Something My Descendants Will Dread

I’m changing my name.

And that’s if I have any direct descendants.

Most women, after getting a divorce, keep their married name.  I’m bucking that tradition.  Not only that, but instead of using my first name, I’ll be using my middle name!  The first third of my life I went by a kid-like nickname, the second third of my life I’ve gone by my full first name, and for what is most likely the third third of my life I’m going off the rails!

Right now, I’m going through the legal process of changing it, so I’ll answer to just about anything!

In the very near future, just call me A. Kaye Ford.

Mother of a Senior

Today, my oldest son began his senior year of high school.  He’s come so far.  He has been in school since he was 3 years old, and he’ll be 19 next month.  Ben is autistic and is somewhat socially awkward.  Like I said, though, he’s come so far.  For the past 2 years, he has been out in the community working during school, at our Goodwill and the bowling alley.  This year will be much the same, but he’ll be starting at the local factory for folks with disabilities soon.  So, he will have work after he finishes school.  He will receive a certificate of completion, not a diploma, but that is of no concern to me (he’s been on the A/B honor roll more times than I can count).  He will have achieved a huge goal!  Though he will never drive, this year he will be studying the driver’s manual to get an idea of what a big responsibility driving actually is.  Today was so quiet with him at school; I missed him.  The past 2 months he’s had off school we spent quite a bit of time together.  So, my baby is a young man.  It’s bittersweet.

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A young 3rd grade Ben and his Aunt Summer, photo credit, Amanda Clark

Ben senior year first day 2 Aug 2016 Ben heading off to his senior year, photo credit: Amanda Clark

New Position

The Association of Professional Genealogists (APGen.org) includes chapters, one of which is the Indiana Chapter.  I have been a member of APG for 2 years and a member of ICHAP for the last year.  Elections were held recently for chapter officers, and I won the Vice-President position.  I am very excited about this…remember my Four Cornerstones post?  One cornerstone is professionalism in genealogy.  And that is exactly what APG and ICHAP promote.  I’m looking forward to taking a more active role in this great group and supporting professionalism as genealogists.  This is a very exciting opportunity!  If you’re in Indiana and a member of APG and would like to become involved, please let me know!  We hold meetings online through GoToMeeting and plan at least one face-to-face get-together a year.

genealogy, genealogists, professionalism

Life Planners~Part 2 and Prompt #157

I’ve talked about life planners before and thought I’d post an update.  I’m still using the Erin Condren products (no plug here, just like her stuff).  Except instead of an actual life planner, I “built” a more personalized notebook to use for 2016-17.

It’s an 8.5″ x 11″ notebook (so it’s a bit bigger) with a personalized cover, a calendar in the front, and then fun notebook pages.  I bought 3 personalized dividers (historical society, ECIGA, and Life/Citation) to divide the notebook pages.  All I need calendar-wise is a monthly view (not weekly and daily).  With the amount of social media I’m suddenly involved in, I needed a way to keep track of what to post and when to post it, content to post, etc.  The calendar pages were marked with the month and lines for days, but I had to put on the stickers for the corresponding days, which was fine. Makes it totally customizable to when you want to begin using it, whatever year!  The cost was equivalent to a Life Planner.

planner Peek at June!


Prompt #157: What I Would Tell My 9-Year-Old Self

Your maternal grandfather is a photographer…he’s made one room of his house a darkroom.  By the time you come along, he doesn’t use the room anymore, but it still has that darkroom smell.  Plus a lot of negatives.  Get in there and secure those negatives!  And any pictures you find around his house!  Also, check the bookshelves in the living room for an old Bible.  He hand-copied information from a Bible of his grandfather; where that Bible is now, who knows.  But you might salvage it if you just explore those shelves!  What you don’t realize is he was very interested in family history and actually had a lot of it there.  You just need to poke around a bit.  It’s nearly 36 years later and it’s untelling what happened to it all.


Preparing for a trip on June 8 to Fort Wayne to see Dr. John Philip Colletta speak! Excited about what I’ll learn.  He’ll be covering breaking through brick walls, passenger lists, and naturalization records.  I’ve been helping my DAR chapter registrar with some prospective members so the brick wall techniques will come in handy!  Since I’ve been a DAR member now for about 15 months I’ve been thinking about joining one of the national committees, probably lineage research, my forte!

Memorial Day

Today is the 151st day of 2016.  I’ve spent my Memorial Day reflecting on soldiers of different conflicts, reading about the Tomb of the Unknowns (I’ve seen the changing of the guard once), and organizing some of my genea files.

Prompt #151: The last book I read…The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson.  I found it interesting to read about Chicago during that time period (1892-93), plus Dr. H.H. Holmes and his madness.  The reason this story intrigued me so is that it gave me some insight into what life was like in Chicago at that time.  My 2nd-great-GF, Amos Ballard, had a son named Everett Guy, born 1872, who became a lawyer and moved to Chicago some time shortly after the World’s Fair.  He authored a book about Streeter in 1914 after interviewing the man extensively.  Also, in reading about the World’s Fair and the impact it had, I pondered how my ancestors living at that time considered this extravagance.  Did they wish to go?  Did they go?


Finally…I’m so excited to finally announce this…check out my Pinterest site!  It ties into my website, LifeCitation.com, with links to repositories in this area plus tips & tricks and fun stuff.  I hope you enjoy it!

Prompt #146

Prompt #146: Names

a. Given name.

b. Possible names before you were born.

c. If I could choose any name for myself now, what would it be?


a. My given name is Amanda Kaye.

b. My Mom has told me that she considered Abigail or Sebastian if I were a boy.

c. This one is tough. I’m fine with Kaye as a middle name, always have been.  Maybe Corinne? Corinne Caye? I also like Julia. Julia Kaye. I don’t think it’s coincidence that those are forms of two of my three nieces’ names! What the heck, Lyndsay. Lyndsay Kaye. Or Linsy Kaye.  That is a difficult thing to consider, renaming yourself at this stage of your life.  Give it a try!

Honor Nights

This year, I presented the DAR Youth Citizenship Award to the same elementary school I did last year, plus two more!  I wrote about it last year here.  For me, it is an honor and privilege to represent the DAR and award the certificate and pin.  As I mentioned last year, when I was in 6th grade, I hoped to win it but didn’t.  I realized that every time I present this award it is like I’m winning it too.  What could be better than that?  I hope I get to present this award for a lot more years to come.

dar notebook