Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Contest for Admission to Arizona Family History Expo

Because I will be a Blogger of Honor at the Arizona Family History Expo I have two tickets I can give away.  So I will run a little contest and two lucky people will be given one ticket. 
The ticket covers the registration fee only.
The contest will end on January 2nd at 6AM and I will announce the winner in the late afternoon. 
To enter the contest leave a comment on this post,
and send me an email to mebowden at cox dot net.
On the 2nd I will use my favorite Random Number Generator and pick a winner.  Now don't delay. 

Until them happy family searching!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

Yes it is a tree of skulls.
Our Christmas Celebration started on Wednesday evening with our daughter Kierra and her husband Will.  Will works nights and had to work both the Eve and Christmas Day.  So they came to our home on Wednesday and we went to dinner and ice cream.  After that we came back to the house and opened gifts.  I had fun picking out their fun Halloween stuff that they use all year round. 

Will was amazed that I had done every stitch on his stocking by hand.  Such a good young man, he knew the right things to say.  Kierra was a little disappointed this Will's stocking is a little smaller than everyone else's but loved all the red it had in it. 

Shortly after the boys arrived we had Breakfast Casseroles for Brunch.  Kierra was running late so we ate without her.  We were very hungry by 1100AM.  The one on the right is an Amish Breakfast, I found the recipe on line at AllRecipes.com.  It was a hit.  I also made the Baked Stuff French Toast Recipe, I made last year but I halved the recipe.  When we finished it Sunday morning my husband asked if there was more.  Maybe next year I'll half of the Amish Breakfast and make the full French toast.  I like having both but we don't need two full ones. 

Everyone working on the flat tire

I didn't take a lot of pictures this year.  I was just enjoying each moment and forgot about the camera.  We did have a little excitement.  Kierra's tire on her truck sprung a leak and her tire was all flat.  Here they are airing the tire up, so we can roll it down to the flat street.  We were glad it happened here and not while she was driving.  After the tire was fixed the kids went to see other family member and Richard and I just hung out!  I sewed of course.

We had a very nice Christmas and it was a lot of fun this year as a family. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to wish all my blog friends and readers a wonderful Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Arizona Family History Expo

Because I will be a Blogger of Honor at the Arizona Family History Expo I have two tickets I can give away.  So I will run a little contest and two lucky people will be given one ticket. 
The ticket covers the registration fee only.
The contest will end on January 2nd at 6AM and I will announce the winner in the late afternoon. 
To enter the contest leave a comment on this post,
and send me an email to mebowdenatcoxdotnet.
On the 2nd I will use my favorite Random Number Generator and pick a winner.  Now don't delay. 

Until them happy family searching!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Advent Calendar: Christmas Stockings

Did you have one? Where did you hang it? What did you get in it? Do you have any Christmas stockings used by your ancestors?

Mary's 1990

I grew up having a stocking, as of today I had no idea what it looked like.  I think it was red but who knows.  I cannot remember how we hung them, we did not have a fire place. We use to receive oranges and nuts in our stockings plus little toys.
I know when I left home I made myself a stocking, one of those quilted cut and sew type and you sew a binding around the edges and I embroidered Mary on the top.  I even took it with me on my mission.  Not that I thought anyone would fill it but because I thought I needed a Christmas decoration with me and it was flat.  

Richard's Stocking 1993
In about 1988 I decided to make a nice stocking for myself out of counter cross stitch on linen.  It was lined with satin and backed with velvet, I didn't finish it until 1990.  What a difference those reading glasses made.                                                          
Of course when I and Richard married I made one for him and them one for each of the kids and then one for each of the spouse of the kids.  So I have made a total of seven of these stockings. 

Kierra's 1995

When the kids where young I thought I would give it to them when they had their own homes, but I have since decided they can stay here until I die. 

I made Kierra's first and was going to make one each year.  Kinsen the youngest didn't want to wait for his stocking so I made his and Klint's in the same year.   

Klint 1996
Why did I made such fancy stockings for the kids.  I wanted to give the kids something they could cherish and give them traditions.  Something long lasting and stable. 
Kinsen's 1996
Each person could pick out their design.  When I took Klint and Kinsen to the cross stitch store to pick out their patterns I was very tickled by the patterns they picked out because they so fit each boy's personality.   Klint picked the pattern with the lion, and he was an active, loud boy.  Kinsen picked the one with the angel and he was a very calm and helpful boy. 

Will's Stocking 2010
Kierra wanted one with not a lot of flowers and yet I think hers has the most.  I won't tell if you don't.  Kierra picked out Will's stocking, her husband's. I gave him the stuff to make the stocking last Christmas all wrapped in a box and this Christmas I will wrap it in a box with all the stuff in it for him to open.  

Krystal 2006
The other stocking I made was for Krystal, Klint's wife.  I gave it too her when she left our home and family.  I for some strange reason cannot find a picture of it completed into stocking shape.   I wish I had known that so I could have taken a picture of it before she left.  I told it it had been made with love.

So how do we hang all these stockings with out a mantel? 
 My friend Heidi made this for me. 
And the stockings were hung
Christmas 2008, I had placed everything in the stockings and all of a sudden I heard a big crash dowel for the arms had broken. 

Have a Merry Christmas and make some great memories.


Advent Calendar: Grab Bag

This was the topic from the 17th but I thought I would us it today. Author’s choice. Please post from a topic that helps you remember Christmases past!

When we lived in Whitestone, New York we had a finished basement.  At one end of the basement there was a closet that went from one end of the room to the other.  I drew it here below in my Electric Quilt program.  I made the doors a different color but the room was all wood paneled.   
My drawing of the basement closet
In the middle of the closet my Dad kept the summers screens or the winter storm windows.  What a big job that must have been to take those off and swap them out twice a year for a three story home. Anyway I am sure my drawing is not to scale but I just wanted to give you an idea of how the closet was set up.  At each end he had shelves for tools and what not. 

So how does that relate to Christmas?  In that middle section on top of the screens our Christmas gifts would be hidden.  They were hidden under a tarp or old blankets.  I don't remember which one of us kids found them first but I have a vague memory of George and I poking around.  I think I decided it was more fun to be surprised on Christmas morning instead of knowing what we were going to receive. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Advent Calendar: Holiday Happenings

December 15 – The Holiday Happenings!

Often times December to mid-January birthdays and anniversaries get over shadowed by the Christmas/Hanukkah/New Year holidays. So we’re going to shine a spotlight on those family members and ancestors this time around. Select one or more December to mid-January birthdays and/or anniversaries on your family tree. Write a short tribute to or memory of those birthday guys and gals and write a toast to the anniversary couples.

My mother Edith's birthday was December 26th but I don't know any of the stories about how she celebrated her birthday.  To me it would be a real drag.  She died before my 1st Birthday, that is why I don't know.

My husband's birthday is in mid December and he never had a birthday gift wrapped in Birthday paper until I was dating him.  Or so he told me.  All his gifts were always wrapped in Christmas paper.  That made me feel sad, knowing my husband, he just let it roll off his back.  Matter of fact I just asked him about any special events for his birthday or about the gift wrap and doesn't remember.  That would be my honey!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advent Calendar: Fruit Cake Friend or Foe

Did you like fruitcake? Did your family receive fruitcakes? Have you ever re-gifted fruitcake? Have you ever devised creative uses for fruitcake?
I think this is a trick question!  Fruitcake friend or foe or a little of both. I do like good fruitcake!  I don't like lousy fruitcake! I like the kind my Dad made.  He started making it right after Thanksgiving.  He would make it and soak it in some kind of liquor.  I was too young to remember what kind.  He also made some without the liquor for us little people.  After he made the fruit cake he would wrap it in aluminum foil and store it in the front hall coat closet by the front door, right in the corner against two outside walls.  When we moved to Florida when I was eleven he stopped making fruit cake.  Probably because there was no cold coat closet to store it in.
I have never re-gifted fruitcake, or used it as a door stop. I would like to find a good recipe to make.  I don't have my Dad's recipe.

Blog Caroling

Do you hear what I hear? Yes, it is that time of year again – time for Footnote Maven’s Blog Caroling extravaganza.

This is my first entry in Blog Caroling, but there is a first tie for everything.  My favorite traditional carol is Silver Bell, Holy Night,there are so many.  But the carol I am entering and I have here is from Forgotten Carols by Michael McLean.  It is my favorite this year!!

Here is You Tube Link to hear it. Also Known as He Was Here.  It is also in a separate post. Enjoy!

Michael McLean - The Shepherd (You Were Not There in Bethlehem)

The flock was more than peaceful
The night was dark and deep
The stillness wrapped around me
I drifted off to sleep
And when my friends awoke me
Oh, what a tale they had to tell
They said the angels told them
About a newborn King
They had a star to guide them
They heard the heavens sing
They said that when they found Him
They knew they'd never be the same
Somehow I did believe them,
Though everything I knew
Said I should not believe them
This story can't be true
But there was something magic
In the air
That made me feel as if
I had been there
I asked a thousand questions
Their answers startled me
The more I heard,
The more I thought I knew
This cannot be
And then the struggle started,
My head was wrestling with my heart.
Why would a God from Heaven
Come to the world this way?
Why in a lowly stable
Would the Messiah lay?
I shook my head and asked them
To tell the story one more time
Yes I did believe them
Though I'd not seen a thing
I did not go to Bethlehem
Or hear the angels sing
But there was something magic
In the air
That made me feel as if
I had been there
I knew that as the world moves on
through time
There would be more stories
just like mine
About the souls who've chosen
to believe
In something that they never
got to see

Do you think you'll join us
Though you've not seen a thing?
You were not there in Bethlehem
To hear the angels sing
But if you feel the spirit
In the air
Then just like me you'd know
That He was here
He was here
The King of kings
And Lord of lords was here

(He was here)
He was here, he was here
(He was here)
And He will come again,
For He was here.
(The King of kings)
(The Lord of lords)
-(He was here)

(The King of kings)
(and Lord of Lords was here)
-(He was here)
(The King of kings)
(The Lord of lords)
-(He was here)
(The King of kings)
(and Lord of Lords was here)

And He will come again
For He was here
For He was here

The Forgotten Carols - He Was Here

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Advent Calendar: Other Traditions

When I first moved to Arizona, I had no family here.  I arrived in September and it was my first Holiday away from close friends and family.  I had been away from family and friends when I was on my Mission but there you are so busy doing the Lord's work you don't have a lot of time to miss home.  You do miss home but you don't have time to worry about it.  Oh you know what I mean.  Anyway back to my first Christmas in Arizona.  I had a lot of time to miss home.  So I decided to do something fun to cheer myself  and others up. 

I decided to do the 12 Days of Christmas.  I did my immediate co-workers and a couple of families from church I felt needed a little something extra.  I keep it simple or what I thought was simple but it did required a lot of thought. 
I made up little sayings up for each day and gave them something that fit the day in the song.  I am sure I don't remember all things I did and I might even have it typed out someplace in my file cabinet but I am not going to look for it now.
I put everything in a lunch size brown paper bag and use calligraphy to put their name on. 
The first day of Christmas for a Partridge in a Pear tree I gave them a pear.
Two turtle doves I gave two turtle candies.
Five gold rings I gave butterscotch life savers.
Eight Maids a milking a box of milk duds
Some of the things I gave where No Bake Cookies, Christmas hand towel, I forget what else.  I did this from 1984 when I first moved to Arizona until maybe 1993 or 94.  I know I did it a couple of years with the kids but they didn't really like getting up early in the morning to deliver packages.  I remember one years I was so sick and I had a fever, but I still delivered my packages.
One year when I was up early it had snowed out in Apache Junction and the cars coming into Mesa had snow on them. 
Sometimes people figured it out, some times I told them if they were friends, most of the time they never knew.  But it was fun.  

Advent Calendar: Christmas Gifts

When I think of the gifts I enjoyed receiving as a child, I think of my first 2 wheeler bike, of course when I first received it on Christmas morning it had training wheels on it.  The bike was blue, my favorite color.  My first wallet was a fun gift, it was blue and a little girl's wallet. 
Now I like the gift that my friends pick out with care that fit me, like the lambs or special ornaments. I especially like handmade gifts. 
The gifts I like to give the most are hand made ones or ones that I look at and think oh that is so like....
The best fun about gifts is when you go to a friends house and see the special items you made or picked out for them are out and about the house.
Kierra & Will with her gift she loved
One of the fun people I buy gifts for is our daughter Kierra, she loves vampires and skulls and all, so I start buying her Christmas gifts at Halloween.  I have fun some fun stuff and she really like them.  Here she is from last Christmas with her favorite gift of Skeletons, See No Evil, Speak No Evil & Hear No Evil.
It is a lot different when you are a child then the gift power is in the fun it can be but as an adult it is about the joy or memories a gift can bring. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Arizona Family History Expo

Well two days ago I received a very exciting email
 inviting me to be a Blogger of Honor at
the Arizona Family History Expo, right here in my hometown. 

Considering that I only started my Genealogy Blog last year after the Family History Expo.  Thomas MacEntee of GeneaBloggers encouraged me to start my blog and it has been a wonderful adventure since.   Well more about that on my Blogiversary.
Anyway I am honored and excited, I feel like I get to play with the Big Kids. Go Here to see who else will also be blogging. 
More details to come including some freebies!

Advent Calendar: Grab Bag

Author’s choice. Please post from a topic that helps you remember Christmases past!

My Dad was a fireman and he worked 24 hours on and 48 hours off.  I can still see the little calendar he received each year, there were three shifts and it was color coded, like blue, yellow and red and depending on which shift you were, that was the day you worked.  It was nice to know a year in advance what days you would be working. 

When we were little I am sure it didn't matter which day we celebrated Christmas the 24th or the 25th but as we were bigger I am sure they changed plans a little.  What I do remember is if he was working Christmas day, my Dad would take us out for a ride in the car to see Christmas lights on Christmas Eve.  Some how my Mom always stayed home.  I don't remember any excuse she gave but she stayed home.  After we were gone for a while, stay an hour or so.  We would come home Mom would pretend she was waking up from a nap and guess who had visited while we were gone, Santa.

If my Dad had to work Christmas Eve and he came home from work on Christmas morning we had to wait for him to get home to open gifts.  Do you know what I just realized there were a lot of Christmases my mother had to play Santa alone.  I bet those years were not the years we received bikes.

This way no matter what day my Dad worked we all could celebrate Christmas together as a family.  My Mom was a nurse but I don't remember how her working impacted our Christmas other then maybe we got up earlier to celebrate before she went to work.  And what kid would argue about getting up earlier?  None I know. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Advent Calendar: Christmas Cookies

Did your family or ancestors make Christmas Cookies? How did you help? Did you have a favorite cookie?

Cookie Press and cookies

My Mom made Christmas cookies, the ones I remember are sugar cookies with icing colored green and red or with green, red and white sprinkles on them.   She also used one of those tube thingy with the different shapes and you squeezed the dough out of it.  I guess the correct name is a cookie press.  And look they still make them and some of them are even electric.

I helped by putting the icing on or the sprinkles.  This memory is only from New York and think when we moved to Florida we didn't make them any more.  I never made them after I left home.  My patients gave me so many gifts of cookies, chocolate, fudge and wonderful stuff that I just didn't need any cookies at my house. 

I think one of my favorite cookies is the wedding cookie.  The funny thing is sugar cookies are my least favorite and I don't like icing.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent Calendar: Holiday Parties

Hartmann's 1942 or 1943
Did your family throw a holiday party each year? Do you remember attending any holiday parties?

These are the kinds of Holiday gatherings my family had for Christmas.  Family gatherings.

At the head of the table my grandparents Hartmann, my Dad leaning over, my uncle Richie on the right of Grandpa, and my Aunt Em is the second young lady in front of my Dad.  Isn't my Aunt Em sporting a fancy hair do? 

We had the same tradition until we moved to Fort Lauderdale Florida then it was just the six of us.   There were no families to come visit. 

After I left home and was a working person there were the famous work parties.  I like the one were it was just a pot luck at work or an informal get together at some one's home.  Than the Holiday dinners with dancing started.  Of course there was more pressure to have something nice to wear.  The other problem was I was single until I was 44 years old and believe me I didn't want to go alone to all those fancy dinner and dancing party.  So that meant asking one of the many single men I knew to go with me.  Usually these were OK dates. 

My husband & I now go to work parties together and since we both work, that is two parties, plus a church party and of course the family gatherings.  And let me tell you he is a very fun date!

Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

Advent Calendar: Santa Claus

Mary 1951
Did you ever send a letter to Santa? Did you ever visit Santa and “make a list?” Do you still believe in Santa Claus?

I have a very vague memory of sending a letter to Santa. I can see myself in my mind reaching up to put the envelop addressed to Santa into the mail box.  It was really high up and I had stretch to reach it.  I can even see me in my winter coat with the matching hat and snow pants.  My Mom was big on snow pants.

When I was 10, our last Christmas in New York I learned who Santa really was, I recognized the hand writing.  Of course I became part of the secret Santa society because I had younger brothers I could not real the identity of the special person. 

Do I still believe in Santa?  Well how do you think all the gift tags in this home are signed by Santa. 

Did I mail letters to Santa with my kids?  If I did it, it was only with the youngest, he was 7 when I married my hubby and his 3 kids.  The other two were 11 & 10.  Some how again the memory is vague. 

My suggestion would be to take a photo of the event so you aren't left with vague memories, and scan a copy of the letter and envelope.   Save the memories!

Have a Merry Christmas Season!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advent Calendar: Outdoor Decorations

This not my House!!!

I remember we had lights on our house in Whitestone and in Fort Lauderdale.  But when I was thinking about the house in New York and it was a 2 story house with a basement and an attic.  I was wondering did my Dad really put them up on the roof line or was it just around the front door.  I really can't remember.  We always had the large C-9 bulbs in multicolor.

What I remember better is we always took rides to go look at the Christmas lights as a family.  To this day I still drive a little slower to admire the Christmas lights when I drive through neighborhoods. I love to see the homes all dressed up.  But not like the one above.

We just do the front edge roof line and not up the garage peak.  My husband use to but he doesn't want to climb up on the roof any more.  I still use the large C-9 bulbs.  For a couple of years we had the white icicles string of light but I missed my color too much.  One year I talked my husband into handing both the colored lights and the icicles.  Noticed that was only one year. 

The picture above was from Ugly Christmas Lights.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sorting Saturday: Old Pictures

Edith's Story page 1

Many years ago I took the pictures I had of my Mother & Dad out of the magnetic photo album I had them in and put them in a shoe box.  Of course no one looks at them stored in a box.

If you click on the picture you can see the pages in the full size.

Edith's Story page 2

At the Arizona Family History Association fall meeting one of the vendors a professional Genealogist had scrap booking pages mixed in between her pedigree charts and family group sheets.  I liked the idea and decided to do the same.

Some of the old pictures I scanned and reprinted since they are so faded.  I am writing what little stories I know about her on each page.  I have also scanned the pack of the pictures and added that picture of the writing to the page.

Edith's Story page 3
 It is a big project but I am just doing a little here and there.  Here are three of the pages I did since last Saturday.  I have done a total of five pages this week. 

I started with the early years and I am moving to her adult years. 

Here the story is all on white paper but it was too stark for me and I reprinted it all on cream paper and swapped the paper out.  OK, I know I am a little compulsive when it comes to things looking good together.

Advent Calendar: Christmas Cards

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories for 2010 sponsored by Geneabloggers today's prompt is:

How my parent's displayed Christmas Cards.

Did your family send cards? Did your family display the ones they received? Do you still send Christmas cards? Do you have any cards from your ancestors?

My parents did send Christmas cards, it is funny I can remember seeing them sit down with the green address book with the gold stamped around the edges of the book.  It was one with little rings in it and dividers for each letter of the alphabet.  My Dad made a list on a letter size piece of paper with the last names of who they were sending cards to and would place a check mark next to the name when the did the cards. He d rew columns on the paper and boxes for each letter of the alphabet. 

The funny thing is as clearly as I can remember the just mentioned details. I can't remember who wrote the Christmas cards.  I think it was both of them.  No card went out without a note in it.

From the picture above you can see how we displayed them in our Whitestone, New York home.  That is me with my brother George in 1950. 

I started the same tradition when I left home of sending cards to my family and friends.  I also wrote a note in each card unless it was to someone I spoke with regularly. 

Somewhere along the line I had an electric type writer and I started typing a Christmas letter.  Of course once I had my own computer in 1989 I started doing my Christmas letters by computer.  I would still send them out in a card at first, then I started sending the letter alone in a long envelope, then I started doing it every other year and now I send them electronically unless I don't have an email for some one. 

One of my favorite memories about Christmas cards were the ones from "Toots".  My Aunt Bea introduced me to Toots, and she wrote me faithfully every year after our introduction my mail.  I never had the pleasure of meeting her.

This is what my Cousin Val wrote me about her recently.  Val was lucky enough to meet her.

Her mother and Grandma Chaplin were best friends and the three Chaplin kids and Toots were like one family - Allot of the pix I have of your mom and my dad as kids have Toots in them.  She was very cool, remained single all of her life, worked for an insurance company I think Prudential in NYC.  She sent me a Christmas card every year until she died and it was always the first one I got each year.  But the most memorable thing about Toots was that she traveled all over the world in the 50's and 60's- which for the times was pretty unusual as a single woman.  As a little girl I remember receiving post cards from places like all over Europe, Australia, Japan, China.  She mostly went by cruise ship I think.  I asked her that day in 1985 what place she liked best - it was China.

Her card was always the first and one I enjoyed just because of the family connection.

Have a wonderful Christmas Season. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent Calendar: Christmas Tree Ornaments

Bubble Candle, olive wood ornament & Bolivian Kantuta Flower
Today's theme is Christmas Tree Ornaments.

I grew up in a home with multicolor ornaments, and that is still what I like the best, lots of color. I think we strung popcorn once when I was kid I may have even tried it once with my kids. Not anything I want to do. We had strings of glass beads we strung on the tree as garland. I still use them.

A glass lamb
We always had pretty glass ornaments when I was a kid. After I left home I started to buy a variety of ornaments and receive different ones from patients and co-workers. I have written the name of each giver on the box the ornament came in and each year when I hang them on the tree I have memories of so many people. Unfortunately the faces are fading in my mind’s eye.

Some where in my in my young adult years I started collecting lambs and I have many lamb ornaments. 

Hand Made by me 1978

Some of my favorite ornaments are from my mission in Bolivia. I purchased some of the miniature items , tied some tri-color ribbon on the item and hung it on my tree.  Like the first picture.

I also have hand made ornaments.  when the kids were younger I made them a new ornament every year, no I just buy them and by now they should have enough to decorate a small tree.

The ornament, such a simple thing but full of memories.