thegenealogygirl


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Farewell to the Spunkiest Grandma I’ve Ever Known

On Saturday we gathered with family to say goodbye to Grandma Charlotte, my husband’s grandmother.  The funeral was lovely.  Her seven children, many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even some great-great-grandchildren were there to remember and celebrate Charlotte’s wonderful life.

Charlotte had more pep than anyone I’ve ever met – she bounced and danced everywhere she went.  She was always happy and busy.  She loved people.  And she had a lot of people.  Lots of people to love and to be loved by.

I have so many happy memories of this wonderful lady but there is one memory, in particular, that sort of typifies what it was like to hang out with Grandma Charlotte.  I wrote this in October of 2008:

{Small disclaimer, fornication is not a word I use.  But it was a word Grandma used on occasion.  I am pretty easy going and happy to roll with other’s personal values.  No judgment here, just me and Grandma Charlotte trying to sort out her vocab.}

Grandma Charlotte with my boys

L-R:  My marvelous middle boy, Grandma Charlotte holding my nephew, My amazing oldest – many years ago.

“This is Jason’s Grandma.  She is delightful.  I have a funny story to tell you about her. First I will introduce you a little.
The Introduction:
Grandma is 81. When you spend time with her you realize she is really 17 just in an 81 year old body. She knows how to have fun and all time spent with her is happy. Remember this post [link removed] of her dancing with her boyfriend? See – she is about the good times.
Grandma is always hugging, squeezing, patting, shaking you or holding your hand.
She is always smiling or laughing or talking.
She tells the same stories over and over again because when she can’t get over something she really can’t get over it.
So if, for instance, say her wonderful grandson Jason is moving close to her, you would hear her tell you 17 times in one day that her grandson Jason is moving close to her with all the details.
That’s a fun thing. Who gets tired of hearing good news I say?
Of course that also means if someone makes a bad choice you hear about how she can’t get over that too because Grandma is very serious about doing what is right.
I think that is also great – tell it like it is and expect people to choose the right I say.
There are lots of other wonderful things I could tell you but then this post will be too long. Trust me, Grandma is great. Oh- and it helps that she adores me – mutual adoration is a fun thing.
The Conversation:
Grandma: “…committing fortification and that is wrong.”
Me: “Grandma, you mean fornication.”
Grandma: “Isn’t that what I said?”
Me: “No, you said fortification. That means to make something strong. You mean fornication which is bad.”
Grandma: “Fornification?”
Me: “No, FOR-nication.”
We are both laughing really hard now.
Grandma: “Fortication?”
Me: “No, FOR-TTTTT-ification is to make something strong. That is good. FOR-NNN-ication is not good.”
TONS of giggling.
Grandma: “So fornification is what he was doing and fortication is good.”
Me: “No, fornication is what he was doing and fortification is good.”
Grandma: “Okay, fornication is bad.”
Me: “Yes, you got it.”
Grandma: “So he was committing fortication.”
Me: “No. Forn – think of thorn. Thorns are bad just like fornication.”
EVERYONE in the room is almost in tears because we are laughing so hard – especially Grandma.
Grandma: “Thornification? Thornication?”
Me: “Grandma, I think I should write this down for you when we get back to your house.”
I was mostly kidding about that but when we got home Grandma handed me paper and pencil and insisted I write both words and definitions down for her really big so she could get this figured out.
That is why Grandma is fun.
You can have a vocabulary lesson about words such as fornication and laugh the whole time. How many Grandmas are like that?”

 

Man am I going to miss this lady!

 

Thanks for all of the laughs Grandma Charlotte – you are one of my favorite ladies ever.  ❤️

Happy Monday, do you have a favorite memory of a loved on that needs to be shared?  I hope you will write up a favorite story today!

 


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Catching Up & A Special Gift

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Me, at Natural Bridges State Park in Santa Cruz, California

March & April have been bananas for me!  March started off while I was at RootsTech.  I had a week of catch up and then I was off to Washington to help my Mom & Auntie V.  Then the first week of April was Spring Break and our California adventure.  And then, I buried myself with a bigger than expected project.

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My amazing oldest

You see, my amazing oldest son, who is serving as a missionary, is about to turn 20.  He is a happy, fun-loving kid who inspired this funny photoshop creation.  He really is the center person.  A friend put his head over the two Sister Missionaries heads.  It was Valentine’s Day in this photo and a nice old man had purchased flowers for the Sister Missionaries and somehow my funny boy was asked to hand them the flowers, and from there, we got this delightful creation.

But, back to his upcoming birthday.  I asked him what he wanted or needed.  He said he wanted nothing now, and requested that I just save a little money for him to buy new clothes when he gets home.  An understandable request.  But it’s like he didn’t know who he was talking to.  😉

Of course, I couldn’t do nothing to mark the end of his teenage years!  I’m a fan of meaningful gifts.  So after plenty of mulling, I decided he would be getting 20 gifts of 20 items to celebrate his passage into his twenties.  Now if you are thinking that is basically the exact opposite of what he requested you would kind of be right.  But most of the gifts cost absolutely nothing.  Or almost nothing.

As a family, we put together several things like – 20 jokes, 20 ridiculous pieces of advice, 20 birthday wishes and so on.  The two items that took me the most time were 20 favorite memories of him and 20 ancestor cards.  For the 20 favorite memories, I made a list of several off the top of my head, but I even went through some journals and typed up a few entries that were especially sweet.

And then we get to the gift that was my favorite.  Twenty ancestor cards.  Ahhhhh.  Genealogy gifts are my favorite.  The ancestor cards were created using Adobe Illustrator.  I then printed them as 4×6 photos at Costco.   Here are two of the cards I created:

mary brown young ancestor card-01

seth maffit ancestor card-01

I simplified things to try to appeal to my son.  I reduced place names to city & state or city & country.  I shared some highlights from the person’s life.  Things I thought might interest my son a bit.  I intentionally chose ancestors who were immigrants, some type of pioneer, or someone who overcame big challenges.  I wanted him to see how diverse our family history is.  I wanted him to be able to draw some strength from his ancestors’ stories.  I hope this gift will be interesting and meaningful to him.  But the good news is that I LOVED making it.  So even if it isn’t his favorite, it was worth the time I spent.  Now I need to go back over them and perfect them a bit and share them with my siblings.

Now that the 20 gifts of 20 things are all done and in the mail, and I’m back home for a while, I have some serious catching up to do!  I’m behind on everything.  😉

 

 

Happy Friday, I hope you make a fantastic genealogy discovery this weekend!  xoxo

 

 

ps – I’m sorry I haven’t been around to read any of your wonderful posts in a few months.  Hopefully, I’ll be back to my normal routine again soon!  I’ve missed hearing about your genealogy successes.  ❤

 

 


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Photograph Showcase: Three Guardian Angels (edited)

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Oh JOY!  I found a better copy!!  Great Grandmas – Mary Jo Shumway, Deane Alice Duval, & Charlotte Whitesides

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Great Grandmas – Mary Jo Shumway, Deane Alice Duval, & Charlotte Whitesides

 

That wee little chap up there is my amazing oldest.  A few months after he was finally home from the NICU, we had a family gathering all about him in Lewiston, Idaho.  Those lovely ladies with him are three of his great-grandmothers who traveled from Star Valley, Wyoming, Kaysville, Utah, & Spokane, Washington to join us that day.

Now that boy of mine is nearly twenty and serving an LDS mission in South Carolina.  He has been gone for 20 months & 2 days.  He will be home this August.

Four months after my son left, Grandma Mary Jo passed peacefully in a nursing home from Alzheimer’s.  Nine months after that, Grandma Deane passed peacefully at home from Leukemia.  And then on Tuesday, Grandma Charlotte passed peacefully in a care center from Liver Cancer.

And so, that amazing boy of mine has gained three guardian angels who have loved him his whole life long.  I can’t think of three women I would trust more to watch over my boy.

 

 

Do you have a living grandparent?  If so, call them today.  If you are the living grandparent, reach out to your precious grandbabies today.  That link is so precious.  ❤️