Showing posts from December, 2009

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2010 Has Arrived!

Wishing you a happy, healthy, safe, sane, prosperous (with genealogy as well as financially) and WONDERFUL New Year!

Reflections for Change

Bloggers are reflecting on this past year, both with their accomplishments and with resolutions for the new year. I too have a couple of reflections, maybe a bit different from the norm. I am going to call them my eye openers. Things I am a bit disappointed with actually. I remember many years ago, my mother making a comment after looking at some of my vacation pictures. This was pre-genealogy time. She asked where the pictures were that I was in. At the time I didn't think much of it, but realized most of my pictures were taken of scenery probably taken on a motorcycle trip. Fast forward to these past Holidays. I reminisced at one point about my father taking videos at all of our monumental affairs. He has always been so diligent about this. I wondered when the last time was I took videos and realized it was probably when my children were playing softball, many moons ago. Realizing my father will unfortunately not be with us forever I wondered who would take over this task. I hav

Wordless Wednesday ~ Imperial Times

Imperial Times Newsletter. 1982. Digital image. Held by Cheryl [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE] Ca. 2009

My Wish for 2010

Carnival of Genealogy, 87th Edition The topic for this edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is: New Year's Resolutions! The following post is written as my contribution to this COG event which will be hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene . How many of us make New Year's Resolutions every year? I have to admit I have been one of those resolution makers over the years. When I look back I have found that I start out gung ho and eventually peter out. During the past year I noticed some diligent genea-bloggers checking on their New Year Resolutions for 2009 during the year. When I read those posts, I didn't even want to look at my resolutions for 2009. Months had passed and I hadn't been focused on them. This year is almost over and a new decade and a New Year is almost here. I have made the conscious decision not to make resolutions for any aspect of my life. Sure there are many things I would like to accomplish, but why put a title to it? Life sometimes gets in the way of thin

Christmas Kisses For You!

Wishing you a very special Christmas that you will remember forever. Enjoy your families, be happy, stay healthy and by gosh, go ahead and eat to much! Hope all of your Christmas dreams come true. Thank you for being my blogging friend, I send bunches of Christmas Kisses to YOU ! M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S O N E A N D A L L !

Advent Calendar Day 24 ~ Christmas Eve

Every year that I can remember growing up we spent Christmas Eve with my maternal grandfather. At least the evenings were spent there. But, once I was on my own in the world there were many different places I have spent Christmas Eve. When my husband and I were first married we spent the evening with some close friends of his. They did their Christmas celebration on Christmas Eve. I used to feel like we were intruding, but the family always made us feel so welcome. One year my husband's nephew started having his family Christmas on Christmas Eve and invited all of the family. We would bring a dish to share and they always supplied the meat and many other fixings. A white elephant exchange was great fun we shared and we watched as that part of the family opened their gifts. Eventually, those gatherings stopped though. As my children got older, I liked to leave that particular evening free for my children to do with as they please. They had many friends they liked to visit and some o

Advent Calendar Day 23 ~ Christmas Sweetheart Memories

Other than receiving many jewelry items over the years my fondest memories come from my husband. The most favorite of all is when he talks about how my family treated him and his daughter when they attended their first Christmas with my family. At the time it was a real new relationship. He felt uncomfortable about coming to my parents for the Holiday, but he found they were treated like they were always part of our family, gifts and all. My husband still talks about that first Christmas together and is still amazed by it. I am not sure he ever spent a Christmas like that before. My most special memory is his joy of finding out what a real Christmas was like, with family, accepting those who were unknown and sharing the gifts of love and laughter and even presents. Always if anyone needs or doesn't have a place to go on Thanksgiving or Christmas, they have been welcome at my mother's and my home. If family has friends they would like to bring to join in on the festivities, they

Advent Calendar Day 22 ~ Christmas and Deceased Relatives

This post will be short and sweet. In my home growing up, we never talked much about the deceased. Of course I was very fortunate to have so many grandparents alive during my growing up years. I, unlike most, had 5 sets of grandparents and that doesn't include great-grandparents. Two great grandparents were alive as I grew up that I can remember well. When they passed away, they were spoken of occasionally, mostly when we remembered something special about that person. Holidays for us were to have good times and the deceased were never brought up during that time. It is interesting how some things stay the same in families through time. My sisters and I were "protected" from funerals. We never heard about them or went to them, until we were much older. Those that have passed are have not been talked about during Christmas Holidays. I will change that this year. I will start a conversation remembering things my mother used to do at Christmas. And, with any luck, I will vis

Advent Calendar Day 21 ~ Christmas Music

Much of the music I listened to growing up during Christmas time were tunes sung by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin and that era of entertainers. One year for Christmas I received an album of Elvis's and I thought I was hot stuff. I think I listened to that album until I couldn't play it any longer. Was it Christmas music? No, but I had to throw this in! I enjoyed listening to all of the traditional songs while growing up. My favorite song was White Christmas. Growing up listening to music during the holidays has always put me "in the mood." I especially love listening to Christmas music when I am cleaning or wrapping gifts. The song I remember most that came out that my family had so much fun with was, "Grandma got run over by a reindeer." We all made fun of the song and even my grandma laughed like crazy when she heard it. I think we all walked around with that song in our heads for a long long time. Burl Ives, Christmas shows and specials on TV all brought

Advent Calendar Day 20 ~ Religious Services

My family didn't grow up very religious. My extent of church going amounted to Vacation Bible School once a year. I always hated going. I felt so out of place and behind, not understanding at being at an equal level with my peers regarding religion. Needless to say, I never attended any religious services growing up. I am of the Luthern denomination, and am married to a Catholic. I have attended a couple of midnight masses with my husband. They are beautiful, and the church is always packed. He attends them every year and goes to church every Sunday and prays for me. I need all the help I can get! I generally choose not to go to the services because I am always so tired and have so much to get ready for on Christmas day as everyone comes to our house for gifts, breakfast and then dinner. Of course I have always been a working girl and time was limited. You never know, I just may start attending Christmas Eve's midnight mass again now that I am a retired woman! Thanks for stoppi

Advent Calendar Day 19 ~ Christmas Shopping

Everyone handles Christmas shopping differently, don't they? I personally hate to shop, except for Christmas time. I love buying for others, when I have the time. My problem is I don't know when to stop. I feel I want to buy everyone everything. When I get close to being done, I always find more I HAVE to buy for and end up wearing myself out and becoming so grateful when it is finally over. My mother liked to shop, I think. She seemed to shop at least once a week. I am sure she started early with her shopping and finished early. As my grandmother aged, my mother used to do her Christmas shopping also. By the time all of my siblings were married and children were born, the family had grown to much for my mother. She opted for us to draw names among the adults, and buy for the children. I was surprised when that came about and really didn't understand it at all. But that became our program, and shopping became much easier. Aren't the men the ones who typically do their s

Advent Calendar Day 18 ~ Christmas Stockings

I never had a Christmas stocking while growing up. None of our family did. It wasn't part of our traditions. I wonder if my mother ever had Christmas stockings growing up? Times could have been tough and she may have grown up without them also. When I became pregnant I made the decision I wanted to have Christmas stockings. My in-laws at the time all had stockings, so I suppose that is where the desire came from. I made my daughter hers and as a matter of fact I made mine and her father's also. Her stocking consisted of two small children, a boy and a girl, by the Christmas tree, stairs off to the side, with a puppy on the scene and presents all around. This stocking was made of felt and sequins and is the same stocking she has today at our home. She refuses to have anything different. Our other daughter has a home made stocking also, it is a punch embroidery. The one I made for her is of a large snowman. My husband's and mine are also made by me. Upon reflecting on these

Advent Calendar Day 17 ~ Grab Bag ~ Movies

Movies, so are you thinking I am talking about the movie theater? That could be a possibility, and not a bad one at that. This time though I am talking about 8mm movies. Do you remember those? As long as I can remember my father has been ever so faithful in taking movies at Christmas. Seeing these movies is always such a treat as we don't get to see them often. The problem now is that time has moved on. As with other electronics devices, movie cameras are not what they use to be. My father took movies using 8mm film. We used to watch those movies of Christmases past on a pull down screen that was on a stand. Sometimes we would watch these movies on a nice white wall. No matter how we watched them, they were always great. Seeing family members that are no longer with us, and revving up those memories of the past can be fun and emotional. My father, bless his heart, has been doing something most wonderful for his daughters for the past few years. He has been transferring the 8mm movi

Blog Caroling Time!

It's time for blog caroling! I love the fact that I am at home in my jammies, slippers, and Santa hat (no makeup) sipping my hot toddie (mmmmmm) and singing to the world! The best part is that no one can tell how out of tune I am! The event is "FOOTNOTEMAVEN'S TRADITION OF BLOG CAROLING!" She has challenged us GeneaBloggers to blog our favorite Christmas Carol. I have to admit that this isn't my favorite Christmas Carol, but for several reasons, it keeps popping up this year to me, so I have been practicing for you for about a week, maybe by now I will even be in tune! Come on, sing along! Holly Jolly Christmas ~ written by Johnny Marks Have a holly jolly Christmas It's the best time of the year I don't know if there'll be snow But have a cup of cheer Have a holly jolly Christmas And when you walk down the street Say hello to friends you know and everyone you meet Oh, the mistletoe hung where you can see Somebody waits for you, kiss her once for me Ha

Advent Calendar Day 16 ~ Christmas at School

I was very shy when I attended school. You wouldn't have caught me in a play of any kind. I would have made myself ill just at the thought of participating! I do not have recollections of anything special during school time for the holidays. We may have had a classroom party when I was in elementary school, but beyond that there wasn't anything special that I can remember. My grandfather was in a play when he was in high school, but I am almost positive it wasn't a Christmas play, the picture I own doesn't portray a holiday scene at all. Whose to say that at some point and time he wasn't in a Christmas play or pageant? My grandfather was quite a character and I can totally vision him participating in a play. His son was no different, in fact he may have been even more of a character. I spent quite a bit of time looking for the photo of my father who played a wise man in a school Christmas play. I was very disappointed when I couldn't find it. Finally, I realized

Advent Calendar Day 15 ~ The Holiday Happenings

Y HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAPPY BIRTHD RY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY HAPPY ANNIVERSARY HAPP During the months of December and January there are many birthdays. I don't believe these people get a fair shake. Unless as a child their parents were smart and kind enough to give them a party or birthday gathering at another time of year. I know a couple people whose birthday's are on Christmas Day. One will celebrate her birthday in the spring, which I think is awesome as she will celebrate her 3rd birthday. Another is an adult and I have no idea how this birthday will be celebrated. I also know someone whose birthday is New Years Eve, and one whose birthday is 6 days prior to Christmas. These two people are adults now. How were their birthday's celebrated when they were children? And now? Now, I believe they celebrate on their actual birthday, as children I am not sure if they had other special dates for when they celebrated. Isn't it more difficult to buy gifts for people like

Advent Calendar Day 14 ~ Fruitcake - Friend or Foe?

Fruitcake? It isn't a friend of mine, nor my family. I remember buying a fruitcake or two for gifts years ago, but only for people who really liked them. Fruitcake rates about the same as mince meat pie in my books. Mincemeat pie has a name that doesn't even sound appealing. At least fruitcake can sound half way appealing. I believe it is the dried fruit that turns me off the most, I know it can't be the brandy or rum that turns me away. After all who likes currants, and what are they anyway? Figs and Prunes? They should only be given for medicinal purposes. And tell me, why would you combine these awful dried up fruit pieces with candied fruit? Now we have shriveled up dried fruit mixed with fruit that has been dipped in concentrated corn syrup. Now take a ton of alcohol over a long period of time and make sure all that the cake and fruit gets drenched in it. Doesn't even sound appealing at this point. Ok, so there are nuts in it also, I can handle the nuts, and maybe

Advent Calendar Day 13 ~ Holiday Travel

My mother and grandma (McGuire) Helman. My family stayed home for Christmas. My family lived in the area so there never was a need to travel. However there was a special trip I remember so very well... I didn't make the trip, but my grandmother, Lois Helman did. In the early 1980's my ex and I decided to surprise my father and have his mother flown here for the Christmas Holidays. I never remembered spending a Christmas with her. We bought her the plane ticket and she was thrilled and very willing to keep the secret from her son. She flew in a few days before Christmas from Arizona and spent time with us. It was so wonderful to have her in my home, very special indeed. I had never had a family member stay with us before, except for maybe my youngest sister. Grandma enjoyed the time she could spend with her great granddaughter and me. We had been pen pals over the years and were close. Christmas day came and we headed to my parents home in the very early afternoon. When we arriv

Advent Calendar Day 12 ~ Charitable/Volunteer Work

As a family we never volunteered to work for a charity. My husband and I have however done charity work through the Harley Davidson Chapter we belong to. Our chapter supports a local home for battered women and children. Christmas time is when our support is really shown. In fact, you could say this is why I joined the chapter to begin with. You see, about ten years ago I heard about a toy run the chapter was sponsoring. Friends of ours belonged to the chapter and shared the information with us. When I heard the support the chapter gave for the needy, I was sold. My husband had been wanting a Harley. I gave him the down payment for the bike at Christmas, I wanted us to join the chapter. We joined the chapter and are still members. I have been an elected officer and an appointed officer in the chapter and my husband has been a road captain (one who leads rides). Over the years the way we support the battered womans and children's center has been fairly consistent, although presentat

Advent Calendar Day 11 ~ Other Traditions

I have no idea what traditions were at Christmas for any of my grandparents or great grandparents. I do know there were two things that were traditions in my parents home on Christmas. The first one was that we didn't get to open out presents until 1:00pm on Christmas Day. I suppose growing up and being used to that wasn't as bad as others may think, that was just the way my mother did it. She would get up in the morning, start the turkey (we always had turkey) and do some cooking. My mother's mother and her husband came to our house for Christmas Day, and they came at one o'clock. Looking back on this, I think it is amazing I didn't fuss about it as I can't imagine ever having my children wait until that time to open their gifts. My children put out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve, I don't know if that was ever done in my parents home, I can't remember it if it was. The other tradition on Christmas Day was that we always had to dress up. In fact

Advent Calendar Day 10 ~ Christmas Gifts

The most distant memories I have were those spent Christmas Eve with my grandparents and aunt and eventually her family. My grandpa Harding was the sweetest ever. He was always so happy and made us feel special and so very comfortable around him. He was the one who decorated the Christmas tree for many years, until they finally put it, decorations and all in a spare bedroom, covered with a sheet waiting for the following year. My grandfather played Santa and handed out the gifts. He truly enjoyed watching us open each gift as if he had gone out and bought it himself. I do believe though that my grandma did the shopping. She did the shopping, he wrapped. Several years ago my aunt gave me a gift I treasure so much. This gift was given to me when I was first learning genealogy, about 10 years ago. At the time I was interested, but only because I found family information online by accident. I played a bit to try to find more information, which I did, but eventually I became to busy and did

Advent Calendar Day 9 ~ Grab Bag, Holiday Talents

Today is "grab bag day", which means we are to choose our own theme for the day. The theme I have chosen is about being crafty during the holidays. The photo to the right displays a miniature scene I made years ago. It hasn't been unpacked for several Christmases. I developed the room you see in the display here. I started with wallpaper and then building the fireplace and decorating it. I crocheted a blanket to adorn the rocking chair. Toys were added along with lights to the tree (which needs batteries now) and pictures on the wall. As you can see there are also presents and a rug...and it was so much fun to make! I have spent most all of my life being crafty. I can remember being about 10 years old and teaching myself to crochet. The first item I made was a scarf. I remember making multicolor headbands too. When I was a freshman in high school I took a sewing class and began making my own clothes. In between crocheting and sewing I enjoyed learning other crafts as wel


I wanted to make this special post, just for Vanessa to tell her ~ " HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY FRIEND !" Here I was wishing her a congratulatory Merry Christmas on being connected with her father and sister again, and found out it is her birthday! So, she was reunited with her family as a birthday gift! I wanted you to know that I am praying for you and your health. Remember, as you told me, you now have hope. Please keep that hope, great things do happen! You already can attest to that! Be strong and get lots of rest. May you have the happiest birthday EVER! Thanks for stopping by! Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Advent Calendar Day 8 ~ Christmas Cookies

Traditionally, Norwegian and Danish baked at least seven different types of cookies before Christmas. It carried over from the 19th century. It seemed that the more types of cookies you baked the wealthier you were. Scandinavian cookie recipes were handed down from generation to generation, but not in my immediate family. There was never cookie making when I was a child growing up. I am starting to feel as though I missed so much as a child. At least I have memories to share of Christmas cookies and baking as an adult, along with a new tradition. The first time I was really involved in baking Christmas Cookies was about 25 years ago. A friend hosted a Christmas cookie and tea party. The idea was to bake 6 dozen of one kind of cookie. Then we would meet for cookies and tea and exchange a dozen of the cookies we baked with each of the other five people. Suddenly we had 6 dozen different home made cookies! It was great to have the beautiful cookies for holiday gifting or when company stop

SNGF ~ My Second Letter to Santa

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun with Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings prompted me to write the first of these two posts. The challenge and my response can be read here . It is highly recommended you read that post before continuing on with this, my follow up letter to Genea-Santa! Dear Genea-Santa, I can not begin to tell you how awesome a gift this was from you! The fact that you were able to grant my wish was amazing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Because of you, my good friend Joe Dallman and I were able to crack this case and bring my friend back in touch with her father, Clay Thomas Carlin. We were looking for his final resting place, and instead we found that he is very much alive! In fact he was looking for her also. The phone call between the two happened this afternoon and my friend wrote me this while she was speaking to him. "OH MY GOSH, YOU FOUND MT DAD !!!! IT IS REALLY HIM !!! I AM TALKING TO HIM ON THE PHONE RIGHT NOW. THANK YOU, YOU HAVE CHANGED MY LIFE F