Family History Friday (FHF): I Only Took Five Minutes.

A memorable experience my Mom had back in 2002 went like this. Working as a volunteer at one of the Family History Centers for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she received a phone call from a woman in Norfolk, England, we’ll call her Kate. She was seeking information about a soldier who had died during WW II. She was a professional genealogist and was trying to find the family of this soldier. She did not have a birth date, but had a death date. Kate told my Mom a little about how she came to be interested in finding this soldier’s family. My mom then went to the computer and pulled up the Family Search and Ancestral File programs (the LDS research programs). She typed in the soldier’s name and guessed at about the year he was born, assuming he might be about 25 years old at his death. She said a little prayer that he would be there and clicked enter. His name came up on the screen and she was able to pull up the family record. “There he was with his parents and 13 brothers and sisters, he was #7. His date of death was 10 June 1944”. She didn’t find a location of his death. She was able to look at the sources of the record and noticed the he was born in St. George, Utah, and there were still siblings living. All of this information
was found in only five minutes, and my Mom was overjoyed that it was found so fast. She mailed copies of the information she found  to Kate in England and waited for a reply. Just one week later Mom was called to the phone again, it was Kate calling to tell her she had been in touch with the sister to this service man, and that she was sending the full story.
Kate was planning a trip to France and was asked by a past member of the SAS, Special Air Service Brigade, to find some 30 paratroopers of the SAS who were buried in a village in France. She found the cemetery and noticed another headstone that had the name of the soldier from St. George, Utah on it, but no other information- his squadron, base, home state- nothing. “Her interest was immediately aroused, think how little was known about him. Where in the states were his family, his loved ones?
She knew she must find out as she noted that he died the same day as the SAS members”. After wandering up and down some of the small towns streets, she came upon an older man who was quite leery of strangers. After convincing him that she was only doing research for a friend, he relaxed a little and told her that indeed the SAS were buried there and that they had been executed by the Germans. She asked about the American soldier and he said, “He was, too.” He told her that the soldier had been shot down over France and had been hidden by some of the towns people, but then was betrayed. The SAS and this soldier were executed as the Allied Forces advanced toward them. They were then buried in a mass grave. The German soldiers buried them in their uniforms, not knowing they would be identified, when they were discovered, because their names had been sewn in the inside of their uniforms. The American soldier, however, was dressed in French clothing. He was identified by other SAS who were out on a mission when the 30 were captured. The French man said the town had found the mass grave and had lovingly reburied the men in the cemetery. They had cared for the cemetery grounds and had a memorial service every few years to recognize these heroes from another land. They had never had family members of the US soldier attend. Kate thought to herself, “His family doesn’t know that he is buried here and maybe nothing of the circumstances of his death. I really need to do something about this.” The French man told Kate that another memorial service would be held in September.
When she told the surviving family members of the soldier from St. George about the memorial, his younger sister said that members of his family would be in attendance. Where and how he had died and where he was buried had been unknown by the family for over 56 years.
What was done right?
1) Family members submitted information to Ancestral File so that he could be found.
2) Kate was prompted, and went the extra mile, then followed through to completion -she made contact with the family.
Kate said to me, “It’s too bad his parents never knew what happened to him.” But I told her that “They know, he has told them himself, even a long time ago.” -Joanne
As you can see from this story, miracles happen. See what miracles are waiting for you. Check out the new Family Search here.
Happy Family History Friday!! Merry Christmas too! Love, Joy

Merry Christmas!!!!!

I love this time of year!
But I do believe that I put a real effort into it.
First, I rarely shop, maybe once or twice in the whole month of December. That way I don’t feel like I’m dealing with lots of people who are shopping and don’t want to be there. 
Second, We spend alot of time with family and loving them.
Third, we have taught our children from an early age to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.
The Birth of Our Savior.
Fourth, we don’t get a lot of stuff for Christmas. My children ask for one thing from Santa and one thing from us.
I truly believe that this has made a big difference in my life. One year, we didn’t have any money for Christmas, and when we told the kids they said, “That’s okay!”. And it was okay.
We know what matters most at Christmas. We have a Savior and we celebrate His birth and His life at Christmas and always. I’m glad to be able to read about His life in the scriptures. I’m glad He gave us an example and taught what to do, and how to live in this life. I love Him.
My most favorite Christmas song is here

A little motivation is a good thing.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes the best motivation for a needed change in our lives is rarely fun or pleasant. When I was tiny (yes, I remember being tiny), about the time I was potty trained, I would go potty in the middle of the night and was either too scared or too tired to go back to bed, so I developed a habit of falling asleep on the rug in front of the sink. Sometimes I slept there the rest of the night. Sometimes I got cold and went back to bed.
When I was five, we moved to a very small farm house in the country while my Daddy was building our new home. Before we could even move into the farm house, a lot of cleaning up had to take place. In fact, the home had basically been abandoned and left empty for quite some time before we moved in. Mom and Dad had 5 kids at the time, and there was only one bedroom in the house. All of us kids slept in the one room. My three older brothers slept in a full bed, and I slept on an old army cot next to the crib where my baby brother slept. Mom and Dad slept on a hide-a-bed in the living room. Sometime in the moving process it was mentioned that there “sure were a lot of mice around”. This, of course, was a concern to me, because I thought they were scary. In the back part of the house was a small wash/storage room. Mom would keep her canning jars there, along with the washer and dryer. The first time I walked back in that room to get something I heard many of the canning jars shaking and rattling. I realized that the mice (not mouse) were running through the jars to escape. Ok, so now we are at the motivation part of the story. I don’t think I ever fell asleep on the rug in front of the sink ever again. I avoided the trip to the bathroom in the night time, all together. I was so good at going potty before bed and staying in bed. I became a parents dream.
I know, I know -he’s darling!!!
Just not in my house!

Family History Friday: Been awhile!


I’m still here! Sorry, I haven’t posted for a little bit. I worked 46 hours this week and I am bushed. I had a party tonight, and I am hosting a party tomorrow. You should see my house! It’s gonna take a miracle to be ready for it. We are not really pack rats (I don’t think), but we are all busy, and just don’t put the first thing away before we get the next thing out. In fact, I’m pretty sure I have A.D.D. I am a cosmetologist, real estate agent, Mary Kay (whatever they’re called), not to mention, I am a genealogist, scrapbooker, I sew when the opportunity presents itself, I volunteer in the church and community and work a full time job (which by the way, I absolutely LOVE). If my house was always perfect it would be a miracle. I’ve always said that at our house “it’s 5 against 1”, meaning I’m the only one who cares what the house looks like. OK enough of that! For FHF I want to tell you how much I love my life. Every messy, disorganized and busy part of it. I don’t think I would be happy if I didn’t do all of the creative and busy things I do. I also want to tell you that the most important thing in Family History is Family! I know our Father in Heaven gave us families so that we could love and support each other as we live and learn here on earth. I have learned to relax alot and enjoy my time making memories and loving my family. Try it, try to relax a little more when things aren’t perfect around the house. I heard a poem that I love and it taught me this principle.

Some houses try to hide the fact
that children shelter there,
Ours boasts of it quite openly
the signs are eveywhere.
For smears are on the windows,
 little smudges on the door,
I should apologize I guess
for toys strewn on the floor.
But I sat down with the children
 and we played and laughed and read,
And if the doorbell doesn’t shine,
their eyes will shine instead.
For when at times, I’m forced to choose
the one job or the other,
I want to be a housewife, but first
I’ll be a Mother!
Let’s all make lots of great memories with our families.
Some of these memories become the favorite stories our families tell for generations.
Happy Family History Friday! Love, Joy

Lessons from the Mountain!

You may have read my post  from 10-6-09 about the time me and my darlinest climbed this mountain. Wow, it was an amazing, and hard, experience. I reflect on it from time to time. One lesson I learned was to
 keep a proper perspective. When you’re up high like that, some things down below seem quite insignificant, while others seem amazing, beautiful and very important. You can’t tell from up on top of the mountain that there are any problems in the world. You would think that everything is just moving along. The houses look so nice all lined up next to each other. The things in my life that tend to overwhelm me are not even important. I sensed the reality that we’re all here together just trying to do the best we can.
I once heard an example of perspective from a teacher named Randy Bott. After climbing a mountain, his experience went something like this, while in the valley there were really rough roads, with jigs and jogs, pot holes and bumps. If you were to ride on the road you would wonder why those who made the road did such a lously job. You couldn’t see more than ten feet past the road on either side. But on top of the mountain, he could see why the road jigs or jogs, there was a big boulder or a body of water or something there that couldn’t be seen from the road. He said, “I could see, what I could not see from down on the road.
There was purpose in the jigs and the jogs…it made perfect sense from 1500 feet in the air. And from 1500 feet in the air
you couldn’t see the pot holes“. 
I believe someday we will see our lives like I saw the valley below my beautiful mountain. And like Randy said we won’t see the pot holes. The things in our lives that overwhelm or frustrate us will not be important.  We will understand why the road was bumpy or had jigs and jogs. I am glad, and am thankful when I’m reminded to look at life with the proper perspective.  

What a great dude!!

This is Alex. He is my 3rd child and the most quoted.
 He is the one who taught me about going “slow and steady”.
Here is the post from May 14th 2009:  “I feel like I have spent the better part of my motherhood very overwhelmed. I know I’m not alone, but it still bugs me. I want to be on top of all my responsibilities, all the time. Talk about unrealistic expectations!!! I learned a great lesson from one of my kids. When my son, Alex, was quite young, maybe six, he taught me the value of patience and perseverance. One day, while going through piles and piles of mail, school papers, bills and various other things that tend to pile up on our kitchen counters, I screamed, “I’m never going to get through all these piles”. To which Alex replied, “Mom, remember ‘Slow & steady wins the race!'” Now, most people know this phrase from The Tortoise and the Hare, the darling children’s book about the race between these two animals. The hare races frantically along, then has to take naps because he is so tired from being frantic (sound familiar?). The tortoise moves along slow and steady. Of course the tortoise wins because he kept an even pace, and didn’t wear himself out trying to be super turtle (or super mom). Ever since that day, I remember what he said and am glad for the lesson. I am much more patient with myself and my life. I am learning to perservere better all the time. Remember….Slow & steady wins the race!”
He is a senior in high school now and is such a blessing in my life. He is the type of kid you can always count on. I am so blessed to be his mom.

My Heroes!

Nelson Mandela is one of my heroes. His strong belief in a democratic South Africa and the end of apartheid landed him in prison for 27 years. He said himself, “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to the struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” But he didn’t have to die for his ideal. He was released February 11th, 1990, and was elected in the first democratic election as the President of South Africa. He served from 1994-1999.
The novelist ANDRE BRINK said,
“He exemplifies a moral integrity that shines far beyond South Africa”
It is amazing to me that it could be said of any world leader that they exemplify moral integrity.

Nelson Mandela, Inaugural Address 1994
“Our deepest fear is not that are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve this world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that
other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that
is within us.
It is not just in some of us -it is in everyone!
And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other
people permission to do the same,
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence
automatically liberates others!”
Let’s follow his counsel.

Family History Friday (FHF): Let’s go on a Trip!

When you plan your next family vacation, you might want to go to a place where some of your families history began. It might not seem as fun or important to your children as Disneyland or Sea World, but if you do, they will leave with a sense of appreciation for their ancestors.
About ten years ago, we had the opportunity to go to Boston. Both my husband and I have family roots near there. If you read my story of Thanksgiving about Suzanna White, you might be interested to know, that she is one my husbands ancestors. We traveled all around the area. We saw the Mayflower II, and the Plimouth Plantation. You can read about it here. The kids were amazed at how small the ship was, and they couldn’t believe that half of the pilgrims died that first winter. I know it was the best vacation we could take at that time, and one of the most memorable.

Fairbanks Homestead
We also went to the Fairbanks home in Dedham, Massachusetts. It is the oldest timber framed home in America. Jonathan Fairbanks is my ancestor on my father’s side. You can see it here. We were able to go through the home and see some the furniture and things inside. The Fairbanks home was built in 1637/8 and is amazing to look at. The home has old timber beams put together with what they call a “double bladed scarf joint”, it is pretty amazing. It you want to, you can see it here. Maybe if more things were built with a double bladed scarf joint they would last, (like some marriages I know). Anyway, the home has seen a lot of history. When traveling to a place of historical significance to your family there are always other places to stop along the way. It’s a fun way to travel, and we always tell the kids, we’re having an adventure!! Plan your next trip to an important place, where your roots began, do it today! Happy Family History Friday! Love, Joy