Monday, July 29, 2013

Happy Birthday to my other Grandma

Happy Birthday Grandma

This weekend we celebrated another Grandma's birthday. The Hubby doubled his annual exposure to my large extended family. (Usually we only get see them at Thanksgiving).

My mom is number 7 of 16 kids.  My grandma has 55 grandkids, and 29 great grandkids.  Both of those figures are still growing. If my spreadsheet is correct (it's totally normal to have a spreadsheet to keep track of 1st cousins right?) my sister will be having my grandmas 85th grandchild (counting the greats).

And I'm sidetracking again.  Point being - my mom's side of the family is BIG.  My grandma had a wonderful outdoor party at my Uncle's (aka Grandma's childhood home).

Pitchfork fondue, potluck, and BYOB....and probably some chairs.  Informal and wonderful.

Lots of children running around.

In General just lots of people

Lots of beer drank, lots of pop drank, lots of juice drank.

Lot of laughter and smiles.

Lots of stories told and jokes shared (non that I will repeat from my father)

A pretty intense game of horse shoes

Lots of food ate and enjoyed

He gets his fashion sense from me.

Quite a few hugs.

And one very remarkable and very loved Grandma.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Grandma

My Grandma turned 93 this past Sunday.  Saturday I went to visit and brought flowers, the boys, my niece, and my mom.  It was good to see her and it was painful as well.

I grew up next door in the same yard out at the ranch.  There were countless days I spent more time at her house than mine. I absolutely adored having a grandma so close.  A grandma that would ride horses with me, show me old pictures, tell stories, lay on the grass to point out cloud shapes, let me mow the lawn, dust the house and do dishes (when you are little chores are fun) and help me perfect skipping rocks across the reservoir. In the summer I earned a penny for every potato bug picked off her garden...and discerning looks for every flower I accidentally pulled thinking I was helping her weed.

She taught me that she would not stand for anyone saying they were "bored".  There was and is, always something to be done.  Housecleaning, crafts, or an impromptu trip to town for ice cream.  She took us on walks and picnics, and fostered a love of collecting rocks (especially in my sister).

I wasn't patient and she wasn't one to force anything so I missed out many other lessons she had to teach. My sister however, learned to sew, cook, garden.  She also gained a strong command of the English language.   Grandma was a big believer in the importance of good grammar, because of her, my sister is too. She became a grammar nazi...I really wish now that I would have paid more attention.  If I were to print out my blog she would enjoy circling my many errs in red pen. (Like she used to do with the newspaper.)

Grandma did manage to teach me that books are wonderful, crossword puzzles can be fun, and poetry is beautiful.  Though her love of poetry didn't ever sink in too deep with me, it is something that reminds me of her.  She instilled a life long love of learning.  She also was a living example to living your faith.  She had a strong faith in God and lived her life walking his path.  Without being judgmental or looking down on others, in all aspects of her life she seemed perfect in my eyes. She also let us stay up way past our bedtime to watch Saturday Night Live with her.

She taught me the joy of keeping in touch with people.  Your day can be made with a simple  phone call or getting a letter in the mail.  In college I loved visiting with her on weekends and exchanging handwritten letters.  Though occasionally I received the bittersweet  empty addressed envelope. I tried to smile and think, she thought of me.  I tried to push down the fear that she was getting more forgetful.

I really noticed my grandma's memory start to slip from her when I was in high school.  Her personality has always stayed the same. For that I am grateful. She never spoke ill of anyone, she always had a sincere compliment ready, and her beauty shines through in how she treats others. Her sense of humor and determination to do anything is still intact.  (Growing up she worked as hard as any man and had a love for learning.) She is humble and never one to brag, but she will always talk up her loved ones.

It hurts that someone I love so much and have always looked up to doesn't know who I am anymore.  I hurts that my children won't share the same kinds of memories that I have.  I so much want for them to feel the love and have the love that I do for her.  I wish she could recognize and get to know my Husband.  She had such a way of making people feel part of the family. At one time her mind was a steel trap, with facts, figures, names, dates, stories, tips and tricks all neatly organized and ready for anything.  Sound advice when asked, encouragement when needed. A solution to any problem stain and a go to recipe sure to be hit, and a trick to reign in an ornery horse.

It hurts to see that her shaking has gotten so much worse.  To see all the things I remember her loving being taken from her.  She has always been an avid reader, and her eyesight is going and her shaking makes it almost impossible for her to read.  The same for sewing and writing letters.  She prided herself in never forgetting birthdays or anniversaries and loved exchanging mail and the Reader's Digest.

It hurts to hear her repeat the same conversation we just had to pictures in a magazine in her hand, and realizing than in the time for her to look down she forgot I was even there.

It hurts seeing her in the nursing home (although I know it is where she needs to be) because it is the one place she always said she didn't want to go. And because it makes me feel guilty I live so far away and only have made it to visit her a few times a year since she moved in.

It hurts to hear her say she feel useless because she can't do anything.  When I know she had such a strong work ethic and determination. She really could do anything.  She prided herself in helping others and was so worried about being seen as a burden.

I just want you to know Grandma, you never have been a burden. Not a single day in your life. And with all the things that you are no longer able to do you are still someone I look up to for all that you are still able to do.

You are still the belle of the ball.
You still spread joy and happiness, you make people feel happy.
You still have the best smile.
You still give the best hugs.
You still are my best example of grace.

I love you grandma, with all of my heart.  I wish I lived closer so I could visit with you more often.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Royal Blood

Here are some of the more fun names I came across researching my genealogy.  Every so often I still have fun googling some of the names. I feel like I should maybe be kinda a big deal in France :) I'm not sure how accurate this lineage is, but it sure is fun to remind the Hubby that technically I'm royalty.

Reu King of Gothia King of Scythia (2213-1973 BC) Reu - Rae, I can see the relation :)

Serug Glas King of Gothia (2101-1951 BC)

Nahor King of Gothia

Terah King of Gothia (2122-1917 BC)

Abraham (Abram) King of Gothia (1996-1872 BC)

Isaac King of Gothia

Agrippa 1 (Marcus Juius Agrippa) Judaea King (10-44)

Herod Pollio Chalcis (Chalkis) King (-48) This one I did google...its not the Herod that first popped into my mind

Tigranes VI Armenia King ( -62)

Alexander I Cilicia (55-105) - married to Iotape Commagene (55 -)

Marcomir de Toxandrie, Chefe franco  (220-281) Chefe/Chege/Chief are pretty much King, near as google can tell me.

Gonobaug I de Toxandrie, Chefe Franco (245-289) I'm glad I didn't have a name like that to try and spell in Kindergarten.

Ragaise de Toxandrie, Chefe Franco (270-307)

Blesinde d'Alemanie, Princess Sueva (350-403) - married to Chlodio I, Rei de Colonia (345-398) Blesinde is actually a fun name, reminds me of my sisters name.  Heck maybe this is legit!

Chief Thoedemir of the Franks Von Koln (374-414)

Clodius V ( -378)

Argotta Queen of the Franks (376- ) married to Pharamond King of Westphalia (370-430)

Clodius or Clodio "The Longhaired" King of Westphalia (390-448)

Merovee or Merovaeus King of France (411-458)

Childeric I (437-481) married to Basina de Andoverra, Princess of Thuringia, Queen of France (438-470)

Clovis King of Salic Franks (466-511)

Clotaire I Lothair King of France ( -516) married to Ingonde Queen of the Franks (499- )

Charlbert I (520- ) married to Ingoberge Queen of Paris (520-589)

Berthe (Aldeberge, Blighildis) Queen of Kent (541-616)

Theuderic III King of Franks (636-690)

Rotbold II of Arles Don't think we will be recycling Rotbold for any future kidlets.

Robert II "The Pious" King of France (981-1040)

Sir Knight Edmund Bacon (1315- ) Not a royal name, just a fun one :)

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Crown Jewels

Sit back and grab your tiara...oh wait you don't have one?  Doesn't everyone?

Not to brag or anything, but I recently found that I am an even bigger deal than I realized. (Hubby, did you know that was possible?)

Well you see...I'm actually Royalty.  By ways of some genealogy digging I discovered what I had long suspected as a small child, I'm a long lost princess...rightful heir to the throne of.....?

Well I come from a long line of Kings, Queens, Princesses, Barons, Duchesses, and other fancy titles in my lineage anyway.  With a few disputable dates, I was actually able to trace a line on my Dad's side all the way back to Adam.  109 generations from Adam to be exact... that's a whole lot of Great Great Greats to throw in front Grandpa.  Borrowing of course from the bible and all the  Begatting found in Genesis.

After you go back so far it can get tricky.  However if there is royalty in your lineage you can go back pretty far....because at one time Royalty was pretty much the only lineage tracked.

I'm currently shopping for the appropriate bling to wear.
Which do you think could I pull off?

This all started after I invited a couple missionaries over for supper, and they told me about how they are called to a mission of spreading the good word, offering counseling  and also helping people research their family history. (They also mentioned they pretty much have been living off of frozen pizza.  I see hungry people, I want to feed them...its how I roll.) Salt Lake City has the largest records of genealogy in the entire world they have been working on getting that information online!  I used to work with a lady that saved her vacation every year so she could go to Utah and work on her genealogy.

That excited me right off the bat.  I have some my family tree already put together, one of my Mom's 1st cousins has traced that line back to Ireland in the 1700s.  That in itself is pretty cool right?  One of my favorite possessions is a photocopy of my Great Grandfathers Immigration Papers coming to the USA.

I also have a picture of my Great Great Great Great Grandfather that my Aunt had forwarded on to me. Besides rocking a bushier beard I can't believe how much my dad looks like him.

Family resemblance no?
Granted its not a very good picture of dad, and in the winter when he does grow out his beard they look even more similar.

You might have guessed that family history fascinates me, so I jumped at the chance to have the missionaries  sign me up to the free website and give me tips in delving into my family history...and I agreed to feed them a home cooked meal. Win-Win for everyone!

 The Toddler treated the young gentlemen like any other guest that steps foot into our home.

Yea! You brought me new friends.  Thank you, now friends come get a tour of my house, I will now introduce you to my toys, see my little Lightening McQueen table, look I can jump up and down, look I can touch my toes, Did you notice my shoes? Hey Mom why do they have hair? Here sit next to me on the couch and we will watch Monsters Inc. Can I wear your glasses? I will pet you, hug you, smother you, love you and call you George. Mom you can't talk to them...they are mine.
One of the things they recommended is recording your own story.  Kind of an autobiography...which admittedly isn't as exciting for me...but imagine if my Great Great Great Grandkiddos are researching their lineage.  It would be extremely cool for them to find something more than just a name...maybe I'll just link up to my blog.  Do you think the internet and blogging will still be going strong in 150 years?

Just because here is some of my possible royal lineage :)