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Archive for December, 2008

The genea-bloggers are caroling!  footnoteMaven over at footnoteMaven will be hosting all of the carolers real soon! Please go visit her site.

For my carol, I’ve chosen “Mary, Did You Know” – the Kenny Rogers/Wynonna Judd version.

Mary, did you know
that your baby boy will one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know
that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?

Did you know,
that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you’ve delivered,
will soon deliver you.

Mary, did you know
that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?

Mary, did you know
your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?

Did you know,
that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
When you kiss your little baby,
you’ve kissed the face of God.

The blind will see
The deaf will hear
The dead will live again.
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of The Lamb.

Mary, did you know
that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know
that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?

Did you know,
that your baby boy is heaven’s perfect lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding, is the great I AM.

(You can watch this video at YouTube.)  This song is on Kenny Rogers’ “The Gift” CD and was released in 1996.  It was written by Buddy Greene and Mark Lowry.  Lowry was asked by his church congregation in 1984 to write a song for Advent.  In Christianity Today, he said,

I tried to picture Mary holding the baby Jesus on the first Christmas morning and wondered what she was thinking about that child. She knew he was special—the Virgin Birth was her first clue—but could she ever imagine all the things that he would do while he was here?

Buddy Greene supplied the music for the lyrics six years later and the song was complete.  Besides Lowry and the duet of Rogers/Judd,  it’s also been recorded by about 30 artists including Rascal Flatts,  Reba McEntire and Kathleen Battle.

The first time I heard this song – several Christmases ago – I was in my room wrapping gifts, and felt such a peace settle over me as the music and lyrics touched the depth of my soul.  As a mother – and a mother of a son – I am inspired and awed by Mary.  I find myself wondering if, despite the knowledge of who and what her son was to be, she wanted to shield and protect him, just as any other mother would do.  I hear the words “baby boy”, and remember how I used to gaze at my newborn son many years ago, wondering what he was to become and knowing that there were so many opportunities for him and dreams for him to follow. 

Merry Christmas!

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christmastourbnr

Denise Olson, at Moultrie Creek is hosting the Christmas Tour of Blogs that will kick off on Dec. 15th. Genea-bloggers are encouraged to create a post describing their family’s Christmas decorations – past or present.

So sit back and enjoy my tour!

goldwreath
This is the gold wreath – made out of newspapers and painted with gold spray paint – that my mom made for our home when I was growing up.  It hung above our fireplace mantel.  On the mantel were Christmas decorations. 

 

 

60s-83This was the garland hung around the wrought iron railing by the front door.

 

 

 

 

60s-130Me in front of the Christmas tree probably about 1969-1970.  Notice the end table next to the tree has the red Christmas candles on it.  Our windows also had a single electric candle that we lit after the sun had gone down.  For a few years we even decorated the fir trees in our front yard with lights.   In the photo below, you’ll notice that our large, picture window had several of these “candles” on the sill.

 

christmastree

My first real “adult” Christmas in my own apartment included a wicker chair strung with garland and red satin balls because I was too poor to afford a Christmas tree!  The first tree I bought was in 1984 at the local Gibsons that cost $14!  It was pretty lonely looking (sort of like the tree on “A Charlie Brown Christmas”) until the lights, decorations and tinsel was put on.

We moved into our home 20 years ago, so we have had two decades of creating new and wonderful memories at Christmas time.  My husband would bring the tree and all the decorations down from the attic either the first or second weekend of December.  After setting up the tree and stringing the lights, I would hand each child one ornament at a time to place on the branches.  Of course as they grew older, they each had several of their “school” made decorations to use.  For the very first ornament, I took a picture and once the entire tree was decorated (after I hung the garland or threw the tinsel), I would position them on the floor gazing up at the tree in wonder for a photo.

christmas-looking-at-tree

Generally the only other decorations that go up are the Santa Stocking, given to our youngest daughter many years ago by some good church friends, the Christmas Wreath (it has changed only a few times in 20 years),

xmas03_tree

and the gold “Jingle Bell” that hangs between our dining and living room.  The bell belonged to my grandparents and as a child, I loved to pull the string and hear the tune as Santa and his reindeer (on the outside) spun around it.  I was fortunate enough to end up with it many years ago.  If you look at to the upper right of the tree over the floor lamp, you can see the bell.)  My children have on occasion put lights in their bedroom windows and once I wrapped holly vines over the top of the living room arch.

pc250186

 

I’ve either strung regular silver garland on the tree or “thrown” tinsel on each branch.  However, the tree above (2003), I strung pearl beads as garland.  The tree to the right (2006) I draped ribbon down from the top with bows tied on each length at different intervals. (The Jingle Bell is more visible in this picture.)

We’ve had the tree in two different places in our home.  For the last ten years (at least) it has sat in this exact spot.  This tree was purchased at an after Christmas sale, many years ago for half off the sale price!  In 1999 some good friends were moving and gave us their pre-lit Christmas tree.  It had so many white lights on it that we could feel the heat as soon as we walked into the room.  Needless to say we gave it to our oldest daughter the following year and went back to using our well loved tree.

I hope you have enjoyed my tour of Christmases past and present.  And may your family have a very Merry Christmas!

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I’ve been doing some research the last couple of days and believe that I’ve knocked down a couple other brick walls!  Many years ago as I was looking for the parents of John Blazer (my maternal 3rd great-grandfather) b. March 12, 1810 d. 1873, I came across an article published in “Biographical and Historical Record of Jay County, Indiana”, Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1887 about a man named Samuel Blazer.  I decided to re-visit that article with fresh eyes.

The date of the publication was prior to Samuel’s death which leads me to believe that he had some input as to what was written about him.  The biography stated that Samuel was born in Gallia County, Ohio to Philip and Elizabeth Blazer on August 2, 1813 and had eight siblings – one of which – John – moved from Ohio to Madison County, Ohio but had died several years prior.  The only John Blazer of the right generation living in Madison County at least a decade and more prior would be my John Blazer.  My ancestor also listed his birthplace as Ohio on the 1850, 1860, and 1870 Censuses plus his death came 14 years prior to the book being published (although it is not known exactly when the interview or information from Samuel was obtained).

From the “Gallipolis Journal” (Gallia County, Ohio) published on August 31, 1892 (posted to the Blazer family message board by Sandra Maskew), a man named J.J. Blazer (son of Peter Blazer) talks of his grandfather – Jacob Blazer, who had 12 children – one of which was Philip (purported father of Samuel and John).  Mr. Blazer mentioned that Philip, as well as his father, Peter, and his grandparents, and five of his aunts, moved from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia to Pennsylvania and then on to Green Twp, Gallia County, Ohio in 1803.  J.J. goes on to report that Philip and his wife had nine children – and Samuel (Philip’s son) resides in Jay County, Indiana.

This information leads me to believe that I have placed my gr-gr-great-grandfather into the correct family.  There will be further documentation to research in order to have exact proof, but for now at least I think I’m pointed in the right direction.

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Ooooh – Me!Me!

Thomas at Destination: Austin Family remarked on another meme making the rounds. He said that it was pasted by Virginia at Valeehill Genealogy Blog. So of course since I have nothing better to do, thought I’d play along.

1. Do you like bleu cheese? (sorry, I’m a “spell” nut, I had to spell it the right way!)
Yes.  I love the salad dressing, the bleu cheese dip that comes with Wing Stop wings & even the regular kind!

2. Have you ever done something you regretted?
Unfortunately yes.  Sometimes I open my mouth before I engage my brain!

3. Do you own a gun?
I’m not going to answer this one way or the other!

4. What flavor of Kool Aid was your favorite?
I think we drank red (either cherry or strawberry) and grape when I was a kid.  Now I prefer lime or mandarin orange or black cherry.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments?
No

6. What do you think of hot dogs?
Hated them as a kid – then liked them at ball games, amusement parks, etc. Now I know why – I’m not a fan of boiled hot dogs (hate microwaved ones!) and enjoy grilled hot dogs or brats or hot italian sausage!

7. Favorite Christmas movie?
It’s a Wonderful Life

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Coffee with hazelnut fat free cream.

9. Can you do push ups?
Haven’t in awhile but yes I can

10. Favorite hobby?
Genealogy

11. Do you have A.D.D.?
No – I can sit for hours and do nothing!

12. What’s one trait you hate about yourself?
I’m a control freak (just ask my family!)

13. Middle name?
Again – not going to answer due to privacy – but I’m sure if you googled me enough – you’d find out!

14. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment?
I should be Christmas shopping
I would really like days where no one else is in the house (at least 9-3!)
Why is it so cold?

15. Name 3 drinks you regularly have?
Coffee, water, starbucks pumpkin spice latte

16. Current hate right now?
ignorant and stupid people

17. Favorite place to be?
Location: at the farm; people to be with – my family!

18. How did you bring in the New Year?
Wow that was almost a year ago & you expect me to remember?  Watching the ball drop in Times Square on TV

19. A place would you like to go?
1st – Scotland (Highlands!), 2nd – the rest of Great Britain, 3rd – Australia, 4th – New England, 5th – every place my ancestors lived to search through court houses, cemeteries, etc.

20. Name three people who will complete this:
Hasn’t a lot of folks already done so?

21. Do you have slippers?
Yes but I also use my flip flops as slippers

22. What shirt are you wearing?
Black and purple long sleeved sweater over a blue tank top (I’m cold!)

23. Do you like sleeping on satin?
I did – but then I found it’s just too slippery

24. Can you whistle?
yes – but not anything spectacular.

25. Would you be a pirate?
Only if there was fun & humor involved and no one would get hurt, no countries would go to war and Jack Sparrow kept me laughing!

26. What songs do you sing in the shower?
Since my family seems to think they can still hear me if I sing in the shower, I usually don’t. but if I do – it’s generally some song running through my head at that particular moment.

27. Favorite girl’s name(s)?
I can’t be biased – so I will say all my daughter’s first and/or middle names.

28. What’s in your pocket right now?
Have no pockets!

29. Last thing that made you laugh?
The sight of my daughter’s shoes (tons!) lining the hallway while she cleans her room!

30. Favorite bed sheets as a child?
Since white was always the color – had to be the denim blue sheets I got when I was a teenager!

31. Worst injury ever?
Well I got hit by a car – but not injured!  Probably when I broke my pinkie toe last year – I couldn’t stop laughing at the sight of it sticking out at a 90 degree angle (until the ER dr. set it!) & now cold weather makes it hurt!  Plus I couldn’t do my normal fitness routine for months!

32. Do you like where you live?
I like my home because that’s where my family is & where we’ve raised our kids for over 20 years.  I’m used to the schools, city, etc.  However if I could transplant it all somewhere else, I would.

33. How many TVs do you have in your house?
Three – 2 that we watch & one that is old & one of our gaming systems is hooked up to it.

34. Who is your loudest friend?
I’m probably louder than my friends!

35. How many dogs do you have?
one – she’s my daughter’s.

36. Does someone have a crush on you?
Well, I hope my husband has more than a crush on me!

37. What is your favorite book?
Here is where I’m supposed to say the Bible right?  Ok, let’s just say that’s a given & nothing beats that.  Now, the book I’d sit down & read again & again would have to be any of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series books.

38. What is your favorite candy?
Hershey’s Chocolate – you mean there’s other types?

39. Favorite Sports Team?
Cowboys!

40. What song do you want played at your funeral?
Since I’m hoping my loved ones won’t give me a traditional funeral – I’ve stated I want them to have a party!  I hope they’ll play a lot of my favorite bands – Alice Cooper (ok – how about “I Love the Dead”!), Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen, etc.  Nothing to get them all weepy & all of it to make them smile & have fun!

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pb210347

“Official” Isaac Hayes, Tina Turner, Booker T & the MG’s Rest Stop westbound on I-40 in Madison County, Tennessee.

Photographed November 22, 2008.  Digital photo owned by Wendy Littrell (address for private use).

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romagoul

Roma Goul – cousin of my grandfather, Glen R. Johnson.  I would stuff the stocking of a Goul relative in hopes that they would be able to give me more information on this woman.  She was obviously a part of my grandfather’s life since he had her picture in his possession. 

Roma D. Goul was born in 1904 in Mechanicsburg, Champaign County, Ohio to William Harry Goul and Ada Josephine McAdams.  She had four sisters – Geraldine (b. 1901), Vaughna C. (b. about 1908), Verna (b. between 1909-1910) and Dora (b. 1 Oct. 1910 and d. 22 Dec. 1910).  Her parents were married in 1899 in Champaign County, Ohio. 

This post was written for the 8th Edition of Smile for the Camera.

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This post was written for the 62nd Carnival of Genealogy, 3 Wishes.  The topic suggests: Make a list of 3 gifts you would like to receive this holiday season from 3 of your ancestors. These have to be material things, not clues to your family history (we’re talking gifts here, not miracles!). Do you wish your great grandmother had gifted you a cameo broach? Or maybe you’d like to have the family bible from great great grandpa Joe? How about a baby doll that once belonged to your dear Aunt Sarah? This is a fantasy so you can dream up gift items. They don’t have to be actual items that you know your ancestors owned. However, they do have to be historically accurate to the time period in which your ancestor lived. Do your research. No asking for a new computer from your great grand aunt! Genea-Santa wouldn’t like that.

Dear Santa,

Could you please leave the following items under my tree:

  1. The Amore photo/scrapbook.  My Uncle Gail began this book back in the late 1960s.  The last we knew, it was in the possession of my cousin, June, who hasn’t been communicative with any of the relatives in a long time.  I believe there are pictures in there of the first Amore-Werts reunion as well as the other Amore reunions and the siblings reunions of years past.  All I want to do is scan the photos and memorabilia and then June can have it back.
  2. The box of “lost” photos.  When I was about 12, my mom and I went through a box that had lots of ancestor photos.  Some of those pictures were of “funeral” pictures (those who had died in their caskets laid out in the parlors).  When I finally had the nerve about 5 years later to look at them again, the box of photos went missing.  Try as I might, I can not locate them at my mom’s (we had moved in the mean time).  Again, if one of my relatives ended up with this box, all I want to do is scan the photos and they can have it back!
  3. DVDs of all the slides my grandparents took (I believe one of my cousins has  the slides!) and a CD of all their reel-to-reel tapes (I’m sure there are more than what my brother had in his possession) so I can see the world through their eyes via their pictures and hear their voices on more than one CD.

I’ve tried to be a very good genealogist this year!  And, Santa, I will leave you a wonderful snack so you can keep up your stamina as you visit all the other houses in the world on Christmas Eve!

Thanks so much!

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