Thursday, November 24, 2016

24 Days of Gratitude for 2016

November 2016 Days of Gratitude
Day 1 of Gratitude. I am so thankful for our family. Having children and grandchildren to share our lives with is wonderful. Each one is so unique. They help to lift me up when I am feeling down. They distract me from my worries and concerns. I treasure every minute that we get to spend together.  13

Day 2 of Gratitude. Friends, neighbors, associates all find a place in our lives. They share with us many talents and gifts that enrich our lives. Most gifts are not physical, but from within. Thank you for being a part of my life. I am very grateful for each and every one of you! 11

Working on three genealogy projects at once and I forgot to post day three of gratitude. So for yesterday I am very grateful to have work that I enjoy doing. The challenges are always different. On Sunday I gave a short talk on using familysearch.org. What a blessing to have great research tools at hand to do this wonderful work. 8

Gratitude day 4. Met with a group of genealogists that are members of the Association of Professional Genealogists. We are all at various places in our work, but truly enjoy what we are doing. I am grateful for having fellow genealogists to learn from. We are continually learning as things change so quickly in the resources that we use. 9

Day five of gratitude. Today we had our granddaughters over and took them to several bazaars. It has been a long time since I went to a bazaar. We enjoyed finding local places we have only heard of from others. So grateful to be living in Scappoose, Oregon. Today we witnessed many wonderful people in action sharing their talents. 9

For day 6 of gratitude my focus is on quiet moments to catch up on the order of life. It is great to have a day at home when you can sort, clean, and declutter. It feels so good to put order to paperwork, computer files, calendars and all the things that make our lives run more smoothly. Maybe this has to do with the change of time last night. So grateful for an extra hour of sleep. 6

Day 7 before I totally forget. For this day I am very grateful for people who show up unexpectedly and expected to help me get the house decorated for Thanksgiving. It is one of my favorite holidays. When I arrived in Guatemala to serve my mission the following day was Thanksgiving, but they do not celebrate it. So we went to a restaurant and had hamburgers. The following year we cooked dinner for all the missionaries in our Zone at the church. It was eight months after the major earthquake and we all needed some down time. There even was a flag football game. My first experience cooking for such a large group, but finally we gathered together to share our feast. 7

For day eight I am grateful for public service employees. Especially the postal service who deliver the mail. For the love of letters and packages we all enjoy opening, these people work in all kinds of weather. With the holiday season upon us we need to show our appreciation for people that we seldom actually see. How do you show your appreciation?  5

On day nine I worked on the family histories for two people. I am so totally amazed by the amount of records being placed online by ancestry.com and familysearch.org. As families come together I am grateful to be able to share these histories with the people. As this month is all about families and getting together to share our memories with each other it is very fitting that people have a desire to know their own ancestral histories. 7
For day ten I am off to see the doctor this morning. I am grateful this is just a quick review of my medications. It has been a year of adjustments and I am so grateful to have good medical and dental providers. Having to explain my medical history with each new doctor is hard, but when they take the time to actually read my charts that is a great blessings. Praying for good health for all my friends, family and associates. 14

On day 11, feeling deep gratitude for those who serve our country, especially the military. The Veterans certainly deserve our thanks for all they sacrifice on our behalf. Instead of protesting in the streets they are often camped out on the streets. Those that are serving do not have many of the luxuries that we enjoy while they serve. The families have sacrificed as well. Their service is the reason we have the freedoms that we enjoy. Many of my ancestors have given service and I am grateful for them. 11

Day 12 is kind of a continuation of day 5. I went to three bazaars, one after I picked up our granddaughters. The Scappoose Library also had a celebration for its 87th anniversary. We are so blessed to have public libraries available to us. The library was started by three women who saw the need to have books available in the community. One in particular, Rose Watts, had the library in the Parlor of her home for 28 years. The library moved to a city building in 1959 just shortly after the death of Rose. I am so grateful for these women who believed so strongly in reading. 9

For day 13 of gratitude I am thankful for modern transportation. It is so nice to travel in a cold/warm car and sometimes in an airplane. With the physical challenges I have these modes of travel are so important. The greatest blessings are those who drive the vehicles. I hope that I can drive for a long time, but I do realize that the day will come when I will not be able to. My handicap parking tag is critical for being able to walk short distances. The electric shopping carts make it so I can go shopping.

Today is my father's 82 birthday and he has been gone since 1988. He was a guiding force in all of our lives. As his oldest child and daughter he gave me some wonderful gifts, but the greatest was his time. My mother was the same way and she passed away three years ago. It is hard to not feel cheated on having our parents die so young, but I do feel their presence every day. When my facebook post of the past came up today it showed five different posts for this day, one for each year since I joined facebook. Today, just like five years ago, I was off to lunch with some very special friends. They have been so gracious to me for the eighteen years we have been going to lunch. Then my siblings and family have rallied around me. I am so grateful!

On day 15 when I stayed at home and played catch up I am grateful for surprise visits by my children. Having six children I never know when someone will show up. Sometimes they call to forewarn me, but I am okay if they don't. Of course I would call if I was going to visit them as they don't stay home as much as I do. They all have keys to our house and are certainly welcome to come. If they bring the grand children that is even better!

Today for day 16 I am grateful for acts of service and how they enhance our lives. This morning I attended a networking meeting in Beaverton with six other genealogists. Leslie Brinkley Lawson sets these up for us and I appreciate her service in doing these. Then one of my new friends this year, Patricia Oberndorf, is willing to drive which is a great help to me. Each of the others give service in a variety of ways both as genealogists and as individuals. I learn so much from each of them. Finally I worked at the Family History Center with Karen Yauney. She is wonderful to work with and I appreciate her love of doing family history research. Committing to four hours a week is a challenge.

Day 17 and I am so grateful for the beautiful weather that we are having. The birds are flocking to the feeders, suet and nectar. They are so fun to watch. Hannah is very helpful with putting the food out. The squirrels must be in hibernation as we have not seen any of them. They took so much food earlier that they should have plenty to eat. The hummingbirds come all day long and are my favorites. I am thankful to live where we can watch nature in motion.

For day 18 our furnace died. We enjoyed the gas fireplace and it did a fair job of warming up the house. I was gone a good part of the afternoon, but when I walked in the house it was a little chilly. We continue to enjoy living in our new to us home. Lots of memories with so many wonderful keepsakes. Lots of new adventures. David finished his shed in the backyard and it looks very nice. We are so grateful for this new phase of our lives.

Then for day 19 when the house continued to feel rather chilly. I put a message on our local facebook group and a local email group. Both responded with good suggestions of who to call for repairs. Took the top three and either sent a message online or made a phone call. We are very grateful someone could come and make the repair today, the Saturday before Thanksgiving. David took care of that concern and I went to three more bazaars with a lovely neighbor. It was a good outing for both of us. We had lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant and brought home a meal for David. Came home to a warm house.

For day 20 I watched my first Christmas movie, The Kranks. I needed something funny to relax with after a day of researching families. It amazes me how many people don't know anything about their relatives. That includes parents and grandparents. For this holiday I encourage you to learn as much as you can about your family. With both of our mothers and fathers passed on we will be grateful for the time that we spent with them. My life now feels like it is in fast forward as the days and weeks pass quickly by. There is a need to focus on doing the things that are priority items first.

For day 21 I just have to share a genealogy serendipity moment from my work today. In less than a week the entire pedigree chart is filled in for a friend. They knew very little about their ancestors. While working today I discovered the Civil War Service Record for their gr. gr. grandfather. He was a confederate soldier from North Carolina who was injured while fighting at Gettysburg. It appears he was taken prisoner and his arm was so severely injured that it was amputated. A few days later he died from his wounds. He had a young wife and two young sons. While the town he was from was burned out by the Union soldiers somehow records survived. I am so grateful to be able to access those records and share this story with his descendants, several of whom also did military service.

Day 22 and the rain has set in. I actually really enjoy the rain. In our house it is great to look out the windows and see the drops on the panes. Snow is even better, I just stay home. I am grateful for the world that we live in. One thing that I would add to my life are more drives in the countryside. We have been Sauvies Island a couple of times this year and it thrills me to see nature in action. I am thankful for those who make these opportunities possible for me.

Today, for day 23, we had an early Thanksgiving with our oldest son who has to work tomorrow. He and his Dad went to a movie and I rested while they were gone. For dinner we decided to order in pizza and then had a piece of one of the pumpkin pies that he brought from Costco. Later I spoke with another son and a daughter on the phone. Those in Wyoming shared pictures of all five grandchildren, which I just love! I am happy that they can be together tomorrow, while those of us here gather at our home. All of our children and grandchildren are so unique and we are very grateful for all of them, especially the in-laws.


Day 24 and what a great day to share how thankful we all are. By facebook, on the phone or in person what a wonderful way to share how grateful we are for each other. We had a great meal, I could only eat half of mine, so there is a snack waiting for me in the refrigerator. We have some great cooks in our family and they out did themselves. The deserts were mouth-watering, pumpkin pie, raspberry pie, red velvet cake (celebrating Shelby Nicole Wagner's birthday later this week) and some great fudge. Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow. May gratitude fill our hearts as we continue to enjoy the coming holidays. If you are in the neighborhood please stop by!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

This is what has been keeping me busy for the last month.

This is what has been keeping me busy for the last month. These are posts from facebook.

August 28, 2016 ·
We are about half-way done with the first phase of sorting boxes of mixed documents, photos, etc. for the Scappoose Historical Society. We hope to finish it by the second week in September. We began on August 23, 2016. It is great to work with some very nice people. It helps me to get out and learn new things. Now I am also working on some family history research about the Watts family and their relatives. I always love a new challenge!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

DNA - Just what does that mean?

DNA, just what does that mean to you and how will it help you in understanding your family tree?
To me it is diagnosing possible family connections, negotiating the information provided, and applying that information to your compiled family tree.

Since the first of the year our family has participated in two autosomal tests through ancestry.com and then transferred the results to FTDNA to attain more possible matches. It has been exciting to find people we match to in our family connections, comparing the information provided and then applying the information to our compiled family tree. The tests are for my husband and myself and we hope to soon have the results for a third test. These tests provide ethnicity estimates and matches from all lines of our family tree. While we have no compiled family tree at ancestry.com or FTDNA, our family tree for those who are deceased is available at familysearch.org.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Verla Jean Zollman LeBlanc Rametes

My mother-in-law, Verla Jean Zollman LeBlanc Rametes, passed away a year ago. For almost thirty six years she was a powerful influence in my life. She demonstrated what it means to be tough and determined. It takes a super woman to raise five sons, who grew to become honorable men. She was patient, understanding and considerate of all. Many of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren received a quilt at birth and other treasures throughout their lives. Having new babies in the family was a great occasion for Jean. Her life was filled with family, friends, church acquaintances, and fellow workers, etc. She had pluck and was not feint hearted when work was required of her. We loved watching her humming birds and the squirrels that came to visit. Her greatest wish was granted in that she lived out her life in her own home. Now she is off to her eternal home and no longer is bound by her earthly infirmities. We all look forward to receiving a warm hug from Jean when we see her again.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Celebrating Five Years of Blogging

After five years I believe writing a blog is one of the most rewarding aspects of doing family history and genealogy work. To celebrate here are some current statistics as of today, 24 April 2016.

Pageviews for all-time 67,406
Pageviews for today, April 24, 2016 - 72, last post February 28, 2016
Months with the most pageviews
April 2103 - 1764
March 2014 - 1747
January 2016 - 1503

Blog Archive, posts per year
2016 - 3
2015 - 12
2014 - 37
2013 - 56
2012 - 105
2011 - 80

Comments - 100

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Fascinating Connections through DNA

When my friend read about our recent AncestryDNA results, she mentioned how interesting it would be to see how many connections were made for someone who had well researched family tree. Being an adoptee, her research for her birth family has been a struggle. While my personal database still has much work to done on it, our online information at familysearch.org is the result of forty years of work. As mentioned in the last post our family tree database has not been placed on ancestry.com. Now that we are finally jumping into the DNA tool for advanced genealogy and family tree work, there are very few copies of my work for our family posted online. Finding DNA connections is fascinating and many of the people matching our results are found in my personal database. Viewing their family trees present some very similar links, but some have been totally different than our known ancestors.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Tasks to Be Done and Bucket List Accomplishments

Today is February 18, 2016, six weeks since my last post. One might wonder what I have been up to in all that time. Several genealogy tasks and bucket list items have been accomplished. The first major step was going through all the boxes of books and finding a place for them in our home. There are still five boxes holding books, but they are sorted and will move into the space that will come as I continue organizing our home. My mother had a huge collection of books and they were culled to those that had her name, a relative's name or a friend's name in them. Beyond those there were a few that out of curiosity will be read and then donated. Some books went to family members, friends and relatives. It feels so good to be past that task.