You may also like to read:

If you enjoy reading this blog, you may also like to read the articles I write each week as the Springfield Genealogy Examiner and as the Ozarks Cultural Heritage Examiner. Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss a one. You may also enjoy reading about the family stories in my novels at The Homeplace Series blog. You can sign up for e-mail reminders.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Follow Friday - 31 Dec 2010

Follow Friday - 31 Dec 2010

My recommendations this week. As usual, I normally pick one or two good posts from my week's readings, or left from the prior week! Hope they are useful or at least interesting to you, as well! If it is your first visit, even better!  ;-)

POST 1:

I have previously mentioned  posts by Dan Curis - Professional Personal Historian. This week I am recommending his "My Top 10 Posts of 2010." I'm pretty confident there is something useful for just about everyone in this list.

Have a Great New Year!


Families are Forever!  ;-)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Follow Friday - 24 Dec 2010

Follow Friday - 24 Dec 2010

My recommendations this week. As usual, I normally pick one or two good posts from my week's readings, or left from the prior week! Hope they are useful or at least interesting to you, as well! If it is your first visit, even better!  ;-)


POST 1:

This post is full of neat links, and they have links, and they have links. Good, fun reading. Comments included. Stop when you want... or keep following the links of interest!





Families are Forever!  ;-)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Follow up to Dec 18 post

The Dec 18 post was about Christmas stockings... from the old days, when our three daughters were young. This week we are visiting our grandkids in Austin, TX. I noticed their Christmas Stockings "hung with care" ... "In hopes that St. Nick would soon be there" ... the tree is only a few feet away. Their stockings are a little fancier - and each has two:




Merry Christmas!  ;-)


Families are Forever!  ;-)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Advent Calendar - Dec 18 - Christmas Stockings

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories for December 18
Christmas Stockings

This Blog is pleased to join with other GeneaBloggers around the world in presenting this Advent Calendar over the next 24 days leading up to the Christmas celebration - a different topic each day. We will attempt to post on each of the topics. Our invitation continues to be open to other writers to join us here with your comments (See Nov 29, Dec 5, Dec 12, and Dec 19 posts here - laber 'Advent Calendar' - for the topics; or the link in the title, here).


Christmas Stockings

Rather than Christmas Stockings of ancestors today, this will be about Christmas Stockings of our descendants... and continue the topic of minimalism. These Christmas Stockings are also celebrating the 50th anniversary of their 'beginnings' as Annette is celebrating her 50th year, this year, as well. [She even got to attend Silver Dollar City, the theme park, free, a few weeks back, because they are also celebrating their 50th anniversary, and everyone with a 50th birthday in 2010 got free admission, all year!]


Nancy made the stockings, as the girls arrived... we've used them every year. More symbolic than terribly useful, of course, expect for an apple, an orange, some nuts, some candy - perhaps a candy cane or two; oh, and often earrings or other jewelry in little boxes, hidden along the way... I won't bore you with the photos of the Christmas Stocking, heavy laden, with all the other gifts stacked around, many, many years, over the 50 years, but I do have them!

We'll not be home on Christmas, this year, so the stockings are hung in remembrance of all those great years past.


Families are Forever!  ;-)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Follow Friday - 17 Dec 2010

Follow Friday - 17 Dec 2010

My recommendations this week. As usual, I normally pick one or two good posts from my week's readings, or left from the prior week! Hope they are useful or at least interesting to you, as well! If it is your first visit, even better!  ;-)


POST 1:

Again this week, I'd like to thank Randy Seaver for bringing this excellent blog post to my attention:
"How I Got Here - The Path to Becoming a Family Historian" by Marian Pierre-Louis

This is worth reading, no matter your situation, as a tribute to family influences and as a reminder of our responsibilities to your children, their children, etc.

A quote from Marian's post:
"My message to you is be an example for your children or grandchildren.  Don't force them to learn family history but consistently live your life so that you model in all your actions and interactions the importance of family history.  I would argue that that is one of the most effective ways to encourage future generations.'


Families are Forever!  ;-)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Last Five Days of Advent Calendar Topics

 Last Five Days of Advent Calendar Topics

 I still seek Guest Posts for one or more of the days of Advent remaining - see the following
Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories:

December 20 – Religious Services
: Did your family attend religious services during the Christmas season? What were the customs and traditions involved?

December 21 – Christmas Music
: What songs did your family listen to during Christmas? Did you ever go caroling? Did you have a favorite song?

December 22 – Christmas and Deceased Relatives: 
Did your family visit the cemetery at Christmas? How did your family honor deceased family members at Christmas?

December 23 – Christmas Sweetheart Memories: 
Do you have a special memory of a first Christmas present from a sweetheart? How did you spend your first Christmas together? Any Christmas engagements or weddings among your ancestors?

December 24 – Christmas Eve
: How did you, your family or your ancestors spend Christmas Eve?

If you have a one, two or three paragraph comment you would like to include here, send it to me by email, or even in the comments here, and I will include it in the post for the correct day; likely along with my own comments. Let's give it a try.


Families are Forever!  ;-)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Advent Calendar - Dec 15 - Holiday Happenings

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories for December 15
Holiday Happenings

This Blog is pleased to join with other GeneaBloggers around the world in presenting this Advent Calendar over the next 24 days leading up to the Christmas celebration - a different topic each day. We will attempt to post on each of the topics. Our invitation continues to be open to other writers to join us here with your comments (See Nov 29, Dec 5, Dec 12, and Dec 19 posts here - laber 'Advent Calendar' - for the topics; or the link in the title, here).


Holiday Happenings

I'm taking a little different tack on this one. I just published an Examiner.com article on using holiday family gatherings as a time to ask about past holiday stories and getting more family information for your family written down. You may check it out at: http://www.examiner.com/genealogy-in-springfield-mo/christmas-gatherings-will-dominate-the-next-ten-days-are-your-questions-ready

Enjoy!  ;-)

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Next Five Days of Advent Calendar Topics

Next Five Days of Advent Calendar Topics

 I still seek Guest Posts for one or more of the days of Advent remaining - see the following
Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories:

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.

December 16 – Christmas at School
: What did you or your ancestors do to celebrate Christmas at school? Were you ever in a Christmas Pageant?

December 17 – Grab Bag: 
Author’s choice. Please post from a topic that helps you remember Christmases past!

December 18 – 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?

December 19 – Christmas Shopping
: How did your family handle Christmas Shopping? Did anyone finish early or did anyone start on Christmas Eve?


If you have a one, two or three paragraph comment you would like to include here, send it to me by email, or even in the comments here, and I will include it in the post for the correct day; likely along with my own comments. Let's give it a try.


Families are Forever!  ;-)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Advent Calendar - Dec 11 - Other Traditions

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories for December 11
Other Traditions

 This Blog is pleased to join with other GeneaBloggers around the world in presenting this Advent Calendar over the next 24 days leading up to the Christmas celebration - a different topic each day. We will attempt to post on each of the topics. Our invitation continues to be open to other writers to join us here with your comments (See Nov 29, Dec 5, Dec 12, and Dec 19 posts here - laber 'Advent Calendar' - for the topics; or the link in the title, here).


Other Traditions

As with many families, about our only 'other tradition' is alternating celebration Christmas day with one side of the family or another. In our early married years, it was a question of being with my folks or my wife's folks for the holiday. On the far end of married life, now, this is determined bases on the grandkids, in Austin, and whether it is "our year"  to be there Christmas day, or, "the other grandparents" year... and we then alternate with New Years Day, as well. This is the one holiday that the two grandkids and their family do not travel. Actually works out quite well, for the most part.


Families are Forever!  ;-)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Advent Calendar - Dec 10 - Christmas Gifts

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories for December 10
Christmas Gifts


This Blog is pleased to join with other GeneaBloggers around the world in presenting this Advent Calendar over the next 24 days leading up to the Christmas celebration - a different topic each day. We will attempt to post on each of the topics. Our invitation continues to be open to other writers to join us here with your comments (See Nov 29, Dec 5, Dec 12, and Dec 19 posts here - laber 'Advent Calendar' - for the topics; or the link in the title, here).


Christmas Gifts

My favorite all-time Christmas gift was my Lionel electric train... in 1952. Here is a still from a movie of the train running... in 2005. Still beautiful, still runs. In a box, carefully cared for....  ;-)




Families are Forever... but the train is mine!  ;-)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Advent Calendar - Dec 9 - Grab Bag - Loft Wreath



This Blog is pleased to join with other GeneaBloggers around the world in presenting this Advent Calendar over the next 24 days leading up to the Christmas celebration - a different topic each day. We will attempt to post on each of the topics. Our invitation continues to be open to other writers to join us here with your comments (See Nov 29, Dec 5, Dec 12, and Dec 19 posts here - label 'Advent Calendar' - for the topics; or the link in the title, here).


Grab Bag - Indoor Decoration
Loft Wreath

In our small cabin, our favorite 'decoration' is probably not our 'tree' or our 'outdoor decorations' but our 'indoor decoration.' As we sit in our favorite chairs, looking at our favorite TV, and reading our favorite books, we face the loft. Last year, we 'spiffed' up the view with an Ozark hand-crafted Christmas Wreath, that we have up again this year, and, hopefully, for years to come.


Here is a closer look at the wreath. Lighted, yes! Easy to see why we like it so much.




Families are Forever!  ;-)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Advent Calendar - Dec 8 - Christmas Cookies



Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories for December 8
Christmas Cookies


This Blog is pleased to join with other GeneaBloggers around the world in presenting this Advent Calendar over the next 24 days leading up to the Christmas celebration - a different topic each day. We will attempt to post on each of the topics. Our invitation continues to be open to other writers to join us here with your comments (See Nov 29, Dec 5, Dec 12, and Dec 19 posts here - laber 'Advent Calendar' - for the topics; or the link in the title, here).


Christmas Cookies

I wrote about Grandma (Sporensen - born in Denmark) Kinnick's Christmas Cookies under the Holiday Food prompt, but I'll add one more comment here, under Christmas Cookies - especially since her cookies were good, year around!

A real favorite, that she didn't make that I recall in the later years - therefore, from my younger years, was: I don't know the name, but they were really good. I'll have to just describe them.

I think she used a 'donut' cookie cutter, but just a hole on the top, not on the bottom. It was good, sweet, cookie dough They were good sized around, not skimpy. The whole as about the size of a quarter, and was not 'large' on the cookie! I think I must have helped make them, as a youngster, or at least watched real close. The whole circle was laid out, and a filling of raisin 'stuff' was spread on, not real thin... some body to it. The top was then put on, so that the filling showed through the hole. It was pressed around the edges so that the filling was only exposed in the hole, in the middle. Baked. I loved them. They weren't favorites of others in the family, so lost out, in the long run. But, for me, those were the best.

What were your favorites?

Families are Forever!  ;-)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent Calendar - Dec 7 - Holiday Parties


Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories for December 7
Holiday Parties


This Blog is pleased to join with other GeneaBloggers around the world in presenting this Advent Calendar over the next 24 days leading up to the Christmas celebration - a different topic each day. We will attempt to post on each of the topics. Our invitation continues to be open to other writers to join us here with your comments (See Nov 29, Dec 5, Dec 12, and Dec 19 posts here - laber 'Advent Calendar' - for the topics; or the link in the title, here).


Holiday Parties

I'll share a brief story from our family about a farm lady in the community who always "looked after the farm account" for her family, both before and for many years after her husband died. She read all her mail carefully, and tried hard to do everything right.

Annually, about this time of year, she would receive the announcement letters from the Rural Electric Cooperative, the local Elevator coop where she sold her grain, and her local bank, among others, about the annual holiday dinner, open house or holiday party they were holding for their customers and constituents. She took these very seriously, as well, considering them her personal invitation to participate. Even when she moved to assisted living and even the nursing home, she expected to attend, even if being taken in the van, these annual 'holiday parties,' because she had been personally invited. Totally dedicated... or just liked the free food? We'll never know...  ;-)


Families are Forever!  ;-)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Advent Calendar - Dec 6 - Santa Claus

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories for December 6
Santa Claus


This Blog is pleased to join with other GeneaBloggers around the world in presenting this Advent Calendar over the next 24 days leading up to the Christmas celebration - a different topic each day. We will attempt to post on each of the topics. Our invitation continues to be open to other writers to join us here with your comments (See Nov 29, Dec 5, Dec 12, and Dec 19 posts here - label 'Advent Calendar' - for the topics; or the link in the title, here).


Santa Claus


I grew up in the 1940s and 1950s in a west central Iowa rural community centered on the rural Star Methodist Church. Each Christmas Eve, each family in the community gathered at the church for the annual Christmas Program. The program consisted of the elementary school ages putting on a nativity based program, each student having a 'piece' to say, music by the choir and congregation, and words spoken by the preacher. At the end of the program, 'Santa Claus' would always appear, with a sack/bag for each youngster (containing an orange, an apple, some nuts and some candy) {sponsored by the Adult Sunday School Class, I assume}.

I'm sure it is safe to say that this Christmas Program had taken place every year dating back to the late 1880s when the Adult Sunday School Class was first formed, by among others, my wife's great-grandfather Wilson and other pioneers of the community!).

Once I got my slide camera (summer before high school), some of the photos from these Christmas Programs have been my favorites, over the years. I'll just share two of them, today.

I believe this was the very first Christmas after getting the camera; a cousin meets Santa:


This is 1956, my youngest brother, held by Dad, meets Santa (most in the background are part of future wife's family...):



Families are Forever!  ;-)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advent Calendar - Dec 5 - Outdoor Decorations

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories for December 5
Outdoor Decorations


This Blog is pleased to join with other GeneaBloggers around the world in presenting this Advent Calendar over the next 24 days leading up to the Christmas celebration - a different topic each day. We will attempt to post on each of the topics. Our invitation continues to be open to other writers to join us here with your comments (See Nov 29, Dec 5, Dec 12, and Dec 19 posts here - laber 'Advent Calendar' - for the topics; or the link in the title, here).


Outdoor Decorations

I just about skipped this one, quite frankly, but instead I will continue the 'minimalist' theme with a comment on our outdoor decorations on the cabin, in retirement. The photo is from 2009, but the high and low wreaths are the same. We have colored lights around the window, and put colored lights on the left holly bush (rather than the 'white tree' thing over there) this year.


I'm sure many of the other posts will be much more spectacular today!  ;-)


Families are Forever!  ;-)

Second Seven Days of Advent Calendar Topics

 Second Seven Days of Advent Calendar Topics

 I still seek Guest Posts for one or more of the days of Advent remaining - see the following
Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories:

December 8 – Christmas Cookies
: Did your family or ancestors make Christmas Cookies? How did you help? Did you have a favorite cookie?
December 9 – Grab Bag - 
Author’s choice: Please post from a topic that helps you remember Christmases past!
December 10 – Christmas Gifts
: What were your favorite gifts, both to receive and to give? Are there specific gift-giving traditions among your family or ancestors?
December 11 – Other Traditions
: Did your family or friends also celebrate other traditions during the holidays such as Hanukkah or Kwanzaa?  Did your immigrant ancestors have holiday traditions from their native country which they retained or perhaps abandoned?
December 12 – Charitable/Volunteer Work
: Did your family ever volunteer with a charity such as a soup kitchen, homeless or battered women’s shelter during the holidays? Or perhaps were your ancestors involved with church groups that assisted others during the holiday?
December 13 – Holiday Travel
: Did you or your ancestors travel anywhere for Christmas? How did you travel and who traveled with you? Do you remember any special trips?
December 14 – Fruitcake – 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?

If you have a one, two or three paragraph comment you would like to include here, send it to me by email, or even in the comments here, and I will include it in the post for the correct day; along with my own comments. Let's give it a try.


Families are Forever!  ;-)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Advent Calendar - Dec 4 - Christmas Cards

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories for December 4
Christmas Cards


This Blog is pleased to join with other GeneaBloggers around the world in presenting this Advent Calendar over the next 24 days leading up to the Christmas celebration - a different topic each day. We will attempt to post on each of the topics. Our invitation continues to be open to other writers to join us here with your comments (See Nov 29, Dec 5, Dec 12, and Dec 19 posts here - laber 'Advent Calendar' - for the topics; or the link in the title, here).


Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards have always been an important part of our families' holiday celebration as long as I can remember, which is quite a few years. Today, I'd like to share an early recollection, and share a photo scan, of what I believe to be the first 'Annual Christmas Letter' of which I became aware.

Growing up on the farm, in west-central Iowa, we had two couples, aunts and uncles, one on each side of my mother's family, that lived in Des Moines, and we thought of them as 'the city folks." One was an Insurance company executive, an 'actuary' and the other owned his own business (note how I only talk of the role of the 'man' of the family - how things have changed!). In 1966, the latter, the Keck family, sent a three-fold letter, personally typed and illustrated, printed at a printer. This photo image is one side. Note the 'Airstream' trailer, their trademark, and the 'family history' tidbit on the left. A neat note about their family. Many of us have been trying to do this, now, ourselves, for many years. Are you sending an Annual Letter this year? I'm sure we will, again....  ;-)




Families are Forever!  ;-)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Advent Calendar - Dec 3 - Christmas Tree Ornaments

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories for December 3
Christmas Tree Ornaments


This Blog is pleased to join with other GeneaBloggers around the world in presenting this Advent Calendar over the next 24 days leading up to the Christmas celebration - a different topic each day. We will attempt to post on each of the topics. Our invitation continues to be open to other writers to join us here with your comments (See Nov 29, Dec 5, Dec 12, and Dec 19 posts here - laber 'Advent Calendar' - for the topics; or the link in the title, here).


Christmas Tree Ornaments

As with our Christmas Trees, our Christmas Tree Ornaments through the years have been many and varied. They have ranged from those made by family members to a extensive collection purchased and saved annually from Silver Dollar City (Branson, MO, theme park) visits.

However, I think I can say that the ones that have always been there, and continue today, are representatives of ones both my wife and I made in country school (different ones, a few miles apart). The three that are left, and hanging on the tree near me, at this moment, I call representative because we don't really know if they are originals of mine, hers, or some we made later in our early family years. They are a snowman, a donkey and a reindeer (see photo below). They were cut out of plywood and hand painted. Part of our family heritage.



From Cindy: of Cindy's Place and Everything's Relative

As I put up my own Christmas tree this past weekend, I often thought of the decorating in our home growing up - Mom always decorated the tree - at least in my later years. All the kids in the house got a new ornament every year. Nothing "Hallmark" but just a simple ornament, marked with our name and the year. When I was an adult, I received all of the ornaments to put on my own tree and I've continued this tradition with my own children. They get a good laugh at me when I pull out a Pooh Santa from 1973 and say "awwww" every year. I also have a few heirloom ornaments from my Grandmother and still receive a new ornament from my Mom every year. Thanks for the memories!


Families are Forever!  ;-)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Advent Calendar - Dec 2 - Holiday Food

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories for December 2
Holiday Foods


This Blog is pleased to join with other GeneaBloggers around the world in presenting this Advent Calendar over the next 24 days leading up to the Christmas celebration - a different topic each day. We will attempt to post on each of the topics. Our invitation continues to be open to other writers to join us here with your comments (See Nov 29, Dec 5, Dec 12, and Dec 19 posts here - laber 'Advent Calendar' - for the topics; or the link in the title, here).


Holiday Foods - Christmas Cookies

Probably the most consistent holiday food through my lifetime has been Christmas Cookies. When I was young, my maternal grandmother, born in Denmark, always made some of her distinctive cookies for family Christmas gatherings well into the younger years of my daughters. My mother also developed her own special Christmas cookies, that my wife subsequently made for many, many years. None of these cookies were very fancy, but they were really, really good, and memorable. My daughters continue to talk of them, as they have grown to have their own families. They have become part of our family heritage.


Families are Forever!  ;-)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent Calendar - Dec 1 - The Christmas Tree

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories for December 1
The Christmas Tree


This Blog is pleased to join with other GeneaBloggers around the world in presenting this Advent Calendar over the next 24 days leading up to the Christmas celebration - a different topic each day. We will attempt to post on each of the topics. Our invitation continues to be open to other writers to join us here with your comments (See Nov 29, Dec 5, Dec 12, and Dec 16 posts here - label 'Advent Calendar' - for the topics; or the link in the title, here).


The Christmas Tree

Over the years, I believe our family has had about every shape, size, type, and description of Christmas tree at one time or another. In the early years, we usually bought a tree from one of the local charitable organization's fundraiser lot. In more recent years, for various reasons, we moved to artificial trees of all sizes, depending on our residence at the time. We currently have a very small tree that sits on a table, with a few traditional ornaments, lights and little else (minimalism is 'in' at our small cabin these days).



Our family, Christmas 2008, at the cabin, in front of the tree

Our oldest daughter, Annette, and her husband, Larry, (left, above) at their home on Boulder Mountain in southern Utah, have begun a tradition of purchasing a $10 permit from the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and go out on the mountain and choose and cut their tree (4 wheel drive Jeep, of course). It has been a great experience for them.

From Blog Follower Janice:

When I was a young child, we had a real tree probably about six feet tall. My parents and my youngest brother and I usually decorated it together. After it came down after New Year's Day, it seemed like we were picking needles out of the carpet for months.
Sometime during my teen years, we got an artifical tree. It always sat on the top of the TV. I don't know what year it was but could probably tell from pictures. Since my mother was allergic to real trees perhaps she didn't want to mess with it after my father died. I still have this tree in my basement and sometimes bring it upstairs for a second tree.

 - - Thank you, Janice, for your comments.
Merry Christmas!

Families are Forever!  ;-)