Friday, December 17, 2010

Decorating your Christmas Tree

Every year I have decorated a Christmas tree.  Many of the same ornaments are put on the tree over and over again each year.  Some ornaments I have had for thirty five years or more. 

When we lived in a large city we attended a Festival of Trees.  It was a charitable event where you made a donation to see hundreds of trees decorated in different ways.  It was fun to see the different ways the trees were decorated.  I would imagine being able to decorate a tree with a certain theme, but each year practicality wins out and I decorate with what I have.  Once in a while I'll receive a new ornament or I may make a new ornament, but most of the decorations are repeats from previous years. 

This year I have been thinking of decorating the Christmas tree with family photos and turning the Christmas tree into a family tree.  I've made a few ornaments with some of my ancestors' photos, and I plan to hang them on the Christmas tree.  Still many of the ornaments from over the years will still be hung.  Some were gifts from family members.  Some were handmade.  Many of them bring memories from the past.  I feel they all fit in with a family tree, so this year my Christmas tree will be a family tree.  Below is a picture of some of the ornaments I've made.  I hope by next year to get some more long lasting ornaments made like the ones available here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Do You Remember Any Special Gifts You Got for Christmas?

Another question for your story:

Do you remember any special gifts you got for Christmas?

When I was in fifth and sixth grade it seemed all of the other girls got Barbie Dolls for Christmas.  I was given an inexpensive craft doll.  The legs didn't move on the doll.  Her hair wasn't as sturdy and full.  She was a little smaller than the Barbie Dolls.  My mother had sewn clothes for her, and I brought her to school when the girls had all agreed to bring their dolls to play with at recess.

When I was in sixth grade I received a Tammy Doll as a gift.  A Tammy Doll looked more like a real person than a Barbie Doll did.  The Tammy Doll came with a couple of outfits, and my mother had sewn more outfits for her.  I still had a different doll from the other girls, but I cherished her.  

I still have my Tammy Doll.  She has been held and played with by my daughters.  I am grateful I got the Tammy Doll because she looked more like me and  I think she gave me a better feeling about myself. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

What Kind of Candy Do You Remember?

Here's another question for your life story:

With kind of candy do you remember?

Growing up I remember penny candy at the small store in our town.  You could get one or two pieces of candy for a penny.  If you had a nickel, you could buy 5 to 10 pieces of candy. You could buy candy bars for 3 cents or for 5 cents. 

In the summer time to remember the pioneers, my mother would make honey candy.  We would pull and stretch the candy just like taffy.  It reminded us of how nice it was to have candy we could buy.

Trick or Treat candy at Halloween were a variety of different candies.  Today most of the candy handed out seems to be mini chocolate candy bars. 

Homemade candy was a part of getting ready for Christmas.  Standing and stirring a pan full of fudge to prevent it from turning to sugar was a lot of work, but the results were wonderful tasting.  Beating the egg whites and adding the hot syrup to make divinity was fun to do.  Testing the consistency of the syrup in a cup of water was fun and delicious too as you got to eat the tested portion.  Pouring hot syrup over peanuts to make peanut brittle was fun too.  Sometimes the candy didn't come out just right, yet we would eat it any way.  When it turned out just right, it was so good.

At a dinner with friends some started talking about the kind of candy they had when they went to the movies.  They would buy the long lasting kind of candy so it would last through most of the movie.

When my daughters came to visit this year, they brought ingredients for making good for you chocolate.  It was a lot of work melting the cocoa butter at a very low temperature.  Then we added different ingredients like nuts and fruits.  The best ones had lots of nuts and fruits in them.   

Writing down your memories of making candy or buying or receiving candy is a part of your story.  Write down the people who gave you the candy or who made the candy.  Did you have a certain kind of candy at certain times of the year?  Have your tried to make candy that is better for you or have you banned candy from your life?  Record your experience with candy and add another interesting chapter to your story.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Did You Ever Have the Fire Department or the Police Come to Your Home?

Another question for your story:

Did you ever have the fire department or the police come to your home?

Today I called the sheriff's office because my neighbor was not home and there was a strong smell of propane from his propane tank.  A deputy came and checked out the tank, then called the fire department to come.  Fortunately nothing disastrous happened.  The problem was taken care of.  
One rainy night about midnight I awoke to my dog barking and realized someone was knocking on the door and I heard a deputy yelling through the door asking if I was okay.  Fortunately it was a deputy that I knew.  He said there had been a 911 call from my address.  I had been sound asleep.  I jokingly said, "Maybe my dog called, but I hadn't.  I checked my phone.  It was on the hook, and there was a dial tone.  He said he was sorry to wake me, but they had to make sure I was okay.  He then commented that they had had a problem with some of their phone circuits and thought it might be due to the moisture.  Although I hadn't enjoyed being awakened in the middle of the night, I was glad to know the sheriff's office was following up on 911 calls.

When we were living in a duplex, we were startled one evening to hear a fire engine pull up outside with it's sirens going.  We hurried outside to see why they were there.  They were putting out a fire that had started in the swamp cooler for the other half of the duplex.  We were so grateful they responded so quickly.  No damage to the building was done because of their quick response.
As a child I only remember one visit from the fire department to our farm.  Our main chicken coop had caught on fire.  The volunteer fire department from the town five miles away responded.  So did the department from a town fifteen miles away and from the largest city in our area that was fifteen miles away.  Unfortunately the coop was too far gone for it to be saved, but they prevented the fire from spreading to the other coops, corrals, and grainery as well as protecting our home.  That was a sad time for our family, but we counted our blessings for what did not burn.

Whenever I hear a siren from a police car, a fire engine or an ambulance, I am grateful for those who will respond in emergencies and who are there to help us.  Think about the times in your life when you have been helped by the police, the fire department or an ambulance.  Record those times in your story. provided the public domain clip art above.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Who Was a Favorite Teacher in Elementary School?

Here is another question for writing your story:

Who was a favorite teacher in elementary school?

I think my third grade teacher was my favorite teacher from elementary school.  I remember her as being kind and gentle.  She taught third, fourth and fifth grade.  Her husband was the principal of the school and he taught sixth, seventh and eighth grade.  I only had her for third grade since our school district changed the way the schools were the summer after I finished third grade.  The four room school house in our town was closed, and we were bused to the town five miles away when I started fourth grade.   She and her husband were friends of my parents.  I remember her giving me two store bought dresses that her daughters had outgrown.  My mother sewed all of my clothes, so they were the first store bought dresses that I owned.   

Friday, September 17, 2010

What Music Do You Remember

Another question for your life story:

What music do you remember?

Music has been a source of joy in my life.  I remember singing in church and those songs have become so familiar to me that I can sing many of them without needing to see the words.  Some of the songs were just fun like "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree."  Other songs taught me important truths that are an important part of my life like "I Am A Child of God". 

At school music was important.  Those songs were just for fun.  I remember the "Animal Fair".  I found the following link with Captain Kangaroo singing this song: 

Another song I remember was "Michael Finnegan" which I found a video with a group of children singing it here:  

There were a lot of songs to mention during my teenage years, but the most significant one was "The Impossible Dream" which we sang for our high school graduation.  Sometimes it seems like life is full of impossible dreams, but yet we still have to keep on trying.

What songs do you remember from your childhood?  Write them down.  Find recordings of them to share with your family.  Music can be a big influence in our lives.  Share how music has affected your life.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What Kinds of Flowers Do You Remember in Your Life

Here's another question to answer in your life story:

What kinds of flowers do you remember in your life?

Do you remember flowers from your childhood?  Did you have daffodils or tulips in the springtime.  Did you have irises or tiger lilies?  Did you have a small border of flowers or a big bed of flowers?  Did you only grow flowers outside or were flowers brought inside to display in bouquets?  Did you give or receive flowers?  Do any flowers have a special meaning to you?

When I was young we had irises and gladiolas and tiger lilies growing along the fence line.  I can remember one year that a large section in front of the house was planted with many different kinds of flowers.  It was a spectacular display.  I didn't receive many flower bouquets in my life.  When my late husband was courting me, he gave me a bouquet of six red roses.  It was all that he could afford.  I dried those roses and put them in a jar.  I still have them today.  Where I work flowers are often given to us, so the past few years I have had bouquets of flowers inside.  I have to watch out where I put the flowers because I have a cat who likes certain flowers especially carnations and roses. I try to grow flowers outside.  I seem to have the most success with marigolds and sunflowers.  They volunteer to grow.  

Write down your memories of flowers and take pictures so you can always remember the flowers in your life.  Take time to stop and enjoy the flowers.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

 Another question for your story:

Do you have any pleasant walking memories?

When you were young, did you walk to school or other places on a regular basis?  Did you have a dog that you took for a walk?  Did you have a favorite place to go for a walk?  Did you go on a hike in the mountains or through a wilderness area?  Did you ever have to walk because you missed your ride?

If you were 150 years old or older, you might be able to tell about walking across the plains.  If you are close to 100 years old you might be able to tell about walking several miles to school.  Most people in the 21st century are not forced to walk.  We choose to walk.

When I was young, we lived a mile from the elementary school.  The bus stopped at our house and picked up my sister since she had to travel 15 miles to the high school.  I could ride to the bus to school and didn't have to walk.  I do remember choosing to walk the mile to town for some things, but usually my parents could give me a ride or I could catch a ride with the neighbor up the road.  I did get frequent walks when I was assigned to go find the cow and herd her back to the corral in the evening.

A mile isn't too bad of a walk usually, but sometimes it can be difficult.  As a teenager one morning in winter when the car wouldn't start I decided I could walk to town.  It had snowed several inches over night.  I didn't have boots, but usually I could deal with wading through some snow.  I thought it wouldn't be hard to walk through the snow that morning.  I had walked about three fourths of the way to town and my feet were wet and frozen.  I was beginning to doubt my ability to make it to town, when someone I knew stopped and offered me a ride.  I was very grateful.

I walked my children to school each day when they first started school and we lived about half a mile from the school.  As they got older they walked to school together.  Then we moved where it was 4 to 5 miles to the school, and they got to ride a bus.

At this time of my life I walk the dog every day.  He needs the exercise and so do I.  He waits expectantly for his walk, and he looks so disappointed if I can't give him a walk.  So nearly every day we walk from half a mile to a mile depending on the weather and how much time I have.

I am so grateful I can walk.  Spending four months not being able to walk, then standing on one leg, then hopping on one leg, and finally being allowed to walk with a walker and eventually back to walking on my own has left me very appreciative of the fact that I can walk.  What a great blessing it is to walk.

Write down your memories of walks.  Walking is an important part of our lives.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What Did You Do When It was Really Hot?

Here's another question for writing your story:
What did you do when it was really hot?
In the summertime when it gets really hot it can be challenging to get much work done.  For me when it gets in the high 90's and over 100 degrees, I find it difficult to keep working.  A cooler or air conditioner makes a huge difference.  I've had a few days when my cooler stopped working, and I had to deal with the heat.  It makes me stop and think how did people use to cope without a cooler or air conditioner.
Where I grew up we had about a month of hot temperatures.  We had a basement in our house, and in the heat of the afternoon that was the place we wanted to stay.  When my dad built bedrooms upstairs, I learned if I opened my bedroom window, left my bedroom door open and opened the front door leaving only the screen door closed a nice cool breeze would blow through my room.  We didn't even have fans so that breeze was very welcome.  Of course things are different now as we worry about burglaries and don't dare leave a door unlocked.  
When you write your story, recording how you dealt with hot weather will add interest and understanding.  Maybe you played in a pool of water when it got really hot.  Maybe you soaked towels or washcloths in water and used them to cool off your skin.  Maybe you placed a wet towel or a pan of ice cubes in front of a fan and sat in front of the stream of cool air.  Maybe you ate a lot of ice cream.  Maybe it didn't really get hot where you lived so you never worried about how to cool down.  Recording your summer experiences will add another dimension to your story.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - Church History Content - Preserving Your Personal History - Church History Content - Preserving Your Personal History

I just found out about these videos that help with preserving your personal history, so I wanted to share the link to these videos. I haven't watched them all yet, but I'm sure there will be good information in them that will help in preserving your story.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Family Tree

This past week went by really fast.  I have been working on a special gift for my daughter.  It has taken me longer than I thought to complete, and I'm not sure I'm through with it yet.  I made a family tree with photos. I put in photos I have of ancestors and then I searched online for more photos.  I put in names of great grandparents and great great grandparents and I was amazed at how many photos I found.  It is interesting to see how much we look like some of our ancestors.  My dad looks a lot like his mother's father.  My sister looks a lot like our dad's mother.  Although I've had names and birth dates and birth places and other information on my ancestors before, I have found some photos I never saw before.  A photo makes a great grandparent seem more real even though you knew they were real before.  It does make a difference to be able to see what they looked like.  This has been a project that I have thoroughly enjoyed.

If you don't have photos of all your ancestors but you do have their names, try putting the names in a search box and see what you can find.  Contact any family members also and see if they have photos that you can get copies of.  Then try putting the photos in a regular pedigree chart or create your own family tree like I did.

Friday, July 16, 2010

What Did You Do When It Rained?

Here is another question to help you write your story:

What did you do when it rained?

How rain affected your life probably depends a lot on where you live.  If you lived in the Pacific Northwest where it rains a lot, it would be different from living in the southwest desert where rain is rare and very welcome when it comes.  

If you grew up with a lot of rain, you probably learned to just deal with the rain.  You made sure you always had an umbrella and a raincoat when you went somewhere.  Some things that needed to be done outside you just went ahead and did it without waiting for the rain to stop.

If you grew up in an arid climate, you may have felt like rain was a time to celebrate and enjoy or you may have felt that it was an annoyance since you didn't have to deal with rain very often.  You may have wanted to take a walk in the rain or you may have preferred to stay inside until it stopped.

I have always loved the smell of rain.  Living in an arid area there are many times that it will look like rain and smell like rain, but it won't rain.  Sometimes you can even see the rain coming down from a cloud, but it will evaporate before it hits the ground.  It is a wonderful feeling when we actually get rain especially on a hot summer day.  When the rain is followed by a beautiful rainbow, it is especially delightful.

Of course rain can cause damage and can spoil plans.  I remember a summer rain that turned into a flash flood.  I had to stay in a store for a couple of hours because the parking lot had turned into a river of fast flowing water.  The workers in the store were frantically working to keep the water out of the store.  If there are thunderstorms, it is wise to change your plans for outdoor activities, for talking on the phone or for working on a computer.

When you think of times it has rained in your life, what do you remember?  Were any plans changed because of rain?  Did anything get damaged because of rain?  Did the rain cool things down on a hot summer day?  Was there a beautiful rainbow after the storm?  Write down your memories of rain and add to your story.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Help for Doing an Oral History

 I came across this website on the Monday Roundup at the following blog:

This website gives step-by-step help in making an oral history.  Doing an oral history is a good addition to a written history or can be an alternative when someone isn't able to write their history or isn't motivated to write their history.  An added benefit is having the actual voice of a family member recorded.  An oral history can also be done with a video where you would have voice and pictures.

Monday, July 5, 2010

How Did You Celebrate the Fourth of July?

Here is another idea to write about in your personal and family history:

How did you celebrate the Fourth of July?

Today is the fifth of July, but it is the day I get off from work because the Fourth of July fell on a Sunday this year.  Yesterday we watched the DVD "A More Perfect Union" which is about the creation of the Constitution.  I pulled out the encyclopedia and read about some of the founders of our country.  I found online the Library of Congress website where we could read the original documents of our country.  You can personalize your experience with the website at the link following: 
Tonight we are getting together with friends and have a potluck dinner and a sundown there will be a fireworks display not far from our home that we can watch.  
The Fourth of July was different when I was young.  In the little town of 300 people that I grew up in, we had a parade on the morning of the Fourth of July followed by a program of patriotic music and readings and speeches about the freedom we enjoy.  Any one who wanted to be in the parade could be.  You could decorate a bike, a wagon, a car or truck and ride down the street.  One year when I was in high school, all the members of the junior high and high school bands joined together to play and march in the parade.  Even though we lived in a small town we had a lot of opportunity to be involved and contribute.  We could buy food for lunch.  Then there were races and games on the lawn at the school.  Softball games and a rodeo often rounded out the day.  
Remembering the founders of our country is an important part of celebration our nation's independence.  As I have searched for stories about my ancestors I have found accounts of how my ancestors were involved in America's history.  Reading the account of two ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War and their perspective on the Battle of Bunker Hill was very interesting.  The history of America becomes more real and alive as I read about my ancestors involvement.  
Writing down your memories of Fourth of July celebrations is an important part of your personal history.  Writing about your ancestors involvement in the history of America is an important part of your family history.  

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why were You Given Your Name?

Another topic to write on for your personal history is:

Why were you given your name?

There are many reasons why parents may choose names for their children.  Names go through times of popularity and some studies suggest if you have a popular name you will be more popular.  My name is quite uncommon, and I have never been popular; but I really like my name.  My mother heard it in a song on the radio, and she liked the sound of it.  

When I named my daughters, I considered the names their fathers suggested, looked up the meanings and picked a name that I like the meaning of.  

My parents both went by their middle names.  They didn't want to be called by their first names.  My father's first name was his grandfather's name.  His middle name came from the name of a church leader at the time he was born.  A few years ago I heard a current church leader talk about his parents growing up in the same are my father's parents lived in.  He told about a meeting being held in that area the year my dad was born.  One of the speakers at that meeting was the man my father was given his middle name from.  It would be interesting to talk with my dad's parents and find out why they gave him that name.  Were they so impressed by meeting the man or hearing his talk that they wanted their son to become like him, or did they just like the name?  My father was never called by his first name.  One time a government official came by my father's farm and asked if he knew someone.  My father stood there thinking about it and was about ready to say he didn't know anyone by that name when he realized the name was his.  He wasn't used to hearing his first name and without hearing his middle name too he didn't even recognize it at first.  

My mother's first name was also her mother's and her grandmother's first name.  Her middle name was a longer version of a common name.  She preferred to go by the shortened version of her middle name.  I looked up the meanings of her names, and they meant princess, lady, and beautiful--all wonderful meanings.

Write down why you were given your name.  Put down any stories behind it.  Write down the meaning of your name or if you were named after someone.  Write down why you named your children their names.  You may also want to include any nicknames and why you got the nickname.  My parents never called us by nicknames.  Some nicknames come from names of endearment, but some may come from negative or embarrassing moments.  Names definitely affect our lives and are a very important part of our lives.  

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What Do You Appreciate About Your Father?

Another idea to help you write your story:
What do you appreciate about your father?
 I've been asked to give a talk on Father's Day about fathers.  I have been thinking about my father and the things I appreciated about him.  My father was not a perfect man, but he was a very good man.  He taught me to work and to think about others.  He set an example by working hard himself.  He was very considerate of my mother and helped her.  My parents were joint partners in a family business.  When my mother died, my dad felt he couldn't continue the business because she did so much for the business.  Even though my brother and I tried to step in and do many of the things our mother had done, Dad still felt overwhelmed without our mother there.

I am often amazed at what my Dad did in his life.  He didn't go on to high school after finishing eighth grade.  I think he felt he needed to help his sister and her husband on their farm because they had given him a place to stay.  The high school was fifteen miles away and during the depression it would have been difficult for Dad to have traveled back and forth or he would have had to board close to the high school.  Dad wished he could have gone on for more education, but he accomplished a lot even without further formal education.  Dad built the home I grew up in.  It started out as a four room house.  Dad added six more rooms on to the home.  He did the plumbing and the electrical himself.  He built a cistern to store water for our use in.  He built chicken coops, corrals, and a grainery.  He fixed his own cars, trucks and tractors.  He was a successful farmer and a businessman.
Most of all my dad was a friendly person.  People called him "Smiley" because he always wore a smile.
When you think of your father, what do you remember most?  Write down your memories and what you appreciate about your dad.  You can keep adding to it and soon you will have your family's life story written down.  Your dad is an important part of your story.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Scaled Model Provides Salt Lake Temple Open House Experience - LDS Newsroom

Scaled Model Provides Salt Lake Temple Open House Experience - LDS Newsroom

The Salt Lake Temple is an important part of my family's story from ancestors who helped build it to attending the temple myself. It is a different perspective to see the model of the temple and how the rooms are laid out as compared to walking through it. It is also awesome to think about how it was built. I am so appreciative of those who sacrificed so much to see it was completed. My mother's great grandfather hauled one of the cornerstones for the temple with three yoke of oxen. The temple is a very special part of my family's history.

When you write your story write about the buildings that have been important in your family's life. There are many buildings that affect our lives--our homes, where we were born, where we went to school, where we were married and where other significant things happened. Include pictures and describe what happened in these buildings as part of your story.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Searching for Family Records

Today I was searching for how to find obituaries and death records.  I came across the following website for records in Utah.
Death records are not available for people who died in the past fifty years, but they are for those before.  Apparently not all deaths were recorded with a death certificate.  I can't find one for my father's father who I know died in 1923.  I did learn some things I didn't know such as my father's grandmother died from an infected finger. 
My ancestor's stories are very much a part of my story as I am sure much of their values and beliefs were passed on to me.  Finding even little bits of information can make a difference to me.
Doing a little research online may help you find information about your ancestors.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What was your most memorable chance encounter?

Another idea for writing your story:
What was your most memorable chance encounter?
When you encounter something or someone by chance, it is unexpected.  The experience may be pleasant or exciting or it may be scary or unnerving.  The unplanned experiences in our lives can make a big impact.  Perhaps you come across a stray cat or dog that becomes your pet.  Perhaps you meet someone by chance who becomes a life-long friend or maybe even your spouse.  Perhaps you encounter an unusual rock like the man who found a meteorite and years later found it to be worth a lot of money. Perhaps you come across a beautiful view or meadow or forest that you go back to often afterwards or that you never can find again but always remember how beautiful it was.  If you've had a chance encounter in your life that has made a big difference, write it down--it's an important part of your story.
Several years ago I by chance came across a part time job that ended up being a good way for me to earn money and still be available for my children.  I was just shopping in a variety store in our town.  I was looking at the craft supplies close by the artificial flowers.  A lady was servicing the flower department.  She asked me if I knew of anyone that might be interested in being a merchandiser and in servicing the flower department.  I asked what was involved.  When I said I might be interested, I found myself being hired right then and there for the job.  The hours were flexible and I thought the work could be enjoyable.  I had always thought that just the store employees serviced the displays.  I didn't know before then that there were merchandising jobs.  Over the next few years I worked six different merchandising jobs just because of that chance encounter.

Check out the following book for help researching your family tree.
Family Tree Problem Solver

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Memories

Here's another question to write about in your story:

How did your family observe Memorial Day?

Did your family do special things on Memorial Day to help remember those who have died?  Did they honor especially those who died while serving their country?  Did your family do fun things like having a barbecue or a picnic or camping out?  Write down your memories of Memorial Day. 
My family always decorated the graves of family members.  My mother would make artificial flowers out of plastic or crepe paper and then we would take them and place them on family members' graves.  We always decorated my dad's parents' graves which were in the cemetary of the town we lived in.  We usually traveled fifteen miles and put flowers on my mother's father's grave and on her baby brother's grave.  My dad's brothers and sisters would usually come to our town to decorate their parents' graves.  They decided to get together for a dinner and they would visit and sometimes have a program.  Usually they asked each brother or sister to choose someone from their family to share their talent.  Once I learned to play the flute it seemed I got to be the one to share the talent.  
It is harder now to decorate family graves.  I live about 500 miles away from where my parents and grandparents and sister are buried.  Although Memorial Day sometimes just seems like it's a day off from work, I still can take time to remember my family and to especially remember those who died while serving our country and preserving our freedom. 
Books and CD's to help with researching your family at clearance prices. 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Did You Serve in the Military?

Another idea to write about in your life story:

Did you serve in the military?  Did you have family members who served in the military?  What are your feelings about serving in the military?

I never served in the military.  My sister got a draft notice for the Vietnam War.  Young men were the only ones being drafted.  My sister's name was very unusual.  I've never met anyone with her name.  It was two men's names put together.  To me it was a feminine name because it was my sister's name.  I guess the draft board didn't look at the gender on any of her records and they only went by her name.  My parents helped her point out that she was a woman and should not be drafted.  
My dad was called up for World War II.  He went in for a physical and when blood was withdrawn for testing his arm became paralyzed.  He was dismissed as not being physically fit for service.  His arm didn't remain paralyzed but he wasn't allowed to serve in the military.
I have had some involvement with the military though.  As a young woman I worked at Tooele Army Depot.  Then twenty some years ago I moved with my husband as he took a job at Hawthorne Army Ammunition Depot.  The community is very supportive of the military both in actual physical support by supplying and storing weapons since before World War II and emotionally supportive with a Veteran's Memorial Park and a big Armed Forces Day Celebration.
Personally I don't like war and I hope to never have to fight in a war, but I truly appreciate those who are willing to fight and to even give their lives for our freedom. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My New Life

Tragedies happen in life.  Really hard, difficult things can happen in life.  Sometimes several problems come at once.  The belief that life is still good even if it is hard makes it so much easier to go on.  This video shows one woman's outlook on her trial.

Ten years ago I went through a series of tragedies.  My life changed drastically.  I didn't have the same kind of challenge portrayed in this video, but I had life changing things to deal with.  I was in a hospital for three months, couldn't walk for four months and couldn't work for six months.  I lost four family members during that time including my husband.  What I learned through that experience is something I should write down in my life story.

Hopefully your challenges are more spread out and not as intense, but what you learn from your trials is important to write down and share with others.  It can be good to write down both your sadness and your gladness when you are going through problems, but even if it has been years since the challenge occurred it is still good to write down what you felt and what you learned.  Some experiences in life totally change our lives.  Write about those things that have changed your life.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Did You Ever Grow a Garden?

Here's another idea for your life story:
Did you grow a garden?  What did you have in your garden?
When I was young we always had a big garden.  My parents planted plenty that we good eat all summer long and that we could can to use during the winter.  They planted tomatoes, squash--zucchini, crookneck, and some winter squashes, onions, radishes, peas, beans, leaf lettuce, corn, carrots, and potatoes.  We had a rhubarb patch, two apple trees, two pear trees, two peach trees and an apricot tree.  As kids we were expected to help plant, weed, harvest and can all of the fruits and vegetables.  We were allowed to eat as many of the vegetables and fruits as we wanted to.  Nothing is quite as good as fresh peas eaten out of the pod while standing in the garden or a juicy tomato picked right from the vine and eaten immediately.  The fruit from the trees was a real treat, and even a stalk of rhubarb was a great sour treat. 
As an adult, I still love to grow things and eat what I have grown.  It is exciting to see the Swiss Chard get great early in the spring.  Watching peas starting to grow brings the hope for summer not being too far away.  The white blossoms on the strawberry plants signals delicious berries to soon follow.  The fruit trees filled with blossoms gives hope of a bountiful fruit crop later in the summer or fall.  
I have tried planting a lot of different things.  Some things grow pretty well and I enjoy the harvest.  Tomatoes are usually a good bet for a large crop.  Last year it was too hot and the tomatoes didn't start to grow until the weather started to cool off.  It was almost the end of summer before we started getting ripe tomatoes, but they kept producing past Thanksgiving.  Swiss Chard always seems to grow well.  I get a few peas although I don't know if I would ever get too many peas.  I can pretty easily eat the peas I grow fresh without even having to cook them.  I've tried different things and sometimes they do okay and sometimes they don't grow well.  Last year I actually grew a good size watermelon and it was delicious. You can read more about gardening experiences here.
Record the memories you have of the gardens throughout your life.  They are very much a part of your life. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What Was A Favorite Television Show?

 Another question to answer in your your life story is:

What was a favorite television show from your past?

Mister Rogers wasn't on when I was a child, but it was when my children were young.  I think the program made the atmosphere in my home calmer.  When I watched the following youtube video, it brought back a lot memories.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What is your Favorite Memory of Springtime?

Here is another idea to write your life story about:

What is your favorite memory of springtime?

You could write just one favorite memory or you could let your memories of springtime inspire several additions to your story.  For me the blossoms on the fruit trees are always so beautiful in the springtime.  One home I lived in had a plum tree just outside the back door.  The pink blossoms contrasted with the purple leaves and made a spectacular sight that I looked forward to each year.  The first time I planted crocuses and saw the leaves coming up through the snow, I was surprised at that first sign of spring.  Watching flowers begin to bloom brings hope that winter is almost over despite a late snow storm or freeze.  Write down your favorite things from springtime and add more to your story. 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

What is Your Favorite Food?

Here's another questions for your life story:
What is Your Favorite Food?
Food often is tied to our memories.  Most people have a birthday cake on their birthday and probably ice cream with it.  Buttered popcorn while watching movies is another food commonly eaten and associated with something fun to do.  Turkey, cranberries, pumpkin pie and other foods eaten for Thanksgiving have good memories associated with them.  An orange in the toe of a stocking is a common Christmas food.  Corned beef and cabbage are often eaten for St. Patrick's Day.  Hard boiled eggs are associated with Easter.  Watermelon or root beer floats are common on the Fourth of July.  
When I was growing up some of my favorite foods were fresh peas right out of the pod eaten while standing in the garden.  Tomatoes picked off the vine and eaten right away were a real treat.  Apricots, peaches, pears, plums were very good fresh off the tree.  I remember enjoying eating a stalk of rhubarb savoring each sour bite.  
Write down the favorite foods you remember as a child and why you remember them.  Maybe even writing down some of your bad experiences with food and why you don't like them would be good too as it would give a balanced view to your life story.  Record any recipes you remember that your mother or grandmother made.  Record your favorite recipes that you like to make.  Some day your children or grandchildren may thank you for them.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Online Family History Classes

Check out this website if you would like to learn more about researching your family history.  There are classes about research principles and tools, and researching in England, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Russia and the United States.  Here's a great opportunity to find out how to find your ancestors.

Cyndi's List - Blogs for Genealogy

Cyndi's List - Blogs for Genealogy

The above link is to a great website where you can find lots of information about genealogy. It's been around since 1996. I heard about it years ago, and it is a great resource when you are researching your family history.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What is Your Favorite Song?

 Here's another question to answer to add to your story:
What is your favorite song and why?
I think it is really hard to pick one favorite song.  I find at times I really like a certain song because of the meaning and because of the music.  When I've practiced a song with a choir for a performance, I usually come to really like the song.  I hear it in my mind over and over even when we are not practicing.  Some songs from my childhood such as "I Am A Child of God" still mean a lot to me.  I use "I Am A Child of God" as a way to get rid of thoughts or music that I don't want in my mind.  Maybe someone used swear words around me and they keep popping into my mind or maybe a song that I don't like the meaning of starts playing over and over in my head because I heard it on the radio that day.  I start to sing the song in my mind and before long the words or the song I don't like disappear from my mind.  The music I hear and sing at church is very powerful to me because I love the messages in the songs.

I also like other music.  Since being in the band in junior high and high school, I love marches.  When I need energy I like to listen to marching music.  I also like the music from the three musicals that I played in the stage band for--The Sound of Music, The King and I, and Hello Dolly.  I enjoy classical music too.
 I like some of the popular music from the time I was growing up.  Unfortunately now as an adult, I am bothered by the meaning behind some of music such as promoting drug usage.  Some of the music actually had different words which weren't allowed back then, but today they play the original words despite their blatant messages.

If you are like me you can't pick just one song as your favorite.  I think it's okay to have several favorite songs.  But writing down what music you do like and why can greatly add to your story.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Humorous Childhood Experiences

I came across the following video and thought of how many cute things children do.  Do you remember something you did as a kid that you find humorous now?  When I was very young, so young I don't really think I remember this incident, I went out to the chicken coop and started breaking eggs on the floor.  The chickens would see the broken eggs and would grab the shells.  Other chickens would try to grab the shell from the beak of a chicken who had gotten a piece of the shell.  It was kind of like a basketball game.  As soon as a chicken managed to get the shell from another chicken, it would start running the other direction.  Other chickens would try to grab the shell from the running chicken.  I was having a great time watching the chickens grab the shells from each egg that I broke and then run back and forth throughout the coop stealing the shells from each other.  When I was discovered breaking the eggs, I was promptly punished so I would never do it again.  Of course accidentally breaking an egg when gathering them happened every so often and that is why I can see a picture clearly of the chickens stealing the shells from each other.  I look back now and chuckle about the incident.

What things can you remember from your childhood that make you laugh now.  Record your experiences as part of your family history.  Record the experiences with your children as they are growing up so they will remember those humorous times later in their life.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tell About an Exciting Place You Have Been To

Another prompt for writing your story is:
Tell about an exciting place you have been to.
 You have probably been to many exciting places.  A place could have been exciting because you had always wanted to go there and there were exciting things to do and see there.  A place could have been exciting because of who you would see and spend time with there.  A place could have been exciting because of an exciting event that happened there.  The post just before this one is about a woman's search for her family history and how it made history come alive for her.  She hadn't really felt really American until she found out how her ancestors had been involved with the Gold Rush and the Salem Witch Trials.  Traveling to those places where her family had lived became very exciting.
The above photo is of Bodie, California.  It is a well preserved ghost town.  I enjoyed going there because I love historic places.  I like the feeling of going back in time.  I went with two of my daughters and a group of other friends.  We spent the day and had a picnic lunch there.  It was a most enjoyable day.
Record the places you've traveled to, why you went there, who you went with or who you went to see and what you did while you were there.  You probably have many places you have been that have been exciting and you were grateful you could travel there.  

Sarah Jessica Parker

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Preparing for Marriage

I came across the following article on marriage. There were a lot of things discussed that I had not thought about. Not only how the bride and the groom are feeling, but also their parent's and others' feelings are addressed. The article talks about how to deal with the anxiety that is common because of the change that is taking place and how to make sure it is the best thing to do. The article is written from a religious perspective, but even those who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can find a lot of helpful advice. I agree with the author that if more people evaluated their relationships before marriage more divorces would be prevented. This article would have been really helpful to me if I had read it before I got married. My life story would be quite different if I would have done many of the things suggested in this article. Hopefully sharing this article may help someone else.

LDS Living Magazine

Thursday, February 25, 2010

First Day of School

Another prompt for writing your story:
How did you feel about your first day of school?
Do you remember your first day of school?  I'm not sure that I remember the first day, but I do remember things about my early school years.  I remember being excited because of the new things I would do, but I also remember being very nervous and scared because I was afraid I wouldn't know what to do or I would do something wrong.
Did you go to Kindergarten or was first grade your first experience with school?  Did you meet your teacher before you started school or was the first day of school the first day you met your teacher?  Did you know a lot of the other kids in the class or did you not know very many of the kids or maybe not even know any of the other kids in the class?  Did you have older brothers or sisters going to the same school?  Did you walk to school or did you ride the bus?  Did you take a lunch or did you eat in the school lunchroom?  Did you find your way to the classroom, the bathroom and the lunchroom okay or did you get lost?
Describe what your school was like.  How many classrooms were there?  How many teachers were there?  Describe your teacher.  Who else was in your classrom?  What did you do at recess?
What was your favorite thing about school?  What was your least favorite thing?  What do you remember most about school?
I went to Kindergarten for a couple of months the summer before I started first grade.  I remember taking a mat to take a nap on and having snacks.  I don't remember the teacher.  I do remember graduating and getting a diploma with nursery rhymes around the edges.  As I start to think about my school experiences I could write many pages about them.  
As you write you will probably think of a lot more to write.  Add your school pictures to your story.  If you have any of your papers from school add them too.  School is a significant part of your childhood and writing about it will add a great deal to your story.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What Frightens You and Why?

Here is another question to help you write your story:
What frightens you and why?
Change has often been frightening to me.  The first day of school was always frightening because of all the new things.  I didn't know what the teacher would expect.  I didn't know for sure who else would be in my classroom.  In grade school I even found going down the slide or swinging very high to be scary since I hadn't done either all summer.   In junior high and high school and in college I would worry about finding the classroom and getting to class on time.  Even as an adult things like going for a job interview or starting a new job are scary. Of course things that can hurt me are scary.  Badgers scare me after seeing one charge my dad.  Rattlesnakes, scorpions, black widow spiders all scare me.

Image by: George Marler - NPS Photo
If you list all the things you are afraid of and why, you will add a lot to your story.  It might give you a little insight into yourself too.  Then write down what other members of your family are afraid of and why they are afraid.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Describe a favorite childhood toy

Here is another prompt for writing your story:
Describe a favorite childhood toy.
Write down what toys you remember from your childhood.  Keep photos that may show some of the toys you had.  I don't have many pictures of toys I had from my childhood.  But I can take photos of toys my kids have and keep those even though the toys may break and be thrown away or may be given away.  The memories will always be there.  Write down how you played with the toys.  My brother and I would line up all the dolls and stuffed animals we had on a bed, and then we would pretend to be in a bus or an airplane and all the dolls and stuffed animals were the passengers.  Do you know of toys your parents had?  Record what kinds of toys they had.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What Foods Don't You Like?

What foods don't you like?
Answering this question and adding to it why you don't like certain foods will expose a lot about your life.  Perhaps you ate too much of a certain food and got sick.  Now you associate being sick with that food.  Perhaps eating some foods reminds you of other bad experiences that happened coincidentally at the same time as eating a certain food.  Maybe you just don't like the taste, the smell, or the feel of certain foods.
Then reverse the question and answer what foods you really like and why.  Many of the foods we really like will be associated with good memories from our childhood or a good experience we've had later on in life.  I liked the cookies in the picture above that look like witch's fingers.  They tasted really good, but some people I shared them with thought they looked too real.  I like green peas straight from the garden.  They taste the best if you eat them right out of the pod even while you're standing in the garden.  Maybe they taste so good because they're one of the first vegetables ready to eat from the garden.  I love the taste of apricots.  I loved harvesting the fruit and even helping my mother can as we got to eat some of the apricots as we worked.  

Write down the foods you don't like and the foods you do like.  Include why you don't like them and why you do like them.  Record the recipes to add even more to your story.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What was your first job like?

Here's another question to help you write your story.
What was your first job like?
People vary  in when they started working their first job.  Some may not get a job until they graduate from high school or even from college.  Some get part time work during high school.  Some start a newspaper route as a child.  Some set up a lemonade stand and sell lemonade.
I felt that I always had a job as my help was needed on our farm.  From as far back as I can remember I had chores to do like help gather eggs, feed the chickens, pull weeds in the garden, harvest the vegetables and the fruit from the orchard, herd the cow back to the corral, even try to milk the cow (which I wasn't successful at).  
I didn't get a "job" until the summer after I finished my Associate's degree at our local community college.  Since my mother's death when I was in high school I tried to take her place in the family business.  I couldn't do all that she did, but I tried while I went to school.  I decided to get a job the summer before I would be going away to a university to finish my education.  
I took the Civil Service exam for summer hires and I got hired for summer work.  Those typing and office practice classes came in handy just as my mother had said they would.
Write down what your first job was like.  It will probably lead you into writing about all the other jobs you've had in your life.  You'll have a great start on your story. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

What were your family traditions for birthdays?

Here is another question to help you write your family story.
What were your family traditions for birthdays?
When I was growing up we always had cake and ice cream for birthdays.  It was usually just a family time.  My parents would gave us a little money on our birthday and take us to a store.  We were allowed to pick out whatever we wanted to buy with the money.  My mother would bake a cake and frost it and put candles on it.  After blowing out the candles and making a wish we would have cake and ice cream.  I had one birthday party where I invited friends to come when I turned eight years old.
With my children I allowed more frequent birthday parties.  Most birthdays were still just family occasions with cake and ice cream, blowing out candles, and opening presents.  It was fun to create cakes that looked like castles or teddy bears or other fun things.  
As everyone in our family has gotten older birthdays aren't looked forward too as much.  Sometimes we would just rather forget another year has come around.  For my 50th birthday one daughter wrote 50 characteristics she liked about me.  She wasn't able to be there on my birthday, so she got her younger sister to blow up 50 balloons with little pieces of paper with the characteristics written on them in each balloon.  That was a memorable birthday popping all the balloons and reading the slips of paper.  
Some people do a lot for birthdays and some just have cake and ice cream.  One family I knew had a birthday week.  Every day of the week they would do something special for the person with the birthday.  They had decorations outside of the house that let everyone know someone had a birthday.  
Writing down how you celebrated birthdays and what you remember the most can add a lot to your family story.  

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Describe a Perfect Spring Day--Another Question for Your Story

Here's another question for writing your story.
Describe a perfect spring day and what you did.
This prompt could probably stir up many memories.  You will probably remember springtime as a child, as a teenager and as an adult.  There will probably be very happy days and there will probably be very sad days.  There are holidays such as Easter, St. Patrick's Day, Armed Forces Day, Memorial Day and all the things you did.  Once you start writing you may find it hard to stop as more and more ideas come to you.  
Most of my memories of springtime are of beautiful warm days with fruit trees in blossom and flowers starting to bloom and planting a garden.   
Some of my memories are sad such as when my mother died and twenty four years later when my dad died.
Write down your memories and keep on adding.  As spring approaches you will probably think of more, so keep on writing.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday

Martin Luther King, Jr. is a very recent holiday first observed in 1986.  I don't have any family traditions in observing this holiday as I have for other holidays.  This year I read about the day being called a Day of Service which was signed into law in 1994.  I now have a way to celebrate by doing some kind of service. One suggestion I read was to make a donation for relief to the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. Other suggestions are to volunteer for some kind of community service, to visit shut-ins or extended care facilities, or to help the less fortunate.  It is great to have a Day of Service, but think how great it would be if we gave service on a regular basis throughout the year.
To add to your family story write down what kinds of service you have done in your life and how you felt about it.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Online Search Can Reveal Family History

I came across a couple of links about one of my great great grandfathers that I want to remember so I decided to share those links here.  Putting in a name from your family history can turn up some very interesting stories.  It's worth trying to see what you can learn about your family.

Friday, January 15, 2010

What were Sundays Like for You?

Here's another prompt for writing your life story.
Describe your Sundays as a child.
Sundays were always a day to go to church.  As a child I don't remember missing church except when I was sick.  The first Sunday I remember missing that wasn't because I was sick was the Sunday my mother died and we went to the hospital instead of to church that day.  My dad would get up and go to Priesthood Meeting at 9 o'clock Sunday morning.  When my brother turned twelve he went with my dad to Priesthood Meeting.  My dad would come back and pick up my mother, my sister and myself to go to Sunday School at 10:30 a.m.  Sunday School was divided for adults and for children.  There were opening exercises which included an opening hymn, prayer, a couple of two and a half minute talks and a Sacrament Gem which was usually a scripture.  I remember getting regular turns to say the prayer or give one of the talks or to memorize and recite the sacrament gem.  We partook of the Sacrament and then we separated into classes according to our ages.  A lesson was taught on gospel principles and scriptures.  We would be home from Sunday School by noon.  Growing up on the farm we had to take care of the animals even though it was Sunday, so we changed out of our Sunday best clothes and did the chores.  Cows were milked, eggs were gathered and the animals were fed.  Other work on the farm was saved for other days of the week. After chores were done and lunch was eaten we would talk about the speakers and what our lessons had been about.  My parents continued to teach what we had learned and they clarified anything that we didn't understand.  Sunday evenings at 7 o'clock after chores had been done and Sunday best clothes put back on, we went back to the church for Sacrament Meeting.  After an opening hymn and prayer we partook of the Sacrament.  Then there were speakers and musical numbers or a special program for holidays.  Once a month on the first Sunday we attended Fast and Testimony Meeting.  We fasted for two meals and paid the money that would have gone for the food for those two meals to the Fast Offering where the money could be used for those who didn't have sufficient to eat or meet their other needs.  Then we attended the Testimony Meeting where anyone who felt inspired to do so could bear their testimonies.  I always remember Sunday as being a special day and one that was different from the other days of the week.  Stores and gas stations weren't open on Sunday.  Other people treated Sunday as a special day too.  I miss that when I see so many people shopping, working in their yards, going to sporting events and treating Sunday as just another day.  To me it is still a special day.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Your Grandparents Home

Here's another question to write about.
Describe your grandparents home.

My grandmother's house was a bungalow type of house made out of blocks.  It had a full basement with a separate entrance that she rented out. 
I think it was originally a two bedroom house.  I believe one of the bedrooms was divided into a bathroom and a walk-in closet.  My grandmother heated her house with a coal-burning stove in her living room.  In the winter when we visited her it felt so good to sit in front of her stove and get warmed up.  She cooked for many years on a coal-burning cookstove in her kitchen.  She had an old wringer washer in her bathroom.  She had steps between the kitchen and bathroom that led down to a cellar where she stored her bottled fruits and vegetables.  The back of her house was at a higher level than the front.  The back porch had several steps down from it.  The porch was made from wood and was big enough to store lumps of coal under it.  I remember plum trees and a vegetable garden growing in her back yard.  The pictures I have of her house trigger warm memories of times spent with her.

What do you remember about your grandparents' home?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What Lessons Did You Take as a Child

Here is another question to help you write your story.
What lessons did you take as a child?  Do you still do any of the things you had lessons for?
I took lessons on the flute the summer before I started junior high school.  The music teacher from the junior high offered lessons so the students would know the basics when school started.  I continued with band through my years in junior high and high school.  As an adult occasionally I would pull out the flute especially if I wanted to know what the melody was like in a song.  When my oldest daughter got old enough to take band in school, I gave her my flute.  Each of my daughters chose to play the flute.

The summer I turned ten years old I learned to embroider from a teacher at church.  The summer I turned eleven years old I learned how to crochet from a teacher at church.  The summer I turned twelve years old I learned how to knit from a teacher at church. I have embroidered a few things as an adult.  I have crocheted several things.  I never really enjoyed knitting and always seem to drop stitches or add stitches so I haven't done much knitting.  I participated in cooking and sewing and wood working 4-H classes.  Of course cooking is a life long activity.  Sometimes I sew although usually it is now just to mend something.  Once in a while I will use some of what I learned in wood working.  

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What is Your Favorite Color

Here are two more questions to answer in writing your story.
What is your favorite color?  When did you realize it was your favorite color? 
I first remember deciding what my favorite color was when my sister and I had to choose the color our bedroom walls would be painted.  I've always loved the blue color of the sky on a clear summer or autumn day.  I also love the golden color of autumn leaves against the blue sky.  My late husband also felt blue was his favorite color.  I don't know what colors my parents liked.  My dad was color blind, so color wasn't as important in his life.  I have daughters who like amber, orange, green and red.  If you don't know the favorite colors of family members perhaps you can write down what colors of clothing you remember them wearing, what colors the walls of the house inside were and what color the outside of the house was.  Recording the colors may trigger other memories that you will want to write down.  

Monday, January 4, 2010

Fun Things

Here's another question to help write your family story.
What is the most fun thing you remember doing as a family?

I think the most fun things I remember doing were our family trips to Salt Lake City.  My parents didn't travel much as the responsibilities of the farm kept them close to home.  At times there were things they needed that weren't available in the area we lived in.  We would make trips to Salt Lake City, the largest city in our state.  It was about two hours away.  My parents always planned fun things to do on these trips.  We would go to temple square and go through the museum and visitor's center.  We would go to Hogle Zoo or the amusement park, Lagoon, or to visit Pioneer Village or This is the Place Monument.  One of my favorite things to do still is to go to museums or historical sites.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Mother's Role

Here's another question to help you write your story.
What was your mother's role in the home?
My mother's role in our home was to be a help and support to my father.  She was an equal partner with my dad in the family business.  She had different responsibilities than my dad, but they were just as important as my dad's responsibilities.  My mother prepared our meals, cleaned our home, sewed, washed, and ironed our clothes.  She cleaned the house, washed the dishes, kept the paperwork organized, did the bookkeeping and paid the bills.  At times she helped my father like with feeding the chickens, gathering the eggs or other tasks.  She canned and preserved fruits from the orchard and vegetables from the garden.  My mother also set an example.  She took us to church with her.  She taught classes at church and set the example of giving service.  She also felt family history was very important.  She collected names, dates, places and filled out many charts with family history.  My parents both set the example of caring for each other and supporting and helping each other.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year 2010

A new year to me means a chance to set new goals and try to improve my life.  This year I was looking at a jar of ideas for writing your story that I made several years ago.  I never followed through on taking out a slip and writing something about my story or my family's story.  So this year I have decided to pull out a slip every so often and write something to include in my story.  If you'd like to do the same then here is the first idea.

"What was your father's role in the home?"
My father was the main provider in the home, but my mother worked side by side with him on the farm.  My father made the final decisions but he always counseled with my mother.  Often the decisions he made were because of what she said and felt.  My father set an example of working hard.  He set an example of continuing to learn by reading and studying himself.  My father set an example by taking us to church with him, not sending us to church.  He set an example of serving by being the president of the Young Men's organization at our church for a few years.  My father set an example of being cheerful and friendly.  He was known as Smiley because he was always smiling.  My father taught us how to live by living that way himself.