 4th we celebrate another year of Independence and Liberty and on July 6th Ross will be ordained as a Deacon.  After that a pause for a little while.


Here's one big pretty cake to celebrate June for everyone!
If I missed anyone, have a piece with us!

Jim: "That is not a cake!"
Me: "Yes it is, Honey!  It is a ribbon cake on
 a vintage cake stand!"
Jim:  "No way!  That is a big pile of ham on a fancy dish."
Me:  "Sigh..thought bubble....Men!"  ;-)

When I think of my brothers I think two things.  I love them to pieces and I miss them.  I miss the days when we saw each other every day growing up, even though they drove me nuts once in awhile back then.  You know how it is with younger siblings.   They are kind of ridiculous if they act their age and annoying if they think they are old enough to hang out with you and your friends.   Aside from the usual sibling things we got along very well.  At least that is how I remember it.  I am not sure what they would say.  Everyone's perspective is so different in any given situation even when all are there and present in the same scenarios.  

We grew up in a good home where our parents tried their level best to create a happy home for us and teach us correct principles.  We went to Lutheran schools which was a close community of friends and culture.  We felt loved and secure and I don't remember ever worrying about anything beyond kid stuff.  They sheltered us from the worries and cares of the adult world.  It was nice.

 The only times I remember feeling really scared as a child was during the Cuban Missile Crisis and when little Stevie got lost at the State Fair at age three...just as the sun was setting.  We were not wealthy in anything but a good family and always had what we needed and often what we just plain wanted.  We did not have a lot of clothes or stuff like our kids and grandkids do today. We didn't even know to want it I guess.   It just wasn't the way things were then. Our parents struggled with finances sometimes but we didn't know any difference between the normal times and the lean. 

Both my brothers got their college degrees and went on to marry my great sisters, Marilyn and Emily.  We have spent some amazing times together over the years but the busyness of modern times has taken its toll.  The raising of kids and hectic work schedules and other obligations have created a time when we just don't get together as much as I would like.  I am a real family girl; you know me!  But I love them both very much and am happy whenever we do get together.  So that is why I said, "I love them and miss them in the beginning!"  They both have good families that contribute to society in a great way.  

I am happy for the great kids they both have and the grandkids that Steve and Emily have.  And today as it is Steve's actual birthday I want to wish him the very best day with his clan.

Here is a picture of Gary on his birthday and one taken a few years ago with their two kids!   Their daughter had lunch sent in for them for Gary's Birthday this year. She lives in Utah now.  He looks pretty happy about that gourmet pizza!  Their son lives in NYC.  Sure miss them!



And below is one of Steve and one of their 
daughter's children and one of his son's daughter.




Cuties aren't they?

So happy celebrations to you and yours.  I believe in celebrations.  These are the days that set days apart from the ordinary and create great family memories.  Upward and onward to July!  Happy Fourth if I don't get back here between now and then.  Party on!  And be safe!