Saturday, March 27, 2010

Genealogy #2

So I watched Who do you think you are? the other night and it did not disappoint at all. Viewers be warned however, that it often takes years of research to come across this information, not an hour.

I rather enjoyed Sarah Jessica Parker's family story. Its interesting to see how we are all connected. Seeing the shock on her face with her family ancestor in the witch trials-as she said, how do I hope she was one of the accused and not an accusor? I can understand her dilema. On one hand, you don't wish your ancestor to hang, but the other seems less desireable!

Emmitt Smith did not disappoint either. I've always been curious on African American research. I know that their records are limited, Emmitt was lucky that his family took such care to keep records.

Lisa Kudrow's family story was sad too-the plight of the Jews in Europe during World War II seemed more real to me after hearing her story. I didn't have any Jewish ancestors and knew their plight, so to hear someone's family story was heartwrenching. And to be reunited with her father's cousin after all these years was absolutely awesome!!

I only saw bits and pieces of tonight's episode. My neighbor was visiting and I didn't want to be rude and throw her out, although I really wanted to watch it. I'll tune into it online in the next few days.

So, now we're onto part two of my genealogy post. After you get all the information from your family that you can, you can start looking into different sources.

My first recommendation is the LDS website. The LDS library in Salt Lake City is the largest IN THE WORLD. They have tons and tons and tons of items. The best part is that they are working on putting all of their records online and they are all free to the public. If you cannot locate a record on their website, search their library database. You may be able to find a book or microfilm that contains the information that you are looking for. Have the record sent to the nearest Family Research Center in your area-an LDS church nearby. They allow you to go to their research centers and view this information. They also are extremely helpful and knowledgeable. In larger centers, they offer classes and discussions on various types of records.

My second recommendation is Ancestry. Check with your library to see if they have a subscription to them. Ancestry is wonderful and they are putting more records online everyday. However, to use them is pretty pricey. Its $150/year for United States records subscription or (I think) $275 for the International records also. They do offer a monthly subscription rate, if you'd like to try it out. I purchase the United States records subscription every year. For me, its worth it. I do alot of research and its more convenient for me, especially with my hubby gone all the time. Most of the time, when I get time to work on my records, its late at night and the library is closed anyway.

Another advantage to ancestry is that people post their family trees there and you may be able to find your family line on their tree. BEWARE however! Just because its there, doesn't mean its been documented and proven. Without sources listed, don't believe its true. I usually write the info down and try to prove it myself.

And a huge blessing to all genealogists out there is Cyndi's List. I highly recommend going to this website and tooling around some. You'll find thousands of links to websites with valuable information and Cyndi does a great job at trying to keep up with her huge database.

I don't recommend keeping your family tree online with Ancestry as your main source. There are several good programs out there to use, or website in which you can download your tree. The main reason is that if you let your subscription lapse, you cannot access your tree to download the information or make any changes. You can still view the tree, but that's it. I'll discuss some websites and programs in my next post.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Nature walk and some new curriculum

The week before last was gorgeous. Wonderful temps and lots of sunshine, so we took a nice nature walk along a trail here behind our house-here's what we saw.

The walk ended of course at the new playset at the end of our street. Its pretty muddy around it still, but it was such a nice day, the kids had a great time on the playset. While they were doing that, I was enjoying the view:

As many of you know, I've had huge issues with Princess remembering her addition facts. One day she knows them, the next she doesn't. Its enough to drive me mad. So, I decided to try this curriculum that I saw advertised in a homeschooling magazine. Its from City Creek Press and its alot of fun. Basically, each number is given an identity. A three is a bee, four door, five drives, sick six, 7th street park, eight gate, etc. With each fact comes a story and the fact card also shows the shapes on them with the fact and the kids memorize the story and then know the fact. I was very skeptical, I mean how could she memorize the story to remember the answer, if she can't just memorize the fact? Well, she can and did! The stories make it lots more fun than the fact flashcards or timed tests. No more sitting looking at the fact card for two minutes, trying to get the answer; now she knows it in a flash. And the best part, is that the subtraction fact comes just as easily. They also have a multiplication series, which includes a video. I'm definitely up for that. Anything to make learning these facts more fun, is okay in my book.

Okay, I think I'm pretty caught up now. Have a wonderful week everyone!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

American radio and Electricity Museum

I finally found the cord to upload photos from my camera!! I'll have to mail this into two posts, because there are alot of photos. The first ones here are from our trip to the American Radio and Electricity Museum. What an awesome place! I couldn't believe the amount of radios and televisions that they had on display. The static electricty displays and other interactive displays were fantastic.

I didn't realize how dark this photo turned out. The kids were actually able to record and listen to their recording. I didn't realize that the cylinder used was made of wax and could be used over and over again.

Here's Bug-a-Bug using the hands free instrument. Its actually used to make scary songs in movies and is very hard to control. You control the pitch and the volume with a wave of your hand and do not touch the instrument at all.

Here's a top of the line, space age, George Jetson tv.

The kids all enjoyed the static electricty displays. Here's Princess with her hair standing on end. She thought that was really cool.

This is a replica of Ben Franklin's workshop. I looked for his spectacles, but couldn't find any. They had a really nice display and information, but it was hard to check it out chasing after a toddler. They also had a replica of the radio room on the Titanic.

Here's Princess trying her hand at the hands free instrument.

And these aren't museum pictures, but an effort to get me caught up with my photos. Here's Chunky Munky. She's eating real food now and getting it all over and loving it! She smiles so much, I have a problem getting the spoon into her mouth so she'll eat.

And here's one of our school days. In jammies doing a geography game. Ten days in Africa. If you haven't checked out this series, you need to do so. Its an awesome way to teach geography to your kids and have fun at the same time.

And TL's been into making houses of cards lately. He took this picture one day while he was supposed to be doing his writing assignment. He tried to take another picture after he added another level, but it fell down.

And that's all for now. I'll post photos of our nature walk and the new addition curriculum that I found-which I love! Princess has finally memorized all her addition facts, thank goodness!

Tomorrow I start my next class. The funding for spouses came back up a week and a half ago. I was able to sign up for one class that I needed-History of Christianity. I thought it would be really interesting and then I got the textbook. Terrible font, no photos, and after page four, I finally had to whip out the dictionary because I couldn't figure out the definition of several words-and I'm usually pretty good at that. I'm excited though, it should be fun! If I can get past this horrible book that is!

Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Good Grief!

You can't tell me that its actually time for curriculum fairs already? That its time to start planning for next year already? Where has this year gone too?

I'm in the process of planning out our next year's curriculum. I have alot of it outlined already. I'm not doing too badly so far. Trying to keep it under $600 for all three-oops, four kids. I forgot, next year, we'll add a preschooler to the mix. I may go crazy, me thinks!

I still can't find my camera cord to download pictures. Hopefully, I'll find it in the next day or so. I have a ton now, especially since we just had a field trip the other day to the Radio and Electricity Museum. It was awesome, the kids had a great time! Later this month, we'll hit the zoo and the Burke Museum, which has a fossil display right now. Next month, its the Island Historical Society Museum and Padilla Bay Estuary. And May we're hitting a miniature cattle farm-can't wait for that one, even though it will be a really long drive.

Gotta run, have a great day!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Finally time....

Well, I finally have time to do a new post, nice and long with pictures. The only problem is that my husband took the card reader with him and now I can't download my photos. I'll try the old cord later and we'll see if that works.

In the meantime, its been very busy here. Be sure to watch Who do you think you are? tonight. Last weeks' episode sure was alot of fun and I'm currently working on my next genealogy blog.

I spent some time this week and make camping plans for the summer-seven weekends and a two week vacation to Oregon, with stops at Mt Ranier and Mt St Helens. Can't wait for that.

Princess is all recovered from her tonsils being removed. SHe's eating well and will hopefully put back on all the weight she lost.

I'm currently planning out next year's curriculum and also getting ready for my next college class. I just got word yesterday that the spouse's tuition assistance is back up and running so I signed up for my class.

Well, boring, I know. Hopefully, I can get those pictures loaded later and you can see what we've been up to.