Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of you a Wonderful Christmas and a great new year ahead.

Now it's time for me to clean in house, bake more cookies, and get ready for company and opening gifts tonight.

Remember the most important thing this time of year is family. Cherish and love them.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Back Home

We are now back home. It was wonderful to see friends and family again, but it's great to be back home. Though we have all been battling flu and cold bugs we are happy to be home.

On our way out we were able to stop by San Francisco to show the kids a wonderfully interesting place. Though we didn't get to see all of the sites. It was getting to late and we knew we needed to get on the road. I would upload pictures but I don't have the time right now. I've got two books to write for the family, so I'll share pictures later.

They can keep San Francisco. It was nice to show it to the kids, but I could never live there. I cherish the peace and quiet of home, and even it's starting to get a little crowded for me. I'm a country girl. I'd rather be out in the middle of no where.

This time we were smart. We stopped at night at hotels to rest. We didn't push it all the way through like we did the first time. We weren't going to temt Jamie to start screaming this time. I must say she was much more of a pleasure on the way back home.

When we got into Oregon we ran into snow. It was nasty. There were slide off's and wrecks. Then we came across a logging museum. Even though the snow was thick and it was cold the children really enjoy us getting out and stretching our legs as we walked around the different shops with all the logging equipment. The boys really thought that stuff was neat. Again I'll share these photos later so keep checking back. It was gorgeause there.

We kept traveling wanting to at least make it to Washington. We were hoping to push it all the way home, but at about midnight and about three hours from home (with clear roads) we decided to stop. The only place we could find left a little to be desired. They gave us a big room with three bed, but the room wasn't the greatest looking thing. But at least we got some rest in a warm room and weren't out on the icey roads. We saw so many people in the ditches that we knew it wasn't wise to push it anymore.

Then we got on the road the next morning as soon as we could. I was going to call our family, but noticed no phone in the room. Then I forgot as we headed out. So we got back on the road and just before we got to Spokane before we hit the hill going down into Spokane, James realized that he hadn't been paying any attention to the gas! Oops. That's right we ran out of gas. So the kids and I stayed in the car while he headed for the gas station. He knew where the next gas station was and we weren't too far from it. Not long after he started out a highway patrol started to stop in front of our truck and then saw James, so he went on ahead and picked up James. He told him he couldn't have him walking on the freeway. He could either climb over the fence on walk along the frontage road or he could give him a ride up to the gas station. We'll gee what do you think he would choose. It's icey cold outside I don't think he's going to say "gee I think it's a nice day I'll walk" Ha. No, he took the ride and got back to us much faster while the truck was still warm.

So another fourty five minutes later we were walking into the house. James picked up the phone to call his mom and the phone started ringing. It was my mom almost in tears because we hadn't checked in with anyone and they were all expecting us in the night before and here is was almost noon. So we had to get on the phone and make lots of calls to let everyone know we were okay, and my parents had to call the police to let them know we had made it back home. That was an interesting experience.

Now I've got to get back to the books I am writing.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Four Days of Thanks Giving

As I'm sure all families can relate to we had a very crazy Thanks Giving Day. We haven't had a Thanks Giving like that for years. Since we moved up to Idaho we've always just spent Thanks Giving with my parents. But this year we were in California were we had a lot of different families and friends to see.

First we had dinner with my husband's sister on Tuesday night because they weren't going to be able to spend Thanks Giving Day with us because Renee always does Thanks Giving for her husband's family. Renee loves to spoil our kids every chance she gets so the day started with her picking up the kids that afternoon to take them shopping. By the time we got to their house that night they were just getting there. They unloaded so many toys out of her Suburban that I knew right then we would be in trouble getting everything back home. Let's just say Christmas came early for the kids. Then we had a nice dinner with his sister and brother-in-law.

Then Wednesday was spent with my Dad's family. Other than Grandma's funeral in 2004 I hadn't really spent any time with them, so it was really good to see my dad's brother and sister. My Aunt Kathy and I got to talk a lot about our research on the family, but there wasn't nearly enough time. But it was great to see old pictures and things that belonged to my grandparents that she shared with me. She hasn't even promised to make sure that I get grandma's ring which was passed down through the family and is inscribed by the first couple. It was wonderful for her to share all of that with me.

My mother's twin sister has been working seven days a week ten hour days, so they only chance we had to spend with my Aunt, Uncle and cousins was the day of Thanks Giving for the first half of the day. So we were up and out the door by 8:30 that morning to go meet my Aunt and Uncle who would lead us to my cousins house. We had the most wonderful Thanks Giving dinner I think I have ever had. We had CRAB for lunch and my cousin even made my mom's Cheescake that he knows I love. It was great to see my cousins again. I really miss them. My cousin Sara even had a set of twins in the last year. It looks like we are all done having kids now! I'm glad she got the twins though and not me!

Then we had to high tail it back to James' parents house to spend the rest of the day with his family. Again another wonderful time with family. I no longer feel like the outside in his family. I think they really appreciate what I have been doing for them with the research of the family as well as the books I am writing on the family. Of course it didn't take long before my computer came out so I could share what I have found out about their family and the pictures that have so generously been shared with me. At first my husband made a little comment, something like "here we go again." But then he soon realized what all of this means to his family and how happy they are that I can do this for them. I think he is starting to appreciate what I am doing for them after he saw how happy it made them.

The fourth day, Friday, was spent with my dearest best friend. We had so much to do all week and it was so hard to wait till Friday to spend time with her, but we agreed that it was our day so we could wait and spend the rest of the week with family. She was suppose to have one of my parties too, but no one showed up. There were a couple phone calls that their second Thanks Giving Dinner wasn't going as planned and they wouldn't make it. But oh well, it gave me more time to spend with my best friend. I miss her so much. I have almost had her and the boys moved up here, but some things happened. Now maybe we will get her moved up here this summer. We are planning another vacation back down there this summer after we get my husband's shop built to get his old '67 Chevy pickup that his dad gave him years ago, so he can finish resorting it.

We'll be leaving tomarrow, Saturday, morning. First we will stop in San Francisco before we head out, so the kids can experiance that.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Columbia and Jamestown, CA

My husband and I have always been very fascinated by old ghost towns of the "Old West." So one plan we had when visiting family in California, was that we wanted to take the children to our favorite place to visit, Columbia and Jamestown.

We went with James' parents. First we stopped in Jamestown to visit the old Railtown Museum. James loves trains and so do the boys. Here are a few of my favorite picture there.

Here is my father-in-law looking back at the Blacksmith shop we just left.

Here he is walking hand in hand with Jamie. This one is my favorite!

Many of our favorite movies were made here. How many do you know?

Engine #2 a bit of a movie star, but I believe #32 was the biggest movies star.

Old signs. So where is our next destination?

And I wonder why they didn't want to leave!

We all really had a lot of fun in James town. The kids came home with train toys. Of course Justin got one of his favorite characters, Thomas the Train, who takes a very close second only to Bob the Builder.

Next we went to Columbia. As we were entering I almost wanted to cry. One of my favorite ghost towns was being built around. It is once again booming. It is no longer the little old ghost town in the middle of the California hills that I use to love. We parked and walked into town. What was left of it!!! I is now only one small street that is blocked off from public traffic. It use to be blocked off all the way up the hill to the grave yard and the school house! What happened? It is moments like this when I find I HATE PROGRESS! There were new buildings going up. It just wasn't the same experiance I had hoped to share with the kids. We did stop and had a picture taken in the old photo shop of my father-in-law, James and the two boys. I can't wait to see it. But I left Columbia feeling really sad. It's sad that people can't have more respect for history. Then again maybe many people consider me crazy because I want to preserve as much of it as possible, but there was miles of undeveloped hills near Columbia, why couldn't they build another town near by and leave Columbia to it beautiful history? It's sad! We only took a few pictures in Columbia. I think James and I were both taken back by what we saw of our old beautiful ghost town. We had once loved it so much that we spent the day of our Senior prom there.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thanks Giving with Family

This was the first time in years that we were able to take the time and have the money to go visit our family in California. Although I would never even think about moving back to that hell hole, it was good to be back there and see our family and dear friends.

I was glad that this time we have a week with our family. I've pretty much got the week planned out. This weekend we are going to spend it with James' parents. We want to go up to Columbia and James Town Rail Town. I use to love to visit the old ghost town Columbia. The day of our Senior Prom, James and I spent it at Columbia before we went back home to get ready for the prom. James has always loved and been fascinated by trains so naturally he loves Rail town in James Town.

We also plan to spend one evening with James' sister since she has to do Thanks Giving for her husbands family on Thanks Giving Day. Then Wednesday will be spent with my Dad's family. On Thanks Giving Day we will be spending the first half of the day with my mom's family (it is my only chance to see my Aunt who is working 7 days a week 10 hour days for Blue Diamond right now) and the second half of the day with James' family. Then on Friday will be spent with my best friend, Dez. I just called her. She can't wait to see us, but she says since she gets us for the whole day she will wait since she knows we have a lot of family to see. Then we will probably leave on Saturday, but spend some time in San Francisco before we leave California.

This should be a great week. I am looking forward to time with the family and things to do with them.

Back in California

Oh God, I already miss home. There is no mistaking that we are back in
CA. We hit Sacramento right at the 6:30 rush hour traffic. It was insane!!! Spokane, your rush hour is a cake walk compared to this crap. I will say though I was very proud of my husband. I can still be a bit of an aggressive driver. I don’t think I ever lost that CA aggressiveness, but James on the other hand mellowed out when we moved up to Post Falls. He’s really laid back on the road. But as soon as we entered Sacramento he got his groove back. He we jumping in there and making room for himself. He wasn’t letting anyone push him around on the road. I will say that I was surprised that no one was honking at each other, even though I saw a lot of stupid reckless moves. I think we better time that better next time so that we don’t get caught in this on the way home.

Have you ever gone into Wal Mart on the weekend and thought what a zoo? Especially Christmas time. Well guess what Post Falls our zoo is nothing. Here it’s like Christmas all the time. I would hate to see Wal Mart at Christmas time here. Then of course there was another reminder of our old home town. You can’t ease drop on anyone’s conversations because they are all speaking Spanish. There are stores near my old home that I grew up in that the cashiers barely speak English! The part of town that my mother, father, and I all grew up in is now like a little mini Mexico.

I barely recognize my home town. It’s so over grown. But it was sure nice to drive by places and point and tell the kids, “that’s the park that flooded when your dad and I were dating,” “there was our favorite Chinese food place, and behind that is the first place we lived after we were married,” “we lived in that house around the corner from your Grandma.” Of course the youngest didn’t care, but our oldest was interested in where we were from. Now I think we will get around today, Sunday, and maybe take the kids up to one of our favorite places to visit when we were young, Columbia and Jamestown. I’ll be sharing lots of pictures later. The kids are enjoying themselves as are we.

Post Falls, ID to Modesto, CA

For a while my posts are going to be those that I wrote while traveling on vacation to Modesto, CA to spend Thanks Giving with family. I wasn't able to find the time to go downtown to get a wireless connection to my laptop in order to upload my thoughts. So the next series of posts may seem a little outdated, but I hope you enjoy them.

Thursday, Novemeber 16, 2006

We couldn’t wait any longer. We were supposed to leave on Friday, but since the car was packed Thursday night we left town about 8:00 pm on Thursday. The trip was torture this time. We have driven straight through with just the boys before, but never with all three children. Let’s just say we will not make the same mistake on the way back.

When we have done this in the past the two boys had room between them in the back seat, but this time with Jamie and our little Chevy S-10 Blazer they have no room to move. Not to mention they have to share one seat belt because there are only two seat belts in the back seat. So I had to listen to them scream at each other not to move because with every movement the belt would tighten up. It would have been a blessing to have been able to put Jamie between the two of them in her car seat. But truly they didn’t give me the biggest headaches like their sister.

Jamie has never had to make this trip before. We hoped that traveling Thursday night would allow her to sleep through the first part of the trip. Boy were we wrong. Apparently this girl doesn’t need much sleep. All three of the kids were awake well into the early morning hours. Jamie squirmed and screamed a lot. The worst part was when we got to Lodi, CA (about 30 minutes from our destination) and she woke up. She started screaming and DID NOT STOP until we got to Grandma and Grandpa’s house and pulled her out of the car seat. Nothing would calm her down.

No one was more grateful to be at Grandma’s then James and I. I had a headache and was ready to get out of the car and away from the screaming and fighting of the kids. Of course they were happy that they could get out and stretch their legs as well.

Lesson learned. It is possible to drive straight through with one of two children as long as they have plenty of room to stretch, but it’s stupid to do it with three. We will be stopping at a motel on the way back. No more straight through trips for us, at least not till the kids are older and we have a bigger vehicle.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Baby's 1st Sentence

Jamie put together her first series of word tonight. I almost didn't catch it because I had my hands full with Justin being sick. I went to get Justin a glass of water and Jamie is sitting in her high chair eating dinner. She says "wonna a dink." With her cute baby talk I wasn't sure what she was saying, so once again she practically screamed it, and let me tell you out of all my kids she has the biggest set of lungs. While she screams it she is pointing to the cabinet where I keep her cups. That's when it dawns on me. She was asking for a drink. It's the first time she has asked for something, other than her usual method of point, scream and jump.

I'm so glad I gave up the rat race two years ago. I missed out on so much with my boys, but I'm making up for it now. Even though I am starting my own business, my children go with me now. I went out yesterday to Art Galleries to promote my business. I've got to say I was very impressed with the kids. Jamie I had to pick up a few time, but Justin was great. I went in to one gallery where the owner was very interested in my product. We talked a lot longer than in the other galleries. I looked over at Justin to find him sitting Indian style in the middle of the floor with nothing near by him just quietly listening. I was so impressed my heart just sank. Of course they aren't that well behaved at home. I was proud of them yesterday, not to mention loving the option to be out there doing business with my children at my side.


Oh I can't wait. We got a light skiff of it this morning, but it's now melting. I finally got my lap top up and running, so I'm sitting here in my recliner, in front of my new Bay Picture Window and watching the snow fall. I'm going to enjoy it so much more this year now that I can enjoy the beauty of it from my warm and cozy front room.

I plan to sit here with my lap top and spend a lot of time writing my families books this winter. I have a lot of ideas and several books started. If only I had the money to start buying the ones that are finished.

We leave for California in a few weeks to visit our family. I'm looking forward to it. My husband's grandmother's health is failing. I plan to take advantage of this trip to interview her for a book that I will be writing about her. This may be my last chance, I hope not, but something in my gut says it may be.

I also haven't seen my best friend since 2004 when I last went down for my grandmother's funeral. She is so excited we are going down to CA that she has set aside one day just for us. She has also planned to host one of my celebrations and share this fabulous storybooking idea with her friends.

Stay warm and enjoy the snow. I know I will!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hot Air in the Fall

Thank God it's not every year! I don't know about you, but I am so sick of all the hot air I hear being blown in my ear. I never was into politics and the older I get the more I understand why it drives me bonkers.

I'm to the point that during commercial I just want to mute the TV. Not that I like commercials, but I hate political commercials. It's all about what the other guy did wrong. No body ever admits that they have made mistakes and how they plan to change that. He said, she said basically comes down to, they are all full of hot air. Nothing like hear the other guy twist someone's words out of context. It's quit a talent I see.

It's funny how every politician promises to reduce taxes, solve medical insurance and social security issues, reduce the deficit. Then we get them in office and what happens, sometimes we do see tax breaks, but more often then not they increase, medical costs are still out of control, social security, well by the time I am of that age there probably won't be any left, deficit it's still there.

Then they wonder why people don't vote. Let's see, we don't know who is telling the truth, who will stand behind the promise they so freely make, or who will be in office with out making a fool of themselves somewhere along the way. Maybe we should require a lie detector test of all politician running for office, on all the issues. Then make that public in the TV commercials.

Then there is the issue of the propositions of the table. Most of them are so confusing that you may vote for something you don't really want. Politics are not for the normal everyday citizen any more. They are for people who know how to talk out of both ends if you know what I mean.

Now I don't mean that applies to everyone in politics. There are always exceptions to the rule, and they are a God sent when you can find them. I still don't know how I'm going to vote this year. Good luck.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Drug Activity in Neighborhood

I could use some advice out there. I have got two neighbors at the end of my street that we suspect are using and distributing drugs. This scares me. The one home has already been involved in a fire due to their questionable activities.

I don't have any definite proof. I've just been observing activity beyond what is normal friends and family visiting. As soon as it's dark in the evening cars start driving to the end of the street where these two homes are situated. They don't shut off their cars, stay just a couple minutes and then leave. One night I set there and watched and with in an hour they had six visits like that. I'm I just being paranoid? So many of my neighbors have labeled that end of the street "where the drugies live," but they don't seem to be motivated to do anything.

I have three children, my neighbors have four girls and there are about two dozen children just with in our little culdesac. Including two under the age of five in the one drug house and I believe another baby in the other house. I believe tonight I will set there with binoculars so that I can read license plates and keep a record of the activity tonight since it is Friday. Then I plan to call the cops and let them take care of this. According to the neighbors though the cops do know about the one house, but they have never done anything.

That is until they met me. I guess I'll have to take my mom's example. When we lived in California, I grew up in a home that my mother had also grown up in. So they weren't interested in selling the home. Instead she wanted the Motel on the other side of the alley from us cleaned up. So she started calling the cops anytime she saw activity in the alley. She also railed the neighbors to do the same. Some night that would result in five or six calls a night to the police. Eventually they stacked it out and did one of the biggest busts in the area. One of the officers involved came over to visit with us. He discovered then that he new may dad, they use to work together. So he was really open with Dad and told him, that if it hadn't been for the way Mom had pestered them to death over this, the bust probably never would have happened. After that the Motel was sold, went under new management and for the rest of the years that I lived there stayed clean! So I guess it's time for me to make the first move to clean up this neighbor hood and get rid of these neighbors.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Lightening Show!

Was last night's lightening show AMAZING or what?!

I had to load up the kids last night to go pick up our dog Sareena. She had another crippling bought
with her back. She's recovering. On the way home the lightening started. I was heading west on Seltice and could see it ahead and to the left. My oldest was in the front seat and was saying "wow's and awesome." Then he started telling me statistics about lightening. Some of them I don't think were quit correct, but I was amazed at what he had learned just from reading a book recently.

So we go home and got everyone in the house. As I was sitting there in my rocking-recliner the show got bigger and the wind picked up! The wind got so strong that it knocked the ladder on the front porch over. So I ran out and made sure it layed the rest of the way flat before it blew up and hit my new picture window.

I came back in and turned off the porch and front room lamp. The boys joined me in front of the window to watch the lightening. Again Christopher amazed me as he asked me to help him with what direction that was coming from. After he got that information he started telling me what mountains he thought it was over and what rivers would be there. I don't know if he was right or not since I didn't grow up here I never studied this area as a kid. But it does tell me that he is listening in school. They are studying Idaho history right now. I just grabbed him and hugged him as we watched more of the show. It was beautiful! The odd thing was I didn't hear any thunder, so it must have been quit a ways away.

Christopher really is starting to improve in school. He was almost failing last year while I was working. This year since I've quit he is now getting A's and B's on most of his papers. I am so proud of the turn around he has made. It also is a big testament to the fact that my children are better off with me at home. Not that other mothers don't do just as good a job working and running the home. I just didn't juggle all of it so well. I'm glad I finally found a way to stay home for them. My business is also starting to take off, but it doesn't take me away from them very often, and that's the best part.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I messed up and posted the progress on our remodel on my family history blog. Visit my other blog for my latest post. I never was good at juggling!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Life Changes Over Time

It's amazing how in what seems like a short two years to me so many things have changed. I have been on the phone to so many of my old contacts hoping to drum up a little business from some of the people I knew that might like the Heritage Makers idea. Only to find out that probably at least half of the people I have called have moved one from the places they once worked.

Life changes so fast these days. It's not like back in the old days where if I could find where an ancestor once worked I would discover that he was there for 20 or 30 years until he retired. Now we are always on the move looking for something bigger and better. But when we get that bigger and better are we really happy? It's like our crazy lives. No one slows down to smell the roses anymore. No one leaves their work behind because they take their cell phones home with them so they can stay connected to work even when they aren't at work. Now how does that benefit their children. "Sorry dear, it sounds like you had a very fun field trip, but Daddy has to take this very important phone call."

I started to fall into that trap, but I can say that thanks to my husband I can set back and look now that it wouldn't have ever been good for our family for me to be on the fast track to business woman that I was headed down. However, I do miss the contact with other adults. So now with my new business I have set aside one day a week for parties (with and occasional extra day when needed) and I have set aside my daughters nap time for phone calls. Otherwise I am all mom and wife for my family. They are more important then the fast track. I discovered that I still needed to be a little of who I was to feel complete.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Children Are Smart!

My daughter about gave me white hairs yesterday. Children know when they have the perfect opportunity to get by with getting in trouble for a short time.

I was on the phone yesterday afternoon. My daughter had been in a good mood so I decided to let her stay up a bit longer and play with her brother, but I had a lot of work to do. So I went down stairs to make a quick phone call to book a party. I was on the phone no more than ten minutes. I got the party booked and then said good bye.

When I turned around I saw my daughter standing behind my chair. She had with her one of my big white towels that was wet. It puzzled me at first because I thought all of my white towels were in the washer with the white load. I pulled her closer to discover that she had chocolate on her hands and face and was using this white towel to clean up her mess. So I picked her up and headed up the stairs.

I knew the only chocolate in the house was a half used bag of chocolate chips. Sure enough I went to the drawer and discovered she had gotten into this bag and had chocolate all over the edge of the counter where she had stood to eat it. I also saw her brothers little stool he uses to reach the sink near by. Okay so mystery number one wasn't such a mystery, but what about the towel?

So I went into the bathroom with her still in my arms to wet a wash rag and clean her up. That's when I saw her first attempt to clean up. On the edge of the bathtub were little chocolate hand prints where I believe she was try to reach the wash rag hanging on the hook, but since it was too high she gave up. So how was it she had this wet towel?

I get her cleaned up, put her down for her afternoon nap and pick up the towel we had carried up stairs to go put it in the wash room. AH HA! That's where it came from, exactly where I thought all of my white towels were! When she had given up on the bathroom wash rag, she then went into the wash room, turned my mop bucket upside down to stand on, and some how lifted the lid of the washer, reached in and got a towel! That about gave me a heart attach. Thank God the load had finished washing and she didn't fall in!

But I've got to admit that took a lot of thought and was very smart on her part. She is only 21 months, but she does little things like this all of the time. If her brothers leave their dirty clothes in their room, she will go in there, pick up the clothes and go put them in the hamper in the wash room with out being told.

She is starting to say lots of words and jabber things now. I love this stage with babies, but it also gets a little nerve racking too.

Heritage Lost

Come; look with me inside this drawer
In this box I've often seen,
At the pictures, black and white,
Faces proud, still, serene.
I wish I knew these people,
These strangers in the box...

Their names and all their memories
Are lost among my socks.
I wonder what their lives were like,
How did they spend their days?
What about their special times,
I'll never know their ways.

If only someone had taken time,
To tell who, what, where and when,
These faces of my heritage,
Would come to life again.

Could this become the fate?
Of the pictures we take today?
The faces and the memories
Someday will pass away.

Make time to save your stories,
Seize opportunity when it knocks,
Or someday you and yours could be,
the strangers in this box!

-Author unkown

This poem touched me when I first read it. If we don't preserve the stories of our lives and photos then will our grandchildren and their children know who we were and what we were about?

I have a few pictures like the one described in the poem. I don't know who is in them really. I don't know what memory that picture was meant to preserve. Memories like pictures fade in time. It is up to us to preserve the memories that still remain and the ones to come so that future generations can see, feel, and enjoy our memories as we did. Help our future generations not to forget about the things that touched our lives, shaped who we were and added to who they are. Give them the chance to laugh, cry, be proud, think, enjoy, and all the other emotions we fill in our lives with us even after we are gone.

Preserve your Heritage at

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A Gift From the Heart, for Christmas

I know. I know. It's not even past Halloween yet, and here I bring up Christmas! But sometimes the best gifts of the heart take a little time to prepare.

What ever happened to the old days when people made gifts for their family members and those gifts were treasured because of all the love that went into them? They're back! Now you can create wonderful gifts for the grandparents who seem to have it all and you don't know what to get them, or the family members who live a long way away who would love to see the faces of your family. There are so many ways you can create wonderful gifts from the heart through Heritage Makers. Even your children will love to read the stories you write about their ancestors and heroes.

Better yet you can host a Celebration. Give me a call to set a date. We can all get together and have fun sharing the wonderful stories of our family. Then with the credits towards books that your friends buy you can earn free credits towards the books you want to make for you family this Christmas. I know we would all love to find a way to not only save money on Christmas this year (especially with gas prices killing us), but at the same time give a one of a kind, with lots of love, form the heart kind of gift to those we love.

So if you are in the Spokane, WA/Coeur d'Alene, ID area give me a call to set up your Celebration. If not don't worry, we can still do something for you online. Call me today because the deadline for receiving your books in time for Christmas is November 30th. So don't wait call today to book your Celebration and get started on the most precious gift you can give. A gift from the heart.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Housewife is a Profession!

I am finally getting a handle on my life. I'll tell you depression can take a toll and sometimes you don't even realize it. It can sneak up on you and turn you into someone you never knew you could be.

I'm not a perfect house keeper. My home is clean, but lived in. I do keep it very clean. I sweep, vacuum and dust almost every day, but it doesn't look like a museum either. But when this depression set in, my house, though I still swept every day, began to look like I didn't care anymore. Even my husband was troubled by it. You know I didn't go on any medication, I simply got a call from my best friend, after my hubby, bless his heart, called her out of concern. She laid it on the line, and told me everything about my life she could only dream of having. I have a wonderful husband who loves me with a passion, would never even think of cheating on me, has never abused me, and would do anything to make me happy. I have three wonderful children, though not perfect, they do love me and I them. I have a nice home, and the ability to stay at home and take care of my family. We are now virtually debt free, other than two small cards we use and then pay back off. My life is looking really good right now. So why was it I was unhappy. Because I didn't take time out for me!

Ladies, you have to put yourself first. If you don't take care of you, who will? If you don't take care of you, then you can't be there to take care of the ones you love. I use to have a career, work out, stayed healthy and fit, had a social life, took time out for a bath and a book. But somewhere along the way I let life take control of me instead of me taking control of it. I gave up my career with baby number three (I don't regret that), I quit working out because it was too easy to do, I no longer had a schedule to follow, I got lazy basically, I gained weight, I lost contact with many of my associates, and I quit taking time for myself unless it was on the computer. The computer became my escape. Problem was it took me away from the house, my health, my husband and my kids. That wasn't good.

Today I have a schedule again. You may think well why, you're only a house wife. Because being a house wife is like any other profession. If you want it to work you need to run it like a well oiled machine. Which includes every element I need to feel like I am functioning at my best.

Here is a sample of my schedule:
  • 7:00 am Wake up, Breakfast, and get Christopher ready for school.
  • 8:00 am Christopher out the door and start house work
  • 10:00 am Exercise
  • 10:30 am Shower
  • 11:00 am Business Planning: Plan out the phone calls, follow ups, story books to build, research to do, run reports, and any other business items to take care of that day for my new business as a Heritage Makers Consultant.
  • 11:30 am Some genealogy research if there is time.
  • 12:00 pm Lunch and then Jamie down for a nap while Justin plays quietly. (notice I don't do much business during the AM when Jamie is awake. That would be a very fruitless effort. It's better to do house work during that time)
  • 1:00 pm Genealogy research on client accounts or my own. Storybooking of my own or if a client needs help.
  • 2:00 pm Make at least 5 calls to potential hostesses or future consultants. Try to book at lest one party per week or four parties per month.
  • 3:00 pm Dr. Phill and laundry. Watch Dr. Phil while folding and putting away the days laundry.
  • 4:00 pm Christopher. This hour is set aside to help Christopher with his homework. We'll see how I do. I have very little patients, but he is doing very poorly in school and needs extra attention.
  • 5:00 pm Dinner
  • 6:00 pm (Wednesday) Bath time
  • 7:00 pm Bath time for kids
  • 7:00 pm (Wednesday) Game time
  • 8:00 pm Bedtime for Kids. Hubby time for rest of night.

This is what works for me, and I will change it from time to time when it needs to be. Every body is different. But every woman knows control brings happiness in a household. Once again I have a career (based around my family life), healthy and fit, a social life, and a little time for me and time for the hubby.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Heritage Makers

I am so excited about this new phase in my life. I just got in my new Heritage Makers sample books. They are beautiful! I can't wait to get back my first book. I am working on one about my children right now. It's a little brag book. Small enough to easily fit into a purse or even my planner. So ladies if you would like a way to share the story of your children everywhere you go, well it's here!

Do you like scrapbooking? Do you hate the mess you have to clean up everytime? Are you afraid to let the children look through it for fear that they may damage some of it? Do you find yourself in the middle of your project when dinner time rolls around and you've got to put it all away so you can use the table? Or maybe your the type of person who hates the hassle of scrapbooking, but loves the look of it. That would be me! Well here is your solution. Digital scrapbooking.

Now don't let that little word "digital" scare you. It's easy to do. First contact me so we can set up your account or party, or if you want to test drive the program go to Heritage Makers on the bottom right of the home page select "try our online publishing system" and see how easy it is, or watch the video. If you want to do a party it will help you to earn credits towards the story books you want to write.

There are opportunities for everyone from the hobbyist to the professional. I fall in between that until the kids are older.

This completely shares all my passions. I love photography and the stories of my ancestors. I have been researching my genealogy for almost two years now. I love this because this is a way I can write those stories and preserve them for my children and grandchildren and all future generations to read. I enjoyed the genealogy so much that I kept looking online for something exactly like this that would combine my passions for photographs and family history. Then one day just out of the blue I received an email that I sure did not ignore, introducing me to this business. It was the answer to my prayers.

These photos are the samples that I received. They are handstitch, glossy, hardcover books. They are not only durable, but lovely to look at and handle.

My next projects will be story books of my grandparents. All of my grandparents are gone now. They only one living is my husband's grandmother. I plan to start with her story first. I want to preserve all of her story before it is too late. The others I will have to rely on mine and other family members memories to write their story. Don't wait until it's too late to write those stories. Because after grandparents are gone their stories fade. Make sure your children and grandchildren will remember their ancestors.

You can contact me at 208-777-4312 or to book your party today.
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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cowboys and Cowgirl

We finally took a break from the remodeling. We took the kids to Grandma and Grandpa's for the day on Sunday. Mom and Dad had just gotten back their horse Bunny, so the kids were anxious to ride her.

Our oldest has decided he wants to be a cowboy. So his back to school clothes consisted mostly of western wear. I was very pleased. I'm just glad he hasn't gotten into the idea of wearing his pants below his ass and showing off more then any child should be allowed to. He is turning out to be a very loving and considerate young many. He makes me proud! He is even showing interest in farming, computers, and history, just like his mama. I think I may have to look into getting him into 4H.

Then there is the middle boy, who braved the big beast again. The last time he was on a horse was their other horse Fally. She is a little more skiddish. When he was on her James was holding the lead rope, something spooked her and she took off. Our little boy couldn't hold on and fell, but at least he was smart and quick enough to roll away from her, and wasn't hurt. But Sunday he was fine with getting on Bunny. When we asked him is he also wanted to ride Fally his answer was a very clear "NO!"
Then there is our baby girl who being afraid of hieghts at her age wasn't so sure about the big beast Grandpa was putting her on. But the dog was more her size. Giddy-up-Doggy! I'm afraid we may have a future Rodeo Queen on our hands. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Automotive Prejudice

I know I drive a piece of crap Kia Sportage. I was rearended a couple years ago in that dreaded Aragon Coridor on 95 in Spokane. After that my husband bought the paint and began to pull out the dings and dents and got the car pretty straight. The only problem is it still isn't painted and the door handles are still off. You know what they say about a mechanics own vehicles.

Well yesterday I finally got my second set of wheels. We went and bought a little Chevy Blazer for $800 from someone my husband knows who just wanted that car off his property. On our way back home we stopped at Post Falls, ID Wal Mart to have both of the vehicles serviced. That was a mistake.

We get there and a nice young man comes out. I explain that we are together with both vehicles, so he starts taking information on the Kia. We tell him all that we want and my husband signs for the service. Then he starts writing up the Chevy Blazer. Then a manager, ass hole, walks over and starts chewing the young guy a new one for even accepting the Kia for service. He tells him that he is not suppose to accept such vehicles because they are a liability. To say the least that didn't set well with my husband. He told them that we have had that car services here at least three or four times in about the last year in exactly that condition. So the manager gives in, but makes the young guy go back and rewrite the order, but this time noting all of the damage on the car. What an ass hole. When the kids comes back to have James sign again on the Kia James told him, "don't worry about it he's just being an ass, because we have had that car serviced here many times." Then I added "go get me a real manager. They know me and they'll service this vehicle." That time we were inside the office and this woman manager heard him she told us she'd look it up to see if they had services the vehicle before. I just ignored her because she said it with such attitude, and the young man also said no it was fine the other guy was going to let it go through.

I choose to take the kids and start my shopping. While I was shopping James was also looking at tires for the new vehicle. Then he comes and find me. I asked him if he got tires and all taken care off, he said no they wouldn't put tires on my car either. "What!!" The woman manager in automotive told him, "we can't put tires on that because the rims on it are not what is recommened on the door jam." Did the bitch not know she was talking to a man who knows cars inside and out and could give her a few lessons? The rims on it were perfectly fine for the vehicle! So that bitch lost a $500 sale when James took the car down the street to Les Schwab. Who had his tires changed in about 15 minutes, for the same price as Wal Mart would have been.

I encourage everyone not to go to Wal Mart Automotive again. If they won't service a vehicle because it's primered and not painted that's just wrong!!! They will never again get my business. Les Schwab will always get my business for tires and service.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

My First Ginnie Pig!

I finally got a file on the first family I get to reserach that isn't related to me! Read about it on my genealogy blog. So you may not here from me for a few days while I'm burried in a pile of papers and lost surfing on the internet through the endless waves of information.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Addresses and Deliveries

Okay I've got to voice it now. I've had it up to my eyeballs with Kootenai County's address issues and residence as well. They keep changing addresses and names of streets. I feel sorry for anyone needing an ambulance in certain areas of Coeur d'Alene. I know it's a pain for the residence as well. But I've got to tell you many of you are not making the situation any easier.

It's amazing to me how many people order things online with their new address. Then when their package arrives and the driver can't find them I have to look them up and give them a call. I've gotten responses like, "We are in the same house we have always been in." or "The old numbers are such and such on the home. They changed the numbers on our street, but we haven't moved." I feel like saying "Yea, so, what does that mean the next new driver is suppose to be psychic and just know where the last driver, he is filling in for vacation, delivered the last package to you?" Or one night I asked if the numbers were visible on the home, the response was "Yea, but a bush is probably covering them a bit." So I gave the driver a description and guess what it came back again the next night. I didn't bother calling the guy again. He knew we had a package and that we needed to see the numbers on his home. If he couldn't go out and remove enough of the bush so the numbers could be seen then he could come to us to pick it up.

Or I love this one "Well my numbers are on my mailbox, I don't know what your guys problem is." I feel like saying, "Oh yea I forgot we aren't the POST OFFICE! We need to deliver to the right home, and since your mailbox is across the street with a few others we are suppose to get out and knock on every door to find you???? Yea right!!!!!!" you aren't the only stop of the day. Some drivers may only have 150 stops while others may have 600-700 stops in a day between their pickup and deliveries. If you want good service then please make their lives a little easier.
Road Rage
Then my favorites are the people who live at the top of a mountain. In bad weather when the little dirt road they live on is muddy and icy they get mad because our driver won't go up their little dirt road. Well put yourself in his shoes. When you are a driver in this big huge truck and all you see is a little dirt path that has ice and potholes trust me you don't go down it because if you can't see a place to turn around you don't even want to take a chance at getting stuck.

I just want to scream some nights when I get chewed a new one by someone who orders a next day air item that they just had to have that day, but they weren't home to sign for it or they don't have the numbers marking their home. Gee what did you think would happen?
So if you are expecting a package here are a few things that can be done to make all of our lives easier.
  1. Clearly, in plain view FORM THE ROAD, mark your home with the correct numbers. If they can't see it from the road they may not deliver your package. Mailboxes are not sufficient, especially if they don't clearly show which home to go to.
  2. If you live at the back of a home or down the alley make sure there is a sign out at the street that clearly points to where you are. Enter
  3. Request that the shipper place your phone number on the outside of the package in case anything does go wrong we can reach you. If it isn't then we are opening your package to find the number on the invoice inside. Some of you don't even want to know the things I have seen.
  4. Oh yea and no PO BOXs. We must deliver to the home. We can not deliver to PO Boxes. Again we are not the post office.
  5. If you are not going to be home to sign for a signature required package then have it sent to your place of work, or grandma's house. If your shipper will not allow that then call the 800 number to have it rerouted after the first delivery attempt. If you live in an apartment we wont just release your package you must be there to sign for it, so the same applies for you.
  6. If you want to pick up a package PLEASE CALL the 800 number so we can have it pulled and ready for you. DON'T just SHOW UP!!!! Talk about driving me crazy. If you call ahead then I can send a message to the driver to bring it to me when he comes in so I don't have to go digging through their truck, especially in the heat or the extreme cold. I know the 800 number isn't that fun to deal with, but trust me your experience will be much better if you take the time to do that and then let me call you when the package arrives on my counter. Thank You
  7. If you are having it delivered to your place of work then make sure the shipper includes the business name and the suite number (if applies)on the label or you still won't get your package the first day.
  8. Talk to your neighbors about getting the correct address on their homes as well. There is nothing as frustrating to a driver to go down the street and see 2805, 7508, 2806, 7509, 7610........ So what is he really on the 2000 block or the 7000 block???!!!!!!
  9. If you live on a dirt road and a place that is hard to find even if you think your driver knows where you are, don't assume you will always have that driver. Our drivers do take vacations, they need it. Tanny So make sure we have in our system directions on how to get to your home so the second attempt will be successful.
  10. If you are shipping: include names, address (which are common) phone number of receiver (this is important if something goes wrong so we can still get them their package), and properly package it with at least 2" of cushioning around the item if you want it to get there with out breaking. That one also amazes me when I get something like a light fixture or a mirror and they put packaging around the item, but placed the item directly on the bottom of the box, with no packaging on the bottom. Yea that'll work. When the box gets set on a cement floor you'll find out how not protected it is, especially it it's heavy.

Also think about this if the UPS Driver has trouble finding you what do you think will happen if you need an ambulance. They don't drive the streets daily like we do. You get mad about not getting your package, but it should make you think, what if your child was chocking. If we can't find you what make you think the ambulance can?

Now I know we aren't perfect there are drivers who will bring packages back and discuss them with other driver who have had their route in the past and then realized they did see your home and didn't realize it, so we get it back out to you. Other times yes things do get loaded onto the wrong truck, our sorters are human. Again your home may be marked but if your neighbors have our driver confused with their numbers then he may have given up before he got to you. These things happen, but you can help us to get your package to you safely and quickly if you take the time to follow these steps.
Delivery Thanks for your help and consideration from your local delivery person.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Big Al's Mud Bog at Stateline

We've had our weekends so tied up with the remodel that we decided to take a brake yesterday and go do something. James had heard about the Mud Bogs at Big Al's on KIX96. So that's where we decided to go.

We got there a bit early, but not too early. I pulled out my camera to check it and realized the batteries were dead. Then I pulled out the second set of batteries, put them in, and you guessed it they were dead too. Someone had unplugged my battery charger! Oh well.

So we know its probably about 3:45 and the show starts at 4:00. We go in to pay, and they are no where near being ready. The one girl looks at her watch and says "Well it's not even four yet, so....." Talking to the girl that asked what to do about getting our tickets she then says "We need you to....." As if we aren't even there. Instead of politely telling us it's not four yet, their not quit ready, can we please wait, she was put out by us. Then the two older women who runs the show got the items they needed and came back to us and took our money and gave us our wrist bands, and were much nicer about it then their younger protege's. Understandable so they asked us to please go out and around because they couldn't allow the kids through the bar, so we did.

We get back there and first impressions are everything. Something apparently these people haven't yet figured out. You would think they could at least get a weed eater and chop down the weed that were up around your feet if you set on the bleachers. Well then we realized that the bleachers weren't even set in the right place to see the show. Basically this was a bring your own chair type of show. But some of the staff was nice enough to bring several picnic tables down and line them up so we could sit on the tables to see the show. So now things were looking a little better.

As we are waiting for the show to get on the road I went to get us drinks and snacks. This would be my next surprise of the night. I go to the stand to find that it is being ran by four very unorganized teenagers. I have nothing against teenagers running the stand, but when left alone with out an adult to help them the operation doesn't run very smoothly. The quiet young boy seemed to know the most, but he didn't have very much control over the three lost looking girls. Then I find out that they don't have any cold sodas yet, but they do give us glasses of ice to go with our drinks. Wouldn't you think that if you were planning an event like this that happens more then once you would be prepared enough to have sodas on ice and the kids running the stand would be trained enough to know what they are doing? Just my opinion I guess.

So again we were still waiting for the show to get on the road. James looks at me and says "Gee I think we should have waited 'til 6:00 to show up." Because I was almost that time and still no mud bogging. Not to mention the kids are getting bored and driving us crazy.

The show was finally getting close and we were hungry, so I go back to the stand. I order two hot dogs for the boys and two hamburgers for me and James. Of course that again takes forever, but at least this time they had sodas that were cold! So my kids help me carry the food back and we start to eat. About two bites into my hamburger I was completely groused out by the fact that my hamburger was raw in the center. James quit eating his too, but didn't want anything more. I was still hungry so I marched back over to that stand and asked the young kid if I could please have a hot dog instead and showed him the hamburger. He was groused out too, and gladly gave me a hot dog.

Finally the show starts! It was a good show. Lots of broken down trucks, lots and lots of mud, and plenty of good natured personality with all the contestants. They even had the Powder Puff run with two women running probably their boyfriend or husband's truck, because the trucks had previously been ran by the guys. Well the one girl went through their in an orange Chevy Blazer, Amanda I believe. Even though she had a really good truck that won many of the races it really wasn't much of a win this time because the other girl broke down in the middle of the bog. Her guy gets out and starts looking at the truck. They then realize it is broke and call to be towed out. While he is hooking it up he says "she broke my truck!" It must have really broke good, because he didn't race anymore.

Then there was a break that was only suppose to be a half hour while a few guys fixed minor problems with their trucks. I think that turned into more of an hour. But they did have a few fun things with the crowd while waiting. One was they threw several water bottles in the mud pit and had those who wanted to have some fun in the mud get out there and dig for them. That was quit a sight. But the real entertainment came when they were all trying to clean the mud off their clothes. We happened to be standing by the water hose. We had one old man who I would say was a little drunk near us making lots of comments, sometimes funny. But it was the people all muddy that were funny to watch. Especially the kids. One father is pushing his now head to tow muddy daughter toward the water. She is already shivering, and then they turn the hose on her. She is still shivering, but she takes it. Then there was a young bog who just walks up, lifts his hands in the air and lets the guy with the hose just hose him down. Then one of the guys who was muddy, he knew the guy with the hose, ran up and hugged him. Now the hose guy had to wash off and he wasn't even in the mud pit. It was all good fun.

Later more races happened and we stayed to see some, but at about 8:00 we had to leave. Jamie was extremely cranky, which was evident when we get just a little ways down the street and she is already conked out.

Now Christopher is talking about wanting to do this with his dad. They are now discussing how the Dodge would do in something like that. Great! Actually that would be fun for James and Christopher to do something like that.

A piece of advice if you are going to Big Al's Mud bogs. It is a lot of fun once the show finally gets going and the announcer has a great sense of humor too. But bring you own comfortable folding chair. My butt and my feet are still sore from sitting on the tables or standing. Also bring your own food, the lines are too long, not in length but in wait time, and the hamburgers aren't cooked very well. Otherwise the show is great and you'll have a great time.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Dang, one day of peace and quiet was all I got. Though I can't say it was fun. Justin did get sick once, which they warned me would happen, and he was groggy most of the day. Although, he did perk up that evening when he woke up from one of his many naps to find that Dad was making home made ice cream!

At least I did have the excuse that Justin needed to rest so I could send all the neighborhood kids away for the day. But they are back again this morning. I enjoy the girls next door, and they help keep my kids occupied, but once in a while I need to not have five or six kids in my house and some peace and quiet.

But it is nice to see Justin up and running around as his usual onary self.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mom this stinks!

My poor son had surgery this morning. Our middle boy had his adnoids removed. The two of us got to start our morning at 6:00 AM. I ended up going with out breakfast and my coffee. So in a way I get to feel as miserable as him.

Justin came through with flying colors. The nurses loved him, and kept commenting on how tall he was for a four year old. He was mostly quite, but cooperative. Which I'm sure made the nurses jobs easier.

I was lucky that something like this wasn't happening to our oldest. He would have made a big deal of everything and drove me crazy. Right now Justin is just chilling out with Bob the Builder on (his favorite show).

Well I need to get back to babying him.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

New Blog!

I know I promised to do another post today about searching for your ancestor as a continuation of yesterday's post. But I may not have time. I am in the middle of creating a new blog just for my genealogy. This blog will go back to the funny things that happen in my life. My new blog, Untangled Family Roots, will be based on my genealogy and my future business by the same name.

By the way no one has gotten in touch with me about researching their family. I am still looking for genealogy geni pigs. If you are curious about an ancestor or a branch of your family, please let me know. I would be glad to do research at no charge for a while to gain the experience I need to turn this into a business.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Individual Research Worksheet

These are my notes from my research of John Anderson McCombs. On the first page you can see how I entered information that I knew and then highlighted what was missing or incomplete. I also made more notes on this page as I discovered details in my search of the census records. Such as John's place of birth. The information that was given to me a long time ago appears to be incorrect. It appears that he was really born in TN not MO. I also noted that there were two more children born to John and Luticia that we don't have names for, possibly they died as infants. Also I noted that one child, Walter, was never in the census records which would lead me to believe he also died young, which would correspond with Luticia's account of only 9 living children by 1900. In this section I entered in my questions and began to set my goals. I added more questions as I went along.

There are more pages. I have done research that can be 20 or even 30 pages worth of research, but other individuals only needed a half dozen. Your research can go only as long as you want it too, and sometimes, some questions just can't be answered. But never stop looking. You never know when someone will turn up who has a peice of history for you. Posted by Picasa

Finding Your Ancestors, Part III The Research

There is a great deal of research that you can do online. Online is where I always start my research. But first you need to prepare you forms, so you know where to search and what you are looking for.

Let's start by deciding what ancestor you want to research. Choose only one. If you are looking for too many people at a time you get off task and your research won't be as complete as it could be. That's not to say you can't keep notes of others in your ancestry that you come by. Keep a note book near by to jot down where you found another ancestor living near the ancestor you are focused on, this way you'll have notes when you move on to the other ancestor so you will remember where to go back and look for the other person. To choose an ancestor I would say start with your parents if they are passed away or you were separated from them, but if they are still alive they can fill in their own blanks, in that case move to your grandparents. For most people their grandparents are the best starting point.

In my previous post I spoke of John Anderson McCombs and posted his picture. He is my current project so I will use him as an example. I am going to show actual scans of all my notes. Starting with my Research Worksheet. In the Research Worksheet section A you want to write down what you do know about the individual. Then highlight all missing or incomplete information. For example is you only know that your ancestor was born in Missouri, but not exactly where then that information is incomplete.

In Section B simply write down questions you want answered or other pieces of information that you need to verify. Last in section C you want to set you first research goal, then write down each source you look through to answer that question and in results write down everything you find to support your research. Be sure to write detailed notes as to where you found something, exactly, so that you can go back to it later if you need to. Print out any documents you find to support your research.

I was going to post the notes in this blog, but they are too big. I will have to upload them another way so my notes will follow this post separately.

Online I typically research three different databases, Ancestry, Rootsweb, and USGenWeb, but I don't limit myself to just that. I also find when I hit a brick wall just Google the name you are looking for and you might just come up with a new avenue. I also visit GenForum to look at their message board from time to time to see if anyone else is look for the same ancestor. Cindy's List is also another good one for finding a variety of information. I also look on DeadFred to see if their are any new pictures for that family.

tomorrow I will show you how I transcribed the information I found onto other forms in order to see the big picture. This will tell me where I have filled in the gaps, created new gaps and where I still have research to finish.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Sharing Your Genealogy

For many of us we wouldn't know as much as we do about our families if someone hadn't shared stories, relationships and photos with us.

I've been talking about putting your information into a database that can create a GEDCOM file of your family tree. GEDCOM's are the universal file format for sharing genealogy. One way you can use your GEDCOM's are to upload the files to the internet. There are two websites that I know of. One is Of course this is for a fee, but well worth it when you can connect your family tree with others that match yours. The other is Rootsweb, which is free. I have my research on both. This has allowed other cousins to find me, and I have made contact with others as well. If it were not for these two website I would not have the information that others have so graciously shared, but even better I would not have the photos of my ancestors.

Today I got to experience another one of those treasured moments when a cousin sends you another photo of a great grandparent. A second cousin twice removed to me contact me today. He had seen my family tree on He said he had pictures of some of the ancestors I had listed and offered to send me some. Of course I wasted no time emailing back to him. I shared photos I had of my family up to the point where they connected to his. I also sent him genealogy reports, another added benefit of genealogy software, of all the information that has been given to me and that I have found on our mutual families. A short time later I received a photo of my ggg grandfather John Anderson McCombs and his wife, my ggg grandmother, Lutitia Nichols. The photos I had only went as far back as one of their granddaughters. I was so excited! I couldn't wait for my mother to show up who just happened to be on her way over to rescue me from the kids. Now I need to get a copy of it to my Aunts.
The picture above is of John and Lutitia McCombs.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Family Tree Software

I have been using Family Tree Maker for about a year. I like the program. It has helped me to organize my information and notes on the family. But yesterday I discovered a new software, Family Tree Legends. They both cost the same at just under $30, but they each have wonderful features. I will end up using both of mine for different features. The nice thing is I can transfer the files back and forth between the two easily.

  • The data base both are pretty standard. You can enter in all the information about your ancestor, their spouse, children and all their information from the first screen Family Tree Maker gives one added bonus, by showing the name of each spouse's parents on a button above their name. With Family Tree Legends you have to click on the parents button to see their names. Also with Family Legends you need to click on the child in order to enter notes for them, but in Family Tree Maker you can simply click on the notes button while in the family view to enter in notes for a child.
  • Notes are a great place to enter little details or stories you find out about the person as well as notes to yourself of future research. In FTM you would put all of this in one place with one standard type face and no spell check. This is where FTL makes a big difference for me. You can enter in stories in your notes , but here you can bold, Italics, or underline important pieces of information you want to stand out. You also have a spell check, and if your like me this is a must! To further organize your notes you can put your future research notes in a To-Do List not in the middle of your stories!
  • To-Do List This is a wonderful feature, only available in Family Tree Legends. At this point I had been doing this with paper and pen. With this list you can prioritize each item to do, categorize it as research, write letter, etc., enter expected expenses, due date, and place of research.
  • address Book again only available in FTL. Here you can keep tracking of contact information for family members still living.
  • Medical History both programs are about the same here, but FTL allows you to enter in your DNA fingerprint if you have had that done.
  • Pictures both programs have a place for pictures in the scrapbook, but FTL allows you to create slide shows, scan photos directly into FTL and edit pictures, as well as create multiple scrapbooks for each family group.
  • Reports both do about the same for reports. Both will allow you to export the reports to Word, but only FTM will allow export to Adobe Acrobat.
  • Charts here is where things really get interesting. In FTL you can create beautiful family trees with frames around the names, pictures in the background, many color and font options, you just have more options to create beautiful family trees.
  • Books in FTM you can create a rather limited book for web publication, but not print. In FTL the difference again is significant. You can create beautiful books for print with many more options.
  • Web Search with FTM you can search Ancestry's many records for a fee, with FTL you can search their limited record for free directly from the software. With FTM you simply click on the person you want to look for and hit the "search web" icon and it will bring up all the matches. With FTL you go into another page and enter the information you are looking for and it will search their records.
  • Blank Forms I have expressed the benefits of forms in keeping your research organized. Well guess what? FTL has many of the forms included with this software so not only do you have a data base to organize you information, but you also have the forms you need to do the research!
  • Upgrade Family Tree Legends also has a wonderful upgrade. I didn't get it because I don't have a hand held device yet. But you can purchase an upgrade to allow you to down load your family tree information onto your hand held device to take with you to the next family reunion or to go do your research.

Here are two wonderful software programs for organizing your family tree and neither are very expensive. Get a family tree software before you get too far into your research, or you'll find yourself overwhelmed. When you can find pieces of information quickly at your finger tips it will make your search for you ancestor go do much faster.

Thursday, August 03, 2006


I know this is suppose to be a blog about genealogy now, but you know too many other good things happen in the life of a mother of three who just happens to enjoy genealogy too.

Yesterday I had my first REAL experience with the dentist. I never minded going to the dentist because I never understood what the REAL torture was. I had been good with my teeth and never had cavities, so I didn't worry too much when I went for a period of years with out dental insurance and no regular dental visits. Well during that period of several years I managed to have three babies. Pregnancies unfortunately weaken the teeth.
So yesterday I got my first cavity filled. They spent an hour on one of my top back molars, or at least it seamed like an hour. They give you this nice rubber piece to bite down on and keep your mouth open. Talk about making your jaw sore when the numbness wears off.

Anyway they get done. I go up front to pay my bill and get the wonderful surprise that I have a credit, so that made the visit more pleasant. Then I go home to my husband, who has had lots of dental work and knows what I am going through, who is having a hay day over my numb face and slurred speech.

Since I didn't have to pay anything for the visit I stopped and got Papa Murphy's on the way home so at least I wouldn't have to make a dinner I didn't feel like eating at the moment. Then I go directly to work. I hadn't looked in the mirror to notice what my numb swollen face really looked like.

When I got to work one of the drivers was in early and had a good day, so he came by my office to chat and lightly punched me in the shoulder, and asked me how my day was going. Actually he's one of those guys who has a good day even on a bad day. So I turned to him and pointed to my swollen jaw and said "go ahead take your best shot I can't feel a thing!" He and the other clerk just start laughing. He responds "oh my god you've been to the dentist, I didn't even notice 'til you looked at me!"

A little while later when I was washing my hands I looked into the mirror and noticed that only one side of my mouth moved with a smile, the other side hung there like a limp noodle, plus that side of my face was swollen. That's when I really realized how funny I looked to everyone, not to mention how funny I sounded. I bet people I had to call last night and talk to about their packages were thinking they had a drunk lady working for them.

I still like my dentist but now I will be prepared for the torture on the next three cavities.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Fixed Blog

I think it had more to do with the background I was trying to use. Which is a shame because that brown, script style background fit the theme of my bog better than this. But why not green for a girl born on St Patrick's day, with red hair?! So it looks like I'm up and running again.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Whacky Blog

I don't know what is going on with my blog. Every time I get on here things rearange themselves. I could sure use some help if someone knows what is going on with this thing! Bare with me.

Harmon Co., OK Genealogy

Genealogy is like a puzzle, and just like a puzzle you sometimes have to build around the outside to figure out the center. This family is one of those examples. I searched for more than a year for Flora Mae Manning. It was like she didn't exist prior to her marriage to Ernest Gahmo Connor. Then my mother-in-law found Flora's death certificate with Grandma's important papers. This gave us only one clue, her father's name was Tom. Who ever, probably Ernest, was giving information at the time of her death knew very little about her family. It wasn't much but at least it was something.

So I started searching for Tom Manning living in Oklahoma around 1920-1930. Do you know how many hits I got on that? Too many to waste my time. There had to be a better way to find him. Then it hit me one day Tom is short for Thomas. What if the family called him Tom, but he reported his real name on the census. Sure enough I found a Thomas Manning living in Harmon Co., OK! This was before a learned the importance of neighbors. If I had only searched the 10 pages before and 10 pages after the Conner family who lived in Dryden, Harmon Co., OK in 1930 I would have found Flora's family long before. Then I went back to the 1920 census and sure enough I found Flora, and then I understood why I never found her before. Her name was spelled as Lora!

So when you find a family that you know fits your ancestors check the families living around them, you just might find families of spouse for those children in future years. Especially the females, they are the hardest to trace because they marry and change their names.

Below is Flora's family. Thanks to the help of Jeanette Coaly of Harmon Co., OK I now have three generations of Manning's. But we are still looking for Ira Manning's family. As well as any details on his murder. Jeanette is also looking for information on other families of the Harmon Co., OK area. She runs the museum in Hollis, OK.

Descendants of Ira Manning

Generation No. 1

1. IRA1 MANNING1 was born in Alabama2, and died Abt. 1888 in AL or AR3. He married TAMSEY MANERVIA SESSIONS3 Abt. 1874 in Alabama, daughter of WILLIS SESSIONS and MARY PUGH. She was born Abt. 1857 in Taladega, Alabama3, and died Abt. 1929 in Hanna, McIntosh, OK3.

Notes for IRA MANNING:
Ira was robbed and murdered and then thrown overboard on river around AL or AR.
According to Manning/Sessions family history, ca 1887/1888 Ira/Will and Tamsey were travelling by riverboat while enroute from AL to AR. Ira/Will carried all the family's money on him even though Tamsey had warned him it could be dangerous to do so. At some point during the trip, he was murdered, robbed and his body thrown overboard into the river. (Arkansas River, Mississippi River?) Sometime after reaching AR Tamsey remarried to Charles Layfette Shropshire and had three more children.
I'd like to make contact with anyone researching, or with info on this family.

Some time after reaching Arkansas and the youngest child, Julia Ann was born June 6, 1888

cited by Wesley Parker

Cause of Death (Facts Pg): Murder

Marriage: Abt. 1874, Alabama

2. i. THOMAS MARION ALONZA2 MANNING, b. 07 Nov 1874, Alabama; d. 1941, OK.
ii. JOHN WILLIS DANIEL MANNING, b. 25 Mar 1876, Arkansas.
iii. WILLIAM HENRY MANNING, b. 11 Apr 1878, Arkansas.
iv. JULIA ANN MANNING, b. 06 Jun 1881, Arkansas.

Generation No. 2

2. THOMAS MARION ALONZA2 MANNING (IRA1)4,5,6,7,8,9 was born 07 Nov 1874 in Alabama10,11,12,13,14,15, and died 1941 in OK. He married (1) MATTIE SMITH16 1900 in Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory16,17. She was born Feb 1883 in Indian Territory18,19, and died Bet. 1910 - 1920. He married (2) MARTHA EVELINE SORRELS20 1918 in Hanna, McIntosh, OK, USA20. She was born 1898 in Arkansas21.

Residence: 1930, Dryden, Harmon, Oklahoma22

Mattie died of dropsy. She was holding her baby and the baby had to be pried out of her hands. What we don't know is if that baby was Flora (the youngest known by census) or if ther was another child that was born and died between 1910-1920. The family had always though there was another child younger then Flora. I have found that Flora had three half brother born before 1930, children born to her father and step mother.

Cause of Death (Facts Pg): Dropsy

Marriage: 1900, Cherokee Nation, Indian Territory23,24

Marriage: 1918, Hanna, McIntosh, OK, USA25

3. i. FLORA MAE3 MANNING, b. Abt. 1910, OK, USA; d. 15 Mar 1940, Amarillo, Potter Co., TX, USA.
ii. CARL MANNING, b. 1904, OK.
4. iii. IRA MANNING, b. 06 Mar 1906, OKLAHOMA; d. 21 Nov 1995, FRESNO, California.
5. iv. HENRY LEE MANNING, b. 06 Jul 1908, Hanna, McIntosh, OK, USA; d. 26 Dec 1982, Fresno, Fresno, CA, USA.

v. WILSON3 MANNING26,27, b. 31 Jul 1919, Hanna, McIntosh, OK, USA27; d. Jul 1988, Elgin, Comanche, OK, USA27.
vi. M LONZA MANNING27, b. 1924, Oklahoma.
vii. L KENITH MANNING, b. 1930, Oklahoma.
viii. MILDRED MANNING27, b. 09 Dec 192427; d. 26 Dec 2002, Elgin, Comanche, OK, USA27.

Generation No. 3

3. FLORA MAE3 MANNING (THOMAS MARION ALONZA2, IRA1) was born Abt. 1910 in OK, USA28, and died 15 Mar 1940 in Amarillo, Potter Co., TX, USA29. She married ERNEST GAHMO CONNOR30,31, son of WILLIAM CONNER and LAURA BARNETT. He was born 17 Jan 1898 in Williamson, TX, USA32,33, and died 23 Dec 1976 in Phoenix, Maricopa, Arizona, United States of America33.

Flora died shortly after the birth of her fifth child. The fifth child was still born. It was a girl, but never named. Flora was burried in Liano Cemetary, Amarillo, TX.

June 2006
Estelle, Kathy, Renee and LaTosha went on a trip to Amarillo, TX to find and visit the graves of Flora and her last baby. They finally found them after a great deal of help. Grandma was disturbed by the fact that the only thing marking her mother's, Flora, grave was a small brick size marker with only her name on it. Grandma then purchases grave markers for both Flora and the baby, who we found out today was named Geneva. So now thier names and dates will always be known.

Ernest is Cherokee Indian

After Flora died Ernest put the children in an orphanage for a short time in TX until he got back on his feet. He remarried and got the children back. The marriage didn't work, so he took the chidren and they moved to Arizona. However, Ernest changed the children's birth dates for fear of his ex-wife turning him into the orphanage as an unfit father to care for his children alone. No one ever came looking for the children. I have found all of the children's correct birth dates except Estelle. She has always celebrated her birth day on the date her dad gave her after moving to Arizona. We are also still unsure of where Estelle was born. Possibly Hollis, OK.

But during the time the children were in the orphanage is a missing link for us. We have not been able to locate the birth place or birth cirtificate for Estelle the oldest child. She may have been born in Oklahoma instead of Texas like the rest of the children.

Social Security Number: 464-07-097833
SSN issued: Texas33

i. ESTELLE4 CONNOR, b. 25 May 1929, Hollis?, OK, USA; m. (1) SAM CLIFTON RIDDLE33,34; b. 19 Feb 1919, OK, USA35,36; d. 20 Apr 2002, Modesto, Stanislaus, CA, USA37; m. (2) JACK CASEY.

Residence: 1930, Ponca City, Kay, Oklahoma38
Social Security Number: 440-18-205339
SSN issued: Oklahoma39

ii. UNKNOWN ESTELLE'S TWIN CONNOR, b. 25 May 1929, OK, USA; d. May 1929, OK, USA.
iii. MATTIE JOSEPHINE CONNOR, b. 29 Aug 1931, Wheeler, TX, USA.
iv. LOTTI "LAURA" BELLE CONNOR, b. 28 Jan 1935, Wheeler, TX, USA; d. 07 Nov 1965, San Bernardino, CA40; m. CHARLES DECKER; b. 06 Aug 1929; d. 07 Nov 1965, San Bernardino, CA40.

Laura, her husband and son David were all killed in a car accident.

Laura's real name was Lotti. One of Flora's, Laura's mother, cousins was named Lotti and Flora didn't like her too much so she started calling Lotti, Laura. Aunt Mattie says that the cousin Lotti was involved with Ernest before Flora knew him, and that is why she didn't like her too much. It was someone else's idea to name the child Lotti.

v. BILLIE JOE CONNOR, b. 11 Sep 1937, Amarillo, Potter Co., TX, USA.
vi. GENEVA CONNOR41, b. 11 Mar 1940, Amarillo, Potter Co., TX, USA; d. 11 Mar 1940, Amarillo, Potter Co., TX, USA.

4. IRA3 MANNING (THOMAS MARION ALONZA2, IRA1)42,43 was born 06 Mar 1906 in OKLAHOMA44,45, and died 21 Nov 1995 in FRESNO, California46. He married MINNIE L MANNING47. She was born 1908 in Oklahoma.

Residence: 1920, Hanna, McIntosh, Oklahoma48

i. THOMAS L4 MANNING49,50, b. 09 Feb 1928, OKLAHOMA51,52; d. 14 Jan 1972, FRESNO, California53.

Military: 15 Jan 1946, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma54
Residence: Grady, Oklahoma54

5. HENRY LEE3 MANNING (THOMAS MARION ALONZA2, IRA1)55,56 was born 06 Jul 1908 in Hanna, McIntosh, OK, USA56, and died 26 Dec 1982 in Fresno, Fresno, CA, USA56. He married OMA ALZADIE YOUNG56 Nov 1928 in Hollis, Harmon, OK, USA56. She was born 10 Feb 1909 in Gould, Harmon, OK, USA56, and died 17 Jul 1993 in Fresno, Fresno, CA, USA56.

Marriage: Nov 1928, Hollis, Harmon, OK, USA56

Children of HENRY MANNING and OMA YOUNG are:
i. ROSA LEE4 MANNING56,56, b. 12 Sep 1931, Hollis, Harmon, OK, USA56,56; d. 22 Nov 1993, Fresno, Fresno, CA, USA56,56; m. HAROLD JAMES WELCH56.
iii. JULIA MANNING56, b. OK.

Source are available, but because of space I have deletted them from this post.

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