Saturday, March 30, 2013

family history friday, barely.

It may be 8 minutes past midnight, but I am still awake so we are counting this as a family history friday post that is actually done on Friday.  And THAT is final.

I made the near fatal error of entering Fabric Depot earlier this week.  For those of you who are not familiar with this store, there are three important things to know about it.  1. It is a huge store with decadent fabric all throughout 2. It ruins any future Joann's trips because nothing can compare 3. Luckily, they are located more than an hour away.  So, what does this have to do with family history?  It is a bit of a stretch, but like Dieter F. Uchtdorf and his planes, I think I can pull this off.

I "stopped" in to Fabric Depot because I happened to be on that side of Portland and I was looking for a beautiful family tree panel by my favorite artist, Sarah Jane.  (See, there is a family history connection!)  Alas, they had no Sarah Jane fabric and I was stuck buying a little bit of this and that, all the while rationalizing that each purchase was for an upcoming birthday.  Because Elise is next in line for birthdays in our house, I will show you her project first.  It was a cute design that already had the work done in it for a quilt so I decided to personalize it for her.  I embroidered Gordon B. Hinkley's "be's" throughout the top, leaving her a legacy of values that I hope she will remember as she looks at it. (yet another family history link!)  Because I am a sentimental sort, I did it in my handwriting and signed it for her to remember who made it and when.  Hopefully, this will be an heirloom for her to hold onto throughout the years.

As a little humorous side note, Elise had a little bit of a hormonal day earlier this week.  She was crying about *everything*.  I can help my children work through problems and frustrations but when you start crying about a new problem everytime I help you with the last one, I tend to get a little exasperated.  (just a wee bit.)  On this particular day, I was working on this blanket that Elise doesn't know is for her.  Ironically, I was working on the square below that reads "Be positive".  Hopefully it will help her on her next "the world is about to end" sort of a day.  On this particular day, it gave me a little laugh. (which I needed!)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

yw on the brain

And I'm back to slacking on family history friday!

To make up for it, I thought I would at least tell you what I've been so busy with.  :)  I have spent the last month-2 months fine tuning our first (hopefully annual) yw retreat for our ward, which I got home from earlier today.  I wont go as far to say that it resembled a fine tuned retreat, but we had a fabulous time!!

A few things that I felt were successful:
•devotionals, spread throughout the weekend (and all started with hymns to get the sillies out and the spirit in)  Most of these were taught by yw, who did a pretty amazing job
•value workshops: we had workshops for each value that could be an optional personal progress experience.  We didn't bill them as "personal progress experiences" because we have several girls that are very hesitant to do anything personal progress related.  They were all excited and pleasantly surprised when they got to sign off 7 experiences at the end!
•crafts: we had a few crafts here and there for the girls to play with, included braided headbands, heart rocks and adorable jewelry.
•t-shirts: we ordered some stinking cute t-shirts for the girls that say "I'm a mormon.  I know it.  I live it.  I love it."  Our first devotional was talking about this talk by Ann M. Dibbs and it was pretty downright inspirational to see all of the yw proudly wearing this bold testimony throughout the weekend AND  to the cheese factory.
•the girls were spectacular, as always.  they were sweet to each other, sweet to us leaders and 100% awesome.  I *love* my calling.

We had a healthy dose of free time, late night giggling and saran wrapping random objects around the house, but we also had spiritual moments throughout the weekend.    There was also a lot of serious chic bonding, which I tend to think is pretty dang vital to our yw program.  All in all, all of that planning paid off and I sure do hope that we get to do this retreat next year, too.  We couldn't have done it without a very generous ward member that let us use their beach house, a very generous ward member that brought his camper out for our priesthood holders AND a very generous mom and dad that came to watch the kiddoes while we were retreating.   (ooh....I forgot to tell you the best part!  That generous ward member that let us use his beach house?  Yep, he gave us a couple of extra days for the hubby and me to relax before the retreat.  amazing, right?)

Monday, March 4, 2013

fancy tricks a la Elise

I knew it would be coming soon, but I wasn't sure how soon.  Elise's desire to be a big girl had to outweigh her extreme fear of falling and injuring herself and today was the day.  I came home to a very happy Elise that had figured out how to ride her bike in a matter of minutes. (and all by herself)  She was pretty excited to hear that all new bike riders get to go out for ice cream (she is my only kid who hasn't known about that in their efforts to learn how to ride), but it made for a sad Lilly.  I was told *at least* ten times tonight that she actually learned how to ride her bike when she was three, but she is pretending that she doesn't know how to...."Now do I get ice cream??"

Friday, March 1, 2013

family history friday [actually on friday, to boot!]

Genealogy is a lovely hobby for someone that tends to be a little add.  You can research one person, hop on over to another line and then if things every get too tricky, you can go something more along the lines of playing with pictures of your ancestors. (which, quite frankly, is the best part of genealogy!)

I am probably not much of a serious genealogist, but I sure do enjoy the different fun parts that I can jump to and from.  Yes, that is my type of genealogy. :)

Last summer, my mom came on a little family history trip with the girls and me.  We drove to eastern Washington to visit the quaint town that my great grandmother grew up in.  We got to peek around my 2nd great grandmother's house (from the outside, through the windows) and listen to my mother's sweet memories of her visits there.  She remembered the layout of the house, along with where different pieces of furniture were.  I am a sucker for all things nostalgic so this trip was a success from the get go.  We visited the cemetery that my 4th great grandmother  and on down were buried at.  We were able to dig through all sorts of great finds at the Dayton library and copy them like crazy.  Even my grumpy teenager that didn't want to come on the trip at all was excited to find references to our ancestors in the old newspapers.  THIS is my favorite type of genealogy.  I love finding little tidbits and pieces of my ancestors' lives.

Below is a picture of my 3rd great grandmother with her grandkids.  I have always felt that writing on pictures is its own little sort of evil. UNTIL I started going through family pictures.   I am so grateful for the names that my grandmothers felt inclined to write on a good 90% of their pictures.  Below is an example of a picture from my great grandma's book and a picture from my 2nd great grandma's book.  The names are helpful on each picture, but I love that the top picture has  last names that allow me to know which cousins belonged to which families.   The lesson from today's post?  Put some information on your pictures, even if it seems redundant at times.  Your descendants will thank you someday.  And check this out: I have a picture of my girls on this same exact porch.  Isn't that amazing?