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Posts Tagged ‘personal’

Still Not Really Back

Sorry – said I was going to start posting again but that won’t be happening soon.  There is a major family health crisis that took me out of state for over a week.  I’m trying to play catch up and figure out what normal really is.  I did bring back with me some interesting objects – what looks like charcoal drawings or something of some of my ancestors that I did not even know existed.  Too big to scan – will have to photograph them.  But that won’t be for awhile.  I ask for all the prayers directed toward my loved one – for their comfort in this difficult time. 

Thanks to all of you –  my faithful readers and friends – for your continued patience.

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Unfortunately life has become rather stressful as of late so I haven’t written any new posts.  I’ve missed the last two Carnivals of Genealogy as well as several Tombstone Tuesday’s and Wordless Wednesdays. 

I have done quite a bit of research in the last few weeks which has provided some new information and areas still to be checked.

As soon as Easter is over, I will (hopefully) be posting again on a regular basis!

But for now, head on over to West in New England and read the 69th Carnival of Genealogy. Kudos to Bill West for hosting this edition and to all the genea-bloggers who contributed!

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Each Saturday evening, Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings posts Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – a little game for all the geneabloggers. Unfortunately due to my recent schedule I haven’t been able to play as often as I’d like. But when I saw this post on Your Paternal Grandmother’s Patrileneal Line”, I couldn’t resist. So what if I’m a couple days late!

What was your father’s mother’s maiden name?
My paternal grandmother was Ella Maria HOUSE.  She was born June 22, 1882 and died on July 3, 1946 in Coshocton, Ohio.

What was your father’s mother’s father’s name?
Ella’s father was James Emory HOUSE.  I wrote a biography that you can find here.  He was born May 2, 1842 and died October 1, 1924 in Coshocton, Ohio.

What is your father’s mother’s father’s patrilineal line? That is, his father’s father’s father’s … back to the most distant male ancestor in that line?
The father of James Emory HOUSE was Florus Allen House born January 5, 1813 in New York and died June 25, 1891 in Coshocton, Ohio.

The father of Florus was Allen HOUSE born June 13, 1791 in Hartford County, Connecticut and died September 1, 1845 in Milford, Michigan.

Allen’s father was Lazarus HOUSE born April 14, 1748 and died after 1817 in Hartford County, Connecticut.

Lazarus’ father was William HOUSE born September 9, 1713 and died March 20, 1788 in Hartford County, Connecticut.

William’s father was also William HOUSE born abt. 1684 and died in 1742 in Hartford County, Connecticut.

William’s father was another William HOUSE born in 1642 and died 1703/1704 in Hartford County, Connecticut.  He may have been born either in Connecticut or England.  It is thought that he traveled from England to America as a crewmember on board ship.  Very little is documented about this man.

William’s father was John HOUSE (HOWSE) born about 1610 in Somersetshire, England and died in 1644 in Connecticut.  This informaton is still speculation and has never been documented.

Can you identify male sibling(s) of your father’s mother, and any living male descendants from those male sibling(s)? If so, you have a candidate to do a Y-DNA test on that patrilineal line. If not, you may have to find male siblings, and their descendants, of the next generation back, or even further.
Ella had six brothers and one half-brother (through her father). 

Her half-brother, Edward HOUSE had one son, Waldo, who died in 1966.  Waldo has two sons – still believed to be living – Richard and Donald and Donald has one son – Dan.

Ella’s oldest full brother, Florus (named after his grandfather), had 3 sons.  It is believed there are still several male descendents still living.

Brother, John, had one son who died in 1983.  I don’t know if he had any male descendents.

Brother, Alford Elmer, died at age 4.

Brother, James, had two sons – Raymond and Wilbur.  The latter died at age 1.  I have no further information on Raymond.

Brother, Charles, died at age 12 in a farming accident.

Brother, Alva Lester (see Part One and Part Two of his biography), had three sons.  Arthur died at age 2 months from pneumonia.  His last child, an unnamed male, was stillborn.  His fourth child, Jarold, had four sons – all presumed to still be living.  Jarold died in 1980.

The conclusion is that there are still several males to do a Y-DNA test on – however, I’ve never actually met any of these men so the odds of the test being done are slim to none!

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The 11th Edition of Smile for the Camera is “Brothers and Sisters”. “Were they battling brothers, shy little sisters, or was it brother & sister against the world?”

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Mom (Mary), Glen and Genevieve

My mom was the third child born to Glen and Vesta (Wilt) Johnson.  Glen Jr. was the oldest, born in 1917, and Genevieve born in 1920.  The siblings had a baby sister born very premature in 1927 and who died at 6 weeks.   Mom always felt that her parents considered her brother the “golden boy” of the family and that he could do no wrong.  He was, after all, the oldest child and only son.  Mom and Aunt Genevieve were battling sisters.  One story I’ve heard is that when Mom had to wash the dishes, Aunt Genevieve would dry them but put them back in the “mix” to be washed.  When the two sisters got into it, my grandmother would sit them in chairs back to back and tell them they couldn’t touch each other or talk to each other.  And they they all got older, married, and had their own families.

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 Mom, John & Genevieve, Glen & Mary

This was probably one of the last photos taken of the siblings together before my Aunt Genevieve passed away in 1958.  My parents had been stationed in Japan since 1957 so Mom hadn’t seen her sister in at least a year.  As adults, the siblings visited each other for holidays and spent quite a bit of time together.  My mom and her brother grew very close especially after my grandparents passed away in the early 1980s.  Unfortunately, Mom lost her brother in June 2001 – just two months before she lost her only son.

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My sister, me, my brother

As the youngest of a family of three children, I felt more like an “only” child since my siblings were older than me.  My brother had been married 9 months by the time I was born and my sister was in high school.  A few years later she would be married and go on to have two children – who were more like siblings to me than my nephew and niece.  How I envied my brother and sister!  They had been able to live in Japan – not once, but twice!  They had gotten to grow up with our first cousins!  They had gotten to learn how to fly a plane!  What I didn’t learn until much later was how they envied me.  I got to live in the same house growing up, go to the same school, keep the friends I made and of course – have a swimming pool in the backyard!  My brother became the male figure in my life after my parents’ marriage ended.  How I did not like my brother telling me what to do!  My sister tried to be a sister but it was awful hard splitting loyalties between a young sister and her own two children.  She tried to mother me when I was an older teen but even that was difficult for her to do.  She wasn’t sure if she should be a sister, mother, friend or what.  We had many rocky moments in my early adulthood.  Even though we worked in the same area of the same building for the same company, it was very rare that we actually were “friends”.  It wasn’t until my first marriage ended that I realized what a treasure I had in my siblings.  Unfortunately my brother was several hundred miles away but my sister was still close.  We became much closer than we ever had.  Then she moved out of state – just when we’d “found” each other again and settled into a friendship.  Luckily as technology grew and we both became email “junkies” – there was hardly a day that didn’t go by that we didn’t email each other.  When she moved back to the area in the mid-90s, I’d spend hours sitting with her at her table just talking about everything and nothing.  We learned so much about each other that we hadn’t known before.  Once again she moved away but we remained close through email and ocassional phone calls.  The day she showed up at my house in March 2005 and told me they were moving back to North Texas, I think I cried continuously – out of joy – for days.  Even now it brings tears to my eyes.  I’m so lucky to have been blessed with such a beautiful, inspiring, and unique sister – who also happens to be my best friend.

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my brother – Jim

This was one of the last pictures I took of my brother – Thanksgiving 1998 – at our dad’s house.  Jim had moved away from our “hometown” area over a year before so he was even further away.  It was wonderful for both of us to share a holiday together with our dad.  Little did I realize that this would be one of the last times I saw Jim.  As I became older, he and I settled into a comfortable sibling relationship.  He was always one of the first ones to call me on my birthday.  Always quick with a joke or one of his “tricks”.  I could count on him to make me smile or laugh.  There was no laughing in August 2001 as he was deathly ill with pancreatic cancer.  There would be no more birthday phone calls, no more jokes, no more “tricks”, no more hearing him call me “sis”.  Now my sister and I have taken that mantle.  I don’t think we ever called each other “Sis” until after our brother departed this life.  I think that is our tribute to him and our hope that someday we can hear him call us that again. 

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My four kids were pretty close in age.  The oldest girls were 23 months apart, the next two were 19 months apart and then the last two were a little less than 5 years apart.  Traveling was always an adventure – especially after the youngest no longer needed to be in a car seat.  I had to be very careful who sat with whom and where the dog would end up as well!  The youngest and 2nd youngest shared a room and due to their ages being almost 7 years apart, they grew close.  However, they had their fair share of disputes.  They were like the Odd Couple – one meticulous – the other not!  The older three would play games together leaving the youngest one out.  They would all yell “He/She is touching/looking at me!”  Then they grew up.

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And became FRIENDS!  After a rocky start at young adulthood and their relationships with one another, I start smiling when I think of the brother finding out what a great oldest sister he had or the youngest and oldest sharing confidences or the fact that they call and email each other more than they do me!  I remember the day a long time ago I told them that someday they would be friends and the looks they all gave me!  

Three generations of “battling siblings” all turned into relationships of Best Friends Forever.  What a wonderful family legacy that is!

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The 65th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is “The Happy Dance. The Joy of Genealogy” and will be hosted by Becky Wiseman (one of my distant cousins!) of Kinexxions.

I’ve had several “Oh, Yeah!” moments.  One of them I wrote about in A Goldmine – about discovering a box of letters written by my grandparents to each other when they were courting in 1916 and during 1918 when my grandfather went to Signal Corps Training and during his overseas duty during WWI.

Another moment I had was when I was looking for my maternal 2nd great-grandfather, Emanuel Bushong Stern.  As I was going through the 1850 Census looking for him in order to get information on his parents and siblings, I wasn’t having any luck.  Obviously, they had disappeared during the Census.  And then just by chance, I came across Peter Sterne living in Clay Township, Hamilton County, Indiana.  The last name was spelled wrong – with an “e” at the end of the surname but the names for known siblings was correct.  I think I jumped out of the computer chair at this find!

Another “happy dance” moment came a couple years after I had posted a query on a message board giving names of my paternal g-grandfather’s half-siblings and their children.  I received an email from the daughter of one of his nieces.  She had quite a bit of information about the Johnson line including the first wife of the man I was researching (James Wilson Johnson) who was my 2nd great-grandmother.  And my cousin was actually descended from James’ 2nd wife.  Since that time several years ago we have exchanged (with a couple other Johnson cousins) more information.

It doesn’t take much for me to do the Happy Dance!  Each tiny rock I turn over or piece of information I find that leads to bigger and better finds, is reason for me to stand up and shout “Oh Yeah!”.

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It is with wonder and thanks that I am able to see photos of the houses that my family and ancesters have resided through time.  As I locate addresses, I look them up on Google Maps in order to see what type of terrain they may have lived amongst.  Here is the “Parade of Homes”.

clawsonstoreAt left is the home my grandmother, Vesta Wilt, spent most of her late childhood and teen-age years living in.  It also contained the store run by her step-father, W. Frank Clawson.  It was located on Arrow Avenue in Anderson, Madison County, Indiana.  By the early 1920s, Martha and her youngest two children (Nellie and Clifford) moved to Leaburg, Lane County, Oregon.  Their home sat off of the clawson_house_oregonMcKenzie Highway.  My grandmother didn’t visit her mother “out west” until the early 1940s.  My mom didn’t even meet her grandmother until the late 1940s – after she’d married and had two children.  My Grandma Clawson lived in this home until her death on November 6, 1956 (several years before I was born.)

jljohnson_homeThis large home on Indiana Avenue in Anderson, Indiana was my grandfather’s home for many years.  Glen Johnson is seen as a child with his parents, Katie (Blazer) and John Lafayette Johnson.  After my grandparents were married, they spent their early married years living here.  This is where my grandmother spent long hours and days waiting on letters from Glen when he was in basic training for the Signal Corps in the early months of 1918.  This is where their oldest son spent his first years while his father was in France serving his country in WWI.johnsonhome_devonshire

Glen and Vesta lived in many different locations – Fairfield, Greene County, Ohio (now Fairborn), Washington D.C., Wiesbaden, Germany, Kettering, Ohio and Dayton, Ohio.  This is one of the homes they lived in during the late 1950s.  It is located on Devonshire in Dayton, Ohio.

Henry & Annie Amore's house in Roscoe
Henry & Annie Amore’s house in Roscoe
Cobbler Shop in Roscoe
Cobbler Shop in Roscoe

 

 

My great-grandparents, William Henry and Mary Angelina (Werts) Amore lived in this house (above left) on Center Street in Roscoe, Coshocton County, Ohio.  Above right is the shed that Henry used as his Cobbler shop.  He was a shoemaker by trade.  This was also the scene of the very first Amore-Werts reunion in May 1924. 

roscoehardware
My grandparents, Lloyd and Ella (House) Amore, resided above Roscoe Hardware Store in the early years of their marriage.  lloyd-amore-houseTheir first few children were born in the apartment on the upper floor.  They also lived in these homes – one in Coshocton and one in West Lafayette, Coschocton County.westlafayettehouse One of the homes they lived in on South 7th Street was built in 1900.  It was a two story, 1259 sq. ft. home with a full basement, two bedrooms and one bath with a detached garage.
amorehouseMy parents lived here when they were stationed in Japan in the early 1950s.  They had also resided in Milwaukee; Great Falls, Montana; Cincinnati and Columbus.  When amore-house-tyndallthey left Japan, they resided at Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City, Florida.  They lived in this house (right) not quite a year.  My dad retired from the Air Force and they moved to what would become a suburban town outside of Dayton, Ohio.  It was in this home (below) that I grew up.
my-house

By going to the county’s tax assessor’s web site, I was able to find out the particulars of this home.  The three bedroom, 2 bath, single family residential home was built in 1958.  It has a fireplace in the living room and one in the finished basement.  Heating is by oil and it has central air.  An inground swimming pool was installed in 1967 and improved again in 1977 (after my mother and I moved out).  The person who owns the home now bought it seven years ago.  They are the fifth owner since June 1989.  I believe there was also one other owner prior to that and after my mom.  Contrary to what the Residential information states, the house does have an attic.  It’s not one to walk around in, however that is where all of our Christmas decorations were stored through the year.  It also states it has gas – which it didn’t – unless something changed since 1977.  It is on city water although it does have a sump pump and most of my growing up years, we had a well (the water was much better!).

I am still trying to figure out how to determine where to find addresses that have changed over the years in order to get more information on some of the other homes of my grandparents and great-grandparents.  When I was a young girl, our house number changed – but I’m not sure where to find out that information (any tips?). 

If you know the address and the county of the home, some of the county websites or tax assessor/auditor sites have quite a bit of detailed information on the home.  There will be informaton on taxes, square footage, the current owner, number of rooms, bedrooms and baths, and perhaps a current photo.

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The New Year

Miriam, at AnceStories2, posted a new word prompt for The New Year.

Do you remember the first time you were allowed to stay up and see in the New Year? How old were you?

Sometime when I was about 7 or 8.  I think anytime before that, I fell asleep.

How did you and yours typically spend New Year’s Eve during your youth? Did you go to a Watch Night Service and participate in communion and prayer? Did you watch the ball drop in Times Square on television? Did your community have a fireworks show?

My family spent it several ways.  During my childhood, my parents, grandparents and I would go to some friends of my grandparents so the grown-ups could all play bridge on New Years Eve.  I remember that the Rodgers and Hammerstein version of Cinderella (with Lesley Ann Warren and Stuart Damon) played for several years on Dec. 31st – so I was in the family room at the friend’s home watching that.  At midnight, my parents would come to wish me a Happy New Year.  Other years during my youth we’d watch Guy Lombardo ring in the New Year and watch the ball drop in Times Square on the television.  Then we’d all sing “Auld Lang Syne”.

Did you have first-footers, mummers, or bang pots and pans on your front porch? Did you wear party hats and use noisemakers?

We had noise makers and party hats!  I didn’t know what a “mummer” was until our church youth group went to Philadelphia the summer before my Junior Year!

If New Year’s Eve involved feasting of some kind, what were the usual fare and beverages?

I don’t remember anything special about the food on New Year’s Eve.  I’m sure my parents had champagne or something alcoholic to drink.

How do all of the above compare to the way you celebrate New Year’s Eve now?

Now I don’t go anywhere on New Year’s because I don’t want to be out on the road for safety reasons.  We stay home and watch Dick Clark’s Rockin’ Eve (as I’ve done since I was a teen) and watch the ball drop.  We have some wine or champagne.  Unfortunately since we are in the Central Time Zone, I’ve become very cynical when New York rings in New Year’s because it’s not the New Year yet for another hour where I’m at!  Last year Dallas started doing it’s own NYE celebration so after the New York broadcast we watch Dallas ring in the New Year!

What about New Year’s Resolutions? Did you make any when you were younger? Do you make them now? How well do you keep them? Was there any year when you really did a fabulous job at keeping them? What were your goals and how did you keep them?

I think most of my New Year’s resolutions as a child had to do with being “nicer” and picking up my toys, keeping my room clean, etc.  As a teen most of them had to do with eating right and watching my weight.  As an adult, I’ve decided not to set New Year’s resolutions because I don’t keep them.  I feel that if I have to wait until the first of the year to set goals, then they aren’t a priority.  I should be doing right by myself and others all year.

How did you typically spend New Year’s Day in your childhood and youth? Did you visit family and friends? Did your family host an Open House? Did you watch the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl game or another favorite sport? Or did you go to your favorite ski resort?

New Year’s Day was usually spent with my grandparents, Glen and Vesta (Wilt) Johnson.  We’d have a roast beef normally and watch the Tournament of Roses parade and the Rose Bowl (especially when Ohio State was playing!).  We also watched the Cotton Bowl parade (when there was one!).

How does it compare to the way you spend New Year’s Day now?

I’ve had the Rose Parade on almost every New Year’s Day.  Sometimes my kids will watch it and sometimes they won’t!  For awhile when I lived in Ohio, I would have roast pork and sauerkraut for New Year’s lunch.  In Texas I have blackeyed peas and cornbread!  This Jan. 1st, we spent the entire day with friends, in what I’m hoping will become an annual tradition.

Are there any special customs from your heritage that are integrated into your New Year’s celebrations?

Nothing other than maintaining the childhood traditions of watching the ball drop, watching the Rose Parade and toasting in the New Year!

If you celebrate Christmas or another seasonal holiday before the New Year, when do you take down the decorations and put them away?

That depends on how long the tree has been up and how tired of it we all are!  Generally we’ve been taking the Christmas tree down soon after New Year’s – within a day or two.

Thanks, Miriam, for this prompt!  I had fun answering the questions!

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New Meme – 99 Things

Saw this meme at GenBlog by Julie Cahill Tarr and decided to also play along (as I’m trying to get back into regular posting!).

Things you’ve already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven’t done and don’t want to – leave in plain font

1. Started your own blog. 
2. Slept under the stars.
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii.
5. Watched a meteor shower.
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland/world.
8. Climbed a mountain.  (does being in a car count?)
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo. (for a mandatory audition to the 5th grade choir – I didn’t make it – go figure!)
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty. (how about just seeing it from a fairy boat?) 
18. Grown your own vegetables.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a marathon.
28. Ridden a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
35. Seen an Amish community.
36. Taught yourself a new language.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person. 
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person.
41. Sung Karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted. (At Disneyland!)
48. Gone deep sea fishing.
49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling.
52. Kissed in the rain.
53. Played in the mud.
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre.
55. Been in a movie.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China. (no, but my husband has!)
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
64. Donated blood.
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp. (my grandmother went to Dachau and Aushwitz when she lived in Germany in the 50s)
67. Bounced a check. (oops!)
68. Flown in a helicopter. 
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial. (Anything having to do with Lincoln!)
71. Eaten Caviar. 
72. Pieced a quilt. (not very big & it wasn’t very good!)
73. Stood in Times Square.
74. Toured the Everglades.
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle. (speeding as in – over the speed limit – or going fast because the speed limit was fast?)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car.
83. Walked in Jerusalem. (my mom has!)
84. Had your picture in the newspaper.
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox.
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury. (no, but I waited several hours & then we were dismissed)
91. Met someone famous.
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one.
94. Had a baby. (4 times!)
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone.
99. Been stung by a bee (wasp).

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pc240450  Our Christmas tree all lit up and decorated.  Santa had already arrived but everyone was still sleeping – except for my husband and me.  We  had gotten up early to make breakfast (me) and take our son to work (my husband) by 6 a.m.  The poinsettia just to the left of the lower part of the tree was given to us (along with a second one) by our daughter and son-in-law. 

Our grandson didn’t wake up until almost 7 a.m.!  Then we woke the rest of the household so we could eat the pumpkin bread I baked before unwrapping our gifts.

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Our grandson was quite excited to receive two video games from his Mom! 

There were sundry other gifts – games, DVDs, clothes, toys, books, household articles.

My mother-in-law gifted myself and my two daughters with hand-embroidered tea-towels with the days of the week on them.  My youngest daughter was excited to receive one of her first “grown-up” type of household presents.  My other daughter who was with us never pc250509expected to receive any other “hand-made” items from her grandmother (who had been ill for awhile – doing much better now!) and was overwhelmed by the gift. 

After our son got home from work, we opened a second set of gifts that my daughter and son-in-law had brought with them as well as my son’s gifts to him and his to us. 

I tried desperately to stay on schedule with the meal.  Unfortunately, I had never cooked all the dishes on the menu at one time so I was a little off my game.  Fortunately, most of the disruptions occured due to phone calls from relatives and grandsons eager to show Nana their toys or to give kisses.

Dinner was so good that we ate way too much!  Son-in-law sacked out on one sofa while the kids watched movies or played video games.  I finally talked everyone into eating at least one piece of pie a few hours after dinner.

By 9 p.m. I was so wiped out from being on my feet most of the day and all the cooking and excitement that I was falling asleep trying to read a new book (Stephen King) my husband got for me.  I had to turn in and slept amazingly well! 

Our family had a wonderful – little warm – Christmas.  Nothing compared to footnoteMaven’s in Washington State – who endured record snowfalls, power outages, and traveling white-knuckled to her daughter’s house for Christmas and then spending part of Christmas evening at their favorite Chinese restaurant that was open!  For her Christmas story please go here.

Happy New Year!

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Genealogy posts will be a little slow for the next week or so as I’m attempting to get caught up on items that need to be done by Christmas – the shopping for gifts, the buying of gifts, the constant asking for lists, the buying of ingredients for baking some gifts, the actual baking, the sorry-we-can’t-attend-the-party RSVPs, the buying of wrapping paper, the wrapping of gifts, the wondering if I’m going to get any laundry done due to washer backing up, the annual watching of “It’s A Wonderful Life”, the normal cooking and cleaning, the finishing of Christmas cards, the paying of bills, the hoping shipped packages will arrive on Wednesday, and the “why am I always in the wrong lane” at stores or on the road!

That said – what I have accomplished so far:

  • Received lists from all but ONE of my children (hint, hint!)
  • Almost done with Christmas shopping
  • Halfway through sending Christmas cards
  • Done with buying ingredients for baking
  • Two-thirds done with baking
  • Three-fourths done with buying wrapping paper
  • Sent regrets to 2 party requests and possibly a third
  • All but ten minutes done on watching “It’s A Wonderful Life”

I don’t know if I can do laundry until later today.  Bills will be paid on Monday.   UPS tracking of shipped packages will be done on Monday.  The rest of the baking of gifts will be done later today (after I purchase containers).  Christmas cards may be finished later today or tomorrow.  Wrapping will commence tomorrow (so if you are at my house on Sunday, I will probably not be much company!). Buying more wrapping paper will be done on Monday or Tuesday – after I see if I really do need more!

Now being in the wrong lane on the road – we’ve had an overabundance of fog at the end of the week.  Then we had sleet and freezing rain early in the week.  Most of the roads I travel on were bone dry – however in North Texas if something – anything – falls from the sky, people are stupefied.  Do I drive like a maniac?  Do I drive like the little old lady from Pasadena?  They have no clue in the world.  I end up behind people who are so scared to drive that they brake every five seconds and drive almost 20 mph.  Oh my goodness!  If you are so scared to drive on bone dry pavement, what in the world are you doing on the road to begin with?

Wrong lane at the stores:  Last night I was in a local department store that I frequent often.  Of course some of the cashiers are new – they have been hired as “seasonal” employees.  No problem if they are doing their best with the limited amount of training they’ve received.  The cashier is very polite and lets me know that her register needs to be cleared and it would be a couple minutes.  She’s very sweet – and probably about my age.  So I get in another lane behind a lady with ten different articles of clothing.  That cashier is very fast.  Then I watch them both stand and wait.  What are they waiting on?  Oh, the customer didn’t bring her purse into the store!  Someone had to go retrieve it for her!  Now, if you’re Christmas shopping (or shopping in general) – wouldn’t it be prudent to bring your money with you?  Not only that but there are dozens of signs all through the city that say “Lock (your vehicle), Take (your keys), Hide (your gifts)” due to the increased number of thefts from cars.  Why would you leave your money in a car at this time of year?  Then while I’m waiting, the first cashier lets me know she can help me.  She was so polite and told me that the next time I come in, she’ll probably be a little faster.  I told her it wasn’t the cashiers – it was the customers.

And why do people allow their just-walking babies to walk?  They dart out in front of carts, always manage to walk right in front of where I’m walking, or start pulling everything off the bottom shelf?  And then there are the “I’m taking 4 year old Johnny with me to see what he wants for Christmas.  Then I’m going to put it in the cart but not let him have it so he can scream at the top of his lungs for the next 30 minutes.”  UGH!  Please leave your wonderful, sweet, cooperative children at home.  And if they can fit in the seat of the basket – put them there!  There are enough people in the aisles – a toddler should not be put in harm’s way like that.  I’m sorry if I offended anyone but at any other time of year (besides the school shopping tax free weekend!) – there is generally no problem.  Your child is going to get hurt.  People can’t get through the aisles that have all sorts of stuff pulled off the shelves.  And we don’t really want to hear a screaming kid all evening.

I’ve changed my meal plan for this year – so here’s hoping it goes over well!  I’ve changed my gift-giving to others this year due to the economy and the fact that I’m always at a loss to get some of our good friends.

May your family have a blessed holiday – whether you are celebrating Christmas, Kwaanza or Hannukah.

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