Man, June's halfway done and I'm experiencing a roller-coaster of events and emotions.

Dad's death anniversary
Yesterday, June 13, 2006, marked my Dad's first year death anniversary. Can you believe it's been a year? Wow.

I actually think of Dad a lot, especially during moments when Nathan gets particularly rowdy and I want to ask myself, "what would Dad do?" I used to think I would raise Nate differently from how my Dad raised me, but more often than not, I find myself gravitating to actions that Dad would usually carry out on me (save for the spanking, because that particular action is off the table in my book). Guess it really is true what they say: the apple never falls too far from the tree.

Lately, I've also been wanting to get Nathan in touch with his Deen roots, you know, really get him to meet his cousins on the Deen side, but I haven't been very successful at that, perhaps because they really are quite distant. It'd be a shame, though, because Nathan should know his roots, and I encourage everyone in my generation to ensure that your kids get ample share of both sides of their parents. If anything, it's always good for the kids to know their roots to arrive at a better sense of identity, don't you think?

Mom's birthday
June is also Mom's birthday. With Mom turning 60, I'm so excited. My mom's a senior citizen! LOL Well, I'm turning 30 next year, so, eh, who am I to talk? I don't know what her plans are (nor do I know what my grandmother Nanay's plans are, but we can predict with some accuracy what she is going to do, don't we?).

My plan? Homemade invitations for family and some of my special Italian pork steak! It's a new recipe I created from scratch (I'm sure it's not original) without soy sauce so Mom doesn't get any sugar in it.

Our URLs
Meanwhile, I've set up a website for our family now, The Deens Online. I love this URL! I also bought, and I'll be transforming that into an online portfolio of all my work. Speaking of my work, do drop by Faith Factor. I've set up an online shop for tees, mugs, clocks, etc., all with my own designs! Finally, I purchased because my old host hedged too long with our old website. Tsk. What a waste of all that material, but I'll be working on Perfect Proposals in preparation for the book coming out sometime this year.

Victory Men's Weekend
I'll be attending the Victory Men's Weekend in July. This is really exciting and important because after I attend this, I can be rostered to sing onstage during Sundays. While that, of course, isn't the reason why we go to retreats, I won't hesitate to admit that serving in a church is something I've looked forward to since September of last year, when Cathy and I left our old church for reasons I'd rather not go into right now (suffice it to say that Mom breathed her sigh of relief).

Nathan and my diet

Nathan is recovering from herpangina (I'm sure I misspelled that). It's like mouth sores, but more painful, apparently. Poor child got it from the air, his pediatrician Dr. Macapanpan said, and so he's on a diet of ice cream, milk, and yogurt while he recovers. His father is extremely envious. LOL I'm now on Atkins, so the pounds are only just beginning to melt away. I'm quite confident I'll beat the obesity this time. My motivation? Health, of course. Nate and Cathy are slimming down. I don't want to be "that fat Deen." Other motivations are looking good in preparation for the retreat, looking good in preparation for the rest of my life, and, ooh, a possible side-entry into theater. That's right, theater. Someone in the choir suggested to me that I'd be good for a few small roles in theater, and she has connections to somewhat who can help set up an audition (or at least tell me when the casting calls take place). Yeah, I can see myself on the stage, hopefully not falling through it. Nathan also has a penchant for acting (he's perfected that fake smile, and obviously loves an audience).

Cathy, on the other hand, is busying herself with her PHD classes. She has Tuesday and Saturday classes. She's in her 3rd year, I think, and her current GPA is – get this – 4. Perfect A's all the way, in her doctorate classes. *sigh* My wife's a genius!

So those are my updates. How have you all been?