Mother of Necessity

because sometimes, you just have to.


Family Reunion 2015: Success!!!

Our family reunion was last Saturday (8-8). I am glad to report that the reunion was a hit. We had some new faces and then the ‘usual’ yahoos were there too. We had over 60 folks come for the festivities.

It was a beautiful day. The temperature was in the low 80’s. The sun was shining, big white fluffy clouds in the sky and a cool breeze blowing. The weather was perfect. Just warm enough to break a sweat playing some games.

City Park

City Park

The reunion was held at our local city park. We have had many reunions here when I was a kid. It’s a beautiful park with ball diamonds to play on, lots of playground equipment for the kids. Big shelter houses that seat 75-100 people.

Our shelter house set on the top of the park.  I say ‘top’ because the park has 2 entrances. One part is setting on a hill, that’s where most of the playground and shelter houses are. The second entrance is for the ball fields and a shelter house. (The picture above is the ‘top’ of the park looking down onto the ball fields and shelter house.)

Our family likes to play a game called Corn Hole or Bean Bag Toss. It’s a fan came and we had a couple set up for everyone to play. Most of the second cousins played. Some of us first cousins are too old to break a sweat.

The little ones had fun playing on the playground equipment.  Well, some of the older ones had fun playing too.

jees ashan       mike connor

The food was awesome. We had one of the cousins cook up hamburgers and hot dogs. Everyone that came brought a side dish. Sorry I don’t have any photos of the food spread. Take my word for it.  It was all yummy.

We had homemade potato salad, deviled eggs, chicken and noodles, baked beans, potato and cheese casserole, mac-n-cheese, pineapple upside down cake, banana pudding and so much more.

All I can say is: we have some great cooks in this family. No one left hungry.

There was lots of catching up at the reunion. Some of us have not seen each other in a long time. Having so many cousins connecting and reconnecting with each other was a wonderful sight to see and be a part of.

Everyone sharing with the next person. Telling stories of the good old days. Sharing what has been going on in each of their lives. Making new memories with family. Can it get any better than that?

alyza jess            george cameron

One of the Aunts brought her genealogy research of the family with her. Very interesting stuff to go through. I found out I am in the 10th generation.

Also found out that we are descendants of two Declaration of Independence signers: The first being John Hancock and the second is Roger Sherman. My son thought this was the coolest information of the day. He went around telling anyone that would listen. Love my kid and how much he loves this family and our history.

Just for fun we asked the family to provide a quote that their parent said that was funny or something they still use today. Here are a couple of the quotes.

“Fish and company stink after three days.”

“Follow the dictations of your heart.”

“Don’t be ugly”….meaning do the right thing, make the right choices

“You can be in the wrong place at the wrong time and mess up your life.”

“That would gag a maggot on a gut wagon”……my personal favorite.

And last:  4 things you need when you live in Ohio:

Money in your pocket

A decent car

Good pair of boots

Good mattress

Now there’s some sound advice to everyone. Love my family’s humor too.

The photo slideshow was a hit. It ran the whole day. I had made an 800 picture show. It was fun watching everyone guess who the person was on the screen. Lots of laughter and lots of “Oh Shelly, why did you put that photo in there?”

jill slideshow   merle carly

It was a great day filled with laughter, love and lots of hugs. I am so thankful for everyone that helped make the reunion work so well. There were so many helpers that chipped in when needed. I am blessed beyond measure with my family. I can’t wait till next year.

If you want to have a great reunion too, check out the “BOOKS” tab and get your book today to plan for your next reunion.

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4 Weekend Ideas

We all get a little bored on weekends. Doing the same old stuff or not knowing what to do. I thought I would help you out. Here are some ideas you might enjoy.

board games Childhood Weekend:  Think about your childhood and plan some fun activities. This will be fun for the adults and the kids. It’s time to unplug and just relax having fun.

Have a game night. Invite your friends over. Have them bring one board or card game. You can make this a pot-luck meal too or order some pizzas. Have fun playing games.

Go to the park and play on the equipment. Bring your friends. Take pictures, Have a picnic.

Play in the yard. Get some yard games, invite friends or family over and play till it’s dark.

Go to the zoo, a water park, play miniature golf (Putt-Putt). Visit your local aquarium.  How about mid-night bowling, that’s always fun and entertaining for all.

Go to a county fair or festival. How about a flea market or a few garage sales. Go to a car/truck or bike show.

lazyLazy Weekend: Use this weekend to re-coop or have a mini-vacation at home. Treat yourself.

When you get off work on Friday, Go to the grocery store and pick up just the things you want/need for the weekend. Then go to your favorite restaurant and order 3 meals for take-out. One for Friday night, the second one for Saturday and the third for Sunday.

If you want turn your phone off and set in front of the TV, watch movies or get caught up on your shows. Just relax. No cooking, no clean-up…just you and the things you enjoy.

Another option for a lazy weekend is to do little as possible. If you have to get something done, do it first thing in the morning. This way you have the rest of the day to relax.

If you don’t want to be alone, invite a friend to share in your laziness. No fuss, no muss. RELAX!!!

I really don’t think I need to tell you how to be lazy. I think we all have that one under control.

The point here is to really be selfish and do something or nothing just for you. Take a break and relax. Make an appointment with yourself.

paintProject Weekend: Mark your calendar and plan for that project you have been putting off because every weekend is a party or social event. Make the time to get some things done.

Organize your electronics: sort those selfies and photos so they are easier for you to find. Get those photos off your phone and load them to your computer so you can easily print them off or use one of those print sites like, Shutterfly or Snapfish.

Organize your electronic documents. I don’t like doing this one either but it needs to be done.

Have you been putting off redecorating that room? This is the time to get that project done.

Why not make a project to visit family for the weekend. I’m sure they would love to see you and you will enjoy the time as well.

Haven’t given the apartment or house a good cleaning, this is the time.

Fix the broken drawer in the kitchen. Fix the screen door. Try and fix what you can to save money.

Take those charity boxes to your local facility.

You get the idea. If you have been putting off ANY project, big or small, here’s your opportunity.

Make a list and get it done.

place settingNew Adventure Weekend:  I’m not talking about sky-diving or anything like that. Let’s do something we’ve always wanted to do but never have.

Have you ever wanted to pet a cow or a goat? Go to a petting zoo and pet as many animals as you want.

Never been bowling? Here’s your chance.

Have you ever thrown a dinner party? Why not now and use your friends as guinea pigs with a new recipe.

Go someplace you have never been. For instance a festival or an antique shop. Go hiking for the first time.  Go to a car show.

Visit a museum you have not been to. Go to a historical spot in your state. Be a tourist in your home town.

This is your time to do something that you have never done. Go small and simple this way you are not over whelmed.

Let me know how you plan on spending your weekend.


My “AMAZING” Cousins!!!


This past week I have been prepping/organizing for our annual family reunion that’s coming up soon. I have been setting up a photo slide show that has almost 500 pictures to display at the reunion.

As I looked at all those faces, young and old I got sentimental about my family. I have cried over the photos of my Grandparents/Aunts/Uncles/Cousins that have passed. I set and reminisce about my family. I have some wonderful memories of all my family.

I have some amazing cousins. They all shine in their talents, gifts, kindness and love.

My cousins are my friends. When I sit and think about each one they amaze me.

I may not have a lot of contact with some of my cousins but I do love each one and I know they have my back.

I am going to share some things about my cousins/friends so you too can know I am not being biased. These people are amazing.

So many of my cousins have lost both their parents. I can’t imagine the pain they have gone through. But they all have survived and come out better people. Some have become my extended brothers and sisters. AMAZING!!

The cousins that have lost parents are not bitter. They are sad but still loving. They are happy. I don’t know if I will have that kind of strength and grace when it happens to me. The good part for me, well, because it’s all about me….. I now have people that I know will be there for me when it does occur. I have a support system in place for one of the worst moments in a person’s life. I couldn’t ask for anything more. AMAZING!!!

I have a cousin that has survived 2 brain surgeries in less than a year due to tumors. She is amazing. She is a Christian and never lost her faith in God or asked ‘Why me”. She lost her mom (my aunt) just a couple years before the surgeries. Through this trial she was upbeat, always cheerful, and talking about her future. She didn’t lose her faith and she is still one of the kindest, caring person I have known. She is working and planning on going back to school to get her Nursing degree. AMAZING!!!

I have a cousin that is a missionary. She is married and has 5 kids. She and her husband have taken their kids on mission’s trips for years away from their families. She too has lost both her parents. Raising 5 kids is no easy task, let alone packing up and moving to another country for 3-5 years at a time. Her 2 oldest are now in college and both are going into the mission field as well. She did something right. AMAZING!!!!

I have many cousins that are or have served in the military. Some have made some major sacrifices to service. Some have been divorced, moved away from home for many years. Some came back, not the same.

Each one has a pride you cannot describe unless you know a military person. There is a pride that’s ingrained in them. They stand taller, have more confidence. They seem to be fearless. They made the decision to protect our country and our family. AMAZING!!!

I have cousins that will and have given their shirt right off their backs, just to help someone out. They will give you their last dollar just to help you, even when they need that dollar. My cousins care and love others. As the Bible says, we are to be servants to others. Meaning to help others, no matter the cost.  AMAZING!!!

I have a cousin that has the most angelic voice I have ever heard. She put herself through college. She traveled all over the country singing with her college team. She lost her mom (whom she sang with at church). She has lost a brother too. She is a teacher for little ones and sings to her students now. I want to be in her class. She is one of the sweetest, most forgiving persons I know. AMAZING!!!

All of my cousins are successful in some way. Some have their own business. Some are at the top of their game in the jobs they hold. They all have raised fantastic kids. Married some of the best people you could ever meet.  Some have more than one degree from college.  They all have the best skills just to survive this wild ride called “Life”.  AMAZING people!!!

My cousins always come through in a crisis. They are the first people we call and they are the first ones there to lend a hand. I have a few cousins that stand out in this area for me personally. They are always there to take my call, always there to listen. Always there for advice. Always there the help me or just a shoulder to cry on. These people are AMAZING to me. They show me true kindness and love. I have no reason why they do this for me but I am so grateful.

I have so many more cousins, but I’m afraid that I will leave someone out and I don’t want to hurt their feelings. I know I have mentioned some by the achievements or just their amazing story. But ALL of my cousins shine.

I wish all my readers could come to our family reunion just to see what an AMAZING family I do have.

Sorry if this seemed like I was bragging, well, I was. J

I love my family deeply and I would not be ½ the person I am today if it weren’t for all your love and support. You all are AMAZING.

Let me know about your amazing family. I would love to hear about them.


Planning A Reunion In 9 Steps—Promotion included

family reunionIt’s that time of the year where some of us will be going to family reunions. Better yet some of us are planning the reunions.

I love our family reunions. I like reconnecting with my family which are my friends too. I like catching up with everyone, playing games, looking at pictures, hanging out and I love all the food.

If you are planning a reunion this year I have a few helpful tips.

First: Ask for help, you can’t do this by yourself. In our family we have a group of cousins that pitch in and help. There are 5 of us that generally do all the planning, date setting, organizing, set up and clean up.

Second: Pick the date/time. You need to pick your date and time at least 2 months in advance. We do ours about 6 months ahead. Because we have so many that come out of state and we need to be sure this is the final date for them to have time to arrange their schedules.

Third: Pick venue. Decide where you are going to have the reunion. It could be someone’s home, a city park, the country club. Make sure you have your reservations in place.

Fourth: Food options. Have a chat with your committee to see what options they are wanting. You could have it catered, you can assign what foods to bring by what family, and you can do a pot luck style, or the committee provided the main dishes (meats) and everyone bring a side.

Fifth: Make a list. You and you team of helpers need to make a list of everything you will need for the day of the reunion. Such as, plates, cups, silverware, ice, coolers, trash bags, table clothes, extension cords.

Once the list is made then divvy out who’s getting what. This helps relieve the pressure for one person to get everything. You can also ask other family members besides your team to help purchase a few items if needed.

You could also do a day shopping spree with your helpers. This way you have everything at one time and no need to any more shopping.

Sixth: Send out invitations. I recommend social media as your first invites. Do this about 2 months ahead as a reminder. Then mail or send e-mail or social media reminders a month in advance.

Corn HoleSeventh: Entertainment. Plan for some games. This can be yard games, board/card games. You can have a craft table for the little ones.

If you want you can have a DJ come in and play music or a band.

Eighth: Set-up/clean-up. Here’s where your committee comes in handy. Make sure you have everything you need and have your team meet you at the venue at least 1-2 hours in advance. You will need this time to put table sloths on, make sure bathrooms are clean, setting up food stations, drink stations, games, the band or DJ.

The clean-up is just as important. You want to make sure the venue is just like you found it, if not better. Make sure you help take out the trash, sweep up you mess, wipe off tables and chairs. This will also help your family remember everything they brought. No need for a lost and found each year.

Ninth: Remember what worked and didn’t work. After you get home rest a day and think about the things you want to do different the next time. Call your helpers and see what they have to say too. Make a list of what worked and what didn’t so you can be sure to make your reunion better the following year.

If you would like more information on planning a family reunion, please go to the top of the page and click on the “BOOKS” tab. I have written a short book on family reunions. It is a step by step guide with lots of helpful tips. Only $3.99 and you can have it the same day to help you get started.

I will give away (for free) my book to the first 3 people that e-mail me at  In the e-mail please provide your name and e-mail address you want your book delivered to. Promo ends on July 3rd.

I hope these tips and book help you and your family have the best reunion.

Please let me know what worked for you or what didn’t work.

Do you have any helpful tips for a family reunion?

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6 Steps For Your July 4th Party

fireworksI’m sure most of us have plans for next weekend. Yep, that’s right, Independence Day is next Saturday. It snuck up on me too.

I want to help you plan your get together. Here are some steps to make your event smooth and easy.

This if for a small gathering at your house.

Make lists: Menu list: Food to serve, or make it pot luck and you provide the main dish. Drinks: What you will have, what you want your guests to bring. Purchase list: Ice, napkins, plates, cups, silverware (plastic), trash bags, food, drinks, Citronella candles, and bug spray.

Invites: Social media, e-mails, phone calls, texts…all should be taken care of by this Wednesday at the latest. When you send out invites make sure you inform your guests that they will need to bring (fill in the blank)

Clean up before: Make sure the house is tidy. Especially the bathrooms. Leave extra toilet paper out for your guest (keeps them from snooping).

Empty all trash cans. Have a trash can set outside too. Makes for easy clean-up.

Clean off lawn furniture, mow the yard.

Try to have all of this done by Friday. It will make things easier for you on Saturday.

Prep time: I suggest on Friday you prep as much of the food as possible and set up the seating for outside.

Do a once over for the house, tidy up and make sure that the extra toilet paper and trash bags are were your guest can get to them.

Go Time: The day of your gathering will be busy before your guests arrive. Start putting things together a couple of hours before they arrive.

Start cooking. You can always reheat or keep things warm in the oven.

Make sure you have a table or two for the food. You may even need a power-strip for those guests that may bring a crock-pot. Make sure you put the plates, napkins and silverware out for everyone to grab and go.

Have a designated spot for drinks, coolers, ice and cups.

ENJOY: you have set up a wonderful gathering for friends and family. Now go and enjoy all the hard work and have fun visiting with the people you love. Don’t forget to be safe with your personal fireworks.

I hope these steps have helped you plan your 4th of July party. Don’t forget the real reason we have an Independence Day.

USA flag