Monday, February 25, 2013

shaking things up, as always.

We have lucky enough to have the missionaries over at our house to teach us some of the basic principles of our church.  Tonight's lesson was about ways for us to improve our communication with our Heavenly Father and ways for us to listen more carefully to our Heavenly Father.

We have a brand new missionary (or a greenie, as we affectionally call them) so I had a little talk with the girls about participating and generally behaving themselves.  Hannah was our chatterbox for the evening,  but in a good way.  She had some sweet insights and surprised me with some of her thoughts.  (they were rather deep for a nine year old!)  The moment that it wasn't so good?  When one of the missionaries said something about the celestial kingdom and implied that he could see her there, Hannah popped up with a sweet nine year thought that unfortunately turned into speech.  "If you make it there..."  Nice, Hannah.  Nice.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

family history friday might need a new name

Geesh.  I am really bad at this Friday thing.  Yesterday was a day that was full of many good things that needed doing, thus blogging had to wait.  Sorry, you 2 readers out there.  :) (cough.  mom and dad. cough.)

I have actually been having a few too many late nights this week while working on genealogy.  For those of you out there that haven't been bitten by the genealogy bug, let me warn you that it can be a wee bit addicting.  Last week I got a letter from my great Uncle Joe that talked about where my 2nd great grandma and grandpa lived. (in different places)  I had no idea that they were divorced (although my dad and grandma were very aware of this, I guess) and I was a little surprise that a couple that was married in 1881 got divorced.  This got my searching around on to find details on who they married and when they got divorced.  In the process, I ended up getting seriously side tracked and finding my 2nd great grandpa's siblings and their families.  Some of this info was not on new.familysearch yet so I ended up entering many new names and completing a few families on there.  It was exciting, but it kept me up late.

A little interesting thing I found was John Wesley Tunnell's second wife.  Everyone seemed to think that he never remarried, but there is a 1910 census that has him remarried to a Henrietta Tunnell.  On the 1920 census he is divorced and all of the records after that have him widowed.  I then found Henrietta Tunnell living with John's brother and wife (who was a creepy 32 years younger than him) for a couple of census records.  AND she kept the last name Tunnell, even on her headstone.  Interesting....

and here is a question for you, dad.  Which John Wesley Tunnell is this?  

family history tip of the day: don't use the same exact name for several generations in a row.  
(especially if you are both going to marry a girl names Mary.)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

my grandma mcallister's baby book (in a more durable form)

Among the many treasures my mom and I have come across lately was the baby book that my great grandmother kept on my Grandma McAllister.   It is falling apart (with it being 85 years old now!) and not really in a state that would allow our kids to look through it without me hovering over them.  This was on the top of my family history project list since it was, by far, the easiest. :)  I scanned in the pages and uploaded them to Heritage Makers. (they are the only ones that have a book that is the right dimensions!)  I only ordered one book because I knew it would either turn out horrible or just the way I imagined.  I've been waiting hesitantly to see how it would turn out, planning on ordering a bunch of them if it turned out alright and counting it as a minimal loss if it didn't.

The package came yesterday and I was thrilled to see it turn out exactly how I imagined!  I made every person that walked into my house yesterday look at it. (Ok, the only person I really had to MAKE look at it was Chris. I also made him say affirming statements about how lovely it had turned out. Yep, I'm that wife.)   And I might have facetimed my mom to show it off to her too.  :)  A person with a certain amount of self control might have been able to hold off until April's birthday to show her, but I am definitely not that person.

Monday, February 18, 2013

family history fronday

In a prebirthday/new beginnings is only in 2 days hysteria, I completely forgot About family history Friday.  I know!! I was reminded by my More schedule minded child on Saturday but I was just to dang stressed to do it until today.  Rachel is 15 now and new beginnings turned out fabulously so now I can sit down and make up for my blogging blunder.  (Which can't be any bigger than me thinking I had finished the 3rd season of downton Abby when I had actually missed the finale and its tragic ending!!)

I just finished making a small book through heritage makers that is basically just a reprint of my grandmothers baby book.  I scanned in every page and threw them into a book thAt will hopefully turn out.  The sweetest part of her baby book (ranked right before the pages that are titled "first creeping" and "first short clothes") are all of the heartfelt messages that her mother included (they were short but sweet!) here are few of the excerpts:

first short clothes: She began wearing her short dresses when between 3 and 4 months of age.  Her grandmother Israel shortened her slips when she was here to visit her in May.

pets and toys:  Her big cat, Tom, is her especial delight at the present.  She has always loved him.  Also her English Calico, Nappy, she loves too.  For Christmas, she received a kiddy car, a rockie rooster and any number of toys which she had great fun with.

mother's notes: I took her bottle away from her before she was a year old and she did not seem to miss it.  She started eating cereal, apples in all forms, toast, potatoes, custards, etc.  Ate 3 of her meals with us and had one of her own at 2:00 pm.  While we visited in Dayton in 1929, her grandad taught her to wink one eye at the age of 18 mo.  She was everyone's pet at that time.  We enjoyed our visit there so much.  Our visit was saddened by the death of "grandad" Jochen of whom she thought much.  She always had a smile for him and he in turn just worshipped her.  I almost believe she will always remember him.

And Friday was a happy mail day...Uncle Joe wrote me back with more exciting details about my great grandpa! (And, as an extra bonus, my dad blogged more about him!)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lilly, Lilly, Lilly.

Lilly has always been one to explain how she is feeling and why, despite the fact that she is only four.  She has been doing it since she could talk and yet it still surprises me when she does.  Silly me.  Yesterday she came to me with a photo album from when she was a baby, sobbing.  She proceeds to tell me, through the tears, that she wishes that she were still a baby.  If she were a baby, everyone would love her and think she was cute. (Sorry, Lilly, everyone still thinks you are cute!)  What I didn't know until later was that Lilly had been blacklisted from their room because of her refusal to clean up a mess that she had very willingly helped make.  This caused her big sisters to say some hurtful things that lead up to this breakdown (which they shouldn't have, obviously!).  I just thought it was kind of adorable that her solution to the whole thing was not to clean up her own dang mess but to yearn for the days when she was younger. (even though she is pretty little still)  
Lilly, if you were a baby, you would not have been allowed to ride on Rachel's back for this run. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

family history friday

Last week I told you about my great grandfather, Guy Dudley Tunnell and going deeper than the pictures on my walls.  What I didn't tell you was that I mailed off a little note to my great uncle asking for a few stories about my grandpa.  One of the little perks about doing genealogy is getting little surprises in the mail.  It really is fun!  I heard back from Uncle Joe in record time and loved his sweet little letter.    He told me a little bit more about how my great grandma and great grandpa met!  You know how I told you that they lived next door to each other?  Apparently, my g grandpa liked to tease my g grandma about always coming over to "visit his dad", when she was really coming to flirt with my g grandpa.  Uncle Joe surmises that there had to be some truth to this since his mom blushed every time his dad told the story.         I also found out that not only was Guy blind as he got older, he never had good vision in his left eye.  (he could only tell light vs. dark in that eye!)                      
          And now for my little plug.  Gosh, I love that site.  It really does make doing genealogy more accessible, more exciting and easier to organize.  I don't know what I do without it!  If you haven't had a chance, I highly recommend getting a trial and playing around on their site.  Heck, that is where I found proof that my grandma got a little speeding ticket. (that she denies)  They have access to many newspaper articles that tell way more about our ancestors' personal life than newspapers currently do.  Their collection of census records, draft registrations and so on are really fun to look through.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I have a new hero in the blogging world.  Shannon over at The Redheaded Hostess has helped me immensely  in my calling at church.  She is a serious scriptorian and has quite the history in teaching youth in our church a love of the scriptures.  With our new curriculum for the young women (to use on our Sunday young women lessons), she came out with a lovely little book to help me keep all of my thoughts, notes and research straight.   With my memory being pretty spotty at best, this book helps me keep track of everything I study so I can seem a little less ditzy during class.

This past Sunday I was in charge of teaching a lesson to all of our young women.  (Normally, I am just teaching the 16-18 year olds, but this included the 12-18 year olds)  Our topic for the month is the Plan of Salvation and my first instinct was to skip over the basic lesson that teaches the nitty gritty of our fabulous Plan of Happiness, but I kept feeling like I needed to be teaching this lesson.  I used Shannon's outline that she had used over and over in seminary, allowing the girls to break up into partners and to teach each other the Plan of Salvation, writing down questions they came across as they did this.  I don't think many of them wrote down questions, but I walked around helping them a bit and came to find out that there were a whole heck of a lot of girls  that weren't very familiar with the Plan of Salvation.  It is foundational knowledge and even my mini scriptorian of a daughter said that she felt like it hadn't been covered in church much as a teenager.  (And she isn't one to not pay attention or forget!)  I am glad that the Holy Ghost nudged me (over and over) until I listened so that we could cover this more in depth.  I didn't feel like my lesson went crazy well but I do feel like the girls left being able to explain the Plan of Salvation, which I will take as a win.

Friday, February 1, 2013

family history friday

My dad and I were having a little chat on the phone when we came up with a little bit of brilliance.  I was remarking that I don't have much to blog about, my dad was saying that I should blog about family history and I pointed out that he is the one with the great family history stories....which evolved into us both committing to do a family history post each Friday.  I have found that my parents, grandparents, great aunts, etc... have much more valuable information than they think they do.  Once I sit down with them and just ask a few questions, they have these little tidbits of info that give us a glimpse into their lives and the personalities of our difference ancestors.

An example of this would be my Great Grandpa, Guy Dudley Tunnell.  I have a black and white picture of him when he was older, with his arms crossed and what could be translated as a grumpy expression on his face.   After talking to my dad and my grandma, my image of him changed completely.  First of all, he was blind as he got older.   (that explains his distant look in the picture!)  He also dyed his hair bright orange until the day he died. (Oh, the downfalls of black and white photography)  But it is the next two stories that I love the most.  When some of my grandma's kids were younger, they lived farther away from their Grandpa Tunnell.  He knew he would need some warming up to win a place in their hearts so he always made sure he had gum in his shirt pocket.  It didn't take long for my Aunt to discover that her Grandpa always had a treat for her in his pocket and that she would have to come to him to get it!  While they lived far away, my Grandma and Grandpa (his son) would write weekly letters to his parents.  My great grandma and grandpa always were very consistent about writing back, also.  If my grandma every slacked on her letter writing, my great grandpa would always inquire about her broken hand.  :)   And up above, he is with his second wife.  (his first wife ran off, leaving him with 3 small boys.)  After moving back in with his mother, he met our great grandma, Linnie Sylva Lee. (she lived next door)