Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Some of you may have seen the ad already for the new tv show-Who do you think you are? premiring on March 5th. This show promises to raise the interest level in genealogy.

Many of you have asked me questions about genealogy before and I had promised to give some information about getting started, or what we will be doing in our schoolroom this year for genealogy.

My first recommendation is to sit down and determine what you know. Ask family members questions-dates, names, marriages, divorces, deaths, burials? Use this as a guide to get started.

How to record/where to record this information?

Once you start being able to fill in the blanks and find some answers, you'll probably wonder where to start or how to start recording this information. I use alot of the forms in this book by Emily Croom-Unpuzzling your past Workbook.

This book has wonderful forms for United States research. If your family has been here for only a generation or two, you will not find this book very valuable. Family groups sheets and Generation charts are included, and standard for any research project. The bonus, in my opinion, is the census record reports and the interview sheets.

Let's start with the census record reports. She has provided one for each census, except 1890. Almost all of the 1890 census records were lost in a fire and therefore you will not be able to search those. Different information was asked on each census record. You may be able to find out what state/country your relative was born in, their parents, what language they spoke, when they naturalized, and what they did for a living. I'll cover where to look for census records in my next post on this topic.

Ms. Croom's interview sheets are alot of fun. She breaks down the interviews by decade and asks questions pertinent to that time. Wonder how the family did during the Depression or WWI or WWII?

The other place to find free report forms is at the LDS Family Research Center You will find the forms listed at the bottom of the page located under Resources. While you are at this website, be sure to read the top of the page for some very valuable information on how to get started.

How to ask family members questions?

I was blessed with two wonderful great-aunts with lots of valuable information. I called one ten years ago and asked the question: Who was your family? She wrote me several pages with dates, names, places. In anticipation of my visit back home, she pulled out a box of old photos. Unfortunately, she passed the week before I was to travel home. I was left with a skeleton of information without a real look into the people themselves.

My other great-aunt, from a different side of the family, answered many questions via letter. I have saved all of them and treasure each one. Unfortunately, I asked specifics, and not the question that was most important-Who were they?

I recommend that you sit down and record your conversation with them, either by tape or video. Ask important questions, not only places, people, and dates, but questions about who they were. Where did they live? Stories growing up about their parents, grandparents, and possibly great-grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins? What was grandma most famous for baking? Did grandpa tell stories about his parents or growing up? Once you start asking questions, they information will come to them. Record it, relax, listen and ask questions. If its being recorded, you don't need to write it down.

Pull out old photos and get them scanned. Identify the people, places, and dates on them. The first great-aunt I spoke of, had pulled out all of her photos, but they only had first names, and no one else could help identify them.

I think that this post is long enough. I will be posting soon on your next steps:
How to record/sort your information? To use or not use a genealogy program? What books can assist you get started? Where to go to get more information? How can the internet help? What websites do I use? How to verify information posted on the internet?

If you have any other questions, please let me know and I'll tack them on to the list already being generated. I will also discuss the lapbook that we'll be starting in a few weeks from Hands of a Child-Discovering my Family Tree.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Some sights

I just realized that I didn't take the pictures of the lapbooks we completed two weeks ago, so I'll get those posted soon. The kids really liked learning about eagles, especially since this is the time of year, that many fly around. We have 6 resident eagles close by, but lately we've been counting ten or more a day. Its wonderful to see so many bald eagles, especially since they are endangered.

Here's some pictures that I took down the street from our house.

This is Mount Baker, part of the Cascade Mountain range. We went camping near there this past summer. Its a beautiful and nice area.

As I was taking this photo, this bald eagle starting circling over my head.

This photo and the next few, I took standing in the same spot. This is a little further down the street, along the little beach area. Notice the driftwood. Its huge and all over every beach here.

This view is standing in the same spot. The mountain range to the east of the island-the Cascade Mountains.

This is still standing in the same spot. The mountain range to the west of the island-the Olympics. Our house is down this street about half a mile.

You can barely see the outline here, but this is Mount Ranier.

As you can see, the scenery is gorgeous here. On a clear day, from our upstairs windows, we can view both mountain ranges-one in the front of the house and one in the rear. My neighbor across the street backs up to the little wooded area and had a bald eagle swoop in her back yard the other day. I need to take a photo of the shot down the street from our patio so you can see what we see. Its gorgeous-and we're open for company, if you'd like to come!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

weeks of excitement.....

Well, know that my hands and joints are finally on the mend, I can type a little better. Still suffering from joint pain, mostly in my hands, but doing better with that. I have a few pictures to post to update you on what's been going on here.

My dreams of finishing my bachelors have been squashed. Some idiot in the federal government decided that when calculating financial aid-our housing allowance must be added in. This housing allowance is given to us by the way, because the pay for enlisted military members is so low. And, since we live in military housing, we get it paid and immediately deducted every month so we don't even see it at all.

Another idiot decided to suspend the military spouse assistance program. It gave us $6000 to use for school. Not alot, but enough to help out. 98,000 spouses were informed this week that the program has been suspended. They didn't even send us notice, just posted a note on their website. My school was pro-active and called all of their students to let us know. Too bad that because of adding in our housing allowance, even with having five kids, I still would have to pay $400 per class. I did sign up for aid a little late, so best I can hope for is getting a little more by signing up early. I'll finish my class in a few weeks and then I'm in the holding pattern.

On a good note however, we celebrated two birthdays this week. Well, a half birthday for chunky monkey and Princess' ninth birthday.

Poor chunky monkey, her sister never leaves her alone. Here, she looks a little frightened!

Sitting up all by herself now!

Birthday breakfast cupcake time. We're going to have to move to one candle next year, this has a little more flammage than necessary!

opening gifts

I have some more photos and updates to our school week. I'll post them later. The olympics have been hampering my study time and I need to get crackin. Please keep Princess in your prayers as she gets her tonsils removed on Monday!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Finally on the mend.....

I hope anyway. I'm sure we are because hubby comes home Friday night. You'll hear me running and screaming away from the house on Saturday!

Arby posted a great idea about a jar-paying money into it for fumes that bodies emit. I had a much better idea for a jar.

We know have the "jail jar". Any coats or shoes that I pick up go into the "jail" laundry basket. To retrieve your item, you must put five cents into the jail jar and on allowance day, you must buy it all back.

Hubby is ten cents as he is the worst offender.

I should be rich and able to afford a luxury cruise all by my lonesome, without any sick children around.

oh, and TL just went ahead and put a dollar in the jar so he'll be covered for a while he said!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thanks for the prayers....

It started last week. Princess woke up on Thursday with a fever and red cheeks. Unusual, because my kids aren't usually flushed when they get a fever, and it was a fever but not that high. Tylenol helped and by the end of the day, she was well. The next day, my neck started hurting-I assumed I slept wrong. It was annoying, but not very painful. It continued until Sunday night, when all of a sudden, I couldn't turn my neck. Very painful to turn at all. This wasn't good. I knew that it was a sign of meningitis, but I didn't have any other symptoms. Monday morning I woke up, with a very stiff and sore neck, achy joints-oh boy, I thought, maybe it is. Took a shower, got out and realized, that I was covered head to toe in a rash. Relief passed through me-rashes are not symptoms of meningitis.

Or, are they? A quick internet search proved, that it was a symptom. I ran to the doctor, but I wasn't experiencing any other symptoms. Everyone I know that had it was hospitalized with headaches, vomiting-nothing that I had.

By Monday night, the pain in my neck subsided, but I couldn't move my hands. Swollen and painful, I couldn't turn them or grab anything.

My mother called at this point and said that it sounded like fifth disease. I had no idea what that was. She said that when I was little, I got it every year. I looked it up online and its also called the "slapped face" syndrome because children usually look like they've been slapped in the face. But Princess never had a rash? I had no idea. Its winter and we're covered up and she's old enough to shower on her own. A quick check stated that the rash could take up to two weeks to go away. I brought her in and checked her out. Sure enough, she had a rash.

Well, now at least I knew what was wrong. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday with very painful hands-swollen and barely able to move them. Today, they are much better, but my fingers look like small sausages. I still ache in every joint in my body. I feel like a ninety year old. I almost couldn't get outta bed this morning and I'm hoping it ends soon.

Of course, my ever supportive hubby called me yesterday to let me know that his search on the internet stated that adults could have these joint symptoms for up to thirty days. Not something I wanted to hear. Thanks a lot honey!

So, that's what's been going on in my house this week. With all the illnesses in 2010 so far, I'm reaching for the do-over button!

Math fact family cards

Hello all!! Feeling a little better-at least I can type today. I'll get more into my illness in a later post.

Just wanted to share this awesome website for printing fact family cards. There's also game ideas for you.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

prayers please

As I type this, I'm in alot of pain. I have gotten fifth disease and ils settled in my joints. Neck and hands especially very painful, swollen, and hard to move. Thanks