Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Genealogist collect dead people

As you've guessed it, I am LDS (or mormon). Family is a huge part of our religion; our families that we have now, families that we will have one day and families that we have come from. To find out why, go to: www.lds.org for more information.

During the summer, we kids (my brother, sister, and I) were happily shipped off to Utah for the summer. We would spend up to and over a month with our Grammy (our paternal grandmother) and our Oma and Opa (our great grandparents). The three of us spent our summers riding bikes, going to the pool, playing with cousins and walking barefoot every where in the hot desert sun. Of all those summer vacation days spent playing, what I am now cherishing the very most is going to the family history library and looking at old records. Even when I moved to Utah to go to school, Grammy and I promptly headed to the Family History Library to research old records from Denmark. Though I know no Danish and speak very little German we managed quite well. Even as a kid and when I moved back, we would spend hours looking at Microfiche. I wonder how may people know what Microfiche is!

In this world of iAnything, mac, laptops, computers, cell phones, the Internet and everything electronic that feeds information and keeps me connected to my world, the possibilities can seem endless. You can Google just about anything and get over a million hits, Apple probably "has an App for that" and WebMD's answer for everything that ails you is Cancer. You can do something incredibly stupid and you become a hit on Youtube. If you are really lucky Auto Tune will make you a one hit wonder.

But in this incredible age of information I am always amazed at the amount of information found not on the Internet but on Microfilm.

About 40 years ago my Nana (my mothers maternal Grandmother) did her genealogy. It was something that even with out the Internet she was able to do. When she got as far as she could most of her records and her husbands records date back the 1500's. While Nana worked on her genealogy, she also started on my (maternal) grandfathers records. Nana had traced her family history back to the 1500's but my grandfathers family was a very different story.

My grandfather was born and raised in Rochester, Monroe, New York. He was the youngest of 5. He had a sister named Betty, who later married a man name Davis becoming Betty Davis (well not thee Betty Davis but she is my Betty Davis). When he was 17, he had a falling out with his parents then did what every normal 17 year old does when he has a falling out with his folks. He joined the Coast Guard and at 17 fought in WWII. After the war and when he was finally old enough, he joined the Air Force. He was stationed at Hill Air Force Base in Clearfield, Utah where he met my grandmother and they fell in love. The rest is a love story for the ages; more or less a scandalous one, but that is story for later.

My great-grandfather was also born and raised in Rochester, Monroe, New York; the youngest of 7 children. He later moved to Arizona and where he died in 1975.

My great-great-grandfather is where the line ends. He was born in Baden, Germany in 1827 and later immigrated to the United States. My great-great-grandmother was born in Switzerland in 1847 and also later immigrated to the United States. With a 20 year difference between them
when she was 20 and he 40 (about) 1857 they married and had 7 children together. He died in 1907 in Rochester at the age of 80. My great-great-grandmother died in 1934 at the age of 87.

In the age of information, I am able to look on the Internet and find out exactly where my great-great-grandfather is buried. Apparently, he was also catholic. But my great-great-grandmother is a complete mystery. One assumes, I could just plug her name into google and TA-DAAA! there she is buried next to her husband or found on some cemetery registry but I cannot find her anywhere!! This is who I am chasing.

So Monday, the kids and I bundled up, packed a lunch and headed up the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. When we got there, I headed to the second floor and immediatly to the help desk. A retired gentlemand who was now serving an LDS mission to the Family History Libray and a younger ( I am gonna say 19 years old) missionary helped me get started. Of course, I was thinking that I would find everything magically on the computer but to my dismay I was going to have to search microfiche for the answer. Both the older and younger missionary were suprised when I told them that I knew about microfiche and how to use the machine to view the records.

I was given 4 index numbers to the microfiche for the 1905 Rochester, Monroe, New York census. Another young missionary guided me through the large metal rows of drawers containing countless rolls of microfiche. As I walked down the metal row, I was in awe at the amount of information I was surrounded by. I felt so small and very insignificant. Contained in those drawers were the names of real people who once lived and experienced life.

All I could say was: " Look at all these dead people!"

The young elder just laughed and said: "Oh! I just got the chilies! You think this is a lot? You need to check out the vaults at Granite Mountain!"
( The LDS church stores 35 BILLION images of genealogical information in 2.4 Millions rolls of microfilm in Granite vault carved out of the mountain just outside of SLC)

I took my microfiche, set up at a machine, loaded up, turned on the light and page by page I began to make my way through the 1905 census. For three hours I stared at the pages displayed upon to white board, slowly turning each page by hand. Needless to say, I secretly wished my kids where old enough so that I could put them through the same microfiche toture that I went through as a kid and the same toture that I was now reliving. Once you have spent time researching on microfiche, nothing will ever bore you again.

Though I did not find my family (yet!), I was able to see a small glimpse of life of 1905 in Rochester, Monroe, New York. Their names are still hidden waiting to be found.

Finding my family won't change who I am but it can tell me where I come from and who I belong to. It can tell me about the lives of those who came before me and how they experienced their lives. Mostly, I am creating my own kinships with those who paved the way for me. Genealogy is a hobby and genealogist collect dead people. Looks like I have started a new collection.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

OOOOOOO, You're my best friend!

Gotta love that song that the amazing Freddie Mercury once belted out:

You're my best Friend!
Ooo, you make me live.
Whenever this world is cruel to me
You help me forgive
Ooo, your making me live
You're first one when things turn out bad
You know I'll never be lonely
You're my only one
and I love
The things that you do
You're my best Friend

I have this very best friend named Bullfrog. There is probably some picture of the two of us from our school days in some memory box of mine stored out in my garage somewhere and that is where it probably should stay. We have known each other for a very long time. To tell you how long we have been friends and without revealing our ages... any child born in the year we met received their drivers license this year. Ya! We have known each other that long.

From the time we met in the 7th grade until we graduated high school, we talked twice on the phone. Kinda weird, huh?? But we saw each other every day at school. What's even weirder, my best friend wore a dress to school every single day! I saw her in pants twice! from the time we met in middle school until we graduated high school. It wasn't until we were in our 20's when I attended her wedding did I really see her wearing "normal" clothes. Bullfrog had... well, her parents were Bapstist and very strange.

We both had many of the same hopes, dreams and aspirations for when we grew up. We both suffered heart break and happiness together. She was there when my parents divorced and she was with me when my mom died. I was there when she had troubles at home, when her birth father came back and I was there when she married the love of her life. We had babies at the same time, six weeks apart. Bullfrog is 25 days older. She and my sister share the same birthday. Her step-daughter, who has the same name as my sister and I share the same birthday.

After high school and for a years after we've communicated mostly by email, facebook and phone. For the last couple of years we have only been able to communicate only by chat on Yahoo! or Facebook. Bullfrogs hubby is in the military and they live overseas. Acording to Google maps, in order to get where she lives one must jet ski across the Pacific ocean to get there. ( That is the honest to goodness truth! Some places in the world you'll need a row boat to cross the ocean.)

For Christmas this year, Hotstuff invested in a new laptop for the family. With this new fabulous toy comes a web cam and microphone. Hotstuff's brudder lives overseas also and communication doesn't come easy. In the last two years the only way we have been able to talk to "Mr. Teacher" and his family has been through Skype on some other family members computer. Skype, which is completly free, has been amazing. We have been able to talk and see our family who live over a world away. The second thing that Hotstuff did with the new laptop was set up a Skype account.

So last night as I was writing an email to my sister, Bullfrog dinged me on chat. The next thing I knew I was on Skype calling her. For the first time in years, I was able to have a face to face (via webcam) conversation with my best friend. I was able to met her girls in web cam person. We talked for over two hours!

I lived in Germany as a small child. I remember that talking with family in the states was very hard, far and very few in between conversations. I remember the envelopes with the blue and red stripes on the sides that were used to send letters oveseas. My mother would fly home every couple of years to see family and phone calls were made about twice a year because of the cost.

I think about all of the service men and women throughout the centuries. How there letters and communications we so rare and precious. The time that it took for the families to recieve them and the chances of the letters and packages ever making it to the soldiers would be a miracle for some. Even those who are bravely serving our country now, technology has changed communication so drastically that many are able to see their families webcam to webcam.

I started out by telling you about my best friend and have ended up talking about techonology. As a result of such wonders I am able to keep in touch with my best friend of forever and see her family and she can see mine. We are able to watch our children grow before our computer eyes.

I imagine a time when friends and family wrote letters by hand and sent packages covered in brown butcher paper. A response to those greetings took days and even months. Now we can recieve a response within seconds. With and without such wonders, my best friend would always be my best friend but now she can be closer than ever. Even on the other side of the world.

Oooooooo, your my best friend!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas with a BANG!

My Christmas started off with a bang! more like a crunch, screech, scream and explode; all neatly gifted wrapped with a $500 deductible.
About two weeks ago I was in a car accident. I start work at 7 in the morning so when I go in, it is dark. I left my house and got the end of my road and stopped at the stop sign. It was raining, cold and dark. I knew to not only look for cars but to also look for lights from cars. I was going to cross the intersection and stopped at the the stop sign I looked to see if I could go. I was clear in one direction and further down the road I saw another car and his lights but I did not see the car in front of him or his lights. I thought it was safe to cross and as I went through the intersection, I was broadsided.
My airbags exploded and my entire body was jarred. The man who hit me was taking his kids school. Luckily, no one was hurt.
It was my fault and I felt so very stupid for the rest of the day. Two weeks later, I have my moments where I still feel stupid. The most embarassing part of all of this was the man who hit me... we both attend the same church!!! It is one thing to get into an accident with a total stranger.... you never have to face them once the ordeal is over but with some one you know!!!! I have to face this man every single Sunday!
After the accident, Mr. M (the gentleman in the other car) was very upset. Understandibly! But after a few minutes, he calmed down. Mr. M explained to me that he had just had a conversation with his son that Mondays aren't really a bad thing. They actually can be good. Then with a small smile on his face, Mr. M said: "Thanks for helping me teach him that lesson."
I felt very blessed later. Even though this accident had occured, Mr. M was kind. He never showed any anger, he never raised his voice and while I was waiting for Hotstuff to come get me, Mr. M's aunt had arrived to help him. The three of us sat in her Tahoe with the heater on full blast, while I waited for Hotstuff. Mr. M even called me later that day to see how I was doing! He also let me know that the kids were still okay.
I have now been driving Moby (our big white van) for the last two weeks while my G6 is in the shop getting repaired, (it should be done this week!!!!! yaaa!). I have struggled with driving it. It's not hard to drive and there are no problems with me or the van. So I posed the question on Facebook: "Is it possible to keep my "Hot Mom" status and still drive my van? or did that totally get crushed along with the passenger door on my G6?"
After two weeks, I am still wondering but no matter what I am driving.... ya I am still a Hot MOM!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Our Family 2010

Thanks to the mad photog skills of one Miss Shanna Ormand, we were able to have our family pictures done! Our last ones were done when Bubba Jones was 3 months old....yep it was time for new ones! These are my three favorites!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkins and Munchkins

Bubba Jones and his preschool class had their first field trip this year. As a tradition, the first field trip is to the pumpkin patch. Due to rain and snow, we all froze and stomped through the mud... well, the parents did as we watched our munchkins play. The kids played on the playgrounds, saw lots of different farm animals, sang Halloween songs and each child got to take home their very own pumpkin!

"Check out my Pumpkin Mom!"

Warty Pumpkins? Guess the Toad got into the garden!

Capturing his good side... and being ignored all at the same time!
Just Clowing around!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


cour·age [ kúr ij ]

quality of being brave: the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

4 Reasons to LOVE Fall

Sept. 22, 2006
Sept. 22, 2007

August 2008

Sept. 22, 2009

Happy 4th Birthday Bubba Jones!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Punishable by death!

It is a fact that BYU and Utah fans are not the best of friends. Now, I am a PAC-10 girl. So for me the BYU-Utah rivalry doens't mean much but having married into a family of BYU and Utah fans, I am somehow caught in the middle. (but now that Utah has become part of the PAC-12 things are just a little different!)
This weekend Hotstuff and I took the kids, along with Granny and Great Grandpa C to the Utah Musuem of Fine Arts at the University of Utah. We loaded into Great Grandpa C's van and headed towards the musuem. Now, Hotstuff's grandpa (Great Grandpa C) taught at BYU for 23 years and while driving toward the U, Hotstuff noticed the great big Y parking sticker on the windshield.
"Um, guys do you think we are going to be okay with this sticker on the windshield?" Hotstuff asked. We all agreed the we should be okay but to be on the look out for trouble. We attended the musuem (which was great by the way! it's a must go and see!!! plus it's free!) and afterwards went into Salt Lake and had dinner.
On our way out of town, the best way to get to the freeway is to head back through the campus and hit the freeway from there. As we are passing through campus, Bubba Jones from his back seat starts chanting (and very loudly I might add!):
We quickly hushed him up and nearly made it out with out lives!
(For all of my BYU friends and family- I ask for you forgiveness in wandering into enemy territory.)
(For all of my Utah friends and family- I ask for your forgiveness in that my son used such fowl language on your beloved campus. GO UTES!)

Take me out to the ball game!

My Father in-law loves baseball!! My son loves just about any sport!! and both have birthdays in September. So I treated the two birthday boys to a Salt Lake Bee's Baseball game with seats for the 10th row directly behind home plate. You could hear the ball smack against the catcher's mitt! One player hit the ball and split his bat. They played the Reno Ace's and SLAUGHTERED THEM! 11-4

It's not a real Baseball game with out a hot dog!

Bubba Jones with Grandma J and Papa

Papa got out his scorecard and Bubba Jones did too!

Novelty ice cream bowl that doubles as a really small helmet!

Our Trip

Back in July, Miss May and I took a 10 Day Mother Daughter Great Northwest High Flyin Grand Adventure! We flew to Oregon and spent a few days there. I attended my 10 year High School reunion (GO REBS!), we went to the Portland Zoo with my brother, we spent time with good family friends and went to the coast. We then drove to Seattle and spent time with my family there. Out of the almost 400 pictures I took, here are a few of my favorites.

Snoqulamie Falls, Wa.

Me and my brudder, Z.

My "MOM", "DAD" and Little Brudders, Z, L, D and H.

Point Wilson Lighthouse near Port Towsend, Wa.

Seattle Washington LDS Temple

Sculpture by Dennis Smith at the Seattle Temple

Pike Place Market, Seattle, Wa.

Space Needle, Seattle

Inside Pike Place Market (one of my most favorite places in the world!)

My Mary and Me!

(This is what happens when you let your 6 year old play with the camera!)

Portland Oregon LDS Temple

Miss May and I at the Portland Temple

Miss May

Miss May and Handsome J- waiting to be seated at MO's

Me and my sisters best friend C-JO

Washington Park, Portland, Or.

Miss May and My brother Uncle T- riding the train at the Portland Zoo.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Miss May and I are headed out. Tomorrow Morning we start our:


We are spending 10 days in Oregon and Washington.... see all of you soon!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Can you handle the truth?

Three months ago, I bought some new bras and YES! they have inserts in them. Yesterday morning, while getting dressed for work, I was talking with Miss May. As I am putting my bra on Miss May asks:
"Mom, why do you wear those things everyday day?"
"What things, honey?" I replied.
"Those things in your bra!"
"You mean my inserts?"
"Well, sweetie, I ain't gonna lie to you. It's because they make my boobs look good!" I answered.
Miss May raised one eyebrow, not knowing what to think.
"It's okay. You will understand when you are older."
I looked over to see Hotstuff smiling while shaking his head.

That my friends is the honest to goodness truth.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Count Down

T minus 25 days until

Honey and Miss May's 10 Day Mother Daughter Great Northwest Huge High Flying Grand Adventure.....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Miss may in June

Miss May got a hold of the camera and started taking pictures of herself. So here it is...
Miss May In June