Friday, December 25, 2009

Birthday Of The Month: Our Own Christmas Angel

: What do Santa's elves learn in school?

On Christmas Day in 1994 our family received a special gift, a sweet baby girl, our very own Christmas angel.

She was a cute blonde baby,

a darling child,

as photogenic as a model,

a caring big sister,

a fashionable girl who loves shopping,

a singer and dancer in a performance group before she started school.

You only have to meet her once to love her.

She has always loved babies and young children, and they love her in return. Several years ago at a family reunion she met her Great-Uncle J's young granddaughter. The next time the 3-year-old visited J, she said, "Where is my friend? I want that girl!"

She was the family peacemaker from a young age. At age 3, she showed us a picture she had drawn, a yellow scribble in the middle of the paper with a tiny brown figure blob in the middle of the yellow. She said, "When Mummy and Daddy fight I show them this." I said, "What is it?" She said ,"Baby Jesus." Out of the mouths of babes, indeed.

1994 was the "International Year of the Family", and C's family depended on her every day. She was always her mother's right hand. Her mother told me, "She's amazing."

Like her mother as a child, her smile could light up a room.

C has described herself in these 2 internet bios: I am an Irish step dance assistant instructor, which pretty much is my life. But when I'm not at dance I am just a regular 13 year old girl.
Second Bio: I am an Irish dancer, dance instructor, virtual school student, computer lover, obsessed with Japanese dramas, music listener, movie watcher and 5'4" ft tall.

But angels do not adjust easily to life on earth, and ours has had many trials. Pure innocence seems to attract evil. She has suffered from frequent excruciating migraine headaches since babyhood. She became my hero when one day at age 5 she awoke early, crying in pain. I gave her the prescribed pain medicine, and later asked if she felt better. She shook her head no, and I said, "But you stopped crying." With her eyes still closed against the light, her little face white and pinched with pain, she said, "Mummy says crying doesn't help." Those are the most courageous words I have ever heard.

1993-2000: William Clinton president of US from before birth until age 6
1996: DVD video recordings first made at age 2
1997: Mars pathfinder lands at age 3
2001-2009: George W. Bush president of US from age 7 to 2008
2001: Wikipedia goes online at age 7
2004: Water verified present on Mars by Odyssey lander at age 10
2006: Wii ships from Nintendo at age 12

Grammys awarded in 1994:
Record of the Year: "I Will Always Love You," Whitney Houston
Song of the Year: "A Whole New World" (Theme From Aladdin)

Movies of 1994: Forrest Gump, The Lion King, The Mask, Miracle on 34th Street, The Next Karate Kid, Richie Rich, Stargate, The Swan Princess, Thumbelina, A Troll in Central Park, Little Women, The Flintstones.

Top Songs for 1994: The Power of Love by Celine Dion
Hero by Mariah Carey

On TV in 1994: Star Trek: The Next Generation; Babylon 5; The X-Files; Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman; Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; Home Improvement

Toys in 1994: Beanie Babies; Sega 32X; Pogs

Books in 1994:
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry; The Giver by Lois Lowry

Riddle answer
: The elf-abet

Friday, December 18, 2009

We're Giving Family History Projects for Christmas

: What do snowmen eat for breakfast?

While taking a break from blogging, due to some distasteful comments from self-professed present day witches who apparently confuse history with religion, Grampy (the amazing technical side of our duo) and I created some family Christmas presents.

Gift #1 - This blog
Grampy printed and comb-bound it. A daughter recently said, "You do have it backed up somewhere, don't you?" Well, now we do, and our children each have a copy. The only drawback is that the photos won't enlarge when clicked on with a mouse. This is really apparent in the high school yearbook group photos. It's printed with a white background (to save on printer ink cost) on both sides of matte photo printing paper (from Sam's Club), and the color photos turned out great.

Gift #2 - A short novel
Our talented 15 year-old granddaughter used a blog to print her 16-chapter book as she wrote it. Blogs put the newest entry on top, so her chapters read backward. I printed them in order, and Grampy bound copies for her and her cousins.

Gift #3 - The Revolutionary War pension of Mark Frost
I had photocopied this from microfilm about 30 years ago at the New England branch of the National Archives. To share it with family, and for easier reading, I transcribed Mark's application and the depositions by reading them to Grampy, who types much faster. I printed the transcriptions, Grampy scanned the original photocopies and bound it all with covers. The pages with original handwriting are on the left side, and the typed transcriptions are on the right. This way the reader can see the sometimes difficult-to-read early 1800s handwriting without having to decipher it, and the story of a man born in 1749 can touch our hearts. He is buried in Belgrade, Maine, 8 miles from where one of Grampy's brothers lives. He and the Belgrade Historical Society have copies, and also our children's families.

Gift #4 - A photo collage
This was a combined gift. I chose and Grampy printed (in various sizes) about 75 photos of our oldest grandchild and mailed them out-of-state to his sister, who will assemble a collage on a large foamboard for him. Much easier than us trying to mail a 2 x 3 foot package.

Gift #5 - Our High School Yearbook Photos
Grampy scanned all of the yearbook photos that we were in, printed them full-page size on both sides of matte photo paper and bound them. Now our grandchildren can see real 1950s clothes, with us wearing them!

Gift #6 - Tribute books
Grampy's Dad was born 100 years ago. We are working on a tribute book of his military service, and a book of his father's poetry. These are nearing completion, but aren't finished yet. They just keep growing, and we don't want to leave anything out. Isn't that the way with all genealogy? We found out that small projects completed are better than large projects planned.
I also have a 3-ring binder of information on Grampy's grandmother's adoption waiting for completion, and a couple of great Civil War pensions.

Being unemployed is a harsh way of having enough time for projects, but it seems to be working.

Riddle answer
: Snowflakes.