Saturday, November 19, 2016

Trying to Balance My Passion of Genealogy and Family

I posted this on a collaborative Genealogy blog, but wanted to have it for my kids too in case the blog should go away. 
I will share with you the past few months of my life. 
I worked with the Preserve the War of 1812 Pensions campaign for 3 years.  I loved the purpose and the activity of searching the files and finding living descendants.  When the funding was accomplished, my activity there was little needed, and I turned to other projects.
At the same time, my children decided they and their children needed equal time with me and this is a bit of my journey into creating family history with my grandchildren and as I have written about before, bridging the generations.
During the summer, we had our first family reunion.  This was important for those who could go because family had not gathered as a unit since my husband, their father, died in 2008.  All but two of 6 children could make it. The single son who was working and a daughter who was pregnant and expecting her 4th child any minute.  There were 28 plus myself, who made it. Two grandchildren were working and could not attend. Since no one other than myself had ever visited the California family’s home, that was the focus. They planned 4 days of activities for the children and I was excited that they included some time for themselves. 
The trip started with my 20-year-old grandson and I leaving Texas and driving to Salt Lake to meet the Idaho family whose father was flying in. They needed to send one child with me as their car only seated 7 and they had 8 with dad. The connecting 3 different groups at the Salt Lake terminal was a story. The trip from Salt Lake to California and then back to Idaho was an awesome memory for my three grandchildren and me.
In California, we went to the Sequoia Forest, the beach, and learned about railroads going over the mountain grades. The young and new grandchildren were able to create relationships with the older ones. These are a couple of pictures from that family activity.

Once back at home, the two daughters in Texas decided since I had taken time from my genealogy activities for this, I must be up for grabs for activities at home. The Idaho daughter not to be out done scheduled every Monday in September for a Skype class on World War II ending in a lesson and stories about their great grandfather who served and I have written stories about him here.
The classes were successful, and one Texas grandson sat in on a lesson.  At the time I was not sure who was listening, but as the months go by, questions and statement tell me they were. One of the grandson’s chose to be his great grandfather for Halloween, dressed up like a WWII army soldier.  Cool right. History and family stories passed down two generations.
Two were dressed like book characters. I helped the Scot Warrior and the WWII soldier on the right. 

I went with another daughter to see the preview for Christmas lights at the Houston Zoo.  We took one of my other daughter’s children with us. There was fun, sharing, and memories made with young and old.

This week I went to a Civil War reenactment at the Texas Liendo plantation that served first as a Confederate headquarters, then when it fell, as a Union prison camp.
My grandson, who is 10, began trying to sort in his mind who and what generation of his family served in the Civil War. We had fun talking about both sides of the war and how he had those that served on both sides and one in the Confederacy that died in Savannah.  My grandfather from Michigan served in the Michigan 3rd Cavalry Regiment from 03 Oct 1861. He was promoted to Full Qtr Master Serg on 19 Jan 1864 and mustered out on 12 Feb 1866 at San Antonio, TX.
His comment was the rifle (an antique) was "sooo heavy!" 
We also visited the blacksmith shop and I was able to tell him about his great great grandfather who was a blacksmith.

So there you go, while I am AWOL occasionally, I am keeping the dream alive trying to share with the generations following, so the story is not forgotten.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

School By Skype and Fall Happenings

In September, my daughter decided that I could teach an hour class for 4 Mondays by Skype on World War II.  It was so much fun looking at the screen and seeing my 6 grands looking back at me from Idaho. I shared my screen with them and told them of the years leading up to WWII.  They were interested in the happening and choices made by the governments, and the people of the world's reactions from old newspaper clippings.
 Their main goal was to hear about their great grandfather's experience which I had researched through old newspapers and his file and wrote about on a genealogy blog, Worldwide Genealogy  We had mediocre discussions, but I ended it with an appeal to them to learn of history and search out information for themselves so they would know what is truth. They were given documentaries, and things to read to remind me of what we had covered. The ages were from 3 to 15, learning abilities autistic, ADHD, dyslexic, and normal. They all learned a little, and one even decided for his Halloween costume he wanted to be a WWII soldier like his great grandfather.

Speaking of Halloween costumes, we are down to the wire on creating the costumes now.  Another of the Idaho grands has asked for a Scottish warrior costume.  I found a kilt reasonably priced on Ebay, that was a LOT cheaper than buying fabric and making one. The Sporran was a different story, buying scrap leather and making it was a lot CHEAPER.  Of course, it is not as classy and fancy, but it might be more authentic. (laughing at myself).
These are the pictures of my sojourn I had making the sporran. It was fun and if the mom takes pictures, I will add to this post later.

This was a first for me sewing with leather. The patterns I found were for soft glove leather or too large for a 12-year-old boy. I took the measurement and scaled them to a youth size.  My sewing machine couldn't do the thicker leather, so I had to use an awl and try to make matching holes on the side and front and back.  Not my most perfect creation, but I did feel like 'TaDah' when I finished. I am sending him his flint for starting the fires, and his dad is giving him a honing stone... so he is good to go.
Thanks for stopping by and visiting.